Pogue’s Take on the iPhone

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or as I call it, my toddler’s phone.

I’m with AT&T. So far, so good. The Verizon debut doesn’t mean anything to me. A few years ago, after a horrible experience with a Verizon rep — and her equally obnoxious supervisor — I canceled my Verizon service “forever.” That same day I switched carriers and haven’t looked back. I’m sure Verizon doesn’t miss my eighty five bucks each month. I don’t miss them either.

It’s here. After almost four years of speculation, the iPhone will finally come to Verizon’s network on Feb. 10.

And to answer everyone’s question, the Verizon iPhone is nearly the same as AT&T’s iPhone 4 — but it doesn’t drop calls. For several million Americans, that makes it the holy grail.

I took the Verizon iPhone to five cities, including the two Bermuda Triangles of AT&T reception: San Francisco and New York. Holding AT&T and Verizon iPhones side by side in the passenger seat of a car, I dialed 777-FILM simultaneously, and then rode around until a call dropped.

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The Best Tech Ideas of 2009

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according to David Pogue:

These honors, now in their fifth consecutive year, aren’t meant to identify the best products of the year; that’s way too obvious. Instead, the Pogies celebrate the best ideas of the year — great, clever features that somehow made it past the obstacles of cost, engineering and lawyers.

Kindly turn off your cellphones and refrain from flash photography. All right, then, let’s begin.

DROID DOCKS The Motorola Droid, of course, is an app phone (that is, an iPhone wannabe with a black rectangular touch screen, etc.). It’s generally a very good one, with slide-out keyboard, excellent speed and the Verizon network.

The winner here isn’t the phone, though — it’s the docks. One $30 plastic dock suctions to your windshield. When you slip the phone into it, hidden magnetic sensors automatically fill the Droid’s screen with Google’s new GPS navigation software, complete with turn-by-turn driving directions, spoken street names, color coding to indicate traffic, map icons (for parking and so on), satellite view and more.

Or buy the $30 home dock. When you insert the Droid, the screen becomes a handsome, horizontal-layout alarm-clock/weather display, complete with buttons that let you access your music or even dim the screen for sleepy time. You have to charge your phone overnight anyway, so why shouldn’t it be doing something useful in the meantime?

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Still More on E-Book Rights

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This appears to be a hot topic. This entry from David Pogue:

Last week, Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book reader took on Amazon’s Kindle, joining the Sony Reader and several smaller players. And that arena has only just begun to heat up; in the next few months, a raft of additional models will appear.

One of my readers is alarmed by a precedent being set:

“When the iPod introduced music lovers to the idea of copy protection, a years-long war ensued between consumers and the RIAA (and others). The primary issue was that if I purchased a song for my music player, it would only play on that player; I didn’t really own it, per se. Years later, we finally have digital music without copy protection.

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