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More Signs I’m Getting Old June 12, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in life.

I’ve seen two cell phone related articles in the past few days that indicate I’m getting old, or I just don’t get it any more (i.e. I’m getting old).

First, along the lines of a previous posting about my hearing going, is this article from the NYTimes:

In that old battle of the wills between young people and their keepers, the young have found a new weapon that could change the balance of power on the cell phone front: a ring tone that many adults cannot hear.

Just to let my future students know: go for it. I’ve already demonstrated in class that I won’t be able to hear that ring! Now, here is the part I don’t get: isn’t this what vibrate mode is for!?

Second was an article on the recent Web 2.0 conference in Make Magazine. At that conference there was a panel of teenagers discussing how they used current technology. I’d seen write-ups on this around the blog-o-sphere before. They only use email to communicate with adults. IM for everything else, social networking web sites (i.e. myspace, which I think is already over) to keep up to date. But Make’s write up had a new take (sorry, couldn’t find this reproduced on the web; type-o’s are mine) that I’d not picked up on before:

… A panel of teens talked about their habits and attitudes for a wide range of gadgets and services. All of them said they almost never pay for digital music, and seemed incredulous that anyone would. Then the moderator asked them about cell phones. One of the teens confessed that he spent $50 a month on ring tones. FIFTY DOLLARS A MONTH!

I don’t get it. You don’t pay for music, but for the 20-second excerpt of the music you’ll pay big bucks!? Can’t you turn any old MP3 into a ring tone (I’ve done it for my phones)??

I don’t get it. I must be getting old. 😉



1. Tilley - June 13, 2006

Don’t feel bad, Gordon. I can’t hear 17Hz either unless I cup my hands around my ears to increase the surface area to collect the waves. And I’m 29.

If you want to test your threshold,you can find a wave generator here:


Yes. I did.

2. Tilley - June 13, 2006

EDIT: My message above should say 17kHz.

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