My phone is crappier than your phone (and I don't care)

John
John Gushue
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In the film version of Sex and the City that opened last weekend, there's a scene in which a distraught, hysterical Carrie Bradshaw needs to make a call and asks a friend to lend her a phone. (Without giving too much away - it's pretty early in the film - it's important to know she's in a wedding dress, and thus doesn't have one of her own).

She's handed an iPhone, the too-cool-for-school gadget from Apple. "I can't work this!" shrieks Carrie, or at least that's what I recall her saying. She soon gets a regular, old-fashioned phone - you know, one with buttons.

Surf's up - In the film version of Sex and the City that opened last weekend, there's a scene in which a distraught, hysterical Carrie Bradshaw needs to make a call and asks a friend to lend her a phone. (Without giving too much away - it's pretty early in the film - it's important to know she's in a wedding dress, and thus doesn't have one of her own).

She's handed an iPhone, the too-cool-for-school gadget from Apple. "I can't work this!" shrieks Carrie, or at least that's what I recall her saying. She soon gets a regular, old-fashioned phone - you know, one with buttons.

The joke got a few laughs at the screening we attended, but it's a joke with a limited shelf life. It was funnier, I'm sure, when they were shooting the movie last year, and the iPhone's sheer, slick screen was brand new, and maybe a little intimidating to gadgetphobes.

It may even work next year, when the DVD edition still seems current. Years from now, though, I doubt the line will work at all.

Why? By then, Apple's iPhone will be as mainstream as, well, its iPod was a few years ago, and so too will be the knockoffs and competitors.

Technology news blogs and sites top one another with advances in what's coming down the cellphone pike. Guaranteed will be the ability to stream live full-motion video over the web, right to your mobile. (Calling it a "phone" does seem a bit limiting, after all, as you may wind up only rarely using it to place a call).

Indeed, whether or not you ever have an iPhone, I'm sure your mobile will likely become the hub of how you live. It will become your TV, your jukebox, and a Slingbox-like device that will seamlessly connect your entertainment equipment and your PC. You won't have to study a manual; you'll turn it on, like a TV set. You'll play games, manage all your communications, pay your bills, make recordings and, basically, manage every slice of minutiae in your digital life.

And we don't even have the iPhone yet in Canada. When Rogers, which has the rights here all locked up, finally launches it, maybe we'll see plenty of Carrie Bradshaw moments all over the place.

I'm sure, though, we'll adapt.

Personally, I can live with what I have. I use an old, dented (no kidding) Motorola that has a very basic array of services. And I'm OK with it. I work at my desk most of the day, and don't need an office-on-the-go, one that fits in my pocket.

Nonetheless, I sooner or later would like a device that will make it easier for me to work on the fly. Being able to update and manage my websites - the nitty-gritty details, that is - from a coffee shop or the back of a cab? Catching up on a TV show I recorded on my PVR and dumped to my mobile, while I eat lunch at my desk? Managing the countless strands of data, from my calendar to my bank account? Watching TV - live, no buffering, in high-resolution?

Yep, those are things I would very much like to do. As much as I like the gadgets, I can wait for the right device, at the right price, to come along.

Elsewhere this week:

Sketch

http://garyc.mooo.com:3232/ sketch

Make a sketch, then exchange it with a total stranger. Use your mouse to draw anything you want. If you're not impressed with your work, hit "undo" and try again. When you're ready, click on "swap," and your image heads off to someone, somewhere. In return, you get someone else's sketch. It's kind of cool. Be warned, though; there is no moderation, which means you could be sent anything.

13 Awesome Screensavers

www.slavetotheinternet.com/ 13-awesome-screensavers

Ah, the screensaver. Before flat screens and current technologies, computer monitors had the unfriendly habit of burning in their images, should they be left alone too long.

A brilliant workaround was developed: the screensaver, which not only prevented your Quattro Pro spreadsheet from becoming ingrained on your screen, but gave you, say, flying toasters or endless spirals to gaze at.

Here's a tribute to some of the best.

John Gushue is a news writer for CBCNews.ca in St. John's. E-mail: surf@thetelegram.com. Read past Surf's Up columns and daily updates at his blog: johngushue.typepad.com.

Organizations: Apple, Motorola, Quattro Pro

Geographic location: Canada, St. John's

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