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Can you hear me now? Of course; I'm on a land line
Los Angeles Times / latimes.com ^ | September 6, 2010 | By Stephen Randall

Posted on 09/06/2010 7:28:47 PM PDT by thecodont

Sitting here in my den, I have two ways that I can call you and two ways that I can get a call from you. One of them has been around since the late 1800s and still does pretty much what it did when it was invented. The other is virtually magic in a box — and that box isn't much bigger than a deck of cards.

One sits like a weird dusty antique on my desk. It's not pretty. No talented designer has ever bothered to make it museum-worthy. When it rings, I hear the same sound, no matter who is calling. It won't let me play Brick Breaker when I'm bored, it has no built-in GPS to remind me how to get to Temecula, it doesn't get text or e-mail, it has no apps and, as devices go, it's pretty much chained to the house. It can't even take pictures.

[...]

So why am I suddenly nostalgic for my maligned, nearly obsolete land-line telephone, and why do I so often prefer it, when I'm here at home, to my newer, cooler gadget? I'm a guy who likes his tech toys: I love my iPad, my Prius was one of my smarter purchases, I'd give up sugar before I'd give up Quicken, and chances are good I'll be buried with my ever-present smartphone.

But my smartphone isn't always smart. When it comes to an effortless, nearly foolproof, reliable, high-quality device, I have a soft spot for my land line. The reason is simple: If I'm talking to you from my land line and you're on your land line, I can actually hear you. Perfectly. If we're both on our cells, chances are good that we're in for some frustrations, even in 2010.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Technical
KEYWORDS: cellphones; landlines; phone; smartphones; telecommunications; telephone
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Someone said there was a scene from one of the "Die Hard" movies, in which John McClane desperately searches for a "hard line"--a land line.
1 posted on 09/06/2010 7:28:49 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: thecodont
Everything is amazing, but nobody is happy.
2 posted on 09/06/2010 7:40:05 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: thecodont

They can have my land line when they pry it from my dead cold hands!!!!


3 posted on 09/06/2010 7:40:34 PM PDT by ladyvet (WOLVERINES!!!!!)
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To: thecodont

Got two. Works when the power is down, too. Ma Bell made in the US of A.


4 posted on 09/06/2010 7:40:55 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth
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To: thecodont

I keep hearing about all these horrible dropped calls, but it seldom happens to me. I don’t get excited about it- there’s not really anyone I want to talk to besides my wife, and I just call her back.

Otoh, we had tons of problems with our landline, including a cop beating on our door at 2:00 am one morning because our second line (which we didn’t ask for, and had never connected a phone too) was repeatedly dialing 911. We also found out later that we were getting billed for foreign calls on that same line (which still wasn’t hooked up). We went through all kinds of hoops trying to get all of this straightened out- finally, we just dropped the landline altogether.

We’ve been much happier with our wireless modem and cellphones these past four years.


5 posted on 09/06/2010 7:41:44 PM PDT by TexasBarak (I canceled a subscription, and used the money to become a monthly donor instead!)
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To: thecodont

I went to a thrift store in order to buy 2 land line phones with large numbers and a handset that matches my head, i.e., you have a real place to talk to and a real place to listen! I LOVE them... comfortable and the sound is much, much better. I don’t buy into fads .... until they are proven to me to be better than the original. So far, the are not!

I’m getting tired to being sold a bill of goods by the younger generation that just isn’t so!


6 posted on 09/06/2010 7:45:00 PM PDT by bareford101 (Be loud! We have nothing – NOTHING - to apologize for in fighting for our Country!!)
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To: Vince Ferrer

I LOVE that! So funny.


7 posted on 09/06/2010 7:47:10 PM PDT by peggybac (Restore America and restore her honor.)
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To: thecodont

I have a land line, a cell and a VOIP phone. One is quality, one is portable and one is cheap. One of these days, I hope they are the same.


8 posted on 09/06/2010 7:47:35 PM PDT by DeFault User
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To: thecodont

I’ll never give up my landlines. I have a phone in every room.


9 posted on 09/06/2010 7:48:12 PM PDT by peggybac (Restore America and restore her honor.)
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To: TexasBarak

Dropped calls are rarely my problem (Verizon), but it never ceases to amaze me how generally crappy is the quality of most of my digital cell phone calls. No matter where peope are or what phones they are using, cell phone-to-cell phone calls are crap. I thought digital tech was supposed to ensure great quality.


10 posted on 09/06/2010 7:50:19 PM PDT by PackerBoy (Just my opinion ....)
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To: thecodont

Meh. I have a land line because it comes free with cable and internet, but I’ve never bought a phone to plug into it. I don’t honestly know the number either.


11 posted on 09/06/2010 7:52:34 PM PDT by Melas
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To: thecodont

Landlines complement cell phones. They both have their place and their uses.


12 posted on 09/06/2010 7:54:46 PM PDT by Nepeta
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To: ladyvet
They can have my land line when they pry it from my dead cold hands!!!!

I like my land line but it was costing me $43.00 a month, much of that in "fees." I switched from my land line phone company to Vonage and my bill is now $13.00 a month. It's a little quirky at times but generally works very well. The old phone companies, with their exorbitant fees (mostly federal) just charge way too much. I am now saving $360.00 a year and still have a land line!

13 posted on 09/06/2010 7:54:50 PM PDT by ExtremeUnction
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To: PackerBoy
And allow me to put my plug in here for MagicJack. I got a MagicJack for the heck of it ($20 cost plus $20/year fee), and I use it for all of my home long distance calls.

The quality is fine and the cost can't be beat. Plus, due to illegal telemarketing calls I have received from stupid telemarketers, which I later sued under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act, I have "earned" almost $15K in settlements from the MagicJack line during the past year.

14 posted on 09/06/2010 7:54:52 PM PDT by PackerBoy (Just my opinion ....)
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To: thecodont

Cell phones stink.

I only have one for emergencies.

Meanwhile, half the time when someone calls me from a cell phone, he’s hard to understand, or his battery runs out in the middle of the conversation, or he can’t hear me at all or I can’t hear him at all.

It should be considered rude to place an important call from a cell phone except in emergencies.


15 posted on 09/06/2010 7:55:34 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: thecodont

When I went wireless only AT&T used to advertise ‘it can be your only phone.’ I went to their store to get one (and drop my bill from $120/mo to $40/mo) and they asked me my phone number. I said ‘ you tell me.’ They apparently needed a landline to tie my wireless phone number to. AT&T was still in the dark ages up to at least 1998.


16 posted on 09/06/2010 8:00:01 PM PDT by posterchild (Endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable rights.)
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To: thecodont

Have land line and FIOS from Verizon. Nice to have it but if I could I would dump Verizon like a hot potatoe. It’s a big ripoff and they keep screwing up my bill and I can’t seem to get resolution from them. Everytime I call them about it they always try to sell me something else—like a hard sell. Maybe because they are HQ in NY is one big reason that they schuck BIGTIME.


17 posted on 09/06/2010 8:00:10 PM PDT by tflabo
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To: thecodont

I don’t think I’ve had a land line in over 10 years. Phew.


18 posted on 09/06/2010 8:01:13 PM PDT by Tolsti2
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To: PackerBoy

Perhaps I need to get an Ohio address. I’ve been plagued by collection agency calls for ‘maria’ for the past 4 years. (My name is not maria.) Each time I tell them I am not maria they sell the maria acct to some other sleazy agency and the calls start again.


19 posted on 09/06/2010 8:03:39 PM PDT by posterchild (Endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable rights.)
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To: bareford101
“I’m getting tired to being sold a bill of goods by the younger generation that just isn’t so!”

Hey, the telemarketers need some people to keep their landlines around!

20 posted on 09/06/2010 8:05:59 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (I aspire to a large carbon footprint; just like Al Gore's)
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To: tflabo

Over the past 12 yrs I’ve had ATT, TMobile, and VZ and VZ has been the least trouble (best you can hope for) so far. VZ sucks less, especially if you spend much time in a rural area.


21 posted on 09/06/2010 8:06:04 PM PDT by posterchild (Endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable rights.)
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To: thecodont

I’m in the process of refurbishing my parents old rotary phone from the early 60’s. Cant wait to get it hooked up and hear that old fashioned bell ring.


22 posted on 09/06/2010 8:11:16 PM PDT by Tagurit (Are your pigs fed, watered and ready to fly?)
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To: thecodont
Believe it or not... My MAGIC JACK is awesome, and only $59.95 for 5 years!

I have both a MAC and a PC... The Mac didn't work very well with the MJ so I bought one of those small 10 inch laptop PCs and dedicated it to my MJ. Great sound, great features and works perfectly.

I used to work for Time Warner Cable and bought the MJ to compare for my job... MJ is superior to the Time Warner system and Time Warner is over $40.00 per month.

That's $2400 for 5 years for Time Warner OR... $60.00 for 5 years for the MJ.... well DUH!

23 posted on 09/06/2010 8:16:05 PM PDT by Bob Eimiller (appeasement "it's the idea that if you feed the alligator he will eat you last." Winston Churchill)
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To: thecodont
I think cell phones are great because it allows me to end calls a lot sooner than they would end otherwise. For example, when the other person is droning on and on and I'm bored out of my mind, I can just hang up without being thought rude! For I can then blame it on several things, such as the call got dropped, I was out of range or my battery went dead.

All these reasons are perfectly acceptable!

24 posted on 09/06/2010 8:19:36 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (I am 91 days away from outliving Curly Howard)
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To: Tagurit

I have an old wooden phone booth with the folding glass door and a pay phone in it, but I like my free google telephone service and a head set, in fact google and my cell phone are my only long distance.


25 posted on 09/06/2010 8:20:32 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: thecodont
my Prius was one of my smarter purchases...

Well, there goes my interest in this article.


26 posted on 09/06/2010 8:21:20 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (YouTube My Space and I'll Google your Yahoo.)
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To: thecodont

We have no cell phone coverage where we live...our land lines aren’t going anywhere :o)


27 posted on 09/06/2010 8:26:28 PM PDT by Troublemaker
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To: thecodont
When it comes to an effortless, nearly foolproof, reliable, high-quality device, I have a soft spot for my land line. The reason is simple: If I'm talking to you from my land line and you're on your land line, I can actually hear you.

I believe land-line calls these days sometimes make use of VoIP too.
28 posted on 09/06/2010 8:28:47 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: Age of Reason
"It should be considered rude to place an important call from a cell phone except in emergencies."

I agree. Every single worker that has been working at my house had a cell phone. I'd leave their presence and when I would return in a few minutes, they'd be yapping on the cells instead of working.

I can't stand cellphones. Most of the conversation is filled with "I can't hear you" "What did you say?" "glub glub glub". A lot of times words are misheard and misunderstandings happen. I love my landline.

29 posted on 09/06/2010 8:32:51 PM PDT by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: Age of Reason

Hmmm, most of my news and info I get from my blackberry. Including my time on FR.


30 posted on 09/06/2010 8:33:27 PM PDT by Bruinator (God is Great.... Beer is good.... Muzzies are.........?)
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To: thecodont

Upon taking a direct hit from Hurricane Rita five years ago, I had no power, no water, no gas, and all the cell-phone towers were downed. For three weeks, the ONLY bloomin’ thing I had that worked was an old-time 1940-vintage telephone I had, hooked up to the landline.


31 posted on 09/06/2010 8:34:13 PM PDT by greene66
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To: greene66

Bingo!


32 posted on 09/06/2010 8:38:26 PM PDT by Tagurit (Are your pigs fed, watered and ready to fly?)
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To: bareford101
I don’t buy into fads ....

Cell phones a fad? Gee, I guess your family got their first radio in 1940 and first TV in 1965. BTW, did you get your 386 computer in 2007?

33 posted on 09/06/2010 8:42:42 PM PDT by buccaneer81
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To: TexasBarak

I’m with you, haven’t had a land line in many years and don’t miss it at all.


34 posted on 09/06/2010 9:06:28 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Nobody reads tag lines.)
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To: thecodont

I’ve seen land line telephones with built-in AM/FM radios and alarm clocks. They still only have one ring-tone.


35 posted on 09/06/2010 9:10:37 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear (Does not play well with others)
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To: Melas
Meh. I have a land line because it comes free with cable and internet, but I’ve never bought a phone to plug into it. I don’t honestly know the number either.

In all likelihood that's a VOIP connection, not a true land line. That's what the cable/internet installers now offer as phone service in their "bundle". If the cable goes out, so does the phone.

36 posted on 09/06/2010 9:21:19 PM PDT by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
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To: Graybeard58

“I’m with you, haven’t had a land line in many years and don’t miss it at all.”

One issue is alarm systems. They generally use a land line to connect to the monitoring company and to the police and fire departments. Are there alternatives.


37 posted on 09/06/2010 9:22:12 PM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: WorkingClassFilth

<Works when the power is down, too.

That’s exactly why I keep mine. Although, to heck with getting a phone call, I keep a landline so I can get the internet when the power is down. Seriously though, like most universities, we use an online course management system. I never want to be without my internet as it would affect my ability to get class-related work done.

Unless things have changed, my understanding is that mobile phones aren’t part of the 911 system. I don’t want the EMTs to wonder where I am.


38 posted on 09/06/2010 9:26:58 PM PDT by radiohead (Buy ammo, get your kids out of government schools, pray for the Republic.)
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To: tflabo
...like a hot potatoe.

Is that you Dan?

39 posted on 09/06/2010 9:28:50 PM PDT by 386wt
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To: Tagurit
I’m in the process of refurbishing my parents old rotary phone from the early 60’s. Cant wait to get it hooked up and hear that old fashioned bell ring.

If you still have a POTS line, great. But if you're getting VOIP service in a broadband bundle, good luck getting it to work.

40 posted on 09/07/2010 1:22:44 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Judas Iscariot - the first social justice advocate. John 12:3-6)
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To: Charles Martel
In all likelihood that's a VOIP connection, not a true land line. That's what the cable/internet installers now offer as phone service in their "bundle".

Yep.

If the cable goes out, so does the phone.

ATT U-Verse has a battery backup so you'll get about four hours of service during a blackout.

41 posted on 09/07/2010 1:25:34 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Judas Iscariot - the first social justice advocate. John 12:3-6)
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To: ladyvet

I must admit, I have not cut the cord. I still love my land line ... it is dependable.


42 posted on 09/07/2010 1:25:44 AM PDT by BunnySlippers (I love BULL MARKETS . . .)
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To: Jeff Chandler
ATT U-Verse has a battery backup so you'll get about four hours of service during a blackout.

My U-verse has gone out three times since April, once for 5 days. Each time it takes the tech about 2 hours to get it going. Also, the internet goes dormant on a regular basis where speed goes to near zero for several minutes at a time. Of course, they tell me there's nothing wrong with my service. I would jump to DSL, but they only offer a slow version in my area.

43 posted on 09/07/2010 3:09:42 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (The Obama magic is <strike>fading</strike>gone.)
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To: Right Wing Assault

1-800-ATT-2020


44 posted on 09/07/2010 11:29:08 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Judas Iscariot - the first social justice advocate. John 12:3-6)
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To: Jeff Chandler
1-800-ATT-2020

Yeah, I've got it on speed dial. I talk with them a lot.

45 posted on 09/07/2010 12:38:08 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (The Obama magic is <strike>fading</strike>gone.)
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To: Charles Martel

I honestly have no idea. It’s part of the FIOS bundle, that’s all I know.


46 posted on 09/07/2010 1:54:19 PM PDT by Melas
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To: buccaneer81

for me, anything is a fad that keeps on changing with the wind.... i.e., cell phones/text messagig.... they are temporary... and, actually we got our first TV in 1954... :)


47 posted on 09/07/2010 3:07:47 PM PDT by bareford101 (Be loud! We have nothing – NOTHING - to apologize for in fighting for our Country!!)
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To: buccaneer81

for me, anything is a fad that keeps on changing with the wind.... i.e., cell phones/text messaging.... they are temporary... and, actually we got our first TV in 1954... :)


48 posted on 09/07/2010 3:08:03 PM PDT by bareford101 (Be loud! We have nothing – NOTHING - to apologize for in fighting for our Country!!)
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To: thecodont

If the cell phone companies spent anywheres near as much on quality and signal as they do on advertising ad nauseaum, then maybe they would improve to the point where they are dependable.

But honestly, cell phone tech is one of the few digital applications that really hasn’t experienced a quantum leap in price/service in the last decade or so.

Sorry that I don’t add in the cell phones unique ability to make my toast in the morning... I really don’t give a rat’s rear end...

I have a land line. It’s always on and it always works. Nuff said.

I also have a cell phone from a fairly dependable provider. But I have it for convenience and emergencies away from home.

If I was forced to give up one, I would keep the land line and give up the cell phone.
Just my 2 cents.


49 posted on 09/07/2010 3:22:55 PM PDT by djf (They ain't "immigrants". They're "CRIMMIGRANTS"!!!!)
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To: PackerBoy

Digital ensures signal reproduction.

Most digital calling compresses the heck out of the source and usually doesn’t sample all that well.


50 posted on 09/08/2010 9:40:46 PM PDT by Bogey78O (Don't call them jihadis. Call them irhabis. Tick them off, don't entertain their delusion.)
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