With a different meaning since you been gone...
Stuck in Rutland Weekend Television.
My boss got us smartphones back in the Windows CE days, because he's a huge geek like the rest of us. The problem was that while work was willing to pay for the phone part the data was WAAAAY too expensive so we didn't have that. Combine that with lackluster wifi availability and the fact that you had to manually turn it on and off because it drained battery out of range, and we didn't end up using the "smart" portion much. Not because it was too hard to use or any of that BS, but because there just wan't the ability.
Now, data is cheap, and my phone auto roams on and off of wifi, and work has complete wifi coverage. So I use my smartphone often for its "smart" features. It is always on data of some kind and like you, I never get near my cap, particularly because it is usually using wifi.
That is the biggest thing that changed and made smart phones useful to me, and others I know. It because affordable and practical to use the smart features. Data is something that is an included feature in most phone plans these days. $40/month can get you a line with some data.
Touchscreens and such weren't the thing that changed it for me. I still liked Blackberry's real keyboard + scrolly ball interface. It was having an affordable data plan plus a processor capable of handling the BS of the modern web.
Actually, disabling substances are used in the vast majority of rapes. The most common is alcohol (trying to get the victim too drunk to resist or looking for someone who already is, in about two thirds of rapes), but drugs are used in about 20% of additional rapes. Very, very few rapes follow the classic Hollywood script of "stranger leaps out of the bushes with a knife" - so vanishingly few that the scenario is statistically almost nonexistant. Disabling substances are extremely popular because 1) they work very well, 2) the victim often can't remember the attacker well if at all, 3) the victim is not in a state to be making a report until long after the event, 4) the victim's ability to make legally reliable testimony is compromised. Why would people choose the Hollywood way over that?
And I'm sorry, but if you think that you can watch everything you consume every second of every evening you're out and not slip up, you're an idiot. And yes, the reason people get mad at people like you is that the problem is that there are people out there drugging other peoples' drinks en masse and thinking that this is acceptable behavior, not that victims haven't gained supernatural abilities to hyperfocus on everything they may potentially consume at all times and never slip up. "Look, I'm sorry that you're dying of pancreatic cancer, but you should have been getting pancreatic function tests daily and working two jobs to pay for weekly MRI scans to find it before it could have posed a threat to you, and because you weren't, it's your own damned fault, and don't act like I'm a jerk for pointing this out!" That's how you come across when you take that tack. The problem is the f***ing cancer, not the victim.
They'd have had to dig underground ducting in to everybody's garden. How did they do it without us noticing?
Presumably people did notice. The telephone connection to both of my last two houses comes in at the front, but there was a telegraph pole in the back of both with a wire going into the back (and then terminating). In both houses, the wire eventually fell off the back. I presume that the previous owners did notice when they re-did their telephone wiring...
Right, so women are supposed to walk around at all times with a gun in their hand, never setting it down for anything, and have a proximity radar to warn them if anyone is approaching them where they can't see so that she can pump them full of lead?
Why, I bet the gun will just shoot the rohipnol right out of drinks too!
The percent of rape cases in which having a gun could have helped is probably in in the single digits. And with it of course carries the risk of escalating the risk of getting you seriously injured or killed.
I should add that the Strauss-Kahn red meat is getting old. First off, most of the descriptions of the case are way off, partially inspired by the prosecutors switching from overplaying the case against him to overplaying the case for him. To be clear:
1) If an accusation is made, and the accused is convicted, the legal system has been determined that the person is guilty.
2) If an accusation is made, the accused is not charged, and the accuser is convicted of making a false accusation, then the legal system has determined that it was a false charge.
3) If an accusation is made, the accused is not charged, but neither is the accuser, then the legal system has made no finding in any direction due to insufficient evidence to match the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard in either direction.
This should be obvious, but for some reason, many people are always fixated on interpreting #3 (by far the most common scenario) as #2.
As for Kahn? Since then he's been caught up in one sex related charge after another - and has admitted to parts of them. He's currently out on bail awaiting trial for running a prostitution ring; the trial begins a couple days from now.
JRRM does not write books to make people happy.
My favourite book that he's written was Tuf Voyaging. Far lighter than the Song of Fire and Ice and the endings did make me happy...
Well, that's certainly what the submitter was trying to imply with the two sentences of flamebait about Strauss-Kahn tacked onto the end of an essentially unrelated news story.
If you choose not to use the tools available, well don't expect anyone to have sympathy for you or marvel at how hard you had it. You've only yourself to blame. When I wish to mount something in my house I get out a laser level, cordless electric drill with titanium bits, and so on. As such things get put up easily, quickly, and dead level. You could do the same with a rock and sharpened metal pieces, but don't expect me to be impressed with how long it took you or the problems with the results. You could use modern tools, if you chose.
He seemed equally annoyed anytime he got asked about why it was taking so long to get the next book out (A Dance With Dragons was long overdue at that point). He basically went off on how entitled the fans acted thinking he was a monkey who should dance to their tune and produce things on their schedule.
That sort of prima donna act, combined with the ridiculously wait between Feast and Dance, was basically what killed my interest in the series. When he was doing his tour for the fourth book (Feast), he claimed that the book was too big to be bound properly, and would have to be split into two books, and the spectacularly mediocre Feast for Crows was the first one we got: the next one would follow shortly behind. Then years of ass-thumbing. By the time Dance came out, I didn't have any emotional investment in the story anymore.
I'm sorry, it's all my fault. CSB inbound:
Several years back, I took my wife to a signing for Feast for Crows at the (now gone) World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto.
The info said he'd sign anything he'd written, and I happened to have the first Wild Cards volume, so I grabbed it and off we went.
Well, when we got to the table, he seemed surprised to see it, and said something like 'Ah, that takes me back.'
A month later, he announced a ton of new Wild Cards stuff. So I think it might be my fault. Sorry.