I'd say this is pretty weird. Had to shoot it in the head to turn it off though.
This. I live in a rural area, and I'm fairly well-off, but there are people out here who are far less fortunate. But this isn't really an issue of rich vs. poor. This is an issue of everyone needing access to essential services. Land lines remain an essential service in rural areas, especially since there are areas out here that do not have any cell phone coverage at all. Land lines are also often the only source of internet access besides satellite - I'm fortunate enough to have DSL, but I know people still on 56k who just can't afford the high cost of a satellite ISP, and who have no cell network coverage.
The big problem I have with Google Talk is the lack of a simple image sharing function. In WLM it's really easy, and appears in-line and in a picture sharing window off to the side of your contact's IM window. You can view the images together so you know you're looking at the same thing.
This is particularly useful for sharing and discussing interesting pornography. Something that I do quite often.
I have yet to find a solution that is the equal of WLM for this function.
In order to save money, I don't have a text messaging plan on my phone. Generally this works fine - I barely use the cell phone for calls, and never for texting (this has more to do with my lack of good friends than my use of technology). But I do have to pay money every time one of these jerks sends me a text message. I think if I have to pay to get their spam messages, I should be paid the cost of the message, plus a small fee, say $5 per message, in order to cover my trouble and any bank fees associated with cashing a $0.10 check. If he were willing to pay, it might have the advantage of making the language I use as I delete the thing without reading it a bit less foul.
Where I live (Northeast Arkansas) AT&T coverage is pretty spotty. Verizon is much better, though there's a big dead zone right on the AR/MO border. Once you cross into Southeast Missouri, Verizon coverage starts getting spotty. I'm with Verizon because my AT&T phone wouldn't ring when I was at home. Took the phone back within 2 days and got out of contract. AT&T still tried to bill me $640 early termination fee, though, took over an hour on the phone to sort THAT out.
This. Don't expect your family to know how to get into your digital copy, and don't expect it to last as long as good, old-fashioned paper. A safety deposit box is great for long-term documents, and a small fire-proof safe at home is good enough for keeping frequently-changed things like passwords. Note that you should not keep REALLY important documents in a home safe, especially a small one, as a thief can simply pick it up, walk out, and drill the lock at his convenience.
Of course my notebook doubles as entertainment when I travel, and I usually have a handful of DVD's or Blu-rays to watch. If I didn't have an optical drive, I'd have to convert my collection on my desktop and transfer to my notebook, a time consuming proposition considering how large my collection is and how lazy I am.
PDFs are great when you want to save a document for later, offline use. Like a product manual, which one may refer to once in a while. You can refer to your local copy, and not have to download it every time.
PDF's are also great for preserving the formatting on documents. It takes a lot of effort to get the formatting to appear exactly the way you want it to in HTML in every browser. Now imagine you have 5,000 separate product manuals, which one can either simply and easily export to PDF, or have the headache of converting to HTML (and losing portions of the formatting in the process), and it's an easy choice.
Using PDF's for major portions of websites is stupid, but they do have their place. It's all a matter of using the right tool for the job (or at least the least bad tool).
My first experience going online was also with Prodigy, which my parents promptly cancelled after they got the telephone bill with all the long distance charges. It wasn't till 97 when I turned 18 and moved out of the sticks that I was able to get on again, with a 56k dialup modem.
I used reCAPTCHA on a small phpBB board. Because of the small number of users, I activate any accounts manually, However, since the first of the year I must have gotten 40 attempted registrations. Very annoying, because I got an e-mail for each of them. Switched to a question that only someone familiar with my board would be familiar with, seems to have stopped that stuff.
I got the warning about being accessed from China. Unfortunately, it came 2 days after I became aware of my gmail account and World of Warcraft account both being compromised. By that time I had already changed the password, and had Blizzard restore my stuff.