Yeah, this is just part of their "don't be evil" campaign, where they are fostering competition in the market place.
But virtually every single competitor phone out there that anybody would care about *can* do Facebook. Thus, if you care about Facebook, you already have it in your hand.
It doesn't matter if the competitor's products are used that way, it's whether or not they are capable of it. And pretty much any smart phone is 100% FB capable, so no reason at all to buy a "FB Phone". And ask yourself which is worth more: The option of having FB installed on your phone, or the requirement of having it installed?
Forget the latest phones, they'll run whatever O/S they came with. I have a Razr Maxx HD and I'm so in love with it's DAYS of battery life and snappy performance that I won't change anything. (for now)
but, I have a fairly recent model Samsung Stratosphere that's about a year or so old. It's the phone I had before the Razr, and while it's no award winning phone, it still has relatively decent hardware. It runs Android 2.3, has a DVD quality video, Ghz processor, 512 RAM, 5 MP camera, 4 GB internal storage and a 16 GB SD card. It's 4G capable, but since I have no contract on it, it's wifi only nowadays...
It's pretty similar in "horsepower" as the ancient P4 I still have running behind the TV as a file server for movies... (only it has a TB HDD) It's a rather capable platform and I'd donate it in a flat second if there was some way to run/test Ubuntu or Fedora mobile on it. (I'm generally a Fedora fan)
On a Sound Blaster?
The last sound blaster I recall having jumpers was a farking ISA model. Since going to all PCI in about 1998-9, I've never seen one that ever need any kind of setting...
Just how old is your computer?!?
Do tech support for your mother in law. Then you'll see just how critically important a start menu is.
With my phone, a Razr Maxx HDD, I find myself commonly doing "real work" on the go, where Swype on the screen just doesn't cut it. I got myself an iGo folding BT keyboard and LOVE IT. Android comes with QuickOffice which does a passable job at MS Office compatibility, and which I've used many times in conjunction with the email and JuiceSSH for remote access to servers.
I wish apps weren't full screen; It's trivial to plug my phone into a nearby TV with HDMI and, with bluetooth keyboard, have an impromptu "PC" with pretty impressive "content creation" capability. Copy/Paste is still weak, but it's improving rapidly.
My phone is more powerful than the majority of computers I've used in my almost-20-year history working in information technology. It's silly to think it's not ever going to be considerable as a PC replacement.
Yeah, this comment pretty much hits the nail right on the head.
Why Segway, again?
1) Despite eliminating the exercise benefits of a bicycle (my primary reason to ride) you still have to stand while using it.
2) My bike has a couple of $20 collapsible metal baskets on each side of the book rack on the back. I can haul two full bags of groceries, a gallon of milk on the book rack itself, and still carry my laptop over my shoulder. If I want, I have a trailer I can hook up that allows me to pull around as much as a few hundred pounds of stuff if I want. The Segway has no place to even put a basket.
3) I know my bike will not short out in the rain.
4) My bike will not run out of batteries, even when I decide to spend a day cycling along the coast.
5) With a mild, chronic back pain, my bike makes me feel better for using it. Standing on a jostling Segway would be horrible.
6) I currently ride a cheap "whatever" bike that's worth perhaps $150. I can buy a used convertible in decent shape shape with the $4,350 I save not buying a Segway.
7) If my bike is stolen, it's an annoyance.
How about just simply: "I'm interested in $foo project, would you mind letting me have a whack at it?". As a senior dev myself, I'm forever turning over stuff to other staff as our company has grown from 1 dev to 8.
I've always bought the super-extended warranty-surance when I buy a Dell laptop. I generally buy a rather nice one, and I use it to make money. A day of downtime costs more than the warranty to cover 3 years, and next-day service is very nice. It covers anything I do as long as I can still read the service tag ID on the bottom of the unit. (For good measure, I tape over the service tag with clear tape to make good and sure that it's readable)
I have a similar warranty on my nice smart phone (currently a Razr MAXX HD that I love for having days of battery life) for $3/month, and I've used it.
But I don't have that kind of warranty on my TV.
Most people think that DRM is about them as if it is supposed to keep movies from appearing on The Pirate Bay. It's ineffective at preventing this as it takes just one leak, any leak of a cracked or "analog hole'd" to be shared to render the whole scheme as ridiculous. And it is, ridiculous, as evidence by the fact that movies and the like are generally more easily obtained via TPB than commercially.
But that's not really the point of DRM. DRM prevents 3rd parties from being able to make a buck off the content being protected. Companies are extremely averse to liability, and even though cracked content is widely available, trying to make a buck off of it is nearly impossible to do without opening you up to legal liability.
DRM isn't really about you, it's about irritating you in order to prevent other companies from improving your experience with accessory services.
That's easy. Turn the camera off and he's off duty. Remember, it's not that every waking moment is recorded, it's that every moment of him/her acting as an officer is recorded.
Studies have shown that bluetooth headsets make no difference when it comes to preventing accidents. The cause is clear, just sit in a car during an in-car conversation and simulate a near accident by stomping the breaks hard without provocation.
All talking stops instantly and stays stopped during the entire perceived danger. Granted, you may get bruises for freaking everybody out, but you'll understand the point:
Conversations in a car will never the be the same as a conversation happening with somebody outside the car. People driving with you inadvertently "help" you in a crisis by pausing in their communications during a crisis situation.
Interestingly, there's a small percentage of people (around 15% or so) for whom talking on a cell phone has no measurable effect on their driving. These are people with the ability to interrupt the conversation flow, saying "just a minute" or simply ignoring the conversation altogether during a crisis.
If you want training in how to do this, I'd recommend getting a pilot's license. While getting even a basic private license, the number of things you are expected to do precisely, concurrently during takeoff/landing boggles the mind to a newbie coming from a car. You are commonly expected to be manipulating radio controls, rudder controls, Elevator controls, and Aileron controls concurrently while watching a half dozen instruments and chatting with some guy a mile away in a tower.
You figure out quick how to ignore him when something unexpected happens!
Congratulations! You've just laid out exactly why I personally object to corporations in general! There are a million ways that corporations can be used to shield liability and hide money - it could easily be argued that's the reason for their existence in the first place.
Your high premiums have more to do with soaring costs on the care delivery end, which have more to do with ever more expensive techniques being invented and used with no cost-benefit analysis. Hell, they don't even do benefit-benefit analysis (drugs are not compared to eachother to determine if the new one is even worth prescribing).
That may appear correct on the surface. But why do so many countries with improved longevity over the United States pay so much less for their health care? We pay roughly twice as much for our health care as the rest of the first world, and yet we're practically dead last in our longevity.