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Comment: Re:Battery drain? (Score 2) 350

There is no additional drain unless you are actively using the FM receiver.

Also, your phone people already has the chip, it's just disabled.

This isn't about mandating an FM chip in every cellphone, it's about mandating that the existing FM chips not be disabled (which only happens in the US versions)

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 350

What's a real scenario where one-way FM radio on a cell-phone would be a real life-line for anyone but the completely ignorant and inexperienced?

A tornado pops up, everyone hears the siren and goes into the basement, then the tornado starts knocking down power lines and causing fires, which burn the town to the ground with all the people still inside.

Comment: Re: Lets say yes so they put an FM radio on my pho (Score 1) 350

It's not about ANNOUNCING the disaster, that's what sirens are for.

AFTER the sirens have gone off, and AFTER everyone is hiding in fear, wouldn't it be nice if they knew WHY they were hiding?

They can't call or text anyone to find out, since the towers will be overloaded.

Now, they could use the FM radio that is ALREADY BUILT INTO their phone, unfortunately the US carrier they bought it from specifically demanded that the FM radio be disabled.

A specific example of where this would save lives: A tornado pops up, the sirens go off, and everyone heads to the basement. Meanwhile the high winds have knocked down power lines everywhere, and started fires everywhere. The town is quickly burning to the ground (with people still in their basements), and nobody knows because they can't hear the local radio station talking about the fires.

Comment: Re:Lets say yes so they put an FM radio on my phon (Score 1) 350

I think the psychological reassurance of just knowing what's going on during a disaster is probably the most helpful part.

Even if you can't DO anything about it, it's still better than cowering in fear because you are in the dark both literally and figuratively.

Comment: Re:Makers or Service providers? (Score 4, Interesting) 350

How do you explain phones that have identical international and US versions, and only the US version has the FM disabled?

The (international) HTC Desire Z had an FM radio, and came with an FM tuner app to access it. (using the headphones as the antenna)
The identical US version, the T-Mobile G2, also had an FM radio but it was disabled in software. (to fix it, you just had to install the stock FM tuner app)

I can only assume that T-mobile demanded that the FM radio be disabled, in order to get people to use up all their data listening to streaming music.

Comment: Re:Only used it when they paid me (Score 1) 186

by sir-gold (#49116191) Attached to: Google Teams Up With 3 Wireless Carriers To Combat Apple Pay

You are right, the phone should just wake up and launch the default payment app automatically when it is near the payment pad

I don't see why they haven't implemented this. I know it's definitely possible and not terribly hard, since there are already apps on the play store that can wake and unlock the phone on contact with an RFID card.

Comment: The map is a fraud (Score 1) 99

by sir-gold (#49071005) Attached to: New Map Shows USA's Quietest Places

As other commenters have noticed, the map looks like a light map, a little TOO much like a light map.
At first I thought they actually HAD used a light map, just for the sake of illustration, but it clearly shows a legend in decibels.

Here is a light map from NASA:

You will notice a few small but very bright dots in North Dakota. These are not cities, they are oil fields. They aren't nearly as loud as a city of comparable light output, yet they still show up as bright spots on the audio map.

I'm sure there are inconsistencies in other locations where the light and sound values should be different, but appear the same on both maps.

Comment: Re:get dizzy? (Score 1) 71

Speaking over the sound of your own delayed voice is a similar principle.

For most people, having their own words fed back into their ears with a specific delay causes them to be unable to keep speaking (they start stuttering really bad). However, people who are accustomed to speaking in public (through a PA system) don't suffer from this, because their brain learns to ignore the sound of their own voice.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose