When does a smartphone cease to be smart?
Many owners of the new iPhone found that if they held the new smartphone in a certain way, it caused reception problems, thanks to its internal antenna. Good luck if you hold your phone with your left hand.
In a press conference last week, a less-than-jovial Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in a massive mea culpa that the problem would be fixed by a simple bit of rubber: If you're a dissatisfied iPhone 4 owner, the company will buy you a free case that will keep you from covering the trouble spot with your hand.
Not only have we become impatient with the brands we swear by; we can't stand it when technology that was mind-blowing 10 years ago doesn't work as fast as we want it to today. When comedian Louis C.K. was on Conan O'Brien's show about a year ago, he couldn't believe how worked up people get about today's technology: "Everything is amazing right now, and nobody's happy." He went on to complain about how impatient some people get whenever something, anything, goes wrong with their phone's signal: "It's going to space. Can you give it a second to get back from space?"
Of course, Apple has had a remarkably good track record, and it is funny how personally people are taking the iPhone problem. It's as if one little antenna glitch has invalidated all of their computer knowledge and preferences.
But it's not all bad for Apple. After all, if you know someone who swears by Windows Vista, you'd take the rest of their computer advice with a grain of salt. Meanwhile, Apple users still take pride in their Apple products—even if they are lemons.
In political news: We followed the latest fundraising figures from the Congressional District 8 race, and looked at poll numbers released by Republican Jonathan Paton, which showed him in a neck-and-neck hypothetical race with Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. (More on all of that in The Skinny this week.)
We also linked to a fascinating New York magazine profile of U.S. Sen. John McCain; posted videos from the debate between McCain and challengers J.D. Hayworth and Jim Deakin, as well as local legislative debates; let you know that former Marana Mayor Ora Mae Harn had crossed party lines to endorse Democrat Cheryl Cage over Sen. Al Melvin; and told you that Americans would still prefer to see President Barack Obama rather than Gov. Jan Brewer in the White House—although the margins were close.
We told you that UA scientists had gene-spliced a new type of mosquito that can't transmit malaria; shared an interview with storyteller Eddie Gallego by UA journalism student Blair Kurland; hooked up readers with a link to a free Calexico concert download; brought you new photos from Mars, courtesy of the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab; and let you know that Joe Mama's Grill would now be serving dinner.
We also directed you to Bloom Night at Tohono Chul Park, Birdemic at the Loft Cinema and The Swell Season's show at Rialto Theatre.
"Dumpsters as art! Genius, Michael Keith, pure genius! Ooh, that smell. Did we, as public taxpayers, pay you for that idea, too? The Downtown Tucson Partnership is a champion of graft, waste and greed. As for "cool ideas," the Ice House Lofts are definitely not downtown, and the project relied on special public assistance to build and serve its marginal, elitist clients."
This is our annual Tales From the Outskirts issue, wherein we bring you stories from communities within an hour or two of the Old Pueblo. Not many people these days make the drive to the small mining town of Ajo, located on the other side of Pima County. That's why we've brought you a video and slideshow that shows off some of the architectural wonders of the community of 3,700. One of the reasons the town is still around—despite the local mine closing decades ago—is the master-planned town square, featuring an historic train station, a community plaza and honest-to-Pete green grass. It's no wonder that the sculptor of Mount Rushmore also made a statue of the man behind that plan.