Monday, 30 December 2013

It is more blessed to give than to receive

Here's a heartwarming seasonal tale for you. A hardened gun-wielding mugger is so overcome by the Spirit of Christmas that he repents and hands his victim back the phone he's just nicked with menaces. Well ... that's more or less the correct sequence of events, but the robber's actual motivation was a tad less uplifting.

Apparently, the gun-toting scoundrel's change of heart had more to do with the outmoded design of the loot he'd just liberated than the with salutary example of the Baby Jesus. Specifically he was unimpressed by his victim's flip phone - “Once he saw my phone, he looked at it like, ‘What the [expletive deleted] is this?’ and gave it back to me” recalled the muggee, Kevin Cook.

Although I don't like to pick quarrels with armed and potentially dangerous criminals, I stand by my stated opinion that the flip phone is actually a damn good piece of design, combining the advantages of folding up small when not in use and, when so folded, being protected against inadvertent keypad presses, or scratches and damage to the display screen, when stuffed into your pocket or handbag along with your keys and loose change. Flippies may be out of fashion now, but I predict they'll be back one day.

But then I've never been an on-trend early adopter - having tried a low-end smartphone for a while, I've decided that I don't need most of its features,* just something that makes calls and has a decent battery life, so I abandoned it in favour of an ancient (non-flippy) Nokia. Which also has the advantage of being too old and primitive to be worth stealing - hell, if they're rejecting three-year old Windows phones, any self-respecting mugger would probably take one look at my lump of prehistoric Finnish plastic and offer me an upgrade.

 *Some features were nice to have but would be easier to use on something tablet-sized - come the day I've got some spare money, I'll see if  I can find a half-decent budget-friendly one.