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Is it irresponsible for me to keep my cell phone on 'silent' at night?

Here's the thing: I don't have a land-line. Over Thanksgiving, my mother got upset at the thought that she couldn't reach me late at night if there were some kind of emergency - the dreaded "3 am phone call." I understand her worry, but I'm feeling very resistant to the idea of keeping the phone on at night. In part, this because I know that most of the calls I'll get will just be annoying and unwanted (I have a fairly severe telemarketing issue) but I think there is also a kind of psychological resistance. I'm a slave to my phone already for all these hours of the day, and it feels good to know it won't be bothering me while I'm sleeping. I'm reluctant to give that up. Can you help me sort through these issues? [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on Dec 2, 2013 - 78 answers

Which phone should I get? Galaxy S4 (Active?) or Lumia 1020?

Please help me choose between the phones based on my list of pros and cons between each. [more inside]
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. on Dec 2, 2013 - 7 answers

Pranks for nothing: anonymous, international version.

For the last day, my phone has been targeted by the "have two random cellphones call each other simultaneously and see what happens when someone picks up" prank, similar to what is available through websites I won't advertise here. (Google, "have two phones call each other prank." Yes, I looked up the 4 I could find, and registered on all of them to have my number blocked....it's still happening.) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 21, 2013 - 6 answers

What phone is right for me?

I am a phone luddite moving into the modern era. There is a huge array of options, most of which are meaningless to me. [more inside]
posted by a robot made out of meat on Nov 20, 2013 - 17 answers

What to do about my expensive family wireless plan?

Please tell me what wireless plan to get for my family! We have four lines (mom and dad, two grown kids) on our family plan from Verizon for $188/mt. I think we can pay less but I'm really overwhelmed by all the options and possibilities. [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on Nov 20, 2013 - 14 answers

should I switch to Ting phone service ?

I'm thinking of switching my phone service from sprint to Ting. Since this is a change that's difficult to undo, I'm asking for feedback ( positive or negative ) about how your Ting experience has been. I'm in Seattle so if you're a Seattle Ting customer, I'm particularly interested in what you have to say about signal quality, 4g/3g service, etc. I'm not too concerned about the savings of switching to Ting. It's clear that I come out ahead even with the penalty I have to pay for terminating my contract early. I'm more interested in any gotchas that you didn't find out about or think about until after choosing Ting. For example, unexpected roaming charges, bad customer service, bad reception... If it makes any difference, my phone is a samsung galaxy s3 . Thanks!
posted by metadave on Nov 18, 2013 - 17 answers

Samsung 3 or 4 OR the Iphone 5s

I need a mobile phone for work and am debating, help me choose please [more inside]
posted by ladoo on Nov 16, 2013 - 12 answers

Verizon Phone with Cardock like Droid X

My (Verizon) Droid X is dying. I'm looking for a new-ish used phone on Swappa, but am overwhelmed by the options. One of the features I love most about my Droid X is the car dock / vehicle mount. The dock integrates the power cable, such that I don't have to plug and unplug the cord every time I use the vehicle mount. I just put it in the cradle and it's charging. It's a small detail, but it's really nice for getting in and out of the car quickly. Is there another, slightly newer model phone that has a similar car dock available? Or are there third-party vehicle mounts that are available that are model-specific enough to incorporate the power connector?
posted by ecrivain on Nov 5, 2013 - 2 answers

Should I port my cell phone number to my new employer?

I've had my cell phone number for 10 years. My new employer is a large non-profit organization (thousands of employees). They'll buy me a new phone and pay for the service. They won't just reimburse me for my service plan as my last employer did. I don't really want to carry a second phone and have a second plan. It seems that if I want to take advantage of this benefit, I'd need to use the university phone as my primary phone and port my phone number over to the university. I'm trying to figure out if I should do this. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 4, 2013 - 20 answers

Question about Verizon unlimited data plan and adding new line..

We're thinking of adding another line to our family Verizon plan - currently we have 3 people month to month, grandfathered in on unlimited data. Will we lose that if we add a new line/purchase a phone through them? [more inside]
posted by needlegrrl on Nov 4, 2013 - 6 answers

Controlling phone usage

An elderly parent is suffering from an illness which impairs lucidity and judgment, and make inappropriate use of the phone (running Android Taking the phone away is a last resort. Do others have experience of managing this? Are there any technological or human hacks we could use to manage this without distressing them? Not US based, if it matters. [more inside]
posted by sockofdreams on Nov 3, 2013 - 21 answers

Need help downloading drivers for my Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and I'm trying to install drivers other than the ones Windows 7 auto-installs. I've unchecked auto-install drivers, but from the googling I've done it appears this solution only prevents Windows from downloading drivers. It will still auto-install ones previously existing on the computer. [more inside]
posted by Autumn on Oct 25, 2013 - 4 answers

Diminishing returns on mobile devices?

With the news of the iPad Air and it's wonder 64-bit A7 processor, my curiosity is up again. Will mobile devices, phones or tablets, hit a point of diminishing returns in regards to processing power and/or RAM?
posted by trogdole on Oct 23, 2013 - 12 answers

Reverse Phone Search For US Address?

I want to do a reverse phone search on a US cell number... In the past I have used intelius.com for this purpose but lately my experiance with them hasn't been very great. How else can I do this? Thanks!
posted by audio on Oct 23, 2013 - 3 answers

How to deal with hours worked on my days off

I work full-time in an office of a half-dozen people (in Ontario, Canada if it is relevant). One of the duties in my current job is to reply to general emails to my company's main address and to check the general voice mail... if someone calls after hours or chooses not to be put through to an individual, they can still leave a voice mail on the main number, and the main email is info@[business].ca which gets maybe five or ten questions a day. At the request of my boss, I do these things a couple of times a day, including on weekends and holidays. I am fine with this and I understand the reasoning - sometimes people write or call with a time-sensitive question. This usually takes me ten minutes a day tops (once in while there is a bigger thing and it may be an hour on those days), but it seems not entirely fair that I do this with zero compensation for having to be available for work on my days off. How best to negotiate what might be a better arrangement for this? Or should I even bother? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 21, 2013 - 10 answers

I'd like to know more about my phone's shuffle algorithm!

When on shuffle mode, do phones try to play songs which sound better next to each other? [more inside]
posted by goethean on Oct 18, 2013 - 12 answers

Please help me run in the rain without horking my phone!

I've recently been bitten by the running bug. Yay! I live in Portland and we're entering into our rainy season. I'd like to run listening to music on my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3) and not worry about it getting ruined by water damage. Can anyone recommend an armband or other solution? [more inside]
posted by funkiwan on Oct 17, 2013 - 7 answers

How do I tell my friend to stop checking her phone while driving?

My friend checks her email constantly while driving. How do I get her to stop? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 9, 2013 - 33 answers

How to use voice commands to page up and down on Android?

I often cook with a recipe open on my phone. If my hands are messy, I don't want to touch my phone. It seems like there should be an app or a built-in way to use voice control to page up or down. I am happy to use Tasker, Autovoice, or to install a specific app to do this, but I can't figure it out. Any suggestions? My phone is a Nexus 4 running the latest version of stock Android.
posted by lollusc on Oct 4, 2013 - 9 answers

Yo Vlad wassup it's Barry. Hit me on the hip.

How do presidents call other presidents? With last week's phone call between President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, it got me wondering how do heads of state call other heads of state? I imagine that one executive suite's switchboard calls the other's, but what's the diplomatic protocol for who picks up the phone first? Do they have super-secret phone numbers, or even phone numbers in the way we think of them? Are the calls private, or are is there an entire entourage listening in? Do they just hang up when they're finished, or is their an entire protocol for ending the conversation? What are some of the other "hidden" aspects of executive diplomatic communication and behind-the-scenes goings-on are there that the rest of us commoners never see?
posted by slogger on Oct 1, 2013 - 5 answers

What do you use your phone for?

I wish for my smartphone to have more utility. What do you use yours for? [more inside]
posted by Evilspork on Sep 28, 2013 - 47 answers

Google Voice ok for business use? Or what else?

"It is not advised that you use Google Voice services for your business as we do not provide enterprise support. Use at your own discretion." Carry on, or find another provider? [more inside]
posted by Anwan on Sep 28, 2013 - 10 answers

“And are you still with company x?” – advice for interview tomorrow

Shortly after telling my boss I wanted to move to another department, I was given 4 weeks notice and my position filled. I’m coming to the end of that 4 weeks. There is another person doing what was my role, though I’m still technically employed with the company.
[more inside]
posted by walkinginsunshine on Sep 25, 2013 - 11 answers

Shaped grip stickers for phone backing

The back of my cell phone is slippery. I'd like something similar to egrips' non-slip sticker, but I don't just want a large black rectangle. [more inside]
posted by evolvinglines on Sep 22, 2013 - 6 answers

Someone used my email address to order a cell phone. What to do?

This morning I got an email requesting confirmation for ordering a phone through QLink Wireless, which provides government-subsidized phones to low-income individuals. I didn't order this phone, and have no need to, thankfully. But what should I do about it? [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Sep 20, 2013 - 9 answers

Can I fix this, or do I need to suck it up and get a new phone?

I've had my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S Blaze) for about a year and a half, and it is no longer under warranty. Recently, it has developed two problems relating to aspects of the hardware. I need to determine if I (a person with little to no experience with fixing electronics) can fix these problems inexpensively, or if I should just bite the bullet and buy a new phone. (I'm a student, so buying a new phone after less than two years is not something that makes my wallet happy.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 16, 2013 - 5 answers

Why Doesn't My Smartphone Stay Unlocked Abroad?

I live in Spain and travel regularly to London. I have a Sony Xperia Arc S which I unlocked when I changed mobile companies. It works fine here in Spain for voice and data. HOWEVER, when I go to London, voice works fine but I cannot get data to work. [more inside]
posted by BigBrownBear on Sep 14, 2013 - 5 answers

How do iPhone trade-in programs work?

I have a relatively-new iPhone 5 that I'm thinking of selling or trading in. It all seems a bit confusing, though, so please explain to me how this works. [more inside]
posted by zooropa on Sep 10, 2013 - 13 answers

Should I buy a Nexus 4 to get phone/data service when I travel abroad?

I'm thinking of getting a Nexus 4 for whenever we travel abroad, and just getting a SIM card in the airport. I'd like to use both voice and data when I'm away. Will this work, or is there a better way? [more inside]
posted by gchucky on Sep 5, 2013 - 14 answers

Found: Disablility Friendly Phone, Available to a Good Home

Can you help me find a usuable phone for my disabled 72 year old mother? [more inside]
posted by dgeiser13 on Sep 4, 2013 - 6 answers

How do I see my photos?

I've attached my cheap Verizon smart phone to my Toshiba computer, but the photos show up as icons (a little cartoon with a mountain) instead of actual photographs. It would be nice to see what was there without opening up each file individually. I'm OK if you talk to me as if I was six.This is a newish computer running 8. I am unsure where the specs reside.
posted by Prairie on Sep 1, 2013 - 5 answers

Disposing of a very broken cell phone?

I have an old Palm Pre with a very shattered screen that probably doesn't power on anymore (I haven't gone near it since it shattered). What is the best way to recycle it? I live in Seattle and the city recycling does not accept e-waste. I know there are a number of places you can mail cell phones to be recycled but I'm very unclear on if they accept non-working cell phones with broken screens, etc. Anyone have personal experience with any of these services?
posted by tigeri on Aug 31, 2013 - 8 answers

Calls via Google Voice only?

Is there a way I can set up my home (VOIP via cable company) phone to only ring for calls that come in via my Google Voice number? [more inside]
posted by primethyme on Aug 26, 2013 - 3 answers

Boob pockets and panty stuffing

We're going to Vegas in 3 weeks and I want to be able to spend my days walking around without having a purse always looped over my shoulder. My clothes don't have pockets. Fanny packs are the work of Satan. Is it a terrible idea to keep my often accessed stuff (cash, credit cards) in my bra and more important stuff (like health insurance card, driver's licence, etc) hidden in my panties? What should I do with my phone (that is also my camera)? [more inside]
posted by PuppetMcSockerson on Aug 23, 2013 - 53 answers

Business Travel In Bulgaria?

I'm traveling to Sofia for a week next month and I have a couple of questions about money and phones. [more inside]
posted by delicious-luncheon on Aug 22, 2013 - 2 answers

Virgin Mobile, shut up!

I have a Virgin Mobile android phone, and the following has happened to me about forty times now: I will be on a phone call and all of a sudden a Virgin Mobile song -- some kind of ad song for Virgin Mobile with guitars and synths and a perky lady singing "Virgin Mobile" every now and then -- interrupts the call. Is there a way to make this stop happening? [more inside]
posted by onlyconnect on Aug 20, 2013 - 18 answers

Best Android phone for an alarm clock

I'm looking for a sub-$200 Android phone to act as an alarm clock. The four needs: OLED display, can be horizontally docked, the power and volume buttons are on the "top" of the phone when horizontally docked, and it needs to be able to run Android 4.2.2+ (even if I have to root it). It looks like a used HTC One S will work, but they're still pretty expensive, and I'd like to explore cheaper options. Thoughts? [more inside]
posted by I EAT TAPAS on Aug 3, 2013 - 13 answers

Returning to POTS from digital phone

Last phone service I had was Comcast voice. I discontinued it and returned the black box that was mounted in the rafters in the basement. Now I want to add an analog POTS line. I ordered it from Verizon, and they say it was activated, but when I plug an old trimline phone into one of my jacks, I get no dial tone. Was there something else I need to do to restore analog phone capability besides just unplug the black box?
posted by skidoom on Aug 1, 2013 - 10 answers

Help me pick my next phone!

My contract with Verizon Wireless is almost up, which means I can get a new smartphone without spending an arm and a leg on it. I'm looking for recommendations for Android phones that are at least decently powered, have good to great battery life, accept microSD for expansion, and can be hacked into without exploding. My top contenders are a Razr Maxx HD or a Galaxy S3/4, but none seem completely satisfactory so I'm open to other suggestions. [more inside]
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish on Jul 30, 2013 - 12 answers

My new smartphone was stolen. I want a new one, without the price tag.

This past week, when i was away on vacation, my Samsung Galaxy phone was stolen. (I had the service suspended right away). It was a new phone, on a new three year contract with Bell Canada, signed in April. From what i can tell, there aren't any good options that don't cost me hundreds of dollars. [more inside]
posted by Kololo on Jul 29, 2013 - 12 answers

Trip to Italy, 6 week duration, 80+ year old user. Need pointers.

My mother is travelling to Italy (lots of relatives there) and would like to have basic cell phone access while there. I need to work out the details before she leaves in September. [more inside]
posted by lampshade on Jul 23, 2013 - 10 answers

Help me find a Not-So-Dumb Phone

I am looking for a simple, non-smart phone with the following features: * Long battery life * Bluetooth (to connect to a Parrot in the car) * Good speaker and microphone for hands-free * Low SARS rating This last point has been the hardest for me to find. For some reason, it seems that new smart phones have much lower SARS rating. I don't really care that it has a keyboard. I should also mention that I am in Europe so it needs to be 2G/3G/4G which I think is different from the States. Appreciate any help! I've been looking on CNET, Google and across the web without much luck...
posted by BigBrownBear on Jul 23, 2013 - 2 answers

Can you help me to rewire this very old telephone?

As part of my ongoing efforts to remain stuck in the twentieth century, I'm trying to rewire and use this telephone. [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on Jul 16, 2013 - 6 answers

Best prepaid cell phone option for emergencies-only phone?

What's the best prepaid cell phone option for an emergencies-only phone? [more inside]
posted by kristi on Jul 16, 2013 - 12 answers

Best PAYG SIM for multiple EU countries?

I'm going to be traveling in Europe for 3 weeks, which PAYG SIM plan should I get for my unlocked iPhone 4? [more inside]
posted by Joh on Jul 3, 2013 - 7 answers

Can my phone be saved?

I accidentally laundered my Nexus 4, and it's mostly dead. I'm in NYC - is there anyone I could pay to try to salvage it? [more inside]
posted by R a c h e l on Jul 1, 2013 - 8 answers

Text Messaging is Overrated...?

I can't find a text messaging app that does everything I want, so I use multiple apps and confuse my friends with multiple phone numbers. Is there a better way? [more inside]
posted by emoemu on Jun 28, 2013 - 12 answers

Calling them would be too easy

Making the switch from Verizon to AT&T and I have a few basic questions. [more inside]
posted by Diskeater on Jun 28, 2013 - 9 answers

What made 911 fail?

Yesterday, when I called 911 twice after a car accident, I got an error message both times. (I don't remember what it was because I was probably in shock.) Was it my phone (an ANCIENT LCD Nokia candybar), my location (on a major highway in the SF bay area, but surrounded by fields), or my service (AT&T)? Or other? I have a commute of about 80 miles RT, sometimes 100 miles RT, and I want to be safe! [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Jun 26, 2013 - 25 answers

Android Update Infrastructure

I'm thinking about replacing my current mobile phone with an Android device and I'm having a hard time understanding how the Android update / security patch infrastructure for the core system is supposed to work. [more inside]
posted by mirage pine on Jun 26, 2013 - 5 answers

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