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posted by hubie on Saturday February 10, @02:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the scary-that-not-using-a-smart-phone-is-news dept.

Seth Lavin, a school principal in Chicago, reports his experience switching from a smart phone in this opinion piece that originates from the LA Times.

About three months ago, I bought a flip phone and turned off my smartphone for good. [...] [A student] asks, "Why did you put yourself on punishment?" But I do not feel punished. I feel free.

Kids and their phones are different - closer - since COVID. [...] Teachers said they could sense kids' phones distracting them from inside their pockets.

We banned phones outright, equipping classrooms with lockboxes that the kids call "cellphone prisons." It's not perfect, but it's better. A teacher said, "It's like we have the children back." [...]

And what about adults? Ninety-five percent of young adults now keep their phones nearby every waking hour, according to a Gallup survey; [...]

We want children off their phones because we want them to be present, but children need our presence, too. [...] Every year, I see kids get phones and disappear into them. I don't want that to happen to mine. I don't want that to have happened to me.

So I quit. And now I have this flip phone.

What I don't have is Facetime or Instagram. I can't use Grubhub or Lyft or the Starbucks Mobile App. I don't even have a browser. I drove to a student's quinceañera, and I had to print out directions as if it were 2002.

[...] I can still make calls, though people are startled to get one. I can still text. And I can still see your pictures, though I can "heart" them only in my heart. [...]

Turning off my smartphone didn't fix all my problems. But I do notice my brain moving more deliberately, shifting less abruptly between moods. I am bored more, sure - the days feel longer - but I am deciding that's a good thing. And I am still connected to the people I love; they just can't text me TikToks.

It's hard to imagine a revolution against the smartphone, though there are glimmers of resistance. [...] Twelve percent of adults recently told Gallup that their smartphones make life worse, up from 6% in 2015.

But I'm not doing this to change the culture. I'm doing this because I don't want my sons to remember me lost in my phone.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tekk on Saturday February 10, @03:15AM (8 children)

    by tekk (5704) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @03:15AM (#1343803)

    Last year I got a flip phone just for fun and to try out KaiOS (Not recommended, terrible even.)

    I'd probably keep it up if I had a better solution for a *couple* things. Having a device on you all the time is useful for TOTP and I haven't found flip phones which can handle that. I also go on-call for work and it's useful to be able to use their app, so when I was on-call I just carried around my old Android phone.

    In general I found that not having a cell phone at all was preferable to bringing a flip phone since all communications are through apps now anyway. There were issues with cell signal on a non-5g network in my town, when menus insisted on QR-code menus they didn't work very well on the tiny screen,etc. So for me I generally don't bring a cell phone if I can get away with it, but begrudgingly drag along a smart phone when I can't.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @05:20AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @05:20AM (#1343809)

      WTF were they thinking?
      There is zero indication when it is closed there were messages or calls.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @09:20AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @09:20AM (#1343823)

      I never went "smart" in the first place. KaiOS is on my phone and it is indeed an absolute PoS. It doesn't take long for texting to slow to the point where you can watch it pause to render each character. Doing a memory clean-up or re-boot seems to help some, but not enough. Also, when I copied a picture in to a separate folder it didn't actually copy it. It pretended to copy it, but it was actually a hard link so when I cleared out the photo memory that picture disappeared! Conversely, if you want to retain a picture you can "lock" it, which will make it immune to deletion so that's what I do--there's really only one picture I needed to retain, which was a picture of my vaccination record. Losing that picture prevented me from visiting a friend in the hospital, which absolutely SUCKED.

      As for QR-code restaurants, if I'm by myself I'll walk right by. Take a hint, douche-bags. If I'm with somebody, they can usually scan it. I think I've only had that happen once. Even people with "smart" phones are getting tired of that.

      • (Score: 2) by tekk on Saturday February 10, @12:39PM (1 child)

        by tekk (5704) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @12:39PM (#1343845)

        I did find that at practically all of those they'll give you a paper menu if you ask, for what it's worth. It was an inconvenience, but a mild one (though this may be an adaptation to the fact that, like I've said on SN before, there are places all throughout town and even in downtown with no cell signal.)

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by lonehighway on Saturday February 10, @04:27PM

          by lonehighway (956) on Saturday February 10, @04:27PM (#1343867)

          A very popular restaurant near me tried to go to QR codes. Put those tent cards on the table and didn’t give paper unless you asked. Lasted about three months. Turns out people prefer to look at a real menu.

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Monday February 12, @03:56AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Monday February 12, @03:56AM (#1344037) Homepage

        KaiOS sucks donkey balls. But there's a market here... if some outfit like Pine would put out a flip with a basic yet decent ***phone-centric*** OS, they'd have a winner. i know I'd buy it.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Unixnut on Saturday February 10, @10:33AM (1 child)

      by Unixnut (5779) on Saturday February 10, @10:33AM (#1343830)

      About two years ago I bought a flip phone too. An old Motorola Razr (always liked how they looked, but they were horribly expensive when new) as I got fed up with the constant distractions of my smartphone. Also I read that this phone runs a stripped down Debian Linux, so if I ever feel bored, I may well try writing software for it.

      Overall the experience of using it was positive. The most interesting thing was peoples reactions to seeing it when I put it on the table. People would actually come up to me to have a look at it. Older people who remember it when it was new, and new kids who had only ever seen "tablet" type phones in real life and thought it was cool. That was an unexpected side effect.

      As for use, I found myself not constantly interrupted by notifications. Also being nothing to distract myself with on my phone I actually concentrated and got more work done in the day. It actually felt liberating because people assume that you are available instantly all the throughout the day to deal with their request. This way they accept that I may not be able to respond immediately.

      The battery also lasts ages. I can go three days on normal use with it, plus the batteries are small and replaceable, so I can even keep a charged spare in emergencies. My smartphone would when new last a day and a half, and over a year in it can't even last the day due to battery wear (and you can't replace the battery either).

      The only negative thing is that I could not have messaging apps on it. That is the one thing I missed. A lot of my friends and family are abroad, and being able to message and voip/video chat internationally for free is a godsend. Pretty much every other app I could survive without, even without the GPS maps (while convenient, while walking around I can usually find my way just with signs and a paper map in a push).

      Also for me another positive. It messes up those pushy companies that insist that you "must use their app" to do something. I was at a kiosk once to order something, and they absolutely insisted I must use their app, despite being right there at the till. When I said their app wasn't compatible with my phone the lady insisted I "didn't know how to do it" and said she will install it for me. The look of bewilderment on her face when I passed the flip phone over to her was legendary, at which point she just gave it back and took my order at the till.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by The Vocal Minority on Sunday February 11, @02:38PM

        by The Vocal Minority (2765) on Sunday February 11, @02:38PM (#1343972) Journal

        I brought a Nokia something (4270?) a couple of years ago and it was actually pretty good! I even installed a custom ROM on it (GerdaOS?), but that meant I couldn't update it. The thing that killed it for me, though, was having to use the numeric keypad to text (SMS) - so it was back to using google phones with GrapheneOS installed. If it had an alphanumeric keypad I would still be using it today.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mcgrew on Saturday February 10, @09:41PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday February 10, @09:41PM (#1343898) Homepage Journal

      I was sick of a burning sensation under my pants pocket, pulling it out, and finding every damned app on it running, and the battery low.

      But the interface on the damned flip phone is brain-dead stupid. I'm going to trade it in on a new Motorola Razr, it will still fit in my pocket but won't set my leg on fire and I'll still be able to read the newspaper or a book on it in a waiting room.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @03:21AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @03:21AM (#1343804)

    Here is another scathing rant about cell phones: http://toastytech.com/about/smartphones.html [toastytech.com]

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @03:47AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @03:47AM (#1343805)

    > ... print out directions as if it were 2002.

    Learned to read maps sometime in the 1960s as a kid. Why would I want anything more than reading the map and then committing the next few turns to memory (for local trips)?

    It's a nice convenience that I can print out maps from the web, saves me a trip to AAA to get pre-printed maps. For road trips, the AAA maps that open up large are the way to plan, so much better than constant zooming on a small screen. We've stopped in many interesting places that we wouldn't have known about if we just let some program pick a route from A to B.

    Maybe I'm lucky, but I've never had a smart phone (there is one in the house, she has one). Working from home, my engineering customers seem content to email and phone/Zoom with me.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by crafoo on Saturday February 10, @03:56AM (7 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Saturday February 10, @03:56AM (#1343806)

    If you're home most of the time maybe a smartphone isn't all that necessary. you can use your work & home internet and a laptop. It's worth recognizing how much we are required now to use online services and apps for things like banking, insurance, travel planning & reservations, getting a taxi, government forms.

    If you're not at home all that much a smart phone is pretty much required. so much so that I even have a backup ready to go. also my 3rd backup for navigation and my gps anchor alarm. even my batteries and controller for solar system only has data display thru a smart phone app.

    the issue seems to be about carrying one around in your pocket and infinity-scrolling social media to distract from your life. that is bad, imo, and it seems like a rather dire result of how we've constructed modern societies, environments, and expectations. not that smart phones caused this, but that this escapism use of smart phones is a result of these things.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @04:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @04:39AM (#1343808)

      > gps anchor alarm

      Do you live on a boat? Part time or full time??

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Gaaark on Saturday February 10, @02:18PM (5 children)

      by Gaaark (41) on Saturday February 10, @02:18PM (#1343852) Journal

      If you're not at home all that much a smart phone is pretty much required.

      I ONLY have a home phone: no cell, flip, smart.

      Work won't buy me one and i don't want one. I let the answering machine vet my calls: people i want calls from know to leave a message and i might just pick up at that moment.

      And I'm still alive: the world hasn't stopped...it's just like when i was a kid. And my mental health is just fine....

      ....that i know of. Isn't that right, George? Yes...i will love it and pet it and if it doesn't put the lotion on it's skin it will get the hose.....

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Saturday February 10, @10:43PM (4 children)

        by crafoo (6639) on Saturday February 10, @10:43PM (#1343915)

        that's a pretty nice lifestyle and I'm a little jealous. I need to do my banking and insurance, and re-mailing service. most of them are almost impossible to do with voice calls only.

        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday February 10, @10:48PM (3 children)

          by Gaaark (41) on Saturday February 10, @10:48PM (#1343917) Journal

          Could you switch to local services so you can visit them in person?

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by crafoo on Saturday February 10, @11:09PM (2 children)

            by crafoo (6639) on Saturday February 10, @11:09PM (#1343919)

            not really. I'm a live-aboard sailor so I'm kind of all over the place. I need services I can access from my phone or at least my phone as a hotspot to my laptop. I'm seriously considering getting a cheap flip-phone though as a 3rd backup as the salty air destroys phones in about 1-2 years even when they are in a water-tight case.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Gaaark on Sunday February 11, @04:46PM (1 child)

              by Gaaark (41) on Sunday February 11, @04:46PM (#1343983) Journal

              Interesting; maybe a water-tight case filled with rice and desiccant packs? :)

              I love sailing, except the detail part of it: red right return and all that: i just like hoisting the sails and then the lazing around. Used to be the one climbing the masts to fix any rope problems, etc.

              I can get a bit sea-sick in calm waters, sometimes (never get out much lately), but when the wind is up and the bow cuts through the waves? Fantastic!

              Always thought if i found myself alone, i'd buy a sailboat, go down to Cuba area, get cigars, sail wherever it's warm....

              --
              --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by crafoo on Monday February 12, @12:18AM

                by crafoo (6639) on Monday February 12, @12:18AM (#1344010)

                I use a water-tight case but there might be room for desiccant if I cut the pack and fill the back area. A good idea thank you. I pack most electrical connections including USB ports and SD card ports with dielectric grease :O and it seems to help. without it USB connections and such die in about 6 months. laptops last about 18 months so I buy cheap ones off ebay.

                all of the signal balls and light regs are annoying, yeah. I'm preparing for the "6 pack" captains test and it's mostly about navigation, lighting and signal ball regs, and safety regs. lights for towed barges and such. with the license tho I'll be able to captain charter boats with up to 6 passengers for a bit of side money. already have my rescue dive cert and HAM license which also help. many people still use single-sideband HAM for long-range coms on sailboats. It's strange going from an engineering office life to sailing 100% but given my choices at the time I'm happy I did it.

                I have a very real fear of heights and climbing the mast makes me break out into cold sweats and shake a little. but I don't get sea sick at all really. just have no appetite and have to force myself to eat in heavy weather.

                I'm a cold weather person and much prefer Maine or BC to Florida. It's OK on the water in the wind but inland I just end up laying down in the coolest place I can find feeling like I'm going to die of heat stroke.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Saturday February 10, @05:55AM (8 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @05:55AM (#1343810) Journal

    1. 2FA - need it to logon on with my employer and earn my money
    2. shopping - I bough a small blackboard on which I chalk down whatever items ran out or are about to run out from my pantry/fridge. Before going shopping, I'm taking a (deeply satisfying hiRes :grin:) digital snapshot of my analog shopping list
    3. there's no 3rd (or any other) reasons for which a smartphone is necessary to me

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @07:47AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @07:47AM (#1343814)

      So no reason then? The first one can be replaced by just having a Yubico token, or similar, and the second one a camera or that you just write it on a piece of paper that you put in your pocket. So all you really need is something for calls.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday February 10, @07:58AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @07:58AM (#1343815) Journal

        The first one can be replaced by just having a Yubico token, or similar,

        Out of my control, I do whatever reasonable my source of income asks (but I hate auth by "something you have", I always misplace tokens; I trust a lot more "something you know" - my passphrases are far from trivial but memorable enough to me).

        and the second one a camera or that you just write it on a piece of paper that you put in your pocket

        The shopping list is the entire household's, otherwise yes, any other graphical support will do.

        So all you really need is something for calls.

        Which doesn't need to be smart, yes.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Saturday February 10, @09:51AM (1 child)

      by Nuke (3162) on Saturday February 10, @09:51AM (#1343825)

      2 Shopping .... snapshot of my analog shopping list

      Every mobile phone I have ever owned, from before when smartphones were invented, have had a camera in them. Back then, my pictures could viewed on its screen or downloaded to a PC with a USB cable. Today I have two phones, one smart and one not (the latter is not a flip phone - not all dumb phones flip), and both have cameras.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday February 10, @12:00PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @12:00PM (#1343838) Journal

        have had a camera in them.

        I don't take a shot of my shopping list to go print it on glossy paper, I need to see what I need to buy when in the shop and that's it. Screen size, zoom, things like that.
        Yes, as suggested, a shopping list scribbled on a piece of paper (instead of chalked on a blackboard) would do - you have my permission to call me frivolous for calling that an "indispensable need".

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by SomeGuy on Saturday February 10, @02:09PM (3 children)

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Saturday February 10, @02:09PM (#1343851)

      1. 2FA - need it to logon on with my employer and earn my money

      This is something I have just run in to. Where I am right now, one of the business databases has just changed so that the ONLY way, as far as they are telling us, to log in is to use an "app" on a smart phone. That means I can't do the work. Fortunately, I'm on a different project right now.

      But that makes me look "uncooperative" and a "bad person". The irony is this outfit bends over backwards for people with disabilities. But for someone who just wants to live a mentally non-distracted lifestyle? Unthinkable!

      The office manager there is a very young woman who is always glued to her iPhone, so she doesn't see any issues with cell phones at all.

      It literally makes me wish I were dead.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by kazzie on Sunday February 11, @07:46AM (2 children)

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 11, @07:46AM (#1343948)

        Seconded. My workplace uses Gsuite stuff, and when they enabled 2FA on that, there was at least the workaround of having pre-printed one-time codes instead of needing a smartphone. (Also useful for when you've lost or damaged your phone.)

        Last week, an upgrade to the HR and payslips system was pushed through, with another 2FA system. No workarounds or alternatives this time: the instructions specifically state that if you don't have your smartphone then you can't access your payslips etc. The union is quizzing them on how that's meant to work, given that they don't issue smartphones to any staff (and our oldest employee is in his 80s now!)

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday February 13, @12:11AM (1 child)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 13, @12:11AM (#1344158) Journal

          The union is quizzing them on how that's meant to work

          It's not meant to work. It's just meant to cut costs while still minimally complying with the personal data security regulations.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday February 13, @11:36AM

            by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 13, @11:36AM (#1344199)

            I won't go into any more details for obvious reasons, but other changes made at the same time are very bad, and look like they breach such data safety regulations!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ShovelOperator1 on Saturday February 10, @08:03AM (14 children)

    by ShovelOperator1 (18058) on Saturday February 10, @08:03AM (#1343817)

    And I never got one, still using a feature phone with the MP3 player begin the most complex feature, another one is voice recorder, calculator, calling, phone book and even SMS. However, it has no Internet connectivity. I was in the Internet since the WWW became popular and always thought that the consume-only device is not for me.
    However, I bought a small UMPC (Ultramobile PC), which replaced my older palmtop (shame that the UMPC lasts only 2-3 days on one battery charge), and while the knowledge how to do a keyboard-based digital assistants seems to be long gone, I still think it's a good decision comparing to a "smart" phone.
    The Internet was developed to exchange knowledge. To efficiently exchange knowledge, it is needed to have a good inventory system allowing to discover, filter and search for the information and knowledge. Or, in the best case: Enter the information to the search box and get a record of knowledge. That was WWW for.
    Now, when the WWW got caught by corporations, people got stripped from their public_html directories in favor of "free hosting", then paid hosting, then being a corporation (in my country, in the EU, it's really hard to make a website if you are not a registered company), I don't feel I need a device to consume more ads.
    With introduction of profiling and infinite scrolling, the monetary value of users' engagement totally removed the leftovers of knowledge exchange platform which was the community-based WWW. Now it's a "social media", it has nothing in common with community, and the long gone "wild west" Internet, with protection using pseudonimization, disappeared in favor of corporations ruling the system to maximize harvesting data.
    The smartphone applications seem to have no objective for the user. Their main goal is to keep user's eyes on the screen and show the ads. There is no good way to really filter or search for information, it's "all or nothing". Including ads.
    So why the hell do I need such a device? I can't even have a root on it!

    • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Saturday February 10, @10:56AM (1 child)

      by gnuman (5013) on Saturday February 10, @10:56AM (#1343833)

      (in my country, in the EU, it's really hard to make a website if you are not a registered company)

      Really? Since when? In my experience, it's easier than ever to make a website. Anyone can register whatever domain you want and host it in gazillions of places. But if you want some excuse, it's "really hard!" ..

      when the WWW got caught by corporations, people got stripped from their public_html directories in favor of "free hosting", then paid hosting, then being a corporation

      I have no idea what this even means...

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by ShovelOperator1 on Saturday February 10, @12:08PM

        by ShovelOperator1 (18058) on Saturday February 10, @12:08PM (#1343840)

        It looks like in Your country the customer protection laws really work.
        I have my tech-related website since 1990s, using paid hosting and own domain since mid-2010s. Since I registered my domain using my personal data, which was "protected" from whois (but somehow leaked), I regularly get at least 5 interesting emails monthly, all from law companies, all of them full of blatant lies like: "Your company's internet shop stores data unlawful way, buy our audit" or "you don't inform your customers about storing cookies!". Well, I am not a company, this is the first thing. Second - this is a not a shop, but a static site with zero JS and zero cookies, a hobbyist website with knowledge and experience shared on cc-by-nc-sa license. Third - I don't even have customers! If these threats would be a typical spam - no problem, however, this is a quite far-reaching campaign from these law companies, after e-mails they send letters and try to file a lawsuit!
        One time I asked how is this profitable, as to file a lawsuit you have to pay at least for the documents preparation, and I got an answer that there is always some company who will pay for not being disturbed and then the investment returns. Otherwise - it's website's owner problem to lose hours and hours answering the same questions proving, as it's said in my country, "that I'm not a camel".

        About public_html - years ago, when You bought Internet access, You got it on the shell account on some computer and connected thru there. There was a "public_html" subdirectory of home directory, usually with own quota, which could be used to publish Your website, it was in the cost of the Internet access. The address was usually like http...provider.tld/users/~username/. I know that probably Orange telecommunications company had an upgraded version of it under the name like "personal pages" until 2010s or even later.
        My one got phased out recommending customers to move to a "free hosting" service. Which was shut down 2 years later.

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday February 10, @12:38PM (10 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @12:38PM (#1343844) Journal

      I'm not sure where you live in the EU, but I live in France.

      I have a server here in my home that hosts 2 websites. (I'm not going to announce them here because that will just make the sites targets for the odd person that we seem to attract to this site.) However, there is absolutely no problem with creating a personal website and running it from your home.

      There are a few benefits with using a hosted site in that they provide another layer of security to prevent some kinds of attacks, and they might provide additional software to help produce attractive web pages and to take care of some of the more mundane set up and management tasks. But they are by no means essential if one wishes to do everything manually on site.

      I have found that a system of 'port knocking [wikipedia.org]' protects the one site that I want to keep private or at least limited to a relatively small group of people.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Saturday February 10, @02:20PM (2 children)

        by Gaaark (41) on Saturday February 10, @02:20PM (#1343853) Journal

        So it's YOU running pornhub.com!

        What's the other site? :)

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 2) by ShovelOperator1 on Saturday February 10, @07:16PM (4 children)

        by ShovelOperator1 (18058) on Saturday February 10, @07:16PM (#1343880)

        I too have a machine that hosts my website's onion mirror, at home, behind a desk. A well-optimized single board computer, battery-backed UPS and a nice control panel borrowed from old TV set-top box, all fits in the small chest. It additional serves the "dynamic" sub-site, which is a history of some files change. This is still a static website, but updated daily using cron job and 4 bash scripts.
        I have less problems with it than with the clearnet website. My website isn't so popular that in the avalanche of bots accessing it there isn't any bandwidth for the normal user, or dozen of them - in Onion sites, bots searching for emails and trying to access a non-existing Wordpress login panel seems to be a constant noise (I should log what passwords they try and rank them somewhere :) ). Ah, funny fact: If You access the Onion site using the service address, it stops to be Your knowledge only and a "bot noise" starts, this is frequently missed from manuals and beginners ask about it looking at their logs.
        I wonder, is it easy in France to get a separate, even dynamic IP for home Internet connection? In my country this is 3-6 times more expensive than the normal net, so I'm behind 3 or 4 CG-NATs even now.

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday February 10, @07:35PM (3 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @07:35PM (#1343882) Journal

          It is easy in terms that all you have to do is ask for one. But I do not know what costs, if any, are involved. I have had very good service from my ISP and they haven't made life difficult for me, quite the opposite.

          The only problem that I can see is that I would need a second ADSL or fibre connection but that is not difficult to achieve. Again, I do not know the costs as I have never done it. My server has its own global IPv6 address from out of my block. If I wanted a completely different block then I assume I would need a second connection. However, I do use a dynamic address host but that is for convenience/security rather than necessity. I use 'no-ip'.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
          • (Score: 2) by ShovelOperator1 on Saturday February 10, @10:30PM (2 children)

            by ShovelOperator1 (18058) on Saturday February 10, @10:30PM (#1343913)

            That's much better situation! So it's really an Internet access.
            In many countries IPv6 is still not widely known (or rather it's providers' hard work that it's not known), own IPs are expensive and, in my situation, in the second largest city in the country, if I want a connection from another provider I would have to pay for bringing an underground cable from the center to house because the old one from across the street is 2 years old.
            Summing up, it frequently is not an "Internet access" but rather "access to some internet services thru HTTP/S" and this is the source of problems.
            And by accident now I know why some countries still have lots of personal pages, while some other don't.

            • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday February 10, @10:36PM (1 child)

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @10:36PM (#1343914) Journal

              It sounds like you don't have many options to solve your problems. I am sorry to hear that.

              --
              I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
              • (Score: 2) by ShovelOperator1 on Sunday February 11, @06:42AM

                by ShovelOperator1 (18058) on Sunday February 11, @06:42AM (#1343945)

                There are, fortunately. Using Tor for making a hole in NAT is one. In fact, I spread the knowledge how to do it, as it is common problem here which seems to be unsolved. I always ask, and ask others to ask, for the capabilities of "Internet access" before buying. There are EU standards for Internet access and it's good to know what should be supplied and how (unfortunately, here EU standards are used more to squeeze personal data from users by making them divulge more information than it's needed).
                France was always a few steps forward in technology, including the Internet - the Minitel was so popular that similar systems near me were almost unused comparing to it.

      • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Monday February 12, @12:51AM (1 child)

        by crafoo (6639) on Monday February 12, @12:51AM (#1344017)

        very interesting, what server you running? nginx? I've got a linode server with nginx web site. running debian and fail2ban. I'm not a real tech wizard as so many people on this site are. I'm just messing around and have had decent results so far with linode. I can't run local because I don't really have steady internet access.

        how is France these days? I see you're farmers are a bit excited. you French people seem to riot at the drop of a hat, which I always found endearing and inspiring. a very revolutionary and no-bullshit people with a strong sense of their own culture and history.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Monday February 12, @01:50AM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12, @01:50AM (#1344024) Journal

          I too am not a 'real tech wizard', but I enjoy tinkering with various bits of technology. I'm running nginx on Ubuntu 22.04 (LTS), also using fail2ban and knockd (for port knocking). I like writing software (almost exclusively now in Python but I started a long, long time ago with Algol!) usually to solve a problem that I have or to help me do my job as an editor on the site. I have also programmed at various stages in Coral-66, C, C++, and several commercial languages used primarily in military aviation equipment.

          Initially, I needed a server so that when I am travelling I can still get access to my data and to keep the tools that I have written available if I need to edit on the site while I am away. It has grown slightly since then and I now run 2 domains on the same server. They are fairly low usage and it doesn't need much to keep them online.

          I enjoy building things with Raspberry Pi boards (6 at the moment) or other small devices, again usually to solve a problem that I might have. I have a total of 18 computers (including the Pi's and a laptop) including going back to a 386 machine and a working Z80 Nascom 2 computer [wikipedia.org]. Although they are all (except the Nascom!) on a wired network only 5 of the computers see regular usage.

          I am actually a Brit but moved to France (with my late French wife) on retirement in 2007, long before Brexit was even thought of. I really like it here and I tend to support the local shops rather than the large superstores, as well as actually getting to understand the French culture. As I live in a very rural area I have great support for the farming community. Basically, the big city dwellers want their food to be cheaper but the farmers are now being offered less than the actual cost of producing it, with prices being dictated by the larger shopping chains. The French have always had, as you note, a willingness to strike over anything that suggests that the powers-that-be are getting to be too bossy for the workers' liking. We are not yet at the stage of dusting off the guillotines but feelings are running high.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 2) by corey on Wednesday February 14, @02:58AM

      by corey (2202) on Wednesday February 14, @02:58AM (#1344353)

      So why the hell do I need such a device? I can't even have a root on it!

      I can see English isn't your first language, but this made me laugh. Here in Australia, "having a root" literally means having sex. Rooting someone means having sex with them. Whilst I instantly understood you meant root priviledges, what appeared in my brain a millisecond later was very different!

  • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Saturday February 10, @08:25AM (5 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday February 10, @08:25AM (#1343818)

    Last I checked, none of the things that a flipphone cannot do are mandatory.

    You do know that you're allowed to not use Facebook, Twitter, email and a browser on your smartphone? It may be hard to uninstall the relevant apps depending on what model you have an how much uninstallable crapware it was preloaded with. But at least to my knowledge, even Apple doesn't force you to use any of them.

    You can actually use a smartphone to make phone calls and send and receive text messages, and nothing else. At least the phones that I know all still have those functionalities.

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday February 10, @08:35AM (2 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @08:35AM (#1343819) Journal

      You can actually use a smartphone to make phone calls and send and receive text messages, and nothing else.

      Which is exactly how I use my phone. I have no need for 99% of the apps that are installed on it. And because that is all I need I can get by with a very old model of phone that costs next to nothing to replace.

      I once looked at the cost of insuring my 'phone - it didn't seem cost-effective to do so unless I lost it in the first few months of paying for it. I have had my current phone for 5+ years now.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 2) by stormreaver on Sunday February 11, @01:23AM (1 child)

        by stormreaver (5101) on Sunday February 11, @01:23AM (#1343929)

        I have never understood being addicted to a phone. It's a tool, like a hammer. I sometimes feel like I have drifted into an alternate dimension when I read stories about people supposedly being addicted to their phones.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Sunday February 11, @05:28PM

          by Gaaark (41) on Sunday February 11, @05:28PM (#1343985) Journal

          I have never understood being addicted to a phone. It's a tool, like a hammer.

          Got Fleshlight? ;)

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Nuke on Saturday February 10, @10:03AM

      by Nuke (3162) on Saturday February 10, @10:03AM (#1343827)

      You can actually use a smartphone to make phone calls and send and receive text messages, and nothing else.

      Maybe that's all you use it for, but it is not all that Google, Apple, Amazon and Uncle Tom Cobley use it for. Yes, I know the phone provider knows your location by triangulation, and can hear your calls and read your texts, but a smart phone allows a more sophisicated degree of tracking - for one thing they have all got their apps in there. I'm not sure that Google etc would even bother to collect or buy data relating to dumb phones, the users being either grumpy sales-resistant techies like me, or senile old gits who never buy bling anyway - like I'll become one day no doubt..

    • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Saturday February 10, @10:59AM

      by gnuman (5013) on Saturday February 10, @10:59AM (#1343834)

      how much uninstallable crapware it was preloaded with.

      Even if you have uninstallable crapware, you can "disable" it, effectively making it inaccessible. In the old Androids, you couldn't disable Chrome, but on newer ones (like from 2018), you can uninstall or disable Chrome, youtube and the rest.

  • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Saturday February 10, @10:51AM

    by gnuman (5013) on Saturday February 10, @10:51AM (#1343832)

    I use Android One phone. I have browser uninstalled too. Not sure why one needs Chrome on a phone.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by drussell on Saturday February 10, @12:17PM (1 child)

    by drussell (2678) on Saturday February 10, @12:17PM (#1343843) Journal

    I still use my Nokia 5300 (ca. 2006), its not a flip phone, it's a fancy slide phone. :)

    It has a 1.3MP camera, it can record video, it has an MP3 player and FM radio, one battery charge lasts over a week on standby, $4 replacement standard BL-5B modular batteries pop in the back in seconds (I'm on about the 8th or 9th battery, I think) and I get reception in many places that others with newer phones do not. It has IrDA infrared (used to be very handy with my old laptops that still had IrDA,) supports bluetooth accessories and data transfer, as well as three different USB modes (full Nokia software Mode, Printing Mode, and dumb Data Transfer Mode that just looks like a standard USB mass storage device,) and I've got a 2GB micro SD card in it for storage.

    It even has a web browser, though Rogers shut down their support for GPRS data a couple years ago, so it no longer works, even for rogers.com. There are installable applications like a POP3/IMAP mail client, for example, but again GPRS is no longer supported on the network itself, so anything like that no longer works. Text and Multimedia messaging are now the limit of usable "data-like" features. (It is 2G/EDGE, which luckily they haven't turned off yet here, but that will be the death knell for the cute little buddy when they do...) I love the fact that it's super tiny, so it easily fits in a pocket, unlike today's common monster-screen "phablets."

    Until they shut down 2G support on the network, I have absolutely NO reason or intention to change phones. These things are GREAT!!

    • (Score: 2) by corey on Wednesday February 14, @10:18AM

      by corey (2202) on Wednesday February 14, @10:18AM (#1344393)

      Wow, that wouldn’t work here in Australia. The telcos have been shutting down even 3G networks lately. So no 2G nor 3G. But you can buy 4G feature phones still. My elderly dad has one.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by janrinok on Saturday February 10, @02:50PM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10, @02:50PM (#1343855) Journal

    Well now you know why the doctors have told me to rest..... My arms are killing me.

    --
    I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
  • (Score: 2) by srobert on Sunday February 11, @03:58PM

    by srobert (4803) on Sunday February 11, @03:58PM (#1343974)

    I'll be 61 in a few months. When I was a kid we had neither smart phones nor flip phones. Through the 1970's I had to dial a rotary phone to call out. Listen for a dial tone, then dial. Busy signal, try again later. No one I knew had an answering machine. It was black and sat on a stand in the living room near the wall where the wire connected. It was hard wired and couldn't be moved around. There were no modular jacks. It belonged to AT&T. We didn't own our phone. It weighed about 10 lb. Sometimes, when I picked up to dial, a neighbor with whom we shared a "party line" was already talking on the phone. I had to wait until they were done to make a call.

    I'm starting to feel like Grandpa Simpson telling an onion belt [youtube.com] story.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12, @09:38AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12, @09:38AM (#1344053)

    And I am still connected to the people I love; they just can't text me TikToks.

    Many of my relatives and friends are on WhatsApp and communicate using it (groups etc). Some are on Signal and not on WhatsApp (anti Meta etc).

    I'm doing this because I don't want my sons to remember me lost in my phone.

    100% user problem. Those with self control don't have to cripple their capabilities.

    It's like throwing away your laptop/desktop computer because you spend too much time on your laptop/desktop and you "don't want your sons to remember you lost on your computer".

    At lunch today I took part in the conversations etc. Wasn't lost in my phone. Same when visitors came by before that - even used my phone to share a photo related to a conversation, then put my phone back in my pocket.

    There are many good reasons to have a laptop/desktop. And similarly many good reasons to have a smartphone (if not more - to me there are likely more people who don't need a desktop computer but need a smartphone than the other way around, especially among the poorer communities).

    For children it is a different matter since they aren't adults and their brains usually have not fully developed certain regions yet (in fact the areas related to self control are typically not fully developed till about 25 for many adults).

  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday February 12, @03:40PM (1 child)

    by Freeman (732) on Monday February 12, @03:40PM (#1344098) Journal

    Work essentially requires you to have a smartphone, but won't pay for it. That's my biggest gripe with regards to 2FA/etc. In the event that work is requiring me to have/use a particular device. They should provide it or at the least offer me a significant discount on the thing I already use, but am now required to use for work.

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13, @11:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13, @11:05AM (#1344195)
      Some places do provide devices to employees.

      e.g. company work requires use of a tool. Company provides the tool. Or allows employee to purchase and expense it.

      Other places of course are happy if they can get their employees to pay for the tools required to do company work.

      Bonus points if you have to buy them from the company store using company issued credits/tokens that are your salary.
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