We almost love the new iPhone, and other news


Welcome back from wherever your summer took you!

Smartphone Wars, continued
The big news, of course, is the iPhone 5: bigger screen, thinner, lighter, faster, better camera, new headphones, a bunch of cool new features, does the dishes. (Okay, not the dishes--yet). No surprises, but a very attractive option if you've been waiting to buy a smartphone.

The also-expected bad news is that Apple has switched to a new "Lightning" connector, which has almost no advantage for consumers and makes the new iPhone incompatible with any accessories you already own--unless you buy Apple's $29 adapter, and even that won't work with many accessories.  

It's a minor nuisance indiviudally (unless you own a hotel) but has major environmental impacts, truly irresponsible at a time when virtually every other manufacturer is moving to a universal microUSB standard. (Imagine the number of iPhones and iPods in the world, multiply by a guess of two accessories each--now picture the MOUNTAINS of e-waste Apple just created).     

You may also have read about the billion-dollar settlement in the Apple-Samsung lawsuit. For some Android users (the Galaxy S III  etc.), the negative impact was immediate, because Samsung removed universal search in an update--one of the best features of the phone.  Pretty frustrating to install an update and have the phone become LESS useful!

Lastly: If you travel internationally and are considering a new iPhone, be careful: there are actually three different models that support different LTE frequencies.    Speaking of travel. . .
  •  AwardWallet just lost the ability to display your Delta frequent-flyer account info. (American blocked them a while ago).  
     
  • Jetblue FINALLY updated flight search on their site; you can now search for flights from NYC (all major airports) to wherever all at once, instead of having to search LGA, JFK, EWR etc. separately. We still prefer Kayak for research, but it's much easier to book on JetBlue now.
     

Just for fun September means re-entry, ugh. This cartoon from my favorite webcomic, XKCD, really captures the feeling! Let your mouse rest on the cartoon to see the 'hovertext' punchline. (Warning: not everything on this site is appropriate for work or children).