Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Overheard on CNN.com: Verizon and Apple shake on it


Quote of the day: “Who cares? Real life is right there in front of you, not on an app with a 5 by 3 inch screen.” --Ficheye2


Verizon to offer iPhones


It’s official: Beginning in February, Verizon will carry Apple’s iPhone. And now that fantasy has become reality, smartphone users are buzzing with anticipation. Many are wondering if Verizon’s network is really that much stronger, when to make the switch, and how much it’s going to cost. CNN.com tech reporter Mark Milian broke it all down, and readers expressed strong opinions about the news.


Many readers were excited about the option. Loki42 said, “I used to have Verizon and loved the coverage. I have hated the AT&T coverage (just this weekend I was in the Sierra, unable to make a call, while yet again my Verizon friends could just fine).” RainWind said, “I'd take Verizon over AT&T any day. I used to be a Centennial Wireless customer, then AT&T bought them out. That was a sad day. But where I live Verizon is hands down the best for reception and data.” Choconet64 added, “Not every new iPhone customer to Verizon will be former AT&T customers. Many current Verizon customers have been waiting for this event to finally happen.” Cleveland 123 said, “Reality is hard to deny. Apple came up with a product that everyone wants and finally got around to dealing with the carrier that everyone wants. And, people will be lining up for it.”


Despite the buzz, many readers were less than thrilled. Lorenzoid said, “CDMA is unusable in Europe. No thanks. What I really want is an unlocked iPhone that I can use all over the world by plugging in a local SIM card.”  bot123 said, “Verizon will lock down iPhone features, just as it has all the other phones Verizon users have. Why switch to a carrier that will do that?” concisekwill said, “If the iPhone is such a great phone why doesn’t it allow you to expand the memory without buying a new phone? I'll stick with AT&T and my blackberry thank you.” Alucinanto said, “I wouldn't give Verizon my business if they paid me for it.” Dobieden said, “Ya'll can keep your iPhones and Droids. I've tried them. I'll stick with Blackberry, but I sure would give anything to get away from Verizon. Their customer service sucks!”


President Obama traveling to Tucson


President Barack Obama will travel to Arizona on Wednesday in the wake of the weekend shooting that left six people dead and 14 wounded. CNN.com readers, including some who live in Arizona, welcome the president’s visit.


RAY said, “I respect president Obama's decision to ‘be there,’ representative of the American people for the families of those who are suffering great loss. May God bless those hurting people. We are still the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.” Nadeem said, “Thank you Mr. President. I saw the interview with the little girl’s parents today. They were very touched by your call and words. Let's come together as a nation. Unity.” Anthony said, “I think what President Obama is doing in visiting the families of the victims is just the right thing to do. Although his visit won't bring them back, it does go a long way in showing the families that America has a heavy heart for them. I just hope that the media or anyone else doesn't make a political statement (positive or negative) out of this, it's not the time.” Laurie said, “Thank you, President Obama for coming to Tucson to assist in the healing. We appreciate it.” Rk said, “Good for him. Regardless of what anyone thinks about the president's political ideology, one of the nicest things about him is that he has plenty of class, is culturally sensitive, and knows how to reach out to people. I deeply respect that about him, and think it was very appropriate of him to reach out to the victimized families in this way.” Spike5 said, “A President of the United States has many roles. He's leader of our nation, he's the leader of his political party and he's the public face of the country in times of sorrow. I'm glad President Obama is representing all of us in this way.”


But a few CNN readers expressed concern about his visit. M Best said, “Under heavy, heavy security I hope. Be careful Mr. President.”


Flooding disaster in Australia


After two weeks of torrential rain in Australia and a tsunami-like flash flood, three-quarters of the state of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone. CNN.com readers living in the area, and others who have family or friends there or used to live there themselves, posted comments.


prodmod wrote, “Friends in Brisbane in Fortitude Valley have flown down to Sydney to escape the flooding. Unfortunately, not everyone is in a position to do that. The weather here is incredibly eerie. Sydney has been catapulted out of a terrible, years-long drought into complete saturation.” PDXSerric said, “To my friends and family in OZ, and to everyone suffering through this, please be safe and take care. Hopefully the worst is over.” CommenCentz said, “I used to live in West End. Hopefully, this disaster will not be as bad as anticipated.” amc100 shared, “I live in Taringa 4km from the city centre of Brisbane. It is 5:00am and I have never heard this city so quiet. The rain has stopped and now the water is coming. I saw a great picture today of a small green frog catching a ride on the back of a snake in the floods. We are all going to have to work like that over the next few days, helping each other out as much as we can.”


More alarming posts included one from Australian94, who said, “Hi, I’m Australian and thanks for all your support, but tonight its going to be worse as two main rivers will peak and they will reach and causing a super strong wave will come down and reach Brisbane making the floods therefore catastrophic. So please. We need countries help as the death toll rises.” And OzMatt said, “Of the nine people confirmed dead, four are children. Two died when they were swept away along with one or both of their parents. A boy died when he was swept from his house. More than 70 people are missing. The rain is now heading down my way!”


But BrisEcho relayed, “As someone in Brisbane right now, I'd like to say a few things. Infrastructure is still in place and functioning. Military search and rescue is being performed by Australian and New Zealand troops. International aid has been offered by the USA, but also by many countries in the Asia Pacific including China, East Timor, Indonesia and even Sri Lanka. We are warm, safe and well. Many people have been safely evacuated and a lot of us are feeling very hopeful in spite of everything. There are families grieving and worried tonight, but we're taking care of each other.”

January 12, 2011
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January 12, 2011
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The water peak in Ipswich and Brisbane is expected around 4am Thursday(1pmET Wed in the States). I remember '74. Keep safe, keep dry. And know that we will all pull together, as Queenslanders always do.

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