Sprint, Siri, and Why I Miss Windows Phone 8

So, I recently switched from AT&T (god damn do they suck) to Sprint (god damn does their coverage suck), and in doing so, upgraded from my iPhone 4 to a 5S.  One of the ‘benefits’ of this upgrade was that I now have access to Apple’s idea of a personal assistant, Siri.  As I was previously a Windows Phone 8 user (fuck you Nokia, and your shitty fucking battery life, and your shitty fucking support, and your shitty treatment of your customers — no wonder your phone business is failing, you’re a company of assholes), I had been looking forward to replacing one of the nicest Windows Phone 8 features finally in my iPhone — voice dictation for SMS.

As previously mentioned, I have a fairly lengthy commute.  I classify myself as a fairly safe driver, and as such I do not use my phone while driving unless it is just for conversation over bluetooth.  I do not text and drive under any circumstance — it’s exceedingly dangerous.  If you do it, you’re an asshole and I hope that when you inevitably crash, you only manage to hurt yourself.  Dick.  In any case, Windows Phone 8 had a really well written feature where if you received an SMS while the phone was connected to a bluetooth hands free set, it would come over the set and say “Text message from (contact name) received.  Read it or ignore?”.  I’d say “Read it”, and it would read the text message for me.  It would then ask if I wanted to reply, and if I said yes, it would take voice dictation for my reply, read what it received back to me, and ask me for confirmation to send.  The voice recognition itself was extremely good, I wasn’t ever able to throw it for a loop.  Beyond that, all of this was handled 100% by the phone.  I did not need internet access in order for it to transcribe my voice to text, I only needed cell coverage to send the SMS itself.

I received my 5S on launch day (surprisingly, no one was in line at Sprint for one of these things.  I suppose that’s because it actually requires you to have customers in order for them to queue up outside.  I digress.) and was surprised to find that Siri does not automatically ask you if you want her to read an incoming text message when you’re connected over bluetooth.  Well, no big deal, all I have to do is hold the home button to get Siri up and then tell her to “Read SMS”.  The first time I tried this, Siri chugged for about 10 seconds and then said “I’m very sorry about this, but I’m afraid I can’t take any requests right now.”  I didn’t know at the time how frequently I would hear that in the coming days.  Turns out (and this isn’t really news to anyone in the know about these things), Siri requires internet connectivity to do fucking *anything*.  There is list of about 3 things Siri can do without being connected to the internet, and they are all entirely useless.

I’ve now had the 5S for a month and then some, and I have given up on Siri entirely.  Perhaps it’s a Sprint network coverage issue, but 75% of the time I ask Siri to do anything, I just get a shitty response about how she can’t fucking do anything right now.  I could be stationary with 5 bars of LTE coverage, and Siri will still refuse to do shit for shit complaining that “Something has gone wrong” or “I’m very sorry about this …”.  What a fucking joke.  Every time someone tells me know that they think Siri is cool, I immediately think they’re a fucking moron.

The end, go away.

The Lando System

Not much to say here, just a thinking exercise (yeah, I know, most of you are too stupid to think but look just try for a minute please).

I was thinking about Star Wars Episode 5 : The Empire Strikes Back the other day, and I got to thinking about the scene in the Millennium Falcon when Han notices the Lando system and decides to set course there, ultimately leading him to Bespin and into the hands of Darth Vader.

So, let’s look at this objectively.  Han Solo and company are in a space ship, in the limitless universe.  They’re in an area that they haven’t previously charted that we know of, and they are attempting to escape from the Empire (unbeknownst to them, Boba Fett is in the Slave 1 hiding behind an asteroid, and will be following them — but I digress).  Han sees a system with the first name that is the same as someone he knows (and coincidentally, had won the Millennium Falcon from in a game of Sabaac), and decides to head there.

How legitimate is it for Han to believe that a system with the same name as the first name of one of his friends is actually run by that friend?  Is there really only one Lando in the entire Star Wars universe?  Is it common knowledge in the Star Wars universe that “Lando” was only ever used once as a name?  Did Han REALLY think that in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, the star system he just happened to be somewhat near that just happened to have the same name as an old friend, just HAPPENED to actually be owned and run by him?  Was that really what happened?

Anyways, I dunno.  I’m having a hard time articulating just how stupid it seemed to me that one person in the middle of space would head for a star system solely because it shared the same first name as someone he knew.  It’s like if I was in space in a space ship in uncharted territory and I saw the John system and expected John Carmack to own and operate it.

Idiocy.  Now, go away.