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August 12, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher, Day 3

Posted: 04:48 PM ET

Editor’s note: This is the latest in’s ongoing “Tech Torture With Topher” video-blog series, in which we “torture” staffer Topher Kohan by depriving him of a technological convenience for a week to see how he copes with it. This week, Topher is trying to conduct all his digital business only on his smartphone while traveling for work.

Hello all! I'm in San Jose, California, on business and getting ready for Day 3 of TTWT on the road.

So far, working only from my iPhone has been easier than I thought it would be. That said, it does have some issues: A really bad battery life, and no way to recharge or change the battery when I'm away from my hotel room or don't have my bag with me. Yes, my battery died, leaving me cut off from all digital communication.

Also, you can't view Flash sites on an iPhone, and that has caused some problems for me. I also don't recommend trying to view Excel spreadsheets on an iPhone.

But, all and all, it hasn't been that painful - yet.

For more details, check out the video. Thanks for reading, and watching, and please drop a comment below and let us know what you think of this week's "torture" experiment.

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Vern   August 12th, 2009 5:36 pm ET

Spent 10 Days in China with NO phone or computer, the world still turned

Russell   August 12th, 2009 6:17 pm ET

I love my Iphone, but yes, it needs to accept flash based sites!
Also, try a jampack that attaches to the phone and gives it much longer battery life.
Just wait, Topher, the key to the iphone is that Apple easily uploads fixes and new features without having to get a new phone!

Jon   August 12th, 2009 7:29 pm ET

Should have gotten a BlackBerry, or a Windows Phone you can change out batteries in a BlackBerry and Most windows Phones but an Iphone battery is fixed.
Flash may be a bit of a problem on a BlackBerry and a Windows phone as well but you can always download a 3rd party browser and watch your flash on that.
Also with Excel you can use that pretty well on a Windows mobile device, with a BlackBerry you can use Doc's to Go.

Fred   August 12th, 2009 7:32 pm ET

If battery life is a problem for you, you should get a power monkey, it's a portable charger that adapts to any mobile device. Usually good for a few charges.

Odai Athamneh   August 12th, 2009 7:43 pm ET

And I thought Guantanamo Bay was morally wrong, but this... this just isn't fair!

Bob   August 12th, 2009 7:58 pm ET

You couldn't communicate for a whole hour?! Oh my god! What did you do? I can't even finish watching this clip. I thought it was going to be something mildly interesting. Why does everyone feel the constant need to be 'connected?' I'm a 29 year old tech savy guy, but it's pretty clear to me each time I go out and see people spending more time facebooking, twittering and Googling than paying attention to their companions, that we are NOT more connected.

Dave H.   August 12th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

What are the Flashplayer issues. I use Ubuntu Linux with SeaMonkey as my main browser and have had to jump thru hoops to get Flashplayer sites to work. Is this something that affects a wide range of connection devices?

Oliver Andrew   August 12th, 2009 11:43 pm ET

I love my Iphone but its inability to view flash embedded sites is a bother. Not enough of one though, to go back to any other type of phone. If I was not already married, I think I would marry my iphone!!!!!
It is a phone and so much more......

Oliver Andrew   August 12th, 2009 11:44 pm ET

Yes, I know I am a electronics junkie. We all have our vices

steve   August 12th, 2009 11:47 pm ET

flash should never come to the iphone. it'd totally kill the app store cash cow.

Iso Samuel   August 13th, 2009 5:23 am ET

Iphone would be more enjoyable with a flashplayer embedded in its browser. Smartphone vendors better start equiping their device browser with flash and video player.What's a website without a flash player?

Tech Torture with Topher, Day 3 – SciTechBlog – Blogs |   August 13th, 2009 5:26 am ET

[...] is the original post: Tech Torture with Topher, Day 3 – SciTechBlog – Blogs VN:F [1.6.1_878]please wait...Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)VN:F [1.6.1_878]Rating: 0 (from 0 [...]

Richard Martin   August 13th, 2009 5:39 am ET

As part of your experiment, you should try jailbreaking your iPhone. You'll get Flash capability and a bunch of other tools that you couldn't get on standard firmware. It makes your phone much more productive.

josey   August 13th, 2009 6:41 am ET

I don't understand what you mean by saying you have "no way to recharge or change the battery when I’m away from my hotel room or don’t have my bag with me." There are more than a couple extended batteries out there for the iPhone, and some that double as cases for the phone. There are also a number of adapters to let you charge the phone in a lighter outlet or a wall outlet... in fact a wall outlet / usb converter comes in the box with the phone.

Kittye   August 13th, 2009 11:20 am ET

Please continue to post your videos. It is interesting to see how easy or difficult it is to unplug, even a little. I am considering dropping my smartphone service because I hate paying so much each month. However, I also use it, not just to talk, but for scheduling, internet access, notes, and spreadsheets. To get rid of these features is about as scary as cutting up a credit card – which I finally did a few years ago.

Michael S   August 13th, 2009 11:34 am ET

Topher, you have a Palm Pre at your disposal? I am curious to here how it holds up, and if San Jose has Sprint's 4G network establish and how it performs in comparison to anybody's 3G.

Jack   August 13th, 2009 1:51 pm ET

I forget who on here called the app store a cash cow... but did you know that they spend more money keeping it running then they take in for it? The developers get most of the profit.

vi   August 13th, 2009 3:42 pm ET

Gotta love my verizon phone i've heard bad things about the iphone like you can't get all your txt messages.( true story) ALso true about the battery not removable . It also drops your calls well att is known for that anyway. SOrry people who bought the iphone

Dave Stephens   August 13th, 2009 7:54 pm ET

Yeah, I feel terrible I have this fantastic phone with, what, only 60,000 apps, the vast majority available for a buck or free...
Yeah, that's what breaks my heart. LOL

mark   August 13th, 2009 11:34 pm ET

Is cnn getting paid for this? because if so I'll whore myself out for a Iphone too.

Matthew   August 14th, 2009 12:17 pm ET

I have to say, the T-Mobile Data was REALLY Slow the entire time I was in San Jose

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