Wordless Thursday – Small things, Large Impact

Back again this week with Wordless Thursday, the feature that posts interesting infographics, which you guys love so much. Introducing this week’s Infographic is a pleasure to me, this is because I know and believe that these small things do really cause a large environmental impact. And with the environmental impact being positive we can hopefully offset some of the harming activities that we all so normally ignore. Like they say every watt saved, is a watt generated. Add to it the financial impact.

My Mobile usage experience in India

I am in India for a much awaited vacation and in the past few days have been travelling through India. From Bangalore to Kolkatta, Mumbai, and later in this week, Chennai and then Mangalore. Hopefully will spend some time then in Bangalore to catch up with some friends. Anyway getting back to the post and my experience with personal tech, now by personal tech I mean mobile connection. Lets start with the fact that, since I live in Dubai and have been there for quite a few years now, it would make it difficult to maintain an Indian number. Previously I had bought an Airtel number which at that time had the facility of life time validity, and due to the life time validity there would be no issues regarding non usage over a period of time and I would have the number when I wanted it.

I spoke to the customer service at that time and mentioned to them about me not being in town and so they suggested the life time validity package. As far as I remember it was about 2 years ago, I did give alternate numbers when applying (as everyone does) and that was the end of that. Most Indian cellphone users will know that the Government mandate for cellphones last year requested users to submit information about themselves once again in order to verify the validity of the people using the phone. And all the mobile phone operators complied, Airtel did sometime even more interesting, all numbers that they did not receive the information were recirculated to other people. For some reason my number was blocked and when I traveled to India last month they requested me to provide documents. Which we did, however they did not receive the documents within the 1 week that I was given and the number has been blocked. I was a bit surprised at the action by Airtel and here is why :

  1. After informing that the number is not for regular local use, a representative should have called the alternative number, but they did not.
  2. They waited for the past year with the number on block and cancelled and recirculated it for a delay of 1 day ? Really, that one day was the limit.
  3. They never made an attempt to inform the users whatsoever about the balance (over Rs 1000 ) being expired when they cancelled the number. (Yes Airtel, we know your profits are bad, but that does not mean you steal from the users).

If you are thinking this is what got me annoyed ? well not really. Being a “tolerant” Indian, and realizing that by shouting at people at customer service it would be impossible to resolve this issue, we went into an Airtel outlet (not a regular mobile shop but an Airtel office, on Nandidurg Road in Bangalore) and got a new number.

;

I was to travel to Kolkatta, and did not have a number and this new number was my saving grace otherwise making me sort of handicapped without access to communication. We did mention this at the Airtel office, it was Friday and the number was promised to be activated on Saturday. Considering that I would be flying on Monday morning,  I was comfortable with this. But no, Airtel had to make it bad again, the office is supposed to make a call to every user once the phone is activated by the system. Once the verification call is done, they would intimate the main database that the number is verified and the number becomes usable. The call never came, even after specifically mentioning to the person at Airtel that it was imperative that the number has to be made active since I am travelling. Saturday passed without a call, and it was now Sunday.

Reading the website and as per conversation at the person in Nrupatunga Road Airtel office, we knew that they would be working on Sunday until 1:30 PM. So we drove to their office again on Sunday to request them to make an entry into the database. But the office was closed, well before 11:30 AM. Sign, another disappointment with Airtel.

So then I picked a number that was available with a friend, it was BSNL. Now everyone in India knows that BSNL has excellent reach in every town and village in India. Unfortunately they lack networks in cities which are predominantly covered by other players. With this knowledge I know that BSNL would have been my third choice maybe. Well I started using it, unfortunately for me, the roaming partners of BSNL were not good either. In Kolkatta it was CellOne, and in the few days I was there, I never met a single person except me that used CellOne. That perhaps would be an indication of the popularity of the service and the reliability of the service.

Every call to be made or received took at least 3 tries, and one of them definitely was that thee number I was trying to reach did not exist. How I cursed the guys at Airtel for not activating my sim !! Moved to Mumbai then for the next few days and the career of BSNL in Mumbai is Dolphin. Now initially I was skeptical with the coverage as the call drops continued, but eventually the Dolphin service in Mumbai seemed to work. I wanted to get online, and they did not provide me a way to do so. BSNL has an Indian Government service feel to it, tired, slow and unreliable. Cannot really do much.

I was eager to get to Bangalore hoping that my Airtel number would be now activated, well it was on the 21st of May, a full week after I had requested the person at Nandidurg road to activate it asap. Now that the first hurdle was done, came the second one.  I wanted to activate the GPRS and BB services on the Airtel number, well should I tell you it was not an easy task ? You would have figured by now that the inefficiency of the Airtel technical support when calling was very visible. Even after picking support in English the calls were being diverted to Kannada support where the guys struggled to answer my queries although I was now talking in Kannada. When asked about the route to Kannada, the guy at the other side of the phone said I was wrong in my choices. We tried from more than one number to customer service, all the time being connected to Kannada support. At 121 they would refer me to 7070, and at 7070 they would refer back to 121. This went on for about 3 tries at which time I lost patience and shouted at the next guy who answered. Although I knew it was not his fault, he managed to provide me with a national number for the BB services, on requesting if I needed to prefix 0 before the number (all outstation calls from cities need this) he said no.

I tried it without the 0 and the call never left my phone, then I added the 0 to make the call and reach the Delhi (i think) based customer service person who said I just needed to send an SMS. If at all the first person had told me this !! Add to this the annoyance of the IVR (interactive Voice Response) I just grew tired of Airtel. Considering that their profits are dropping, one would imagine they would put focus on customer service to bring back customers, but no they just lost an entire family of Airtel users to Vodafone, all this just because of customer service. A quick search on Google for the keywords “Airtel sucks” yielded over a million results, telling that its not just me. Check it out for yourself here. In fact there is also a Facebook Page dedicated to them here.

All of us in the family have kept the numbers and have ported to Vodafone. Like a newly wed, their customer service seems good for now, donno if I will need to make another change soon though. I used to proudly say that India has so many providers that it is imperative for all providers to have good customer service, but I have been proven wrong. Airtel you need to pull up your socks, else more are going to leave you soon; If you need my real verbal feedback or call me on my now Vodafone number, leave me a message on the blog or at me[at]melvinpereira.com. Your customers of 8 years, now with Vodafone.

Blackberry’s main weapon, the BBM [Lots of Videos]

Blackberry is one of the world’s top Smartphone manufacturer, and that is an undeniable fact when it comes to Web enabled Mobile Phones. Traditionally what was considered that the Blackberry was a Business Person’s phone, and they did a great job selling the phone to organizations. For a company who was first time into the market, taking on giants like Apple and Nokia, they carved a Niche for themselves. A few months back my wife got on to the bandwagon and well eventually I did and one of the biggest fact seemed to be the BBM, for her and well cheap internet connectivity for me. However with passage of time and usage I have to admit, BBM is something that I have got accustomed to.

From my boss to my wife, and a whole lot of friends in between, the BBM has actually bought over a lot of fans to the BBM and in turn the Blackberry itself. For all of the guys who are wondering what the BBM is all about this video should give a better idea. In fact this post has so many videos all from Blackberry as a testimonial to Blackberry’s commitment to pushing the BBM.

Blackberry has realized this and the new campaigns of Blackberry are now centered around the BBM, like this one here. More so in India, from the Blackberry boys ad to now an entire range of ads around the BBM here are a few for you to look at.

Now there are more ads talking about flirting and such, so well here are some for you to feast your eyes on.

What really makes the BBM interesting

1. Sometimes, you’ll know that they’re ignoring you:

Once you send a message, a few things can happen.

a. A clock will appear, indicating that the message is in the process of being sent.

b. A check mark will appear, indicating that you’ve sent the message successfully.

c. A check mark with a ‘D’ appears. This means the message has arrived to the intended PIN.

d. A check mark with an ‘R’ appears. Your message has been read.

So why haven’t they answered…? What are they doing?! Did this ever happen to you when you stuck with traditional texting? Probably not, because that ‘R’ makes all the difference. You can rationalize the blue out of the sky when a traditional text message goes unanswered. Try rationalizing an ‘R’ message and see what you come up with besides: “I am meant to be alone forever.”

2. Other times, your message will get lost in BBM limbo:

Due to the flaws of modern technology, you’ll occasionally see a hieroglyphic BBM symbol that you can’t comprehend. No ‘R’, no ‘D’, just confusion and angst. This symbol will remain the same for a few days, at which point you’ll take to Google in order to decipher what it all means. “Was I deleted? Is their phone broken? What the hell is this symbol of what is seemingly a man talking on a phone?”

3. Your PIN is unstable:

With every new cell phone comes a new PIN. Anything sent to your old address is sucked into the ether. This could lead another party to believe that you’re actively ignoring them (see #2);

4. There’s no such thing as “taking a hint”:

When you ignore someone via BBM, it’s perfectly reasonable for them to assume that it would be “okay” to contact you using some other vehicle, like GChat, Facebook, or traditional texting methods due to BBM’s lack of dependability. “She must’ve not received my last 20 BBMs… time to virtually infringe on her alone time some other way.” Don’t ignore someone on BBM and expect that they’ll go quiet into the night. You may have to end this one like an adult.

5. Your risqué messages are at constant risk:

Unless you’re the motivated type who makes amendments to the nicknames in your BBM contact list, it’s likely that common names will show up in multiples. That means confusing your cousin Brian with your lover Brian; your roommate Steve with your one-night-stand Steve. Do you really want to ask your co-worker Dan if he enjoyed your “performance” the night before? Didn’t think so.

Still loved by most users

 

I know I now sound like a skeptic, even with all these flaws, what stands out is features like sending pictures, voice notes immediate reactions, group discussions etc. But these are possible with other ways too, what makes it really interesting is the knowledge if the person has sent the message or not.

I am sure most people with BBM have noticed a scene like the one above, trying to make conversation with the people who are not there, sacrificing the time with the people who are in front of you.

All in all, if it is up to Blackberry most of us will be like this, but I guess that’s where cell phone etiquette comes in. Like they say, life was a lot more simpler when Blackberry and Apple were only fruits.

Proven, Creative job hunting techniques that will amaze you

Social Media is the buzz these days, but what really is Social Media. And there are people and businesses doing what ever it takes to get on to the band wagon of Social Media. But there are a selected few who are actually using it, in ways that would make us stand up and take notice. Job Hunt. Yes the field where you send in your resume wait for an interview to be arranged, and then hope you have done well to negotiate your job. Yes there have been really creative resumes, like the ones highlighted on another post here. But what if you could short cut the process with Social Media.

image credit

Well yes of course you have a Linked In profile and are findable on Google and yes your resume reads right as well, but still there are 100 Million other people on Linked In as well doing pretty much the same. And to make things worse, we don’t even use Linked In the way it is meant to be. So are you confused what to do, well these things should give you some inspiration. When faced with the unenviable task of searching for a job,  and marketing yourself,  the web and social media provides a variety of opportunities that wouldn’t work with other mediums. These creative job hunters have thought outside the box and leveraged the web to get themselves noticed.

Alec Brownstein

Alec Brownstein, a writer, needed a job. So he chose the names five top NYC advertising directors that he’d like to work for. Knowing that large bigwig executives would probably (like all of us) Google their own name, he bought an advertisement in Google that would be displayed when each person searched for his own name.

He got two job offers. The cost was just $6, a fine example of creative job hunting. He later published this YouTube Video explaining how it all happened, which itself went viral on the web – with nearly 1 million views at time of writing.

Talk about Social Media on steroids, this campaign was the reason I really started looking at some other similar examples, the next two are as good.

David Wood

David Wood, an unemployed Sales Representative from Bristol decided enough was enough after spending two years writing up to 30 job applications and scanning newspapers and websites for paid work. He decided to put an advert together on auction website EBay auctioning himself off to the highest bidder.

After some initial exploration on Twitter of using the medium of EBay to sell himself, David was approached by a PR firm who helped him create the campaign.Although his first advert didn’t make the cut (EBay don’t currently allow services to be auctioned on the site) he amended the advert to become much more product focused.

His advert reads: ‘For Sale an Experienced Sales Representative’ and describes him as a 1965 model who is ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘motivated’. With this his profile has shown up on numerous blogs, like mine, TV shows local newspapers, providing him with the reach that has kind of made him a local celebrity. Check out a screenshot of his eBay page below.

Victor Petit

Victor Petit is a french graphic design student looking for an internship. His recent Video on Vimeo shows perfectly how a little creativity in your C.V. can really grab the attention of your audience. His combination of mobile QR codes and an interactive experience is quite brilliant, taking the traditional C.V. and turning it on it’s head.

Absolutely fantastic work I should say, and we all know how QR codes are taking on the world. You can read about QR codes here if you are interested.

I dont really think that all of trying the same thing will work too, this is just for inspiration so you can think out of the box too.

The REAL ‘Emirates Palace’ is on its way

Frequenting the Internet, some of the information you find is stunning. Sometimes information of something so close to you is relayed from the internet and you haven’t heard about it. Is that just not the worst ? Well, here is another bit of information that might just give you that feeling, I stumbled on a website which had the details and information about the Real Presidential Palace of Abu Dhabi, which is being constructed in Abu Dhabi. Since I work in construction and have worked n some of the best projects in the region, rarely new projects really do excite me. But this one really did. The Abu Dhabi Presidencies new Palace is definitely worth a second look.


This is the proposed presidential palace being built by the Presidential Affairs Department of Abu Dhabi. It is going to replace the existing palace in Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi. The project will be constructed over 2 plots and will include the main palace, smaller palaces, villas and other facilities. The main palace itself will be 160,000 square meters or over 1,700,000 square feet! Take, the new presidential palace,$490M project that was awarded to Greek construction firm Consolidated Contractors Company and Abu Dhabi-based architects Ewan Architectural & Engineering Consultancy last year. The compound will sit in good, sweet, ostentatious company beside the Emirates Palace Hotel, which made a name for itself around the holidays by hosting a Christmas tree dripping in $11M worth of jewelry.

While the Guggenheim labor controversy has shed negative energy on the Emirates city of Abu Dhabi, turns out there’s a whole lot of other stuff going on there. The Presidential Palace being maybe the crown jewel when it comes to it. All my reluctance in going to Abu Dhabi for a visit is not slowly being overcome to go see this behemoth coming to life.

More Information on Skyscraper City. More Pics here.

Wost action scenes in Indian Cinema – Special Effects getting worse ?

First things first I am a Big Bollywood fanatic, I love the song and dance too. And when I say Bollywood I want to make sure that these are the movies from Bombay (now Mumbai). For most of those who did not know there are so many different sources of movies in India, Just check out the Wikipedia for these different movie sources from India, Assamese cinemaBengali cinemaBhojpuri cinemaHindi cinemaKannada cinemaMalayalam cinemaMarathi cinemaOriya cinemaPunjabi cinemaTamil cinema and Telugu cinema. Most people in the west just classify Indian cinema as Bollywood, just like languages in India as Indian (to be read : “Say something in Indian“). Since I like to keep around the technology aspect on this blog, this post is dedicated to the art of special effects in movies that are well by the looks of things getting worse.

First things first the list of the worst special effects in movies, then we will look at whats going on in the Industry today:

10 : Unstoppable – Akshay Kumar

9 : Crazy Kicks

8 : Rajani

This list can never e complete without the antics of Rajanikanth.

7 : Smoking style by Rajnikanth

6 : Fight Scene :)

5 : Matrix revolutions in India

4 : Indian Superman

3 : Better than the wild west

2 : Rescue to the rescue


1 : Best Horse in the world

Most of these have been compiled from shares on Facebook on my profile. But I did add a few from YouTube as well. Anyway, one of the biggest things that the above list will show you is the special effects, or rather the lack of it. Although being one of the largest Movie Industry in the world (bigger than Hollywood) we don’t seem to have a good section of Special effects for movies. Is it because we are not capable ? I dont think so, the imagination and creativity shown in the above clips proves so, albeit sloppy.

There is no market ? Well I hate to disagree, Kkrish and Koi Mil Gaya and other movies in India prove that this is not really true. If yes what is stopping it back ? I have news for you, Oscar shortlisted Hollywood film ‘Alpha and Omega’, which was animated by the Mumbai based Crest Animation Studios, is one of the best examples of the trend of 3D entering into India in a big way. The film is the first international 3D animation film, produced in India and it’s success is a good sign for things to come, says Crest CEO A K Madhavan.

“With ‘Alpha and Omega’ a Indian animation house released a global movie in 2600 theatres in the US and grossed 250 crores in box office collection. It is a sign of the good things to come,” Madhavan told PTI. James Cameron, the Hollywood filmmaker who helmed blockbusters like ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’ also seconds India’s chances. Lets hope we don’t miss these above Jems of the Indian Movie Industry.

Will Amazon do to Android what Google could not (in the middle east)

A few weeks back I wrote about how Google might be killing Android in Dubai, not directly but indirectly. The mistake of Google of not telling users here in the middle east that Google Market is not part of the Android offering, and the Handset manufacturers are the bigger scammers (read Samsung, LG, HTC), not publicizing the Android App Market, but not letting users even see it. But for all those guys who have had some trouble getting apps from the app store, especially here in the middle east or anywhere Android Market is not available, here is an option. The Amazon App Store.

You read that right, a company that does not really have anything to do with the Android until now, has an App Market that rivals the one from Google itself. The advantage that it provides over the Android Market is simple, access to the vast bank of Android Apps that are available in the app store. Although they have been sued by Apple for using the word App Store, Amazon has gone ahead with the release of the software for android phones. With the launch, they have also launched a new feature called test drive, which lets customers like us experience the app before buying it. This along with the great recommendation engine and app discovery feature make this one of the best app stores around. You can also shop in the Amazon App store online using your computer and sync the same with the device when you open the app. The service is just great.

The greatest news for the guys in the middle east will be that apart from the free apps, they will now have access into the paid apps for Android. This is possible with the 1 Click check out feature that many of us are already used to here, ordering from Amazon. So the Android user who is excited and wants to get this software, here is how you can do it. First of all visit the following link : http://www.amazon.com/mobile-apps/b?ie=UTF8&node=2350149011

Forget about the warning that says App store is available only in the United States, enter your email address at the right of the screen and click go. You should see an email with the link to the App as well as the step by step process to install it. Here is the screen below.

Download the application and install it on your phone. Once you are done installing , login with your Amazon Username and password and you are good to go. I have used it on my Nexus one and have not yet bought a paid app. However, the free apps are downloading just fine and working great. Looking forward to what’s next ? A Tablet from Amazon like the Kindle, or even another phone from Amazon this time. Why not, even Micromax in India has an Android Phone. Amazon has built the app store that Android should have had from the beginning. (And the free app a day ploy is genius.) What Google does next will be interesting. Do they embrace what Amazon has done? Or do they shun it in fear? But at the end of the day, this may well be Amazon eating Google’s lunch — off of their own plate. Well let’s just hope that this competition brings about better experience for us customers and better apps into the market place.

Wordless Thursday – 15 Things you did not know about the dead

Death is not the best topic in the world, but still for Wordless Thursday this week is 15 things that you did not know about the dead. Did you know that a human head stays conscious for 15 – 20 seconds after decapitation ? and a cockroach up to 9 days ? Interesting facts that you might have not thought about or had no idea about at all are portrayed in this interesting info graphic.

April Fools is round the corner, here are some tricks for you

It’s nearly the end of march and soon, that dreaded day where people play some pranks on each other will be here. And to be prepared this time around I started looking at some interesting options that are really different or maybe some that you have not tried. I thought that just a list of geeky pranks would be like last year, if you missed that, here is the link for the post from last year. Last years list was of some harmless computer pranks, this year I am going to put up a longer list, from geeky to the regular pranks. Before we get there, why should we attempt pranks ? Well it’s that day of the year when we are given the freedom to do it without too many repercussions of the prank itself.

Even the larger software companies do it, Google with all its products and fan base is the biggest company that does it. I guess it makes them feel like a young small company and not the giant like it is. I guess it’s the same with me too, pranks would let me reminiscent the good old college days where all of us would want to go back to. Let me get into the list and its details. So here’s the list :

Kidnapped

Take an item from the victim’s office (something they use a lot such as a special coffee cup, stapler, pencil cup, etc.). Take a picture of the item and leave it on the victim’s desk (in the same spot where the item was located), along with a “ransom” note.

Wake Up

If your target uses a powerbar with their computer try this one. Get aportable radio and plug it into the Powerbar. Turn off the powerbar then turn the radio volume to really loud. When they can’t figure out why their computer has no power – they will turn on the power bar and get a big surprise.

I Hate Those Guys

Whatever your target hates (Like a certian Sports Team or Politician) – post their entire office with posters or promo stuff clebrating that hated thing.

Dripping Cup

Poke some small holes in the paper water cups so that next person that gets a drink of water will have some bonus sprinkles.

Food Stealers

Take pictures of you spitting on the food or rubbing the food on a dog’s bum. Leave photos on counter after the theft and in plain sight for everyone to see.

Good Eats in the Garbage Trick

Hide potato chips or any other kind of food in a bag and put it in the garbage. When someone comes by, spot the “Find” and then dive in and eat away. Ask them if they think it is bad to eat from a garbage.

Change your Clothes

Tell everyone but your target to bring a couple of changes of clothes to work. Then walk by your target with a different set of clothes on every time.

Change the Location

If you have a coworker that is extremely picky about the placement of their work materials, adjust them ever so slightly every day. It may be work tools, pens, supplies, computer monitor anything else in their work area.

The Award

If anybody wins an award send out a fake memo that the award has been discontinued.

Who’s Calling?

Leave a note on the victim’s desk that “Mr. Lyon” called for them (Mr. Behr also works) and wants to be called back as soon as possible.  Make sure to include the phone number of a local zoo as the call back number!

Important Papers

Take random papers from the recycling bin (it doesn’t matter what they way but it is better if they look important) staple pages together in random order and put them in a coworkers desk file drawer or their mailbox.  For better results, make a memo sheet (or a post-it) that says “Confidential” and watch the coworker going nuts trying to figure out what it means.

Taking Notes

Replace the victim’s pens with pens that have caps super-glued to them.  Another alternative includes painting the tips of pens or pencils with clear nail polish. When they try to write, none of the pens will work.  The nail polish can be later removed by dipping tips in polish remover.

More pranks here.

Cell Phone Etiquette – someone should really make some rules

Cell Phones are everywhere; nearly all of us have one. In fact during an earlier post on wordless Thursday, we did manage to look at the overall numbers of cell phones and usage statistics which were quite shocking. So, it is absolutely great right, everyone has a cell phone, loved ones are closer? Yes it is. But like everything good in this world when it comes to technology, there is a dark side. Cell phone etiquette.

People somehow do not really seem to know when is it acceptable and not acceptable to use a cell phone. Although I know some of you might think that it’s a free world and there are no written rules for cell phone usage, I still believe that some people should have. Mind you I am not talking about life safety here, like talking on the phone while driving, or using your phone during your wedding anniversary (ask me, it is life threatening), but generally using the phone, the when, where and how. Good cell phone etiquette involves following some simple guidelines of common courtesy when using a cell phone in public, designed to make those spaces enjoyable to all.

I want you to turn off your cell phone

All of us have been annoyed by the guys who talk like their voice would reach the other person even without the phone, the guys who think that technology is still in the late 80’s where we had to scream into the mouthpiece of a wired phone, inside a booth lovingly also known as the Standard Trunk Dial Booth (STD). Yes, we are told the issues that they have even if we don’t really want to hear about it. Be it Private conversations, arguments of details of meetings or even what they just are, things that don’t really want to know. Add to this inappropriate ringtones in places where they are not to be used.

People these days put up sign boards for people not to use their cell phones in certain places, like places of worship, government offices, meetings etc. But you do have the regular rings from the careless people. So people have actually got fed up and have started installing cell phone jammers in these places. These devices knock cell phone users off their lines and prevent a reconnection with the cell tower until the user wanders out of range. The rate at which jammers are selling speaks to the lack of manners among the chatters. If you’re wondering what you can do to contribute to a more polite society, cell phone etiquette can be boiled down to 7 simple guidelines according to me:

1. When a Private Conversation Isn’t Possible. Intimate public settings such as restaurants, public restrooms, waiting rooms, hallways, buses, subways or anywhere a private conversation is not possible is a bad place for a cell phone conversation. To practice good cell phone etiquette, put the ringer on vibrate or silent mode and let the call roll over to voice mail. If it’s an important call, step outside or to a secluded area to return the call. If that’s not possible and you must take the call, keep your voice low and the conversation brief. Let the caller know you’ll get back to them when you’re able.

2. Lights Out, Phone Off. Phones should be turned off in movie theaters, playhouses, observatories or any other public place that creates an atmosphere to transport the imagination of the audience. People pay good money to be entertained and a ringer breaks the illusion.

3. Modulate Your Voice. Cell phones have sensitive microphones that can pick up a very soft voice while blocking out ambient noise. Yelling into a cell phone is not necessary. When people are nearby, be considerate and keep your voice low, your tone unemotional and even, and your conversation private. Arguing or airing dirty laundry in public is very poor human behavior let alone cell phone etiquette.

4. Observe the 10-foot Proximity Rule. Maintain a distance of at least 10-feet (3 meters) from the nearest person when talking on a cell phone. No matter how quietly you speak, if standing too close to others they are forced to overhear your personal business.

5. Love the One you’re with. It’s rude to take a cell phone call on a date or during a social engagement with others. It’s also inconsiderate to take a call in the middle of a conversation. If the caller were present he or she would likely wait to politely interrupt at a more appropriate time. Let the call roll to voice mail and return it later.

6. Drive Now, Talk Later. Multitasking isn’t always a good thing. Some evidence shows that accidents are on the rise due to cell phone use. Most calls can wait until you’ve reached your destination, and if a call is upsetting or distracting pull over to have the conversation.

7. Use Common Sense. Turn off your phone before a job interview, presentation, or boardroom meeting. Leave it off at funerals, weddings, or anyplace a quiet atmosphere is mandated, such as a courthouse, library, museum, or place of worship.

Cell phone etiquette is just a matter of being considerate of others, which pays off for everyone; sooner or later.