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Old cellphones, in my household ...

Displaying poll results.
Get tossed; I only replace if broken.
  1215 votes / 7%
Stick around as useful adjunct devices
  1916 votes / 12%
Stick around, but don't actually get used
  7680 votes / 50%
Get handed off to friends or family
  1827 votes / 11%
Get lost, mostly
  597 votes / 3%
I don't have any "old cellphones."
  940 votes / 6%
Some outcome not reflected by choices above.
  1128 votes / 7%
15303 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Old cellphones, in my household ...

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Technology changes quickly. Old cell phones become incompatible with new networks in about a decade or two. I have a startac from 1998 that only makes analog calls. Analog has been dead for a long time. It isn't like a classic game or computer that are stand alone devices. It absolutely requires a network to be useful. Today's tablets will have the same fate as well as their unupgradable software, abandonded walled gardens, and network dependent features (such as running) go dark.

    • by Njovich (553857)

      What percentage of 'old' cellphones kept are older than 2 decades?

      • Re:Useless (Score:5, Funny)

        by arth1 (260657) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:32PM (#46203387) Homepage Journal

        What percentage of 'old' cellphones kept are older than 2 decades?

        Zero. Only new cell phones are kept more than two decades.

        A cell phone designed by the slashdot beta team would have tiny buttons on a big white field, and after pressing three buttons, you would have to click to expand the name. No seeing the phone number. And the users who protested would be called neckbeards opposed to change.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I had a phone like that . It actually had touchpad buttons, a one line LCD screen. Could send SMS messages but the characters looked awful and you could only see 12 at any time.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I thought that was called twitter?

      • Re:Useless (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Hamsterdan (815291) on Monday February 10, 2014 @01:41AM (#46207873)

        I still have my Nokia Cityman somewhere. Big old brick of metal that would destroy the stairs if dropped... Real story, It flew out the window once while trying to rest it on my shoulder while driving my '79 Celica GT Coupe back in early '90s. Had to hunt the battery down the street, but apart from some scuffs and nicks (and a slightly bent antenna), it worked fine after being put back together. Those things should have been rated as weapons as they were virtually undestructible. Had an iPhone 3G, probably still in a box somewhere, now using a stupid phone (Moto V360 hacked for 4-bands since Rogers didn't think it was a good idea to let the phone use 850Mhz which penetrates buildings easier) because the battery lasts for an eternity between charges. And most importantly, it's used to make/receive calls. Besides, I'm pretty sure that thing lost about 20% of its mass with all the drops it went trough (and still running like a champ)

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

      Today's tablets will have the same fate as well as their unupgradable software, abandonded walled gardens, and network dependent features (such as running) go dark.

      don't know what you mean here. my tablet is largely independent. it depends on the network to download new software and use wifi to access the internet, so these things can go away. but it will be able to run existing software locally presumably until the end of time, or until the LCD bites the dust. it will last much longer than any Tandy or whatever from the 80's.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Depends on how you define old.

      True, my old analog phone has long since become a boat anchor, but my first digital phone still works. ( not that i would use it.. ). My (old) 3gs still works too. Its in a drawer as i moved to more open and larger screen androids, but no reason i couldn't shove my sim card back in and be up and running.

      All of my tablets can side-load, so i'm not trapped in some walled garden, and besides, even if the world did move on and my 'market' vanished or refused to let me in, it doesn

    • My dad and godfather used to have those Moto Startacs. They would be able to use the phone while we were watching zero bars on our fancy GSM phones. (Unless I'm mistaking, Startacs used AMPS networks, right?)

    • by mlts (1038732)

      My concern are some devices that have to activate before being able to be used. What do they do when the activation servers get shut off, and this can be an Apple device, a device needing MotoBlur activation, or some other requirement of having to authenticate against something before the device will function.

      My old Motorola Cliq with a custom ROM still functions on my wireless network as a caching DNS even though it has been SIM-less for a long time. Not a big use, but the more data that doesn't have to

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Will be interesting to see what happens. The analog-digital switch was a big one, but it happened so long ago now. GSM was introduced in the early 90s, so most people under 35 or so would never owned an analog phone, so even their oldest old mobile phone should still work. My oldest is from 1995 (so, 19 years old!) and it still works perfectly well (2G GSM). Calls, SMS texts and (very slow) data all work. Going into the future, since GSM seems to be remaining backwards compatible through all revisions so fa

  • The kids love to play with real cell phones with buttons, the older the better. Flip phones are the most fun. The old StarTAC and RAZR phones are the best toys, even better when the batteries work. With iphone/android phones you can still play games if they are still working, otherwise they are just paperweights without buttons,

    • by quickOnTheUptake (1450889) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @12:50PM (#46203139)

      otherwise they are just paperweights without buttons,

      Do most of your paperweights come with buttons?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:23PM (#46203341)

      Take care with old phones as kid's toys. Even if they do not include service, they will still have the capability to dial 911 and the emergency services will disapprove of your children calling them with no reason...

  • I still have an old Razr V3i kicking around. I don't think I will ever own a cooler phone.
    • My Sony CM Z100 is still one of my favorites. Everyone else was lugging around those flip-bricks with extended NiCd packs that barely lasted 8 hours on standby. My little phone slipped in a pocket and ran 24 hours on a charge.

    • by nwf (25607)

      I've got an old Startac somewhere, I think. It was quite a great phone in it's day. Sounded better than any phone today, long battery life and had a great belt clip that was actually useful. I think I have an old palm phone in my office drawer somewhere, too. That was a piece of crap.

  • Donated (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:13PM (#46203269)

    Mine are donated to charity. Battered women shelters hand them out as emergency E911 devices. You don't need an active account to use E911 on an old cellphone.

    That and the vibrate function comes in handy.

    • by timothy (36799) Works for Slashdot

      Drat! Too late now, but should have added that as an option to the poll.


      • by mendax (114116)

        Drat! Too late now, but should have added that as an option to the poll.

        You insensitive clod! You neglected to recognize the more knowledgeable of the Slashdot flock! For shame! ;-)

      • Don't worry -

        ... You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.


      • by Anonymous Coward

        should have added that as an option to the poll.

        The vibrate function?

      • I was surprised there wasn't an option for selling them. I make a few thousand dollars a year selling old phones for friends and coworkers.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      My wife and I did that with our Verizon cell phones.

      When my wife called Verizon to cancel our service (we were a least a year out of contract), she said she wanted to shut the account down move her number and cancel my number - we did not want to move it. Verizon said that they'll move her number to the new service and "suspend" or something like that the other number. My wife thinking it was some sort of BS industry term didn't pursue it with the rep.

      Next month a bill for $6 for a "suspended" number.


    • by mendax (114116)

      You don't need an active account to use E911 on an old cellphone.

      That and the vibrate function comes in handy.

      Indeed. I keep one in the glove compartment of my pickup truck for exactly that purpose. I pull it out every once in a while and put it on the car charger to keep the battery nice and healthy.

    • Mine are donated to charity. Battered women shelters hand them out as emergency E911 devices. You don't need an active account to use E911 on an old cellphone.

      That and the vibrate function comes in handy.

      Good for you for donating your old phones. (I think we all should.) But your charitable sentiment was tainted by your last sentence.

      • by ganjadude (952775)

        But your charitable sentiment was tainted by your last sentence.

        Must....resist.... vibrating...taint....jokes....

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Why? Because battered women lose all sexuality? Because he made a light-hearted joke about a horrible situation, to perhaps add levity to a grave scenario?

        Fuck you and puritanism.

  • I have an inactive Verizon flip-phone in my hiking gear, just to call 911 in an emergency. My regular cell phone is Sprint, which has much worse coverage away from the cities.
    • by Average (648)

      Agree about Sprint's rural coverage being sad. But, for 911 purposes, you aren't helping much. Sprint and Verizon are both CDMA. If you call 911 from a Sprint phone (even a deactivated Virgin Mobile), it will use whatever CDMA network it can find (i.e., typically Verizon or Bell Canada). If you wanted an extra backup 911 phone, I'd suggest a deactivated GSM flip-phone, which would cover the rare instance where the only network is AT&T/T-Mobile/Rogers.

  • Properly Recycled (Score:4, Insightful)

    by evenmoreconfused (451154) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:25PM (#46203349)

    They get separated from their batteries. Batteries and devices get put in separate Tupperware bins, and every year or so the bins are taken to the local recycling center. After that I expect they wind up in the Far East where child labourers get poisoned as they disassemble them.

    • Re:Properly Recycled (Score:5, Informative)

      by sootman (158191) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @10:21PM (#46207029) Homepage Journal

      You can recycle old cell phones with Apple. [] And that's *any* cell phone, not just iPhones. (It says so right there on the page: "All models and types of cell phones".) You can bring them to an Apple store or fill out the form on that page and they'll send you a free box with prepaid return shipping. They also have links to free recycling programs in 18 states and programs in other parts of the world. They promise "responsible" and "environmentally friendly" disposal.

      You can also bring in an old iPod and you'll get 10% off a new one.

      Click the link that says "Apple recycles responsibly" to see this:

      When you recycle with Apple, your used equipment is disassembled, and key components that can be reused are removed. Glass and metal can be reprocessed for use in new products. A majority of the plastics can be pelletized into a raw secondary material. With materials reprocessing and component reuse, Apple often achieves a 90 percent recovery rate by weight of the original product.

      Apple meets the requirements of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. All e-waste collected by Apple-controlled voluntary and regulatory programs worldwide is processed in the region in which it was collected. Our recyclers must comply with all health and safety laws, and we do not allow the use of prison labor. Apple recyclers do not dispose of hazardous electronic waste in solid-waste landfills or incinerators. For an example of the stringent processing and operational controls Apple places on its directly contracted recyclers, read an excerpt from our recycler requirements agreement [PDF].

    • by Pinkfud (781828)
      They have quite a bit of gold inside.
    • Tick me one under this option when Cowboy wakes his ass up and puts it in since it was the correct answer.
      • Yes, it's actually kind of astounding that no-one in the poll-editing crew seems to have considered that anyone might recycle the things. Talk about missing options...

    • Donate them to your favorite charity (personally I choose The Salvation Army) so they can get the recycling proceeds. Win win in my book.
  • sell it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dzimas (547818) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:40PM (#46203449)
    The best thing about buying an iPhone 4S a couple of years ago is that you can sell it today for 60% of its original price. That's enough to pay for a brand new Nexus 5. Ip
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Old cellphones? In my household?
    It's more likely than you think.

  • Old iPhone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ugen (93902) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @02:34PM (#46203835)

    All my phones from last 10 years are still around and being used, if I can help it.
    iPhone 4 is still very much alive and kicking, used essentially as an iPod/music device/game device/development/whatever. I also take it when I travel to use with foreign SIM cards, to avoid risking newer iPhone 5.
    iPhone 3 was also alive until last summer, but unfortunately got stolen during a trip abroad. Sure hope someone is enjoying it. Curiously, thieves in Bangkok were considerate enough to take the phone but leave the wallet that was right next to it in my bag.

    Dumb phones:
    I had a few "prepaid" Virgin Mobile phones laying around, reactivated and used sporadically for visitors from abroad or as needed. Unfortunately, they had to be discarded ever since Virgin Mobile stopped selling short term prepaid plans (and they cannot be activated directly on Sprint network due to their policy). Too bad, they all worked just fine.
    An old Sprint phone has been recently revived and reactivated through one of the non-contract Sprint resellers - give it to kids as a "safety' device.
    An old quad-band GSM phone from ATT is a spare, taken abroad to use with local SIM cards sometimes (but lately iPhone does that better).

    The only phone I parted with voluntarily in the last 10 years was a Samsung Galaxy (forget which revision). I tried hard to like Android (hoping to develop applications for it, wanted to get some system experience), could not like it though and sold it on eBay.

  • My mom has an old Motorola brick that she got well over ten years ago for an emergency phone when she and my dad take road trips. The battery is not all that good any more, but she refuses to upgrade to, say, the Verizon pay-as-you-go my dad got for Xmas, lost, and found a couple years later after he was given another one. I think she likes the leather case it's kept in. The only reason why Verizon still supports this ancient brick is because it supports the digital protocol.

    • Ancient? My oldest cell phone is from 1985. Ten pounds of aluminum, lead-acid battery and first-generation circuitry.

      I never got service for it, but I did mod one of its brothers to be the uplink transmitter for my unlicensed radio station fifteen years ago.
  • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @04:13PM (#46204677)

    for when newer devices get damaged/broken/lost

    • That's what I do as well. It beats paying for the insurance (which, if you banked, could use to buy a new phone anyways.)

  • Our local zoo collects old mobile phones to have them disassembled and recycled ethically and responsibly. So far I've handed in 4 or 5 handsets this way.

    Some of my former workplaces collected old handsets for disposal, as well as batteries.

    We generally hang onto the 'last' generation handset as a backup, and then dispose of it when we next replace the current handset.

  • by confused one (671304) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @05:14PM (#46205093)
    We donate our old phones to a local women's shelter. Some groups will reactivate them with pre-paid accounts before handing them out. Others just give them to the people needing aid. The phones will still put through a 911 call if they're not activated...
    • Women's shelters and animal shelters are where all of my charitable donations (items, money, time) go. Our motorcycle club has poker runs and such to raise money for Home of the Sparrow, a local shelter for women with children escaping (usually abusive) relationships.

  • Don't know if I'll be coming back after the boycott. Probably like most of us.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Oh please, you'll be back(if you even actually leave) no matter what. Clearly this is just an excuse for you to get attention. I mean, you answered a poll telling everyone it might be your last one....just like a spoiled entitled 14 year old claiming they will quit Facebook.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Melbourne Zoo makes money from recycling old cellphones or mobile phones as we know them in Australia.

  • by mike449 (238450) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @07:18PM (#46205977)

    Old cellphones get passed down to me, you insensitive clod!
    For many years I was using second hand phones. 2 year old devices out of contract are good enough for me.
    That, an I only use unlocked GSM.

    • My first cell phone (c. 2004) was a hand-me-down of a hand-me-down. It got dumped in recycling when they shut down the cell tower network it relied on.

      Second phone was bought new, but close to cheapest available at the time. (It could send and receive text messages!) It got accidentally left in an airport.

      Third phone was similarly cheap and new and is my current phone. It has a colour display! And a camera!

      I've just been handed-down an Android phone a few days ago but haven't had time to try it out yet.


      • by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot

        P.S. In /. beta, I couldn't see any comments to the poll. I'm allowing scripts from and

        Poll comments don't work yet on the beta site -- they're on the list of stuff that will be re-implemented. My apologies for the inconvenience.

  • I don't have any old cell phones, because I don't use cell phones, and I don't want to use cell phones.

    I am appalled at how cell phones have made people into zombies.
    They walk the streets very slowly with eyes focused on their tiny screens, stopping in street corners, in narrow entryways, in pathways in the supermarket and sometimes suddenly in front of me. They are a nuisance.
    I once saved one of these zombie-women from being run-over by a train when she while texting walked out into a railroad crossing jus

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "I am appalled at how cell phones have made people into zombies."
      That aren't.

      "They walk the streets very slowly with eyes focused on their tiny screens,"
      They? Who is 'they'? are you saying all phone owner, or some people?

      A few people not paying attention means all cell phones make people Zombies?
      And this begs the question who are you to determine they should behave like you claim? Maybe they are sick of you pushing past them like you own the damn walkway.

      " Science has still not concluded enough for me that

  • But then I got tired of seeing people tweeting/chatting/posting-single-stupid-detail-of-their-lives everywhere: restaurants, buses, parks, and I was becoming like them, and it was sad. So I downgraded it to an even fancier Nokia 1100 []. Can't be happier.
    • I'm looking for a cheap slider for my Dad (which has to work on a particular network) to downgrade him back to a phone he actually liked.

      You can still buy a few bar-phones, but they are garbage. And you can get flip-phones, which he hates. But for some reason there's no cheap prepaid sliders anymore.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Yeah, stupid people communicating with people who follow them. Clearly we should all sit in isolation and just stare at the nearest wall.
      You should tell them all what the proper thing to talk about.

  • . . . I should have one really soon now . . .

  • I've sold my last three or four handsets to recycling companies in Australia (Mazuma [] has been fine fwiw). Got over $100 for my old Samsung S2 a couple of months back and put it toward a new tablet.

    Obviously older handsets aren't worth as much / theoretically can be worthless if the parts are useless, but hey, I figure someone may as well be using the materials somehow - better than the phone just lying around useless at home.

  • Verizon and other carriers have bins where cellphones can be repurposed by women's shelters and other worthy organizations. That's where all of my old cell phones go--even for a cheapskate like me, who only replaces a phone when it dies.
  • Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @09:40PM (#46206847)

    I want to be responsible environmentally, so I hold onto our old phones with the intent of recycling them.

    In practice, though, what it's meant is we still have cell phones from the late 1990s in a box on the shelf.

  • Where's the option to sell older phones? We sell very old phones for spares and repairs, and newer phones still have some market value (e.g. my SGS2 that I sold last year.) I thought this was a common practice.
  • A 2 year old iPhone can usually be sold for $200, which is the same price as a new, on contract, iPhone. I just sell the old one every two years on eBay and get a new "free" one. I'm on a plan at work, so my contract price for unlimited data and talk is $50/month, and I don't pay it anyway.

    I think the high resale value is one of the two advantages of an iPhone over an Android phone.
    The other advantage is being able to deal with Apple, rather than a carrier, when there's a hardware problem.

  • I have a Nokia. They last forever, and never become 'old phones'. They stay alright as long as I will. ;)
  • Project parts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tlambert (566799) on Monday February 10, 2014 @06:43AM (#46208731)

    Project parts. It's a nice source of little pieces which can be retasked to other uses. Displays, speakers, vibration module, battery, backlights if they don't get used, capacitive or resistive touch input, if it happens to be integrated with the screen module because it's new enough, little speakers, little microphones, wireless or cellular modules, if they're separate components, jacks and USB and other connectors. 802.11 and GSM antennas, Cases, if you want something that looks like a cell phone, but actually isn't.

    One thing I've been more or less wanting to do is a fooseball table, where the little men are really old iPhones with pictures of little men on the screen who make grunting noises when they're the one to kick things, and make various faces, and scream in fear "whoaoaoaoaoa!" if you spin the bar instead of playing correctly, etc.. The only thing in the way at this point is the tig welding needed to attach the cases to the bars, and a couple more first generation iPhones.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      One thing I've been wanting to do is a fooseball table, where the little men are really old iPhones with pictures of little men on the screen who make grunting noises when they're the one to kick things, and make various faces, and scream in fear "whoaoaoaoaoa!" if you spin the bar

      You shall make for an interesting Bond villain, my friend.

  • Yup, given away here...

    What I consider an old phone is generally still a useful device, leaving them sitting around deteriorating when not in use helps nobody and it's not really worth the hassle of selling them on and having potential idiots bring them back because they can't use them / dropped them in the bath / put them through the wash etc.

  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Monday February 10, 2014 @09:42AM (#46209333) Journal
    In the past, after wiping them, I've donated them to charity. Here's a list of places that will take them [], some of them will even send you plastic postage-paid return envelopes.
  • by Guru80 (1579277)
    Over the last dozen years I've had almost as many no longer used cell phones turn into toys. While they are young they don't care that they don't turn on, they just have a cell phone.
  • I am building a house of of bricked phones. so far I have 8 square feet of wall. I haven't mortared it yet.

  • First I wipe all the data. Then do it again for good measure. Then I disassemble the entire thing and find anything that could possibly include any digital memory. I then smash it with a hammer until it is little tiny bits (no pun intended) and I burn the bits.

    That isn't what I actually do. That is what I tell myself I'm going to do with it one day. In truth I'm guilty of #3 like most people.
  • by SleazyRidr (1563649) on Monday February 10, 2014 @04:23PM (#46212107)

    The first comment sounds like an offensive cockney: "Get tossed! I only replace my phone when it's broken, not whenever a new one comes out like some namby-pamby tosser!"

  • by phmadore (1391487)
    I tear them apart or see what else can be done with them.
  • I have a classic car which dates back to the days of the Dynatac. I had one installed in a hands-free kit and just left it there when the analog network went dark.

    Its still a conversation piece. I've seen people looking in the car and figured they were admiring it for its age and condition. Then they say, "Cool phone. Haven't seen one of those for years."

  • I donate mine. Once in a while I get a bag that lets me ship them off to be reused for military purposes or for abuse victims.
  • After 2 years for about 1/3 of their original price.
    And I can buy a new for almost half of the shop price(due to write off from my salary before taxes) so it is a good deal for me.
    It would be way to expensive to buy otherwise and not really worth it.

    • I sell my iphones for 1/3 cost after 2 yrs and buy a new one for 1/3 cost. Mostly breaking even due to forced subsides built into very high monthly contract costs. glad to see that changing here.

  • I RTN the device back to factory defaults, then re-install whatever version of android is the latest rooted image, and drop the phone into the local phone donations box. Since I change my phone pretty often someone will get a pretty nice phone. My Galaxy S3 I donated when I switched to the Galaxy S4 had been in an Otterbox it's whole life and was for all inventive purposes was brand new as will be my GS4 when I switch to whatever they finally come out with that is better, not bigger, but better. So far all
  • I have them nicely displayed on the wall of my office. My 1984 Motorola is my pride of my collection.

  • I donate mine to a charity [].
  • I sell my old phones.
  • I have a handful of 'old' phones sitting around. Most are 2G (or 2.5G at best) dumb phones. I leave them around for guests from overseas to use. I have family in America so for the most part, their 'home' phones are network locked. So when they arrive, they can buy a cheap pre-paid SIM and I lend them an old phone to use for a few weeks.

    The newest 'old' phone I have sitting around is an iPhone 4 which I keep a travel SIM in for when I'm travelling overseas. My main/current phone is network unlocked of cours

  • surprised to not see the "I sell them" option floating around, I usually get around $200 to $300 per phone.

  • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @11:46AM (#46228925) Journal

    Any old Android phones work GREAT as WiFi surveilance cameras. With the IP Webcam app [] installed, not only can you connect with a browser and view the 640x480 streaming MJPEG video, but you can hit a button to get a full-resolution still anytime you want, and can turn the light/flash on/off as desired.

    You can have some always-on computer (or DD-WRT WiFi router with connected USB hard drive) archiving this streaming video feed, OR you can utilize the built-in storage (perhaps a 32GB SDHC card) to do the DVR part right on the device, and have a 2-week archive constantly cycling around. You could even combine the two, and just periodically rsync the video archive, if your WiFi is patchy or similar. And your phone gives you two-way audio like an intercom, if desired.

    While a WiFi camera isn't very expensive, your old phone can potentially do MORE, and is free. Plus the built-in battery means it'll keep going for several hours between power outages without buying a UPS. It doesn't even matter if your old phone's screen is shattered.

    You could also glue one to your car's dash as an MP3 player, and (poor) offline navigation app with "OsmAnd~". It wouldn't hurt to have one hooked-up to your home stereo system, either, which you can wirelessly sync your music files to, and use as either an MP3 player or a white noise generator.

    And you should be careful when giving away old phones for E911 use... Sprint has disconnected their iDEN network, and other 2G networks may soon be disappearing, or coverage areas changing. Without service, you won't realize you've got no network coverage, until you dial 911 in an emergency and find that you're out of luck.

  • My 10 year old uses them to play games. When she's older she'll get her own phone, but for now our she gets our hand-me-downs (with no service).

  • Smartphones get reused as webserver. After all a smartphone is a full featured computer with full networking so you can run most server daemons on it, httpd, dns, ftpd, sshd, bt-tracker, etc.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton


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