Archive for July 2013

Mobile manners: dos and don’ts for cellphone users

Mobile manners: dos and don’ts for cellphone users

Cellphones are ubiquitous and research shows that although most users think they have good mobile manners, many people report being irritated or annoyed by the use of the phones in public places. Clearly there’s a lack of understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of cellphone etiquette.

Following is a list of do’s and don’ts:…..Most users think they have good mobile manners, but they don’t. A quick guide to cellphone etiquette.

1. Do respect those who are with you. When you’re engaged face-to-face with others, either in a meeting or a conversation, give them your complete and undivided attention. Avoid texting or taking calls. If a call is important, apologise and ask permission before accepting it.

2. Don’t yell. The average person talks three times louder on a cellphone than they do in a face-to-face conversation. Always be mindful of your volume.

3. Do be a good dining companion. No one wants to be a captive audience to a third-party cellphone conversation, or to sit in silence while their dining companion texts with someone. Always silence and store your phone before being seated. Never put your mobile phone on the table.

4. Don’t ignore universal quiet zones such as the theatre, religious places, the library, your daughter’s dance recital and funerals.

5. Do let voicemail do its job. When you’re in the company of others, let voicemail handle non-urgent calls.

6. Don’t make wait staff wait. Whether it’s your turn in line or time to order at the table, always make yourself available to the server. Making servers and other patrons wait for you to finish a personal phone call is never acceptable. If the call is important, step away from the table or get out of line.

7. Don’t text and drive. There is no message that is so important.

8. Do keep arguments under wraps. Nobody can hear the person on the other end. All they are aware of is a one-sided screaming match a few feet away.

9. Don’t forget to filter your language. A rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t walk through a busy public place with a particular word or comment printed on your T-shirt, don’t use it in cellphone conversations.

10. Do respect the personal space of others. When you must use your phone in public, try to keep at least 10 feet (three metres) between you and others.

11. Do exercise good international calling behaviour. The rules of cellphone etiquette vary from country to country.

Good cellphone etiquette is similar to common courtesy. Conversations and text exchanges have a tendency to distract people from what’s happening in front of them. Cellphone users should be thoughtful, courteous and respect the people around them.

World’s 10 rudest countries for travelers

World’s 10 rudest countries for travelers….Travelers aren’t always welcome, and some people let you know it       

Travel search site Skyscanner recently released a list of the world’s rudest nations for visitors, naming the countries whose smiley and friendly natives are apparently confined to their promotional videos.The result, which lists 34 countries, is based on Skyscanner’s online poll, which received more than 1,200 responses from Europe, North America,Asia and Australia.

France, the champion of impoliteness

La Belle France was declared the champion of impoliteness, garnering nearly 20 percent of the total votes.French people are known for “their abrupt and curt nature,” especially while facing foreign tourists,  Edinburgh-based Skyscanner told International Business Times. 

Russia took second place with 16.6 percent of the votes, followed by the United Kingdom (10.4 percent), Germany (9.93 percent) and a puzzingly labeled “Others” (miscellaneous countries).

China (4.3 percent) ranked sixth on the list, leading Asia. 

Language barriers and cultural differences are the main causes

China-based etiquette expert Lawrence Lo (卢浩研) pointed out that language barriers and cultural differences are the two major players behind the ranking.

“The French are very protective of their language, and customers can get different responses for ordering in French or in another language,” said Lo.

Yi Bao, Skyscanner marketing manager for China, gave an example to back the “culture difference” theory.According to Yi, though queuing is a social norm in the West, it’s not a common behavior for Chinese people, “so [it] could be interpreted as being rude [by international travelers.]”

The personality of hospitality staff is another contributing factor.Lo said many restaurants’ waiting staff in Chinese cities are usually young women from rural areas, and that the Chinese are naturally more shy than Westerners.

“[These waitresses] don’t have the confidence or language skill to handle foreign travelers. Sometimes, they’d rather avoid them,” said Lo.

“On the other hand, a lot of French waiters have worked in this position their whole life, so they have a superiority complex in front of travelers.”

Lo also said the result of the survey depended on what type of travelers were voting. 

“For many backpackers, challenges in language and culture actually form part of the fun of traveling,” said Lo.

Here are the 10 rudest countries on Skyscanner’s list:

1. France
2. Russia
3. United Kingdom
4. Germany
5. Portugal
6. China
7. United States
8. Spain
9. Italy
10. Poland

The countries voted least rude were:

25. Japan
26. Denmark
27. Canada
28. New Zealand
29. Indonesia
30. Portugal
31. Thailand
32. The Philippines
33. Caribbean region
34. Brazil

Human pee can now charge your mobile phone

Pee power! In a world first, UK scientists claim to have developed a novel method to charge mobile phones – using human urine.

Scientists working at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory have described the “breakthrough” finding of charging cell phones using urine as the power source to generate electricity.

“We are very excited as this is a world first, no-one has harnessed power from urine to do this so it’s an exciting discovery. Using the ultimate waste product as a source of power to produce electricity is about as eco as it gets,” Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos from University of the West of England. Scientists working at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory have described the “breakthrough” finding of charging cell phones using urine as the power source to generate electricity.

(UWE), Bristol, an expert at harnessing power from unusual sources using microbial fuel cells, said.

“One product that we can be sure of an unending supply is our own urine. By harnessing this power as urine passes through a cascade of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), we have managed to charge a mobile phone. The beauty of this fuel source is that we are not relying on the erratic nature of the wind or the Sun, we are actually re-using waste to create energy,” said Ieropoulos.

He said so far the microbial fuel power stack that scientists have developed generates enough power to enable SMS messaging, web browsing and to make a brief phone call.

“Making a call on a mobile phone takes up the most energy but we will get to the place where we can charge a battery for longer periods. The concept has been tested and it works – it’s now for us to develop and refine the process so that we can develop MFCs to fully charge a battery,” he said.

The Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) is an energy converter, which turns organic matter directly into electricity, via the metabolism of live microorganisms, researchers said.

Essentially, the electricity is a by-product of the microbes’ natural life cycle, so the more they eat things like urine, the more energy they generate and for longer periods of time; so it’s beneficial to keep doing it, they said. The electricity output from MFCs is relatively small and so far we have only been able to store and accumulate these low levels of energy into capacitors or super-capacitors, for short charge/discharge cycles.

This is the first time we have been able to directly charge the battery of a device such as a mobile phone and it is indeed a breakthrough, researchers said. Scientists believe that the technology has the future potential to be installed into domestic bathrooms to harness the urine and produce sufficient electricity to power showers, lighting or razors as well as mobile phones.

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