shopping 03.1.05

5.8 GHz Cordless Phones

Q: Oh, no, not another technology?
A: No, a variation on the high-end cordless phone you may be using now, just with a higher frequency.

Q: Why do I need it then?
A: The main reason is that phones operating at this frequency won't cause the kind of interference problems that phones operating at 2.4 GHz often do. So, if you have (or are planning to get) a wireless network for your computer, a microwave, a baby monitor, a home security monitor, or wireless speakers, you'll want to get a 5.8 GHz phone. (And make sure it's a 5.8 GHz through and through — some manufacturers use the bandwidth for base to handset transmission, and a 2.4 GHz transmission in reverse. You don't want that).

Q: What about clarity and range?
A: Don't expect major strides here, but because there's less traffic on this new frequency, you can expect very good to excellent sound quality and range (though the latter also depends on the number and types of obstructions in your home).

Q: So which phone should I buy?
A: MUG likes the Uniden line. It's available at most electronic stores in the city.

Q: Is it good looking?
A: No. But, these phones have a lot of things going for them. The TRU-8885-2, which comes with two handsets, lists at $200, but street price can be as low as $130. If you don't need the second handset, there's a model that lists for $140 as well as 2-line version that lists at $205. You'll get clear sound, a small base set, two comfortable handsets, and bright, large displays.

The system is expandable to 10 handsets (and you don't need a phone jack for any of the extensions). Two handsets can be used in a walkie-talkie mode. A Do Not Disturb feature mutes all ringers on all phones (though can only be turned on and off from the base). The phone also comes with caller ID display, call waiting ID, digital answering machine, speakerphone in the base and handsets, customizable ringtones (though not expandable by downloading additional tones), and a room/baby monitor. On the downside, the buttons are small on the base set and callers only get a total of 12 minutes to leave messages.

Q: Will the technology of this phone be outmoded 20 minutes after I buy it?
A: Of course.
joe's Taibbi on last night's NBC Nightly News, reporting on the Michael Jackson case:
"Surprisingly…only a handful of supporters or protesters showed up at court. Still, given the salacious allegations, and with Jackson's side preparing to call on a star-studded witness list that includes Elizabeth Taylor, Kobe Bryant, and Stevie Wonder, the case is a sensation with the worldwide press. Media sensation or over-hyped dud, this is, at its core, a criminal case."

Come on, people. Salacious! Star studded! A sensation with the worldwide press! Don't let this be an over-hyped dud! At least make it an over-hyped hit, for crying out loud!


ninth street, brooklyn

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