Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cellphones and Twitter and Israel

I finally purchased a cellphone/plan.  I wound up going with Orange.  I am not sure I got the best deal possible, in fact, I am pretty sure I did not.  But it is not a bad deal. So, I can live with that. 

My initial foray into purchasing a cellphone was met with disappointment. I really wanted a plan that included the IPhone.   This was because my son-in-law has an IPhone and I had tested it and found that I could hear on it.  

Let me first define what that means.  As most of my friends and all of my family know, I wear hearing aids.  So, compatibility of phones to my hearing aids is my number one consideration when purchasing a phone.  However, finding a phone that I can "hear" on does not mean that I REALLY CAN hear on them:  it only means that the phone is compatible with my hearing aids and brings me enough clarity that when speaking with someone who does not have an accent, who is familiar to me, and/or when I know the context of the call ahead of time, I can manage with difficulty to muddle through the conversation.  Even with that I may frequently need to ask someone else to relay the call for me.  

So the iPhone seemed to deliver decently clear sound.  But, when I attempted to purchase an iPhone/plan I was told, by all three providers that in order to do so, I needed an Israeli VISA credit card.  I could not use Horaat Keva (standing order with the bank) or a debit card, or even a US issued VISA card.  So, I switched gears, and decided to look at other SmartPhones.  

The next hurdle I would have would be that I could not purchase any phone without first testing the phone.  I wound up going to the Orange flagship center in what is called (in English) the Craft Center in Modi'in.  I think they really mean Business District, but whatever.  At Orange was matched with an agent who spoke good English.  She was very nice and she spent a lot of time with me and did go out of her way to locate phones that I could test.  

The  Samsung Galaxy 2S was recommended to me, by a number of people. I was able to test it and disappointingly I could NOT hear on it. There was something in the hardware technology that was creating digital sounds that my hearing aids were picking up and causing interference for me.  Turning up the volume did not help -- it just increased the volume of the interference!! 

So, I asked to test the Blackberry.  My late husband had a Treo before he died and I inherited that from him.  I was able to use that somewhat reasonably so I figured the  Blackberry would be the same. I could hear on it, but I was not happy with either the max volume or the clarity either.  

Next I asked to test the Motorola Atrix 4g with Motoblur.  Voila!  This time I could hear almost as well I was able to on the iPhone.   Next step: make the deal.  Here I did not actually succeed as well as I have in the past with other things.  But like I said, it is still a decent deal, and only slightly more than I was paying in the States.  

Upon arriving home I began to play with my new toy.  I decided that now that I have a phone with the capability, I would become "connected" and link it to all my already linked accounts: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and I added one more: Twitter.  

Since I did not have a Twitter account this meant I had to create a Twitter account first.  Which I did.  (!/rsusselj18).  I explored the Twitter options and noted in the Profile section a tab for Mobile.  So I went to that and saw that I needed to select my country from a drop down list to enable this.  I went to the drop down list and looked for Israel.  It was NOT in the list.  But what is this I see?  "Palestinian Territories" IS in the list.   Can this really be so? 

I have been trying with no success to find a good contact person at Twitter to inquire as to whether this is by design or by accident.   Why is Israel not on the list?  Can anyone tell me?? 

More on this later...

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