Another week of wicked weather reminds us that our phones are tools as well as toys ...

I'm sitting here Sunday morning with a cup of coffee, in a dry home, following last week's freak flooding. Many in my city aren't so fortunate, their homes still underwater, their neighborhoods inaccessible. Many in Arkansas and Mississippi don't even have homes anymore after the same weather system sent tornadoes crashing through. And that's to say nothing of the lives lost. So by all accounts, Northwest Florida was lucky. The east coast, and Baltimore in particular, got hammered next.

We're no stranger to natural disasters here (and the odd freak ice storm), but this one was a little different because the power loss was shorter and not as widespread. So the pictures and video came out quicker, if not in real time. Folks still need to remember to their cameras sideways.

But what really mattered was that when the rain finally stopped, we remembered to put the phones and cameras down, pick up a shovel, strip out the wet carpet and, once again, help each other rebuild and begin the recovery process. Just another somber reminder to those of us in the bubble here that there's life outside.

But let's climb down from that soapbox, shall we, and take a quick look back at the week that was. ...

That's it for this week. Be good to your neighbor.

 
There are 31 comments

MERCDROID says:

I can only imagine being in one of those storms. I'm glad Pensacola didn't get hit that hard. My heart and prayers still go out to everyone affected.

As for the OnePlus One, it is awesome that they changed the contest up for the better. I think the smashing phones contest was just to get people talking about them. Maybe they planned on changing the contest all along? Or maybe I'm being naive, lol.

Duncan1982 says:

Im fortunate as much as the weather is dismal where i live, its nothing like what happened where you are Phil, glad your ok, and such a shame for those who have lost their homes, community spirit i hope is in place and yes help your neighbour :-)

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sicembaylor says:

I live dead-center in tornado alley (Oklahoma). Well said, Phil.

S_C_B says:

As am I. This is gonna be an interesting summer!!

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sicembaylor says:

They always are! Of course I hate any property damage, injury, or loss of life resulting from violent storms; however, I absolutely love them. I respect them, but I love them. There are few things I find more enjoyable than sitting on my back porch with a glass of bourbon and cigar as the lightning and thunder roll in. I like to feel as if the wrath of God himself is descending upon my head. Like I said though...I definitely don't want anyone hurt.

When we do have these sorts of disasters, my faith in humanity is always restored a little. By and large we are good to our neighbors and we are helpful because, by and large, we're mostly decent people. It's a shame that it takes a disaster to see such good from everyone.

sentinelred says:

Different state, Kansas here, but still right in the middle of tornado alley. You guys have taken the first ones so far though, unfortunately.

Sent via my Verizon Moto X

Devhux says:

Glad you are OK, and thoughts going out to those who were affected by the severe weather. As for the community coming together to help each other, it reminds me of the response after the flooding here in southern Alberta last June.

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Fewer than a half million m8s?? I hope not...

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Derek_B says:

Unfortunately, I can see it. I don't know about other carrier stores but at Verizon they're practically invisible.

Last time i was in my store it was still on the promotional pedestal up front next to the GS5 and Gear.

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Evilnut says:

I've still never seen a One M8 in the wild. Seen plenty of GS5's though. Strange....

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Because it obviously sells less than the s5. But I still doubt it sold fewer than half a mill thus far.

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sentinelred says:

I have yet to see an M8 but I've seen a few M7s. Maybe in time we'll see more. Samsung just has so much advertising cash and about a thousand features packed into their phones.

Sent via my Verizon Moto X

Ive actually seem three at least now.

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drathos says:

Quick! You need to find a DeLorean to go back and fix the past! Your daughter is fading out!

quailallstar says:

Haha you read my mind!! Its 1955 all over again!
LG Optimus G Pro - 4.4.2 Beanstalk

ryanidcomm says:

WI pride baby.. but yes phones are great tools to track storms

DWR_31 says:

Thanks for reminding us how all this high priced tech has a purpose other than just keeping us entertained.

jakeuten says:

where i live (Duluth, MN) we got hit really hard 2 years ago and the entire city was flooded. lake superior was brown for about 2 months from the run off mud. scary stuff!

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icebike says:

Lived there for many years, and can say with authority that Duluth has not seen the entire city flooded out since the last ice age ended. There 's over 600 feet in altitude difference between superior Street and the top of the hill.

He's exaggerating quite a bit. But we did see quite a bit of flood damage 2 years ago. Lots of basements in lower parts of town flooded and furnaces damaged (including my church in the Lincoln Park neighborhood). The Verizon store flooded out as did the Target parking lot and part of Miller Trunk near there.

Nothing compared to what some of these people have faced though. Only s few actually lost their homes.

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phatfield says:

Hey Phil, glad to hear that you and your family are okay. I live in Washington, Illinois and experienced the same sense of lost juxtaposed with the immense pride that comes from a community that pulls itself back up, neighbor helping neighbor. The tech part of your story is a cool angle, too. We went the better part of the week without power, but had a generator and a couple of powersquids so our neighbors could charge cellphones/gear and my Verizon Lumia 928 (please don’t judge!) with wireless tethering for at least SOME internet access. It sounds a little superficial I guess, but it was a relief in the evenings to have that connection to the outside world. Hang in there!

daniel2744 says:

I hope everyone affected is safe and able to rebuild. Times like these make you think about the things we take for granted. On to Phil's question...I'm glad I'm one of the half million owners, if this is true,of the One M8. This makes me glad that I actually paid for the developer edition this year and not just converted it like I did with my M7 last year. This way HTC sees demand for these phones and continues to sell them.

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benhaube says:

Yes the weather was wicked. I live on a farm in Maryland and much of it flooded. Including the one road to get in and out. Luckily the house is on a high point of the farm, along with our barns, so the damage was little. It was just very weird to look out into the surrounding 170 acres and see nothing but lakes. Makes me feel very fortunate when I see many other families who weren't so lucky.

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ScottJ says:

Nonsense. Icebike has lived on your farm and it hasn't flooded there since the Ice Age.

SoCalBIGmike says:

Yes there are really few M8's being sold. If you bothered to do any type of research on the ground and speak with vendors, carriers, reps, etc you'd know what the hell was going on. But that would be work for you. That you get paid to do.

You don't need to be s jerk about it.

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scouser73 says:

I would think there's more than half a million M8's that have been sold. Consider that it came out before the launch of the S5. Yes, people will have still waited for the S5 but I think (or would like to think) that there's more than less than 500,000 units out there.

NoNexus says:

First off, my feelings go out for those hit the hardest by the weather. I travel to baltimore quite often and this morning I was stunned at how bad it actually was. We had a good storm, and maybe an inch of water in the basement, but that is about all. I was totally oblivious to how bad it really was.

Next, SoCalBIGmike, STFU AND GTFO. That attitude is unwarranted and unneeded. AC does a great job and work hard.

Finally HTC, rethink the camera please. You have a great phone, good skin, decent battery life, and some impressive features. I am no fan of the scratch and dent metal casing, but ok. The lesson to be learned here is that features>"premium feel", especially when it is not so premium. a great camera would go a long way to help you stay solvent.

mmidgley says:

<a href="https://www.google.com/maps/@30.456558,-87.19547,3a,75y,293.62h,75.48t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sTZ2SzjFHFOk2q1xfB8xcYw!2e0">maps</a>

I had to look to see how it normally looks on that street corner. Also interesting to look at street view's images over time (hadn't tried that feature yet). Too bad this event isn't stored somehow with street view permanently.

I've been told the M7 and M8 feel premium. And that owners wish for a better camera. For now I'll continue riding the Nexus wave.

cammykool says:

http://www.myfoxla.com/story/25429532/boy-sends-text-as-ef-4-tornado-app...

that is a very good example of a phone being a tool over a toy