Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 09:56 am
 On two panels, one on gaming, the other on fanfic. The first is well within my area of expertise, the other is something I can probably talk about though I tend not to write it.

Horror in Roleplaying Games

Thursday 18:00 - 19:00, 101c (Messukeskus)

Roleplaying games can be all about amosphere. Does dice rolling take away from the horrific feeling? What tips players and game masters have for making sure the players are immersed in the game? In short: how to scare the pants off your players!

Marcus Rowland, David Damerell, Terilee007 (M)


Genderswapping in Fan Fiction

Saturday 17:00 - 18:00, 206 (Messukeskus)

Genderswapping happens quite often in fan fiction and very often it can offer something new to the readers and even reveal aspects of the original work the reader would not have thought about otherwise. The panelists discuss the difficulties in genderswapping in fan fiction and why they like to read and write about genderswapped characters.

Hanne Martelius, Marcus Rowland, Arwen Grune

 

 

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 11:16 pm
Books 2017: 109-129


109. V.M. Escalada, Halls of Law. DAW, 2017.

Read for review for Locus. Fun.


110. David D. Levine, Arabella and the Battle of Venus. Tor, 2017.

Read for review for Tor.com. What the hell sort of book is this?


111. Lee Kelly, A Criminal Magic. Saga, 2016.

Read for column. Good.


112-113. Sarah Kuhn, Heroine Complex and Heroine Worship. DAW, 2016 and 2017.

Read for column. Fun.


114. Spencer Ellsworth, Starfire: A Red Peace. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for review. Space opera debut. Fun.


115. Steven Brust and Skyler White, The Incrementalists. Tor, 2013.

Kind of a dude book. Not so great.


116. Claudia Gray, Defy the Stars. Little, Brown and Company, 2017.

YA. Space opera. Read for column. Ambitious, not necessarily all that successful.


117. E.K. Johnston, Exit, Pursued by a Bear. Speak, 2016.

YA. Really really good.


118. Elizabeth Wein, The Pearl Thief. Bloomsbury, 2017.

YA. Not as harrowing as many of Wein's other books. Really interesting. Girls kissing girls, too.


119. Ann Leckie, Provenance. Orbit, 2017.

Read for review for Tor.com. Really good. Different to Leckie's other novels.


120. Erica Abbott, Desert Places. Bella Books, 2015.

Lesbian romance between an attorney and a sheriff in small-town Colorado.


121. Stephanie Burgis, Snowspelled. Five Fathoms Press, 2017.

Read for column. Fun.


122. Cassandra Khaw, Bearly A Lady. Book Smugglers Publishing, 2017.

Read for column. Fun.


123. Cassandra Khaw, A Song for Quiet. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for review for Tor.com. Good.


124. Claire McNab, Lessons in Murder. Bella Books, ebook reprint.

Murder mystery with f/f elements. Solid, I think.


125. Claire McNab, Fatal Reunion. Bella Books, ebook reprint.

Murder mystery with f/f elements.


126. Jae, Falling Hard. Ylva Publishing, 2017.

F/F romance. Fun. Pretty good.


127. Erica Abbott, Taken In. Bella Books, 2017.

F/F mystery/suspense. Part of series. Fun enough.


128. Guy Gavriel Kay, Sailing to Sarantium. Roc, 2010. (1998.)

Well, Kay is certainly something, that's for sure.


129. Guy Gavriel Kay, Lord of Emperors. Roc, 2010. (2000.)

Second book in the Sarantine Mosaic duology. It's a pretty good duology.





And unless I'm forgetting something -- which is entirely possible -- that's the lot.
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 07:19 pm
This is one I know virtually nothing about, apart from a friend's opinion that it isn't very playable. There are two offers, one a repeat from 2014, the other new material.


Numenera Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera-2017

"This offer revives (for a second time) our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the science-fantasy tabletop roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future. This bundle, the second revival of our May 2014 offer (previously revived in December 2014), collects the Numenera core rulebook and the supplements published in the line's first year or so. For this new resurrection we have an all-new companion, the Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery, with many recent supplements -- including one based on the Torment computer game.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$70. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $25) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 418-page Numenera core rulebook, the Gamemaster Screen, and Cypher Collection 1.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $18.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $45:
  • Player's Guide (retail $8): The character creation rules and basic mechanics from the Numenera corebook -- a great guide for new players.
  • Ninth World Bestiary (retail $15): More than 130 lavishly illustrated and wildly imaginative creatures and characters in the Ninth World.
  • The Devil's Spine (retail $10): Three adventures in a hard-driving frame story. The terrifying devil's spine graft will claim a life, and the clock is ticking.
  • Vortex (retail $6): Monte Cook's original Gen Con 2013 Numenera launch scenario -- an ideal campaign kickoff in a mysterious temple like nothing the Ninth World has ever seen.
  • In Strange Aeons (retail $3): Incorporate cosmic horror -- the terror of unfathomable reaches of both space and time, and of incomprehensible weirdness -- into your Numenera games.
  • Artifacts and Oddities Collection 1 (retail $3): This companion to the Cypher collection presents 30 new devices and a hundred oddball phenomena to spice up your game.

Numenera Bundle +2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera2

This Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery presents many recent supplements for the line, including an ebook inspired by the inXile Entertainment computer game Torment: Tides of Numenera.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these offers' designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$105. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $47) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Numenera Character Options, the Ninth World Guidebook, the Technology Compendium, and the two Maps of the Ninth World collections.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $58:
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera -- The Explorer's Guide (retail $15): Numenera inspired the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment. This 160-page book presents the computer game's setting, the region of Greater Garravia.
  • Into the Deep and Into the Night (retail $15 each): Two sourcebooks that present new frontiers in the ocean and the sky. Includes The Nightcraft (retail $3).
  • Weird Discoveries (retail $10): Ten instant adventures you can run in an evening with minimal prep.
At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased this offer automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Numenera resources




This looks very pretty, but you have to wonder about the idea that the human race and human civilization, or something like it to this extent, will survive a billion years, and then survive in a manner that basically resembles a fantasy role playing game, with bits of lost technology etc. replacing magic. My own first impression unfortunately bears out my friend's opinion - it's pretty, but it'd be a sod to run.

Having said that, there's some very good fiction out there using similar settings - Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time and Vance's Dying Earth are obvious examples, as is Hodgson's The Night Land. It might be possible to do something with them, I'm just not convinced that this is the way to do it.

But as usual, your mileage is likely to vary.

Tags:
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 11:31 am
If anyone has tried to phone me at home over the last few days, there's currently a bad fault on the line and it's almost impossible to understand what people are saying or recognise voices - as evinced by a couple of totally incomprehensible answering machine messages. BT say it ought to be fixed tomorrow.  Fortunately it doesn't seem to be causing internet problems so far.

Update - now fixed, sooner than expected.


Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 09:35 pm
A plaque I found in a car boot sale (US="Swap meet") today.



Ignoring the slightly dodgy use of photographic terms, it occurs to me that we're already living in a world where a large percentage of photographers have no idea what a negative is...
Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 09:14 am
Don't usually get up early on Sundays, but today I was making breakfast at nine, looked out of the kitchen window and saw this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Class_A4_4488_Union_of_South_Africa

Needless to say I did not have a camera handy... It was hauling several carriages and for some reason there was a diesel engine at the tail end of the train, I suspect to provide a backup if it broke down or ran out of coal or something. I'm guessing that the summer steam excursions in and out of Paddington have started again - and it turns out to be The Cathedrals Express, on the route Paddington-Westbury-Yeovil Pen Mill, Weymouth-Southampton-Paddington

http://www.uksteam.info/tours/t17/t0723d.htm

Unfortunately it's £100+ per seat, I suppose worth it if you're a steam enthusiast but I made enough long steam journeys in my childhood to satisfy me, I think.
Friday, July 21st, 2017 12:15 pm
And so we come to War for the Planet of the Apes, the latest in what now seems to be an ongoing series of films rather than merely a trilogy. We see where events since the last movie have led us, as man’s arrogance encompasses his own downfall. Will the unexpected consequences of bio-technology offer other primates a chance at the top slot?

Technologically, the film is a tour de force. What motion capture and CGI can do is astonishing – you really cannot see where reality stops and special effects start. So far, so increasingly common these days. But great special effects are not enough, as rather too many movies fail to realise. A film like this must also have sufficiently strong central performances to make it a drama, not merely a spectacle. Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson deliver absolutely what’s needed. The dynamic between Caesar, leader of the apes, and Colonel McCullough, commanding an embattled remnant of humanity, is tense and compelling from start to finish.

Mankind’s inhumanity to man is front and centre, compared and contrasting with the apes’ mutually supportive culture. All Caesar and his kind want is to be left alone. Colonel McCullough needs an enemy to fight though, and unable to attack the virus that’s been humanity’s downfall, finds the scapegoats he needs in the apes.

As a war film, the movie wears its influences unashamedly on its sleeve, most obviously, though not exclusively films exploring the Vietnam War. It can absolutely and legitimately be called Ape-ocalypse Now. This is not merely retreading those footsteps though. Such echoes, and other references such as the slang names for servile apes, serve to tie this dystopian future to our own reality. There’s also the inescapable fact that the Vietnam War proved the hollowness of the American doctrine of ‘peace through superior firepower’. That undercurrent continually runs beneath our viewing of events where armed men seem to have an inescapable whip hand over apes with severely limited abilities to fight back. Beware assumptions.

Issues of gender in this movie are more complex than they might first appear, certainly as far as I am concerned. I’m using words like ‘man’ and ‘him’ advisedly because this is very male-gaze apocalypse. Not however, one where masculinity-under-threat-in-this-modern-liberal-world can finally come good, with its guns and its manly men taking charge of helpless women and children to save the day.

This is a story about the dead-end destructiveness of arrogant white male masculinity so used to solving everything with aggression that it's incapable of thinking outside that self-defeating box. That influences my response to the widespread online comment about the complete absence of female voices in the dialogue (apart from possibly one female soldier’s scream?) The one significant human female role is mute and childlike in the most literal sense, and while a couple of female apes have things to say, they do so through sign language. Could one view the lack of female voices as a feature rather than a bug, if one were prepared to squint a bit...? Then there’s the almost-gender-neutral appearance of the apes apart from the females’ apparent (and to my mind inexplicable) inclination to unflattering central partings and rustic ear decoration. I think there’s more to be discussed about the absence of female characters here than might be first apparent. Is that very absence what permits masculinity to turn so toxic?

Not that this excuses the use of perhaps the laziest motivate-your-male-protagonist cliche in the first act of the movie. There are other script-writing choices I can quibble with, most notably some utterly bone-headed human tactics as the film rushes to its conclusion.

A fourth movie is reportedly under discussion, or development, depending on what you read. I’ll be very interested to see it, provided that the writers can offer something more than man and ape in conflict. These films have done that, and done it well, but the story needs to move on. In my head at least, there must be other corners of this world where the post-apocalypse is working out differently, with male and female voices contributing equally to co-operation rather than conflict. I’d like to see how that’s working out, given so many challenges will still remain to drive a story.
Friday, July 21st, 2017 10:51 am
After the holiday-and-other-stuff hiatus, here's where you can find the opening chapter of Southern Fire, Book 1 of The Aldabreshin Compass.
I've mentioned before that I am always determined not to rewrite the last book each time I start a new one. This time round, I was absolutely determined to write a very different series.

Meet Daish Kheda, absolute ruler and warlord, unquestioned master of all he surveys. Of course that means when trouble arrives, absolutely everyone is looking back at him, expecting him to have all the answers. That's a problem when the trouble that's turned up is invaders backed by violent sorcery, and all Aldabreshin law and custom bans magic on pain of death...



Southern Fire - Artwork by Ben Baldwin
Thursday, July 20th, 2017 11:24 am
 ...seems to be an attempt to weaken most of Britain's human rights protection. There's a petition against it here:

https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/save-our-rights

spread the word.

gacked from [personal profile] history_monk 


Thursday, July 20th, 2017 11:00 am
Spiderman: Homecoming continues to build on, and expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While, and oh, thank heavens, it’s not another Spiderman origin story retread, it does an excellent job of refocusing the character on its original appeal at the same time as updating and integrating the High School Hero into the modern day. As a decades-long fan of the comic, I’m thrilled to see a young, nerdy Peter Parker, while also very much appreciating a younger, more modern, far more relatable Aunt May rather than a grey-haired granny stereotype.

With its smaller scale and 80s-teen-movie vibe, the film is in many ways lighter in tone than other recent and forthcoming MCU movies. A story feels much less oppressive when the oncoming disaster is humiliation at a teenage party rather than global annihilation by aliens or android armies. On the other hand, that tighter focus and scenario simultaneously makes this story far more personal. We can empathise far more readily with the reality of that situation whereas we could only ever be onlookers in need of rescue from Ultron or the Chitauri. When a shop which Peter regularly visits, where we know he chats with the owner, becomes collateral damage - that has an emotional impact which can sometimes be lacking in the CGI-spectacular destruction of faceless hordes.

I also like the way that Peter’s school and classmates are portrayed. He’s attending a specialist science and technology school, where being intelligent is the norm, not a reason for ridicule. Yes, he has a bullying nemesis, in keeping with the High School vibe, but that lad doesn’t mock Peter’s brains, rather he’s jealous of his place on the Academic Decathlon team. Yes, there’s a roly-poly, nerdy sidekick, but he’s extremely bright and capable when it comes to playing his own vital role in the plot. Success in the Academic Decathlon is presented as a worthwhile victory to strive for. All of which might be merely worthy if it wasn’t for the presence of Tony Stark. We all know Tony’s off-the-scale-brilliant but one thing his involvement in these events highlights is the difference between intelligence and wisdom. Tony doesn’t listen, he’s arrogant, and he shrugs off what doesn’t interest him. That sets the tone that his employees adopt. It’s Peter who learns the lessons that result from the consequences of Tony’s mistakes – as well as his own teenage missteps, of course.

Michael Keaton is a stellar villain whose coherent motivation is so much more convincing and complex than mere motiveless malignity. Beneath the patent injustice and/or callousness that sparks his initial grievance, there are also a good few questions posed about the roles of big business and government and what happens to ordinary people when politicians and billionaires organise the world to suit themselves. With great power, comes great responsibility. Someone should remind them of that. Which is not to say Adrian Toombs is some misunderstood and wronged individual who warrants our sympathy. He has made his own choices, consciously and deliberately for years now, and as we see, is utterly ruthless in pursuit of his goals. We can believe that Peter is in very real danger, thanks to Michael Keaton’s performance and the personal nature of their conflict.

So far, so good, however ... there’s still no getting away from the most abiding and persistent problem of superhero movies based on characters with a decades-long back story. Yes, I mean the roles for women, drawn from source material written when very different cultural archetypes went unquestioned. Once again, the girls are peripheral to the male-focused action, only present in the stereotypical roles of objects of desire, domestic helpmeets and damsels in distress. The writers and actors make heroic efforts to lift the female characters above such clichés but even with the appearance of Mary Beth Lacey, apparent now working for Homeland Security or some such, there’s only so much they can do here. I can only hope that the hints of more and better to come in the next movie are fulfilled, from Michelle in particular – as long as they can do that without mangling the essence of the friendly neighbourhood Spiderman whom we know and love. I’ve had quite enough of that sort of thing with DC turning Superman supposedly dark and edgy and in the process erasing so much of his core character.

Oh hey, how about some more female-led superhero movies? That would work to elevate women and to offer girls their own role models, without eradicating the men. How about we stop looking at this as a zero sum game?
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 09:28 am
It’s been an interesting last little while in the SFF genre, notably for those of us keeping a watching brief on gender issues alongside our uncomplicated enjoyment of superheroes and the fantastic. But rather than demand your time and attention for an extended read on them all at once, here’s the first in a series of related (and hopefully not too spoilery) posts.

Wonder Woman was good fun. I most definitely appreciated seeing strong, athletic women taking charge of their own destiny on Themiscyra, and wearing costumes that drew far more on classical Mediterranean leather armour than on lingerie. Putting Diana into Great War London and seeing the clash of cultures that followed worked well, both in terms of the film, and incidentally to highlight today’s obdurate misogyny. Lucy Davis as Etta Candy gives a performance that’s central to exploring those particular themes all the more effectively through humour. I thought Chris Pine gives a good account of himself, and personally I didn’t feel his presence turned the film into All About Steve. Mind you, there really should be a law against anyone called Steve flying off alone a plane in a superhero movie now. There’s no telling what will follow...

Is this an particularly feminist movie? Not to my mind. Let’s not forget, Diana’s plot ultimately revolves around a response to male aggression. So far, so predictably defining a woman’s role as reactive to a man’s. On the other hand, there are some thoughtful asides on the causes of war and no over-soft-pedalling the dire practical and psychological consequences for men and women alike. Having a female villain in Doctor Poison was a good choice, though let’s not forget she is subservient to a man. But then again, this is set in 1918 ... so ... would a female villain with more overt agency have been anachronistic? There are arguments on both sides. Not least because a more overtly feminist movie would have offered endless ammunition to those primed to attack it as ‘message fiction’ long before they’d seen the opening credits.

All told, I felt Sameer and Napi were badly underused which meant their contribution ended up as primarily ‘see how prejudice extends to race as well as gender?’ rather than having that assuredly valid point made incidentally to more rounded roles for those particular characters. That said, making such roles meatier would mean extending a film with a run time that’s already well over two hours. Oh, here’s a thought? Maybe dial back the extended CGI-spectacular scenes just a bit here and there? Use those saved minutes for more interesting character exploration?

The film did drive a galloping coach and horses through established Greek myth, as I observed as we left the cinema. ‘I thought Greek myths had all sorts of variations?’ remarked one son. ‘That’s your biggest problem with a story set in a universe where a man dresses up as a giant bat to fight crime?’ queried the other. Well, yes, fair comment, both. The unexpected appearance of Spud from Trainspotting did also distract me. Just like my flashback to Renton’s toilet-dive when I watched Obi Wan Kenobi et al visit the underwater city in The Phantom Menace. But that’s probably just me...

So overall I thought it was a good, fun film rather than a great, deeply-meaningful one. I mean, compared to ... oh, wait, there are no other female-led superhero movies to compare it to, are there? So let’s not get hypercritical here. As a foundation to build on, and as a film that proves that a female superhero can light up the box office with a good, fun, adventure story that everyone can enjoy, it’s exactly what we need at the moment.
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 12:23 am
Picked up one of these lenses for my Canon a few days ago, took it out to the park and took some test photos on Tuesday. I think it's actually pretty good, and considering I got it for £30 I'm very pleased. One picture of berries is a bit out of focus, I think I simply got closer than the minimum for the lens without noticing, the rest are OK. Gallery here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZyx37y

I'm beginning to think more seriously about switching to Canon as my main system, but I'd want a better camera body, say 12 megapixels or better. The other thing I'd want to add is a longer zoom with some macro capability, the only other lens I've currently got is an 18-55. Whereas my most used Nikon lens is a 28-300 Tamron with macro capability. Any recommendations?
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 06:34 pm
This is one I'm fairly sure I'm not interested in, but it's supporting Doctors Without Borders and tastes do differ:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Rifts

Kevin Siembieda's Rifts® is set on a future Earth shattered by countless otherworldly invasions. This all-new collection, the debut of Palladium Books in the Bundle of Holding, is a well-rounded set of complete .PDF ebooks that give players and Game Masters everything they need for a campaign of mind-blowing, dimension-spanning adventure across a transformed North America.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$82.50. Customers who pay just US$17.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $38.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 384-page Rifts® Ultimate Edition™ (retail price $20), plus the Rifts® Primer (retail $3), Rifts® Sourcebook One™ Revised Edition (retail $10.50), and the Game Master Kit with useful play aids and pregenerated characters (retail $5).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more supplements worth an additional $44, including three World Books -- Juicer Uprising™ (retail $10.50), Psyscape™ (retail $10.50), and New West™ (retail $12.50) -- and the location supplement MercTown™ (retail $10.50).

At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.


I'll be honest - I own some of this system in dead tree format but I was never really that interested in the setting, and found it a bit rules-heavy. Having said that, it's one of the first true multi-genre RPG systems, and its take on putting the genres together is unusual, although not one I'd really want to run. As usual your mileage may vary.
 


Tags:
Monday, July 17th, 2017 01:12 am
Dialogue for the old and new fans...

From Planet of the Spiders part one, as it might be re-edited:

LUPTON: Not only a Doctor, but a woman Doctor. We do not want her here.
CHO-JE: We cannot shut out the world entirely, my brother.
LUPTON: Why not? You used to, in Tibet.
CHO-JE: All things pass away, as you will learn in your meditation. This world of samsara, the world of appearance, is the world of change.
LUPTON: Yes, but I came here to get away from the world. So did the others. We came here to find solitude.
CHO-JE: One day you will learn to walk in solitude amidst the traffic of the world.
LUPTON: It's still not too late to stop her coming.
CHO-JE: But it is. Mister Chibnall has already gone to the station to fetch her.

**

CHO-JE: We can but point a finger along the way. A man must go inside and face his fears and hopes, his hates and his loves, and watch them wither away. Then he will find his true self, which is no self. He will see his true mind, which is no mind.
SARAH: And that's what meditation's all about?
CHO-JE: Yes! The old man must die and the new woman will discover to her inexpressible joy that he has never existed.
SARAH: Well, good luck, mate.

From Chrissie's Transcripts Site, with alterations.
Sunday, July 16th, 2017 10:11 pm
Well, count nobody entirely surprised by this, after the Master = Missy thing of the last couple of series - The next Doctor will be Jodie Whittaker, an actress I know little about:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40624288

Let's hope the plots improve a little.
Friday, July 14th, 2017 09:28 pm
Suddenly thought of rebooting my iPhone, and immediately the phone network is working again, not a problem with Freedompop at all. I'm obviously an idiot - all I can say is that my previous mobile phones (nice dumb ones) never had this problem....