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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

September 25, 2007 at 6:32 AM

WiMax World: Arriving in Chicago…

CHICAGO — I flew in on Monday in order to get here on time to attend WiMax World today.

I shared a cab with a woman from the airport to our downtown hotels.

It was during that cab ride that I realized something: that there is a new universal hand signal for using an iPhone, just as there’s a sign for typing on the BlackBerry. If you can’t picture the BlackBerry sign, think of holding an invisible device with both hands and then pretending to type with two thumbs. That usually follows phrases such as “I’ll e-mail you, or I sent you an e-mail.”

Well, that’s not the sign for an iPhone.

Get this, the woman sitting next to me in the cab, who was turning 70 years old in January, was a die-hard iPhone user. In fact, she had forgotten her phone at home when her husband dropped her off at the airport in Memphis. Luckily her flight was delayed, and he went home, got the iPhone and brought it back from her. She told this story as if her life was about to end without the thing. She said she wouldn’t know where she was going for lunch, or be able to call the person she was meeting.

All the while, she was gesturing. It wasn’t acting out two-thumb typing; instead, her index finger stretched straight and made a left-to-right swiping motion, imitating the move to unlock the screen or to scroll left and right and up and down.

The woman didn’t stop there. The self-proclaimed photo maniac showed me pictures of her grandchildren, zooming in and out on their face, and then even switched to the weather application to tell me what the weather was going to be like while in Chicago (the answer to that is HOT and muggy).

So this is a warning. Prepare to start seeing people swiping their fingers in the air when they say, “I’ll call you.”

Even if they are 70 years old.

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