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I'm a longtime contributor to MTV, Billboard, Alternative Press and MovieWeb. I've worked as on-air reporter, host, writer and producer for MTV, MSNBC and E!. I have provided opinion and commentary to programs on VH1, IFC, G4, Fuse, Current and Oxygen. I have written for Huffington Post, Premiere, OC Weekly, SFGate.com, NextMovie.com, MTV's television and movie blogs and other publications. I am the founder of Superhero Productions, providing broadcast, online and aftermarket content for a number of clients including Lionsgate, Sony and Warner Bros. I personally handle artist management for a handful of bands. "Ryan Downey has established a history of breaking some good scoops in the last few years, and you could certainly do worse than bookmark [him] to check in on." -- Ain't It Cool

Monday, May 05, 2008

Cell Phones for Soldiers

My Palm Treo 700p.

It served me well for a time. And then, while driving to Los Angeles, in the middle of a mini-crisis with one of the bands I manage, it started flashing the startup screen and wouldn't do anything else. I was attending a screening of the movie "The Ruins" on the Paramount lot and therefore I was without telephone, email or text message communication for 6 hours.

The next day, I went to AT&T and bought an iPhone. I haven't looked back since! No more 6 hours and multiple third party apps to synchronize my address book or calendars. The iPhone has been everything it's cracked up to be.

I just called Palm support and was able to perform a hard reset on the phone which served the dual purpose of enabling it to function again and wiping out all of my personal information so whomever gets it next won't have access to it. I then set about thinking about putting it on eBay, which made my head hurt. Thinking about throwing it in the trash or giving it away also made my head hurt. And then I remembered... Cell Phones For Soldiers.

What a fantastic charity! I send them my cell phone and accessories (they pay the postage!), they give the phone to a company that recycles them, and they take the money they make from the exchange and purchase calling cards, which they in turn hand over to soldiers - free of charge - so they can call their loved ones back at home. Everybody wins! The earth. The troops. Me.

Think about it the next time you upgrade.

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