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Originally published Monday, November 20, 2006 at 12:00 AM

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Looks like Miss Manners, T-Mobile, haven't met

With many families gathered at the Thanksgiving table this week, T-Mobile USA is releasing a study today that encourages families to feel...

Compiled by Times tech staff

With many families gathered at the Thanksgiving table this week, T-Mobile USA is releasing a study today that encourages families to feel free to use their mobile phones during holiday parties or — get this — even the dinner table.

The Bellevue company said out of the 1,000 people interviewed, 70 percent of young adults and 56 percent of parents said they made or answered calls during a holiday gathering. About 35 percent of young adults said they read or sent an e-mail or text message under the dinner table at a holiday family gathering.

"There's a sense of guilt among some young people about using their cellphone or texting device during the holidays," said Tracy Wellens, T-Mobile's vice president of consumer insights. About 67 percent of parents and young adults agree it is OK to use their mobile phone during holiday gatherings.

But to maintain the proper etiquette, ever-helpful T-Mobile issued a number of dos and don'ts drafted by Laurie Puhn, a relationship and communication expert and author of "Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Word to Change Your Life."

Here are some of Puhn's suggestions:

• Don't isolate yourself at a holiday gathering to make calls or to text. But do include others by putting your phone on speaker to call a relative or friend.

• Don't assume kids are wasting time by chatting or texting via their phone but do encourage them to invite friends over for the next holiday gathering.

Buying clothes


Online apparel sales in the U.S. rose 32 percent in the third quarter over the same period last year, led by specialty retailers such as VictoriasSecret.com and OldNavy.com.

Source: comScore Networks

• Don't assume the grandparents aren't interested in staying in touch by text message but do show them the latest innovations in wireless phones.

Of course, to T-Mobile, all those minutes piling up must sound like early sleigh bells of Christmas cheer.

Not leakproof

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, at a conference in Seattle last week, talked about a story in The Wall Street Journal about Microsoft's top advertising sales executive, Joanne Bradford. It included quotes from a leaked copy of her 2004 performance review, information that Microsoft tries to keep locked down.

Later in Ballmer's presentation, he discussed new Microsoft technologies designed to control access to data such as individual e-mails.

"I do like the fact that we can now send e-mails around Microsoft, which cannot be forwarded outside of the company," Ballmer said at the event for users of its SQL Server product. "That doesn't mean people don't sit there with a second computer and type them up and ship 'em to The Wall Street Journal."

The sting of a sting

So much for ending the deluge of erotic spam on Craigslist. A prostitution sting by Seattle police led to 104 arrests, most of them people responding to "erotic services" ads on the Seattle version of the free community classifieds site. The next day, more than 300 postings went up, advertising similar services.

Some Craigslist users, pointing to comments founder Craig Newmark made after the incident, said they didn't think he was being particularly frank about what was going on.

Newmark told The Seattle Times he heard that "prostitution is a significant problem," but noted that Craigslist has built a "top-notch" reputation for responding to complaints of illegal activity.

Wrote one user: "Craig tried to act all innocent about prostitution on CL, but he created a whole category for it: Erotic Services! Duh!"

Another agreed: "You caught how C. Newmark was acting coy about the problem. I saw that, too, and it was very disappointing."

Download, a column of news bits, observations and miscellany,

is gathered by The Seattle Times technology staff.

We can be reached at 206-464-2265 or biztech@seattletimes.com.

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