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  • Geebo 8:57 am on May 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: landlines, mobile phones,   

    Most US homes ditch landlines in favor of mobile 

    Most US homes ditch landlines in favor of mobile

    In a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the first time since the advent of the telephone, more than half of US homes have eschewed the once required landline in favor of mobile phones. This really should come as no surprise, the surprise really is what took everyone so long?

    Back in the days that even predate television, landline phones were once hard-wired into the house. There was no unplugging the phone and once it was installed the phone couldn’t be relocated anywhere else in the home. In addition to that, even when the phones advanced to the point where they could be unplugged and relocated, you could only get your phone from the phone company itself. You didn’t even get to own the phone, instead you were charged a monthly rental fee. Service itself was often difficult to get and if you didn’t meet certain financial requirements. the phone company wouldn’t even allow you to have service. That’s not even mentioning they were the company that invented the “We’ll be there sometime between 1 and 6pm to install service”. The service was prohibitively expensive too if you had to make long distance calls.

    Conversely, in today’s market, you can go to just about any store, including gas stations, pick up a relatively cheap mobile phone and be up and running with service in just a few minutes. Rates are relatively cheap plus you get the added benefits of texting and internet. The only real advantage to having a landline is if you ever need to call 911, emergency services know exactly where you’re calling from. However, mobile phone technology is advancing to where that should no longer be an issue.

    While we may take our plastic fondle squares for granted, it’s amazing to take a moment to reflect on just how far the technology has come in such a relatively short period of time.

     
  • Geebo 11:51 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mobile phones,   

    Changing your number? Change your apps. 

    Changing your number? Change your apps.

    A number of smartphone apps are tied to your cell phone number. If you end up having to change your number for whatever reason, don’t forget to update your apps with your new phone number. If you forget, it may cost you a pretty penny.

    For example a woman who changed her number found mysterious charges for the ride sharing service Lyft on her credit card. When she received her new phone number the phone company recycled her phone number and the person with her old number was able to use her Lyft account to get rides. However the person with the old number claims that Lyft wouldn’t allow to update the profile that was connected to the old number.

    While no malice may have been intended a number change can cause potential headaches for users since so many apps are tied to phone numbers. Both Facebook and Twitter allow logins through cell phone numbers and if you forget to update your apps if you change could lead to someone hijacking these accounts. This could lead to something as minor as cyber-vandalism or something as damaging as identity theft.

     
  • Geebo 10:05 am on September 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Blackberry, mobile phones   

    Blackberry announces they’re no longer making phones 

    Blackberry announces they're no longer making phones

    To answer your first question, yes, Blackberry was still making phones until recently.

    Anyway, in a story that’s reminiscent of MySpace’s virtual defeat at the hands of Facebook, the once mighty Blackberry has announced that they will stop making their signature phones. At one time Blackberry ruled the cell phone landscape. Not only was it the cell phone of choice for most companies but it also had a devoted consumer market as well. The practice of people being face down into their obsessive device started with the Blackberry, hence the nickname it received at the time, the Crackberry.

    Then in 2007 an event happened that started the death knell for the Blackberry. That event was the release of Apple’s iPhone. Instead of having a physical keyboard and a mouse-like roller ball, the iPhone had a fully interactive touch screen with a virtual keyboard to provide more screen space than the Blackberry ever had. It also didn’t help that Google came out with its own smartphone operating system called Anndroid. While the iPhone was aimed at more affluent users, Android allowed most everyone to have access to a smartphone. Whatever edge Blackberry had soon eroded to the point of it being a punchline in jokes. People would say “Remember Blackberry?” before laughing derisively then returning to their iPhones or Smasung Galaxies.

    That’s not to say that Blackberry didn’t have its hardcore base of fans. There have been many reports of the Blackberry faithful buying multiple devices and keeping the spares in their freezer when the financial writing was on the wall. It remains to be seen how long those devices will be supported now that Blackberry will focus mostly on software.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , mobile phones   

    Apple sells billionth iPhone: Best product ever? 

    Apple sells billionth iPhone: Best product ever?

    Earlier this week, the little company that could from Cupertino, California, tech goliath Apple, announced that they had sold their billionth iPhone. To put that in perspective, Apple has sold more iPhones in the past 9 years than Sony has sold PlayStations since their debut in the late 90s, and has sold more iPhones than Rubik’s Cubes have been sold since the 80s. This has led some people to ask, is the iPhone, the best product ever?

    Before the advent of the iPhone, even the most sophisticated smart phones were rudimentary in their design and purpose. The biggest seller at the time, the Blackberry, had a small screen and a physical keyboard. For anyone that did not have a smart phone probably only had a flip phone that could only text message through the T9 way of texting. Now we live in a world where most of us can’t imagine not having our smart phones within arm’s reach. Without Apple developing the iPhone there’s no reason for Google to try to develop the Android operating system in order to compete with Apple and without Android smart phones would not be as affordable as they have become in the past decade. A reasonably well-functioning smart phone can now be purchased for less than a $100. What really launched the iPhone into the proverbial stratosphere was the development of its app store. Because of that we have had brand new economies and business built solely around apps.

    While it’s no cure for polio, in the grand scheme of things, the iPhone can’t be denied its profound impact in the shaping of our current culture.

     
  • Geebo 11:42 am on July 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Exchange Initiative, , mobile phones, TraffickCam   

    New app let’s you help fight human trafficking 

    New app let's you help fight human trafficking

    Many times when human traffickers advertise their victims online, they often use pictures taken in the hotel rooms of where they’re being sold out of. Law enforcement can sometimes use those pictures to locate where the victims of trafficking are being held captive. Now, a smart phone app aims to help law enforcement by creating a database of pictures from hotels all over the country.

    The app, called TraffickCam, was designed by anti-human trafficking group, the Exchange Initiative. Users can download the app and when they stay in any hotel they can take pictures of the room and add them to the ever-increasing database of pictures. The more pictures there are the more chances law enforcement has of rescuing a woman or child from being sold into sexual slavery.

    With apps like Snapchat and Instagram we’re already taking scores of pictures of our surroundings everyday. With TraffickCam you can take just a few more pictures that have the potential to rescue someone from a life of violence and sexual servitude. However, an even bigger boon towards this end would be if the hotel and motel industries themselves would get involved instead of often turning a blind eye to what goes on behind their doors.

     
  • Geebo 9:56 am on July 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mobile phones, Pokemon Go   

    What exactly is Pokemon Go and is it safe? 

    What exactly is Pokemon Go?

    In case you haven’t heard, the new must have app among mobile users is Pokemon Go. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a mobile game for both iOS and Android that is based on the wildly popular Pokemon video games made by Nintendo. In the original games, the player travels around the confines of the game capturing the fantastical creatures known as Pokemon. One of the great features of the games was that you could play and trade with your friends.

    Pokemon Go is what’s known as an augmented reality game. That means that it overlays elements of the game into the real world through the screen of your mobile phone. The game puts you into the role of a Pokemon trainer and allows you to catch virtual Pokemon in the real world. The game was designed to not only get players to get up and move around but it also has a social aspect that allows other players to meet in real life.

    Even though the game is incredibly popular and fun to play, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been drawbacks. The first thing to consider is that the game keeps its players looking down into their cell phones. If a player is not aware of their surroundings it could lead to injuries and in fact it has. Any game ultimately leads to cheating and in the case of Pokemon Go it has led at least one man to use a drone in order to try to locate rare Pokemon without putting in the footwork. Some people have even used Pokemon Go to allegedly rob players when they show up to areas where Pokemon are said to be.

    However, having said all of that Pokemon Go can be a fun and safe time for both adults and kids and even parents and their children as long as you use common sense.

     
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