Tag Archives: cell-phone

Do You Need Anything Other Than a Phone?

Fifty-one percent of 25- to 29-year-olds live in households that have kicked the landline habit, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This marks the first time that the number of wireless-only households have surpassed land-line households in any age bracket.

The findings in general and among the various age groups are significant because they show that cell-phone-only households aren’t prevalent just among younger, single people, according to Stephen Blumberg, the report’s author. Blumberg told the Associated Press the numbers suggest that young adults who use cell phones alone continue that habit as they have families.

What’s the demographic look like within our community? Are people in your age group making the big switch to cell phones only?

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Does Your Cell Phone Make You Rude?


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Back in the day, we tended to focus more on what the person across from us was saying vs. what the person on our phone that we couldn’t see was saying. Nowadays we check email, tweets, texts, calls, etc., and in social situations, this can seem extremely rude. Mashable tackled this in an article yesterday on ending social rudeness by putting your phone away. Lamarr has definite opinions as to what constitutes phone rudeness.

The problem, of course, is that constantly perusing your phone is freaking rude — a clear signal that your reception is more important than anything going on in the here and now. Get this: 10% of people 24 and younger think it’s OK to text during sex, according to consumer electronics shopping and review site Retrevo. That brings a whole meaning to the term multitasking.

When do you feel it is “okay” to grab your phone and give it more attention than you do those around you? Is it ever a good idea? Do YOU know when it’s time to turn that device off and just forget it even exists?

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Samsung Galaxy S Initial Impressions


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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Samsung Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Samsung Galaxy S will be available soon in the AT&T network. I’ve been able to play with it for the past week or so. Despite moderate usage, I haven’t had to charge it since first turning it on. The battery astounded me, to be quite honest. I’ve been pretty happy with this phone. Despite a few negative remarks I’ve seen elsewhere about this phone, this is the best Android device I’ve tried to date. This will definitely be my default Android phone from now on.

It is extremely lightweight. It feels good in the hand, and the screen is large and gorgeous. The screen is super SUPER bright and vibrant. It’s so bright, in fact, that I had to turn the brightness down. The touch screen is extremely responsive. This means that the processor is fast, and everything is speedy out of the box. I feel this is quality hardware on a quality operating system.

In terms of resolution and capabilities, the camera on the Galaxy S is fantastic where HD video is concerned. If you didn’t already notice, I had uploaded a video review of an iPhone screen protector that I wasn’t happy with. That video was shot using this Galaxy S phone. For some reason, in a low-quality setting, I tend to get these “bars” on the video. I’m not sure if you detect that, but I did through the viewfinder. This is some small lines that appear in videos and photos. I’m not sure if this is a hardware or software issue, though. Hopefully Samsung will look into it.

This phone is running the TouchWiz interface, which is nice for helping you to quickly connect up your social networks. The out-of-the-box experience is honestly very good. For instance, swiping the screen in any direction will automatically open up the lock screen. Hello! That, my friends, is what intuitive is all about.

This is a fantastic Android device, no doubt about it… especially when it will only cost you $200 with a new contract. What I like beyond the price and screen is that Samsung paid attention to what a user might actually want when they turn their phone on for the first time. They added some very popular apps right into the phone, including Layer. Layer is so good that it will get a future video all of its own.

More than anything that impressed me, when I launched the Apps application, I saw a few of these default apps. Normally, apps pushed through a manufacturer’s site or service kind of suck, to put it bluntly. However, I was pretty impressed with many of the ones that I found within Samsung.

Again, my summary is that this is the best Android device I’ve used to date. There are a few negatives, but in my opinion they do not detract from the overall performance of the phone. Yes, there is a replaceable battery. However, in order to get the back of the phone off to GET to said battery you’ll need long fingernails or some type of very thin tool to pry it open.

As Apple pointed out, many other phones lose signal when using a “death grip.” It’s honestly not just the iPhone 4 that does this. The same thing happens with the Galaxy S, as shown in a video on YouTube.

Just about anything you would want in an Android device can be found in the Galaxy S. Are you thinking of grabbing one for yourself?

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Who Texts While Driving?

According to a new study, it’s not teens who text the most while driving. The guilty parties, actually, are adults. The Pew Research Center says that of those adults polled, 47 percent of respondents admit they either send or read messages while at the wheel of a vehicle.

Amongst teens aged 16 and 17, only about 34% tend to text while driving. Pew’s senior researcher, Mary Madden, said “There’s been a lot of focus on young drivers, and for good reasons. But this research provides an important reminder that adults are setting a bad example.” Several states already have a ban on texting while driving, and seven have banned the use of cell phones altogether while driving. However, the U.S. Senate is voting right now on banning texting nationwide.

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Is Your Cell Phone Hurting Your Children?

Is your reliance on technology hurting your children? A new study shows that perhaps parents are too plugged in. The story cites a young mother who was ignoring her toddler in a busy shopping mall while she had her head buried in her cell phone’s screen. It goes on to discuss the negative impact that constant device usage can have on a child’s psyche and upbringing.

The study talks about the negative effects that a parent’s desire to always stay connected can have on children, yes. But it doesn’t touch on the dangers that could happen. It only takes a split second for someone to grab a child in a public place. Toddlers and babies are kidnapped in an instant while their parent or guardian looks away at an item on a store shelf. It isn’t inconceivable that the same thing could happen while mom is busy checking her Twitter stream or dad is reading the latest email from work. Children can be hit by a car, drown in a pool or run off without supervision in the blink of an eye. If a parent is engrossed in their phone for a few moments, bad things could potentially happen.

I’m not saying that you can never use your devices around your children. I’m saying that you need to stop tuning everything else out while you check up on things. I’m just as guilty as the next person of this infraction. I am quite good at tuning out the world around me whenever I feel I need to. Parents build up this ability as their children get older. It’s almost a survival instinct. You have to be able to filter out noise and distractions to get things done, right? But what if something tragic happens while you’re tuned out?

Photo credit to The Chef Alliance.

What AT&T Doesn't Want you to Know About the iPhone

In this video posted by shadoestevens, a famous filmmaker talks about the benefits of using the iPhone and AT&T and how they’ve helped him become a “major player.” He says that of course he uses AT&T, because he has an iPhone. Every day as he makes calls in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and New York City, important calls are dropped. As those calls drop, he seems more important.

People wonder what they are missing. The excitement builds as the other person tries to decide if they are missing out on the most important moment of their lives. Dropped calls make him more mysterious. A major player is never accessible and is hard to reach. Thanks to AT&T, he can never be reached. Even when he is, he could disappear at any given moment. Hard to reach equals very important equals major player.

Every day, he can count on one thing: the people he leaves hanging are always wanting more. There are many surprises with his phone service, since he doesn’t know when his call will disappear. In one day alone, he had 37 dropped calls. That’s good business.

If you want to be a major player, count on AT&T – the world’s worst network.

AT&T Ranks Dead Last for Customer Satisfaction

A recent study by Consumer Reports determined where cell phone companies rate when it comes to customer satisfaction. It seems as though everyone these days has a cell phone, and most of those people have very strong opinions about the carrier they have their service with. Too often, people blame the companies directly for problems such as lost calls when in reality there are several contributing factors. Your location and the type of phone you use can affect how often you drop calls.

It’s interesting to look through these results, and see where each company rates. Surprisingly, TracFone rates the highest amongst the pre-paid plan gang. I’ve heard horror stories about their service in the past. It’s good to see that they have apparently tightened up the ship and made things better for their customers. Amongst the contract carriers, Verizon comes out on top while Sprint and AT&T are nearly neck-and-neck at the bottom of the barrel. They even rank lower than Canadian carriers!

Wireless Satisfaction in USA

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It’s even more interesting to see that AT&T holds almost as big of a market share as Verizon does – despite their obvious lack of customer satisfaction. Who will be the first to point out the obvious: AT&T is only “holding their own” thanks to their exclusive contract with Apple and the iPhone?

Ustream Viewer Beta for Android

Not long ago, we announced the iPad app for our live stream. Steve (Granit in our chat room) developed this app that will allow you to see the video AND the chat room right on your iPad screen – without having to click between them. You’ll be able to private message other users if you choose, and have moderation options available if you’re a channel operator. Additionally, if you click on a link within the IRC channel, it will open a browser window right inside of the app.

AndroidAdvocate is apparently disappointed to see there is not yet an alternative for those of you who are rocking with Android on your cell phone. His solution is to use the Ustream Viewer Beta, which is found on the Marketplace.

According to the Ustream blog, this is their second application for this platform. Their Broadcaster app was released last year. It enables users to stream live from their phones on 3G or Wi-Fi. The Android Viewer provides chat functionality, and when combined with the Broadcaster application… “it allows the first mobile-to-mobile functionality available on the Market.”

When the Viewer was released in November, it was done so in conjunction with a live KISS concert that was aired over Ustream. Viewer may only allow you to watch live video feeds, but it does so flawlessly. Use it to watch anyone’s live feed – from red carpet productions to puppies to my humble little show – while you’re on the go.

Ustream launched the iPhone version of the viewing app last January, when it was downloaded a whopping 113,000 times in 24 hours. It’s worth pointing out that the iPhone doesn’t have a Broadcaster app, because Apple won’t approve them. Could this give Android a small – yet important – leg up over the iPhone os?

Do Teens Text Too Much?

According to a study done by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, young people between the ages of 12 and 17 send more than 100 texts a day. This may be due in part to the many unlimited plans offered by most cell companies. Texting beats out every other form of communication for this age group, including instant messaging, phone calls and face-to-face conversations.

Texting is also easy to get away with in certain situations. Kids text right under the noses of their teachers during school hours. Most of these kids are so good with their keyboards that they don’t even have to look at the device while composing and sending a message. Text messaging has become so much a part of teenagers’ lives that 87 percent of those who text said that they sleep with – or next to – their phones.

“It’s a way that their friends can easily and discreetly reach them at tiny moments during the day,” said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist at Pew. “It allows them to stay constantly in touch with people who are important to them. Texting is a much different experience than calling somebody on a land line, where you might get their parents. There’s an element of ownership for teenagers around texting.”

Teens feel that it’s easier to communicate with people when they cannot hear their voices or see their faces. As evidenced in several reports about this subject, teens will confront each other more often over issues via a text. It’s a good thing that they are talking more to each other, and seemingly becoming able to work through differences and difficulties without the hindrance and nerves that come with face-to-face confrontations.

However, I can’t help but wonder how this will affect these kids’ verbal communication skills later in life. We grew up having to talk to people… in person. Kids today are relying more heavily on digital methods of communication. Their “speech” is now defined with easy-to-remember word abbreviations, such as “wut r u doing.” I cringe every time someone sends me an email full of “language” such as this.

Another concern has to be privacy. Teens likely cling to their phones due to the fact that they feel they have more control over their content. It’s not as easy for parents to see what’s going on as it was when they could listen in on phone conversations. I admit that my mouth hit the floor when I read where one teen stated that his mom gave up trying to read his texts when she couldn’t crack his phone password. If this were my child, they would no longer HAVE a cell phone. While parents don’t necessarily need to “police” their children and know every single thing they are doing, they DO need to be aware of what’s going on in their child’s world.

What are your thoughts? Is widespread teen texting a good thing? Do you wonder how these kids will communicate in the “real world” when they become adults? Heck, will we even stop needing to communicate face-to-face in the future? Maybe I’m a fuddy-duddy. Perhaps everything will be digital one day, and we’ll never hear another human voice.

Forget Wireless Contracts with Boost Mobile and the New Incognito

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boost Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

With the economy in such a rut, many of you might feel like you can’t handle signing a “normal” cell phone contract. You still need a phone, though – for practical purposes. I can think of very few who don’t actually carry their own personal (or business) communications devices. Still, long-term contracts can be sticky – and less than optimal in some situations.

Boost Mobile may just have a solution for you.

The all-new SANYO Incognito SCP6760 phone is launching soon. It’s flip-designed with a full QWERTY keyboard.

Incognito

The phone (itself) is going to sell for only $129.99 (not including taxes), and will have free shipping when purchased through the proper link. Most important to note, however, is that there are NO contracts required to use it. You can purchase a $50.00 Monthly Unlimited Plan with nationwide coverage.

This plan includes unlimited text, voice, AND Web access. The phone has a 2 megapixel camera and a VGA camcorder, so the unlimited Web feature will come in handy when you want to upload pictures and videos from your phone to share with your friends and family.

Additional features include both picture and video messaging (MMS), stereo Bluetooth support, and GPS-enabled hardware. Oh, the Incognito’s speakerphone option will come in handy when you don’t have a headset and need both hands free to do something.

To me, the “glow-thru” touchscreen (which appears on its mirrored surface) seems quite remarkable:

Incognito

Visit my sponsor: SANYO Incognito

Of course, the high resolution 2.6″ display is nothing to sneeze at (and if you do sneeze at it, please wipe before using the phone again).

Pick up a SANYO Incognito if these features and price-points fit the bill – a very economic bill.