When the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 came out in 2014, I refused to believe smaller size phones were truly dead. I didn’t want to believe they’d done it, but the signs were clear. Other iPhone owners told me there would be an adjustment period. I would have an easier time using and holding onto a live fish, the way it flops around in my hand. The time I spend using my phone hasn’t changed, but now my hands go numb and wrist and fingers ache holding it.
In bounding after large screens, phone makers seemed to ignore the usability issues that accompany them. Small studies have shown before that 4.3 inches is about as big as a phone can get before people start struggling to use it. The time to operate the phone slows down significantly because one-hand use is awkward—and that's for average men's hands. Assuming a normal distribution, a phone bigger than 4.3 inches is too big. People were especially annoyed about their inability to use the phone safely with one hand. Women’s clothes also haven’t caught up to the big-phone trend. It’s weird, isn’t it, how bad of a design choice this seems to be, from a company whose driving force is good design?
That brings us to the economic explanation, and my own personal conspiracy theory: There are powerful interests that want us to drop our phones so they can fix them and sell us new ones. If you took the earlier versions of the iPhone in, it wasn't uncommon to get a free replacement phone for one with a cracked screen. Fast forward a few years, and Apple now charges $99 to replace the screen on an iPhone 6S, even if the owner bought the AppleCare warranty.http://motherboard.vice.com/read/a-big-phone-works-for-everyone-but-you
If you thought your Internet service was slow, consider being a customer of Cincinnati Bell’s 75 baud Telegraph Grade service, on offer to subscribers since the 1800s for low-speed stock quotes, telegrams, and office-to-home communications. But don’t consider it too long, because the service is about to be discontinued.
Remarkably, Cincinnati Bell still needs the permission of regulators to drop the Civil War era telegraph service and reminded regulators the change will have no impact on the “public convenience and necessity” because there have been no customers for the service for a long time. Cincinnati Bell’s request would have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for the long legacy of the telegraph era. Western Union dispatched its last telegram on Jan. 27, 2006, after 155 years of continuous service, and largely kept quiet about it.
Those nostalgic for telegrams might be interested to know another company has risen where Western Union left off. iTelegram promises to bring back the experience of a messenger at your front door, but it’s a costly trip down Memory Lane. A Priority Telegram costs $28.95 + $0.75 per word and is delivered usually within 24 hours, and includes proof of delivery. Or you could send an e-mail for approximately nothing.http://stopthecap.com/2016/03/22/cincinnati-bell-plans-shutdown-telegraph-grade-service-offer-since-1800s/
Now you can stick your finger in your ear to make a phone call, not just pretend to talk to someone thanks to an invention by Samsung
. The device from Samsung spin-off Innomdle Lab fits any standard wristwatch and connects to Google Android smartphones. When a phone call arrives, the wearer can accept it with a button on the band, and audio is translated into vibrations which travel up the skin. By pushing their index finger on to the front of the ear, or tragus, the user can hear the conversation even though no one around them hears a thing.
In the latest in the MyGov government portal catastrophe, the Australian government is following in the footsteps of the UK an US governments by throwing 484 million dollars at IBM
to somehow fix the problems with the ailing portal for which tens of thousands of Australians have complained about. The key problems reported by users have to do with system availability, stability and lack of clear usability for key activities. It has been preventing users from being paid their due government payments for months, some users have reported. Will IBM be able to do what contractors such as Accenture and HP have failed to do in other countries? Can the MyGov be fixed at all, or will it need to be replaced? How does the recent joint venture between ATO, DHS and the new DTO agency affect IBM joining the party? Will agile save the day or bury this problem deeper? Australian citizens desperate to see positive benefit for the millions spent to integrate Medicare and Centrelink to form one agency which promised to reduce costs and deliver more are hanging on to the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next in the MyGov saga.
Obama thinks that having a secure mobile device amounts to having a phone fetish
. In another bizare move by the soon-to-be-ex president of the USA, the commandeer in chief has been quoted as being strongly against strongly encrypted mobile devices to the point where full near unbreakable, in the current computing environment, secure devices is basically people just worshipping their phone. How will we catch pedophiles? Why do we allow terrorists to get away with protecting their secrets? The US goverment must be able to access anyone's files (papers in the constitution) at any time and those who stand in the way must be wrong. How dare people walk around with a bank vault for their data that can not be easily copied.
The epicenter of internet construction nightmares for homeowners is on Lambs Lane in Southeast Austin, where last October a flash flood allegedly caused by Google’s construction crews blocking nearby storm drains brought two feet of water into the home of Arnulfo and Dolores Cruz, causing $100,000 in damages. Hundreds of other complaints cite yard and property damage, trespassing, and construction vehicles blocking access to driveways.
Residents cannot get compensation until they find out which of a litany of contractors and subcontractors working in the area dumped giant piles of dirt on their front lawns, dug open holes or trenches and left them uncovered, or used their yards to store construction equipment and supplies without permission. With Google, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable all upgrading infrastructure, it is difficult to determine who is responsible for what. That makes assigning responsibility for damages very difficult. In some neighborhoods, electric and water lines were severed by construction crews as well. Some residents have even resorted to calling police when crews trespass repeatedly on private property without the courtesy of prior notification or identification.http://stopthecap.com/2016/03/01/google-fibers-contractors-create-headaches-austin-residents/
Continued legal issues
for companies using strong encryption in their products:
Apple isn't the only company in hot water over encryption. Facebook's VP of Latin America, Diego Dzodan, was detained by police this morning in Brazil after the company failed to comply with a court order to hand over Whatsapp user data, CNN reports. The big problem: Whatsapp (which Facebook owns) fully encrypts messages between users, and it has no records of messages sent. Even if it were to get access to a specific device, the encryption is likely too difficult for the company to crack.
Regardless of whether you are a small outfit like Lavabit
or an enormous company like Apple
, the government has you in their sites if you stand up for user's privacy.
Amazon.com has raised the free shipping minimum to $49 from $35 for non-Prime members, according to information provided on the Amazon website. The company hasn't published a press release with the news. For books, the threshold is still $25.
There is unlimited free two-day shipping for Prime members. "A higher minimum order requirement for free non-Prime shipping effectively increases the appeal of Prime membership, and Prime households spend disproportionately more than non-Prime households." A steep 32.8% increase in fulfillment costs had a negative impact on quarterly earnings announced on January 29. Prime membership increased 51% in 2015.http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-ups-free-shipping-minimum-to-49-from-35-for-non-prime-members-2016-02-22
It is official. The iPhone is the best device to have for data privacy. Not even the resources available to the biggest three letter agencies in America can crack it. Apple has now been ordered to create a hack to get access to an iPhone and privacy supports are against
. The primary concern is that if Apple can hack around their own security on the iPhone which would allow for data to be retrieved without triggering the device data wipe function then it will be repeatedly used by law enforcement in the future. Considering that the iPhone login was designed with this scenario in mind it could be difficult for even Apple to get around. There are fears expressed that the next step by the US Government would be to compel Apple to provide this solution for use by law enforcement and other agencies to violate the privacy of US Citizens.