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    September 16, 2014
    One Plane Full Of New iPhones

    Friday is the first day of delivery for the new iPhone 6, and there are already 4 million orders (or more) put in to receive one.  That’s going to require a lot of iPhones, and Apple is doing its best to get as many of them onto American shores before the big launch as they can.  Well, the airplanes are arriving in America, loaded down with iPhones from China, and it’s quite a sight.  Here’s what a plane loaded down with 195,000 iPhones looks like.

    That’s just one 747.  There are bigger planes out there, and they are also loaded down with iPhones, to the tune of some 30 big plane flights a day coming from China to the United States.  That’s all to get ready for one big day, driven by Apple’s latest device.  That’s a staggering amount of phones, and it still won’t be enough to satisfy all the preorders.  There’ll be people waiting until October for their iPhones, no doubt about it.

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    September 15, 2014
    Chinese City’s Cell Phone Walker Lane

    It seems that no matter where you go, you can’t get people off their cell phones.  From London to Hong Kong, people have their nose in their phone and never pay attention to where they’re actually going.  Well one Chinese city has decided to raise a little awareness of that issue.  Chongqing, China has a cell-phone walking lane, separating walkers from talkers.  Apparently, the city of 28 million people in southwest China has a real problem with folks not paying attention.

    “There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cell phone may cause unnecessary collisions here,” said Nong Cheng, a spokeswoman for the district’s property manager.

    Of course, the effort isn’t a real law, just a satirical way to create a little situational awareness, as well as get some attention for the city.  Here’s hoping all the cell phone photos will convince some of those users to pay more attention to the world around them and less attention to their Facebook and Twitter and Instagram accounts while walking around.  And if not, at least they’ll be a lot of funny pictures added to those things.

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    September 12, 2014
    Fun Friday: Maisie Williams And The NES

    The Fine Brothers are Internet famous for their great series of “React To” videos.  Basically, they get a group of people, be they elders, teens, kids, or YouTube celebrities, and get them to respond to various things.  Of the most interest, at least to me, are when kids and teens react to things that are familiar to me.  In this case, the very video game system I grew up on, the Nintendo Entertainment System.  In this case, there’s a special guest with the usual teenagers, Game of Thrones sensation Maisie Williams, AKA Arya Stark!  Check it out below.

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    Like the kids in the video, I will go to my grave believing that blowing air into the cart of a Nintendo game would make it work.  I actually still have dozens of Nintendo games, I just wish I had a working game system.  The original kind, too, not the top-loader that was much less likely to break.  Give me the big square box or nothing!

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    September 10, 2014
    Internet Slowdown Day

    If your connection seems a little slow today, it’s not you and it’s not your Internet provider, it’s the sites themselves.  This morning, hundreds of websites displayed animations showing just how slow the online experience could be if America’s ISPs get their way.  The protest is dubbed Internet Slowdown Day, and it pits Google, Facebook, and other huge online companies against the Internet Service Providers who run the Internet into homes around the country.  Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, Comcast, AT&T, and others are trying to separate the Internet into paying ‘first priority’ websites and secondary websites, and the FCC is listening to their arguments as we speak.  Basically, your Internet provider is trying to pay the government to earn the right to charge companies to be put into an online “fast lane” while those that won’t, or can’t, get pushed to the side.

    “The ISPs have invested tens of millions of dollars in their effort to undermine Net Neutrality,” said a press release from Demand Progress executive director David Segal, “but we still have a chance of defeating them — because the overwhelming majority of Americans stand with the Open Internet. September 10th represents a chance for us to make that fact impossible to ignore.”

    Comcast has already forced Netflix to pay them what amounts to a bribe to allow Netflix’s customers to continue to receive service as fast as they’re paying for, and now they’re looking to expand that reach.  Turns out ISPs are some of the highest-paying lobbyist groups in Washington, which means they’ll get to buy a lot of Congressional support (and the head of the FCC is a former cable company lobbyist, and cable companies are the new ISPs).  Turns out it’s not extortion if you can pay off enough people to get your way!

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    September 10, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: The iPhone Event

    Via: Paul T. Jarman on Twitter

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    September 3, 2014
    Samsung’s Bold New Edge In Smartphones

    The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is boldly going where no phone has gone before, thanks to a new little wrinkle.  Or, rather, a new curve in the road.  Taking advantage of Samsung’s curved display technology, the Galaxy Note Edge’s screen wraps around the phone, turning the edge of the phone into another display for information and a brand new way for apps to work with the native touchscreen interface.  Here’s how Samsung is plotting to use this extra real estate.

    First of all, this extra edge is going to be a display for time and weather information, so the phone can be on its side and still be useful (like for checking the time when you wake up in the middle of the night.  When you hold the phone horizontally, it turns the smartphone into a point-and-shoot camera, with the shutter button and other camera buttons appearing on the side screen.  You can also tap on the screen to access the flashlight, stopwatch, and other functions normally only on the home screen.

    You can check out The Verge for more great pictures like the one above, plus a full hands-on report concerning Samsung’s phone offering.

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    September 3, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Grandma’s Remote

    Image: Renzo Soprano’s Twitter

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    September 2, 2014
    Ten Awesome Tricks Your Phone Can Do

    Smartphones are everywhere, and it seems that most people have them these days, leaving only old-timers and hold-outs like myself bucking against the current for awesome phones that do every trick in the book.  However, just because you have a smartphone, that doesn’t mean you’re using it to the fullest of its abilities.  After all, not everyone is a master with the smartphone, most people are just users.  Time to step up your game.  USA Today has a list of helpful tricks your phone can do that most people don’t know about.

    None of these are game-breakers, but the option to block calls and texts just might change some lives, particularly if you get hassled by robo-calls or other nefarious folks who tend to interrupt your sleep with trivial matters.  For the more visually-challenged set, the tip on how to make the text bigger on the phone just might spare a few headaches.  And, let’s be honest, custom vibration settings would be perfect for call-screening without having to take your phone out of your pocket and risk accidentally answering a call from someone you don’t want to talk to.

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    August 29, 2014
    MSN Messenger Signing Off For Good

    I bet you thought it was gone, didn’t you?  Once upon a time, when people need computers to chat with one another over long distances, there were a host of chatting options:  AOL/AIM, Yahoo Messenger, and the least-heralded of the three, MSN Messenger.  AIM is still around, and I think Yahoo Messenger probably is too, but MSN Messenger has long since disappeared in the United States, supplanted by Microsoft’s purchase of Skype.  However, while MSN may be gone in the US, it still has a home in China, where Messgenger lived on for years after its unceremonious dumping Stateside.

    That’s all changing.  Facing competition from Skype and Chinese-developed QQ chat service from Tencent, Microsoft is reading the writing on the wall and powering down the servers.  MSN Messenger will be signing off for good in October.  Talk about the end of an era.  I think anyone in their late 20s or early 30s remembers spending hours online chatting via various things, struggling to play games via dial-up modem, and other things that s0und like my grandmother talking about the radio, or my parents talking about black-and-white TV.

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    August 27, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Windows 1.0

    Image:  Wikipedia

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