Tag Archives: gadgets

Forgetting to Charge Your Phone

You’re getting ready to go out for a few hours. You take a shower, you brush your teeth, you find something to wear, you make sure you have your keys, phone, and wallet, and then head out the front door. You feel like you’re prepared and that you have everything that you need until you look at your phone and you see it only has 25% battery left. Great, now you can only use your phone for texting and emergency calls. Checking Facebook or playing games will just turn your phone into a paperweight. You’re still kind of relieved that you brought it because you would feel naked without it, but a dead phone is a useless phone. It’s like a wallet without any cash or credit cards. It’s just a shell of what it’s supposed to be. I don’t like to leave the house with less than 80% battery life, but I always prefer a full charge for peace of mind. And I hate whoring myself out to borrow somebody’s charger.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Upgrading Your Phone

We are a society of consumers and that compels us to upgrade our phones constantly. You are behind the times if you don’t have the most current model and that’s somehow shameful. It’s weird. Upgrading your phone is like making your way through high school. You’re a Senior if you have the latest model, and that means you own the campus. You drop in the social standings for every year you’ve had your phone, You’re a Junior if your phone is a year old. You’re still an upperclassman, but you’re not top dog. You’re a Freshman if your phone is three or four years old. And if your phone is five years old you are in middle school and not worth talking about. I am still rocking my iPhone 4. Siri won’t talk to me, but I can look down on anyone who still has a phone with buttons. Conversely, anyone with an iPhone 5 or 4s can legally shun me. Even those fuckers with the Windows Phone can make fun of me because their phone is cooler than mine. Whatever, I’m chill with being in the middle of the totem pole.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Ringtones

I remember those indestructible Nokia phones in the early 2000s. They had a hundred crappy ringtones built in. Now a phone only has a handful of ringtones. It’s almost as if they realized that ringtones are fucking annoying. Some people pay money to have a 30 second song clip as their ringtone. Cool, you have a custom ringtone. I still don’t want to hear it. Nobody else does either. So either turn off your phone or put it on silent. The only acceptable ringtone is vibrate.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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An iPhone with a Cracked Screen

An iPhone with a cracked screen is like a dead dog on the freeway. It doesn’t matter if it’s not your dog, you still feel sad when you see it. An iPhone is a work of art, it is a sexy piece of technology, and a cracked screen can make it an ugly paperweight. Some people use a cracked screen as an opportunity to upgrade and buy a new phone. Some people use their insurance to get a replacement model. Some people embrace the crack and treat it like it’s a badge of honor. And some people have to borrow their little sister’s old Nokia. Life’s not fair.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Smartphones

The world changed when the iPhone came out in 2007. That’s when smartphones kicked into high gear. Getting rid of buttons was a godsend. We all woke up one day and suddenly there was a phone with a touchscreen interface. Not just a phone. It’s a camera, a gaming console, a music player, you can watch movies and TV shows and listen to the radio, it’s a personal GPS and will show you how to get anywhere, you have the internet and more apps than you can count. With the iPhones and iClones anyone with a steady paycheck can have a portable computer in their pocket.

Once you have that kind of power in your hands, you can do anything. There are stories of people using their iPhones to find out how to perform first aid. Smartphones have literally saved lives. But most of the time you just use it to find out which guy was in that movie or to settle drunken arguments (yes, you can be allergic to water, my iPhone says so).

The only downside to smartphones is that smartphones make dumb people. You get addicted to your device. You always have to check Facebook or your email. Maybe Justin Bieber posted a new picture on Twitter. You have to respond to Becky’s text. You become a slave to it. But so be it. Once you have a smartphone you can’t go back to a beeper.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Pager Code

Back in the days before text messaging and cell phones, all the cool kids were rocking pagers. Pagers are little electronic devices used for communication. You simply call up the pager number of the person you’re trying to reach and you would write the phone number where they can call you back. If it was a really important message you would add 911 to the end of it.

Most pagers or beepers could only display numerical message like a phone number. It wasn’t longer before some nerds started realizing that you could use the numbers to write out messages. I imagine it started out as a simple joke, maybe one geek texted 80085 to his friend and they realized that numbers could double as crude letters. Some letters are obvious: a 0 is an “O”, a 1 is an “I”. Some letters were created by using multiple numbers: 12 is an “R”, 17 is an “N”, and 177 is an “M”, etc.

Some common phrases like “I love you” had assigned numbers. “I love you” became 143. “I” is one letter, “love” is four letters, and “you” is three letters.

 

Pager Code wasn’t set in stone. There would be subtle differences between different regions. Pager code was a fad, it was cumbersome to write and difficult to decipher. You could spend a lot of time trying to figure out that 373948177 is “elephant”. I don’t know why you would be paging someone about an elephant, but it probably happened.

I spent a good three months trying to learn pager code back in the day and I was pretty proficient at it. Now it’s like being skilled in Latin, it’s an impressive language but no one uses it anymore. 74875 580. That’s sad.

Critically Rated at 4/17

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