Just how EVIL is Chinese tech?

We hear a lot these days about China and the E-vils of their techie toys.

Obviously, there is also a lot of political nonsense going on here given China’s economic rise on the world stage. But how bad are Chinese toys – really?

I mean, everything is Made in China anyway, right?

Join Cletus and I for a fascinating look behind the tech curtain! Iron curtain? Red curtain? Some kind of curtain!

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How to use Ethernet for your Smartphone or Tablet

Ethernet for smartphones and tablets

Many people have asked me how to use ethernet instead of WiFi with their tablet or smartphone.

While the idea is simple enough, getting ethernet to actually work with your gizmo can be anything but easy…

Some devices simply won’t work with certain USB-Ethernet dongles, and other devices won’t work at all with any dongle – period.

So, the short answer is: it’s complicated!

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Is a microwave oven a good smartphone Faraday cage?

Microwave oven as Faraday cage?

Ever since I made my Stylish Smartphone Faraday Box videos, countless people have told me to just use a microwave oven, or just use an empty potato chip bag.

Well, no… And yes! It depends.

The truth is that Faraday cages don’t block signals – they attenuate (or weaken) them.

That means that depending on the situation – the phone itself, the signal strength, the microwave oven itself, and so on – it may or may not work.

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The real reason for Airplane Mode

The real reason for Airplane Mode

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard CletusAir flight 353 with non-stop service to Mos Eisley.”

“Please return your seatbacks and tray tables to their upright position, fasten your seatbelts, turn off and stow all portable electronic devices, or put them in airplane mode for the duration of the flight.”

Eh… Why airplane mode?

Most of us think it’s to prevent interference with the airplane’s electronics.

It turns out that’s not quite correct…

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Do smartphones really hurt normal social relations?

As regular readers/viewers know, I’m not a terribly big fan of smartphones.

For more info, see my video Why I ditched my smartphone.

In response to my musings, many people have said that they don’t think people buried in their smartphones all the time is causing any real harm.

After all, they argue, people used to just bury their noses in newspapers – right?

Well, yes… But no.

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How to choose a dumbphone: It ain’t easy!

If you decide to ditch your smartphone, then you have to pick the right dumbphone.

“You must choose, but choose wisely.”

There are many factors that come into play, like where you live and what wireless provider you’re using.

But it gets way more complicated than that…

2G, 3G, or 4G? And then, will 2G be around much longer with the release of 5G? What about 3G networks? How long will 3G be sticking around?

And then we have 4G dumbphones: There aren’t very many (at all), and they aren’t as Google-free as we might hope. SIGH

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Off isn’t really Off

In the olden days, our gizmos had electro-mechanical power buttons. When the thing was turned off, no power was sent to it.

Nowadays, things have changed with the advent of electronically-controlled everything – including things like washing machines.

You can even look at the specs of most gizmos these days, and you’ll see two power ratings: Max power consumption, and “Sleep” power consumption.

Puters haven’t been off-off for a long time now. Smartphones are also never really off in many cases, and neither are smart TVs.

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Why I ditched my smartphone

Smartphones are nice, right?

They let you Do Stuff™, and you can even convert your entire social life to be run entirely via Google’s servers!

WOW!

Well, according to a recent investigation by the Tucker Carlson clan, it turns out Google is hoovering up far more data than previously thought.

So, I finally decided to take the plunge: I’ve switched to a dumbphone, and I’ve never been happier…

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A better Stylish Smartphone Faraday Box

9 months ago, I made this video: Make your own stylish smartphone Faraday Box in 10 minutes

Since then, I’ve learned a ton more about Faraday cages, and experimented a lot to make an even BETTER box.

It turns out that my original box was only so-so at blocking Bluetooth. My original testing of Bluetooth blocking was, shall we say, not very thorough. My primary focus was blocking cell network signals.

I also mistakenly assumed that if Bluetooth was blocked, WiFi at 2.4 GHz would also be blocked. Nope! WiFi is much harder to block due to the higher signal strength (among other things).

I’m fired!

To make matters worse, contrary to popular belief, we’re still learning about how Faraday cages actually work!

And so, I give you: Stylish Smartphone Faraday Box: Mark II

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Build your own stylish signal blocking smartphone box in ten minutes

New Version! See: A better Stylish Smartphone Faraday Box

With the release of WikiLeak’s “Year Zero” information on the CIA’s capabilities, you might be forgiven if you’re worried about your privacy.

Of course, those capabilities were always there, whether you knew about them or not.

Still, it’s a bit annoying to think that some bozo is remotely activating your smartphone’s mic to spy on your extremely dramatic dinnertime conversations.

You could buy some overly expensive “Faraday Bag” to stick your phone in when you’re not using it, but who wants an ugly black overpriced lunch bag?

Instead, just make your own Faraday Box. It’s stylish, it’s hip, and it only takes about 10 minutes to make!

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