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.
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…
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.
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!
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…
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).
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
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!
You may have heard about tethering, but it probably seems a bit mysterious and complicated.
Tethering is when you connect your smartphone or tablet to your puter, and then use your mobile device’s data connection to surf the internet on your puter.
Well, to put it another way: your puter uses your smartphone (or your tablet’s 4G connection) as its internet connection instead of your normal DSL, cable, fiber, etc.
Tethering can be done in several ways, and it’s much easier to set up than you think!
If you’ve read any reviews recently about phones, tablets, and other gizmos, you’ve probably come across a lot of talk of PPI (Pixels Per Inch) and “Retina” screens.
In short, the number of pixels crammed into a device’s screen seems to be uber-important to which gizmos get the best reviews.
But hang on a minute… Just what do these numbers mean?
Does it really matter that much?
Okay, so I just can’t keep quiet about this one.
Apple has released their latest iPhones, the 5S and the 5C. While the release of the 5C is particularly hilarious given that it’s a “low-end” phone that Jobs said Apple would never release because they’re a “premium products” company.
That’s not what’s really bugging me, although it does help me laugh myself to sleep at night.
What’s bugging me is the fact that the #1 “attraction” in the new iPhone is the 64-bit processor.
Does a 64-bit processor actually matter at all? Is it really 2X faster?
No, it isn’t.