Have you ever been watching an old movie and wonder to yourself, “HOW”?? How did these people get anything done without a cell phone with them at every waking moment? I think about this sometimes and still cannot fathom how it was possible. I use my phone ALL the time. I use my phone for things I never would have thought I would need a phone for. It is my calculator, my directions, my restaurant guide, my night-light, my watch, and I also make calls with it. I have even used my phone as a prop to seem like I am keeping busy while I am actually loitering- you know you have too. With the introduction of the smartphone, the idea that a cell phone is just a phone has completely gone out the window. Applications have taken over. There are now over 300,000 Apps available in the Apple App Store, with close to 10 billion total downloads. If one were savvy enough, they could potentially automate a great deal of their life through applications. There are apps to pay bills, apps to help the cost-conscious shopper, apps to track sleeping habits, apps to locate the closest bank, gas station, or bodega. Apps rule the roost when it comes to the phone dominating your life. Continue reading »
The New York Times recently published an article about how the amount of people injured by walking into something while distracted by their new or refurbished cell phones is on the rise, which was both funny and kind of sad as I’ve definitely run into a few stationary objects mid text.
According to the article, more than 1,000 people visited the emergency room in 2008 because of a walking/running accident that occurred while they were using their cell phone. Apparently that number had doubled from 2007, which was twice the number from 2006.
Jack L. Nasar, a professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State, points out that the actual number of injuries incurred from being distracted by mobile phones is much, much higher, but most of the injuries aren’t serious enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room, so they go unrecorded.
The night after I read this article I visited my favorite restaurant, and the waitress told about how she had just walked into the corner of her coffee table because she was texting her boyfriend. I can’t help but laugh at myself every time I walk into something, but I guess it would be a lot different if it were an oncoming bus that I stepped in front of. Note to self: Look up more often while texting.
Well this is something I’d never think I’d see. While most congregations frown upon heavy uses of technology, especially during mass, England’s St. Lawrence Jewry, which is a church that dates back to the 17th century, is now embracing and actually blessing new and refurbished cell phones.
Rev. Canon David Parrott recently placed a blessing upon a pile of computers and smart phones because he feels that they are “our daily working tool, and it’s a technology we should bless.” He even encourages the use of mobile phones during mass as long as they are set on vibrate mode.
Parrott has chosen “Plow Monday,” a traditional ceremony that once involved the seasonal blessing of farm equipment, as the day to celebrate technology. Plow Monday is said to date back to Medieval Times when, on the Monday after Twelfth Night, farmers would bring their plows to church to be blessed. Apparently, on this Plow Monday, Parrot said, “May our tongues be gentle, our e-mails be simple and our websites be accessible.”
The Economist did an article at the end of December that offers some interesting statistics about our new and refurbished cell phones. According to them, in one decade the World has gone from 500 million mobile phone subscribers to 4.6 billion subscribers. The Economist also claims that humanity is now using over 1 trillion minutes per month on mobile phones – that equates to 2 million years.
The article goes on to discuss some interesting cultural differences when it comes to the mobile phone industry. I was surprised to see the extreme difference is monthly minute usage between cultures. Apparently, Americans use an average of 788 minutes per month whereas the Germans only use, on average, 89 minutes. According to the article, Puerto Ricans are the most talkative people in the world, using 1,875 minutes per month.
Another part of the article I found interesting explains that in the US, we call mobile phones cell phones where as the British and Spanish refer to them as mobiles. Germans and Finnish people refer to them as “Handys,” and the word that the Chinese use for their mobile phones translates as “hand machine.” You can find the article in its entirety here.
Adobe has recently released a free Photoshop App for mobile phones running Google’s Android software such as the new Motorola Droid. This is one of the coolest apps that I’ve seen released in a while, especially as the amount of megapixels in cell phone cameras continue to rise (the Droid comes with a legit 5 megapixel camera).
Photoshop for Android devices makes it incredibly easy to perform edits to photos on your smartphone and then upload them when you’re finished. When you open up a photo in your photo gallery, you are given the option to edit the photo. With a click, the photo opens in Photoshop, and you’re ready to start editing. At the top of the edit mode screen, there are three icons: crop, image correction and color effects, and soft focus. Under the crop icon, you can choose to crop, straighten, rotate, or flip the photo. If you click on the image correction and color effects icon, you have the ability to change the exposure, saturation, tint, or to make the photo black and white. The degree of these changes all depends on how far you slide your finger on the exposure, saturation, etc. scale. The soft focus button allows you to adjust the amount of “soft focus” that you wish to apply to the photo.
One of the nicest features of Photoshop for Android is that it has both an “undo” and a “redo” button, so you can make edits without fear of not being able to undo them.
Once you’ve finished editing your photos, you can upload them from your Android mobile phone directly to the Photoshop.com account, which comes free with 2GB (roughly 1,500 pictures) of storage for all Android devices. The photoshop.com account makes it easy to share photos online and is a good way to back up the photos on your mobile phone. You can even add captions before uploading. Android also has the ability to upload a large amount of photos even if the Photoshop app is not running, meaning you can be doing other things on your phone while photos are uploading to your Photoshop.com account. You can find a video demonstration of the Photoshop app for Android devices here.