WBEZ | iPhone http://www.wbez.org/tags/iphone Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Digital Sabbath: Finding balance online and offline http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/digital-sabbath-finding-balance-online-and-offline-108045 <p><p>The writer, comedian and most-connected-man-in-the-world, Baratunde Thurston, took a 25 day sabbatical from his digital existence a few months ago.</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3012521/unplug/baratunde-thurston-leaves-the-internet">He documents it here</a>, and in fact, the world did not come to an end.</p><p>I am no Baratunde Thurston. In fact, in the digital realm, in the media universe, I&rsquo;m but a speck of spacedust to his quasar. I&rsquo;m a digital editor, known to most in the newsrooms I&rsquo;ve occupied as &ldquo;the digital guy,&rdquo; &ldquo;web guy,&rdquo; &ldquo;tech guy&rdquo; or &ldquo;social media guru.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="Courtesy Wikimedia Commons" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bhumananda.jpg" style="float: right; width: 213px; height: 292px;" title="Guru Bhumananda" /></div><p>I hate the last title, so lets get something straight here right off the bat. A guru, while technically, by definition, a decent description of someone who teaches others, has become synonymous with the image of a long-bearded, white-haired old man atop a mountain dispensing deep spiritual wisdom to others.</p><p>The other definitions are that of a cult leader preying on the naivete of others or a snarky, know-it-all, self-promotional tech evangelist.</p><p>I am just a journalist who took an early interest in digital technology and the way in which it could be utilized to tell stories better and to distribute those stories to as many people as possible.</p><p>I&rsquo;m on all the social networks, though I&rsquo;m not active on all of them all of the time.</p><p>And I&rsquo;m a manager of a web department at a large Chicago radio station, so I spend a lot of time on email, in meetings, using Google Docs and monitoring social media, among other duties. I do teach others how to improve their use of social media. I do teach people how to shoot and edit video on their phones and tablets, and I do try to model good social media use for others around me.</p><p>But a guru these do not make me.</p><p>I use a MacBook Air at work, because it makes web production twice as fast as on my PC. But I&rsquo;m realistic enough to know that this is just my personal preference from having used Macs for a long, long time. My colleagues seem to do very well with their PCs. I have an iPad so I can edit, return emails or do research on my train commute to and from the Southwest suburbs of Chicago and from meetings.</p><p>The center of my digital universe is my iPhone. I also carry a Nexus 7 tablet with me for reading and making sure I&rsquo;m up-to-date on Android&rsquo;s mobile platform.</p><p>My workflow centers around email, which is probably the biggest time-suck in my day. I cannot afford to do a 25-day sabbatical from anything digital, so I recently instituted a very personal weekend email sabbath to help me achieve a better work/life balance.</p><p>I do not check my email from Saturday night until Monday morning. I&rsquo;ve instructed those who depend on me to call me or text me in an emergency, at which point I can turn my attention to email if necessary.</p><p><strong>These are my personal rules for email management:</strong></p><ul><li>I try to reply as soon as possible, if I&rsquo;m able to. For these very quick responses, I often try to re-program my staff or colleagues to send me a message in Google Chat instead of using email.</li><li>I clean out my inbox every Friday. I cannot stand to have leftover emails in there from the week before. And I try never to let my in-box get over 100 emails deep before I delete unnecessary ones. This cuts down on my stress levels a lot.</li><li>I keep a miscellaneous file in Outlook to dump emails I want to hold on to, and then I go through and clean that out or redistribute those emails each month.</li><li>If I have to write a sternly worded email, of if I&rsquo;m responding to something with emotional overtones, I try to stop and walk away from the email for an hour before re-reading it and then sending it.</li><li>Emails are a good indication of your professionalism. I try to remember this when I&rsquo;m tempted to shorthand an answer or get something off quick without copy editing it.</li></ul><p><strong>On the Road: When Cold Turkey Doesn&rsquo;t Cut it</strong></p><p><img class="alwaysThinglink" src="//cdn.thinglink.me/api/image/408719249872257717/1024/10/scaletowidth#tl-408719249872257717;626328886" width="640" /><script async charset="utf-8" src="//cdn.thinglink.me/jse/embed.js"></script></p><p>I recently took a two-week vacation. At least that&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;m telling myself. My wife and I, along with our three kids, took a road trip to Oregon so I could teach at a writing workshop at a university in our home town of Salem, while they spent time with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandmas and grandpas.</p><p>I mistakenly thought this would be a good opportunity to take a digital sabbatical. I took an old iPhone 4 and loaded it up with songs from Spotify, and I plugged my own phone into a suction cup on my windshield to use as a navigational device.</p><p>For the next 32 hours, I would be disconnected from my world. And it would be good.&nbsp;</p><p>Just an hour down Interstate 80, I saw the first email notification come across featured on a small info bar at the top of my phone&rsquo;s screen. Then came a Facebook notification and some retweets on Twitter.</p><p>I forgot to turn my notifications off.</p><p>I told myself I would go dark tomorrow, and at the first gas stop, I had my head angled down staring at my screen and furiously trying to reply to the questions from work, while my wife smiled that knowing smile she has reserved for when my promises go slightly astray.</p><p>I managed to turn off a few updates the next day, and my phone was quiet as it plotted the miles we would drive through Nebraska, Wyoming and to Utah, where we would spend the night.</p><p>But when I went to my phone&rsquo;s browser to look for a good place for lunch in Cheyenne, I happened to notice the little red number above my Facebook app said 10.</p><p>This little red number is like crack. No matter how hard I try, I cannot ignore it. If it does not go away, I will remove that app from my home screen, which is why all my bill-paying apps are on the second screen of my phone.</p><p>It wasn&rsquo;t until we arrived at the home of my in-laws, where there is no Wi-Fi, and where even getting a signal some days makes it impossible to refresh any social media that loads pictures, that I was finally able to unplug for a while.</p><p>Teaching at the workshop also helped me unplug.</p><p>The rest of the vacation became a concentrated effort to do something I&rsquo;ve been trying to do for a long time.</p><p>When I met with people, I did not put my phone on the table in front of me, as I would in most work meetings. I turned it to silent, and I only looked at it if I received a text message, and then only after apologizing to the person I was talking to.</p><p>Because I did not take out my phone, I assume others did not take their phones out. When you announce to someone that this device takes precedence over them by putting it on the table in front of you with the screen up, they will often do the same thing. And soon you have invited your work and social lives into the conversation as well.</p><p>On the way home, I tried to be better about stopping to take pictures instead of trying to snap them through the sunroof of our car.</p><p>And I even left the phone dark instead of using the GPS features on our way home, because, well, I already knew the way, and who really wants to get home from vacation any faster, right?</p><p><strong>The Kids Aren&rsquo;t Alright: When Technology Replaces Game Night</strong></p><p>Several years ago I was laid off from a newspaper in Montana and forced to look for work out of state. The problem was that our kids, unbeknownst to us, had put down roots in the little mountain berg of Missoula.</p><p>When it came time to tell them that dad got a job at a television station in Alaska, they nearly staged a revolt.</p><p>To ease the pain of separation, I bought them each an iPod Touch, and we weren&rsquo;t on the road for two hours before I got a request to stop at a rest stop with Wi-Fi so they could Facetime their friends.</p><p>These little devices certainly helped them overcome their separation anxiety by providing a conduit to their friends as well as a source of entertainment for the driving and flying parts of our move.</p><p>But they also ushered in a new age for us where our kids became expert digital consumers. They were quickly sucked into the trap, requesting Facebook accounts and adding me on Twitter and Instagram.</p><p>Initially we used their new dependence on technology as a powerful behavioral modification tool. If they misbehaved, they were grounded from digital technology for a weekend and sometimes as long as a week.</p><p>In the past year I&rsquo;ve realized that the behavior I model at home is what they view as acceptable. Never mind that my job requires me to be on Facebook and Twitter often.</p><p>But rather than just impose a smartphone-free zone in the house, I decided to try and take a strategic stab at managing it.</p><p>My kids are like a Buzzfeed for YouTube videos. They consume hours of YouTube every week, in fact it&rsquo;s quickly replacing cartoons as the favorite form of entertainment on Saturday mornings.</p><p>Instead of banning YouTube in the house, we have co-opted it into our lives as the new family game night.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/240px-Apple_TV_2nd_Generation.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Apple TV" /></div><p>We like to set up the Apple TV, and each person lines up their favorite new funny videos, Ted Talks or music videos. This works alright until about the third Taylor Swift video on my daughter&rsquo;s iPod Touch. But we&rsquo;re working on finding balance there too.</p><p>We also like to play a game at the dinner table that requires the kids, as well as my wife and I, to attempt to answer questions without resorting to Google on our devices. This exercises our memories a little, and it stirs good conversation.</p><p>It&rsquo;s when the kids go to bed that the real trouble starts. This time is often the only time in my day where I can go check in on my own Facebook friends or write up a personal blog post.</p><p>I haven&rsquo;t achieved much balance in this part of my day yet, much to my wife&rsquo;s chagrin.</p><p>But on Friday date nights, I&rsquo;m learning to be in the moment more, so I&rsquo;m trying to leave my phone in my pocket and jogging my memory to find great discussion items from the past week instead of playing show &amp; tell with our phones.</p><p>But in a screen-dominated world, it might not always be your smartphone screen keeping you from engaging with others. In fact, I&rsquo;m this close to asking to be seated in a different part of our favorite martini bar, away from the television screens blasting Chicago sports 24/7. Now that the Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup, of course.</p><p>How do you balance your digital life?</p><br /><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/takimoff" rel="author">Tim Akimoff</a> is the Digital Content Editor at WBEZ. <a href="mailto:takimoff@wbez.org">You can email him here</a> and follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/timakimoff">Twitter</a>.</p><p>Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons</p></p> Sat, 13 Jul 2013 10:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/digital-sabbath-finding-balance-online-and-offline-108045 Picture or it didn't happen http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-04/picture-or-it-didnt-happen-106640 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP195640861850.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="File: Fans at an Ellie Goulding concert use cell phones to capture the event. (AP/File)" />Art punk trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been posting <a href="http://gawker.com/5994047/yeah-yeah-yeahs-post-sadly-necessary-sign-asking-fans-not-to-watch-their-show-through-a-smartphone-screen" target="_blank">this sign</a> at venues on their current tour: a polite reminder for fans to enjoy their shows without a &quot;I must take a million blurry pictures/horrible sound quality videos to prove that I was here!&quot; mentality.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device/camera,&quot; the sign reads, &quot;PUT THAT [BLEEP] AWAY as a courtesy to the people behind you and to Nick, Karen and Brian.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Understandably, the band has a zero tolerance policy for looking out at the audience and seeing a constellation of iPhones glowing back at them.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image ">I will be the first to admit that I&#39;ve been guilty of this behavior. I&#39;ve snapped photos during shows for St. Vincent and Ty Segall, compelled to somehow immortalize the experience of seeing my musical idols in the flesh. I&#39;ve also developed a fondness for photo-sharing other aspects of my life, like the best cocktail I&#39;ve ever tasted or a new book that I can&#39;t wait to read. And I&#39;m not alone in what appears to be a <a href="http://www.generationalinsights.com/tag/generation-y-millennials/page/2/" target="_blank">millennial-specific</a>&nbsp;compulsion to photo-document even the tiniest minutiae, as the mobile app Instagram just topped <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/26/instagram-100-million/" target="_blank">100 million</a> monthly users this year.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">My generation came of age with Facebook, then mobile photo-sharing on a mass scale. We&#39;ve become a society of instant clickers, wracked with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.generationalinsights.com/tag/generation-y-millennials/page/2/" target="_blank">extreme anxiety</a> when parted from our electronic devices and a constant <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/03/20/social-media-anxiety-sites-like-facebook-twitter-stressing-teens-out/" target="_blank">needling desire</a> to prove our worth through social media. We ask ourselves, &quot;If I don&#39;t take a picture of this event, will my friends believe that I was there?&quot; With the rise of <a href="http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/tech-addiction/" target="_blank">tech addiction</a>&nbsp;and smartphone cameras literally right at our fingertips, the answer to that question is usually <a href="http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/pics-or-it-didnt-happen" target="_blank">no</a>.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_conclave,_2013" target="_blank">papal conclave </a>on March 12 was a glaring example of this phenomemon. Past popes (including Pope Benedict XVI in 2005) have been greeted with a smattering of camera flashes; but when the newly-elected Pope Francis appeared on the balcony of St. Peter&#39;s Basilica, almost everyone in the crowd raised their glittering smartphones and tablets in response.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">As the world&#39;s obsession with technology grows, so does our reliance on instant gratification and the gnawing impulse to photo-capture every moment. Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram have made <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-31/features/ct-tribu-social-media-oversharing-20130131_1_social-media-tweet-or-post-online-boundaries" target="_blank">oversharing</a> easier than ever before, and &quot;keeping up with the Joneses&quot; through social media&nbsp;even more stressful.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">According to the <a href="http://www.generationalinsights.com/tag/generation-y-millennials/page/2/" target="_blank">Pew study</a> of millennials, 40 percent of young people surveyed feel like they &quot;can&#39;t live&quot; without their smartphones. However, our parents did just fine without them, and perhaps had even better memories of their good times as a result of being 100 percent unplugged.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Can you imagine the Beatles playing to a sea of iPhones, or a Woodstock audience glued to their Twitter feeds? Back then, concert-goers could experience music in the moment, allowing the songs to wash over them completely, and never once think about which Instagram filter they should use to prove how cool they were for being there.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">To the compulsive photo-sharers: cutting back is key. Take one quick shot if you absolutely must, then sit back and enjoy whatever experience that you&#39;re supposed to be having. Pictures may last forever, but real-life moments are gone in a flash; so try really<em> living</em> them for a change, without the superficial barrier of your camera phone getting in the way. &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-04/picture-or-it-didnt-happen-106640 Fear and violence in Chicago: a female perspective http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-03/fear-and-violence-chicago-female-perspective-106078 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/safety.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px; " title="As much as we don't like to admit it, women in Chicago have much to fear when traveling alone. (ActInSelfDefense)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Out of all the&nbsp;<a href="http://homicides.redeyechicago.com" target="_blank">violent crimes</a>&nbsp;that take place in Chicago each year (including 506 homicides in 2012, the vast majority of them gun-related, and 62 in 2013 so far), tragedies involving young innocents like <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-12/news/chi-hadiya-pendleton-charges-20130211_1_area-central-police-headquarters-gang-members-rival-gang" target="_blank">Hadiya Pendleton</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/12/jonylah-watkins-dies-6-mo_n_2859436.html" target="_blank">Jonylah Watkins</a> are always the ones that affect us the most.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">We see their smiling faces--so alive and so full of promise--and our hearts break, as we imagine our daughters, our grandaughters and even ourselves at that age. Then, we shudder with the horrible realization: that could have been my daughter, my grandaughter. That could have been me.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">As a young woman living in Chicago for the past several years, first in the South Loop and now on the edge of Logan Square and Avondale, I have grown somewhat desensitized to the epidemic of violence that I see as <a href="http://homicides.redeyechicago.com" target="_blank">little red dots</a> in my morning paper. I often venture to &quot;sketchy&quot; neighborhoods to cover a story, and I usually don&#39;t think twice about walking home by myself at 2 a.m. However, when I hear about a shooting just a couple of blocks from my apartment, or listen to a friend tell her story of getting mugged at bus stop just steps from my front door, I wonder if this bubble of safety that I&#39;ve created for myself is really just an <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/chicago-struggles-combat-gun-violence-article-1.1271786" target="_blank">illusion</a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The mentality of &quot;it could never happen to me, because I don&#39;t live in x neighborhood and I don&#39;t know anyone in a gang&quot; is the easiest way to distance oneself from the crimes happening on a daily basis here in Chicago (and in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/most-dangerous-cities-for-women_n_1456729.html" target="_blank">most cities</a> across the United States, for that matter). Still, does this &quot;blinders-on&quot; approach really help us in the long run, or does it just keep us more segregated from each other and ultimately less safe as a whole?&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Obviously, living in fear and paranoia doesn&#39;t help either; but to go the opposite route and refuse to educate oneself on the possible dangers of city life is just as detrimental, if not more so. Women in particular need to remain on constant alert, no matter how &quot;safe&quot; they may feel in a given neighborhood. Also, knowledge of basic self-defense is paramount, because let&#39;s face it: nobody thinks that they&#39;ll be a victim of a crime--whether it be an <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/09/iphone-thefts-apple-picking-on-the-rise/" target="_blank">iPhone theft</a>&nbsp;on the El&nbsp;or a <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-06-06/news/ct-met-mob-attacks-20110606_1_mob-attacks-downtown-japanese-doctor" target="_blank">random shooting</a>&nbsp;right outside their home or workplace- until it happens to them.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">And even if you think that you don&#39;t really <em>need&nbsp;</em>to take a self-defense class or keep a can of pepper spray in your purse at all times,&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_and_crime" target="_blank">statistics prove</a> that being a woman automatically puts a target on your back. Of course, women are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/women/women_killers2/3.html" target="_blank">just as capable</a> of violent behavior as their male counterparts (<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticide" target="_blank">infanticide</a> being a prime example),&nbsp;but the unfortunate truth remains that men are <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_and_violence#Gender_and_violence" target="_blank">10 times</a>&nbsp;more&nbsp;likely than women to commit murder, and a woman walking alone at night has <em>much</em> more to fear than an innocent man in the same position.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">So, what can we do to empower ourselves as women and avoid becoming victims?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">- Learn basic <a href="http://www.chicagoloopster.com/2011/07/22/fight-like-a-chicagoan-self-defense-for-the-streets-of-chicago/" target="_blank">self-defense</a>. A physical and/or sexual assault can often be thwarted by the simplest of maneuvers: a hard&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_(attack)#Palm_Strike" target="_blank">palm strike</a> to the nose, a swift <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groin_attack">kick</a> to the groin or a strong blast of pepper spray to temporarily blind your attacker and give you a chance to escape.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">- Travel with a friend or in a group whenever possible, especially when navigating the city at night. If you are walking alone, make sure to stay in well-lit areas with lots of other people around.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">- If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross to the other side of the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store, restaurant or house with lights on. Don&#39;t be afraid to yell for help, although &quot;Fire!&quot; is usually the best way to get people&#39;s attention.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">- Resist taking your phone out while walking down the street or riding on the bus or train. Keep all valuables safely tucked away and out of reach.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">- Always be aware of your surroundings. Look up, walk &quot;with a purpose&quot; and avoid wearing headphones that will drown out what&#39;s happening around you.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">- If someone does try to rob you, don&#39;t resist. Give up your belongings immediately (purse, wallet, etc.) and the mugger will be less likely to hurt you in the process. Credit cards can be cancelled and iPhones replaced, but your life is invaluable.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Leah writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-03/fear-and-violence-chicago-female-perspective-106078 CUB: Most smartphone customers paying for unused data http://www.wbez.org/story/cub-most-smartphone-customers-paying-unused-data-89681 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-27/cell phones_xx_Flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Citizens Utility Board says smartphone customers in Illinois could be paying over $300 dollars each year for data they don't use. CUB analyzed 19,000 cell phone bills over the last three years and found 70 percent of customers were paying for unused services.</p><p>CUB Executive Director Dave Kolata said most smartphone users only use one-quarter of the data they pay for -- and major cell phone carriers like Verizon Wireless are to blame.</p><p>"When you realize that 96 percent of consumers are using two gigabytes and below, and yet two gigabytes is the typical plan, it raises a lot of questions about fairness," he said.</p><p>According to Kolata, major carriers don't offer plans that suit the usage levels of most consumers. He said CUB will propose three reforms to cellphone companies: creating a lower tier data plan, offering a family shared data plan and offering rollover data.</p><p>Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Caroline Shaumburger said customers have a variety of options to choose from.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 20:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cub-most-smartphone-customers-paying-unused-data-89681 Well, that happened: An iPhone theft averted http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-07-22/well-happened-iphone-theft-averted-89511 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-22/iPhone_Flickr_Hatmanu Florin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-22/iPhone_Flickr_Hatmanu Florin.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px; margin: 5px;" title="(Flickr/Hatmanu Florin)"></p><p>Pleasant "L" ride last night.</p><p>Until someone tried to rob me. Then it became less pleasant, but the AC was going, so I can't complain too much.</p><p>I was listening to my iPhone, it clearly visible to anyone. I know, I know, a mistake. The guy next to me was talking on his phone. It seemed like a nice model. Everything was going fine.</p><p>But as the train pulled into a stop, he suddenly grabbed my phone. Maybe his was out of juice? Maybe he was upset by my tongue-in-cheek <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-07-18/review-google-dumb-89306">Google+ "review?"</a></p><p>Anyway, I held on. I know, I know, another mistake.</p><p>But as he stood, so did I. We were then in the middle of the aisle, each grabbing one end of the tiny phone, me yelling my brains out.&nbsp;I wish I'd said something cool, like, "I'm just a fly in the ointment, Hans. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in the ass." Instead, I just screamed, "You're not taking my phone!" over and over again.</p><p>And then, as the door was about to close, he gave up and ran out. And I went back to my music.</p><p>Somehow, my finger got cut in the skirmish. Nothing big, but there was blood all over me. I looked, well, like Bruce Willis for a moment. Or at least I thought I did.</p><p>I won't be in the business here of printing past writings, but I can't resist here. My wife had her phone stolen a while back. Here's the open letter I wrote then (originally for Tribune Media Services, and it ran here in Chicago in <em>RedEye</em>.) I hope you enjoy.</p><p>Yippee-ki-yay . . .</p><p><strong>An Open Letter to the Gentleman Who Stole My Wife’s iPhone Out of Her Hands on the Train:</strong></p><p>Congratulations on your new iPhone! I just know you’re going to love it, as it’s a fantastic device with an easy-to-use interface and photos of my relatives. Heck, they’re now your relatives, too — we’re on the same family plan! That reminds me: It’s your turn this year to host Thanksgiving.</p><p>But back to your shiny new iPhone, because there are a number of things you should know to ensure it gives you so much enjoyment that you forget your shame.</p><p>For starters, it’s got plenty of room for music, but we weren’t sure what kind you liked. We were hoping Simon and Garfunkel, but if not, just sync that baby up to your PC and create your own mix. (If you don’t have a PC, they can be stolen from most homes.)</p><p>Also, we had the foresight to buy you the AppleCare protection plan, so your iPhone is covered for two years if anything goes wrong — with the exception of someone stealing it.</p><p>Speaking of which, AT&amp;T, I believe, has a policy that if you steal one of their phones, you’re locked into their service for five years. What can I say? The cell-phone companies will beat you every time at the crime game.</p><p>Now let me introduce you to the “App” store. My wife, in the one whole month she was using your phone, downloaded some great apps for you. The Facebook app, for example, works just like regular Facebook, and should allow you to easily join the Facebook Groups “iPhone Thieves” and “People Who Make Other People Cry.”</p><p>My wife also put a great app on there to help if you’re planning to redecorate your home, another if you’re looking to get into pilates, and another that helps locate the nearest pawn shop.</p><p>Unfortunately, my wife didn’t have her iPhone’s headphones out when the two of you met. And while other headphones will work with the phone, you really do want the real deal. So, if you plan on being back on the train anytime soon, perhaps we can work out a mutually convenient time when you can steal her headphones? She’d also bring the instruction manual.</p><p>Finally, just enjoy the iPhone! Use it to enhance your life, but don’t let it rule your life. Because if you’re too busy staring down at the iPhone, you’ll miss the world around you — a wondrous world full of loose-hanging purses, wallets stuffed in pants’ back pockets . . . and people like you.</p><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 22 Jul 2011 13:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-07-22/well-happened-iphone-theft-averted-89511 The Verizon iPhone: What you need to know http://www.wbez.org/story/all-tech-considered/verizon-iphone-what-you-need-know <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/jfingas.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The iPhone dream has come true for Verizon Wireless customers.</p><p>Verizon announced Tuesday that it will begin selling the iPhone 4 in early February. The announcement means AT&T will no longer be the exclusive wireless carrier for the iPhone in the U.S.</p><p>It also means that iPhone users may find a solution to one of their ongoing gripes -- the quality of calls using AT&T's network. The Verizon iPhone will be a CDMA phone that will operate on Verizon's existing 3G network.</p><p>Here, an initial look at what's new, as well as the costs and limitations of Verizon's iPhone 4.</p><p></p><p><strong>When can I buy a Verizon iPhone? </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>Verizon Wireless customers can pre-order the phone starting Feb. 3, before the general public. On Feb. 10, it will be available in stores, including the Apple store, or online.</p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>How much will it cost? </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>The price starts at $200 for a 16 GB model, or $300 for a 32 GB phone, provided customers sign up for a two-year contract. That's about the same cost as the iPhone 4 on AT&T.</p><p><strong>What about the structure of data plans? </strong></p><p>Verizon didn't announce the details surrounding data plans yet. Verizon presently offers unlimited data plans for its other smart phones and analysts expect it will do the same for the iPhone 4.</p><p><strong>What's new about the Verizon iPhone 4? </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>Verizon's iPhone 4 has a mobile hotspot, which will allow customers to use the phone to connect up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. AT&T's iPhone does not have this hotspot feature. Here's a link to the iPhone features as described on <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/">Apple's website</a> and on <a href="http://support.vzw.com/faqs/iphone/iphone_faq.html">Verizon's website</a>.</p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>Will it work on Verizon's new 4G LTE network?</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>No. The iPhone 4 will operate on Verizon's existing 3G network. That means it won't be possible to talk on the smart phone and surf the Web at the same time.</p><p>Charles Golvin, principal analyst for Forrester Research, says that if Verizon wants an iPhone for its customers that will enable this functionality it will have to "convince Apple to use a more costly Qualcomm chip."</p><p><strong>How Soon Will Verizon Get An iPhone 5? </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>Golvin predicts that the Verizon iPhone 4 will only be the new model for another six months. That's because Apple typically refreshes the iPhone each June.</p><p>There will be a big question mark hanging over that announcement because both Verizon Wireless and AT&T are building 4G LTE networks, which will operate at much faster speeds. Verizon rolled out its network in December and AT&T is expected to do so later this year.</p><p>Golvin says Verizon's LTE network is already available for about 100 million Americans, but it remains "scantly utilized."</p><p>"If Verizon can convince Apple to accelerate its incorporation of LTE, the carrier will be able to deliver a significantly accelerated iPhone experience to more customers than its competitor, and attract a significant number of the first wave of buyers, including the Apple acolytes," he says.</p><p>But Verizon might also have to wait until next January to get the iPhone 5. If AT&T customers get the iPhone 5 in June, it could give AT&T an edge. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294769537?&gn=The+Verizon+iPhone%3A+What+You+Need+To+Know&ev=event2&ch=102920358&h1=All+Tech+Considered,Around+the+Nation,Digital+Life,Technology,Business,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132834951&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110111&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=102920358,132833940,132783213,132764894,127602855,127602446,103943429,126570862,126567887,126567816,126567633,126567441,126567402,103537970,132833131,127602971,127602855,126916928,126916924,125099593,103943429,132831947,132831945,132783213,127602855,127602446,103943429,132783213,132830331,132830329,132830327,127747535,127602971,127602855,126916928,103943429,132829546,132829527,132799546,132783213,132764894,127602855,127602446,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 16:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/all-tech-considered/verizon-iphone-what-you-need-know Verizon Wireless to sell iPhone http://www.wbez.org/story/february/verizon-wireless-sell-iphone-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/iphone_gettyimage.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Verizon Wireless says it will start selling a version of the iPhone 4 in early February, giving U.S. iPhone buyers a choice of carriers for the first time.</p><p>Since it launched in 2007, Apple's phone has been sold exclusively for AT&amp;T's network in the U.S., while most other countries had several carriers.</p><p>Verizon Communications Inc.'s chief operating officer, Lowell McAdam, is making the announcement Tuesday in New York. He's joined by Apple COO Tim Cook, who calls it &quot;the beginning of a great relationship between Verizon and Apple.&quot;</p><p>Sales are to begin Feb. 10 with pre-orders starting on Feb. 3.</p><p>Apple issued its press release at 11:11 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2011, or 1/11/11.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/february/verizon-wireless-sell-iphone-0 It's Official: Verizon Has The iPhone 4 http://www.wbez.org/story/apple/its-official-verizon-has-iphone-4 <p><p>The wait is over. Verizon Wireless <a href="http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/index.html" target="_blank">just officially announced</a> that it too now has the iPhone, ending AT&T's exclusive deal with Apple.</p><p>CNet News is <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20028073-266.html?tag=TOCcarouselMain.0" target="_blank">live-blogging the event here</a>.</p><p>As <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/01/11/132830198/been-waiting-for-a-verizon-iphone-then-this-looks-to-be-your-big-day" target="_blank">we said earlier</a>, All Tech Considered has <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2011/01/10/132819695/a-verizon-iphone-at-long-last?print=1" target="_blank">lots of answers about all this</a>.</p><p><strong>Update at 11:18 a.m. ET:</strong> CNet says Verizon Wireless' existing customers will be able to order the phone starting in early February. Prices: $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB. Two-year contracts required. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294765925?&gn=It%27s+Official%3A+Verizon+Has+The+iPhone+4&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Apple,Technology,National+News,AT%26T,Verizon,iPhone,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132833078&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110111&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Tue, 11 Jan 2011 10:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/apple/its-official-verizon-has-iphone-4 Been Waiting For A Verizon iPhone? Then This Looks To Be Your Big Day http://www.wbez.org/story/apple/been-waiting-verizon-iphone-then-looks-be-your-big-day <p><p>Just in case you haven't heard by now:</p><p>Verizon Wireless is expected to announce Tuesday morning that it will start selling a version of the Apple iPhone that will run on its network, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2011/01/10/132819695/a-verizon-iphone-at-long-last?print=1" target="_blank">our friends at <em>All Tech Considered</em></a> (and, to be fair, lots of other news outlets) write.</p><p>The announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET.</p><p>Have questions about how much it will cost, whether it will be like the iPhones that AT&T sells and if it will run on Verizon's 4G network?<em> All Tech</em> has some of the answers.</p><p><em>The Wall Street Journal</em>, which has been covering the Verizon/iPhone news pretty thoroughly in recent months, <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704458204576074301611973530.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird" target="_blank">this morning looks at how AT&T will respond</a>. Suffice it to say that the ad battles will be hot. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294754234?&gn=Been+Waiting+For+A+Verizon+iPhone%3F+Then+This+Looks+To+Be+Your+Big+Day&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Verizon,Apple,iPhone,Business,Technology,National+News,AT%26T,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132830198&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110111&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=132830331,132830329,132830327,127747535,127602971,127602855,126916928,103943429,132829546,132829527,132799546,132783213,132764894,127602855,127602446,103943429,132783213,102920358,132818615,132818576,132764894,132034718,130248874,129828651,132829966,132829964,132783213,132769262,127602855,127602446,103943429,132813220,132783213,132769262,132764894,127602855,127602446,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Tue, 11 Jan 2011 07:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/apple/been-waiting-verizon-iphone-then-looks-be-your-big-day