It's Like a Foreign Language
When I taught elementary school, one of my roles was to teach English language learners. Today, while helping adults feel more comfortable with their technology, I've noticed many parallels between understanding a language and understanding how computers, smartphones, and other devices work. Both have vocabulary words, of course, and both have rules to follow, or at least a generally-accepted way of functioning.
For example, in English, we place the adjective in front of the noun it modifies. In an email or text message, we hit a "send" button in order to deliver it to a recipient. Pressing "send" after we type seems a bit basic, but there's something else going on here that's less obvious. Where is that "send" button? It's hopefully placed on the screen in a spot where you might expect it: the upper right corner or the lower right, or in a bar across the top. If you aren't familiar with the typical places to look (the generally-accepted rules of the "language"), you might struggle with sending your message.
Icons As Words
Knowing where to look for the "send" button is only part of what you need to master. You also have to know what that "send" button looks like. The tech world loves icons. In fact, we see more and more ways of communicating like this in our society, even in non-tech places. Ever read the instructions for putting together IKEA furniture? It's all icons. No words. Unfortunately, different application developers and different device manufacturers come up with their own icons to convey the same things. I'll show you the most important ones you need to know.
While there are slight variations of these icons depending on whether you use Google, Apple, or Microsoft, etc., chances are, you're familiar with some form of the above icons. The one exception may be the "archive" icon. It's often confused with "trash." (Sending an email to "trash" will often result in its deletion after 30 days, whereas "archiving" something means you're keeping it, but getting it out of the Inbox.) Now, let's look at some that are a bit trickier:
Here are 2 of my favorites: "menu" and "more." If you're ever trying to figure out how to get to another part of a website, look for the "menu" icon. It's sometimes referred to as "the hamburger." If you're looking for more actions you can take on a site or app, such as printing or sharing, look for versions of the 3 dots.
And now for some really tough ones:
This is where icons can get downright frustrating. Let's say you want to share a funny picture on your iPhone with your friend. Depending on which app you're in, it may be any one of the top 3. And this is all on the same Apple device! If you're using Microsoft Windows, the "share" icon will look like the one in the lower left. If you're on an Android phone, look for that funny one with 3 connected dots (note: it doesn't have an arrow like the others, but does the same thing).
The Confidence That You Aren't Going to Break Anything
If you're learning a new app or device (i.e. the "language"), you can pair your knowledge of the icons with an understanding of the generally-accepted rules of how things should work. Let's go back to the example of wanting to share a photo or a webpage with a friend. What do you do if you don't see an obvious icon that says "share?" This is where many people freeze and give up, concerned that they'll break something. But I say, go ahead and just start tapping icons to see where they lead. People who are comfortable with their tech know that "it's got to be here somewhere." And, with a little bit of patience and exploration, they are almost always successful in finding what they need.
The Nonexistent Department of Icon Standardization
Until there are standardized regulations for having one icon for one function, and one place to find it, we are left to figure it out on our own. However, if you learn what the most common icons mean, you'll have a head start. This is the vocabulary part of learning the language of technology. To master the rules of the language, tap around on icons to see where they go. Exploration leads to understanding and feeling comfortable with your tech. Like learning any language, the more you practice, the better you get with it.
In the past couple of weeks, I've noticed a rash of scams targeting AOL users. If you have an AOL email address, the information here will be of the highest importance. If you do not have an AOL email address, you'll still want to know this, as there are similar scams that use the same tricks. I'll explain what to look for, so you stay protected.
Scam #1: What Happens
The first scam comes to your email inbox pretending to be from AOL (see above image). It tells you that your password is about to expire. You think, "Oh no!" But there's a big blue button that promises to let you keep your current password. Unsuspecting (and very intelligent) people click on this button because they're stressed by the thought of losing their password or email account.
When you click on the button, you're taken to an official-looking AOL page where you're asked to enter your current password. Now, the scammer has your password and your email address.
What happens next? The scammer hacks into your email account and sends out a phishing scam to all of your contacts. This email that your friends, family, and professional associates get pretends to be from you. The scammer asks your contacts if they wouldn't mind buying a gift certificate on Amazon and emailing back the gift card code and number. The scammer (pretending to be you) says they'd do it themselves, but for some reason, their Amazon account isn't working.
Scam #2: What Happens
The second version of what I've been seeing lately is very similar to the first (see above image). The difference is that you're threatened with account de-activation. They try to make you think there's been a request from you to close your AOL account. Clicking on the link to "Cancel De-Activation" will put you on the same type of bogus web page that'll extract your account details. Using this info, the scammers will again hack into your account and try to fool your contacts. (There are several iterations of this scam. The one thing they have in common is trying to get you to panic.)
How to Spot the Scam
AOL is an email provider, so it would be easy for a scammer to make up an email address that may sound official-ish using "@aol.com." However, whenever AOL sends out its legitimate communications, it always marks them in two unique ways (shown in image below).
How to Spot Other Types of Email Scams
When it comes to emails from organizations that are NOT email providers, the best way to tell if the email you received is legitimate is to check who sent it. However, you can't just look at the title. See the below image, where it says "Michigan Theater Foundation" highlighted in blue. How do I know this email is from the Michigan Theater? I click the little arrow (circled in red) to show me the actual email address.
Yep! This one is really from the theater: "email@example.com." It doesn't matter what the part before the @ says. It's the domain after the @ that matters. I know for a fact that the Michigan Theater's domain is always "michtheater.org." CAUTION: Tricky scammers will sometimes try to make the domain look like the real thing, e.g. "michtheater.com," instead of ".org," or "firstname.lastname@example.org."
Also, ask yourself if you even have an account with the sender's organization. For example: "Your PayPal account will be charged $450." Do you have a PayPal account? If no, delete the email.
It Doesn't Take a Genius to Be a Scammer
Now, take a look at the two AOL scams we started with. They didn't even try to hide their email addresses! These scammers aren't rocket scientists. Sadly, they don't have to be. Their scams still catch a lot of people off guard. But not you. Now you know what to look for!
Why It's Natural
Unfortunately, many of my clients tell me that they feel embarrassed about not knowing what to do when it comes to their technology. I get why. A lot of tech is designed by people in their 20s for other people in their 20s. Something goes wrong, and you don't know what to do to fix it. The 8-year-old granddaughter knows how to fix it, and you start to think, "Why shouldn't I know what to do, too?"
Embarrassment is perfectly natural when you feel out of our element. Computers, smartphones, and wifi surround us and are integral to our daily lives these days. There's an app to check the weather, an app to give you directions, an app to buy things, and more. You feel that you should be in command of what you need to go about your day. When things go wrong and you don't know how to fix them, you feel incompetent.
But It's Okay
I want to emphasize here that, while it's normal to feel abashed, you should cut yourself some slack.
• First of all, everyone else is going through their own incompetence with technology–even the techie people. Not everything works all the time for me either. In fact, just last week, I accidentally pushed a wrong button and ended the family zoom call on everyone. I felt, well..., I felt embarrassed.
• Second, just because so many people use technology every day, it doesn't mean that you should be expected to know how to troubleshoot it when something goes wrong. A lot of people drive cars, too, but how many know how to repair them? Most have to take their car to a mechanic to get serviced.
• Third, you are an expert in your own field–law, medicine, music, art, administration, etc. You've spent a good chunk of your life honing your skills and can run circles around people who aren't in your field. How would you know how to so something like erasing your hard drive or setting up your router unless you were trained?
Kids seem to know so much more than adults about tech because they've grown up with it and are constantly talking about and sharing tricks with their friends. Solving tech problems is just intuitive to them.
Adverse Effects of Feeling Embarrassed
Many of my clients tell me that, when their technological issues make them embarrassed, they get flustered. Then they can't think straight, and they panic. Sometimes they dig themselves deeper into a hole, and other times they just shut down (their devices and themselves). When these feelings get to be too much, people become afraid to ask for help.
I Get it, and I'm Here For You
I understand what you're going through because I see it all the time. I can tell you from experience that a surprising number of people have the same tech issues and feelings. So, instead of ignoring your questions, ask me about them. I'll help you solve the problem. I'll also teach you about what causes the issue and how to get out of the jam next time. My goal is for you to feel comfortable around your technology, get it to do what you need it to do, and maybe even have fun while doing it.
It seems as though we can’t go through the day without a technological crisis. You're trying to log into Netflix, but the site isn't recognizing your password–or worse, you don't remember your password. Then, there’s the constant barrage of spam and scammers. Or, all of a sudden, your printer doesn't connect anymore. To top it off, the internet isn't working either. I could cite more examples, and I'm sure you could too.
Having said that, sometimes it's good to take a moment and focus on some of the good things about our tech. I offer to you this summer's...
Top 10 Good Things About Technology
1. Keeping in touch with your family and friends: Not only do we get to talk to our loved ones on the phones in our pockets, but we can also video chat with them. This is especially helpful with staying connected to friends and family who live far away from us. My daughters both live outside Ann Arbor. My wife and I feel closer to them than the actual geographical distance suggests because we FaceTime with them frequently.
2. Taking pictures and video whenever you want: In the "old" days, we had to lug around separate picture and video cameras while on vacation or at our kids' plays and games. Now, that technology is always in our pockets, we can be ready to capture even the silly moments with our pets.
3. Sharing photos and memories: How convenient it is to be able to immediately send people those pictures and videos? Additionally, when my family goes on vacation, all of us take picstures during the day. Later that night, we upload them to a shared album that we all can admire.
4. Using your phone camera's "selfie mode" as a mirror: OK, so maybe this one isn't one of the world's greatest uses of technology, but it sure is nice to see if you have anything stuck in your teeth after dinner with friends.
5. Getting instant weather updates: The plethora of good weather apps available make it so easy to find out if there's a storm coming. I love checking the radar screen to see when and where the rain is, and how much time I have until I have to get off the golf course.
6. Staying healthy with a smart watch: My wife loves her Apple Watch and all the ways it helps her keep fit. She tracks her exercise activity, heart rate, and sleep patterns on it. When we go for a walk, she can tell me how many miles we've covered. Many people also love the fall detection feature that will alert someone if they take a spill and can't get up.
7. Meeting over Zoom: Speaking of staying healthy, a lot of us are able to attend exercise and yoga classes over Zoom. In addition, we can attend meetings and doctor visits without leaving the house. And how about educational lectures from Elderwise and U of M's OLLI from the comfort of our own couches?
8. Enjoying music and podcasts: I love being able to take my music with me wherever I go. Apps like Spotify enable me to access just about any album I ever wanted. I also like to listen to informative and entertaining podcasts on long drives to help pass the time.
9. Identifying nature: Ever wondered what type of tree that is growing in your yard, or if that bug on your tomato plant will destroy your crop? There are very cool apps (e.g. Seek) available for our phones that use your camera to help ID all sorts of plants and bugs. And for the amateur ornithologist, you can find apps that will identify birds (e.g. Merlin Bird ID). There are even apps that will help you find constellations in the sky (e.g. Pocket Universe). If you're naturally curious like I am, you can't live without these apps.
10. Getting answers to your questions: While we're on the subject of finding out information, search engines, like Google, have made getting answers to just about any question as easy as pie. My brother-in-law calls it, "the end of wonder." But still, what would you do if you couldn't google what time the Michigan Football game starts?
Making Sense of Tech's Abbreviations
KB, MB, GB, TB? Mbps, Gbps? 4G, 5G, 5GHz? When someone in technology starts dishing out these abbreviations while giving directions or an explanation, many people's eyes glaze over–and for good reason. They are just letters swirling around in a bowl of alphabet soup, making a frustrating situation even more confusing. "I don't care what they mean, I just want my computer to work." Right? I totally get it. However, in the interest of clearing up a lot of the mystery, let me take a minute to define what they mean.
Taking a Byte: A Short History of Digital Units
Just like we use units to measure weight, temperature, and length, we also use units to quantify digital information. Let's start with something called a "bit" (represented by a small b). A bit is the smallest unit of data or digital memory in a computer. To encode a single character of text, it takes 8 bits. And we call 8 bits a "byte" (represented by the upper case letter B). So 8 bits = 1 byte = 1B
Similar to metric units of measurement, we add the letters K (kilo=thousand), M (mega=million), G (giga=billion), and T (tera=trillion). So a KB (kilobyte) is a thousand bytes. An MB (megabyte) is a million bytes or a thousand KBs, etc.
•Kilobyte: 1KB = 1000 Bytes
•Megabyte: 1MB = 1000 KBs
•Gigabyte: 1GB = 1000 MBs
•Terabyte: 1TB = 1000 GBs
What does this mean for...
•Computers: When someone asks you, "How much memory does your computer have?" or "How much RAM do you have?" you can understand what they're asking. In today's computers, we're usually dealing with GBs of memory. Many personal computers have 8-16 GBs of memory. (RAM is a technical name for type of memory here.) Hard drive space, or storage space, on your computer is measured this way, too. Typical storage capacities are 128 GB, 256 GB, 512GB, or 1TB.
•Backup Drives: backup drives often hold even more storage: 500 GB to 6TB of space.
•Phones: Most smartphones will have 128 GB, 256 GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage space. (Your phone also has RAM, but it's generally not necessary to know how much.)
Why does it always seem that your old device never has enough memory or storage capacity? Tech manufacturers are constantly improving their products. Year after year, the operating systems and app capabilities grow, but they also require more and more memory and storage. In addition, consumers need more space as the amount of files they collect builds up with things like photos we take on our family vacations.
Internet Speeds: Same Thing, Only Different
When your internet speed is crawling along at an agonizingly slow pace, you may hear someone ask, "What's your download speed?" Similar to driving in a car and miles per hour, we measure the speed of our internet. With the internet, we use the term "megabits per second," or Mbps. Notice, however, that it's "megabits" and not "megabytes." Also, we're not using miles per hour, like a car, but rather a flow rate of bits of information (more like a hose or a pipe). Here's a little cheat sheet on internet download speeds to help keep your internet provider in check:
25 Mbps: a very basic speed
100 Mbps: getting better
500 Mbps: now we're talking
1000 Mbps or 1Gbps: stream all you want!
By the way, if you've ever seen me run a speed test at your home, you may remember me talking about "download" and "upload" speeds. Think of a Zoom call, where download is receiving other people's video and audio. Upload is you sending out your video and audio.
And Just to Make Things More Confusing
•Phones: If you own a smartphone, you've probably noticed the commercials for new 5G cell service from Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. In this case, the "G" in 5G stands for Generation. Therefore, 5G cell service is 5th Generation cell service–as opposed to 4G, or 4th Generation.
•Wifi & Routers: You may be wondering, "Don't I have 5G on my wifi router, too?" Actually, here, we're talking 5 GHz–not 5G. Most wifi routers in the home today will have two broadcast frequencies: 2.4 GigaHertz (2.4 GHz) and 5 GigaHertz (5 GHz). The 2.4 GHz band is the slow, but steady one. It travels longer distances and through walls better than the 5 GHz. On the other hand, the 5 GHz band is faster, but doesn't travel as far. A good router will automatically detect and switch to which frequency is best for your device, depending on where it is in the house. You don't need to do anything for this to happen.
And Now You Know
Hopefully, this explanation of our alphabet soup has been helpful. After all is said and done, though, it still boils down to, "I don't care what they mean, I just want my computer to work." However, now, you have a cheat sheet on the units of your technology, and what units you'll need to make your devices work best.
Sometimes buying a new device isn't our best option
Buying a new device vs. making what we have work. I think about this dilemma a lot. Why? Number one, I want to make sure my clients have the best setup for their particular situation. Number two, I like to save people money. Number three, our society has a rapidly-growing problem of electronic waste ("e-waste"), and I want to add as little to the pile as possible.
What is e-waste anyway?
From one of my previous posts, you may have read about how the phones, computers, printers, TVs, and cords we throw out contribute toxic materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, and beryllium into the ground in our landfills. Additionally, these devices don't disappear. They're not biodegradable so they just continue to pile up. According to the Global e-Waste Monitor Report, 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2019. To put that into something visible for comparison, it's roughly the same weight as 535 aircraft carriers.
What can we do when our shiny-new tech becomes our faded-old tech?
When that smartphone starts to lose its ability to hold a charge after a few years, you can try replacing the battery instead of buying a new one. A new battery can usually be replaced in a few minutes, and it certainly costs less than a new phone. Likewise, if your computer is annoyingly slow, or is running out of storage, all it may need is new memory cards or a new hard drive. These are easily installable. There are many places around Ann Arbor that offer such services.
What's the hidden impact of buying a new device?
Perhaps even more important than saving money, is keeping your device out of the mountain of e-waste that's piling up. Moreover, the carbon footprint of making something new is probably higher than you ever imagined. For example, according to Apple, making a brand new iPhone 11 Pro 512 GB creates 83.52 kg (184.16 lbs) of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e). This is roughly the same amount of C02e as a Delta flight from Detroit to Chicago.
Why is the environmental impact so high? In order to make a new device, raw materials must be sourced, mined, processed, etc. Those materials then go to a manufacturing plant to make the device. The device is then packaged and shipped multiple times (to the company's warehouse, to the store or another warehouse, and often to the consumer). Here's a graphic that shows the life cycle of the aforementioned iPhone 11 (note that using the phone only accounts for 13% of the CO2 emissions):
So why is this tech guy sounding so preachy?
My goal is always to make sure that each of my clients has the best setup. This includes providing and teaching about exactly what each individual needs–including saving money. As a rule of thumb, I say to people, keep fixing and upgrading your device until it doesn't do what you need it to do, or it no longer works. Then, if you need to buy something new, I'll help you find what's right for you. If we can't fix it, then let's recycle it. If it still works, but you'd rather have the latest version, then let's donate your old device so someone else can use it.
Saving money is nice. Saving the environment is also nice. In this case, we can do both.
Have you been receiving a slew of text messages recently–the kind not sent from your friends and family? You're not the only one. The sheer number of text messages that companies are sending is skyrocketing. The text bombardment is due in part to a Supreme Court Ruling (Facebook v. Duguid), and the fact that brick and mortar stores are trying to compete with online retail by texting ads to people (which turns out to be very cheap and effective).
So what has changed that's allowing this deluge?
Last spring, the Supremes ruled in favor of Facebook's robotexting practice of sending messages to its users.* Unfortunately for all of us, this ruling gave the green light to any company to use its list of phone numbers to send text messages to consumers.
The other reason that we're seeing a large increase in text messages is that companies have discovered how well texts work in getting customers to buy. It only costs a fraction of one cent to send a text message, so marketers only need a very small percentage of people to click on the text's call-to-action in order for the campaign to be successful.
Many text messages we receive, however, have nothing to do with advertising. Many are simply messages that our food at Frida Batidos is ready, or our Delta flight has been delayed. While helpful, they still add to the pile of messages we must scroll through.
What can I do to stop them?
While some of these texts are ones that we've signed up for, many are not. We may want CVS to let us know when it's time to renew our prescription, but we may not want daily announcements from Bed Bath & Beyond about a sale on towels. Everyone's preference for which messages to keep receiving is different. For the ones you don't care to get anymore, simply text back the word, STOP. Legitimate companies have to remove you from their texting list. Otherwise, they are in violation of the law.
One more step you can take to prevent getting spam texts (from legitimate companies) is not give them your phone number in the first place. We usually let them know our phone number when we sign up or register for something with the entity. Often, it's a promotion where this happens. Sometimes, it's unavoidable, and we have to give them our phone number, but we can look to see if there's a box to check (or uncheck) so we don't receive marketing info from the company or its associates.
But what if the company isn't legitimate?
What if it's a scammer pretending to be a well-known brand? In this case, do NOT reply. Simply delete the text. Clicking on the link, or calling the number, will likely take you to a website or person where you'll be asked for personal or financial information that they're looking to steal. If you feel like reporting it, you can forward the text to 7726, which AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon use for such instances.
Additionally, if you have an iPhone, you can go to Messages in your Settings and turn on Filter Unknown Senders. This will put messages from people who are not in your Contacts into a separate list. If you have an Android phone, you can go into the Messages app, enter the Spam Messages setting, and set it to "Block Unknown Senders." Of course, both types of phones have the ability to block specific numbers, but this may not stop bad actors, who regularly send from a different number each time.
Sometimes it's very tricky to see if a text is legitimate or not. They can look so real. In this case, go through a checklist:
•Does the message offer you something that sounds too good to be true?
•Does the message cause you to be afraid that you have to "act now" or something bad will happen?
•Are there misspelled words or bad grammar?
•Does the website they want you to go to have a strange web address?
•When in doubt, delete it.
Take a deep breath
Be smart: slow down before clicking on something. Take the time to look at the message closely. If it's legitimate, but you don't want future texts from that sender, type STOP back to them. It can be a slow process, but in time, you'll be able to whittle down the number of messages you receive. Then you'll be able to focus on the real important messages–like the ones your daughter sends with her Wordle score.
*At issue was whether Facebook was using an automatic telephone dialing system–something prohibited by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (a law created before the first text was ever sent). The court ruled that an autodialing system has to have a random number generator that makes the calls. Since Facebook was sending messages from its subscriber list, and not randomly generating numbers, it was free to continue.
Leia checks out the Sonos Move speaker
on its charging stand.
What's good for the goose
On a regular basis, I work hard to make sure other people's audio and visual systems are up-to-date, easy to use, and well organized. Last week, I hired myself and cleaned out my own audio/visual cabinet in the family room. I would have been embarrassed if any of my clients had seen how cluttered mine had become over the years. Yes, I'm using the latest technology for listening to music and watching TV, but the remnants of old devices and cords had become a rat's nest.
Among the chaos, a discovery
As I decluttered the cabinet, liberating the space of a 1989 cassette tape deck, unconnected coaxial cables, leftover power cords from who knows what, and a few dust bunnies, I discovered something I had forgotten. Emerging from a hole in the wall were two gray coils of speaker wire that ultimately led to our outdoor 3-season porch. I hadn't used or seen them in a couple of years. The wires weren't connected to anything in this cabinet--not to my audio receiver or TV or anything else. My mind began racing. What should I do with the wires? The speakers are still there on the porch. Surely I should connect them to something!
When you realize you have to let go
I was feeling guilty about not having used these porch speakers lately. Then I thought about WHY I haven't been using them. It was a simple reason: I haven't needed them. Yes, I still listen to music on the porch (it's a great place to relax on a summer evening). But I've been using my wireless, portable Sonos Move speakers to listen to music there–and in the family room–and in my study–and in the kitchen–and in the yard–and, well you get the point. The new technology of the Sonos speakers was all I needed. It was time to let go of my old speakers that were no longer useful.
For your listening pleasure
My Sonos speakers do everything I need them to do. They can play all of my music library from iTunes, Spotify, local radio stations, and more. The speakers work with both Bluetooth and our WiFi network–which means that I can control what each speaker is playing using the Sonos app on my phone. When I'm using the WiFi, I don't have to worry about keeping my phone close to the speakers, either. To top it all off, the sound quality of my Sonos Move speakers are much better than the older porch speakers I have hard-wired to the wall.
Call it spring cleaning, call it self-evaluation, or whatever, but the exercise I just went through was cathartic. I decluttered my cabinet, and I decluttered some nagging thoughts in the back of my mind that I was supposed to be using some old audio equipment that I really don't have a use for anymore. What I use now to listen to music is sleek and adaptable. It's also easier to set up, and easier to use than my old system. As a result, I use it more frequently, which means that I am able to enjoy my music more often.
If you'd like more details about a Sonos (or equivalent) sound system, or help with setting one up, please let me know. You'll wonder why you waited so long.
So you've gotten your booster shot, and now you're tired of staying cooped up at home. You want to go to a movie, or a sporting event. Many places require proof of that vaccine. You'll need to show your vaccination card at the door to get in. Funny that they've made these all-important cards out of paper. They can get destroyed or lost so easily. So what's the best way to show your proof and still keep your document safe?
You don't want to lose your vaccination card, or ruin it accidentally, so I would recommend keeping it home in a safe place. Before putting it in a secure location, though, take a picture of it with your phone. This is the most basic step you can take to show your proof of inoculation.
Depending on what you're looking to do when leaving the house, you may need to upload that picture to a specific app. For instance, traveling to Canada requires you to download and use their ArriveCan app in order to enter the country. Hawaii has a different app for entry, called AlohaSafe Alert.
In New York City, they require you to show your vaccination card for entry into everything from museums to restaurants. Many people in the city use the NYC Covid Safe app. I downloaded this convenient little app on my phone before visiting family in Manhatten. It was very easy to add the photo I had already taken of my card. The app also has a spot to upload and show your driver's license and an optional recent negative Covid test.
Interestingly, upon returning to Ann Arbor, I found myself still using the NYC Covid Safe app. One of the biggest reasons is that it helps me locate my vaccination card photo quickly. Without the app, I'd be reliant on my phone's photo app. When you take a picture with your phone, it goes into your photos app in chronological order. That means I might have to scroll way back through all of my pics to find it again--especially if I've taken a lot of photos since. If I use the NYC app, though, all I have to do is tap on the app, and I immediately see a picture of my card!
Now, I can go to a movie at the Michigan Theater, or a U of M Basketball game at Crisler Arena and show proof of my vaccination to get in--without struggling to find my card or risking its destruction. You might like to try it, too. Or, you might find a different app that does the same thing. Whichever you choose, I highly recommend taking advantage of your phone's capabilities and leaving your original card at home.
This holiday season, many of us will get new devices. A new iPhone under the tree, an upgraded laptop, a faster router, a larger TV, etc. New gadgets are great, but what do we do with the old ones we’re replacing?
THE BAD NEWS
THE GOOD NEWS
THE EVEN BETTER NEWS
It’s a little more work than simply tossing our electronics in the garbage can, but proper disposal is worth it. We finally have a place to take that ancient iPhone 4 with the cracked screen. We can now get rid of that slow, dusty PC running Windows 98. And even more exciting—we can now clear out that drawer with the rat’s nest of unusable, obsolete charging cords!