Tag Archives: iphone

The Western Digital My Cloud Review, 4 TB Edition

I’ve purchased a lot of external storage devices over the last 30 years, and the one brand I keep turning back to for future purchases is Western Digital. I’ve had rotten experiences with LaCie and Iomega in the past and, to date, I have yet to experience any sort of hardware failure — or glitch, or even momentary pause — with a Western Digital drive, and I’m hard on my storage devices.  In fact, I’ve never NOT had a LaCie drive either be dead-on-arrive or die within two weeks of setting up the device. I run my HDDs 24/7/365 and I not only expect them to work, but to thrive in all hostile environments.

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The Second-Greatest Apple Store Genius Bar Story Ever Told

I have a terrible habit of dropping brand-new Apple products right after I get them — and yesterday morning was no exception.  While I was at the Post Office in Queens, my less-than-two-week-old iPhone 5S slipped — “sleeked?” – from my hand and smashed on the floor breaking the screen.

Have you noticed the Post Office gives you really slick and teflon-like coated printed receipts that are, like, three feet long when you just buy one stamp? When I tried to put the receipt in the same hand as my iPhone, the receipt won, and my 5S got a whole new tutorial on the real meaning of “AirDrop.”

I was sickened.  I dropped my iPhone 4S quite a few times in the past and the screen never spidered.  Maybe the Post Office concrete floor was just too much for my new 5S beauty to handle.

I was immediately reminded of my previous, Best Apple Support Story Ever Told  experience — when my brand-new iPad was knocked out of my hands — and knew I’d have to, once again, invoke my AppleCare+ status, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.

Quick end:  Apple Gave me a new phone, as you can see in the iMessage confirmation below with my husband that he captured for this story.

Longer story:  Keep reading!

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1Password Protects and Prevents

We live in a threatening and dangerous world where we cannot even trust our own government not to deceive and disappoint us.  Security of our proprietary information is paramount in the vulnerable warp and woof of our social fabric, and that’s why — even when I first reviewed 1Password way back on December 8, 2009 — I knew securing all my passwords in a single, super-hardened, space was not only important, but necessary:

It took me several days to change and update all my passwords — but once that dirty deed was done, I was able to relax a bit in my core knowing I now had randomized and much more secure passwords covering my life — and the great thing is I don’t have to remember any of them!

1Password remembers all those passwords and usernames and automatically logs me in with the touch of a button on my web browser.

1Password also has an iPhone app that will sync — unfortunately via WiFi only, and both your computer and iPhone must be on the same WiFi network — your desktop accounts and passwords back and forth so you can be safe and secure when you’re online with your iPhone as well.

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The Incredible Joy of FaceTime Audio-Only Calls in Apple iOS 7

Apple’s FaceTime has been a wonderful, forward-thinking video communication feature of iPhones and iPads and Macs for many years.

With the release of iOS 7, FaceTime has, once again, changed the landscape of everyday human communication.

It is now possible to make an “audio-only” FaceTime call using WiFi — or your cellular network if you have an iPhone 4S or newer — and if you haven’t given FaceTime audio-only a try yet by calling another FaceTime user, then you have no clue to the incredible joy of direct, intimate, communication you are missing.

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Apple iPhone 5S Space Gray Review

My Space Gray iPhone 5S arrived early this morning from Apple in China, and upon first opening the box, I was amazed to see how much longer, and lighter weight this 5S phone is compared to my 2.5 year old iPhone 4s.  Janna’s new iPhone will arrive tomorrow.  We’re both on the 4G Verizon network.

The first thing I noticed is that the Space Gray iPhone 5S would not turn on at all!  I was perplexed. Then I did the traditional “hard boot” by holding down the “on” button and the Home button at the same time until the phone turned on with the White Apple logo.  I picked Space Gray because it has a black face.  I prefer a neutral black on a smartphone.  A white face is just too aesthetically jarring.

The phone started and already had a 91% battery charge.  After setting up and restoring the phone, I was immediately prompted to download an 7.01 iOS 7 update.

As you can see in the screenshot below, I have a whole “extra row” for four more App icons in my Home screen!  That is a delightful and welcome change from the 4s.

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The Venus Effect and the Artifice of Assumption: Watching the World Watch You Watching Your Screen

The Venus Effect” is a fascinating concept in painting and film that shatters the illusion of the perceived, the perceiver and the preceptor.  In the example below, the woman is peering into a mirror.

At first glance, we think she is looking at her own reflection, but the angle of the mirror deceives us, because she is really directly looking at us, not herself.  In fact, the artifice of assumption is something of an aesthetic cheat because we fail to realize she is watching us while we watch her.  She is incapable of viewing her own reflection in that particular angle of yaw.

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