5 Things - Week Ending 10/5/12

This is the 25th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

ABC News Tracks Missing iPad To Florida Home of TSA Officer

I wonder if the TSA agent that took this iPad grew up playing by the rule "finders keepers"? This is one of the many reasons to use iCloud on your iPhone or iPad. If you lose your iOS device you can login to iCloud.com and see where your device is located at.

This is of course assuming that the thief is not smart enough to turn the feature off (then again if you are stealing iPads from airports you probably aren't very bright).

One tip that I thought of when I saw this video. Write down your serial numbers of all your electronics in case of theft or loss.

Here’s the Annoying New Way Facebook Makes Money Off Your Life

Sam Biddle:

Here’s another scenario: let’s say J.Crew has my phone number, because you’ve given it to them through a past jcrew.com order. And let’s also say this phone number is listed on your Facebook profile, which it very possibly is. J.Crew can now ask Facebook (in exchange for money) to give you an ad—you specifically—instead of your vague demographic segment. This of course works in bulk: Nike could ask Facebook to hit everyone who’s ever used their email address with Nike.com with an ad for new Dunks.

Facebook is going to continue to get more and more invasive as time goes on. They have to make truck loads of money to satisfy their new investors and the only way to do that is to show more ads and better targeted ads.

The more I learn about how Facebook operates the more I get creeped out...

A couple months my cousin Bobbie deleted his Facebook account and in the past week my best friend Eric deleted his account. These aren't retired people who are concerned about privacy these are people in their mid 20s. I will most likely be joining them before the end of the year.

Why Do People Feel Phantom Vibrations

Matt Soniak:

Let’s picture a typical moment in my day: I’m minding my own business, with my iPhone in my back pocket. Suddenly, my left cheek is shaking as the phone vibrates and does the bzzt, bzzt, bzzt-ing dance of its people on my backside. I check the phone, and there’s nothing. No call. No text. No email. No one has moved in Words With Friends or liked my pictures on Instagram. Nothing that would have made the phone vibrate, but I swear I felt it.

I have felt phantom vibrations. It's really bizarre because you swear your phone was ringing or perhaps a new email arrived and when you check your phone there is nothing there. According to this survey 68% of people have experienced phantom vibrations.

At least I am not alone! Have you experienced phantom vibrations?

H.P. Shares Fall as Chief Sees Trouble

Quentin Hardy:

Printer cartridges were once responsible for over 90 percent of H.P.’s profits, but they face increasing competition from lower-price suppliers. Consumers are also using their printers less because many of the things they used to print routinely, like maps and boarding passes, are on smartphones.

I was just talking to someone the other day about printers. We were chatting about how little we print these days. We both use to print driving directions on a daily basis. The iPhone's release in 2007 changed that for both of us. We now do all of our mapping on our phones.

It's crazy to think that a company as large as H.P. had over 90 percent of their profits coming from ink. That number tells us how much we have been getting ripped off over the years. I don't feel bad that the company is struggling one bit.

A Week With the iPhone 5

Sam Biddle:

The iPhone 5 is a mature phone. It’s also a brilliant phone. Apple identified, one by one, every way in which an already spectacular phone could be improved. And then it made those things better. It didn’t set out to startle and amaze by face value. It won’t dazzle you with a breathtaking new design. Your breath will remain with you. But the very feat of making progress toward perfection with a device that was already the best phone out there is a giant feat in itself. Body, processor, colors on screen, data downloads, a much-improved camera with some clever new tricks. There’s no shame in incremental progress, in toddler steps, when those steps are along a golden road covered in candy canes

Apple doesn't need to radically change the iPhone every year. All they have to do is make the new iPhone better than the one that came before it and they will do just fine. I have no plans on upgrading from the iPhone 4S, but I am glad to know that Apple keeps raising the bar with each new iPhone that comes out.