5 Things - Week Ending 4/12/13

This is the 42nd 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.

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Before Heit had a chance to finish typing the text, his car drifted onto the wrong side of the road. Realizing his mistake, he overcorrected, quickly turning the steering wheel in an attempt to move his vehicle back into the right lane. He lost control of the car and it veered off the highway, rolling and flipping until it came to a stop.

This story is really sad. This kid lost his life because he couldn't wait until he arrived at his destination to have the following conversation:

Friend: Hey man I had to run out for like an hour
Heit: Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw

He never finished the text. He looked up, saw his car was in the wrong lane, overcorrected and ended up rolling the vehicle.

If you have young people in your life, please take a few minutes to have a caring conversation with them about texting and driving.

I just talked to my wife's brother Mikkel (senior at Farmington High School) about this article this morning.


Watch Facebook's First Ad for 'Home'

Facebook has announced new software that can be installed on some Android based smart phones. The idea behind the software is that you are connected to your Facebook friends 24/7.

Even if I still used Facebook I would not want Facebook dominating my cell phone.

It will be interesting to see if this takes off or not.


On Teens and iPhones.

Alex Guyot:

Here at CDO High School in Tucson, Arizona, iPhones are everywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if iPhones were represented at an even higher percentage than the 48% shown in the study. iPhones are most definitely considered the “cool” option, and I see kids with them from every group of people in the school. Moreover, there is no sign of iPhone growth slowing any time soon, as the social pressures inherent in any high school ecosystem have taken Apple’s side, and iPhones are being pushed on non-iPhone users by other kids all around the school. It hasn’t gotten to the point where not having an iPhone is a black mark upon you, but it certainly seems to be an indicator of status. Kids with iPhones seem to find every excuse to have them in sight at all times. iPhones are constantly laying in the open on desks or being held in hands, even while not in use, yet I notice non-iPhone owners are much less prone to flaunting their devices in a similar manner.

I have been reading some stories suggesting that Apple has lost its cool factor (whatever that is). I read this story written by 17 year old Alex Guyot who shares his observation of the phone culture at a middle class Arizona high school.

One lesson that I wish teens would learn (besides not texting while driving) is that you shouldn't make your purchasing decisions based on what others are doing, but rather make an informed decision on what makes the most sense for you.

I remember that for my first couple years in high school I was under the impression that wearing a certain brand on clothes and having a cell phone (not everyone had one in those days) would help get more people to like me. It didn't make one bit of difference.


Struggle to Ban Smartphone Usage in Gyms

Catherine Saint Louis:

The sheer ubiquity of smartphones adds to privacy risks in locker rooms, where bans were first imposed but are still often ignored.

David W. Marr, 26, a Wal-Mart employee and a massage therapist, recalls letting his towel hang open in a locker-room sauna this year at a 24 Hour Fitness in Glendale, Calif. A teenager nearby appeared to be playing a game on his phone. “I see this kid caught with a deer-in-the-headlight look,” Mr. Marr said. “He looked at me, and shut the phone.”

He said he suspects he was videotaped naked, and he complained to management the next day (the gym’s policy is that taking pictures or videos is forbidden). “Anybody can be pretending to have a conversation and filming at the same time,” he said.

The other weekend I was at my cousin's birthday party and we started talking about technology. Someone mentioned their concern about changing at the gym due to the ubiquity of smartphones. Almost all smartphones have a camera and with just a couple of taps someone could take a photo or video of you and upload it to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or send it via email without you even knowing it.

This raises some major privacy concerns and it sounds like gyms are struggling to regulate smartphone use in their gyms.


Why and when the iPad is the best e-reader

Joel Mathis:

For the first time in history, when we sit down to read a book, we’re faced with more than simply a choice of what to read—we must also decide how to read it. Perhaps you’ve found your favorite reading method, and tend to stick with it. But the truth is that different mediums offer different strengths, which are in turn tuned to different types of reading. Wedging yourself into a corner with just one device for all types of reading can deny you the pleasures and advantages of the other.

I thought that this article did a nice job explaining the pros and cons of reading a book via various methods (iPad, Kindle, and book).

My favorite way to read is on the Kindle. I can't say enough positive things about it!


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