Tag Archive | technology

App Recommendation: Boost 2

Last week I downloaded this app, primarily because it was free for a limited time. Once I opened it, I was hooked.

It’s a very simple game with no tapping or swiping required. The only thing you have to do is tilt the phone to move, as you’re essentially “driving.” The object of the game is to avoid any cubes in your way and accumulate as many points as possible by lasting longer in the game.

You’ll be warned when a cube is coming your way by seeing a white row turn to a different color. Basically, you want to be on a white surface for as much as possible and not touch any cubes. You can also collect extra boost by passing over arrows that appear. The benefit of collecting these boosts is that if you hit a cube, then you don’t lose the game just yet; boosts are like lifelines. If you hit a cube without any boost, then the game is over.

The “driving range” changes, as the in-closed tube eventually starts to slowly open and closes out, it later closes in again. If you last long enough in the game, this process will continue to occur.

There are different game modes: in time trial you race against a one-minute clock, in classic you race for as long as possible, and there’s also multiplayer and survival mode (I have yet to try both).

It’s available in the iTunes Store for $0.99 and in the Android Market for $1.99. And, if you like this game, you might also like Cube Runner.

How The Heck Does Group Texting Work?

I don't know why I apologized... but I'm glad person #2 understood what I was talking about.

When a group text message is sent out, it’s my understanding that everyone in that group can see the other recipients’ phone numbers and get the subsequent replies that are sent. Or can they? Cue suspenseful music…

Something as simple as a text becomes very complicated when you decide to send it to a group of people. Part of that complication has to do with the phone operating software (Android, Blackberry OS, iOS, Windows, etc.), phone types and brand (smart and non-smart phones; Apple, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc.), and even the phone carrier (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile), as each combination of these three will handle and display the text information differently.

I know that on an iPhone (my phone model) all of the recipients show at the top. But I wonder if this is the case for non-iPhone users since most of the time when someone other than the sender gets my reply, they don’t usually make the connection and will ask me “Who is this?” Also, I personally don’t always get the replies from everyone when they respond to the group text message. Unless they’re not replying? Though, that seems highly unlikely.

Sometimes it’s convenient to send a group text, say, if you want to plan a get together with friends or want to share the exact same piece of information with multiple people. But consider the following:

  • Arrange your social groups.
    You have your core group of friends, your coworkers, your classmates, your family members, your whatever. Depending on the topic you want to text about, you should know which group of people needs to hear what, and in which manner. You probably wouldn’t use the same words/phrases/etc. with each of these groups.
  • Do not group people who don’t know each other or don’t like each other.
    This is to avoid any tense situations or any like the ones from my picture above. In some cases, someone might reply with something that not everyone else will tolerate or find nice. In other cases, someone might not respond to the text if they know who else might be getting it.
  • Start a new message.
    If you find yourself receiving a group text and you don’t recognize any of the numbers included, then simply start a new message with just the original sender to avoid any confusion.

Group texting is appealing in theory, but really it’s not all that much more efficient than one-on-one texting, especially if everyone has different phone models, operating software, and carriers. I don’t understand how it all works, so I just find it safer not to do it!

Technology Has Always Been A Secret Enemy

It would be highly challenging to live in this day and age without any technology. We depend on it, we take advantage of it, and, we can even be targets of law enforcement because of it.

When we think of technology, we most likely think of all the wonderful things we are able to accomplish because of it. However, much less talked about and highlighted are the negative aspects of it, like the traps that they can possibly set us up for. Technology makes it easier to record, track, and monitor our activity, and whether we’re involved in something incriminating or not, we all have some level of privacy we would like to keep.

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court ruled in a case that discussed police installing a GPS tracker on the car of a man thought to be handling drugs. Read more about that here: Supreme Court Rejects Willy-Nilly GPS Tracking. A year ago, the California Supreme Court ruled that police can search the phones of people who are arrested. Read more about that and how to prevent police from searching data on your phone here: Why You Should Always Encrypt Your Smartphone. These two court cases are similar in that both deal with collecting information without a warrant, which deals with the Fourth Amendment, but are different in the manner in which they collect the information and in the decisions reached by the courts.

With today’s technology, privacy is slowly fading away, either because of the invading characteristics of some items (GPS, phones) or because of our own willingness to use those items and expose ourselves (blogs, social networks). There was a time when people didn’t have these things and were able to survive and thrive without them, but I’m not sure that would be the case now. Could we survive? Sure. Could we thrive? That’s questionable. Since it’s very unlikely that we would go without these items, do as they say: keep your friends close and your enemies closer.