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53 Things That’ve Changed Since The iPhone Came Out

1. Apple is the most valuable company in the world

2. Which made a lot of rich people much richer

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

3. AT&T has so many customers that its network doesn’t work

4. But T-Mobile is nearly bankrupt

5. The Blackberry is dead


6. And Nokia is in huge trouble. When’s the last time you saw one of these?

7. These events are the biggest news of the day

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

8. And we all listen to this guy now

9. Because he basically made a huge iPod touch and it still turned out great

10. Gadgets got weirdly political, so everyone’s a fanboy

11. Touchscreens are everywhere

12. And everybody understands what this stuff means

13. Browsing the internet on a phone is a completely normal thing

14. And every company has an app

15. Other phones got app stores too

16. Just the word “app.” How often did people say that before 2008?

17. We’ve stopped carrying separate media players

18. And nobody needs these things

19. You can’t see the band when you go to a concert (but you can watch them on YouTube later)

20. The company that makes these came into existence AND got shut down

21. Nobody likes Flash anymore (and it’s dying)

22. We’ve seen a bunch of famous peoples’ junk


23. We don’t look where we’re walking

24. And text messages are organized like emails, instead of in one big list

25. But we write them in inscrutable symbols, so it doesn’t really matter

26. Oh god, A U T O C O R R E C T

27. Which means these are the only humans that can still spell

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

28. We treat our phones like babies, because they’re ridiculously delicate and require constant attention + feeding

29. And we even talk to them, like actual insane people

30. But we never make phone calls, because why would we do that?

31. We’re starting to pay attention to where our gadgets come from

BOBBY YIP / Reuters

32. And even though we don’t have one of these anymore…

33. We never get lost

34. Waiting in line is much easier

35. And we don’t argue for hours about dumb trivia anymore

36. But we can never escape Twitter and Facebook and it’s great but its also it’s ruining all of our lives (HELP)

37. Anyway, nobody does crosswords

38. Because we’re too busy hooking up with anonymous strangers

39. Or because we’re all playing this dumb game

40. But seriously, everyone is a gamer now, and simple casual games have gotten awesome

41. And it’s much easier to keep kids occupied (and all our kids’ brains have been permanently rewired)

42. People pay for software again (just, not very much)

43. But every big box store is basically just a showroom for Amazon

44. Every fight gets posted on the internet

45. All news is instant, no matter where we are

46. And we always know what song is playing in the bar

47. Smartphones all look kind of the same

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Selfie Overload: The iPhone 6 ‘Burst Mode’ Can Take Up To 10 Photos Per Second


Once more, Apple has anticipated the needs of Millenials and teenagers alike.

The newly-introduced iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones include, among a plethora of new features, one of the first cameras to be redesigned with selfies in mind.

The phone includes a tool called “burst” mode, which means that the camera shoots 10 photos in a row with only one button push. For selfies, burst mode is the difference between a genuine laugh and that gross, one-eye-shut face we all make from time to time.

With the extra mode, users can move between the versions of the photo to choose the one that’s best.

In addition to burst photography, the new iSight camera also has improved facial recognition software that works to capture eyes and smiles at their best.

That’s a selfie we can all get behind.


Photo Courtesy: Apple

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It’s the Software, Stupid.

I bought my phone almost two years ago. Today, it does things it didn’t do back then, like shooting cinemagraphs, wirelessly syncing with my computer and beaming stuff up to my TV. My first Xbox 360 didn’t play Netflix or Hulu when I bought it back in 2007. Now it does. My Kindle turns pages faster now than it did when I pulled it out of the box. The weird part isn’t that these things have new powers that they didn’t once upon time—it’s that I’d actually be upset if they didn’t. I expect my phone to be better today than it was yesterday, better tomorrow than it is today.

That wasn’t always the case. When Sony shipped a Walkman, TPS-L2, it stayed the same. Four or ten or 15 years later, the play button worked just like it did the day it left the factory. (Unless you broke it.) A TV was a TV was a TV. The hands on a watch turned. And turned. And turned. Until they didn’t. Once they were given form in plastic or metal or glass, gadgets weren’t malleable objects. Form was function, forever.

What changed? It’s the software, stupid.

Gadgets aren’t just hardware anymore. Hardware is, more and more, just a delivery mechanism for software, toast under the jam. Consider the iPhone or iPad: They’re blank slates. A screen with a battery bolted on the back fitted together by a glass or aluminum shell. Inside of them are basically the same guts, the same silicon as the shitty $99 Android tablet I wouldn’t inflict on even the most loathsome human being (except maybe Chris Brown, fuck that guy) or the Windows Phone you’ve never heard of. More and more, it’s the software that makes a gadget different or special, or even more simply, good or bad. A beautiful piece of technology running garbage software is just beautiful garbage.

We’ve crossed a point in which basically every gadget is a computer of sorts. Partly because we wanted them to be smarter and connected and because the world is simply a digital place now—there’s no such thing as an analog mp3 player—but the ability to remake our listening devices and televisions in a computer’s image has been driven by the fact that computing power and sensors got dirt cheap, and are getting cheaper everyday. The secret behind Microsoft’s $150 Kinect is sensor technology that cost $10,000 before Microsoft got its hands on it. Your phone is stuffed with an array sensors: gyros, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, multiple mics, a camera. So of course all of your gadgets are tiny computers. Why wouldn’t they be? And when everything’s a computer, it’s the software that counts.

And while the iPod was a better music device than my Creative Zen because it was more beautiful and the jog wheel and interface was less stupid and iTunes made me want to scatter my brains across my screen slightly less than whatever demon software Creative had shipped to siphon your music onto it, now that nearly everything is a touchscreen, we’re in a place where, at least with most of our gadgets, there is nothing for designers to do but subtract, stripping and cutting and reducing, leaving as little as possible but a naked screen. Which means there’s nothing left but software. An iPhone is easier to use than the average Android device not because its volume button is in a different place or shaped differently, but because an army of designers and coders hacked together a bunch of bits and graphics that are easier to use than the guys at Samsung did. It’s sort of QED, particularly as guys who’ve spent many decades in the consumer electronics business—the Panasonics and Samsungs and Sonys of the world—try to make gadgets the way they used to, or worse, try pretend they’re a software company when they’re really not, and put out things that make VCR jokes look like the good old days.

The thing about bits is that you can change them whenever you want. Say, if you’re Apple, and there’s a massive privacy controversy over the way you allow developers access to people’s entire address book willy-nilly. You just push out an update. Problem solved! If Sony had shipped a Walkman that ate toddlers’ hands, well, it would eat their hands until it was recalled. There was no pushing an update. Which is great, when say, Microsoft wants to make my Xbox do new, cool things. But the downside is that we now live in a permanent beta culture. Companies ship products before they’re ready because they know they can fix them later. I literally cannot count how many times I reviewed a product at Gizmodo that was buggy, slow or otherwise crap, only to be met with the earnest-but-cheerful response, “We’re about to do an update! It’ll fix everything!” It very rarely does.

I’m not trying to say that good hardware design or adequately strong guts don’t matter anymore—I wouldn’t want a deathly slow iPad that was three inches thick and weighed 2 pounds—just that software is the soul of technology now. (I guess you could make a quip about a homely person with a lovely soul, but when it comes to things I want, I want it all.) Which is why the best stuff, more and more is made by software companies who are just serious enough about their software to make the hardware too. In other words, I hope you love Apple, Microsoft and Google, because you’re going to be buying a lot from them.

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23 Signs You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone

1. You get slightly panicky when your phone is out of your line of sight.

2. …And ridiculously panicked when you accidentally leave it AT HOME.

It’s like you’re missing a limb.

3. You sleep with your phone on your nightstand, or worse, IN your bed next to you.

4. Your friends tried to make you do this game, but you freaked out and grabbed your phone even though you had to buy a round of drinks.

I mean, LOOK! That one’s lighting up! That could be a message for me! ASLFHA:GFHALHGJ

5. You justify being on your phone all the time because you “might miss a work email.”

6. A cracked screen would never stand in YOUR way.

7. You prune and manage your apps like it’s the White House lawn.

8. You maintain three to five text threads/Snapchat chains going throughout most days.

9. At least once a week you freak out that you can’t find your phone, and then realize it’s in your hand.

10. Turning your phone off during a flight gives you horrendous FOMO.

11. …but also makes you excited, because you know when you turn it on, you’ll have tons of notifications to go through.

12. You insist that you can do two things at once — text AND walk, text AND listen! — but we all know that you cannot.

13. Seriously! Everyone can see you failing at this.

14. Sometimes you see an Instagram go up right away, but you wait 30 minutes to like it because you don’t want to seem lame.

15. You talk to it even when you know it would be easier to type your question into Google.

16. The only time you turn your phone off is on an airplane.

Other than that, it just goes on silent.

17. You try not to do this at concerts, but you do it anyway.

18. You relate deeply to the pain in this image.

19. You feel kind of dejected when you sneak a peek at your phone after a long dinner or meeting and you have no new notifications.

Not even an Instagram like? REALLY?!?!?

20. The idea of having to leave your phone in the store for repairs makes you ill.

21. You don’t mind getting to the bar before the friend you’re meeting, because you’re justified in losing yourself in your phone until they get there.

22. You constantly catch yourself trying to open apps you’re already in.

23. You find something weirdly comforting in that familiar motion of sliding your finger across the glass.

If you identify with any of this, welcome to the Smartphone Addiction Club!

Population: EVERYONE.

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How Blind People Use The iPhone

Smart phones have revolutionized the world, but what about the seeing impaired? Can they take advantage of this great technology?

Our favorite blind film critic  shows us that, yes, blind people can use a smart phone. In his latest video, he gives us a blind tour of how he uses his Apple iPhone 4s.


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I knew the enterprise was piloted by an Android OS.

I knew the enterprise was piloted by an Android OS.

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Never Use Minutes or Texts Again With These 9 Apps


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Apple Is Now More Valuable Than The Entire Russian Stock Market


The world’s most valued company is now worth more than the world’s largest country for the first time.

Bloomberg reports that as a result of Western sanctions and the economic turmoil that followed, the Russian stock market is currently valued at $531 billion compared to Apple’s $652 billion.

So if the owner of Apple were to sell it and buy the Russian stock market, that person would still have enough money left over to buy an iPhone 6 Plus for every person in Russia.

Russia was hit with sanctions earlier this year when it ignored demands from the Western allies to stop fueling the conflict in Ukraine by sending weapons and troops to rebels who want their cities to become part of Russia.

This caused investors to back away, and the prices of oil and the country’s currency, the ruble, sank considerably.

Decreases in revenue brought the total market capitalization of all the public companies in Russia, the 20th largest stock market on Earth, down $234 billion this year.

At this rate, there is a 70 percent chance the country could go into an economic recession within the next 12 months.

Apple, on the other hand, is only attracting more investors, gaining $147 billion in 2014 and expecting record-breaking sales over the holidays.

Russian portfolio manager Vadim Bit-Avragim told Bloomberg that it’s not just the prices of Russian companies that are scaring investors but also their lack of security.

He said,

Apple works with shareholders to maximize returns and is based where property is protected by law.

In Russia, the legislative protection for property is not as good, most state-run companies have poor corporate governance, resources are concentrated in state hands and borrowing costs are shooting up.

After all this, when you get involved in conflicts with your neighbors, it becomes very hard to persuade investors from all over the world to invest here.

Apple’s worth also exceeds that of several other countries, Bloomberg notes, such as Singapore and even Italy, the world’s 18th largest market.

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This Is Why Your Wi-Fi Is Always Slow

As we all know, there is nothing worse than having no Wi-Fi. Except perhaps having really slow Wi-Fi.

It’s one of the most common complaints to internet service providers and the scourge of people in both rural and urban areas.

Dr Alex Hill of Carnegie Mellon University, whose team built the world’s first big Wi-Fi network, said most customers only receive 50% of their router’s potential Wi-Fi speeds.

There are a number of reasons for this.

1. Signal congestion is the enemy of a strong Wi-Fi signal.

When you connect to Wi-Fi you’re using radio waves, and as like with radio stations there’s a limited amount of space on the airwaves. It matters how many other Wi-Fi routers are nearby, in your building, on your street.

Steve Biddle, an engineer from New Zealand with expertise in wireless hotspots and networking, wrote on Geekzone last week: “If you’re living in an environment such as an inner-city apartment where there may be hundreds of nearby networks, you’re basically living in the worst possible environment possible for Wi-Fi.”

Chillingly, even if you have full Wi-Fi bars on your phone, this could still be a problem.

And it’s not just routers: Mobile phones, cordless phones, microwaves, Bluetooth devices, and even cordless baby monitors can worsen signal strength.

Given that you might be trying to access a wireless signal through one or more internal walls as your router competes with anything up to 50 connected devices in the area, it’s a wonder that some Wi-Fi connections work at all.

2. Wi-Fi devices can’t receive and send data at the same time.

Wi-Fi has to alternate between transmitting data and receiving it – it’s what’s called a half-duplex system.

A full duplex system, i.e. a wired ethernet connection, can send data both ways. So Wi-Fi can have a natural delay compared to other types of internet connection.

This is made worse by so many people using the same channel.

There are a number of different “channels” your routers can use to pump out wireless signals – and because people usually just leave the channel selector on “auto”, most domestic Wi-Fi is using the same one within the crowded 2.4GHz frequency.

Plus, if you live in a very congested area, your router may be hopping around different channels trying to find the best one, and that can affect your signal.

ISPs get complaints about bad coverage and loss of signal but there’s not a great deal they can do about this.

3. Wi-Fi is often just not as good as a wired ethernet connection, and there’s not a lot we can do about it. For very fast speeds you may have to plug in.

As Biddle puts it: “Wi-Fi is not and never will be a replacement for a cabled ethernet connection. It will always be a convenient, complementary solution. Unless the laws of physics are changed at some point in the future there will never be an exception to this rule.”

4. Still slow? Are you trying to sync 2,000 HD photos to Dropbox right now? That might have something to do with it.

Bandwidth-hogging services such as Steam, Netflix and, in particular, BitTorrent – which seeds files for others to use once you’ve downloaded them – can have a real effect on your overall speed.

This is compounded by the fact that all this stuff runs in the background, so you probably forgot you left it on.

5. The location of the router matters too. As TechRadar put it:

Wireless routers broadcast omni-directionally, and the closer you place yours to an obstacle like a brick wall, the more you’ll restrict its signal. Ideally, you’d have it floating in mid-air just below the ceiling in the room that is closest to the centre of the house! Place it as close to that point as you’re able.

6. Don’t forget also that some devices are better than others at connecting to Wi-Fi.

Don’t be surprised that your old iPhone 3G isn’t quite as whizz-bang fast on your home network as your friend’s iPhone 6 – processing speed and capability is a factor too.

So how can you get faster Wi-Fi speeds?

– Upgrade your router to one that uses the newer 5GHz frequency and not the older, more congested, 2.4GHz one (although it’s worth noting that 5GHz doesn’t travel around buildings and through walls nearly as well…and many mobile devices won’t work on 5GHz).

– Look for a less congested channel to use. Here is a guide on how to do it and here is a video tutorial – it’s a bit fiddly, but the free inSSIDer app will tell you what channels all the local networks around you are using (or try iStumbler for Macs).

– Try buying a second router and hooking it to your main router with a cable to spread the signal through your house. Or try powerlining.

– Oddly, if there are variable power settings on your router, it will work better on a lower setting than a higher one. More advice like this is in Biddle’s article.

And now you’re ready to internet.

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The Government Is Rushing Through An Emergency Law To Monitor Your Phone Records

A European ruling made it illegal for companies to monitor your communications data. Now the prime minister plans to make them do it anyway.

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

The government is using emergency powers to pass a law allowing intelligence agencies to track citizens’ mobile phone and internet data.

The new Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill will allow UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access any telecommunications data they require for protecting national security, from the phone numbers you call to the websites you access.

The bill will also require information relating to every UK citizen to be indiscriminately retained by internet service providers such as Sky, Virgin, and BT for up to 12 months.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg are believed to have spent the last two days discussing the new bill.

2. The emergency discussions are needed because previous measures were deemed to breach citizens’ fundamental rights of privacy in a European court ruling earlier this year.

A judge in the European court of justice said in April this year that the 2006 EU Data Retention Directive, which provided the initial spark for the UK’s 2009 Data Retention (EC Direction) Act, was invalid. The court’s advocate general, Pedro Cruz Villalón, said the EU directive was in breach of “the right to privacy and the right to protection of personal data”.

This meant that the government’s own act, passed by Labour in 2009, is on fragile territory and at risk of breaching EU law. The emergency bill currently being discussed would allow agencies to maintain existing capabilities.

The prime minister suggested that the threat of British citizens travelling to fight in Syria is a major example of the need for the new bill.

He said: “It is the first duty of government to protect our national security and to act quickly when that security is compromised. As events in Iraq and Syria demonstrate, now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe.

“The ability to access information about communications and intercept the communications of dangerous individuals is essential to fight the threat from criminals and terrorists targeting the UK.”

3. But Nick Clegg has forced the inclusion of more transparency and oversight of the law.

The bill includes a termination clause which means the bill will have to be discussed again in 2016.

The deputy prime minister said: “We know the consequences of not acting are serious, but this urgency will not be used as an excuse for more powers, or for a ‘snooper’s charter’.”

A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said the party would ensure that individuals’ civil liberties were protected. The spokesperson said: “We must ensure our country and its citizens are safe, but as Liberal Democrats we will also do so in a way that improves, not erodes, our civil liberties, and rolls back, not increases, unchecked intrusion into our lives.”

The bill is likely to be introduced without any struggle as it has cross-party support.


Read Next: This Is The Other Privacy Scandal You Haven’t Heard About

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