How does one keep mobile devices working during some type of emergency?
It’s been an eventful week here in Northern Virginia. On Tuesday we had an earthquake, 5.8 on the Richter magnitude scale, shaking lots of things at home and work to the floor. Almost immediately, on Wednesday, we began making preparations for Hurricane Irene, the largest of its kind to move up the east coast of the United States in more than 50 years. In both cases, it’s been harder than usual to count on gadgets like mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and laptops.
For more than an hour after the earthquake, making mobile phone calls was difficult, though I found I was able to text easily. Now, during hurricane Irene (I am sitting by a window watching the rain fall in sheets), I worry about maintaining the battery charge of each gadget as long as possible, since the power is sure to go out at some point. Of greater concern is that, with millions of people losing power, it may take some time to get the power restored. Preservation becomes even more of a concern.
Yesterday in the District of Columbia (my school) and Virginia (my home), we had an earthquake, the largest quake in our area in 70 years. At school things rumbled and doors slammed, so most of the adults, who were preparing for the start of the school year, headed outside for a bit. At my house I returned to find pictures askew. A few things fell on the floor at home, but my neighbor checked on the house and picked them up before I arrived.
I’ve been carrying this May 18, 2011 article, The Ins and Outs of Using Gadgetry by New York Times tech guru, David Pogue, for three months. Actually, it’s worth carrying around so you can pull it out and get a few quick, and very helpful tips for whatever gadget you happen to be using.
Here are a few examples:
Skipping all of those irritating introductory messages on cell phones
Ensuring your digital camera focuses
Highlighting the address bar in your browser without taking time to grab the mouse
Using a few quick edit tips when you are writing
… and much more
I’ll admit to being a bit of a Pogue groupie. He always seems to have the answers, and if he doesn’t, he calls around (or messes around with the gadgets) until he does.
It’s almost back-to-school season, I’ve just been asked for my opinion about home network filters, and I’ve answered the way I always do: protective software programs are fine but limited.
Yes, filters keep a certain amount of inappropriate content away from children, but the problem of access is not solved simply by protecting home computers and networks. Over the course of a day or week, a child encounters many other connections to the world wide web — on laptops, smartphones, iPads, computers, in other people’s homes, and maybe even at a parent’s office. Not to mention all of the inappropriate advertising…