The Frightening New Normal


I posted this video a couple of years ago. The frightening thing is that the behaviour in the video seems more normal than it did back then. What they tried to overemphasize to make their point doesn’t seem odd or strange anymore.

It sometimes feels like we’re in a sci-fi movie where some evil genius has found a way to control everyone on the planet. How do we break free from that control before it’s too late?

Try walking down any street and see if you can go more than a few metres before you see someone on their phone. These devices have become extensions of ourselves. It’s something I need to watch for myself. I don’t want to only interact with a device when there are people all around me.

What steps are you taking to ensure that your phone doesn’t take over? Could you go a few days without your phone? What about a few hours? A few minutes?

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Reviewing an Amaysim Phone


I’ve been a fan of mobile phone service provider Amaysim for years but I’ve got even more reason to recommend them now. Last month I won the opportunity to review a Gold iPhone 6 Plus for them with the added bonus that if I liked the phone, I could keep it.

If you’re looking for a cheaper plan for your mobile, head to Amaysim. If you want to know what I thought about the iPhone 6 Plus, keep reading.

iPhone 6 Plus Review

Living in the most isolated capital city in the world, Perth, Western Australia, you need ever advanced ways to stay connected. So what am I doing with a phone that was released in the middle of 2010? The iPhone 4 was a leader in its day but it’s time to move on.

I’m Rodney, and I’m checking out the iPhone 6 Plus. Will it handle constant Facebooking and Instagramming as well as my work needs? My job takes me to countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Indonesia so I need something that’ll manage a variety of conditions.

Hey good lookin’

Apple has moved design forward with new curved edges and smooth surfaces without losing that distinctive iPhone look. The Gold iPhone 6 Plus looks classier than ever. It’s also pretty tough. It’s not the fragile, bendable phone some would have you believe.

I did find it a little hard getting used to the power button being moved to the side of the phone. Grasping the phone to turn it on or off I’d end up adjusting the volume via the switches on the opposite side. It took a little while but I’ve got it sorted now.

Largest and thinnest ever

The iPhone 6 Plus is the iPhone at its largest … and thinnest. How’s that even possible? I’m at my largest and I’m certainly not thin. Thankfully the iPhone 6 Plus with iOS 8 has an app for that. The Health app counts my steps each day and integrates with other health and exercise apps. I’ve linked it with my Strava cycling app. It’s also tracking my weight but it can do so much more. I won’t be getting as thin as the 7.1 mm 6 Plus but I’m hoping the Health app will point me in the right direction.

Speaking of apps, there are well over a million at the Apple Store. Sadly, I won’t have time to review them all here but you can be sure there’s an app for almost everything.

Apps load and respond incredibly quickly with iOS 8. My old 4 struggled at times, especially on apps like Facebook, but that’s all history now. Facebook loads almost instantly and navigating or uploading within the app is smooth and fast.

How large is too large?

The first thing people ask about the iPhone 6 Plus is its size. The way some people carry on you’d be forgiven for thinking the iPhone 6 Plus is the size of a small nation. Of course, it’s not. Maybe the size of a mid-range city.

To be honest, if I had the choice of an iPhone 6 or the 5.5 inch screen of an iPhone 6 Plus, I would have gone for the iPhone 6. I’d heard the hype about the Plus being too big, but within a couple of days I was convinced the naysayers had it wrong. You won’t prize the iPhone 6 Plus out of my man-sized hands anytime soon. Sure, it won’t suit everyone but it’s just right for me.

The bigger Retina HD display is remarkably sharp and perfect for images, but it’s also a great size for reading. Thanks to apps like iBooks and Kindle, my entire library is now in the palm of my hand. No more getting bored in airports or on planes.

I often deliver presentations to a range of audiences so having a device larger than my old iPhone 4 yet not as cumbersome on stage as my iPad for my notes is super helpful. Add to that the fact that our office database is switching to a mobile system and I wouldn’t want anything smaller than the Plus.

iPhone6PlusRodneyiSight Camera

The feature I really wanted to play with, I mean review, was the new camera with its enhanced video function. I wasn’t disappointed.

The iSight Camera has a list of highly advanced features like Optical Image Stabilisation, True Tone flash, Auto HDR and many others. But what do they all mean? Quite simply, better photos. A lot of quality cameras will now find themselves sitting at home with nothing to do.

Whether it’s a quick point and shoot with the improved auto focus or getting a little bit fancier with the myriad of manual adjustments you can now make, you’ll end up with stunning images. Even the front facing camera is improved meaning better FaceTime or (dare I say it?) selfies.

Videoing hasn’t missed out on the make-over either. As well as 1080p HD video recording there’s Slo-Mo video that provides stunning results.

Battery life

Perhaps one of the best new features is the extraordinary battery life of the iPhone 6 Plus. If you’ve ever watched your phone power drain away right when you’ve needed it most, you’ll love the iPhone 6 Plus. I used to run out of power towards the end of a busy day but now I can sometimes go a couple of days without recharging.

I’m keeping the iPhone 6 Plus

As I mentioned, this isn’t a phone for everyone, but it’s definitely the phone for me. As with all things Apple, it just works as it’s meant to work. It has far too many features to highlight in one review.

If you work ‘on the road’ and need something that will keep you connected, I’d certainly recommend the iPhone 6 Plus.

It might be a little pricey if you think of it as only a phone but as a mobile office with lots of features for after work, it’s a worthwhile investment.

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Pull It Apart

I think I fixed my phone.

Over the last week or two I’ve noticed that my mobile phone hasn’t been holding its charge as long as it should. In fact, if I didn’t recharge it every day it’d run down and switch itself off within twenty four hours.

I checked online for the price of a new battery and was looking at the options, then, for no reason, I decided to try something different. I switched the phone off, took out the battery, put it straight back in and then charged it.

That was about 40 hours ago and it’s still showing an almost full charge. I have no idea how that works but I’m happy to go with it.

I might start offering a new handyman service. If you have an appliance that’s stopped working I’ll come over to your place, pull it apart, put it back together, and charge you for the service.

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Make the Call

Old TelephoneWhat are you like at making phone calls? Do you sometimes forget to make important calls?

Sometimes forgetting to make a phone call or two can bring unwanted results.

Did you hear that a filmmaker is a little red faced after New York police officers were summoned to what they thought was an armed robbery, but turned out to be a location shoot for his upcoming movie?

Apparently Fred Carpenter was filming inside a shop in a scene where a gunman takes a number of people hostage. Someone passing the shop thought it was the real thing and called police.

Thankfully it all ended peacefully but the director was quite surprised when more than a dozen officers stormed into the scene. He admitted that it was his fault. He should have phoned police before the event to tell them what he was planning to do.

So what phone calls do you need to make today?

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Lost and Found

Samsung PhoneOne of the many advantages of cycling is that you find stuff. Sometimes it’s even good stuff.

I’ve found sunglasses, tools, a very small amount of cash and a few other bits and pieces.

On several occasions I’ve found mobile phones. Most of them smashed beyond usefulness but a few have still worked. I’ve been able to track down their owners and return the phones.

Last week as I was cycling home I spotted something black on the side of the road. I stopped, turned around, went back and picked it up. It was a phone in full working order. I shoved it in my pocket and headed home, intending to check it out and try to find the owner.

As I continued my journey I heard a loud ringing. I pulled over, reached into my pocket and answered the phone, much to the relief of the lady on the other end of the line. It was her daughter’s phone and to cut a long story short we made arrangements for her daughter to drop over and pick up the phone.

Both mother and daughter were extremely appreciative and thanked me profusely.

The odd thing is, that’s not always the case. I’ve returned items such as phones and purses in the past where the owners have been polite but very reserved in their thanks. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t return stuff so that a stranger can tell me how wonderful I am but it does surprise me that they don’t seem more pleased to be reunited with something of value.

What have you lost or found?

Have you lost something and had it returned? Have you found something and tracked down the owner to return it? What was the reaction of the person who owned the item?

I’d be really interested in hearing your stories. Please leave a comment or two in the comments section of this post.

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