Tag Archives: Tech Talk

[Tech Talk] Moment: Take Your Life Back, One Minute at a Time

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Image result for moment application

Being born in the crux of the 1980’s – December of 1984, to be precise – places me in the precarious position where I remember life before the internet, but have all the benefits of life in the post-technological boom era. I’ve seen televisions get slimmer and longer, watched as phones lost their umbilical cords, observed the evolution of VHS as it forayed into Super VHS, Laser Disks, and then eventually to DVD, Ultra HD, Blu Ray and now 4K; my Sony walkman was upgraded to a disc player, then an mp3 player, an iPod and now I can basically play music from my refrigerator.  And then, last but most certainly not least: the cell phone.  What was at one point an electronic brick that had the basic operations of a fancy calculator, has eventually evolved into an electronic ‘blob’ that’s acquired all the functions of literally anything else you could keep in your office or wallet besides your ID card, like calendars, notepads, a Rolodex, books, your credit cards, maps, DSLR cameras, video games, movies, foreign language dictionaries….the list could go on and on.

When the intellectual power of the world can fit in the palm of your hand, it sounds almost anachronistic to think that there’s a phone application out there whose only goal is to get you off your phone, and back into the moment – but thankfully, there is – and let me tell you, it works.  But let’s take a step back for a second and understand what leads to people being stuck on their phones.

For the most part, your cell phone is like the fridge: you open your cell phone in the morning because your brain is hungry for information, and your phone puts it at the ends of your fingertips.  Drowsy from strange dreams and famished for facts, you eagerly ingest anything your phone gives you – only it’s the fast food of information, not a lot of substance, and definitely not filling.  So, every hour or so, you open it – hoping there’s new food there, forgetting it’s the same fridge you ate from earlier – same shit, new timestamp. Untitled

Not to throw myself under the digital bus, but out of all my friends – I’d say I’m the most addicted to my phone.  I’m sure it’s somewhere in my genes, but my parents and grandparents have been large influences in the terms of technological revolution, so I’m not surprised that I had an affliction for information, and a hearty addiction to my phone. My personal irony, is I first found out about moment through a friend’s

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Instagram story, where they’d posted screen shots of how much time they used to spend on their phone versus how much time they spend after using the application; I was sold, immediately.

Moment, created by Kevin Holesh, is a saucy little minx; silently and invisibly running in the back of your phone, unless you ask for alerts, that is..  You feed it screen shots of your application use, and it lets you know how you’re fairing by cataloging your total use, including use by specific applications.

After observing myself for a few days, I decided to enlist in the free 7 day boot camp, Bored & Brilliant, which is a great introduction into getting off your phone and back to reality; shortly after I bit the bullet and got the Pro version, and did the 14 day boot camp. I’ll be honest, I’m actually on my second iteration of it because I really need the practice of leaving my phone alone.  The boot camps walk you through 21 essential tasks that will curb your enthusiasm for your digital reality and replace it with tangible moments, from not taking your phone into the bathroom, to cleaning up your home screen to remove all social apps, turning off your notifications and actually calling the people you love.  Through the app, I have small reminders on my phone to let me know, in 20 minute intervals, how long I’ve spent and I’m a huge fan of their ‘No Screen Time’ alarm: I set mine for 7-9pm at night, and it literally annoys me into putting my phone face down with a loud reminder every time I engage it.

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When I started using the application, I was on my phone up to three hours a day – now, it’s rare if I break an hour.  Plus, over the last three weeks, I’ve gone to sleep earlier, woken up without anxiety, spent more time with my cats, finished more books, had more fun conversations with friends, shared my time with my husband and have been overall immensely happier than before.  I’ve not only recommended the application to all my friends, but I’ve gone as far as downloading it on both my dad and Danny’s phones.

To download Moment for the iPhone yourself – head here! For you Android users, cue the sad violins but there isn’t currently an application for you – good news though: there’s a signup to get notified the second it’s available on multiple platforms.  For more on the applications genesis, and how it can help you take your life back – head to their website.

What do you do to curb your cell phone addiction and what tips do you have for others wishing to do the same?

 

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[Tech Talk] Don’t Believe The Hype: Why You Don’t Need the New iPhone

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iphone side by side
When I moved toLos Angeles in the Summer of 2008, I was diving headfirst into high fashion modeling with my handy, dandy HTC clutched close in my hands.  Back in the day, I really didn’t think twice about having an Apple Phone simply because I couldn’t get over the idea that it was just a glorified iPod that could make phone calls (fast forward 6 years, and one could still make a similar argument). I’d ebb and flow out of photo shoots and as my eyes devoured the clothing; and I’d sit there while wondering to myself – what the hell does ‘fashion season’ mean?  Do I really need to care…? And, when is my standard outfit of flip flops, cutoff shorts and a solid tank ever going to be “in”?  After grumbling through internal dialogues and flipping through alternative fashion magazines a la Nylon and websites like Nasty Gal, Urban OG and Tobi – I finally had my fashion epiphany: Nothing is in; personal style is King (or, Queen if you will)Fashion seasons, though seemingly novel and a great time to ooh and aah at fringe, frill and fine fabrics that you’ll probably never want to clean in a standard washing machine.  They’re great for inspiration – with bold color combinations, novel pairings, a passionate pattern affinity towards Paisley, or Plaid – but at the end of the day, what’s tried and true, and you, is the best fashion there is.

The worlds of High Fashion and High Tech don’t seem to have much in common.  Sure, you can sift though you can find their wares everywhere from glossy magazine pages and blogs to towering Billboards and Mall Stores.  You could still sit here and argue their inherent differences, but at the end of the day their products both possess certain elements of classic style – sleek, sexy, built to fit the human form.   And they the newest varieties both come with a conditional statement that newer is obviously better; what you have is old – outdated – passe – out of style.  But, is it, really?  

Between social and digital media, as the American public we’re constantly and equally bombarded by the ‘Haves’ and ‘Have Nots’ of modern society.  Items that are supposedly ‘Newer’, ‘Better’, ‘Faster’ either because they don’t exist in grandiose quantity, or they simply can’t be afforded.  I had the luxury of helping a photographer during the LA Leg of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week back in 2008 and beyond my basic quandary  of who the hell any designer besides Christian Audigier was, I found the overall upscale fashion from the designers to be as far out of my taste as it was from my price range.  There were designers that were fun to ogle, but at the end of the weekend I wanted to get back to the basics of being me, and that doesn’t come with a hefty price tag.

For the past few years, Christmas has seemingly come early for loyal Apple enthusiasts.  They wind lines around corners for hours, anxiously waiting to get their paws all over the ‘next best thing.’  In this case, that’s the iPhone 6.  It’s now been a week since the phone has jumped off of shelves and into the pockets (…and assorted microwaves…) of loyal smart phone users around the country.  I didn’t make the leap to the iPhone until this past February, so being a new convert – this is Apple’s first iPhone announcement that I’ve really been invested in. And for the first time in a long time, there are almost as many physical changes as there are internal chances to the hardware, operating system and cameras.

One thing my parents always taught me was “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Tim Cook might’ve done good mind to that mantra.  Yes, the new iPhone 6 has a faster A8 processor than it’s iPhone predecessors (the 5s with the A7, 5c with an A6), but it’s a feature that will only matter if you’re a hardcore phone gamer (which seems slightly strange, but whatever) or you use your phone to track fitness.  Truth be told, the only truly outdated phone after this round of updates and upgrades is the iPhone 4S; you may as well just consider it an iPod at this point. The new 6 and 6+ might be thinner, but they’re also taller, wider and heavier; I like my phone as is – because it fits nicely in my pocket.  Unless the fashion industry bends as a novelty to the market to create wider pocketed jeans that the phone won’t slip out of – I don’t think the next model (when ever the hell it comes out) will be quite as grandiose.

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As far as the Cellular and Wireless capabilities are concerned – each of these acts like a ‘phone’ identically.   As far as the iOS8 update – everyone can do it (Model 5) and up.  Also, HTC called, and they want their ergonomics back; I swear, Apple is starting to run more and more like the Android systems I left behind months ago.   The standout physical difference to me is the new Retina HD camera on the 6 and 6s – blogger  took the difference one step further and took the same picture with each version of the iPhone; the results are stunning!

My bottom line – unless you’ve held this model and it truly excites you, I’d stick with what you have.  There’s nothing exceptionally fabulous about the new 6 and 6s that make me want to run to the store and purchase one right now, but I’m definitely still excited that I made the switch to Apple this year; I love the functionality of the phone and have been enjoying a bug-free upgrade (though, a few friends have been randomly seeing a Spotlight search when they clicked on an app.) Hardware wise, all the iPhones from the 5 on use lightning USB cables to charge, and unless you plan on talking with your best friend for literally hours – you don’t need the extra standby time. In case you’re still undecided, I’ve got the specs in some handy dandy spreadsheets – see how the phones stack up for yourself before making the upgrade.

Spec 6+ 6 5S 5C
Resolution 1920 x 1080 – HD 1134 x 750 – HD 1136 x 640 1136 x 640
Screen Size 5.5″ Diagonal 4.7″ Diagonal 4″ Diagonal 4″ Diagonal
Height 6.22″ 5.44″ 4.87″ 4.90″
Width 3.06″ 2.64″ 2.31″ 2.33″
Depth .28″ .27″ .30″ .35″
Weight 6.07 oz 4.55 oz 3.95 oz 4.65 oz
Processor A8 Chip 64bit A8 Chip 64bit A7 64bit A6
Motion CoProcessor M8 M8 M7
Wireless Faster LTE Wireless Faster LTE Wireless LTE Wireless LTE Wireless
Operating System IOS 8 IOS 8 IOS 8 IOS 8
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Space Gray Yellow, Blue, Pink, Green, White
Talk Time Up to 24 Hrs on 3G Up to 14 Hrs on 3G Up to 10 Hrs on 3G Up to 10 Hrs on 3G
Standby Time Up to 16 Days Up to 10 Days Up to 10 Days Up to 10 Days
Internet Use 12 hrs on 3G, 12 hrs on LTE, 12 hrs on Wifi 10 hrs on 3G, 10 hrs on LTE, 11 hrs on Wifi 8 hrs on 3G, 10 hrs on LTE, 10 hrs on Wifi 8 hrs on 3G, 10 hrs on LTE, 10 hrs on Wifi
Video Playback Up to 14 Hrs Up to 11 Hrs Up to 10 Hrs Up to 10 Hrs
Audio Playback Up to 80 Hrs Up to 50 Hrs Up to 40 Hrs Up to 40 Hrs
Camera 6+ 6 5S 5C
Auto Focus Yes, With Focus Pixels Yes, With Focus Pixels Yes Yes
iSight Camera New 8MP New 8MP 8MP 8MP
Aperture  ƒ/2.2 aperture ƒ/2.2 aperture ƒ/2.2 aperture ƒ/2.4 aperture
Stabilization Optical + Auto image stabilization Auto image stabilization Auto image stabilization
Flash True Tone flash True Tone flash True Tone flash LED flash
HDR Auto HDR for photos Auto HDR for photos Auto HDR for photos HDR for photos
Panoramic Yes; up to 43 megapixels) Yes; up to 43 megapixels) Yes Yes
Burst Capable Burst mode Burst mode Burst mode

Also, for the record:

Size to Price (from Apple.com) 6+ 6 5S 5C
8GB Free
16 GB $299 $299 $99
32 GB $249
64 GB $399 $299
128 GB $499 $399

Ps. These are jokes; but…you don’t have to tell your friends that 😉

apple wave, iphone 6