iPhone 5 Bulging Battery - A Real Safety Hazard To Watch

WHAT A BAD BATTERY CAN DO TO YOUR BELOVED IPHONE

Okay folks, pay attention closely if you own an iPhone 5, 5C, or 5S. The life of your phone could depend on it.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of fixing a gentleman's iPhone 5 that had a situation where the screen was popping up. Plus, when pressing your finger on the front glass, you could see discoloration on the LCD in a vertical area.

At first, I thought he just had a defective screen assembly where the glass separates from the plastic and metal brackets. But the owner also told me that he had a bad battery, and believed it was bulging and forcing the display out from the metal phone frame.

I asked him if the battery was doing strange things, like discharging rapidly, or charging erratically. He said no, the charge was doing fine, but it was only the problem of battery bulge. I wouldn't have believed it until I saw it.

Just as you seen the in picture, his phone was coming apart on the top end of the screen, which made it extremely difficult for me to remove the LCD assembly from the metal frame. It took quite a while for me to carefully pry up the screen without permanently damaging the LCD.

I told him that it was a 50/50 shot at getting this screen removed and having it go back in without any problems, but we decided to trudge forward. After much to do, I successfully got the screen removed from the frame.

Lo and behold, the battery inside the phone was bulging, just as he described. What causes this to happen is that the layers of lithium inside the battery that are separated by a thin film find a way to short circuit, thus making the battery bulge.

The battery bulging will force the screen assembly out of the frame, and could end up in permanent damage to the LCD. But worse than that, the battery can bulge to the point that it eventually explodes, or in rare cases, catches on fire.

I learned a good lesson on just how dangerous dealing with lithium ion iPhone batteries can be a couple of years ago when I hastily removed an iPhone 4S battery from a frame. Using a metal spudger, I forced the battery out quickly, causing it to bend. That bending caused the thin layers of insulation between the lithium layers to break down, short-circuiting the battery.

I grabbed the battery with my fingers to pry it out after bending it with the spudger, and noticed an acutely painful sensation in my finger. After I snatched my hand away from the battery, a small orange ember appeared, and then a flame shot out from the battery.

Keeping my burned finger in a bowl of ice half the night to cool the barbecue sensation taught me a fine lesson about respecting lithium batteries, and how dangerous they can be. That's why I knew to be super careful when I removed the screen from this iPhone 5 only to discover a bulged battery that needed to come out.

The Apple Corporation did a massive recall on the iPhone 5 for defective batteries. But they left half the defective phones out in the wild, denying a great percentage of people a repair covered under warranty. So they are still out there.

If you notice your screen popping up, know that this is a potentially serious issue that you should have checked out immediately. And don't try to remedy it yourself unless you are willing to potentially tear up your phone, burn your fingers, have your battery explode.

My advice? Leave it up to the experts, and get it fixed as soon as you notice the symptoms!

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Guru Safety Advisor

Is Stopping "Illegal Immigration" Immoral, And Is Standing Up For It Illogical?

"ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION" ARGUMENT - THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

I don't honestly understand what is it that people have against an immigration policy similar to what presidential candidate Donald Trump is proposing. And while people are fussing and fighting about this, there's a big fat elephant sitting in the middle of the room.

We'll get to that elephant in a bit. But for now, let's talk about whether or not stopping illegal immigration is an immoral act, or if standing up for its allowance is llogical.

It seems that many believe "shutting down the borders" to prevent illegal immigration is immoral. And I've noticed that people seem to equate illegal immigration with coming into the country by legal means. Doesn't make any sense to me.

We do care about these downtrodden people who are looking for opportunity, and we want to help them only through legal means. This is hardly immoral. I for one am not a proponent for closing the doors completely and halting all immigration. But the pro illegal immigration mob sure does want to lump people like me in with those who are strict isolationists.

As far as I can tell, people like Donald Trump are pro-immigration, but they also want it to happen through legal means. They want people to have the freedom to enter the country to chase opportunity, but they prefer that immigrants register properly and become a part of the system.

I have noticed a double standard, however. People from certain countries seem to have a lot more trouble coming into this country, even by legal means. Unless they have an endless supply of money for legal assistance, they can't get in.

For example, I have a friend who married a woman from an Eastern Block country, and even through marriage they were not able to obtain a Visa. She was deported, and they spent piles of money on attorneys fighting for her case to allow her back into the country.

But where are all of the anti-Trumpers in cases like this? Why are they fighting so hard against the halting of illegal immigration when the people who are trying desperately to come here by legal means are having so much difficulty?

Seems to me they should put their energy here instead of wasting it on raising a ruckus against Trump and his immigration policy ideas.

Some say that standing against illegal immigration is immoral or somehow racially biased. But here's the big fat elephant standing in the middle of the room that nobody seems to notice:

These people are supporting breaking and circumventing the law rather than abiding by the rules and going about things legally.

If you really were 'for' the people who come here illegally, you would fight to educate and assist them in becoming legitimate residents instead of sneaking in unaccounted for. You would fight to have them do their fair share and pay in to the system that supports people in need.

I am against allowing illegal immigration, for obvious reasons. Every citizen in this country should be, if they are honest law abiding people who want order and fairness.

To me, fighting those who hold this stance against stopping illegal immigration is like fighting for people's right to shoot, rob, steal, shoplift, and avoid paying taxes. If you live in this country and benefit from law and order, it seems a little backwards that you would abandon that stance when it comes to immigration. That is completely illogical.

I have several good friends from south of the border who live here, work here, and are raising their families. They are some of the hardest workers on the planet, and are experts in their field of trade.

All of them are here legally, and they abide by the rules of law to keep their status legitimate. I think it is a slap in their face and an insult for us to say that we should support those who want to cut corners and come here without going through the proper channels, as they did.

Once you cut through the smoke and mirrors of politics, you clearly see that taking up a cause for an illegal activity just makes no sense at all. But this is the day and age we live in.

Carlton Flowers
Political Pot Stirrer

The Confederate Flag Debate - A Balanced View

AS THE 150-YEAR-OLD DEBATE RAGES ON, CAN WE FIND UNDERSTANDING?

The tragic shooting of 9 Blacks at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston South Carolina has brought a century-and-a-half debate over the Confederate battle flag to an ugly head. Lines have been drawn in the sand, and there doesn't seem to be much agreement amongst the opposing sides of the issue.

I have long kept silent about this divisive topic, and honestly have not had a dog in this fight. Recent events have forced me to take a long look at this, and I have come to a conclusion on where I stand. But before I express my opinion, I will say that I have sincere hopes of bringing understanding to both camps, rather than to simply throw more gasoline on the fire. That is my goal.

The core of the conflict lies in the fact that the two camps have strongly divergent views on what the Confederate flag, or "Dixie" flag, actually stands for. Surprisingly, this divergence doesn't run purely along political or racial lines, but some generalizations can be made about those for and against the Confederate flag.

Some see the flag as a symbol of Southern culture and pride, of state's rights, and a remembrance of ancestors who sacrificed their lives as soldiers in the Civil War defending their way of life in the south. They view the flag in a completely positive light, as something that invokes warm childhood memories of being raised in Dixie land. It's wholesome Southern family heritage. It's "buckwheat cakes and injun batter", as the traditional song celebrates, to "live and die in Dixie".

To others, the the Confederate flag paints a completely different picture. It is one of racial strife, division, and generations of pain and suffering. It invokes memories of the institution of slavery, and memories of the "Rebels" who defended the Jim Crow laws that remained in force through 1965 in the South. What comes to mind is the connection to White Supremacy, the Ku Klux Klan, hate groups, intimidation, and the days of institutionalized racial oppression backed up by state laws.

It's a shock that these two viewpoints could even be describing the same subject, the Confederate flag. And it doesn't appear that those who are on the extreme end of either side of the fence will ever be able to come to the middle ground to see this issue from each other's viewpoint.

To those that hold fast to the Confederate flag, they feel that their allegiance makes a statement for standing up against a federal government gone out of control, steamrolling over the intent of the Constitution in protecting state's rights. They feel a sense of unfair treatment and betrayal among those who would rather define and assign negative attributes to the flag because of its use by hate groups, rather than to honor their right to define it as wholesome and harmless.

But here's where it "all goes south" for the Confederate historians who cannot seem to defend their wholesome family-friendly constitutional-based definition of what the Rebel flag stands for...

The staunch support of the flag has deep emotional roots. That emotion is passionate, and it manifested in the actions of many supporters of the anti-authority "Rebel" mindset after the Civil War. Although the current widely-used Rebel flag was only one of many battle flags used by several regimens of the Confederate army, the Dixie battle flag was the only one widely used that survived until today.

Sadly, one of the most recognizable groups in history that used the symbolic Rebel flag were the ghosts of the fallen soldiers of the Confederate army, the Ku Klux Klan. It was so widely used by the Klan while terrorizing freed Blacks in the South that it's very sight would invoke instant and immediate fear. It often flew during cross burnings, lynchings, gang rapes, and burning of homes.

Literally hundreds of radical White supremacist hate groups overwhelmingly gravitated towards the use of the flag because of its popularity. It continued on through the time of the Civil Rights movement, where we saw it used as the primary symbol for the State's Rights Democratic Party ("Dixiecrats") led by Strom Thurmond as they battled the Democratic party in opposing the Civil Rights platform. In demonstration after demonstration, we sat and watched as myriads of Dixie flags waved in the hands of those who passionately fought against desegregation and equal rights for all human beings.

But as grotesque and hideous as this part of our history may be, those who support the Confederate flag feel that their symbol has been hijacked by the insidious people who don't share their core values. They see it as a "redefining" of what their flag stood for, much in the same way that the well-meaning LGBT community has adopted the use of the rainbow to symbolize their community and culture. They strongly believe that similar symbols mean different things to different groups of people.

In order to help those that are riled up about the "real" meaning of the Rebel flag, let me inject my own personal experience. It might surprise you.

Part of me sees the Rebel flag in the light of "The Dukes of Hazzard". It's the General Lee, a symbol of the South, something that connects me to my roots deep down in Mississippi and Louisiana. Growing up, what kid didn't have a toy General Lee stock car? I know I did. To this day, I want to restore an old Charger and create my very own "General" and show it off to the world.

My Civil War enthusiast side allows me to be able to sit down and debate State's Rights and the Constitution with fellow historians who display the Dixie flag in their homes, on their trucks, and on their clothing. I'm drawn to Civil War reenactments, museums, and historic sites that display both Old Glory and the Rebel flag and it doesn't invoke any negative feelings.

But another part of me remembers those who don't share those historic views...

Growing up in a rural environment during the 70's and 80's, I experienced things that you would think only could have occurred in Selma Alabama during the 60's. I've been spit on, harassed, roughed up, had rocks hurled at me, called every racial epithet in the dictionary, and even endured hearing the phrase "go back to Africa with your people" more than I could count or remember.

A common thread among the people who felt it necessary to hurl these insults and dole out this treatment while I grew up? The Rebel flag. It was thrown in my face with the intent of intimidating me and striking fear in my heart. This was so common that my siblings and I knew that we had better have our guard up when we found ourselves in the midst of pickup trucks & drunken imbeciles donning rebel flags and cowboy hats.

This is why I can see both sides of the story, and why I will admit that the Dixie flag does mean strikingly different things to different people. But I do have a firm stance on what I believe to be the most fair compromise that we can all live by...

Regarding South Carolina and other states that prominently display the Rebel flag, I believe the opponents have a valid case in arguing against flying it on the state capitol property. While I don't believe the flag should be banned by any means, it shouldn't stand in the way of the US flag ever.

The Dixie flag flying on state capitol buildings is still a symbol of the rebellion. 150 years have passed, and we need to realize that the Confederacy lost the war. Whether it be the Stars & Bars or the Rebel flag, the South lost the right to fly the flag over a government institution.

Be that as it may, I believe the overreaction among retailers in pulling all merchandise bearing the Confederate flag is silly. Everyone is overreacting. And it's funny how they didn't think about this until now. All of the sudden, they want to "protect" all of their dear customers from the possibility of being offended. It's very hypocritical.

Sadly, this chain reaction could open up the doors for any and every group to protest the symbols of anything they find offensive. It's a slippery slope, and the precedence now set could turn against people's freedom to express their unique identity in a country that is a major melting pot. It could be open season on all cultural symbols in the near future.

The answer to the Confederate flag conundrum isn't clear. But there is one clear thing we all need to do: start respecting each others right to have differing opinions, and end the fighting. Here's my advice to both camps, and it is my sincere hope that it brings us all back together:

Confederates - While you might have the most sincere intentions in mind, realize that a percentage of people will always have an immediate unconscious negative reaction to the Rebel flag, thanks to the very vocal hate groups who made it so popular. We may never successfully talk people into mentally separating the Rebel flag from the Ku Klux Klan after they have paraded it around for 150 years, and still continue to use it today. You can stand up for your values, but keep reaching out in kindness to those who misunderstand why you hold the Rebel flag so dearly to your heart.

Yankees - Avoid broadly stereotyping everyone you see with a Rebel flag. Realize that it is possible that some people hold no racial malice in their hearts. Admit the possibility that some really do see the flag as a symbol of state's rights, southern culture, and their family upbringing. Yes, we recognize the fact that the Ku Klux Klan is still pushing the Rebel flag in our faces while they spew their racial hatred in the media... but let's take a deep breath and evaluate each situation before we pass immediate judgement on those we see sporting the Rebel flag, and give them a chance before we write them off as card-carrying pro-slavery Klan advocates.

All - Settle down, stop fighting, quit with the bickering, and realize that there are far more important things we need to be expending our emotional energy on. While we are senselessly fighting over a historic battle flag, there are people in the world getting their heads sawed off in the name of religion. Those are REAL problems. Keep it in perspective.

In the immortal words of Rodney King, "why can't we... why can't we all just get along?"

Carlton Flowers
Rodney King Flag Advocate

THE CELLULAR SERVICE CHOKEDOWN - A TECH CRISIS?

As time goes on, it seems that cellular service is getting worse and worse. Is this just a passing phase, or are we in the midst of a cellular service choke down?

Three years ago, the tech blog prognosticators predicted a major bottleneck in cellular service due to increasing demand.  The increase was said to be fueled by the big shift towards mobile internet use, thanks to faster 4G LTE speeds being served up by the big telecoms.

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't believe it. The reason? Because we had the same failed predictions regarding internet service back in the days of linear dialup modems.

Once dialup modems "topped out" at 56kbps of data transfer speed, the doom and gloom said that they would no possible way to jam data through the telephone network any faster. 

Then came broadband.

Someone figured out a way to cram a lot for data through the same old network by using a different frequency which was above the audio range of human ears. This made it possible talk on the phone and surf the Internet at high speed at the same time!

Nobody ever thought such a thing would be possible, but that was just the beginning. coaxial table and fiber optic table later took it to the extreme.

That being said, I'll show you how that relates to the current topic. 

We are on the front end of the same type of mess, but with the cellular network. Now that the majority of people are using their smartphones to access the Internet rather than laptops or desktop computers, there has never been more demand put on the cellular network than the present time. 

While the log jam was predicted years app, I was of the belief that it would never come to a critical head before done new fancy technological breakthrough solved the problem.

I was partially right. 

After the 3G high speed cellular network was built about 4 years ago,   the "HSPA+ enhanced" days service brought us speeds upwards of 10Mbps on our smartphones. But over the next year, that dropped down to about 1.5Mbps.

The reason? Too many people flooded the network with their smartphones sitting the net like never before, and the system couldn't handle it.

It's the same effect you get when you're at a concert or large gathering, and you notice that your cellular service drops off to zero and doesn't return to normal until the crowd disperses.

Well folks, right now we are hitting rock concert levels in the current 4G LTE network. What started off as an unmitigated data speedway where we had blazing downloads as fast as 50Mbps has now turned into a log jam of snail data traffic that you're lucky to get 1Mbps out of on a good day.

On the one hand, I'll say that I believe the prognosticators on what they said about the "dead end" of the cellular network. But I don't believe this will be the dead end overall.

We're smack dab in the middle of a paradigm shift. More and more people are ditching desktops for smartphones each and every day, and we've already hit critical mass.

But one thing I have learned from history when it comes to the advancement technology is that the very minute the "experts"   say that we have reached the limit, we are blindsided by a new quantum leap inducing breakthrough that catapults us into the future.

My prediction for our current saturated overused overwhelmed cellular network? The problem will fuel technological advancement, and we are more than likely on the brink of our next quantum leap in data transfer. And when it happens, it well be bigger, faster, and more amazing than anything we can even imagine.

Carlton Flowers

Gadget Oracle

 

 

 

upload.jpeg

Rapid Smartphone Battery Drain - A Source You Probably Didn't Consider

THE HIDDEN REASON YOUR SMARTPHONE EXPERIENCES RAPID DRAIN

Have you ever sat and watched your smartphone drain rapidly before your eyes, even while plugged into a charger? There is a hidden but common reason many people are experiencing this frustrating situation.

While sitting at work, I have noticed on several occasions that my smartphone will start draining the juice faster than a soft orange in a Jack LaLane juicing machine. It's the most frustrating and mind-boggling thing that I've experienced with my Galaxy Note 3, and up until now, I had no idea what was really happening.

I assumed that I either had a serious malfunction with my smartphone, or an AC charger adapter that had shot craps. I couldn't imagine how or why my smartphone could take a complete nosedive right before my eyes while it was plugged up and should be charging.

The only solution to this problem was turning off the phone, and leaving it on the charger for an hour or two in order to slowly reverse the process and start recovering the charge. And this seemed to happen when I needed to use my smartphone the most.

While talking to a friend and complaining about this mysterious rapid battery drain, my good friend and fellow gadget enthusiast Tim Largent clued me in to what the source of this unknown drain actually was. He hit the nail on the head, and I sat in amazement, wondering why I never knew this little known fact.

Where I work, there seems to be a serious problem with reception in the last few months on my network. I normally have a strong signal, and receive a full 4 bars or more of 4G LTE service. But not lately...

What Tim explained to me is the fact that smartphones will constantly cycle in search mode when they cannot connect with a strong signal from a tower. If you are in a dead spot or area with a weak signal, your smartphone will search for a better signal until it finds one.

With the network problem we are having in our area, many others have experienced this rapid battery drain, and this is exactly the source of the problem. While the smartphone is searching for that stronger signal, it demands a huge amount of power resources.

This is why my phone would drain faster than it would charge, while plugged into a charger, until the phone would go completely dead. But it wasn't happening every day, only on days where there seemed to be a big problem with the carrier network.

If you are in a known area that has a weak or intermittent signal, leaving your phone powered on to fervently search for a better signal will drain your battery dead so fast that you can watch the power meter decrease right before your eyes.

The only way to avoid this is to turn the phone off, or turn off your smartphone's radio by putting it into Airplane mode when you know you are in a problem location. There is no other solution, other than calling your carrier to inform them of a possible technical problem with your service.

So before you take a hammer to your phone or chunk the charger out the window or into the nearest trash receptacle, keep this in mind. It's probably not your smartphone OR your charger. It could be an issue that is out of your hands.

Be informed, my fellow smartphone addicts!

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru

A Warning to Naked iPhone 6 Plus Owners

WHAT ALL IPHONE 6 PLUS OWNERS URGENTLY NEED TO KNOW

So you bought that amazing Apple iPhone 6 Plus, and you just love the beauty of the form factor, and how gorgeous it looks without a case? Good luck. Enjoy your happiness while it lasts. Because when you break that lovely new Apple device, you're gonna be depressed.

Since its release, I have had to experience the extreme displeasure of telling people who bring broken iPhone 6 Plus smartphones to my shop exactly how much financial damage they are in for. I sincerely hate to them coming, and I don't enjoy being the bearer of horrible news.

Right now, breaking your iPhone 6 will set you back about $100 for a new LCD/digitizer assembly, and $60 labor for the installation (if you come to my shop, Gadget Gurus). But if you own the Godzilla-sized iPhone 6 Plus and jack up your screen, you are going to have to dig really deep in your pocket to come up with $350 for the LCD/digitizer assembly, plus the $60 labor.

People taking a chance on using their iPhone 6 Plus in the nude are playing financial Russian roulette. My advice to anyone who owns one of these devices is to leave it in the box until you have a shock-proof case (like an Otterbox or equal) and a tempered glass hard screen protector ready to install on it.

What most people don't understand is that they are packing a powerful $1,000 laptop computer in their pocket with no keyboard and a super expensive touch screen. If you purchased a laptop for that price, you certainly wouldn't be carrying it around using it while walking, running, or sitting on the toilet (yes, I said that).

But in this day and age of rapid technological change, people have been slowly boiled like the frog in the pot. They aware the change that has taken place. These super expensive new smartphones are very small and sleek, but they have evolved so quickly, people don't realize today how intricate and expensive they are.

If you're gonna drop the bucks (or the long-term contract) for that fancy decipherin' machine, get it double-protected. Put the shock-proof 2-piece case on it, and get the tempered glass protection. It's worth every penny.

That doesn't mean you'll be 100% safe from every drop. I have people bringing me shattered iPhones in Otterboxes quite often. If you drop it just right, you can still jack up the screen or LCD. But you WILL at least increase your chances of saving your phone after a drop if you have it double-protected.

You do have one other option if you break your iPhone 6 Plus. You can send it in to Apple, or take it to an Apple store IF you have one in your city, and they will replace the LCD/digitizer for $129. That's an incredible deal, but there's no guarantee that you'll get it, or how long they will offer that price.

I believe Apple is subsidizing the true cost of the LCD replacement, at least until the wholesale prices come down on the after-market parts. If they didn't do this, there would be a lot of disgruntled iPhone 6 Plus owners out there. Apple corporation doesn't like letting things like this get out of control, so this is probably a preemptive move.

In due time, the price for the after-market LCD/digitizer assemblies will come down. But for now, don't take any chances on using your iPhone 6 Plus in the nude!

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru

 

The Truth About Customer Service With AT&T - Unbiased Testimony

AT&T CUSTOMER SERVICE GETS THE REAL REVIEW FROM THE ZONE

I've heard a ton of opinions about AT&T Wireless coverage, the devices, and their customer service. There are as many opinions out there as there are people. I am often asked what I think of the various carriers, because of my Gadget Gurus business and my superior geek status.

Well I've been a customer since 2006, so I believe I have put in the time to be able to give you the straight no-fluff evaluation. But we will focus this post to one facet of business: customer service

As you can see in the picture, I am proud to officially announce to my esteemed audience that AT&T has received the first ever "Carlton Award - Customer Service Champion" designation from The Carlton Zone! I'll explain why...

The first reason emanates from the the excellent level of customer service on the toll free phone line. I have yet to have one bad experience with customer service agents at the AT&T call centers. I have found them to be courteous, happy to speak with me, and very accommodating when dealing with my situations of need. I can't tell you how many other service companies have dropped the ball in this area. But this is an area that AT&T as excelled in. It must be a company philosophy.

A second reason results from where AT&T excels on a more personal level. Evidence can be found in the experiences I have had at the local corporate store in Jefferson City, Missouri. A small percentage of people say that they don't like the service at the local store. I'm not sure I understand what it is that they are looking for that would spark such a reaction, because I have clearly had only the best experiences when visiting the for any reason.

Our local store stays very busy on a constant basis, and the staff are often swamped with customers. But the way that they handle the load is worthy praise. When I walk in the door, I am greeted with a smile, and an agent immediately logs me into the queue. I am told how long I can expect to wait to see an agent, and then I'm turned loose to "play" with all the devices on display.

The staff has always been pleasant, very helpful, and willing to go the extra mile to see to it that my needs are met. But it's not just about business. After each experience at the corporate store, I feel that I have gained a friend (or two) after my visit.

These are the main two fronts that any carrier will gain or lose ground in customer service, and AT&T has nailed it on both fronts for me. And for those who don't agree with me, let's just say that there are a few other slightly credible sources who would agree... like the J.D. Power 2015 Wireless Customer Care Study. Go ahead, click the link and read it for yourself.

Oh and hey, sorry about "Bogart-ing" your logo, J.D. Power. It was just a perfect fit for The Carlton Award - Customer Service Champion designation to AT&T. By all means, if you want to copy some of my amazing graphics from the blog site, please borrow one for payback. I'll understand!

Carlton Flowers
THE Gadget Guru

 

Blogging From Mobile Devices - Key To Staying Current?

I am writing this blog post from an iPad 2, one of several mobile devices that I own. I'm always in search of new ways to publish content to my blog. Why? 

Because l am so busy.

As the owner of five businesses and a full time engineering job, I don't always have access to my main computer work station or my laptop. So I've been hunting for quick and easy ways to blog on the go as inspiration hits me.

I've tried uploading content from my smartphone, but it just isn't practical. It's too much of a pain typing, and getting the format right. But the iPad could be the answer to my problem! 

I'm not using an external keyboard, just typing on the screen which seems to be easier. If this works out, I might settle in with the iPad as my primary mobile device for blogging. 

The advantages to mobile blogging Make it worth the effort. 

First off, you have the ability to get that cutting edge blog post written at the moment of inspiration. If you're like me, you'll end up with a five mile long list of blog topics to write in the future if you don't knock them out immediately. 

Secondly, you are able to keep your site full of content and attracting traffic. Every post doesn't have to be richly laden with graphics and video. Sometimes it's just the written content that provides information or a solution to what people are searching for. 

Lastly, it keeps you in the flow of writing, and thus keeps you from going through bouts of writers block. Once you get into the habit of writing every day, you lessen your chances of getting stuck.

Do you blog from a mobile platform, or do you prefer to stick to writing from your laptop or desktop computer? Share your thoughts and let me know! 

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru

Microsoft & Nokia Reach Market Dominance In 2015... Or Not

BOLD PREDICTIONS FIZZLE AS 2015 COMES TO FRUITION

A few years ago, I was on the bandwagon of belief when all of the tech pundits made bold predictions that Nokia & Microsoft would reach total market dominance over Android & Apple by the year 2015. What happened?

We all bought the story because of the reasoning, that Nokia once dominated the world of feature phones, and that Microsoft dominated the world of operating systems. Windows Mobile plus Nokia hardware was supposed to equal unparalleled success in the smartphone market.

But what happened?

All of the cards foretold of fortunes to be made by these two tech juggernauts, and the planets were supposedly lined up to create the stage for the impending takeover of the smartphone world. But now that we have reached 2015, where is Microsoft and Nokia in the grand scheme of things?

Apple continues to dominate with the new iPhone 6 and 6+, with the new iOS 8 platform. And Samsung continues to squash the Android market with its flagship Galaxy products, powered by Android KitKat. But our "match made in heaven" comprised of Microsoft and Nokia seems to be lagging far behind, as they always have.

I thought Microsoft and Nokia had a great start with the Lumia 920 smartphone, and all of the later versions of their device. The operating system was supposed to be super easy to use, and a much better match for those of us using Windows based PCs. I thought I would be a prime target for converting to Windows on my smartphone, since I use a PC and a laptop every day.

But it never happened. I've tested and tried the Nokia devices using the Windows Phone platform. While I did find it easy to use, I worried about not having the ability to find all of my most favorite apps under their system. When I switched from Apple to Android in 2012, I was able to download about 80% of my most used apps on the Android platform.

I'm hard-pressed to believe that Windows will capture the attention of developers around the world and motivate them to bring all of my favorite apps to the Windows Phone market. It hasn't happened yet, and I don't have much confidence believing it will in the near future.

While the Windows-based Nokia devices are super slick and durable, I have found them to be a total pain-in-the-derrier when it comes to servicing and repairing the hardware. As the owner of a smartphone repair shop, I have learned to send Nokia smartphone owners to my competitors down the street. Cracked screen? Busted LCD panel? Take it somewhere else, because it's not worth the headache.

That might be part of the reason why Nokia failed to dominate the market as predicted. It might just be that Microsoft and Nokia never became "cool". Whether their devices and operating system functionality is great, or a pile of crap, nothing matters until their products become a "thing".

The smartphone market is like the fashion industry. Until Microsoft and Nokia become "cool" in the minds of consumers, they will never hit critical mass and dominate the market. I would love to see a competitor break into the Apple/Android monopoly, but I don't believe we will witness such an even for a few years if anything.

In the meantime, It's Samsung & Android for me on the smartphone front, Apple's iPad for my tablet, and my Windows-based custom PC for my desktop.

What do you think the reasons are behind the failure of Microsoft and Nokia to fulfill the predictions of the past? I'd sure like to hear your opinion!

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru

iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - This Will Shut You Up

HIDEOUSLY OBVIOUS REASONS I CHOOSE THE GALAXY NOTE 4 OVER IPHONE 6 PLUS

iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are out on the streets. The talking Apple heads claim that the iPhone 6 Plus is the hands-down winner over the new edition of the Note series.

Even tech blog sites are giving the checkered flag to Apple over Samsung in this race to have the most phabou phablet. It doesn't stack up per the tech specs, but Apple clearly has the most votes of confidence.

Everyone has an opinion about device brands and it is mostly due to preference. But I'm having a hard time trying to follow the "logic" of the loyal Fruit Cult following. I don't think they care what the specs are at all, it's just a foregone conclusion that the Apple device will magically be "better" by default.

In fact, I'd like to know exactly what kind of hallucinogenic drugs these people are doing to think the specs give Apple the win, because it would seemingly take some pretty strong stuff to overlook this helpful little handful of hardware facts...

  • The CPU - the Note 4 uses an Octa core processor while the iPhone 6 Plus sports dual core
  • 1.9GHz cpu processing speed on the Note 4 compared to 1.4GHz on the iPhone 6 Plus
  • Screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 on the Note 4 versus 1920 x 1080 on the 6 Plus
  • Super sharp screen on the Note 4 packs 515 pixels/sq.in but iPhone 6 Plus is only 400pix/sq.in.
  • 16Mp camera on the Note 4 as opposed to 8Mp on the 6 Plus
  • Front-facing camera on the Note 4 has twice the resolution than it's Fruity Phablet counterpart
  • Real multitasking on the Galaxy Note 4, nothing of the sort on the iPhone 6 Plus
  • A whopping 3 gigabytes of RAM packed into the Note 4 while the 6 Plus gets a paltry 1Gb
  • 3,220 mAh of battery power on the Galaxy Note 4 edging out the 2,915 mAh on the 6 Plus
  • Killer download speed of 42.2Mbps on the Galaxy Note 4 while iPhone 6 Plus drags along at 7.2Mbps
  • The super solid build of the metal-band-clad Note 4 as opposed to the lighter, cheaper, more slippery feel of the iPhone 6 Plus

My conclusion? The amount of hallucinogenic drugs or head-meds needed to "make" the iPhone 6 Plus a better device choice than that of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 would therefore be significant. But right when you think logic and hardware specs rules the day, I will say this...

I like the look and feel of the iPhone 6 Plus better than the Galaxy Note 4, and would have chosen it over the Android product if Apple included a pen digitizer on their device. Plus the lacking hardware specs don't appear to give it any less of a speedy user experience.

So there you have it.  Shocked that Mr. Android Boy would say such things? Well you shouldn't be. The point is, none of the specs listed for or against a device amount to a hill of beans. It's all about user preference and the user experience.

For me, the lack of a pen digitizer on Apple mobile devices is a deal-breaker. The Galaxy Note 4 is close enough as a great device that I will stick with it just to have my digitizer pen. I can live with the design changes that I don't like as much, as long as I have the digitizer.

Ironically, the one thing Apple Fruit Cult members boasted about most was that their devices were solid and heavy, while Samsung's devices felt cheap, light and "plasticky" (which I prefer). The chickens have come home to roost.

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Guru

iPad Gadget Blogging Has Begun!

BLOGGING ON THE FLY WITH THE MINI AND SQUARESPACE

Announcement! I have finally figured out how to post up a blog using the iPad Retina Mini and and the handy dandy Squarespace iOS blogging app!

This means more awesome amazing content from your favorite gadget guru on a regular basis. Can this be any more exciting? I think not!

the trick to making this easy is to create a handful of stencil posts that I can modify. Then all you hafta do is edit the content and voila! Fresh gadget information for all!

Now I will need your help. To keep me on task, I'm going to be taking on your best gadget questions, and also helping you with gadget purchasing decisions. If there is anything in the gadget world that you don't understand, just ask the guru! 

anxiously awaiting your gadget questions, 

Carlton

Chief Guru

Apple-Samsung Smartphone Slugfest Phablet Style

SAMSUNG GETS SNIPPY WITH NOTE 4 VIDEO DISS

Okay people I'm back. I've been out-of-pocket lately, on blogging vacation. But with the recent developments on the tech forefront, I think this is a good time to chime back in.

Transient

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch has passed, and phones will start shipping within the next few weeks to anxious customers. While the iPhone 6 Plus breaks "new ground", Samsung has taken the opportunity to make a snarky video about Apple's sudden change in design.

It is truly ironic to see what has transpired, truthfully. Looking back over the last handful of years, we have seen Apple make multiple accusations against Samsung for stealing their designs. At that same time, the Apple execs swore that a smartphone bigger than 3.5" was entirely stupid, and it was something you would never ever see their beloved company produce.

Fast forward to the highly anticipated iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with their massive 4.7" and 5.5" diagonal displays, and it makes me sit rubbing my head wondering what just happened. Apparently, I'm not the only one who wonders what happened in Cuppertino. Maybe they all inhaled, or drank their own Kool-Aid.

How in the world could the same company who accused Samsung of blatant copyright infringement turn an about-face and produce a phone which is in the form of the Galaxy Note without a stylus? Especially after swearing off phablets and larger-screened smartphones?

Samsung released a very sarcastic video that sums it all up. But what I am left wondering is whether or not Samsung will quickly blow the whistle and sue the pants off of their hypocritical chief competitor much in the same way that was done to them.

Only time will tell.

As far as I'm concerned, I'll stick with my Apple iPad Retina Mini for all my iOS needs, but I'll take a pass on the iPhone 6 Plus and stick with the Galaxy Note line and move from the 3 to the 4 when it is released.

I'll let the hypocrites OOPS I mean Apple Enthusiasts have their feeding frenzy with the stylus-less iPhone 6 Plus that they swore off before Apple lost its mind and followed the leader on phablet phorm phactors.

Carlton Flowers
THE GADGET GURU

Apple Gets Samsunged By Timex - Introducing Ironman One!

TIMEX SHOCKS ALL, INTRODUCES INDEPENDENT SMARTWATCH

Sorry Apple, but Timex just beat you to the punch. While we've all been patiently waiting for the Apple Geniuses to release a smart watch that will one-up Samsung, Timex kicks the door in and beats them all. I for one never saw this coming.

The Timex Ironman One will be the first smartwatch that will work independently of a smartphone. Why it took this long for someone to come up with a stand-alone smartwatch that isn't just a bluetooth extension of a smartphone is beyond me. But it is really refreshing to see the age old watchmaker make mince meat of the big players.

The Ironman One GPS smartwatch will run on the AT&T network, independent of a smartphone. Finally, someone has gotten this right. And I think it will take quite a bit to catch up to Timex now that they have entered the market for smartwatches.

Looking at the Ironman One's features, this is a serious device. Here's what the company reports that it will feature:

  • Stand-alone wireless connectivity without a phone
  • Email-based messaging capabilities
  • Tracking capabilities that communicate the user’s location to friends and family anytime, anywhere
  • Custom-built “Find Me Mode” safety solution, which allows users to send an alert with
  • exact location in case of an emergency
  • Ability to track speed, distance and pace in real-time and instantaneously share
  • performance metrics through your favorite social media and online fitness platforms
  • Water resistance up to 50 meters, an essential feature for water exposure, training in the rain or swimming
  • Built-in MP3 component with 4 GB of memory to play music via a Bluetooth headset
  • Always-on, sunlight-readable, high-resolution touch display

This is the real deal, folks. If I'm going to drop the bucks on a smartwatch or a GPS unit for running, this is exactly what I would be looking for. I see no reason to have to drag around my smartphone while running when there is a device like this out on the market.

I'm not sure of pricing yet, but I would assume it would be in the range of some of the current Garmin GPS watches that are on the market now. But one thing is for sure, Timex has the reputation and experience to make this work, and to put the marketing behind it with the help of AT&T.

Samsung has enjoyed all of the spotlight while Apple farts around (as they usually do) waiting to enter this market. But both Samsung and Apple will hurt if this takes off. I'll be looking for an opportunity to test this device in the future and give a full report!

Until then, Apple has my sympathy.

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru

Top 5 Ways You Can FUBAR Your Smartphone & How To Avoid It

MOST COMMON WAYS SMARTPHONES GET FOULED UP BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION

Smartphones help to make us smart, when they are taken care of. But people are stupid, and can tend to be careless. When you combine mindless busy people with expensive smartphones, you get some pretty common mishaps that spell disaster for your sanity and your bank accounts.

In order to help you avoid disaster and the devistation that comes along with iFUBAR'ing your iPhone (or other Android device), let's look at the top five mishaps and hope you will keep these in the back of your mind before you do something stupid.

Just so you know, I have done three of these. So I am your primary example of smartphone user stupidity! That being said, let's look at the Top 5, each with my tips on how you can avoid each type of FUBAR stupidity.

1) Toilet Baptism - Did you know that 30% of smartphones end up in the toilet? I was surprised to learn this truth. Water damage can spell the end of your smartphone, especially if you try to turn it on and check it after giving it a swim.  

How to avoid: go back to reading magazines and books during bathroom time. For goodness' sake... you probably need a 10-minute break from that ratchet little device anyway.

2) Death By Buttocks - I did this one myself, just 4 months ago. You're busy doing something, but you want your phone close. So you shove it in your back pocket. Forgetting it is there, you sit down on something. For me, it was an old car seat cushion on the floor. I was working on a car. Even with the padding, my butt cheeks applied enough pressure to ever so slightly flex the LCD and destroy it. The glass didn't even break, but no more display.

How to avoid: get a fanny pack, no more back pocket stashing. Remember that you won't remember stashing it back there in the first place.

3) The "Tuck-And-Forget" - I cannot tell you how many times I have done this, and I never learn. With this destruction method, it involves getting in your car. Your phone is in your hand, and you figure you'll just tuck the phone in between your legs whle you drive, so you don't drop it in under the seats or step on it. As soon as you tuck it under your legs, you forget it's there. When you get out of the car, the phone shoots out like a torpedo and skips across the parking lot.

How to avoid: Mount a smartphone holster on your dashboard.

4) The Finger Fumble - This is the most basic and common way to FUBAR your smartphone. You think you have your device securely in your hands, and for no apparent reason, your fingers fumble the phone and it takes a nice long trip down to the ground. What makes this worse is the "catch-the-phone-with-your-foot" save method, which only makes it worse. Each and every time I have tried this save, I end up drop kicking the phone and sending it another 10' through the air, only to suffer an even harder fall.

How to avoid: get a big fat solid case. You will never solve the finger fumble, it will happen. You can only minimalize the damage it causes!

5) The "Set-It-And-Forget-It" - We've all done this at some time or another. It usually ends in a most tragic way. It starts with you loading something into your car. Your smartphone is in your hand, so the closest place you can put it is on top of your car (or on the trunk deck). By the time you load your stuff, you've forgotten where the phone is. You peel out, the phone slides off the car, and falls perfectly underneath your tire to die a quick death of mega crunching. Seems like a stunt crew would have trouble reproducing this sequence of events, but it works like a charm when it's your expensive smartphone.

How to avoid: put a sticker on your car that says "Do NOT place expensive objects on this slick, shiny surface, you putz!"

None of us want our smartphones fouled up beyond all recognition. So recognize these tips, and save yourself from frustration and the depletion of your bank account! Do you have any FUBAR stories you'd like to share with others? Chime in the comments section and tell us all! You might save us all!

Carlton Flowers
Chief FUBAR Prevention Expert

Top 5 Reasons To Consider The New Samsung Galaxy S5

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 AVAILABLE FOR PRE ORDER ON 3/21/2014

Okay folks, Samsung has announced opening day for pre orders on the AT&T version of the Galaxy S5 smartphone! Let's take a look at the top 5 reasons that you should consider grabbing an S5 hot off the presses and be the first to get your hands on one when they ship.

1) Standard Price Point - The Galaxy S5 will be available for the standard contract price of $199. Sure, the price will drop over time, but why wait and end up with a smartphone that is going to become obsolete? If you want the cutting edge, get on the edge now. It's not worth waiting several months just to save fifty bucks, more or less. This phone is packed with blazing fast hardware, and tons of new gadgety features.

2) Fingerprint Sensor - Like Apple's iPhone 5S, the Galaxy S5 will come standard with a fingerprint scanner for unlocking the phone. The scanner is built underneath the actual display, so it doesn't take up any space and make the unusable portion of the phone any bigger. I would find high use of the sensor, because unlock patterns are a pain in the rear. I normally turn off the security for this reason, and that's a dangerous thing to do with a smartphone. They've really stepped up the ease of total security with this feature. Well worth the effort!

3) 16 Megapixel Camera - The new camera on this phone breaks records again. Sure, there are other models with ridiculous cameras like the 41Mp lens on the Nokia Lumia. But this is the best possible camera you can have on a smartphone without adding ridiculous bulk. Plus the new features that are packed into camera functionality are seriously enticing. They knocked it out the park with this camera, again.

4) Super Fast Processing Power - The Galaxy S5 will set you on the cutting edge of speed with its 2.5GHz quad core processor. For the non-techies, this just means that you will be able to open applications with blazing speed, and multitask apps without dragging down the phone. Everything speeds up when you have a powerful processor like this. Add in 2Gb of RAM, and you won't be sitting and waiting much at all to perform any function on this smartphone.

5) Awesome Display - They've upped the quality of the display yet again with a 5.1" full HD Super AMOLED screen that has 1080 by 1920 resolution and 432ppi pixel density. That means brilliant colors, deep black color, amazing contrast, and viewing that can give you enjoyment like watching an LED TV. Samsung has always brought their "A Game" with the display. This one continues to impress like all previous models. Why settle for less?

Sure, there's plenty more that I could drone on about. But this is enough to kick you off the fence if you are trying to make a buying decision. Chances are, you won't be disappointed with this device if having the best is what you want. All gadget nerds (like me) should be solidly satisfied with what it has to offer.

This is no mediocre incremental upgrade from the Galaxy S4. It will run faster, download data quicker, and tease your eyes with its brilliant display, all while giving you plenty of added features and options to give you the best smartphone experience possible. So there you have it!

Carlton Flowers
Galaxy Watchman

 

New Galaxy S5 - Top 5 Reason Samsung Engineers Are STUPID

WHY SAMSUNG ENGINEERS GET THE "STUPID SIGN" ON GALAXY S5 FEATURES

Time for another Top 5! This time, we will give you the top five indisputable reasons why Samsung enginerds have about as much common sense as a tree stump when it comes to the latest and greatest flagship smartphone coming from the far East, the Galaxy S5:

1) No Text Reflow - Want to be able to zoom in to see text with ease, but without panning side-to-side? You're not gonna be able to do that with the Galaxy S5 stock browser.

2) Must Use After-Market Browsers To Read - Tired of panning on smartphones when the text is not reformatted to fit the screen? You can download an after-market browser. But that means you don't get to use all the new gadgety cool tricks and features that the stock browser provides like tilt scrolling, eye scrolling, and touchless gestures. Pure stroke of stupid if you ask me.

3) The Text Reflow Is M.I.A. - How do you like pounding your head on the table after trying to read tons of text on your smartphone? You better get a helmet and get used to it if you buy a Galaxy S5 this spring.

4) Lack of Text Reflow - How bright are the Samsung enginerds to throw in everything but the kitchen sink into the stock browser... EXCEPT TEXT REFLOW? Ya got me, partner. If they could only dumb them down to include the most obvious advantageous function of the browser, that would be nice. But I guess they aren't HTC engineers.

5) Text Reflow No-Show - We complained when the Galaxy S2 didn't have it. We passed rumors about it coming with the stock S3 browser before it came out, and were sorely disappointed. Then we groaned and pounded our heads when it was left out AGAIN on the fabulous Galaxy S4. So if you're holding your breath waiting for it to be included on the Galaxy S5, plan on turning blue.

So there you have it folks! If this doesn't prove that the Samsung enginerds are stupid, I don't know what does. I guess you can tell that this text reflow thing really chaps my buns. Hopefully that has been made obvious here.

I've stuck by Samsung thus far, and it is by far the best smartphone on the market... in my opinion. But if someone releases a device that can out perform and function as well as the Galaxy S5 when I'm due for an upgrade, it's bye bye Samsung for me.

Carlton Flowers
Text Reflow Activist

 

My Top 5 Reasons I Won't Get A New iPhone

TOP 5 - WHY I WON'T BE BUYING A NEW IPHONE ANYTIME SOON

Here's the first of a series of "Top 5" lists! Today's top 5? Why you won't see me in line anytime soon buying an iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6, M, Mega, Mini, or anything else they come out with. Here we go!

1) It's Too Small - my eyes are too old. I can't read text on the screen. That just sucks. Make it bigger Apple, and maybe I'll think about it. Sadly, even the rumored iPhone 6 is said to only have a 4.7" diagonal display. That's so 2010.

2) No Text Reflow - Apple joins the idiots at Samsung on this one. Panning side-to-side to read sentences after zooming in on text is just plain stupid. Unless I fall and hit my head, and become stupid, I'm not signing up for this kind of reading abuse.

3) They Break - All you people who think iPhones are like "jeweler's quality", you can keep them. Drop it from 2' and it's toast. I feel sorry for all the people with a brand new iPhone 5S that they dropped the first month and destroyed the phone. I'd rather buy a rubber ball to bounce on the concrete versus a $750 glass and metal computer.

4) They Malfunction - iPhones do stupid things for no reason. I'm sitting here right now with a friend's iPhone 5S that vibrates, and makes annoying sounds. But the screen won't come on. Not even with a hard reset. It's a known issue. But like always, Apple won't admit this for at least 12 more months and after 1,507,327 more complaints.

5) Apple Thinks We Are Stupid - I don't want my smartphone force-fed into my mouth on a baby spoon like Gerber products. I want to be treated like I am halfway intelligent by my smartphone manufacturer. The arrogance at Apple is and has always been something that I completely don't care for.

That said, I must go to work. I'm reading some tech blog posts on my brand-new Apple iPad Mini with Retina display. And before you call me an anti-Apple troll, I never said I didn't like the iPad!

Carlton Flowers
Top 5 Techno Babbler

 

Is The LG G Flex Curvalicious Display The Wave Of The Future?

REVIEW: LG'S G FLEX SMARPTPHONE BREAKS THE MOLD WITH CONCAVE DISPLAY

I spent a fantastic 2 weeks with the LG G Flex smartphone, and it wasn't the device's technical specifications that had me sad about sending it back to AT&T. It was the display.

In the age of gigantic oversized monstrosities that we call "phablets", not a single manufacturer has come up with something this different. At first, I thought it was a gimmick. But after using it during my test period, it's anything but a gimmick.

The concave display on the LG G Flex smartphone isn't nearly as exaggerated as I thought it would be. We're only talking a depth of about a couple of millimeters in the center of the display at its full depth. But the difference it makes when compared to a flat smartphone is very noticeable.

For people like me who do a ton of reading on their smartphone, the concave display offers a major advantage: it's easier on the eyes. Why? I think this is due to the fact that the radius of your eyesight does not change length from reading the top to the bottom of the screen.

That might sound hokey to you. But is it? The new 4K televisions coming from LG and Samsung have a horizontally curved display to provide a more "immersive" effect, like the big screens at the best movie theaters. I noticed the same effect with the LG G Flex.

This smartphone sports a whopping 6" (diagonally measured) display. With a screen that size, maybe the slight concave design does actually offer something of a different experience to your eyes. And with my 40-something aging eyeballs, I could swear that it added to my ease of reading.

The LG G Flex display doesn't break any records with screen resolution. It's only a meager 720x1280 with 245 ppi. That might sound like techno gibberish to you, but of all the smartphones on the market, this is just average in resolution. But it doesn't need to be any higher than this.

Most of the smartphones on the market that boast better screen resolution don't really make that big of a difference to the average user anyway. But with bright, vivid colors and the huge size coupled with the slight concave design, it brings a brilliance that gives you the experience of watching a big flat screen television.

As far as the flexibility of the display, it doesn't mean that it is indestructible. If you drop the LG G Flex from a height of about 4', you will crack the display. Watching a drop test video did expose the fact that it is not made of an unbreakable material. But the flexibility does have its advantages.

I destroyed the display of my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone 3 months ago. I had the phone in my back pocket, forgot it was there, and I sat on it. While I did not crack the display, my big butt managed to flex the LCD panel, and it was toast. You cannot so much as slightly flex the LCD panels on any smartphone without chancing completely destroying them. They just can't handle that.

But the LG G Flex does have the capability of bending without breaking. When you place the G Flex on a table face down, you can depress the center of the phone until it is flat on the surface and it will not damage the LCD. That means it will probably survive a chance sitting without spelling its demise. Because of that, I think this smartphone is more durable than anything on the market even though it is crackable.

I think we will see more concave design devices enter into the market in the coming months. With the wave of TVs arriving, and the LG G Flex, other manufacturers are sure to follow. Add to that the fact that Samsung has a completely flexible display in development, and I am sure we will see other non-flat designs coming our way.

Have you given the LG G Flex a test drive? Let me know what you think. I'm curious to know if other users find the display design to be easier on the eyes compared to the standard flat display.

I'll close this update by saying the LG G Flex gets a solid "two thumbs up" from the gadget king (that's me). This is a device I would love to add to my cadre of electronics! Big thanks to AT&T St. Louis for the test device!

Carlton Flowers
Smartphone Flexer

LG G Flex Smartphone via AT&T

The Future Of Big Smartphones - Will The Trend Reverse?

IN TEN YEARS, WILL MICRO-SIZED SMARTPHONES BE THE "NEW" TREND?

I've always hated iPhones because of their tiny microscopic little screens. That's why I switched to Android. Every day we see a new jumbo-sized smartphone hit the market. Up until now, this made me happy. But now I can hardly hold one in my hand.

I can't even decide what I want... a huge display for my horrible vision, or something I can actually use with my little hands. But this has me thinking about the normal reversal of trends, just like fashion.

Nowadays, we see people sporting the horrendous fashion trends of the 80's. It's just awful. What's the next bad trend to come back? Could it be micro-sized smartphones, leaving the big honking 6" monsters in the technology graveyard?

Think back to the 80's... remember when it was cool to walk around showing off your brand-new calculator watch? How stupid was it to actually sit in class doing math problems poking on tiny pin-head-sized buttons on your calculator watch? This was stupidity in action.

As time went on, you weren't cooll enough unless you had the next tiny thing. 30 years later, and you're not cool unless you're walking around with a phone the size of an iPad.

As stupid as society seems to be, in repeating really bad fads, do you think the microscopic devices will make a comeback? Or will we continue to life-size all the gadgets that we can't seem to live without?

Just a thought...

Carlton Flowers
Technology Rambler

 

All-New "CZ Gadget Talk" For Mindless Ramblings

GADGET TALK INVADES THE CZ BLOG FOR ADD/HD GADGET NERDS

I need a way to let my gadget thoughts flow freely from my mind. When you see this picture, you'll know that there is a mindless short (or long) post coming from the top of my head.

It's hard to write awesome well-thought-out blog posts. It can be mentally draining. Sometimes I will go a week or 2 without a blog post, because I don't have the creative mindset to sound all polished and professional. But I have got to ahve an outlet when I just feel like blurting out random thoughts about gadgets.

Instead of bottling up my amazing thoughts and waiting for inspiration to hit me on organizing it into an award-winning piece that hits page one of Reddit and Digg, the "Gadget Talk" posts will uncork whatever is on my mind at the moment.

Another great advantage? I don't have to whip up some fancy device picture with great graphics and artsy-looking texts. This will be an instant "mind-dump". You can expect a lot of opinion on these posts, and it will serve as a way that you folks can jump on and get a conversation going.

Who knows... these short posts might even inspire one of the regular top notch articles that I am so famous for writing.

Just a little heads up from the Gadget King so you know I haven't fallen off my pedestal of writing greatness.

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Blog Master