Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss the fate of the Opportunity rover, projected consumer spending before the Super Bowl, Samsung’s 1TB memory chip, and more.
James in Murfreesboro, Tennessee listens on SuperTalk WTN 99.7 and asked: “My phone recently broke and I’m in the market for a new phone. I mostly use it for personal use, but also use it for work and e-mails and outlook and such. Any ideas? “
James, any modern phone you choose will let you use email, if that’s your only requirement, you can probably go with a relatively inexpensive one.
Expensive phones tend to work better, respond faster, and more often than not have better cameras as well. Having said that, with flagships regularly topping $1000 these days, you may want to consider a cheaper alternative.
Assuming your personal use isn’t lots of very demanding apps, and that you don’t mind a phone that may occasionally freeze up for a few seconds, or that may not open the camera right away, you could be a good candidate for the “whatever the carrier has on sale” category.
Your requirements seem to be basic enough to be satisfied by any phone, so checking what your carrier will let you have for free or close to free may be a valid way to go.
If you want to spend a little bit more, you can’t really go wrong with something like the Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy S and Note lines on the Android side, or any of the iPhones you’ll find on sale, but you don’t need any phones in that price range to just do email.
Geri in Baton Rouge, Louisiana listens on Talk 107.3 WBRP and asked: “Is there a procedure to stop your smartphone from being tracked. And if so, what settings would you use to keep your cell phone from being tracked?”
Geri, short of turning it off: no, there isn’t.
You will probably be able to get around some basic tracking, phones often give you the option to ask not to be tracked for ad-purposes (your mileage may vary in that front), or to reject cookies, but ultimately your phone will be tracked in one way or another.
For starters, if you want phone service, you device will have to send a unique ID to a tower so they can talk back and forth, and to have continuous phone service it will connect to several towers at once. That makes your location trackable, and we know from police investigations that phone companies store and keep tower location data.
Apps will often do something very similar, they may assign your particular device an ID, even if that ID is not directly connected with your personal information, it will be connected to your device, that’s how both Apple and Google were tracking locations for their maps services, and the only way around that is to not use either.
Even if you don’t, they’ll likely still store information tied to your device as part of their terms of service.
Ultimately, if you want to use a smartphone, you’re consenting to be tracked.
Almost anything that you interact with and that can connect with the outside world is likely sharing something about you.
Leonard in Raleigh, North Carolina listens on NewsRadio 680 WPTF and asked: “I just got a new router installed in my home from AT&T and everyone’s on the network but my computer won’t recognize my printer. It sees it but it won’t print. How do I get it to print?”
Leonard, diagnosing why a printer is not working on a network and getting it to work again is hard and
We’re not saying “throw it away and get one that works,” we’re saying that the quickest and less stressful way to get it working again will be to pretend that it’s brand new.
\Just reset the printer to factory settings and run the setup on it again (which will probably consist of nothing more than choosing a WiFi network and giving it the password for it), then remove the printer from your computer and reinstall it as if you had bought a new one.
Odds are that after you do those things, it will connect like new printers usually do. Whatever is creating a conflict now is either in your computer or in the printer, and the quickest and easiest way to resolve that when it comes to a device with minimal set up is to start from scratch and not worry about pinpointing the exact thing that went wrong.
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