Archive for the ‘cell phones’ Category

Cell Phone Battery ABUSE…Are YOU guilty?

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

I asked Paul-Hilchey Chandler of Central Maine Wireless to speak at my Marketing Class at the New England School of Communications, (which is part of Husson University) in Bangor, Maine last week.

Paul is my “Wireless Communications GOD!”
I count on him for everything. Like:

  • Tell me my plan isn’t right so I can save money,
  • Helping me because I “lost my phone.”
  • Letting me know what technology I need and what I can live without because he knows I’ll never use it.

Even though his presentation focused on how cell phones and other hand held devices are used in social networking, he also talked about cell phone and battery “health.”

He had 5 things that even got the attention of my class of “20-somethings….”


#5. Not turning your phone “OFF” if you are in an area where reception is “if-y” – the cell phone is going to try over and over again to find a signal. EVEN IF you don’t need to make a call – it doesn’t matter. The phone still tries to find a way, thus your battery goes dead trying.

This also applies to those fancy bluetooth devices. (Hands Free things that hang on your ear) If you keep your bluetooth connection running even when you aren’t using your bluetooth, the phone is trying to make a connection even when you don’t need to. Draining your battery more quickly, requires charging more often.

#4. Never turning your phone “OFF” – ever. He mentioned we should do this once a week. Your phone and its battery needs to rest. Just like YOU do, turning the phone OFF overnight is helpful just to let it rest and regroup.

#3. Not letting your battery drain completely. It is good to let it go down as far as you are comfortable before turning off and charging. A few years ago I asked a different cell phone person about the NEW battery type in my NEW phone and was told it wasn’t required to completely drain – well, apparently after a few years of history, that isn’t the case, while it doesn’t react so severely as the old batteries did, they still need to get into the RED ZONE before charging for optimal life.

#2. Not turning off your cell phone while it charges, while at home or in the car. The charging activity creates heat and it charges (as well as putting less stress on the battery itself) better while the phone is off.

#1. Talking on your cell phone WHILE charging it in your car charger. Apparently, this is the BIG BAD DADDY of killing a battery. I must confess, I do it all the time and I see people in their cars doing it, so I am not alone. The car charger is a kind of “fast charge” thing that heats the battery up even more than your home charger. If you have the phone “ON” or worse are talking on it while this is happening, it damages the battery and shortens its life.

A really good rule of thumb is the next time you feel your cell phone feeling warm, remember that isn’t the phone, it is the battery. If the battery is warm, it needs a break, so turn off the phone and give it one!


Friday, October 24th, 2008

My friend Kelly (it is amazing to me how many Kelly’s I know!) sent me this in an email and I thought it was worth sharing with all of you.

Since this blog is really focused on the sharing of technology (when it makes sense) in a non-technical way. Picture this, your child is in a car or snowboard accident and they are unconscious. The “first responder” or EMT goes through the cell phone in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and they have no idea the codes your kid may have for you or another relative that could give medical consent or need notification.

This is so simple and if using this EMT speak helps them when you cannot do it yourself to say to them, “John is my point of contact in an emergency and here is his number.”

It costs nothing and it is a great idea – especially on your kids phones!

Paramedics are asking that everyone add at least one additional entry to their cell phone contacts list. Please add an ICE entry. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency.

This number should dial the person in your family that can respond to medical decisions if you (or your child) is injured or needs assistance.

If there is an accident, paramedics know to check cell phones for emergency contact information. Imagine taking a look and trying to figure out who to call out of the twenty (I have 178!) or more numbers on your phone?

By adding a contact entry that’s designated as an emergency contact number (ICE), you can make their job much easier and possibly save your child’s or your own life.

So program an ICE entry on your cell phone today, as a matter of fact, pull it out right now as you’re reading this entry. If you have more than one person the paramedics can contact in case of an emergency, you can add additional ICE numbers to your list. Your primary contact should be listed under ICE, then you can add the other contacts under ICE1, ICE2, ICE3, etc.

After you program ICE into your phone, have your spouse, your kids, your parents, and your friends do the same thing. If there are people in your life that you care about, they should all have ICE on their phones.

What the heck do I do with this old cell phone?

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Let’s not even start on why they have to constantly UPGRADE when you are just getting used to working the one you replaced the last time!

Let’s talk about being green? Green is good, but really, let’s just think for a minute.

2 years ago you bought a cell phone, maybe your “significant other,” (S.O.) kids or whatever you have in your life and you not only have an out of date cell phone that no one will fix, can’t replace the battery or just plain wont work with the new technology on the towers.

I know at my house, I have a charger plugged in, my office I have a charger plugged in, my camp I have a charger plugged in. I also have a charger in my cigarette lighter of my car and my (S.O.) has one in his car for my phone and he is one in mine (we don’t have the same phone- NATURALLY) for his and on and on and on it goes!!

So of course I go off and “GROUSE” to my favorite cell phone dealer, Central Maine Wireless. They hear it from people like me all the time and have no power with Nokia or Motorola to have this nonsense stop. Central Maine Wireless has a program in place where your phone is donated and any money from it goes to a cause they support, in this case a local Project Graduation.

BUT there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just like GOODWILL or Salvation Army, there is a home for your previously LOVED cell phone and all the components that go with it.

Here is a link for you: this goes to an EPA website that gives you some tips. We also have a domestic violence shelter in our town called Spruce Run and they also can use these old phones. USAA and other veteran organizations often send out envelopes with the postage prepaid to return phones that they can reuse for families that need them.

So even though you have to learn a new phone all over again, you can be sure someone can use your old phone for a good cause. The first place to start is your favorite wireless dealer, pack up all the phones, chargers, earphones in a box and they can make sure they go to a good cause!

Bienvenue au Canada? I don’t think so!!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

This isn’t meant to say, Canada (or Canadians) is bad – It is a great, beautiful place with wonderful people – I go across the border as often as possible, but remember it is a different country and they have different rules.

I live in Maine, and though the province of New Brunswick is closer to my house than the State of New Hampshire, you cannot treat it the same way as the rules in the United States, because it isnt.

I learned a couple of weeks ago from a newscast on Daily Buzz about a family from NJ that got a wireless bill after a trip to Canada of $18,000+ for ONE month.

How the heck did that happen?
It has to be mistake.


Well, it seems that these folks took a vacation in Canada to “get away from it all” and didn’t realize that their kids were” texting” their way through their vacation from the back seat of the car to their friends back home.

How the story goes is that between roaming charges and taxes charged to you by the Canadian carrier (and you have no choice in the matter who that is), you can rack up some serious fees that you wont know about until your next wireless bill long after you have returned.

Do your homework. Go see (or call before you leave) your cell phone people, I go to Central Maine Wireless they have a grip on what I need to do (or not do) before I leave. It takes 2 minutes and it is well worth it.

Think that is a fluke? It happened also to someone in Portland, OR going to Vancouver, BC – click here to read the story. The difference here is that this one is $19,000+ !!

When you talk to your cell phone partner, here are the questions I would ask.

  • Is there some temporary solution that I can use for the time I am there?
  • Are there things that we don’t do on our phones for the time we are traveling?
  • Should I just put the phones away (except for emergencies) while we are traveling?

Vacations are to be memory makers for the family to cherish for years to come, don’t get a “surprise attack” with your cell phone bill coming in the mail! I know a $19,000 unexpected bill- I would certainly remember for the rest of my life!

Other tips are listed here for Canadian travel, not just for cell phone usage from

How many numbers are in your cell phone?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

It must seem to my regular readers (and thank you by the way~XXOX) that I get on a subject and I cannot let go of it – well most of the time, I do it on purpose. The subjects have so much information that I think maybe you are like me, you can handle it best in “bite sized” pieces. Also you have a life and don’t sit and stare at a computer all day clicking links that are supposed to save you from the ruins of technology!

How much can you learn at “one sitting”? How much time do you have for “one sitting”?

I have been writing about backups and online storage options lately. Well, in the past week, I have had 2 friends tell me random scenarios about their cell phones. Both of these phones are older models and both of them are loaded with numbers – or in the case of one friend ” WERE LOADED” with numbers. Let’s concentrate on that one.

It is beautiful weather here in Maine and my best buddy was fishing with her brother and as she was getting out of the boat her phone took a dive into the Lake. (UGH!) Dead Phone. They found it, but took to the folks at Central Maine Wireless and it was confirmed.

I have been lucky to have the folks at Central Maine Wireless look out for me and protect me from myself. They know me. They know that I lead an active lifestyle, my phone may go flying off the roof of my car because I am late for a meeting and forgot it there or I dropped in the woods when I am out hunting with my dogs. And if there is one thing you learn from this post, is that. Find a local provider that keeps YOUR needs in mind, suggests things that make sense without selling extra “goodies” you have no need for. Seriously, I don’t know what I would do without them.

A few months ago, they suggested to me My Contacts backup. And Paul set it up for me in 5 minutes. You can do it yourself too, but like I said, “they know me,” and they know I need the extra attention. Each day at noon (or whenever YOU decide) AUTOMATICALLY it backs up all your information on your phone to a remote server and you don’t have to think about it! If you have a call or you need to use your phone at the scheduled time, it wont interfere. And if something ever should happen to your phone, then your new phone can be loaded quickly with the data from your old phone from the remote server that has it.

If you are like my friends and have an older phone you can still protect your data by going to this link: Click here.

But like everything, this is about planning ahead. You don’t buy insurance for your car because you KNOW you are going to have an accident, you buy insurance IN CASE you have an accident, the data in your cell phone is the same and you should never have to figure this it out when it is gone.

Text Messaging – What do those "words" mean?

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I have no children, but I do hear horror stories from my friends that have them about the text messaging phenomena. This post is not about how bad your cell phone bill is or if Johnny or Suzy got into trouble in math class because they were “text-ting” their friends.

This post is how to understand what they are saying to each other when they text. If your child tells you they cannot learn Spanish or French while their fingers are flying on the keys of their cell phones, they are just NOT motivated to learn it. Text messaging is just like a foreign language or a type of shorthand and they are motivated to learn that because there friends are all doing it and they want to be in the loop.

You don’t have to learn all the words, but wouldn’t it be good to know if your kids are talking about a party and someone’s parents leaving town? My fathers biggest fear was having to learn Aerosmith on an 8 Track, boy have things changed!!

I found a pretty neat page on that has a list of all the terms. Click here to check it out. It even includes what all the smiley (emoticons) faces mean.

But if you are looking for a word specifically, click on this link and you can type it in and it is pretty good on finding the word what means for you.

So click away and take a look, once you get the pattern it will be more natural than you think and if you really want to throw your kids for a loop, text them yourselves and keep them guessing as to how much YOU know!!