Category Archives: Phones

Pro Tip: Choose Spanish Customer Service Option

customer service rep
Choose the Spanish language option for better, quicker customer service.

This brilliant, if counterintuitive, tip from Lifehacker suggests choosing the Spanish-language customer service option—even if you don’t know Spanish!

Quicker service, better English

Here’s why Lifehacker says this is a better option:

  • Companies don’t usually hire reps who speak only Spanish, so your chances of reaching a bilingual rep who also speaks English are good.
  • Spanish-speaking reps often handle overflow calls in English.
  • Spanish-speaking reps are uncommon in India, where most call centers are located, so the rep is likely to be based in the United States, enabling you to get past the sometimes awkward language barrier.
  • Wait times are often shorter.

How to Save a Wet Smartphone

It’s inevitable that at some point your smartphone will want to test the water and go for a swim. When that time comes, don’t panic. Follow these steps from instead.

1. Retrieve phone from toilet/Jacuzzi/wine glass.

2. Take out the battery and any data cards. If you have an iPhone or other device that doesn’t easily give up its battery, power it down.

3. Wipe down the phone. Don’t blow-dry it or stick it in the microwave, which can damage its electronics. Use a can of compressed air to blow water out of crevices, but be careful not to blow it farther inside the device.

4. You can put the phone in a bag of uncooked rice, but this can get messy. It’s better to keep a synthetic desiccant handy. These include the Idea Mia Jet Bag Tech Cell Phone and Gadget Rapid Dry Recovery Solution and the Dry-All Wet Smartphone Emergency Kit. You can also find a retailer near you that has a DryBox, which dries electronic devices in minutes.

New Product Tuesday with Music Bullet

Music Bullet Portable SpeakerPublic spaces were a little more tuneful back in the 1980s. Sure, some music lovers were listening privately with the new Sony Walkman. But the eighties was also the decade of the boombox. Dedicated music lovers made cassette mixtapes from vinyl singles and LPs, hoisted improbably large and loud portable stereos onto their shoulders, then traveled the urban landscape on foot to lovingly share their favorite music whether you wanted to hear it or not. They spent all their disposable income and overflowed landfills with mounds of the D batteries giant boomboxes consumed eight or ten at a time.

Continue reading

Untangle Your Life (or at Least Your Wires) with AppleCore

Before and after AppleCore

What is it about Spring that makes me want to chase the dust bunnies out of my office? All that tangled, unruly computer cable behind my desk has provided them with habitat this winter, and some are now the size of the Trojan Rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Enter the AppleCore, the newest hero product on the office organization scene. For years now I’ve been wrapping, tying, clipping, clamping, banding, or VELCRO®-ing the snarled snakes that power all my beloved computers and peripherals, but this ultra-compact cable winder has piqued my interest. A solution that’s quick, easy to use, and repositionable and reusable? And pretty darn affordable? I’m all about that – do I get bonus points if I use AppleCores on my Apple products?