EppsNet Archive: Cell Phones

Some Links on Effective Communication

Busting myths on gender differences in the brain (Article) Nora Caplan-Bricker, “The Idea of a ‘Male Brain’ and a ‘Female Brain’ Is Likely a Myth,” Slate, November 2, 2015. Challenges and strategies for creating safe communication spaces at work (Article) James R. Detert and Ethan R. Burris, “Can Your Employees Really Speak Freely?,” Harvard Business Review, vol. 94, no. 1 (January/February 2016): p. 80-87. Communication comes in all shapes and sizes (Video) Nancy Lublin, “Texting That Saves Lives,” TEDvideo, 5:24, February 2012. Do men and women communicate differently? (Article) Deborah Cameron, “What Language Barrier?,” The Guardian, October 1, 2007. Find out the meaning behind emojis (Website) “Emojipedia.” Game-changing communication developments (Article) Amber Leigh Turner, “5 Trends Disrupting Communication,” TNW News. How the medium of communications can change what we say (Article) “Tweets From Mobile Devices Are More Likely to Be Egocentric,” International Communications Association press release, October 1, 2015. Leaders can change their power… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: The Phones Aren’t Helping You

I’m volunteering a couple mornings a week at a local high school, helping out with computer science classes. The way the classes are taught, via an online curriculum, provides a great temptation to kids to get off-task, which they do, usually by entertaining themselves with their phones. They get off-task in other ways too — web surfing, doing homework for other classes — but the main distractor is the phones . . .   “As I mentioned before, I worked with another CS class a couple years ago. No phones allowed in the classroom. “I remember one day the assistant principal was in class observing . . . a student had a phone out, looking at it . . . he was holding it under the table so no one could see it, but this guy, the assistant principal, he did see it. “Oh man, did he hit the roof!… Read more →

What Does a Programmer Do?

I was asked to give a talk last week to a high school computer science class on “What Does a Programmer Do?” (I’m indebted to Jim McCarthy for the “lords and ladies of logic” section.)   Programming is problem solving. At the highest level, the problem that programmers solve is that people want to be able to do things with computers that they can’t do. And by computers, I don’t mean just the kind of computers you have on the desks here, I mean phones, watches, cars . . . more and more different kinds of devices are running software. So one good thing about being a programmer is that pretty much every field of endeavor now uses software and data. You can work at a tech company like Microsoft or Google or Twitter or Facebook, but you can also work in healthcare, finance, education, sports . . . you… Read more →

Aside

I wish more people staring at cell phones while walking would fall into holes . . .

NTSB Recommends Ban on Driver Cell Phone Use

States should ban all driver use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices, except in emergencies, the National Transportation Board said Tuesday. The recommendation, unanimously agreed to by the five-member board, applies to both hands-free and hand-held phones and significantly exceeds any existing state laws restricting texting and cellphone use behind the wheel. — latimes.com DISLIKE! Busy, productive people need to talk and text while driving in order to jumpstart this economy! Yes, some of them will die, but it’s a net win because the benefits outweigh the costs. Read more →

Just Like the Pros

The boy comes home from somewhere this afternoon . . . “Where have you been?” I ask him. “Playing basketball,” he says, as he heads into the kitchen for a beverage. “I’ve been trying to call you. Why didn’t you pick up your phone?” “Does Kobe pick up his phone during a game? Neither do I.” Read more →

I’m All About Safety

The woman in the car next to me was talking on a cell phone while driving. I was so incensed, I ran her off the highway. Her car flew into a barranca and exploded in a giant fireball. I’m a stickler when it comes to traffic safety. Read more →

Notes From Interstate 5

It poured rain all the way from San Jose to Los Angeles . . . “It’s a good day for cows,” I say to my son, as we drive by a field of happy-looking bovines. “It’s raining,” he points out. “I don’t think cows mind a little rain. They get to eat lush, moist grass. Instead of dry grass. Do you like to eat a dry salad with no dressing? You don’t, right?” No answer. “I’m trying to think like a cow here.”   “My phone would go out right in the middle of a text message,” the boy says. “That’s awful,” I say in mock sympathy. “It is,” he says. “It was a thoughtful, heartfelt text message.” “How thoughtful and heartfelt can a text message be? Aren’t you limited to 160 characters?” “Not to Verizon numbers.” “Oh. Well, that is disappointing then.”   We’re driving past an agricultural area… Read more →

Lost or Not Found

My son can’t find his cell phone . . . “You should glue it to your hand,” I say, “since you lose it at least once a day.” “No, I don’t,” he says. “Once a week, then.” “Okay, but I never lose it. I just can’t find it at the time I need it.” Read more →

Mankind Is No Island

Below is a short film shot entirely on a cell phone. It uses an unusual technique — a very simple technique — to present a narrative without the use of an actual voiceover narration . . . Read more →

California Enacts a Cell Phone Law

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that prohibits the use of handheld mobile phones while driving in the state. Effective July 1, 2008, the legislation prohibits drivers from using a wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle unless the driver uses a hands-free device. Drivers who violate the law will face a base fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. I can’t talk on my cell phone while I’m driving? What a dopey law! Can I still eat a chili dog while I’m driving? Can I drink a beverage? Can I try to find my favorite song on the CD player? Can I perform any number of activities that require the use of at least one hand and are at least as distracting as a phone call? Has anyone else noticed that we have too many laws? And that every new one takes… Read more →

Aren’t Cell Phones Great?

Now not only can I call home and get no answer, I can call my wife’s cell phone and get no answer and call my kid’s cell phone and get no answer . . . Read more →

The World of Make-Believe

I take my cell phone out of my pocket and notice that the battery’s gone dead. “Way to plan ahead,” my son says, without looking up from his GameBoy. Read more →