Tag Archives: Homeland

I can’t live without my hotspot! Can you?

Do you remember back in the day when the only way to get a wireless Internet connection on your laptop was a bulky wireless card?

In order to achieve wireless access, you had to have surgery on your machine and have a card mounted inside of it.

If you were lucky, there was a slot on your laptop where you could connect this unwieldy device.

But most people simply didn’t have those high end machines (with the right ports) and couldn’t afford the expensive rates attached to those cards.

As demand for wireless access grew, wireless antennae technology improved more devices started to include USB ports to accommodate wireless cards.

But the wireless deals attached to those cards still weren’t all that attractive.

If you had the type offered by Verizon or Sprint, they were large oddly shaped apparati that prevented you from connecting any other peripheral to your laptop.

Slowly but surely, manufacturers started realizing how ugly their wireless cards were, and began creating more elegant wireless cards.

Now you could pull out a sleek key fob, plug it into a USB slot and viola! you were on the interweb.

Then came wireless hotspots.

And they changed the game.

These standalone units didn’t require you to plug a wireless card/antennae to your machine.

You could simply set it up and go.

Despite carriers’ efforts to make these devices affordable, they typically required contracts and were fairly expensive.

Even with the pay-as-you-go offerings of T-Mobile et al, adoption of this new fangled technological offering was tepid.

Fast forward a few years and now your mobile phone, which is already a multi function device, is also a hotspot!

Not only can you access the Internet from your phone, you can access the Internet from any wireless device (PC, tablet) using your phone as a wireless hub.

As an Apple user, ‘tethering’ has been available for some time.

It was a little known feature, and one that Apple disabled for a time.

But when it was active, you could connect your iPhone to your MacBook and connect to the internet.

Now, it’s a standard feature of multiple mobile phone providers, and an absolute staple in my life.

This past Sunday my daughter had horrible asthma attack, which came out of nowhere.

And instead of watching the season premier of Homeland, I spent the night at the ER at St. Barnabas hospital in Livingston.

What I thought was going to be a routine visit and minor inconvenience, turned out to be a serious medical emergency resulting in my daughter being admitted to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit).

Well there goes Homeland!

I ended up spending the next four nights at St. Barnabas, disconnected from the world.

Of course, my daughter’s medical emergency fell on the day before multiple projects were set to launch or had major deliverables due, and I could not afford to NOT be available.

Thankfully, I had my iPhone 5 with ‘Personal Hotspot’ and was able to work and interact with the outside world.

I could connect via Wi Fi, Bluetooth or USB, and it was an absolute lifesaver.

Now, I don’t know if you’re one of those folks who still have to pull out a USB stick and shove it into your computer to get on the internet, when you’re out and about.

But there’s a more elegant way to jump online…

Use the hotspot on your phone.

And if your phone doesn’t have a hotspot feature…

Get rid of it and get one that does.

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Filed under digital advocacy, iPhone, mobile, technology

Smile Again Donghae! What kind of mobile phone was that?

My wife watches more tv than I do, and every once in a while, she ropes me into something that has enchanted her.

That’s how I discovered Lost, House, The Killing of Rosie Larsen, Rubicon, American Horror Story, Downton Abby and Homeland.

And now, Smile Again Donghae.

Smile Again Donghae is a South Korean soap opera that’s centered around the main character, a former professional ice skater cum celebrity chef named Carl Laker aka “Donghae”.

The story follows his efforts to locate his father, and the various intersections, twists and turns of his life along the way.

There are more characters than I’ve given you in that little synopsis, and each contributes to the depth and richness of the story.

Needless to say, the show is nothing but drama!

Smile Again has a crazy cast - and I love it!

There are three aspects of the show that we find extraordinary.

First, every single character’s hair and clothing are ultra stylish in a way that somehow look simultaneously real (unlike most American shows) unpretentious and luxurious.

Second, the program is ultimately about family and it perfectly captures the intricacies of family dynamics (like favoritism towards particular children) and intrafamilial power struggles in a way that almost anyone can relate.

Third, the characters’ use of mobile phones are completely integral to the sophisticated plot twists, schinanigans and scheming that keeps the viewers literally on the edge of their seats.

All the characters carry a phone, and each episode involves calls, texts, ringtones and alerts, and the story effectively uses phones to build drama and suspense.

I haven’t been able to figure out exactly what kind of mobile devices the characters use, but they’re definitely rocking the ill joints!

Some look like iPhones. Others are the slide-up/out Qwerty-style. And still others are old-school clamshells or flip phones.

But one thing is certain, Smile Again’s use of phones and the way they depict the characters and people interacting over them, is spot on.

If I must be honest with myself, I’m only using this ‘phone talk’ as a way to justify talking about this damn soap opera – I’m hooked!

If you’re not up on Smile Again Donghae, I strongly encourage you to tune in.

It comes on daily at 9:30 pm on WMBC-TV (which is Channel 18 on Verizon Fios in Northern New Jersey).

The show is also available on YouTube, if you want to cut to the chase and bring yourself up to speed.

And even if you don’t, I will (continue to watch shamelessly).

Smile Again, Donghae!

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Filed under mobile, technology, Uncategorized