I was amused by the reaction of several friends who saw yesterday's blogpost about QR codes fly down their Facebook feed. "What happened to you?" teased one of them I've known since high school."You used to be fun."
I agree that my interests in QR codes are a little tech-ish. It's just that I've been seeing them around a lot lately, and seeing them in the strangest places. They remind me of stories from the 1930s Depression when traveling hobos would paint symbols on the fence near a house to tell others about the person who lived inside, and whether it was safe or worthwhile to knock at the door and ask for work or a meal or whatever.
But the real reason I care about tech stuff is that so many people in my various personal and professional circles really don't care very much about tech stuff. They depend on me and people like me to care.
Here is a case in point from today's Silicon Alley Insider's Chart of the Day. Apparently a lot of people don't care about 4G. Which, considering how much people want broadband services on their phones, you would think they WOULD care. But no.
To that I say "au contraire, mes freres et soeurs!" You need to care! Because this is the kind of thing that makes a difference when you are trying to make up your mind about what kind of phone to buy, and are getting barraged by ads for HTC Evo Sprint 4G phones or Samsung Android phones with Flash, or Verizon iPhones or AT&T iPhones.
Crash course: 4G is very high speed broadband services for your phone. It will make phone web surfing and video viewing much more like the experience you have on your laptop. There isn't a lot of 4G available in the US yet. That will change, but it's still fairly new. Just be aware that if you live in the 3% of the country that AT&T ads say are not yet served by 3G it's gonna be a while before you see blazing fast speeds. Also be aware that while 4G and LTE are talking about the same basic thing - high speed wireless broadband - they are different specifications. And that will make a difference in the phone you buy and the carrier you select. Consider Verizon. They will continue to use a specification that only works in the US, the CSMA standard. This is different from the 4G extension of 3G, which is used in the majority of countries around the world. Might not matter if you don't travel. If you do you need to pay attention.
The iPhone situation....well, before you get a Verizon iPhone, just read the Consumer Reports news on the topic.
Don't even get me started on data plans. We can save that for another day.