7 strategies for extending smartphone battery life

Smartphone users all have one thing in common – worrying about battery life. As these devices have become integrated throughout our daily lives for home, work, school, and travel, knowing ways to extend battery life is something we can all benefit from. Today we’re sharing some tried-and-true tips for better battery life, as well as a few you might not have heard about before.

TIP #1: Reduce screen brightness: This can extend battery life significantly, especially for devices with larger screens. The only time you need your phone at 100 percent brightness is outdoors, midday, when the sun is at its brightest. Most other times, 75% or less is sufficient.

Kristy Cooper7 strategies for extending smartphone battery life
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What is “Cancel Culture” and how can affect you

If you use social media, you’ve most likely heard the term “cancel culture.” Even in the news on television and pop culture referencing, cancel culture is cited in every way from serious news to comedy memes. But do you know what cancel culture really is, how it’s affecting society today, and what it might mean for changes in social media and our culture in the future?

What does “cancel culture” actually mean?

The term “cancel culture” itself is vague and has become a catch-all for various situations with different degrees of severity and impact.

Kristy CooperWhat is “Cancel Culture” and how can affect you
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How much screen time is good for kids today

The technology children have access to today is changing their world, giving them access to endless information and opportunities. But there’s a downside, too, that adults need to be aware of. When children are always looking at screens, it’s very easy for them to forget about other fun, healthy, or educational activities they can experience in “real life.”

This question is very timely when it comes to children: How much screen time is good? And how much is too much? First, let’s define what screen time really means.

What counts as screen time when it comes to kids?

Screen time is the amount of time a child spends using a device with a screen such as a TV, computer, gaming console, tablet, virtual reality headset, or smartphone.

Kristy CooperHow much screen time is good for kids today
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We’re here to stay! (our response to fake news about Softcom)

We have been made aware that another company has been reaching out to Softcom customers recently and making false statements about Softcom’s state of business. This is a blatant attempt to falsely try to scare our customers into switching service providers.

These statements include (but are not limited) to the following:

  • Softcom is going out of business
  • Softcom “wants out”
  • Softcom “is in trouble”
  • (another company) is taking over Softcom

We want to be crystal clear:  these statements are 100% false.

>> Our company is financially sound.

>> We are not going out of business; in fact, we are in the midst of a multi million-dollar equipment upgrade to our entire network to be able to offer speeds of several hundred megabits per second to most of our service area. (In fact, we’ve been posting regularly about this on our blog and social media about new cutting-edge equipment, and the realities of what other pop-up ISPs actually provide when compared to us.

Kristy CooperWe’re here to stay! (our response to fake news about Softcom)
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How to protect your tech during fire season

California has its own special season – fire season! Turn on the news and you can see how important it is to have a plan in place when wildfires or forest fires hit. According to the U.S. Forest Service, fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s. Since 2000, at least 10 states have had their largest fires on record. For the year 2020 in California, statistics from the National Interagency Fire Center show more than 10,000 recorded wildfires, damaging more than four million acres of land, and threatening more than 700,000 communities.

These worrying statistics, combined with current drought and weather conditions are putting emergency preparedness at the top of everyone’s list, ours included. Here are a few things we recommend you add to your list, especially when it comes to protecting your tech:

Kristy CooperHow to protect your tech during fire season
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What are NFC payments and are they safe?

Curious about how people pay for things with just a tap of their phone? It’s called NFC payment technology and it’s actually easier and safer than many people think. NFC stands for “Near Field Communication.” It allows devices within close proximity (usually 2-4 inches apart) to interact and exchange information. NFC technology is used in contactless cards, mobile phones, card terminals and other payment devices.

Kristy CooperWhat are NFC payments and are they safe?
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President Biden’s executive order puts net neutrality back in the spotlight

On July 9, President Biden signed the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, and in it there were several provisions relating to ISPs and net neutrality. The executive order calls on US agencies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to implement 72 specific provisions. The topics include restoring net neutrality provisions repealed during the prior administration and increasing scrutiny of tech monopolies.

The order also includes changes aimed at giving internet subscribers more choices and better service. It asks the FCC to require internet service providers to report prices and subscription rates, and prevent ISPs from making deals with landlords that limit tenants’ options.

Kristy CooperPresident Biden’s executive order puts net neutrality back in the spotlight
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The 5G technology debate: Is it safe?

People are still talking a lot about the rollout of 5G technology around the world, and how it can affect us here in the U.S. Much debate is about the safety of using Chinese technology and how many watchdog agencies are reporting possible backdoor issues that would allow illegal spying through the technology if using Chinese-sources products.

The promise of what 5G technology can bring is fun to think about, including data speeds of up to 100 times faster than current connections that tech futurists say could support things like internet-connected sensors, vehicles, appliances, and devices that can perform functions yet unimagined. But the alarms being raised about invasion of privacy and backdoor spying are also concerning. It will be interesting to see how the technology grows for 5G over time, but for now it’s just something to watch and keep an eye on.

Kristy CooperThe 5G technology debate: Is it safe?
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How to Clean and Sanitize Smart Devices

Everyone’s been stressing the importance of washing your hands and good hygiene for the last year, but one thing many might have missed is the importance of cleaning our smart phones and devices. Phones are on us all the time, but if we don’t clean them, we’re basically carrying around contaminated germ-factories in our pockets and purses.

Our mobile phones connect us to the world and are possibly the items we touch the most throughout the day. According to a survey conducted by the research platform Dscout, we touch our phones on average 2,617 times day – though the top 10% of users averaged 5,400. Studies have found that phones and other smart devices are covered in germs and greasy grime and are often just as dirty as the bottom of our shoes. When the coronavirus pandemic spread, people became hypersensitive about contaminated surfaces, but mobile devices have been widely overlooked. Here’s what you can do to clean them up.

Kristy CooperHow to Clean and Sanitize Smart Devices
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How to Choose the Best Smart Watch for You

Wearables are all the rage these days. What’s a wearable? It’s any type of electronic device worn near or touching the skin that can analyze and transmit data from body signals (pulse, temperature, movement, etc.), that then provide biofeedback for the wearer and/or their caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Smart watches, one of the most popular types of wearables, are a fun and functional way to manage a variety of health aspects – weight, activity, fitness, stress, etc. – while also allowing for practical functions such as answering the phone or paying for your Starbucks. There are so many choices on the market, however, it can seem overwhelming, so we created this quick guide to help you find the best smartwatch for you.

SIMPLE SMARTWATCH SHOPPING GUIDE

START HERE: Compatibility

All the major smartwatches today pair with a smartphone, so you have to start by choosing one that is compatible with your operating system. If you are shopping online, or you are working with someone in retail sales in a store, start with making sure you are only looking at watches that will pair with the smartphone you have.

Kristy CooperHow to Choose the Best Smart Watch for You
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