It’s true: old people hate cell phones

Who would have imagined that we would ever carry a phone around with us in our pocket, with the ability – more or less – to reach out and call anybody we want to, no matter where in the world they are, for practically free?

If you had asked your grandparents when they were growing up if they thought this would be possible, they’d tell you were out of your mind, McFly.

Gadgets How To Internet

How anonymous is your unlisted phone number?

Quick show of hands: how many of you have an unlisted phone number?

Especially in today’s world of cellphones, the notion of a “phone book” that is printed on paper and delivered to your house is almost laughable.  People purposefully have their phone numbers listed in a phone book as part of being neighborly and accessible, but with the Do Not Call list and robocalls and other phone annoyances, more and more people are choosing to go off the grid (for personal or professional reasons).

With a cell phone, your number is pretty much already unlisted.  Nobody should be using your cell number unless you provided it to them.

And so what’s the big deal if someone had your number anyway?

How to Find Unlisted Phone Numbers (What you won't find in the phone book)
How to Find Unlisted Phone Numbers (What you won’t find in the phone book)

10 Things Gadgets

What are the most used smartphone apps?

What is the one smartphone app that you have on your phone that you absolutely, positively can’t live without?

What app are you continually checking or always using, much to the chagrin of those around you?

Let’s take the guesswork out of the smartphone app that took the number one spot on this list: FACEBOOK.

The question is – can you name the other nine most-used smartphone apps that follow Facebook on that list?

52 Free Smartphone Apps That Save You Time and Money: Tips for People of All Ages
52 Free Smartphone Apps That Save You Time and Money: Tips for People of All Ages

10 Things Gadgets

Eight Cellphone Etiquette Rules

Web Watch was at a business meeting the other day when the subject of cellphone apps came up as a natural part of the conversation.

It was a simple discussion among serious executives. It was, if you will allow the capital letters, a Very Serious Meeting.

And then someone at the table did the unthinkable.  They actually pulled out their cell phone.

Cell Phone Etiquette: Observations from a Mom
Cell Phone Etiquette: Observations from a Mom

Gadgets Internet shopping

How many apps does a person need on their smartphone?

Show of hands – how many of you own a smartphone (Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android primarily)?

That’s right – we know that while the vast majority of you did raise your hand proudly waving your mini-computer around, there are still a fairly substanial number of you who still proudly sport a flip phone or other non-smartphone around in your pocket.

And that’s okay.  For you, you can skip over this post knowing that you’ve made the right decision.

How’s that?

It’s because we’re about to tell you how smartphone users are really no different from flipphone users, when it comes right down to it.

How NOT To Write an App: A reality check for budding app developers
How NOT To Write an App:
A reality check for budding app developers

Gadgets Internet

The average phone user checks their phone 150 times per day

How many times a day do you check your phone, whether it be for messages, emails, Twitter, Facebook status updates, Instagram, or actually making a phone call to someone?  We’re not even talking exclusively smartphone users, who have those things glued to their hands at all times.  We’re including all mobile phone users here.

Heck, you may even be reading this Web Watch post on your phone right now.

How To

25 Tornado Survival Tips

From the NOAA:

  • At night, keep looking at ground level for tell-tale signs that a tornado is snapping powerlines, such as quick, bright flashes of either blue-green to white.
  • Not all tornadoes are funnel clouds. Some have no clouds at all, making them nearly invisible from a distance, save the flying debris and dust that may be seen underneath a set of low clouds


  • While they could occur at any time of day or night, tornados most typically form in the afternoon
  • Check out the color of the sky.  If the sky is a pale green color, that’s a common tornado possibility indicator
  • Other common indicators include large hail and dark low-lying clouds.  Approaching tornadoes sound like oncoming freight trains.


  • No matter where you are, get as low as you can and get down. Get covered with a blanket, sleeping bag, or other heavy material that can protect you from flying debris.
  • Have a battery-powered (better yet, a hand-crank powered) weather radio that can also pick up your local news radio or TV station audio.
  • Don’t open all your windows “to alleviate pressure inside the house”. You may be hit by flying glass if you choose to do this at the wrong time
  • The southwest corner of your basement may not be the best choice to take cover in, as most tornados come from that direction
  • Caught while out driving? Don’t park under an overpass or bridge, as that can be more dangerous than taking cover in a nearby ditch.


  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls
  • If you see a tornado while you’re driving, don’t try to out-run it.  Leave your car and find shelter immediately instead


  • If you’re taking cover in the basement, be sure that you’re not underneath anything heavy from the first floor, such as a piano or refrigerator, in case the floor above you weakens
  • After the tornado has passed, avoid going near down power lines.
  • Avoid lighting candles or using anything that could generate a spark, until you’ve confirmed that there aren’t any nearby gas leaks

From FEMA:

  • Make an emergency kit, consisting of extra batteries, food, water.  Try to have enough to last you at least 72 hours.  Think about the essentials you may be without during that time (power, heat, clean water, etc)
  • If you think a tornado is approaching, grab and wear appropriate clothing for after the tornado has passed – sturdy shoes, jeans, work gloves, jacket/sweatshirt (depending on climate).  These may be clothes you’ll need to wear for a few days in uncomfortable conditions
  • Have a contact plan with friends, family members, co-workers. Cell networks may be out of service temporarily, so don’t assume you can rely on your cellphone


  • Half of all tornadoes each year happen during April, May, and June
  • On a regular basis, take an inventory of your possesions for insurance purposes, have that list documented and secured in an off-site location, such as a bank’s safety deposit box
  • When taking cover, stay away from corners as they tend to attract flying debris. You’ll be better off in the center of the room, underneath a sturdy piece of furniture.
  • Most injuries occur from flying debris, building collapses, or when trying to outrun a tornado in a car


  • Tornadoes usually travel about 30 MPH, but can reach speeds as high as 70 MPH. Note that travel speed is different from the rotation speed of the cyclone itself.
  • Try to get to the center room of whatever structure you’re in, preferably in the basement


  • While you can consider building a SAFE ROOM in your home, one tornado researcher says that if he’s caught in a tornado situation that he’s going to head for the nearest covered culvert outside. Stay away from grocery stores, gymnasiums, warehouses, or anything else with a large roof span.
How To

Why ICE (“In Case of Emergency”) is Worthless

If you’re like Web Watch, then you too have likely received the parental email thread – typically forwarded from friend after friend, Facebook after Facebook post – that encourages everyone to enter an I.C.E. entry on your cellphone.


That ICE entry would contain the name, phone number, and other immediately important information about the person/people that emergency responders should contact for you when an emergency or crisis occurs.  Web Watch even knows someone who has a complete ICE binder sitting smack on top of their refrigerator, with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of their entire family tree.  This makes sense, of course – as everyone knows that the kitchen is the 2nd most dangerous place in the house… after the bathroom.

And who would want to keep an ICE binder in the bathroom?