The best phone for senior citizens, the elderly, and old people

Currently, the best phone on market for people born before 1945 is a feature flip phone from Alcatel, the OneTouch 2010. There exist several reasons why.

For starters, it’s a flip phone. The mechanical action of bidirectional flipping is a concept anyone who has used a light switch is familiar with. The implications of each action are observable in the real world. Opening the phone initiates a session where the phone is active. Closing the phone concludes that session. Some psychologists suggest that hearing the noise of the clasp as it closes reinforces the perception of the beginning and ending of use. These ideas are tangible and easy to understand, but they only explain how your relative can answer a call. What if they want to call you?

The answer is speed dial. After manually programming in your relative’s phone numbers, the most important numbers can be assigned to speed dial. Laminated phone charts can be helpful in aiding your elderly relative. This chart would ideally have large text, showing names followed by their speed dial assignment within the phone. With speed dial set up, your relative can have 9 potential people which which can easily contacted. Speed dial instructions vary, but most involve opening the phone, then pressing and holding the corresponding speed dial digit.

This is where the Alcatel 2010 excels. Aesthetic-wise, this flip phone is minimalist, simple, and elegant. This design looks great, but also serves in drastically enhancing function. The keypad contains only the necessary buttons for making calls. The 2010’s reduction of buttons is complimented by an excellent engineering choice which uses an edge-to-edge design for the keypad. This design creates additional surface area, further increasing the size of buttons. This design makes possible the largest in-class hit boxes for shaky fingers to connect with. Plain and simple, the keypad is the sole determiner of what makes this device the go to option for elderly persons. Its appearance is easily interpretable for their eyes and minds, and its buttons are adequately large for their fingers to press.

In contrast, nearly every other flip phone on the market tack on superfluous buttons. 2 MP rear-cameras, ancient web-browsers, and dedicated Facebook buttons are among the “features” that any person who is using a flip-phone 2014 doesn’t need and will never use. These additional buttons take up space on an already cramped surface area. They also confuse elderly people (aka people who use a flip phone in 2014).

2010keypad

Praises acknowledged, there are areas where the 2010 can improve. The screen is rather small at 2.4 inches or 61 mm, measured diagonally. It would be nice to see Alcatel incorporate an edge-to-edge design for the screen in the 2010’s successor, regardless of screen resolution. As for the speaker and microphone, this US writer cannot say. The most important improvement which Alcatel can make gains on is availability.

The 2010 is sold on several carriers in several markets across the planet. To name a few, Vodafone UK & O2 Germany are two carriers who provide this device. But if you and your relative reside within the United States, tough luck. The phones themselves cost $45, taxes included, in England and Germany respectively. That price is for a new device with full one-year warranty. But for US consumers, these phones can only be purchased used on eBay for $100 + 20 international shipping. Those prices exclude the warranty. But even were the warranty included, Alcatel’s authorized US repair center is prohibited from servicing the device.

Feeling blue? Wait just a second…

Some potentially hopeful news was recently made public. According to a recent interview conducted by the Wall Street Journal, Alcatel OneTouch Chief Marketing Officer Dan Dery discussed the company’s plans for 2015. He states Alcatel’s intentions of making a push towards directly marketing to interested consumers. Company plans involve some form of e-commerce. His statements were very vague and ambiguous. But, were a US storefront to materialize, there exists zero guarantee that the 2010 would even be available.

For the sake of the elderly here in the United States, let’s hope that this possibility becomes an actuality.

After spending a decade on Xbox, I swapped for a PlayStation. Here’s why

One afternoon, my Colombian friend from high school put me on a journey that would last some ten plus years. We booked it to his house afterschool. With his mother fixing up the house, we were left with ample time before dinner. He had just gotten an Xbox and was anxious to show off some incredible games. There were a few options on the table but he was hyping FIFA, so we started with that. Needless to say, the Colombian schooled me in ways which reinforce the nation’s ruthless stereotype. With soccer competition devoid of any meaningful rivalry, he most generously offered up a cooperative experience found within a futuristic shooter, Halo. Within five minutes, I was hooked. A few months later, shortly before Halo 2’s release, I traded in my PS2 & purchased an Xbox.

Halo 2 was fantastic. The multiplayer support extended 3 years after the game’s release with downloadable content made readily available for the masses, free of charge. In fact, to continue playing the multiplayer, it was required that you download said content. This model made the community whole in the way one feels when looking at a cake prior to it being sliced and doled out. Halo 3 dropped the requirement to download content. The company reasoned they would no longer offer new content free of charge. This optional content model has continued fragmenting the community in all ensuing releases.

I’ve slowly watched the series many have grown to love disrobed, prodded, bled, quartered, and now hung. For years, I’d hoped that the incumbent studio in charge of the franchise would get it together. These hopes were in vain however. The studio’s greedy executives, namely Bonnie Ross and Frank O’Connor, have done every unfriendly thing a large corporation would do to maximize profits. Furthermore, rather than just raising prices, they have pursued detrimental courses of action which detract from the positive experience once associated with the series. For this camel, the last straw has been their fundamentally flawed, publicly misrepresented, and fraudulently advertised release, the Master Chief Collection.

By this point, you’re likely wondering, “Besides Halo, what else does the current Xbox have over the current PlayStation? The Xbox controller is universally praised as best-in-class, and rightly so. Xbox Live has a more robust server offering. There are also some additional applications such as ESPN, Comedy Central, and HBO GO. But… the PlayStation contains better hardware and offers more and higher quality free games every month. Additionally, applications such as Netflix launch twice as quickly. The system software also feels fluid and operates more smoothly than the Xbox OS. Did I mention more free games?

In summation, the Halo series’ inability to change leadership coupled with Xbox Live’s anemic Games for Gold program forced my hand. Do I miss my Xbox? Sometimes. Will Halo 5 be great? Maybe. But I refuse to wait on a company whose track record shows a singular trend of increasingly greedy policies. If Microsoft were to remove the cancerous elements at 343, namely Bonnie Ross and Frank O’Connor, I’d strongly consider returning to Xbox One. This scenario is doubtful, given that Bonnie Ross was recently promoted to a VP position in August 2014. As the Colombian idiom goes, colgó los guayos, or ‘hang the shoes’. The footwear is no longer needed.

Who to persecute in a post marijuana legalization society?

No Rodney King. We cannot get along.

To subscribers of the System Justification Theory, it is a cohesive requirement that the within groups, the dominant group justifies its presence by belittling, persecuting, or otherwise ridiculing other persons or opposing groups. The theory is that by doing so, the dominant group’s ideology, values, and belief system is bolstered, cementing the group’s authority.

African-Americans were long the focus of belittlement in white America, but after the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, a huge void began diverging. Now that all peoples were “equal”, one group had to be admonished. But who, and under what pretext? In 1970, scandal-ridden president Richard Nixon signed into law the Controlled Substances Act. This scheduling of drugs has since been used to systematically persecute youth sub-culture, many of who are users of psychotropic and performance-enhancing drugs. This act allowed law-enforcement to once again concentrate their tactful patriotism towards again ensuring that the majority is “right” and the minority “wrong”.

Aside from the psychological elements, there exists an economic component to this sociological conundrum. A huge industry is supported by the persecution of these sub-groups. Aside from police, other occupations are borne out of legitimizing the majority through oppression of minorities. Legal secretaries, lawyers, judges, clerks, bailiffs, stenographers, corrections officers, prison architects, administrators, and countless other jobs are made possible by this system. Eliminating these individuals and their positions is preposterous, but the US can and will need to change its focus once again on who to persecute.

Some proponents of marijuana legalization estimate that all states will have legalized the substance to some degree by the year 2023. This will once again leave a void, which policy makers and enforcers will need to fill. Without accounting for interruptions to other industries, here are a few suggestions.

  • Outlaw obesity. Imagine if we could rid the country of obesity. Sending morbidly obese people and children to camps where they could get into shape. Think more boot camp and less concentration camp.
  • Removing cars and trucks from the road, the ones with abhorrent fumes emanating from their exhausts, and ruining our fresh air. These fumes are more detrimental to the health of country’s children than second-hand smoke and drugs combined.
  • Increase emphasis on issuing fines for littering
  • Create and enforce stricter codes relating to municipality-facing property aesthetics.

The writer is not condoning the intake of numerous scheduled drugs outside defined medical, psychological, espionage, or executive applications. It’s simply worth acknowledging that, post-marijuana legalization, other groups will need to be criminalized in order to maintain the status quo.