Reminders For a Reason

I don’t know about you all but I really use Siri as a personal assistant. “Siri, remind me to text Marcus tomorrow morning at 8:45.” “Siri, remind me to take out the trash when I get home.” “Siri, what’s 37 divided by 847?” She’s my best friend (and she has a British accent so that she sounds smarter than the average American).

But how often do we tell Siri to remind us in an hour when we could accomplish the task at that moment? We’ve grown desensitized to that tap that Siri gives us. We don’t see urgency in getting something simple done at that moment. Eventually, we have a mountain of reminders that seems insurmountable.

This post isn’t about anything super deep. Just stop pushing “Remind me in an hour” or “Remind me tomorrow” when you don’t have to. Knock out that small accomplishment. It’ll pay off.


Make checking off that box a priority.


Don’t Be Mad at the Comp…etition

I just got an e-mail from one of my numerous photography newsletters. The headline said “Social Media is Ruining Photography.”

Let’s face it: We have a love-hate relationship with technology. We enjoy the ease with which we can maneuver through the day but we abhor the fact that simple jobs can now be done without us, meaning we have to work harder to make ourselves valuable. I even catch myself hating on Siri and her smart-sounding self (I set mine to have a posh British accent). She has never touched an encyclopedia, yet she knows almost everything. And she’ll tell you a joke if you ask her to. It’s almost like we don’t need humans anymore for 87% of life’s functions.

But we do need humans. We need humans to be better. This morning, I pulled up on a deadly train accident and wanted to photograph all of the yellow tape and flashing lights that surrounded the intersection. Issue is, because it was raining heavily today, I had resolved to leave my camera at home. Big mistake. I refuse to take a photo I have an intentional vision for with my iPhone. Sure, it’s fast and the image will be decent but it will always leave me wondering what my own human ingenuity could’ve created without the automatic lighting adjustments iOS makes.

No one really feels like lighting candles every night. And I’m not trying to light a fire to cook my dinner. Technology makes life easier. But the touch we place on life makes it engaging. So, don’t blame social media or technology for ruining art or taking your jobs. Art is a derivative of emotion. Creativity and problem solving comes with human empathy. Without an emotional experience, those things are as good as a forgery.


Make being better than technology a priority.

Don’t Be Smart. Be A.I.-Proof.

Today, as I was driving to work, I saw a machine shredding tree branches down to twigs and I said to Desirée, “25 years ago, that job would’ve been done by 5 to 10 men. I feel bad for these guys who are losing manual labor jobs to machines just so the rich can get richer.”

Then, this morning as I was cleaning out my inbox, I saw an article about jobs that aren’t manual labor being taken by Artificial Intelligence and I realized that, if we don’t set ourselves apart, Siri could take anyone’s job. Technology is powerful. Honestly, I don’t need to ask my department’s administrative assistant for any basic things that leadership used to ask for. I’m not asking for her to get me someone’s number because Siri can do that. I’m not asking her to run copies for me because, in the time it would take me to either walk them to her or for her to come get them from me, I could tell my phone to print 25 copies without skipping a beat.

So how do you tech-proof your job? You don’t. You add insurance to your job by developing a skill that a computer system cannot do as well as you. Being replaced by a human doesn’t change the cost incurred by a company. But it’s always beneficial to replace a human with a machine if the output is of the same caliber or higher because, at that point, you don’t have the issues that come with humans.

Tech-proof yourself because the Matrix is not that far off.


Make professional development a priority.

Top 11 hidden, cool features in Apple’s iOS 7 {VIDEO}

By Salvador Rodriguez

This post has been corrected. See note below.

11:32 AM PDT, September 19, 2013

Apple’s iOS 7 is a big change.

It comes with a bright new look and a whole lot of major new features, but there are also several hidden features you might not have yet noticed or heard of. Here are our favorites.

Focus photos using volume button

In iOS 7, you can now take square-size pictures and add filters to your pictures, but did you know that you can now also press on the iPhone’s volume down button to quickly focus the camera and take a picture? You can also hold down the volume buttons to quickly shoot a burst of photos.

Block people from calling, messaging you

Tired of constantly hearing from your ex? You can block them on iOS 7. Simply go to your phone app, find the contact, scroll to the bottom and tap on “Block this Caller.” This will prevent you from receiving their calls, messages and FaceTime requests. You can also block someone who’s not in your contacts if they’ve recently called or texted you. And if you ever want to call or message the person you’ve blocked, you’ll still be able to do it.

Message time stamps

One of the most annoying things about previous versions of iOS is that you couldn’t see a time stamp for each text message you sent or received. The Messages app would show you a time stamp for some but not all messages. That’s been fixed.

Inside a conversation in the Messages app, you can now swipe left to see a time stamp for every message.

Easy-to-find private browsing in Safari

Private browsing in Safari was already a feature in iOS, but before you had to go into your settings app to turn it on. In iOS 7, you can tap on the bookmarks icon within the Safari app to turn it on (it’s the second icon from the left on the bottom bar). Private browsing allows you to surf the Web without storing your history.

See (and turn off) your frequent locations

In iOS 7, your device will track the locations you frequent most. You can see those locations in a map if you head into the Settings app. Open the app, go to Privacy, then Location Services, then scroll down to System Services, and then on the next page tap on Frequent Locations. Once there you can toggle off Frequent Locations to keep your phone from tracking you. Or you can tap on your history to see a neat map of the places you visit most.

Turn off apps

Turning off an app in iOS 7 is different than it was in previous versions. To do it, double tap the home button to be taken to the multitask screen. There, find the app you want to close and swipe it upward until it is moved off screen. The app is now off.

Hidden device search

Before, you could quickly search your gadget by swiping left on the home screen. That’s now gone and been replaced by a different gesture. To find search, you’ll instead have to tap the middle of the home screen and swipe downward.

Search Twitter and pictures with Siri

You can quickly see what someone is saying on Twitter by asking Siri “What is so and so saying?” Siri will then pull up that account’s most recent tweets. Additionally, you can also do an image search using Siri. Simply say, “Show me pictures of this or that” and Siri will quickly pull up images.

Bubble level

Need to see if the table you’re constructing is balanced? There’s now a bubble level tool within the Compass app. To access it, open the app and swipe to the left.

Change the way your phone vibrates

If you for some weird reason don’t like how your iPhone vibrates when you get a call or text message, you can now change that. Go to your Settings app, then Sounds, tap whichever notification you want to edit, such as your ringtone, and then tap on Vibration. At the bottom, you’ll see “Create New Vibration.” Tap that and you can start creating your own vibration.

Change the way Siri pronounces a word

If you don’t like the way Siri is saying a certain word or name, you can try and change it by telling her “That’s not how you pronounce that.” Siri will then ask you the proper way and listen to how you say it. Afterward, she’ll present you with three ways she can say it, and you can choose the one you like. But I say “try and change” because when I tried it didn’t really fix the way she says my friend’s name.

[Correction 11:51 a.m. PDT, Sept. 19: An earlier version of this article said taking photos using the iPhone’s volume buttons was a new feature. That feature was added in iOS 5. The new feature in iOS 7 is you can focus the camera using the volume down button.]

Source: LA Times