Carlytron Talks Tech and the Life of a Lady-Nerd & Apple Enthusiast

“Technology” is kind of a broad term, wouldn’t you say? So I think my specific approach to this feature will be covering stuff I think is cool. Basically — I love gadgets, computers, applications, toys and anything that’s innovative and strives to change the way that we live. So although I’ll focus mostly on tech, I may sometimes stray off topic with design stuff — product, interior, graphic, or otherwise.

I Am a Total Nerd. I Always Have Been and Always Will Be.

carlyphoneI’m an Apple enthusiast, a professional television editor (trying to get Final Cut Pro certified in the near future), I rock an iPhone AND I REALLY like robots. I graduated from a high school with “Technology” in its name, I like superheroes, I was really into The X-Files and Buffy back in their respective heydays, I can take computers apart and put them back together, I know some (read: very little) HTML, and I’m the go-to person in my family to fix our wireless router or printer drivers.

I’m still figuring out the format for this column so the first one will be pretty broad & brief — some cool links, some recent developments … and we’ll see how it goes from here! Please send me any suggestions for format or tips for stories ’cause I’m fully open to whatever you’ve got. Now that we’ve gotten that backstory out of the way, let’s begin!

Let me preface this with a disclaimer: while I do loooove Apple, I know not everyone loves Apple products so I’m really gonna try to remain as objective as possible and keep the Apple chatter to a minimum.

That being said … right now is Apple Time.

Apple has made some crazy announcements in the past two weeks.

They upgraded their Time Capsule, iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro.

Then they unleashed the new super duper tiny iPod Shuffle, which you could easily swallow.picture-41

They also moved the Shuffle controls to the headphones, which is TOTALLY SNEAKY OF THEM because now, in order to use your own headphones, you’ll have to drop more money on an adapter. LAME, APPLE.

Also, does anyone else hate the Apple earbuds? They’re hard, they don’t fit in my ears at all, and when I try to force them to fit they either hurt a lot or pop out. I have these random earbuds I got on Amazon that have squishy gel tips on them and I love them. I’d provide a link but they apparently don’t sell them anymore. BOO!

Also, the new Shuffles talk to you. Since there’s no display, Apple decided that we needed to hear a robot voice telling us that we’re listening to Britney Spears sing “Phonography,” off of the “Circus” album. Umm… no thanks. No talking iPod. I use my Shuffle for working out only, and I think it would be really distracting if I started hearing voices while I was on the elliptical. I have a hard enough time just getting my ass to the gym, and I think artificially induced schizophrenia might be a great excuse for me to grab a smoothie and go watch TV on my couch.

Now for the mother of all announcements … The iPhone 3.0

[If you doubted my nerdom before] you should’ve seen me on Tuesday, when I sat glued to my computer, watching a liveblog and waiting to hear how my iPhone was going to mutate into something better, brighter, and TOTALLY AWESOME-R. And it did! We got so many cool new features! MMS! Cut/copy/paste!!! Landscape Mode!

The only thing that seems a little iffy to me is the ability for developers to sell app add-ons from within the apps themselves. This could cause you, the user, to get totally screwed in the future. You could easily get to the fifth level of a game you’re enjoying only to be told you’ve gotta pony up more cash to see the additional levels. This would cause me, the user, to lose interest in a game very quickly. So I hope they keep that mess in check.

I mean, the new OS will open the door for all sorts of things! It’s very exciting. Just think, instead of your phone making some weird noise every time you get an e-mail or text (well, not mine… it’s usually on vibrate, those noises are damn annoying) you’ll also get a weird noise every time someone Twitters or writes on your Facebook wall or throws a sheep at you or tags you in an image of cartoon characters or takes a quiz about what city they should be living in!! Isn’t that awesome!? No, but in all seriousness, extending push capabilities to developers was a long time coming and I’m excited for the possibilities.

Some people seem upset that the iPhone still won’t have video capabilities, but I think that they should upgrade the camera before they go letting us shoot video. Let’s face it — the camera kinda sucks. It’s awesome in natural light but outside of that it’s pretty sad. So let’s hold off on video capabilities for now, cause that will only lead to even crappier YouTube videos. iPhone users out there… what features are you most excited about? What new apps (or improvements to current apps) would you like to see over the course of this year?

If you missed the keynote — or the subsequent 8 billion tweets and blog posts about the new features — the kind folks over at Gizmodo have created a 90 second video that explains it all.

Ok, end Apple monologue. I think this post is already starting to get a bit long-winded (which is the norm for me, if you haven’t already noticed) so I’ll end with a few links and hopefully next week I’ll have something a bit more thought out.


waveformWaveform Bracelet (@gizmodo)
You record your voice, then they turn the waveform into a bracelet! Cool, huh? I was going to suggest that this would make a cute gift, you could record yourself saying “I love you” or “You’re smokin’ hot” or “I like snacks” or whatever and give it to that special someone … until I realized that its actually intended for parents to tell their kids not to do drugs. But like most things intended to do good, it can be easily co-opted for much cooler purposes.

flyingfuckRemote Control Flying “FUCK” (@nerdapproved)
I don’t know how I have gone on this long without owning this, I think I need one for work. It’s the word “FUCK” with a helicopter propeller attached to it… a flying fuck, if you will. Take it to your local pride event and see how many new friends you make!

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lots of pizazz.

Carly has written 48 articles for us.


  1. Carly! Thank god someone else is excited about this update as I am. You aren’t the only apple nerd. Wooooo for horizontal texing. Obvs it’s time for that and everything else they’re doing with it. Just a random question, have you jailbroken your phone yet?

  2. Great question, Cking. I have remained an iPhone purist and not jailbroken it. I really really wanted to do it, but since I’ve already gone through about 6 iPhones, I thought it best not to violate my warranty :)

  3. Tis true, Apple earbuds are terrible. I thought I just had weird ears because they never seemed to fit me. At least I’m not the only one.

    The new iPhone 3.0 sounds cool. Even though I’ve never owned an iPhone, nor will I ever own one, it’s still good to see that it’s developing nicely. I’m holding out for an Android some time in the near future myself.

    This post is definitely not long winded. Mind you I could read about anything tech related all day. But I look forward to the next one!

    Oh, and it’d be interesting to find out what tech/design sites you regularly visit. I like discovering new sites and wondering if there’s anything I’m missing out there that’s a must read.

    • Oooh, I also have the question about what design sites you frequent! Personally, I’m a big fan of Yanko Design, The Dieline, The Cool Hunter, and Toxel.

      • I’ll definitely do a roundup of my fave tech/design sites in a future post, great idea!

    • From what I’ve read it will be available for both the iPhone and iPod Touch this summer; free update for iPhone and $9.99 for iPod (I think).

  4. Well, I can’t really comment on the Apple stuff [I’m not ANTI-Apple.. I just strongly prefer other products] BUT I am a kind of a huge tech nerd. Basically, your article strikes my fancy yet again! Holleration. Also, while REAL robots kind of freak me out sometimes [especially when they have creepy legs like this: or this: ] I do love the idea of robots and sometimes, when I’m bored and have construction paper on hand, I make paper robots of epic win. Not the most sophisticated technology but at least it won’t kill me in my sleep.

  5. Pingback: Nerd Alert! Carlytron Talks Tech | | Best Information Blog

  6. ahh I totes disagree about the iPhone camera! Yeah its pretty awful for taking pictures of you and your friends at Dinah Shore or something.
    BUT its awesome for kind of artsy pictures (or pretending-to-be artsy pictures.) :) It just captures light really uniquely.

    I had no idea about this stuff, good reporting! You satisfy my nerdy info needs.

    • It totally takes amazing photos in nice daylight, and definitely takes nice artsy pics, I agree with you there. But that’s about it. I think they should increase the camera’s megapixels, add a zoom, and add better image stabilization before enabling video.

  7. As the resident nerd among family and friends I’m really looking forward to your nerdy posts. I’m also pretty excited about the iPhone update; especially MMS and Cut/Copy/Paste. I’ve used landscape mode in Flutter and find I can’t read what I’ve typed most times, so ehh… on landscape. Interested to know what your favorite apps are.

    • Good idea, I will do a fave apps post soon!!

      I think the only reason I’m excited about texting in landscape mode is so I can say “in your face!” to all those Sidekick users out there.

  8. I hate the iPod earphones too. Only the left one fits in my ear, which led me to believe that my right ear is misshapen or too earwax clogged, but this has proven that my ears are in fact normal, and it’s actually the earphones that are screwed up.

  9. I’m excited for the iPhone
    I was about to go cancel my contract with verizon last week until they had to go and tell us about iphone 3.0…so now I shall wait til the new one it out and deal with my LG chocolate 1.0
    ::le sigh::
    haha maybe you guys can make an autostraddle app?
    It would only be the beginning of the autostraddle UNIVERSE!

  10. yes finally!! MMS and copy/paste!

    so i’m a bit confused though. is this an upgrade for current iphone users? or is this a totally new phone?

    how do i get it b/c i want it now! haha

    • It’s an updated operating system that will be available this summer. No news of a new phone, but I’m curious to see what they would do next.

  11. I am not into electronics, but I liked this post because:
    1. you mentioned “Phonography” and I know you love Brit and I love Brit and I wish this song wasn’t so CHEESY because I love the beat!

    2. Whats “jailbroken”? Can I do it without an iPhone?

    3. Good earbuds=Sony. They come in a plastic cylindrical case and they’re like 10 bucks at the checkout counter at Office Depot and they are the best sounding and best fitting I’ve had! That’s all I know about electronics.

    • I like lists too!
      1. I love that song, but yeah it’s really really cheesy.
      2. Jailbreaking refers to hacking into an iPhone and breaking out of the phone’s native OS, thus bypassing the DRM and breaking your phone’s warranty and end-user license agreement. It then enables you to activate certain features and install certain apps that you wouldn’t normally be able to use.
      3. Mine were cheap too. They break too frequently & easily for me to warrant spending a lot of money on them.

  12. I didn’t know the new shuffle talked which is freaky. I gave up on the shuffle awhile back because, apparently, I’m really controlling about what I listen to and didn’t want to leave it to the iPod’s whims. That said, shuffles are so cute that I want to nibble them like a cute puppy’s ears.

  13. Two thumbs up.

    ibuds = auditory canal rape

    Please, please! Advice/question:

    My mother just bought an iTouch and surpassed me in Apple nerdiness. She’s suddenly a bigger, brighter, shinny-r apple fan. How do I beat her down back into her generational station of hating technology and refusing to upgrade? I feel like an apple lightweight when she’s talking tech! She’s retired, has money and can actually afford to upgrade every 6 weeks.

    I feel, hopeless.

    Maybe I should buy here a flying Fuck for Christmas.

  14. I like the idea of incorporating tech advice into this feature, I will think about your question and answer it in the next tech post.

  15. ok I have always wondered and maybe it is possible and I just don’t know it… but I think youd be the person to ask

    1. is it possible to forward text messages on iphones?
    2. and is it possible to send pictures via text message?


    • 1. You can’t forward texts on an iPhone currently but I think that it’s part of the 3.0 OS.
      2. Not yet… but 3.0 will do it!

  16. I’m not sure if I’d love my iPhone half as much as I do if I never jailbroke it.

    Almost all the 3.0 features most jailbroken iPhone users have been enjoying for a LONG time now..landscape text (also quick reply/quick send, forwarding texts, etc), copy & paste, video camera, quick finder, picture text messaging (which Apple is saying will not be included in the 2g 3.0 Firmware because of a “hardware” issue which is BS because jailbroken 2g’s can send picture texts just fine! but whatever…

    The iPhone is a nice device but Apple is extremely nazi like about what apps they allow in the app store and the phone is only as useful as the apps you have installed on it.

    If your worried about your warranty you can always just restore through iTunes and reset it to factory settings if you need to take advantage of your Apple warranty. Jailbreaking doesn’t modify the hardware in any way, shape or form.

    I’m far from a tech person but one month with an iPhone and I learned how to run commands through Mobile Terminal and use Open SHH (and an app called Fugu) to open up the files in my iPhone through my comp using a wireless connect so that I could change things, delete things, install things, and manipulate things and truly enjoy a device I paid ALOT of cash for.

    If you truly love technology and your iPhone you should research jailbreaking alittle more and consider it. It takes less than 15 mins to do and the only difference between before and after is that after you will have MANY more options than before and you’ll have the ability to enjoy your iPhone 100x more than before :)

  17. I would like a waveform bracelet of someone saying, “You gotta let that sausage sizzle” or “Damn! You look good today!”

  18. I think the most amazing feature of new OS 3.0 is the potential to make the iPhone interact with ANY device on earth. Your iPhone could become the control panel to just about anything somehow controlled!

  19. Carly!

    I never thought I’d have an electronic question, but as of today I do. I wanna get my gf the iPodTouch she’s been talking about, but what I need to know is it a)fun, b)practical (esp if she already has an ipod) and c) worth it. She is not one for owning anything at all that she doesn’t need, but she loves the idea of the internet at all times in her pocket. Does it really connect to the internet so easily? Do you have to pay for the net? Will it be obsolete soon? I am not just being lazy and leaving these questions to you, I did look it up on the apple site, but I can barely figure it out (they are advertising it to be bought, of course they make it look good). I need honest answers here! If anyone else is reading and has opinions, please reply!


    • I had an iTouch before I got my iPhone. It is a really handy tool and A LOT of fun. There are so many different applications that there is literally no limits. The only thing I DIDN’T like about the iTouch opposed to my iPhone is that you have to find a wireless connection to be on the internet. If there isn’t wifi, you can’t get anything whereas the iPhone goes off the 3G signals from AT&T. Hope that’s helpful.

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