iPhones, Headphones, Tech/Design Websites & Gadget Fixes


Recent Nerd Alerts

What’s been going on in the world of tech and design? Well, for starters, Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” ad campaign is starting to attack Apple where it hurts: price points. Macrumors has posted its the first ad, as well as the newest:

While I’m a huge Apple fan, I will be the first to admit that their prices are kind of ridic (though the advantage of a Mac over a PC, in my opinion, is the OS and the software so I will continue to pay more to be able to keep Microsoft out of my life forever). Also the people in those ads are paid actors, so whatever Microsoft.

Speaking of Apple, has anyone else’s iPhone been SUCKING lately? My friends and I have all had really horrible service on our iPhones lately. Perhaps AT&T is slacking on the low end while upgrading their network to accommodate the hypothetical 3rd iteration of the iPhone (rumored to happen some time this summer, around the time that the 3.0 firmware is released).

Also, as I mentioned in the Daily Fix for March 31st, April 1st was the day that the Conficker worm was unleashed. Though it seemed like nothing happened, the problem might be far more serious than once thought. Gizmodo explains it all here, cause I have no idea what any of that stuff means.

Finally, in video game news, the Nintendo DSi just came out in the US. It has a camera, plays DS games, and can utilize apps, like an iPhone or Android phone. They’re $170. I’m not really into videogames but I do enjoy playing some on my iPhone (also: anything Nintendo is inherently awesome). Check out a review here.


Ask Carlytron!

Now I will answer reader questions. If you have questions for next time, leave them in the comments or send them to me directly using the contact link.  Last week a reader posited this question to our team:

Q: I’m constantly destroying my cheap earbud headphones and needing to buy new ones. Is there a headphone brand/model which is relatively durable, has good sound quality (especially good bass) and isn’t too expensive?


Crystal: “My all-time favourite headphones are made by Microsoft. Which is really uncool. So Stef or Carly may have a more trendy suggestion for women on the edge.”

Carly: “I have these crappy things i got off amazon, and they don’t even sell them anymore. they work for me though. I think a lot of it is subjective when it comes to headphones. Also Gizmodo has just declared the new Shure SE115’s the new top buds, so maybe check those out.”

Stefanie: “I went through a lot of shitty headphones before I got my current pair, which are Sennheiser HD 202s.I knew Sennheiser ’cause they make microphones, and these were just expensive enough ($30 or $40) that I expected a good level of durability. They’re AMAZING, wonderfully noise cancelling, and I’ve managed not to break them yet. Only downside is the large size and the long cord (which I think is for DJ’ing).  I guess you could wear them and pretend to be dating Lindsay Lohan?”


Q: I have been getting this question a lot since writing the first tech post: “What tech/design sites do you read regularly?” I read a whole bunch, actually, but here’s a quick list of my favorites:

Generally Nerdy or Computery Things:
Ars Technica

Design Sites:
Apartment Therapy
Smashing Magazine
Cool Hunting
I Love Typography

I don’t read these regularly but you might enjoy them:
Think Geek


Links for this week:laundrypod

I Am Human Now, makers of the most awesome looking laptop covers I’ve seen in a long time, has a special edition stripey cover made by Paul Smith. ::swooooon::

I really hope this Laundry Pod becomes an actual product because OMG it would be very useful. The closest laundromat to my apartment is like 15 blocks away, which is a nightmare when you’ve got two giant laundry bags full of crap.

comedian_teaserSpill water on your keyboard again? Drop your cell phone in the toilet? Check out the 11 Quick Fixes for Gadget Disasters and never let your beloved gadgets succumb to bad luck or your own clumsiness again! [Editor’s Note: this one time A;ex dropped her phone in the toilet at a DJ Carlytron party — the first time I met Robin actually — and it wouldn’t stop vibrating, and I was tickling DJ Carlytron with it, it was really funny, even though Team Drunk Carlytron doesn’t remember this. It just kept vibrating srsly! This story has no point, I just wanted to say that.]

Finally, there’s a totally fascinating interview with Corey Holms over at LetterCult. He re-created the Watchmen logotype for the film release from scratch.

Tech Questions for Carlytron? Ask in the comments or via the contact form.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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lots of pizazz.

Carly has written 48 articles for us.


  1. Lifehacker is THE best site ever. Not to mention the founding editor is like my hero of heroes (and she also just happens to be gay). Thanks for posting those sites!

    And Microsoft have sunk way too low on those recent ads. Lower then Apple when they first started those ‘I’m a Mac, I’m a PC’ ads. I’d rather they just go back to the cuteness.

  2. I have a tech question for you. Should I trade in my Blackberry for an iPhone?
    See, I love my Blackberry and didn’t think any phone could surpass it. But then, the other day I saw someone hold their iPhone up to a speaker and the iPhone was able to tell them what song was playing. It was AMAZING.

    • i think it mostly depends on what you want to be using it for. i use my iphone for the apps, and then i also use it for texting, emails, as an ipod, and for the occasional phone call. if you want all the fun multimedia stuff, i’d go w/ an iphone. but if you want something more reliable, go w/ the bberry.

      though who am i to say, i’ve never owned a bberry.

  3. i LOVE i love typography! i’ve never seen/heard it mentioned in anything before so this is aces. also totally second what artcon said; defo checking out those other sites now, thanks.
    great column all round; and also quite reassuring as i am a super nerd. it never ceases to amuse my friends just how much of a geek i am.

    • i must give credit to a_ex for introducing me to ILT. it’s a wonderful site.

      nerdiness = awesomeness.

  4. if you appreciate cool hunting, try thecoolhunter.net or just sign up for their emails. some crazy shiz on there.

    also, in the Microsoft when the girl says “I guess I’m just not cool enough to own a Mac” I always think, “nope.”

    • ME too!!! I’m like “ooo … yikes. sucks for you. luckily i been “cool” enough to own a Mac since I got my first SE/30.”

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  6. Great post!! That laundry pod is amazing. Now if only they can invent a robot to fold clothes.

    • … and find my socks in natalie’s room, match them into pairs, and shoot them onto my feet.

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  9. in regards to headphones, go to head-fi.org, it’s pretty much the greatest place on the interwebz for geeking out about audio.

    another good budget option is the nuforce ne7, at around $50, which is esp. great if you have an iphone, as it comes with a microphone. also good, and a bit cheaper is the head-direct re2, which is currently on sale for $39.

    • Another good site for earbuds and headphones is audiocubes.com. I got my DJ headphones there, the camo ones.

  10. w/r/t headphones, i want to mention that the hd202s were $30, and they are just about impossible to break in your purse – believe me, if it could be done, i’d have done it already. the 12-foot-long cord is kind of a bummer though.

  11. Thanks for the Watchmen logotype link! I’m sort of obsessed…

    What did you think of the movie adaption? I was not impressed with the actress they chose for Laurie/SIlk Spectre. I sort of pictured her being more like Angelina circa Tomb Raider. Maybe Megan Fox? I obvs had a lot more problems w/ the movie tho…

  12. I’m liking the headphone recommendations, guys. Hot.

    Also Carly – what do you mean by your iPhone sucking lately? Just wondering. I recently/finally had mine replaced by the Apple Store cause of that crashing problem it was having. It’s been good since.

    I was confused for a hot second about “cool hunting” cause I thought it was the same thing as “the cool hunter” (re: what Asher said.) I’m also signed up for The Cool Hunters emails – I like!

    • I dunno, like the service has just been complete shit, and I think it’s causing some other problems. It’s defo time for my to swap out my handset for a new one, but I feel like my phone is dropping to the Edge network way too often, and the Edge network now seems to be synonymous to “no service,” which seems strange.

      • If you feel like your phone is dropping to edge too often and then not picking up service, taking it to the apple store for an appointment, they can run something called behavior scan which can take a look at the number of modem resets. Modem resets are when the phone has service then looses all service. If the number is high enough they will replace our phone. Also looking at that vs. the number of dropped calls, battery life ect. I would defiantly recommend backing up your phone before you take it in. Something else to try as a temp fix is to re seat the sim card. You got a sim removal tool in your box ( a small paper clip will work too, just try not to break the mechanism). IF you think the problem is software related rather than network related which is possible as well, back up the info someplace other than itunes such as Address Book or windows contacts, outlook ect. Then Restore the phone to factory settings and set up as a new phone. You will loose your text messages and notes. The latter is only true way to clear out any software glitches.

        I mean sometimes the 3g towers in your area could be down and or too many people in your area are using all the (3g) bandwidth.

  13. I agree with Stef. The HD 202s are great headphones but that damn cord is a problem, especially if you lose the little “cord take-up” thing or whatever it’s called. Because the cord is so long, it kept getting pulled so now only one of the ears (channels? sides?) works. I am on my second pair now, and have again lost the cord thing…
    Other than that, I want that Laundry Pod. That would be quite awesome…

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