• Getting Lost with QR Codes

    Getting Lost with QR Codes

    Accessibility is at the foundation of transportation policy, but a minor technology seems to be obstructing the path, at least when it comes to wayfaring.  The signage for wayfaring and orienting travelers is increasingly populated with QR codes and it may be getting us lost. QR (quick response) codes are encountered when transit riders need…

  • Vision Zero Has a Tech Complement

    Vision Zero Has a Tech Complement

    Double lines are standard on roadways, but double standards are embedded too when it comes to road safety. If Vision Zero wants to drive home road safety, they should drive home in driverless vehicles.

  • A Framework for Digital Training: Provisional Licenses

    A Framework for Digital Training: Provisional Licenses

    What’s the path for teens and preteens once the Congressional hearings on social media wrap up?  Ideas are likely to come from the transportation field.  There will be talk about using guardrails to keep social media in its place and slow down users. And then there will be a push towards civic education and instruction.  …

  • Teens, Bikes, Social Bad

    Dear Ms. Smartphone:  Wondering what to do about these kids. There are a few boys in my neighborhood who ride in the middle of the road on little electric scooters. They also do jumps and wheelies on these bikes. All the street traffic has to slow down around them. At least they do wear helmets.…

  • Future Cars Will Talk

    Autonomous cars may be headed your way and they will be in dialogue. Today, Google’s Waymo vehicles display your personal initials when they arrive at your pickup. But they lack an advance way to communicate more information. That will change and future cars will talk. It’s called a “tertiary language.”   “Tertiary language” is not a…

  • Too Many Phone Apps?

    Too Many Phone Apps?

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: My question is about trying out new apps and if you can have too many phone apps. My girlfriend has an idea to download one new app each day, starting in January. She said she wants to do this to stay curious, discover new things, plus learn to code with me. My…

  • From our Archives: The Best of DearSmartphone.

    From our Archives: The Best of DearSmartphone.

    IS PRINT OR DIGITAL VERSION OF NEWSPAPER BETTER? Dear Ms. Smartphone: My teen daughter plans to read a newspaper every day this summer. Her English teacher suggested she do this. The past school year was tough (tenth grade). The grades went down and she had difficulty making friends. But, shame on us- we did not…

  • Closed Caption Phone

    Closed Caption Phone

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I know there’s a lot of attention to the dynamic island on the new Apple phone but I just wanted to write and ask that you pay some love to other features. My adult sister and I have hearing loss and the new Live Captions will be a godsend. We use our…

  • Does Phone Size Matter?

    Does Phone Size Matter?

    Big Phone….Little Phone…Both Phone?

  • Cell Phone in the Car?

    Cell Phone in the Car?

    Dad and husband are hung up on my car phone. Cannot hang it up!

  • Privacy & Teen Drivers

    Privacy & Teen Drivers

    Data logger could expose teen’s bad driving behavior…or coach her to driver safer. What about her data privacy?

  • Phones and Handsfree

    Phones and Handsfree

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I had a near-miss when texting. I will no longer be driving this way! It turns out that the lease on my car is about to expire so what would be a better choice when I go car-shopping? Quentin, Sausalito Dear Quentin: I don’t do vehicle research, but I can guide you…

  • Phones on Holiday

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I am on holiday and can’t find where to buy postcards or stamps.  I promised my Mom I’d send her pretty pictures, but it would be so much easier to use photos in messaging.  C.C. Reading Dear C.C.: You didn’t mention where you are headed, but it does seem like no one…

  • Simple Phones..Busy Life

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: Do you think it’s a good idea to get a second phone, like a retro model that just does text and calls? I just heard about this and it intrigued me as a way to cut back my time online. TC, Tiburon Dear TC: There was an extended story in the Wall…