iOS 8 – Better news for some ClipSee users.

Or how to set your iPhone to default to Speakerphone. You would think that you could ask Siri to call somebody and put the call on Speakerphone, but for some inexplicable reason, Apple does not allow Siri to do this simple thing.  For that reason, we supply the finger guide that allows a ClipSee user to select speakerphone once the call is placed or received. With iOS 8, we were hoping that Apple finally listened to the users and would permit Siri to put the phone into speakerphone when placing a call.  Alas, they did not, but they improved things a little. With iOS 8 you can make the speakerphone as the default for incoming or outgoing calls. With iOS 7 you could only make speakerphone the default for incoming calls. For certain people who mostly talk while on speakerphone, then this is just the feature for you.  This will make the ClipSee even easier to use. To set this mode in iOS 8 go to “Settings” to “General” to “Accessibility” to “Call Audio Routing” and set it to Speaker. Give it a try and see if it works for you — and stay...

Follow up on why California’s hand held cell phone ban failed

When interviewed by Julia Belluz for Vox about the surprising results of the study he lead, Daniel Kaffine said, “We were expecting to find maybe a five to ten percent reduction in accidents. We had read the studies that talking on your phone is as dangerous as drinking and driving.”  Further, “Only after spending a ton of time looking at the data, slicing it in different ways, we eventually came to the conclusion that there was no evidence of a decline in accidents. It took a while for us to convince ourselves that there wasn’t something there.” In the published study found in Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice Volume 66, August 2014, Pages 162–172, the author states that the expectation for accident reduction was predicted to be somewhere between 2% to 21%.  The actual effect of the ban resulted in estimates that ranged from -3% to 2%, effectively not a factor at all. There are numerous speculations on why the ban had no effect on accidents. Either people simply ignored the law, or people switched to other behaviors such as holding the cell phone below the window while on speakerphone to avoid being caught.  ...

iPhone’s Superior Hands-Free Voice Texting

There is no doubt that doing regular texting while driving is very dangerous.  However, it turns out that it is quite easy to do voice texting with the ClipSee on an iPhone. It is totally legal in California and Oregon and many other states to do hands-free texting as long as you are not holding the phone.  We will research as many of the other states and get that information to you.  In general, as long as you have your eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel then you are legal. To text you merely hold down the home button to get Siri’s attention and say something like “Send a text message to Billy Bob.”  Then Siri asks you what you want to say. You can ask Siri to read back the message to make sure that Siri got it right.  Just make sure you use the word “read” and not “play” or “listen”.  If you say the word “play” or “listen” it will think that you are trying to play music. You do not have to enter your security code for sending a text or reading a text. When you receive a text, you do not need to look.  Just hold down the home button until you get the beep from Siri and ask Siri, “Read my text messages.” It will read back your unread text messages.  It will not read back any old text messages. I tried doing a similar procedure with the Samsung S4.  It is quite inferior to the Apple voice texting and requires that you look at the screen.  Presuming you...

No Evidence that California’s Hands Free Law Lowered Accidents

In a study lead by economics professor Daniel Kaffine at the Universtiy of Colorado, they determined that California’s hands free law did not affect the rate of accidents at all. This study was published this July and was sponsored At first, bureaucrats thought the hand held ban was effective and they reported a substantial drop in the rate of accidents.  However, the University of Colorado researchers discovered that if you normalize for other factors such as the prevailing weather, then there was no actual effect. Some researchers have claimed that talking on a cell phone is about as dangerous as driving drunk with an accident rate about 4X higher than not talking on a cell phone. Quoting Professor Kaffine: “If it’s really that dangerous, and if even just a fraction of people stop using their phones, we would expect to find some decrease in accidents,” said Daniel Kaffine, an associate professor of economics at CU-Boulder and an author of the study. “But we didn’t find any statistical evidence of a reduction.” The state of California hands out an average of about 30,000 hand held cell phone tickets at a cost of about $162 per ticket. You would think this would cause people to stop talking in a handheld manner. Professor Kaffine can only speculate on why there was no drop in accidents. Either talking on a cell phone is not really as dangerous as people think, or people who talk on cell phones are more inclined to simply ignore that law. Some have also speculated that people are still talking on their cell phones, they are just getting better at hiding...

Should cell phones be banned in cars?

We all know that cell phones are a distraction in cars.  It is annoying—and downright frightening–to see people talking on their hand-held phones while driving especially when their behavior creates a hazardous situation for everyone on the road.  In 2009 the National Safety Council (a non-profit) recommended banning all cell phone use. In December 2011 the National Transportation Safety Board also recommended banning all cell phone use in cars. Pragmatically, banning cell phones use in cars is like stuffing a genie back into the bottle.  There are certain obvious cases where cell phone use truly should be banned, such as teenage drivers and bus drivers, but there are a lot of people who depend on communicating while driving. However, the research shows that most hazardous usage of a cell phone are for operations that have little to do with actually talking on a cell phone. There is considerable research that shows that merely talking on a cell phone, whether hands-free or handheld is a hazard.  At the same time, talking to a person in the front seat is a distraction, yet nobody is suggesting banning passengers from talking to the driver. Two recent studies providedmuch needed insight to the subject of distractions and driver safety related to using cell phones.  One is a study,  sponsored by AAA, was conducted to rate the different forms of distraction.  Another is a study performed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  This last study evaluated the risk of different tasks related to cell phone use. AAA Study The AAA study put drivers in car simulators as...