Glory Days

My mother asked if I miss High School

I told her, “Not really,”

What I wanted to say was,

Hell no

But I do miss piling seven people

Into a car that seated four on a good day

And praying that we wouldn’t get caught,

I miss my first creative writing class

God, it felt like a revelation,

I miss every over-wrought 3 am conversation

And how, for a moment, we thought we’d figured out

Every intricate detail of the universe,

I miss laughing too loud at all those in-joke we had

That hadn’t really been funny in the first place,

And I miss the people

I don’t talk to anymore

Because maybe proximity

was the only thing holding us together in the first place,

But I don’t miss High School, exactly.

Just the few paper-thin moments of glory

That are entangled in those four years

Which is not quite the same thing.

And then my mother asked

If I’d ever go to the class reunions,

And I said,

“Nah, probably not.”

Bureaucrapsychosis

Photo from Shutterstock

“psychosis, noun: a serious mental illness … characterized by defective or lost contact with reality…”

–Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary

 

She might be beautiful if she’d smile,

Change her perfume from “Trying Too Hard.”

She slid a form across the counter—

Mahogany; everything there was mahogany—

So our hands couldn’t meet.

 

As I turned, I saw the counter’s edge

Where the veneer curled away,

Exposing plywood in unflinching fluorescence—

God forbid they put in a window—

I thought, “That’s the most honest thing here.”

 

I swear I glimpsed our world on that piece of tape:

Government center with an AC unit rattling somewhere overhead,

Streets, grocery stores, barber shops where customers—

That’s all they are in the grand scheme, really—

Prattle on politics, pay with plastic backed by green paper.

 

All hanging loose with no root in the veldt,

No grasp in grass with cricketsong,

Nor toe in shimmering lake—

Favoring corroded pipes running to parks—

Claiming victory as it’s bucked.

 

Could we meet in the veldt?

If I leapt from the street’s end,

Would you hold my hand—

Forget perfumes and forms—

Would you smile?

Stray Dogs – Part 1

Photo from The Independent

Less than twenty people showed up to Paul Bennett’s funeral. Andrea had counted, twice, before her attention shifted to watching her mother. Kathrine Bennett had been on-edge since the moment that the doctor declared her husband’s time of death, stuck in full throttle as she tried to make arrangements with what little savings she had and hoped the life insurance policy would cover it later. She hadn’t slept in days. During the viewing, she’d been fluttering all around the funeral home, adjusting flower arrangements with the one arm that wasn’t stuck in a sling at her side. She sat a few feet away from Andrea at the end of the pew, eyes trained on the man in the casket rather than the one on the stage. Andrea didn’t look at the body. She couldn’t.

Pastor Marlow, the spindly little man standing at the podium, had all the stage presence of a glass of lukewarm tap water, but he was the only minister in town that would agree to be there. If he could even be called a minister. Was a minister without a congregation still a minister? Andrea wondered.

It didn’t matter, really. He was Baptist, he was ordained, and he’d agreed to be there. That had been enough for her mother. Katherine had always been willing to overlook a lot of things, when it came to men (but not denominations.)

“The lord has plans for all of us,” he stuttered, “and we don’t, uh, we don’t always understand what those plans are…” Andrea didn’t consider herself to be particularly religious, but she could appreciate a good sermon on its own merits. This was not a good sermon.

There might have been a good sermon, if Paul hadn’t put a round of buckshot into Pastor Morrison’s cocker spaniel a few years back, or broken Pastor Jacobs’ nose. But there really wasn’t much that could done for his reputation post-mortem.

A woman in a dark blue dress leaned forward in the pew behind her, clasping her shoulder in a way that was probably meant to be comforting. Andrea belatedly recognized her as someone who’d worked with Paul nearly a decade ago.

“I was so sorry to hear about your daddy, hope you’re holding up alright.”

Haven’t you heard yet? Seems like gossip spreads like disease around here, Andrea thought, giving the woman the most sincere smile-and-nod that she could muster, Paul Bennett wasn’t really my father.

Ways to Stay Safe this Halloween

Stay safe this Halloween – Photo from Wonderopolis

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year, even if it’s not an official holiday in the United States. Here are some ways to stay safe this Halloween.

Limit the Drinks or Just Don’t Drink: Halloween isn’t all about kids going Trick-or-Treating; adults and teens will use this as an excuse to go out and have a drink, but that’s not a good idea. Halloween is on a weekday, and you will most likely have work or school the next morning. Being hungover won’t look good. So if you do drink, be responsible. Otherwise, don’t drink.

Watch out for Kids: There will be kids out looking for candy, so whenever you are driving that evening, you should be on the lookout for any kids on the streets. You don’t want to hurt anyone – most parents will be with their kids but for those who are old enough to go out trick-or-treating, watch out for them.

For parents: Tracking Apps are available on both Apple and Android phones for parents to keep track of their children. Both companies have apps available on the phone already but apps like Life360 and Find My Family are great for use. Phones now-a-days have flashlights built-in but if your child’s phone does not have this, then you probably should invest in a flashlight.

Candy: There are some kids who have allergies to peanuts and if you are one of the people handing out the candy, make sure you have some candy that fits everyone’s dietary needs.

It takes a village to keep everyone happy and safe on Halloween, but if everyone can do their parts, we will have another great Halloween this year. Save some candy for me.

Hewlett Packard to Cut 5,000 Jobs

Hewlett Packard/HP has decided to slash 10% of it’s workforce despite third quarter results that surprised Wall Street. HPE will release 5,000 people by the end of the year according to a Bloomberg report.

The cost-saving move made by CEO Meg Whitman, was to shed under-performing divisions and focus on services devoted to artificial intelligence.

CEO of Hewlett Packard (HP), Meg Whitman – Photo from The Drum

Only four years after taking the CEO job, Whitman has split HPE into two divisions: printers and PC’s (HP) and servers and storage(HPE), each worth $50 billion. HPE has had to play catch up with Amazon and Google in the cloud storage competition. Recently, Whitman’s commitment to HPE was in question when her name came up in the discussions for Uber’s  CEO job.

Whitman has stated that Uber was not a fit for her and had nothing to do with her situation at HPE.

HPE stock has gone up 3% this year and another 0.6% this week after the announcement, but that is lagging compared to the Nasdaq 100’s 21% gain this year.  Whitman has been with HPE for six years and will be with them as long as she wants to be.  She stated, “We have a very special opportunity here and we have plenty of work to do.”

 

 

No, the World Didn’t End on Saturday

Yes, the world is going to end one day; we just don’t know when. That hasn’t stopped people from professing their belief that the world is going to end on a certain date.

We have been obsessed with “The End” of our bedtime stories of humanity. The latest nut-job is David Meade, a self-described specialist when it comes to the end of the world.  He predicted the Rapture, as foretold in the Book of Revelations, will begin on Saturday. (Wait a minute, it’s Sunday and we are still alive. What a shocker.)

David Meade – Photo from The Sun

There was no evidence supporting Meade’s claims of a Planet Nibiru or “Planet X” on a crash course towards Earth. That didn’t stop Meade from making claims. There are several ways in which the world can end. As long as someone can press the magical “red” button, nuclear war is the most likely way the world will end.

Of course, you might have a giant asteroid hit your house and car but the odds of that happening are 1-in-100 million in any given year. Those poor dinosaurs had a very bad year.

Then you might have climate change or global warming ruining your day, but it is doubtful this would lead to the end of the world. How about the over population of the world? Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has stated that we only have until 2100 before we would have to find a new home that is suitable for humans. In 2100, the population is estimated at over 11 billion, but most people alive today would be dead.

Then you have black holes that are never full after eating many stars and planets, but the odds of that happening are so small that we don’t have numbers for it. Another event that could happen is a supernova – the closest one to us is Betelgeuse, a part of the Orion constellation.

A more likely event is a global pandemic like the flu and smallpox killing off the majority of the planet and a biological weapon launched by terrorists and maybe another country. Maybe a super- volcano or robots take us out.

Finally, we have survived everything but one thing: Father Time. The sun runs out of fuel and expands to engulfing Mercury, Venus and possibly the  Earth. The planet will be so hot, no life will be possible. So enjoy life on Earth right now; we only got a billion more years to go.

T-Mobile and Sprint Merger Coming Soon?

Once again, there are talks of a merger with the nation’s number 3 and 4 wireless providers. What does this mean for customers and the future of providers?

Logo from Consumerist

T-Mobile and Sprint have considered combining forces before. In 2014, they came close to a merger but due to the Obama Administration’s policies at the time, the merger would had been declined. Now with a new administration under President Trump, the companies have a renewed interest in a merger.

If the companies were to merge, here’s what might likely happen to customers of Sprint and T-Mobile.

Customers of T-Mobile right now get free Netflix and  MLB.TV mobile viewing, which would mean Sprint customers would get those same perks. T-Mobile customers in return would get access to Tidal, a company that Sprint acquired a 33% stake in January. All customers would see an increase in pricing.

However, according to the former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and former assistant to attorney general for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, Bill Baer, prices will rise for customers due to the lack of competition, which was why Softbank failed to acquire T-Mobile.

The two companies would most likely be able to get a deal approved by the Trump Administration as they are “more willing listeners.” Donna Hitscherich, a senior lecturer at Columbia Business School stated, “Obviously, they are not going to do the deal and hope to lose subscribers, unless maybe there is a swath of subscribers that are not as profitable as others.”

Shares in both companies were up more than 4% since the news of a merger came out on Tuesday.

 

Fighting Video Games are still Kicking (and Punching)

Video games have become a heavily integrated part of our daily lives. It is common and in fact expected that most people have a video game system and some type of favorite game. Admittedly, this is not universally true. Poverty is something a lot of people deal with; financial situations are different for everyone, and they are ever changing on a person by person basis. Nonetheless, most of us (of the younger generation, at least) often ask about the video games others play, especially if you are getting to know someone. Who doesn’t play video games, right? But let’s save the class issues for another time.

Moving on, there are many different video game genres to pick from and an increasing number of video game systems to pick from. Most people will usually answer something like the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One for the system of choice and then something like first person shooters or RPGs (Role Playing Games) for the genre. A genre that is not necessarily popular per se but has a steady fan base is fighting video games.

Photo from injustice.com

Fighting games are enjoyable and desired because they offer a simple premise and objective while still offering countless scenarios, changes, and options to the player. They can stay consistent without being boring. The idea itself is simple; fight and defeat your opponent by making them run out of whatever represents their health/ stamina. But the player has countless options for how to go about doing so, from stringing attacks into combos to using whatever special, and usually character specific, attack they have at their disposal. Then they also have to deal with an opponent, either controlled by the computer or by a person, who has the same amount of options available to them.

No two fights or matches are ever exactly the same. You can always expect something new and different (to a certain extent) each time you play. This is especially true nowadays with games like Mortal Combat X and Injustice 2 that have increasing rosters of new and familiar characters to choose from along with long lists of attacks and combos. More options mean greater possibilities. These days, the games even offer downloadable content (DLC), almost always consisting of at least one new character, as time goes on to keep players interested and invested in the game. There is something to be said for a form of interactive entertainment that can keep a (relatively) simple and basic format while constantly changing.

Political Trouble in the World of Sports

There have been several days of controversy and criticism since NBA player Stephen Curry suggested he would vote against accepting Trump’s invitation to the White House. When Trump heard about this development, he decided to un-invite the entire Warriors basketball team and has since sent out a number of tweets regarding both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL). The latter is the result of Trump’s comments that NFL players should be fired for taking a knee during the National Anthem and the resulting protests from NFL teams such as the Steelers.

Stephen Curry – Photo from NBA.com

The Steelers decided to remain inside of the locker room during the performance of the National Anthem. The head coach of the Steelers, Mike Tomlin, stated that he did not want the team to feel divided and that, essentially, he wanted the team to stay out of the politics going on. However, being absent during the Anthem is something of a political statement in and of itself.

Trump has stated, both at his rally in Alabama and on Twitter, that he believes anyone who does not stand up or takes a knee during the Anthem should be fired. He has also stated on Twitter that the games have been losing viewers because they are “boring” but people would keep watching if the NFL teams were loyal to the U.S. That being said, Trump is probably not the best person to give commentary on how viewership has increased or decreased for sports teams. Or in a position to really give any commentary at all. What the President has to do with a NFL game or NBA team is unknown, especially when he has more serious matters to attend to. Regardless of what Trump says, and in fact because of it, many players and teams are now making a stand and/or protesting, such as a number of players at the Jaguars and Ravens game in London. Perhaps it is time to listen to what other people have to say about why they are protesting, instead of threatening them.

Social Class Unawareness

It is not something we think about often. In fact, we almost never consider it in any real seriousness, not unless it is a direct issue for us. I’m talking about our social class and more specifically our financial status. Most of the people who go to Radford University can be considered fairly well off. Not (necessarily) rich or wealthy but obviously they have the means to go to a university. Not everyone is in quite that position, some manage to get by entirely on scholarships and those people should be applauded and congratulated for their hard work and dedication. The effort and work they put into maintaining those scholarships and grants is amazing. Nonetheless, many of us come from a middle class background and typically did not have to worry about how much money we or our family had. But that is not the case for a lot of people.

Photo from LinkedIn.com

We are usually unaware of our own finical situation and of the situations of others, especially those without as much money as us. We tend to just assume most people are in the same boat as us, unless they show blatantly obvious signs of wealth or poverty. It is easy to assume that the person sitting next to you in class has a car like you or a game system or the newest (or one of the recent) cellphones. While this way of thinking does not necessarily make you a bad person, it is important to stop and consider the fact that other people are not as well off as you.

You should not feel bad for being well off (financially speaking). It is not something to be ashamed of or feel guilty about. It is a good thing and you should be happy about. But instead think about how that waitress might need that tip at the end of your meal or how the pizza delivery driver could use a few extra dollars to help cover the cost of gas. Take a little bit of time and consider what type of situation someone else might be in.

Mormons, Are They in a Cult?

The answer is no. Mormonism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a cult. They are a denomination of Christianity, no different than any other denomination of Christianity like Protestants or Baptists or Methodists. They believe in the same things that other Christian people believe, except that they believe in modern day revelations. This means that they believe people can still receive divine inspiration from God. Many of the additions to their version of the Bible come from revelations from the first prophet of their Church, Joseph Smith, who was also the founder.

Logo of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – photo from Wikipedia

While people of the Christian faith as a whole have not had to deal with discrimination for hundreds of years (there was some nasty business with the Romans), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has had to deal with some persecution in recent history and there is a lot of misconceptions about them nowadays. For example, in Missouri in 1838, the Governor of the state issued an executive order for people to literally hunt Mormons. No, that is not an exaggeration, and no, you did not read that wrong. It was legal to hunt and kill Mormons in the state of Missouri. I believe the word the executive order used was “exterminate,” as in exterminating Mormons. It was that or drive them out of the state, and they were driven out of the state, with state military forces. It was not until 1976 that the order was actually repealed.

There are a lot of misconceptions about them, like the idea that they practice polygamy. They do not practice polygamy. They are not in a cult. They are just regular nice people trying to go about practicing their religion. You shouldn’t discriminate against a person because of their religion. This is a basic concept that should be applied to everyone and every religion. While Mormons do not face massive persecution today like they did in the 1800’s, there are other religions, like Islam, that do. It was not right to hunt down Mormons then, and it is not right to do the same thing to Muslims today. We need to remember our past and learn from it.

Equifax Breach: It Could Have Been Stopped Months Ago

Just this week, I got an email from my bank notifying me about the Equifax data breach. It told me that my account info was safe but to always keep an eye on the account. I was one of the fortunate ones, but millions weren’t so lucky. On Friday, it was announced that Chief Information Officer for Equifax, Susan Mauldin and Chief Security Officer, David Webb had “retired,” effective immediately. More or less, they got fired.

Photo from MGN Online through WTVA News

Thus, the story should end now but it’s only beginning.  The Equifax Security team had a fix for the flaw in the system months ago but never bother to put it to use. Hackers took advantage of the window and stole millions of people’s personal info, including bank info.

Equifax is facing at least 23 class-action lawsuits and counting along with a federal probe from two different government agencies. The stock in the company has gone down a third since the breach was announced.

Mark Rohrwasser will be replacing Mauldin as the interim chief information officer. Prior to the promotion, he had led the international IT operations. Russ Ayres will replace Webb as chief security officer.

Advice to those who were affected and could be affected: change any passwords you might have, and check your account daily. Don’t worry, your bank is checking for fraud from any weird sources, and lastly, don’t hit the panic button yet. You do have a case against Equifax if you lost any money and you should get in contact with an attorney.

Steps to a safe account:

1. Strong and Unique Passwords (don’t use the same password twice)

2. Two-factor authentication

3. Good antimalware on ALL devices

4. Update any outdated software

5. Backup your info on “the cloud” or on a USB

These are the steps to stop hackers from getting into your info. Events like Equifax will become commonplace.

Flu Vaccine Linked to Early Miscarriages

Experts are stunned and puzzled over a study that may link the flu vaccine to early miscarriages.

Getting your regular flu vaccine – Photo from Healthline

The study paid for by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention did not find a conclusive result in the study but did link 17 women who had miscarriages with a vaccine. It’s too early to say that the vaccine is the culprit but it’s a troubling signal that they will follow up on.

In the meanwhile, pregnant women are urged to get their annual flu shot because they and their unborn babies are at a higher risk of getting the flu. That statement has been studied and proven with the study of tens of thousands of women.

“We don’t want people to panic over this headline,” states Dr. Laura Riley, an obstetrician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She ended with, “Get your flu shot. It’s safe.”

This is a very tricky situation the medical community has gotten into as anti-vaccine communities may be reinvigorated. Their support is still very small as they believe the government, researchers, and even journalists are colluding to cover up the “dangers” of vaccines. The proof of one small study can elevate one of these groups. Senior Advisor for Vaccines at the CDC, Dr. Amanda Cohn, says the open release of the information shows there is no cover-up and proves that public health agencies are watching out for the safety of vaccines and humans.

The news of this may make you think about changing your mind on getting a flu shot this year. No blame here; there is a good reason why. However, it is advised that you get your shot. Besides, would you want to be laid up in bed all day, spending hundreds of dollars on medicine to help you or get a vaccine and call it a day?

 

Ash Tree Species near Extinction

Scientists say that years of attacks from beetles are pushing five of the most prominent species of ash tree to the brink of extinction.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature says that tens of millions of trees in the U.S. and Canada have succumbed to the beetles.

The trees classified as “critically endangered” are the green, black, white, pumpkin, and blue ash. The Carolina Ash is also listed as “endangered.”

The beetle in question is an emerald ash borer which was introduced to North America accidentally in the late 1990’s from northeastern Asia. Government officials have tried to slow its spread with insecticides and biological control. These beetles can live for one to two years and before they reach maturity, they most likely have killed one ash tree.

A closeup of the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle – Photo from MPR News

Without any efforts, the ash tree would die out quickly and the cost to replace them would be in the billions. The beetle will eventually make its way to central Europe by 2031. The recent news of this has raised the questions of “specicide” or volunteer extinction of the ash borer in North America.

Whatever the answer is to the question, it’s going to be very costly and needs to be solved fast. If it is not solved, we are not going to have any ash trees left.

 

Things to Remember when looking for A New Smartphone

We are in the very beginning stages of the holiday season and that means one thing: shopping.

Apple, with their announcement of the new iPhone 8 and X on September 12th, marked the unofficial start of the season.  Along with the news came price cuts to the iPhone 6 and 7. You might be on the lookout for a new phone, and here’s what to remember when buying a phone or getting a contract for a phone.

The Apple Company Logo
The Apple Company Logo

Memory Size:  Phones can get very costly, fast.  For example, getting the iPhone 8 with 256GB will cost you $850 and don’t even get started on the 8 Plus and X costs.  So getting the 64GB iPhone would be the smart move here and it would also save you hundreds of dollars. Besides, do you even use over 36GB? That’s more than enough for me.

This year’s model or last year’s: Now, if you want to save a buck or two, going to an iPhone 7 or 7Plus would be the best option.  The price for a 7 with 32GB has gone from $649 to $549. A whole Ben Franklin saved just by getting a older model, and by the way, it’s the same thing as the iPhone 8 which comes out next week.

Camera Quality: This one is really obvious. I mean really…do I have to write it?  Ok, I will. These are the most outrageous prices that most will ever see for a phone, a damn phone. However, the iPhone X has all the gadgets, bells, and whistles ever needed for any photographer. A 3D camera with a sapphire cover with a six element lens. This thing has so many gadgets that this article would be small compared to all of the iPhone X’s specs.  However, pre-orders don’t start until October 27th and the phone itself won’t be available until November 3rd. Don’t even get started on pricing; prices start at $999 before taxes and storage choices.  So, whichever phone you choose, remember, nothing is cheap.

National Coffee Day: So Here’s Some Health Benefits Coffee Gives You

Sept. 28th was National Coffee Day in the United States which meant it was the perfect day to get that cup-of-joe. However, there are health benefits that should give you more reasons to pick up that cup more often.

Coffee can be more than a drink; photo from http://metronomecoffee.com/
Coffee can be more than a drink; photo from http://metronomecoffee.com/

Besides waking you up… Coffee actually makes you smarter because of a stimulant called caffeine which most people associate with energy but actually blocks a neurotransmitter in your brain. When this happens, the other neurotransmitters like dopamine increase to make up for the lost one. This in return improves your memory, mood, awareness, energy levels, general functions and your reaction times.

Got to lose some weight… Drink some coffee. Once again the important ingredient here…is caffeine. Studies have shown that caffeine can boost your metabolism but will decrease it over time if you drink coffee constantly. Also, not everyone’s metabolism will be boosted, so base it on your dietary needs.

Happiness in a Cup-Of-Joe… Coffee can help you fight depression. A 2011 study by Harvard University found women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee a day are 20% less likely to have depression, and the drink also reduces the risk of suicide. Once again, not everyone will feel this effect and if you are battling depression, you should contact the counseling services here at Radford University.

You might live longer… By drinking coffee daily, you have a lower risk of death over an 18-24 year period. Coffee will lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, strokes, and brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. All those diseases lowered by drinking a cup-of-joe – you might want to sign up, but wait a minute.

Photo from nationaldaycalendar.com/
Photo from nationaldaycalendar.com/

Coffee has been proven to do miracles for your body, but not everyone will experience the same things the subjects did. Exercising, eating a healthy diet, and drinking a cup of coffee will help you live for a long time.

 

 

The Results of an Unjust Justice System

On Saturday, September 16th, there was a peaceful protest over a judge’s acquittal of white police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with the first-degree murder of Anthony Lamar Smith, a young black man. In 2001, on December 20th, Officer Stockley shot Smith five times and killed him, claiming that Smith was chasing him. His partner attempted to arrest him for a drug deal and Stockley said he feared for his life because Smith had a silver revolver on him. However, the prosecutor believed the gun to be planted since it had Stockley’s DNA on it but no trace of Smith’s DNA. Officer Stockley was also recorded via body cam saying that he was going to kill Smith.

After the peaceful protest had officially ended, saying they would reconvene on Sunday, several protestors stayed behind and continued to protest. Police officers arrived and told the remaining protesters to go home, saying that their protest was unlawful. Things quickly turned violent and several windows of surrounding businesses were smashed and several arrests were made.

This is yet another result of the justice system failing and people are, quite clearly, sick of it. There was strong evidence that Officer Stockley was guilty but he got away with murder. So we have people protesting in the street, decrying this injustice, and even people who believe simple protests are not enough and feel the need to resort to violence. And if protests and words will not work, and more African Americans continued to get killed while their murderers go free, who can blame them for escalation? If the people we put our faith in to uphold the law and treat everyone equally fail to do so, then the people will inevitably and eventually take matters into their own hands. This is not to say people will start mobs and attack whoever they believe is guilty, but that the public can and will find a way to make sure people pay attention to injustice and do something about it. An entire group of people cannot be discriminated against and killed without that same group fighting back.

 

Featured Photo from Yahoo! News

More Trouble From Apple iPhone

The new Apple iPhone X – photo from Apple.com

Apple has just recently announced their latest and “greatest” iPhone, the iPhone X. Why they called it the iPhone X and not just the iPhone 10 (be consistent, at the very least) is the first and the least of many baffling decisions that the Apple Company has made with their newest product.

With the iPhone X, you do get their latest and most impressive technology, including a bigger screen with better resolution, improved camera functions, and the A11 bionic chip. You also get a price tag that is well over a thousand dollars. And in terms of function, you could get the same thing from the iPhone 8 for half the price (literally). The iPhone 8 has the same A11 bionic chip as the iPhone X does. So really all you are paying for is a prettier screen. Not to mention, with the glass screen extending all the way to the very edge of the iPhone X, and with the phone’s glass back, it is much easier to break or damage the screen. And with the Apple insurance plan jumping roughly seventy dollars, that’s even more money out of your pocket.

The iPhone X is also seeing the loss of the home button and thumbprint identification in favor of new finger swipes to navigate the device and face identification to unlock the phone. Needless to say, this is going to make using the phone much more difficult and it will require some practice and memorization to actually use (aren’t upgrades supposed to make things easier to use?). With the face ID software, there has already been a number of problems for people with darker skin (i.e. not white), which makes using the phone more difficult than it already is. There could also be issues if you try to unlock your phone in low lighting (a lot of people play on their phone in bed at night) or if you make any major changes to your appearance. What if you grow a beard or have to start wearing glasses or get a scar? And if it all does work properly, what if you get arrested and the police take your phone and simply use the face ID software to unlock it and look through it? You aren’t legally required to unlock your phone for the police and they aren’t allowed to look through your phone. There seem to be a number of issues and potential issues that go along with the iPhone X, including its price tag. Instead, you could get the cheaper, more reliable iPhone 8. Or switch over to a different type of phone entirely and leave Apple behind.