We were under the impression that technology was supposed to make our lives easier.
For the most part, that is true. We can usually reach people quickly with either an email or a text message. Grandparents in Arizona can now “facetime” with their grandkids in other parts of the country.
Smart-home technology is another example of this convenience. Some of us drive cars that allow us to dispatch a voice command to “Alexa” and have the lights turned on when we get home and the thermostat adjusted to make it comfortable when we arrive. At least, that’s what they tell us in television commercials.
Beginning tomorrow, life will seem a bit less convenient for some. Changes in the telephone dialing habits for those accustomed to punching in seven digits will now require adding the area code when trying to reach someone.
This is no big deal for those who rely on touching a contact name on their smartphone and the device does the rest. Chances are the contact information already includes the additional three digits that compose the area code.
For those less “adapted,” this change will be a pain. They will dial the number they know, only to be greeted by a message relating that their call cannot be completed.
The change will be introduced gradually, with calls still getting through initially. By October, the change to 10-digit-dialing will be mandatory and your call won’t be completed.
The solace those affected should appreciate is that this change is necessary to facilitate a suicide prevention “hotline,” much like the emergency 911 hotline. Next year, getting help for someone contemplating suicide or dealing with a mental health crisis will be as simple as dialing 988.
We are saying “thank you” to Tracey Rocco for responding to our column on watching sports on television.
Tracey writes: “For both MLB & NHL you can stream the (two) sports packages directly from their websites through a Roku device for television viewing.
“You pay approximately $275 total for both annual seasons. You can watch any game for all teams anywhere across the country several hours after it is completed. D-Backs are available one day after the live game.
“So now it costs much less to stream sports than cable or direct TV. And you can always fast forward through commercials, too, which is priceless.
“Nice feature of streaming these sports directly is you can choose the radio feed where they still actually call the game instead of yackety-yacking.”
Our column expressed frustration at the cost and availability of professional baseball. Thank you Tracey for offering a solution!
We noted Fred Miller’s comment on our Nabur forum regarding the return of bats to Southern Arizona. Though the season isn’t suppose to start until June, many local residents know these varmints have returned when their hummingbird feeders are completely empty on two consecutive nights.
He references a very cool citizen scientist website that tracks bat migration. Sign up if you’re interested at azgfd.com/wildlife/backyard-bats.
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