To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Hong Kong

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Our phone plan expired recently and our service provider put my wife and I on a Monthly Rate. So we go in to renew and get a deal, and end up walking out on plans costing approx 3x what we were on - go figure!!. OK so we get unlimed data, the speed is faster, and we each get a new Samsung phone thrown in!! There were two consequences:

New Phones

Migration of contacts, apps, ringtones , wallpapers bookmarks, files etc and general set up were a pain in the arse!!. Whilst my wife just bluetooth'd everything and kitchen sink across, I sync'd old phone to a PC and then cherry picked what I wanted migrated. FYI I don't hold with backing up to the "cloud". It's bad enough that Google keep a data about your phone , contacts and every Google product you use which is frighteningly comprehensive (more on this later).

I researched the optimal configuration for power saving (turned off vibrations, GSP, autosynch and any other unnecessary background job, turned down sound , brightness, and black screened except for lock screen.) and cleaned up my contact list to the point I can actually remember numbers so I dont need a list - Tough on apps that want access :). I set security etc (I put different antivirus solutions on both phones). My biggest issue was mastering a later version of android pre-configured by Samsung with different apps (most of which I am going to take off). Particular challenging was resetting input methods etc for English and clearing out the marketing messages (in Chinese). Now I need to master the camera functions and read the manual (which I downloaded)

Old Phones

So we have 2 spare phones. 6 year old son promptly appropriates wife's to listen to his favourite videos which she had saved on her phone. She is then horrified to discover that he knows how to access youtube on her phone and therefore could be exposed to violence and porn (I am horrified to find that she didn't disenable wifi before giving it to him- fortunately easily fixed) Talking to my son I discover that he wants first dibbs on any of our technology cast offs, eg phones, tablets, audio, computers etc . I would offer him an old iPOD but I don't want him to damage his ears. I suggest to the wife getting him a Kindle (he reads a lot) but I am told he has to read real books and no tablet will be allowed till he is nine. I think this may be up for discussion Christmas. Actually in a couple of years he may be a candidate for a windows smart watch if the price is right (I may object to Big Brother tracking me but I am OK with me tracking my son)

On a more practical level we have 2 phones to decommission/sanitise. In fact I may go the whole hog , quit the reservation, "hit the mattresses" and go underground by installing CyanogenMod or OmniRom with Orbot and/or HideninjaVPN

It goes without saying that I would get some anonymous PAYG SIMS. Oh wait .... that won't work... somewhere on some database there will be a record linking me to my phone through either its IMEI Number (It's actually captured by Google and apparently can be captured by service providers using USSD calls) or through it's MAC address(I don't know how to mask a smartphone MAC address .. Bummer ... if I really want to go feral I had best best to stick with a second hand phones paid for in cash bought somewhere where the is no CCTV. I can always amuse myself by looking for naked selfies left by previous owner !!! (And if I were to use PAYG SIM cards I would use one from another jurisdiction not from a HK provider)

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