Tag Archives: cell phone

How much “Stuff” is in Your Phone??

Ever wonder what kind of stuff is in your phone?

An Amazing Variety! Out of the 90 or so (depending on how you define them) naturally occurring chemical elements, at least 29 of them go into the making of a smartphone, including some you’ve probably never heard of.

  1. Lithium. You’ve probably heard of this one, it’s what a lot of rechargeable batteries are made from. A metal that is highly reactive (drop it in water and it dissolves, liberating heat and hydrogen), which is why lithium batteries cannot be shipped by air.
  2. Carbon. The stuff of life. Also, in the form of graphite, part of the battery.
  3. Oxygen. Glass is silicon dioxide.
  4. Magnesium. A very light metal. If your phone has a metal case, it’s probably a magnesium alloy.
  5. Aluminum. Could be part of the case. Also the glass is an aluminum oxide – silicate.
  6. Silicon. Major component of the actual chips, also major component in glass.
  7. Phosphorus. Minor component of the chips.
  8. Potassium. Strengthens the glass.
  9. Cobalt. Part of the battery.
  10. Nickel. Used in the microphone.
  11. Copper. Wires and the circuit board.
  12. Gallium. An important metal in semiconductors, especially LEDs.
  13. Arsenic. Used in LEDs and other semiconductors.
  14. bromine. Used to make plastics fire-resistant.
  15. Yttrium. Heard of this one? This element and others like it are used in the screen for their glowing colors.
  16. Silver. Used for some wiring.
  17. Indium. Along with tin, used in the touch screen. Indium tin oxide is transparent yet conducts electricity like a metal.
  18. Tin. Used in the solder holding the circuitry together..
  19. Antimony. Used in the chips.
  20. Lanthanum. Used in the color screen.
  21. Praseodymium. Another you’ve probably never heard of. Used in the screen.
  22. Neodymium. Maybe you’ve heard of this one – used in magnets. The vibrator is a tiny motor using neodymium magnets.
  23. Europium. Yes, it’s named after Europe. Used in the screen.
  24. Gadolinium. Used in the screen.
  25. Terbium. Used in the screen.
  26. Dysprosium. (Means, “Hard to get.”) Used in the screen.
  27. Tantalum. Makes some of the finest capacitors. Supply may be at risk; comes mostly from “conflict” countries.
  28. Gold. Used for connectors since it never corrodes.
  29. Lead. Used in solder.

Wow! God’s “building blocks” used in ways not even dreamed of a few years ago.


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Who Invented That??

Pop quiz: Where were all these things invented?

  1. The first microprocessor, the 8088
  2. The Pentium and Celeron computer processors
  3. Anti-Virus software
  4. Code that enables sending email
  5. Mobile Phones
  6. Texting (SMS)
  7. Voicemail
  8. USB Flash drives
  9. The Super Iron Battery, which may be in your (next) electric car
  10. Transparent solar panels (“Solar Windows”)
  11. Drip irrigation
  12. Cherry Tomatoes
  13. Sodastream (A machine to make soda at home)
  14. The Pillcam (swallow-able colonoscopy device)
  15. Heart stents
  16. Radiation-free X-ray technology
  17. The Epilator hair-removal device
  18. A new technology for divers that extracts air from the water

Impressive list, huh? Without these inventions, the world would be a much different place, probably a worse one.

If you said, “The United States”, good guess, but no. The answer is Israel, the tiny, much-maligned country that has more research and development, and more Nobel Prizes per capita, than any other country on earth.

How could this be? In a country that didn’t even exist 70 years ago?? It might have something to do with Israeli philosophy. Classical rabbinical literature created the Hebrew phrase “Tikkun olam” (literally, “world repair”). The Israelis seem to have not only realized that the World is broken, but decided to do what they could to repair it.

The innovations in the above list are only a few of the things Israel has done to make the world a better place. They are often first on the scene of major disasters, bringing state-of-the-art mobile hospitals, food, and anything else needed. The list of medical advances is lengthy; Treatments for cancer, Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, epilepsy, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and on and on. 

Their cows produce more milk. Their bees produce more honey.

They rank as the fifth happiest nation on Earth, maybe because they care so much about their fellow man.

On the other hand, it just might be a God thing…

Want to boycott Israel? You might want to read this first:





Israeli flag

For even more empowering technology info, read my new book, “Deciphering the 21st Century,” Available now!

Click here to read all about it.

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What’s the REAL price?

Ever wonder why your phone plan is advertised as “$29.99/month,” but it’s always over $40? Phone bills (even landlines) have so many hidden charges, it’s enough to make your head spin. You might expect to pay State, City, and Federal Excise tax, but here are some others you might find:

  • State excise tax
  • Universal service charge
  • 911 charge
  • LNP (Local Number Portability) charge
  • TRS (Telecommunications Relay Service) charge
  • Single Bill Fee
  • Detailed Billing fee
  • Access charge
  • Intercontinental Ballistic IntraLATA Surcharge

Okay, I made that last one up, but seriously, this is ridiculous! And those are only the charges you can’t get out of, that add anywhere from 17% to 25% to your phone bill. Reminds me of a TV commercial where the husband comes in with a package in the mail the size of the L.A. phone directory, drops it on the kitchen table with a resounding thud, and says, “It’s the phone bill!”

Arizona ranks 17th in high wireless bill taxes with a State and local rate of 11.98% and a Federal rate of 6.46% (Same in all 50 states) for a combined rate of 18.44%, so we are above the median as far as taxes go.

Why can’t they fold all those fees into the advertised price and avoid the sticker shock? Well… Because then they wouldn’t be able to advertise “$29.99*” in great big numbers and then under the “*” they say (in tiny letters) “Plus applicable taxes, fees, and whatever else we can gouge out of you!” This is also true of many other businesses, such as hotels, airlines, and online ticket sales. One company even tried an all-inclusive “Out the door” price model on it’s website… and lost business to their competitors advertising a lower price, even though their final price was higher. Moral of the story? Sadly, you can’t play an honest game if everyone else is cheating.

People are starting to get really sick of this manipulation, though. That’s one of the many reasons cellphone customers are switching to prepaid service in droves. With prepaid, you buy a month’s worth of service ahead of time, typically for around $40-$45 for most carriers, and the only thing else you pay is sales tax. Granted, the hassle factor is slightly higher because you have to be proactive in making sure your service continues, but look at all the advantages:

  • No contracts!
  • No credit check, in fact, no credit needed because you pay for the service before you use it.
  • No hidden fees, and no surprises. If you need to pay more for some service, you’ll know about it beforehand.
  • You own your phone.
  • No sitting down with someone who wants to sell you lots of additional services.
  • No hour of wasted time reading and signing those contracts.
  • Depending on your needs, often lower monthly charges.

There are a few disadvantages, as well:

  • You may have to pay a lot for your phone, especially if you want the latest iPhone or similar.
  • Your selection of available phones may be smaller, or different.
  • If you run out of money, the grace periods are short, and you’ve got no phone service until you pay again.
  • If you let the service lapse past the grace period, you lose your phone number.

Still, if you stay on top of your finances, prepaid is a very good alternative for many folks. Here’s an idea: Join the revolution and demand a simple quote of the real price! Patronize those businesses that actually tell you how much something costs.

More info: