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By Linda Ireland, Landmark News Service
The first time I saw one of those strange little QR codes in an advertisement, I thought it was a mistake. It looked like a graphic artist had mangled a photo or barcode.
Quick Response codes have been around since the mid-1990s but their popularity has increased since the introduction of "smartphones."
They've even been showing up in ads in the newspaper.
The two-dimensional codes enable smartphones such as iPhones or Blackberrys with scanning applications to visit websites or view photos and video that may accompany a story. The information is available almost instantly after the code is scanned.
Smartphones can do all kinds of cool things. Candis Carpenter, our staff writer, depends on hers for various functions - checking email, checking prices of items and even a flashlight. She's learning a lot about QR codes, too.
Me, not so much.
My phone is a phone. It has the capability of texting - but I don't text and don't pay for the service. It has a camera, but it's not a real camera in my opinion, so I use a real camera to take pictures. It has Internet capabilities, but well, you know. ...
I can't even see most of the function keys.
I use my phone to call people. Period. Sometimes they call me. Works out great.
I don't get pulled over by the cops for texting while driving. I don't annoy people in the checkout line by Tweeting instead of putting my items on the counter.
Experts say that in the future, everyone will have a smartphone. I hope they are wrong.
In fact, my old phone is a bit too high-tech for me. I'd like to downsize, both in technology and monthly fees.
I'm interested in a nifty little red phone called a Jitterbug I've seen advertised on TV and in magazines. It has big buttons and a loud speaker. No contract. I like that.
Here's hoping that companies will continue to provide low-tech or even no-tech phones for those of us who just want to make a call.
Editor's note: Linda Ireland is the editor of The LaRue County News-Herald in Hodgenville.