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How an Aging Sprint Device Can Reduce Your Android Phone Bill
January 8, 2014
In case you hadn't noticed while wandering the aisles of your local consumer electronics big-box retailer, there is an explosion of mobile virtual network operators hitting the marketplace. MVNOs are telcos that buy capacity from major operators like T-Mobile or AT&T, for example, and sell it on to you. Walmart and América Móvil's Straight Talk calling product is an example.
How to Keep Your Devices Juiced Up on the Road
December 19, 2013
You can almost date a hotel room's last remodel by the number and location of jacks. In the old days, you'd be lucky to find a usable power outlet -- one that wasn't taken up with lamps or TV. Plug-in phone jacks were nonexistent. We then went to bedside phone jacks and later to desktop phone jacks and on to Ethernet jacks for supposed broadband; eventually, we went over to WiFi, with no jacks.
How to Set Up Email on a New Android Phone
December 18, 2013
Setting up a brand-new phone can involve numerous aggravations, but if you don't rely on one of the majors like Yahoo and Gmail for email, one of the worst is surely the manual email server configuration. If you use a customized domain name, your Android device's email client is likely to need this extra step. This could become an even more prevalent problem with the January U.S. launch of the Moto G smartphone.
How to Use Twitter's New Crisis Alerts
December 12, 2013
Local government emergency managers have been trying for years to figure out ways to alert members of the public about crises and incidents, like natural disasters, that could affect them. Limited success has been achieved with auto-dialer implementation, which is dependent on phone lines' capacity. Twitter thinks it may have the best answer, though.
How to Encrypt Your Email
December 5, 2013
Some years ago, an antinuclear activist named Phil Zimmermann created a data encryption program for computers. He designed a key-generation and encryption-and-decryption system called "PGP," or Pretty Good Privacy, for the bulletin board systems that were the precursors to forums, email and the Web. This algorithmic scrambling of information has played an important part in the growth of the Internet.
How to Manage Your Android Device From Your PC
December 4, 2013
Despite the ever-increasing sizes of mobile-device screens -- many smartphones are now close to or even more than 5 inches -- it's still a pokey and fiddly affair to configure them -- or even look at them, for that matter. Stabbing around those minuscule on-screen keyboards can be a tedious affair. However, there are PC-based solutions out there.
Build Your Own Simple Linux Banking Tool
December 3, 2013
The Linux OS lacks an effective yet simple checking and banking tool. There are money-management tools for Linux users, of course, but most full-fledged offerings are overkill for monitoring spending patterns and balancing financial accounts. In general, Linux financial applications are either too complex to use without an accounting degree or too simple to be truly useful.
How to Make Windows 8 Look Like Win 7 on Your PC
November 21, 2013
Windows 8's blah reception from many computer users may have been due at least in part to a peculiar trait that we humans have, and that's our obsession with improvement. Improving our lot has been a fixation throughout virtually all of human history, so it shouldn't come as any great surprise that Microsoft couldn't help itself when it became time to update its OS.
How to Protect Your Android Device from Malware
November 20, 2013
If you're in the majority of Android users, your smartphone or tablet isn't protected from malware attacks. In fact, Jupiter Research reckons that a full 80 percent of smartphones are unprotected. Why is that a problem? The answer is that even if your smartphone hasn't been affected so far, it likely will be, and that's because of the vast sums of money motivating criminals.
How to Refresh a Twitter Feed Automatically
November 14, 2013
One of the great things about Twitter is the ability to keep abreast of what's happening. Whether it's local news, influential tweeters or buddies, you can quickly get a snapshot of what's going on that matters to you. I've written before about how to get breaking news on Twitter, but the approach I discussed there requires the user's intervention.
How to Use Social Media Dashboards
November 7, 2013
Social media are becoming an ever-increasing part of marketing. If you've been finding one-user, consumer-oriented clients for Twitter and Facebook cumbersome for your business, it may well be time to move over to a social media management tool like Hootsuite. These kinds of tools allow you to manage more than one social network; schedule posts like messages and tweets; and more.
How to Back Up Data on Your Android Smartphone
November 6, 2013
We all back up our PCs, right? Okay, well, we should back up our PCs, right? Well, smartphones and tablets have become so ubiquitous that we need to back them up now too. It's time. Important photos, videos, contacts and music are now strewn across small, easy-to-lose, easy-to-break, highly pilferable devices. Fail to back up this stuff at your peril.
How to Prepare for a Power Outage
October 31, 2013
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross and local governments can all provide copious documentation on ways to prepare for weather and other disasters, but it's often geared towards perishable food and single-family homeowners in the 'burbs -- not information-hungry urban dwellers. Typically omitted are some very simple tricks that you can put into play now.
How to Get Online Away From Home or Work
October 25, 2013
Ever since the days of the fax machine and clamshell PC, I've delighted in the concept of working away from home or office. I have fond memories of lugging those clunkers in and out of motel rooms through bone-chilling blizzards and driving rain from the back of my car -- adding to the carry-load, certainly, but bringing freedom.
How to Tease the Best Photos Out of Your Android Phone
October 23, 2013
Recently I wrote about some of the best ways to take, keep and share photographs with an Android smartphone. We looked at some physical aspects, like how to hold the phone, and how to zoom. This week, we're looking at some of the tweaks you can make to squeeze out the best shots. First, build an arsenal of apps. For an investment of a few dollars, you can up your game.
How to Get Rid of Bloatware on Your Phone or PC
October 16, 2013
You know all those free programs that typically come on PCs and mobile devices whether you want them or not? Common examples include paid antivirus programs within the PC environment and phone company add-ons like music stores within Android. Often called "bloatware," they are usually manufacturer- or carrier-sanctioned stripped down come-ons designed to get you to buy a subscription or upgrade.
How to Dye the Back Cover of Your Phone or Tablet
October 10, 2013
Early upgrade plans are tips of the hat to phone-as-fashion-statement. Who wants a graying two-year-old phone? Such plans do come at a cost, however. What if you don't actually need a new phone and the innards and battery are still good? If you're not a hard-core phone geek, aren't they all just about the same?
How to Take, Keep and Share Great Android Smartphone Photos
October 9, 2013
It's not all photo apps and more apps when it comes to taking photographs with an Android smartphone -- there are some basics that you need to know, unique to smartphones, that have nothing to do with imaging apps. If you're finding that you're migrating from a dedicated digital camera and taking more photographs with your phone but are disappointed with the results, here are some pointers.
How to Avoid Excessive Phone Charges When Traveling in Europe
October 3, 2013
If you've been stung by roaming charges in the past when using a U.S. cellphone abroad and you've recently heard about new, supposedly fair roaming caps in Europe, beware: It's not what it seems. As of July 2013, European-carrier SIM card roaming rates are capped in Europe at 0.45 euros, or about $0.60, per megabyte for data and 0.24 euros, or about $0.32, for one minute of voice.
How to Boost Your Home WiFi With Multiple Repeaters and Access Points
September 26, 2013
With a 3 GB bucket of wireless data from your cellphone company often costing more than $50, it makes sense to take advantage of the often unlimited or at least generous nature of a cheap, wired home Internet connection when you can. Netflix reckons that its movie and TV streaming service, using its Best Quality setting in High Definition, uses up to 4.7 GB of data an hour.
How to Tease Top Performance Out of Your Windows Laptop
September 19, 2013
If you're noticing that your Windows laptop runs slower and crankier the older it gets -- I'm talking about your laptop here, not you or me -- it's probably because it needs a bit of maintenance. Some tender loving care will take care of most old-laptop lethargy in much the same way a routine service visit can extend the life of your car and let it operate with more vroom.
How to Make Your PC Restart Automatically After a Power Outage
September 12, 2013
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season is quietly underway. Gear is available, however, that can help mitigate potential office disruption as weather ramps up. Uninterruptible power supplies are sophisticated battery-containing devices that supply backup power to desktop PCs during grid electricity outages, like in storms. You can pick up a UPS at office supply retailers, among other places.
How to Repair a Broken Screen on a Tablet or Phone
September 5, 2013
Breaking the screen on your mobile device doesn't have to mean a brand new, expensive bit of kit. It's actually quite easy, and cheap, to replace the glass once you get the hang of it. A tablet touchscreen can cost about $50 if you perform the work. I've replaced a few touchscreens on my roughly handled devices and found that tablet and phone construction both rely on the same basic concepts.
How to Survey a Home for Internet Interference
August 29, 2013
The WiFi network you have in your home distributes Internet bandwidth using radio signals. It's the same technology that FM radio, smartphones and television rabbit-ears use -- and it's susceptible to the same kind of problems, like interference, penetration and range. If you're having Internet bandwidth problems at home -- buffering on YouTube, say -- there are simple ways to improve performance.
How to Use a Windows PC as an Internet Hotspot
August 19, 2013
If you're like many, you're sprouting portable devices. Tablets, e-readers and phones are taking over our pockets and bags; add mobile games consoles and phoneless iPod touches for the kids, and that's a lot of Internet connections to maintain when out and about. It's a gaggle of device connections that's hard to sustain because each one needs configuring onto a hotspot.
How to Get Windows 8.1 on Your PC Now
August 1, 2013
It's no secret that Windows 8 has met with only a lukewarm reception, but life in the tech world moves quickly, and now Windows 8.1 is on the way. If you've installed Windows 8, it's worth downloading the recently released free preview version of Windows 8.1. By doing so, you will be able to take advantage of the updated OS's personalization and services improvements.
How to Manage Email and Stop It From Overwhelming You
July 25, 2013
Email has been around since before the Internet, but while the email technology itself hasn't changed much since the 1970s, the volume of it has. Some people, in fact, receive hundreds of messages a day. That's a threat to a human's ability to process information. There are, however, ways to manage email. Here's how to go about it. Shut down your in-box if you find emails are distracting you.
How to Reduce Your Cellphone Bill by Jumping Ship and Going Contract-Free
July 18, 2013
You may be surprised by how much money you can save by moving your wireless plan over to a no-contract Mobile Virtual Network Operator, called an "MVNO." It's particularly worth exploring the possibility if you're an occasional user; travel overseas for long periods; use an unlocked phone anyway; or own a high-end, paid-for smartphone in good condition.
How to Set Up a Microwave Internet Link Over Distance
July 11, 2013
Around this time of year some buddies and I usually pack up a bunch of our brick-like ham radios, a few unwieldy 30-foot masts, a helium balloon antenna and some pop-up shade shelters and lug it all over to a local mountaintop near our suburban Los Angeles homes. We traipse up the baked hillside with this gear each year to perform a nonstop radio experiment that lasts over a weekend.
How to Save Files to the Cloud
June 27, 2013
Personal file storage on a computer used to involve a PC-based hierarchical folder system that was maintained on local, PC-based hard drives. Today we are embracing the cloud, which allows for redundancy, remote access, remote backup and the use of convenient input/output mobile devices like phones with limited storage but outstanding portability.
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Salesforce Industries Summit
When considering a new smartwatch, which feature set is most important to you?
Alerts and Notifications
Calls and Messaging
Clock and Time Tracking
Contactless Payments and Banking
Design and Personalization
GPS and Maps
Health and Fitness
Music and Video
Forrester names NICE inContact CXone a leader in cloud contact center software
Forrester names NICE inContact CXone a leader in cloud contact center software