To tweet or not to tweet: that is the question. The answer is what follows.
OK, so that might not be an example of a perfect tweet, but it is at least fairly descriptive and well within the textual limit at 75 characters. With Twitter becoming ever more popular, there's an increasing chance for people to misuse the site. I'm here to help prevent that from happening.
First of all, let's not forget what Twitter is meant for in the first place: short (140 characters or fewer) personal or professional updates of an informative or entertaining nature. … Read more
Mere weeks after the Guitar Hero series finally made its way onto the iPhone, UltimateGuitar.com has a fresh competitor for the popular rhythm game. The guitar enthusiast Web site just launched Slash Arcade Rocker, and as the name suggests, the game requires a love for Slash and his music.
As a fan of pretty much any rhythm game on any in-house video game system, I jumped at the chance to try out Slash Arcade Rocker slightly ahead of schedule. Although I haven't had any hands-on time with Guitar Hero for the iPhone, I can say based on the … Read more
As did Simplify Music (an iPhone app,) Music WithMe's dual-part system has a desktop component for Windows computers that scans your iTunes library, as well a BlackBerry app from which you can pick the songs to play.
Unfortunately, Music WithMe didn't pan out as … Read more
E-mail. Inarguably, it's one of the most important technological innovations of our time. Love it or hate it, the majority of us can't do without it either professionally or personally--or both. Fielding and composing e-mail takes up an ungodly amount of my time, so I have a deep appreciation for the many intricacies and annoyances that can go along with it. What follows is a handful of guidelines that are meant to make e-mail a little less exasperating.
We all deal with an overabundance of useless e-mail in our in-boxes, so above everything else, DON'T be a spammer. There's no need to forward every little cutesie e-mail you get to every person on your contact list. If you happen across a particularly funny joke or compelling picture that you know a specific individual will enjoy, by all means add a little enjoyment to his or her day by sharing it. However, DO delete chain mail immediately--you'll be doing all of us a favor by keeping it out of circulation.
Also, DO remember that BCC is your friend and use it where appropriate. Be aware that when you're organizing plans for or disseminating information to a large group of people, there's generally no need for any of those individuals to reply to anyone but you. This should be an obvious guideline when it comes to professional communications that are not intended to inspire a discussion among the various recipients--press and marketing e-mails, for example--but it's also a nice courtesy for your friends and family in many cases. Not only does BCC keep recipients' e-mail addresses private, but it prevents them from receiving unwanted messages in response to the initial one.… Read more
Awhile back, a package arrived at my desk containing two unassuming little boxes that contained what I presumed on first glance were brushed-metal paperweights. I set them aside to attend to more pressing matters and didn't give them much thought until I was sorting through some drawers a couple weeks ago and one finally made its way out of its compact packaging and onto my desk. I then promptly kicked myself for not using the OXO Good Grips Cord Catch from the moment it arrived.
The Cord Catch is an exceedingly simple device--actually, it is quite similar to a … Read more
Apple's iOS4 is spreading out to iPhone and iPod Touch owners today. Upgrading the firmware on your iPhone or iPod may be old hat for some of you, but if this is your first time around, here's the iOS 4 upgrade process in five easy steps.
The iOS 4 upgrade is free for both iPhone and iPod Touch, but excludes first-gen models.
As a social butterfly, I have a love-hate relationship with cell phones. I haven't had a landline in more than six years, so I really can't live without my mobile--it's an essential tool for getting in touch with friends and making plans (and I honestly can't imagine life without Google Maps in my palm). However, I also feel a sickening dependence on the thing, and I am utterly annoyed by the behaviors it inspires out in public. To that end, I put together the following guidelines in the hopes that it will help some people remember … Read more
Or to the ear, to be more specific. Any takers? What if I pay you $100 you pay me $250? Actually, Munitio, maker of the Teknines Nine Millimeter Earphones, is really hoping you'd be willing to pay it that chunk of change for the privilege of sporting the ridiculous copper alloy 'buds. And in case it wasn't already abundantly clear: yes, they are modeled after bullets, and yes, they really do cost $250. But, hey, at least they're gold-plated, and the cable is coated in Kevlar, right?
OK, that last part is pretty sweet, actually. With the … Read more
Microsoft's Zune music service is finally on its way to the Xbox 360. Announced today at E3 2010, a catalog of 7 million Zune Marketplace songs will be available for streaming on the Xbox 360 later this year, complementing existing Zune movie, TV, and music video content.
As shown during the E3 210 on-stage demo, Zune content will be compatible with the new hands-free Kinect accessory (formally known as project Natal), allowing users to navigate menus and control playback using their hands, as well as voice commands. The Kinect is not required, though, as users can still use the … Read more
Allow me for a moment to flatter myself into believing that you noticed the glaring absence of this column last week so that I might have a reason to regale you with my tales of travel in Southeast Asia. OK, I'm not really going to do that, but I will say that the trip solidified my already deeply entrenched tech travel tendencies. The reason for this is twofold.
First, I only had about nine days to scream through three countries, which necessitated countless hours spent in airports and on airplanes. Second, I was flying standby on two major flights, which again required an undue amount of time in airports. (By the way, if you ever have to spend 40 hours in an airport, Changi, in Singapore, is a surprisingly enjoyable place to do it.) Vacationing is my forte, so rest assured you can take the following advice with confidence.
When I'm traveling, my first priority is to pack light--especially with the checked bag fees implemented by many domestic carriers these days. With that in mind, DON'T bring your laptop on vacation. If you take trips frequently, a Netbook is a solid investment for as little as $300. The iPad is also a fantastic travel-friendly option if you can afford it, and either gadget will suffice to keep you entertained or even let you get a little work done.
Even better, DO bring the most multifunctional gadget that you can. For example, the iPhone is not only an international phone but also a Web browser, camera, and gaming device.
In particular, I've become a proponent of ditching my Digital Elph in favor of using the camera in my Samsung Behold II, though for anyone else, I'd recommend the HTC HD2 instead. It might be clunky as a phone, but as an all-in-one device with a 5-megapixel camera, an easy-to-use Web browser, and plenty of entertainment extras such as Blockbuster On Demand, it's a great option for frequent fliers.
Of course, all of this is great in theory, but if you don't want to go out and buy all new gear, it may not work in practice. I for one was "forced" to travel with my Netbook (for video and Web), my Walkman (for music), my iPod Touch (for games), and my phone. And all the cables that go with them, which is why I cannot emphasize this next point enough: DO purchase a small compartmentalized bag for transporting cables and chargers. This 12-in-1 USB Travel Easy Cable Bag even includes pretty much any connection you could want on the go, and if you purchase just one USB wall adapter, you're set to charge nearly every device.… Read more