Articles about Digital Lifestyle

My Apple iPad Pro adventure begins [first in a series]

iPad Pro

The first thing you notice about iPad Pro is the size. The tablet is ginormous. Its 12.9-inch screen lays before you like a chalk slate -- a blank canvas demanding typed text or drawings made with Apple Pencil. Yet something also feels wrong about the thing. During the so-called Steve Jobs era, refined designs were smaller -- like iPod nano. Apple is no stranger to larger; 27-inch iMac today or 17-inch MacBook Pro of yesteryear are examples. Perhaps. But there's big, and BIG.

The giant tablet arrived around 2:50 p.m. PST on Groundhog Day 2016, marking a bold computing adventure for February: Using iPad Pro as my primary PC, and hopefully only one. Perhaps you read my recent obituary to Apple love lost and might wonder why buy anything Apple? I like to experiment and am paid to try out new things (so you won't have to). By sheer size, PC replacement -- not companion -- is the only sensible use for iPad Pro. Can it meet the demands? I want to find out.

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Use smartphones to vote for president

Smartphone Vote

Over the weekend, my 94 year-old father-in-law asked what I would do to assure that every American who could vote would do so. That was an unexpected question, but one I addressed gingerly. This post is my answer restated for a public venue.

Simple answer: Smartphone. According to PewResearchCenter, nearly 70 percent of Americans own one of the devices, but the number among voting age adults tops 80 percent, according to other estimates. Surely a program could be in place by the 2020 Presidential race, and if lawmakers were truly serious about universal suffrage, a Manhattan-like project could make it happen by the next Mid-terms.

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How technology is ruining your mind

Crazy woman

Do you find that you don't remember facts any more because you know you can easily look them up online? Or does using phones and gadgets late at night make it harder for you to sleep?

According to an infographic from London-based support specialist Conosco these are just some of the ways in which technology is harmful to our minds.

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My favorite tech items of 2015 [Wayne]

2015 cloud

I’m looking forward to next year when, hopefully, I’ll finally be able to get my hands on the Oculus Rift which is expected to start shipping to consumers in Q1 2016. Pre-orders were supposed to start this year, but that’s clearly not going to happen now. Still I’ve waited long enough to get my VR fix, what’s a few more weeks/months?

While I didn’t get a Rift to play with this year, plenty of new technology did make its way through my hands and into my life. Here are some of the standout pieces of tech I'd definitely recommend you check out.

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The Internet of Things is becoming part of consumer's daily lives

Internet of things

According to the latest Digital Trends Report from Adobe Digital Index (ADI) the Internet of Things is gaining a foothold in more and more people's lives.

The report is based on 22 billion visits to branded websites and over 20 million social engagements across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites. Also included in the report is survey data based on 400 US consumers who own either a smartphone or tablet.

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Pixel C arrives at Google Store

Pixel C

Today, Google started selling its first homegrown tablet, Pixel C. You can buy one directly from the company—until they sell out! Google typically struggles stocking new devices, like Nexus smartphones and the Chromebook Pixel. On November 30th, I asked: "Where is Pixel C?", which was promised to arrive before the holidays. Now we know.

I hope to have the 10.2-inch tablet in possession within a few days and will subsequently post first-impression and full reviews. If you can't wait for that, and shouldn't, larger tech news sites already have their takes online. Search for the name, and you will find them. Don't wait on me, if you're thinking about one for Christmas!

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How effective are parental controls for your child's safety?

children tablets

Children are figuring out how to use the internet at a much younger age than in the past. Kids 1 or 2 years old are exposed to computer devices to help distract them. They quickly learn how to press the right buttons on smartphones, tablets and other devices. It is great that kids are learning to use technology at such a young age, but it also can create nightmares for the adults.

The internet is full of information and entertainment for people of all ages, but not everything found on the internet is appropriate for young children. It is up to the parents to make sure that the kids are not exposed to things they are not prepared to handle or that could put them into a dangerous situation. Parents need to find ways to protect their children when they are not around to monitor it themselves.

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Do dropped phones really always land screen side down?

Cracked phone

It always seems to be the case that if you drop your phone it lands screen side down and gets cracked.

A survey by Motorola suggests that one in three of us in the UK is using a smartphone with a cracked screen so this would seem to be true, but can it be proved scientifically?

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Laptop Buying Guide: What NOT To Do

woman frustrated frustration angry argh laptop notebook

Shopping for a new laptop can be fun and exciting, but the wide array of mobile PCs to choose from, along with the assortment of screen sizes and task-specific features, can make the process rather confusing.

To avoid winding up with a laptop that costs too much, weighs too much, and does too little, be sure to consider your options ahead of time. Here are five suggestions.

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Almost a third of consumers feel unsafe shopping on mobile apps

Mobile fear

The use of mobile devices for shopping is increasingly becoming the norm. But, as we approach the year's peak shopping season, a new survey reveals that many consumers are worried about shopping with their mobile devices and providing credit card information to mobile apps.

The study from Blancco Technology Group of more than 1,400 consumers in the United States, Canada, UK and Australia, finds that 28 percent of consumers feel completely unsafe shopping from a mobile device, while two out of 10 are hesitant to link credit cards to mobile apps.

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The future of mobile messaging in connecting with customers [Q&A]

Happy mobile user

In the past few years mobile has become the preferred communication channel as consumers demand fast, easy access to information.

But how will mobile develop in future? Can we expect to see more apps, a switch towards mobile friendly websites, or even a move back towards SMS as the preferred tool of business-to-consumer (B2C) communication? To find out we spoke to Steve French, VP of Global Product Management and Marketing at mobile messaging provider, OpenMarket, a division of Amdocs.

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Want higher pay? Get some DevOps skills


DevOps skills are increasingly sought after and as a result salaries for DevOps engineers are higher than for other IT job titles according to new research.

IT automation software provider PuppetLabs has released its 2015 DevOps Salary Report based on data gathered from its 2015 State of DevOps Report.

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IT pros welcome the rise of their new machine overlords

Machine intelligence

Until recently the idea of machines and computers taking over from humans has been the stuff of sci-fi. But recent developments in automation have brought the reality of a machine takeover of many tasks much closer.

New research from smart automation specialist arago reveals that, amongst IT workers at least, more automation leads to greater job satisfaction. 85 percent not only welcome smart automation, but also identify concrete benefits from it.

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How reviews can help online retailers can stand out in the crowd [Q&A]

customer service online review

As we approach Cyber Monday, Black Friday and the holiday season, online retailers are keen to make the most of the opportunity to boost their business.

But what can they do to make themselves stand out? Reviews from customers are a crucial part of the process. We spoke to Jonathan Hinz, director of strategic partnerships and business development at online review community Trustpilot to find out how companies can use them to their advantage.

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Are ad-blockers killing marketing efforts?

no ads ad block

Ad-blocking on both desktop and mobile devices is becoming more and more common. But does this mean advertisers are increasingly wasting their time?

A new survey of over 500 consumers by consumer intelligence and predictive marketing company Boxever reveals that 70 percent of consumers surveyed say they're likely or extremely likely to use ad-blocking apps, and another 15 percent said they'd consider it.

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