Articles about Digital Lifestyle

IT workers suffer the summertime blues

Unhappy laptop user on beach

During the summer months, many organizations see a significant expansion in the number of remote workers, which can make the job of network managers or system admins more difficult.

Software company Ipswitch recently polled 239 IT professionals in the United States to identify the issues that most affect them over the summer.

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Millennials just want to have human contact

confusedpw

Despite being thought of as the generation that organizes pretty much everything in their lives through social media, new research from call center specialist Mattersight reveals that when it comes to service issues millennials prefer to speak to a human being.

Only one percent of millennials want to use social media to contact a brand when they have a product question or problem. Of those surveyed, 76 percent say they prefer to call (56 percent) or email (25 percent) brands for customer service issues.

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I hate autocorrect

oops

I must apologize to Art Alexakis, lead singer for Everclear. In a personal post last night observing his role as a tattoo artist in movie "Wild", his name is misspelled. Funny thing, so to get it right, I copied and pasted from the web into the WordPress editor. Yet somehow when published, and I missed, his name appeared as Alexis. My thanks goes to Scott Bell, who pointed out the error in a Google+ comment.

It's strange how tech meant to be beneficial gets in the way. More mistakes appear in my stories because of autocorrect than I make myself. The pattern is consistent: I will write, nix autocorrect's changed misspelling, but later edit something else in the sentence. Word changes! As a long-time writer and editor, I revise constantly until publishing—and afterwards, too. The spelling errors I miss most often typically are the ones made for me during spot edits.

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Smart Home HD Starter Kit: A simple way to a smart home [Review]

mydlink Smart Home HD

There are lots of ways to create a connected home. My colleague Alan Buckingham is using Amazon Echo as the base to control his home’s lighting and heating, with occasionally interesting results (Alexa sometimes leaves him sitting in the dark).

If you’re not sure where to start, and you don’t want to spend too much money getting up and running, then mydlink Home's Smart Home HD Starter Kit from Ebuyer is a simple and smart solution. For your money you get an HD night-vision camera, Smart Plug and Wi-Fi Motion Sensor.

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84 percent of people support eliminating passwords

Password tweezers

Spare a moment to consider the plight of the humble password. It has become an essential component of modern life, but it would be wrong to say we've grown to know and love it.

In fact a survey by mobile authentication specialist LaunchKey shows that 84 percent of respondents would like to do away with passwords altogether and 76 percent believe their information would be more secure with an alternative form of authentication.

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Millennials lose trust in the digital economy

Broken trust

Although millennials are the first fully connected generation, having lived their whole lives in the Internet era, new research suggests that they're beginning to recognize that their identity and personal data may not be properly protected.

Digital identity specialist Intercede surveyed around 2,000 16-35 year-olds in the US and UK to get their views on current security measures. The results suggest what the company calls a 'millennial malaise' towards existing safeguards, in particular the use of easily-hackable but widely used password-based authentication methods.

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Silver underpants protect your family jewels from Wi-Fi radiation

Wireless armour

More and more of the devices we use these days rely on wireless signals for their connectivity. If you're male you quite likely carry your smartphone in your trouser pocket or use your laptop or tablet on your knee, which means these signals are being transmitted in close proximity to your gentleman's area.

Should you worry about this? A 2014 study by the University of Exeter suggests that just one hour's exposure to radiation from a mobile phone can reduce in vitro (outside the body) sperm motility to 49 percent and viability to 52 percent. In addition the World Health Organization has classified electromagnetic radiation in the same category of harmfulness to humans as petrol exhaust fumes.

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How I (and you?) am hurting the PC industry

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Starting in 1977 I bought a new personal computer every three years. This changed after 2010 when I was 33 years and eleven computers into the trend. That’s when I bought my current machine, a mid-2010 13-inch MacBook Pro. Five years later I have no immediate plans to replace the MacBook Pro and I think that goes a long way to explain why the PC industry is having sales problems.

My rationale for changing computers over the years came down to Moore’s Law. I theorized that if computer performance was going to double every 18 months, I couldn’t afford to be more than one generation behind the state-of-the-art if I wanted to be taken seriously writing about this stuff. That meant buying a new PC every three years. And since you and I have a lot in common and there are millions of people like us, the PC industry thrived.

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iPhone 6 Plus balances benefits [Review]

iPhone 6 Plus and Neko

Sometime within the next few weeks, Apple should announce successors to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and my review of the latter device is long overdue. Let's get to it finally and present the key finding first: If size matters, as in you want a phone with larger screen but that doesn't feel humongous, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus is a worthy choice. By measures that matter most—benefits from apps, calling, camera, data, performance, screen, and storage—the phablet is best of class.

As expressed in my iPhone 6 review, I regretted not buying the larger device after handing it. The Plus is big, but not overly large for my tastes. Hell, I bought Motorola-made and Google-branded Nexus 6 in January 2015 to replace iPhone 6; the screen is even bigger than Plus, at whopping 6 inches. I gained great value using either of the larger handsets, but gave up one for the other.

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Why millennials want self-service solutions [Q&A]

Happy PC user

The millennial generation has grown up with the internet, so naturally they demand more from their business systems and online service providers. Product managers need to recognize this dynamic and ensure that their SaaS products deliver.

We spoke to William Colleran, CEO of online contextual help provider AnswerDash to explore this wake-up call for businesses.

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59 percent of consumers reuse passwords

123456_password_sticky_note

We all know that we shouldn't reuse passwords across multiples sites, but that doesn't stop a majority of us from doing it.

A new survey for password manager Password Boss shows that 59 percent of consumers reuse passwords because it's too hard to remember them. Yet memory is the most common means of managing passwords, used by 63 percent, with only eight percent using some form of password manager.

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Which US airports offer the best mobile data coverage?

AIrport mobile movie

With hundreds of millions of passengers passing through US airports every year, mobile networks often struggle to keep up with demand, which can result in poor and unreliable data performance.

Twice a year, RootMetrics tests mobile coverage at the 50 busiest airports in the US, using off-the-shelf smartphones to measure performance at all the places where passengers are most likely to use their phones. The latest US Airport Network Performance Review, which covers the first half of 2015, features some surprising results, including one of the busiest US airports ranking at the top and another major US airport landing near the very bottom.

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A short history of text messaging

SMS texting

The text message has become such a key part of our modern lives that it's hard to believe that the concept behind it dates back 31 years. Email to SMS gateway service Neon SMS has produced an infographic tracking how SMS has evolved.

The first text message was sent in 1992, although it had to be from a PC because it was the following year before Nokia introduced the first SMS-enabled phone. In 1997 the Finnish company produced the 9000i Communicator, the first mobile phone to feature a full keyboard.

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The things we do for Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi

We use Wi-Fi almost without thinking about it, but a new survey of users in the US and Europe reveals just how big an impact it has on our daily lives and what we're willing to do to stay connected.

Network company Xirrus polled hundreds of people about their Wi-Fi habits and expectations. The results reveal the far-reaching impact Wi-Fi has on users' lives, as well as its importance to the future.

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Remember when technology was exciting?

yawning

Al Mandel used to say "the step after ubiquity is invisibility" and man was he right about that. Above you’ll see a chart from the Google Computers and Electronics Index, which shows the ranking of queries using words like "Windows, Apple, HP, Xbox, iPad" -- you get the picture. The actual terms have changed a bit since the index started in 2004 as products and companies have come and gone, but my point here is the general decline.

Just as Al predicted, as technology has become more vital to our lives we’ve paradoxically become less interested, or at least do less reaching out. Maybe this is because technologies become easier to use over time or we have more local knowledge (our kids and co-workers helping us do things we might have had to search on before).

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