Whether you're a freshman noob, a gray-haired grad student, or even a long-term member of the professional elite, you most likely have trouble focusing on your tasks at times. Modern tech is lovely, but it's also a nonstop parade of distractions that can tear down the resolve of the strongest wills. Here are some tricks to help you overcome electronic distractions as you study or work.Wear headphones. This is especially true if you have to work around other people, but even if you're on your own, this helps you focus (as long as you have the … Read more
What makes someone choose one browser over another? Often people use whichever browser is closest at hand: Internet Explorer in Windows and Safari on Macs.
Lots of folks choose Firefox because of the browser's many useful add-ons. But the best reason to go with one browser over another is speed. In my experience, no browser is faster than Google Chrome.
There's no easier way to start an argument among geeks than to claim one browser is the speed champ. If you look hard enough you can find a reliable study naming each of the most popular browsers the … Read more
REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft has been beefing up its design chops in recent months, pushing the sleek Metro user interface in Windows 8 and diving into hardware design with its striking Surface tablet prototype.
But maybe the most daring makeover comes today as Microsoft unveils the new-look Office. The productivity software suite is among Microsoft's longest-in-the-tooth products, dating as it does back to 1989. It's ballooned from a relatively compact offering of word-processing, spreadsheet, email and presentation software to a vast collection of applications, each of which gets countless new features with every release.
Elegant design is often … Read more
When you first install Any.Do, you can choose to log in, create a new account (for syncing across devices), or get started without one. Once you make your choice, getting started is as easy as typing out your to-dos, or with the built-in voice input feature, saying them.
The main page of Any.Do splits tasks into four categories: Today, Tomorrow, This Week, and Later. To move an item between categories, simply tap and hold, then drag. To mark tasks as complete, simply cross it out. A quick tap on any item brings up a menu of options that … Read more
I read once that Jonathan Franzen writes his novels using an old laptop because it does not have a wireless antenna. He also took the extra precaution of gluing an Ethernet jack into the Ethernet port and then clipping the cable so that there was no way -- wired or wirelessly -- he could access the Internet while writing.
Knowing Franzen needed to take such measures to stay focused made me feel a little better about myself and my time-wasting ways on the Internet. If you need some assistance staying on point (and off Facebook) during the workday, WasteNoTime could … Read more
Technology advances so rapidly these days, it's easy to become jaded, to take for granted the minor miracles we can now accomplish using our phones.
For example, yesterday I met my wife for lunch in an unfamiliar area of town. We were both in the mood for Thai, so I pulled out my iPhone, fired up a certain app, and in seconds found several nearby Thai joints. Ah, but which ones were good and not so good? An abundance of user ratings answered that question.
How amazing is that? And it's just one example of how select apps can make life not just easier, but also better. Below I've rounded up five that I consider both essential and indispensable. Check my picks, then add your own to the list (in the comments, of course).… Read more
Amazon may not exactly be quaking quite yet, but Google is taking another stab at revamping its lackluster online-shopping business by forging closer commercial links with online merchants and improving its product-related search function.
The Web giant rolled out a new initiative today that renames its fornerly uninspiring "Google Product Search" service as "Google Shopping" while also changing the ground rules:First, by requiring merchants to pay for listings (Google calls them "product-listing ads") that were formerly free; Second, by inserting these paid product placements into general search results more obviously and with bigger … Read more
Tivoli Audio's PAL radio has been out for several years and while it's pretty pricey, it remains one our favorite portable speakers.
Over time Tivoli has done little to change the PAL except to offer it in more colors and stick an "i" in front of its name for a white model that includes a cable to hook up your iPod. But now the company has finally added a wireless Bluetooth option to the PAL and its tabletop radio cousin, the Model One. Keeping things simple, the products are called the PAL BT ($299.99) and … Read more
If you want a glimpse into the way Amazon sees your digital future, look no further than Jeff Ragsdale's new book, "Jeff, One Lonely Guy."
Last October, after being dumped by a girlfriend and mired in depression, Ragsdale posted a flier around New York City on a whim that read, "If anyone wants to talk about anything, call me." It listed his mobile phone number. Calls streamed in, by the dozens, then the hundreds, and now well into the tens of thousands.
Some callers left messages. Others texted. And many spoke with Ragsdale, sharing their … Read more
Even once you've narrowed a choice down to a specific manufacturer, the decision as to which model to buy can still be complicated and overwhelming; in fact, I'd say it's probably harder to pick the right camera from a particular lineup than it is to decide which manufacturer's wares you like best. Here's my take on Canon's current dSLR offerings and when and whether I think it's worth the extra bucks to buy higher up the line.
On a general note, if your budget … Read more