Articles in Personal Tech

First Transcontinental Phone Call Took Place 100 Years Ago Today

Bell System Western Electric Model 302 dial telephone, ca. 1936

The first transcontinental phone call took place one hundred years ago today, on January 25, 1915.
The historic call was placed by three parties, Alexander Graham Bell in New York, Theodore Vail, the president of AT&T in Jekyll Island, Georgia, and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in the White House, to Bell’s assistant Thomas Watson in San Francisco.
In the call, Bell repeated into the phone his famous sentence, “Mr. Watson, come here, …

‘123456’ Leads Worst Password List for 2014

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Despite the number of highly publicized data breaches at Sony, Target, and elsewhere, few people are getting the message about passwords.  If your password more resembles “X1qT-4Pp0-2C9z” than “password” or “123456,” you need not read any further.  If you are still here, there’s still time to take appropriate action and spare yourself potential public embarrassment.
Once again, SplashData, a password management company, has released its annual list of the worst passwords, …

Google Translate App with Conversation Mode – Review and Report

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Google recently announced an update to its Translate app that gives it the ability to support a real-time conversation in two languages with little delay. The “conversation mode” feature acts as a near-real-time translator, somewhat reminiscent of Star Trek’s universal translator.
Using the app is simple. Translation mode supports spoken input, typed input, or handwriting. To test its functionality, I simply selected the two languages for the conversation and used the …

Apple’s iPhone Turns 8 Today

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Eight years ago today, Apple unveiled the first ever iPhone.  At the launch event, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told the audience: “Today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products… the first one is a wide-screen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone.  And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device.
“These are not three separate devices,” he told the audience at MacWorld, adding “This is one device and …

2014 Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

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If you are still making your list but not finding the right gift, don’t worry: it isn’t too late. We’ve already done the hard part for you.
From an Audi A3 diesel to a Bluetooth- and app-enabled toothbrush, to earplugs and a razor-of-the-month club, here are gifts that friends and relatives will enjoy and cherish.

Audi A3 TDI
The state of the art in diesel cars in the United States continues to evolve. …

Holiday Gift to Readers: Executive Road Warrior Web Defender Anti-Malware Browser Plug-In

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Frequent Business Traveler is celebrating the holiday season with the release of Executive Road Warrior Web Defender, a browser plug-in that blocks known malware websites.
Your computer is substantially at risk for malware attacks when traveling and using public Wi-Fi networks.  This free tool will help keep your computer safe from the tens of thousands of websites that could covertly install spyware and malware on it.
The tool will block websites in …

Review: Monster DNA Pro 2.0 Headphones

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Musical artists spend large amounts of time and money, outfit their studios with professional recording equipment, and labor endlessly over their creations to produce a product that is unequivocally theirs. One can only imagine how they feel when they witness their tracks being played back through tiny ear buds or cheap bass-pounding mini Bluetooth speakers. Monster recognized this shortcoming and designed the Monster DNA Pro 2.0 headphones to deliver the …