Articles in Personal Tech

As Password Fatigue Sets In, New Guidelines Say It’s Time to Rethink the Old Rules

Passwords. They are just about everywhere today, from your work computer to online banking to online shopping to reading the New York Times. Try to do something online today without a password and see how far you get.
With the uptick in the number of apps, tools, and websites requiring logging in comes a kind of password fatigue. With the Internet came rules and various and complex guidelines for setting up …

Apple CarPlay Gains New Functionality and an Improved Interface with iOS 10.3

The recently released version of iOS, 10.3, included a few updates and tweaks to Apple CarPlay as well. The new features, while minor, greatly improve CarPlay’s usability and functionality and we used a 2017 Ford Superduty F250 Platinum pick-up truck as a test bed.
As regular readers know, we are unabashed fans of CarPlay because of its intelligent design and that it somewhat cuts back on smartphone distractions while driving. One …

Fidget Cube by Ansty Labs – Review

I’m the guy with his knees bouncing under the table and his thumb unendingly pushing in the cap of his ballpoint pen, all while refraining from biting his nails. Fidgeting and nervous ticks abound from dawn to dusk. Which is why, when I spotted a toy called “Fidget Cube” on Kickstarter last summer, I joined hundreds of thousands of other pledges by creating an account and pledging $19 for one …

How to Use Your iPhone as a Magnifier

Today’s iPhone is the Swiss Knife of yesteryear, minus the sharp blade. It has every possible tool in it from a calculator, to a camera, to a Web browser, to a video recorder, to a music player, and much more.
From time to time, having a magnifying lens comes in handy and the kludge has been to use the camera and zoom in. There’s a much easier way since the iPhone …

Will I Be Charged for Unanswered Calls When Roaming Outside the U.S.?

Despite a significant drop in roaming charges for voice and data services since we last looked at this issue in 2009, there is still much room for error – and unexpected charges on one’s bill.
For example, as a T-Mobile representative recently explained to FBT parent company Accura’s accounting manager, even though calls made from outside the United States to the United States using Wi-Fi are essentially free, if the Wi-Fi …

Review: iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum

A few years ago, I was on a flight to London and, in the manner of a 1970s television commercial for Vanish that depicted several women doing gardening or going for a walk, turned to a colleague on the plane and said, “I’m vacuuming my living room floor.
My colleague, knowing I was reviewing the iRobot Roomba 560, immediately understood the reference. Fast forward to last year, when iRobot introduced the …

Long Distance, Please! Coast-to-Coast Calling is 102 Years Old

Today we take long-distance calling for granted and, unlike what our parents and grandparents had to do, don’t wait for the rates to go down in the evening and after 11 p.m. because the calls cost almost the same regardless of distance.
We now pause for a moment to recall the first transcontinental phone call, which took place one hundred and two years ago today, on January 25, 1915.
The historic call …