Articles in Personal Tech

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 …

Japanese Toilet Industry to Simplify Controls for Confusing High-Tech Toilets

Japanese toilet makers have announced that they plan to begin using common and more easily understandable iconography on the products they produce.
The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association, which includes companies such as Toto, Panasonic, and Toshiba, announced that it will standardize the symbols it uses to convey instructions such as flush and dry on its toilets.
Most Japanese toilets, even in private homes, have multiple features including a heated seat, paperless …

Happy 10th Birthday Apple iPhone

Ten years ago today, January 9, Steve Jobs stood on a stage at MacWorld 2007 and changed how people think about their phones.
Back then, a mobile phone was a device that (gasp!) was used to place calls. It didn’t have a touchscreen, the App Store didn’t exist nor did apps for that matter, music on a phone was a ringtone of questionable quality, and Internet access required a phone the …

Grinch at Large: The Worst Apple Store Experience Ever

Apple’s senior vice president of retail, Angela Ahrendts, who previously ran Burberry, has said that the company wants its in-store experience to be more about enriching the lives of its customers than simply selling them things.
If indeed that is the case, the company may still have a long way to go as a recent visit to one of its most notable Apple stores, the Fifth Avenue location, revealed.
Expecting crowds the night …

Motorola Moto Z Force Droid Edition – Review

Instead of releasing what would be Motorola’s fourth generation Moto X, the innovative wireless device company settled on a slightly different moniker: Moto Z. While the second and third generation Moto X phones offered slight improvements and spec enhancements over their predecessors, the Moto Z family embodies a greater departure not just from the X series but from smartphones in general. Attachments and accessories have been around since the onset …