Articles in Personal Tech

Avoiding a $5000 Phone Bill on Your Trip

Avoiding a $5000 Phone Bill on Your Trip

Whether you know it or not, your smartphone may be surfing the Net – and running up your bill – during trips abroad.  Discussion forums are full of reports from business travelers with high phone bills due to unintended data access: comments such as “one day, $768,” “one trip, $4800″ abound.
This can happen even if you don’t think you are using any data services.  For example, users of SimulSays, a …

Samsung Instinct

Samsung Instinct

The Samsung Instinct and the iPhone have a similar look and feel but the similarities end there.  The iPhone is a not only a smartphone but a software platform; the Instinct is a smartphone with some features not found on the iPhone.
The Instinct’s interface (with some exceptions) is reasonably well thought out; visual voicemail allows one to see and listen to individual messages (the iPhone lacks this feature); and the …

Safe Computing for Business Travelers

Safe Computing for Business Travelers

Recently, we looked at the problem of “evil twins,” hot spots that seem legitimate but are operated by a hacker that are increasingly popping up in public and semi-public spaces including hotels, airports, and conference venues.
This month we look at other risks.
Hotels are a prime target for laptop thieves; look at any unoccupied meeting room, replete with laptops, and you’ll understand why.  But the loss of a $2000 laptop may …

Security Alert: Is Your Smartphone Vulnerable?

Security Alert: Is Your Smartphone Vulnerable?

Is your smartphone secured or was a password too much of a bother?  Think about what’s stored in your phone, including contact lists, e-mail messages, documents, proposals, spreadsheets, and presentations – many of which could be confidential.
Smartphones are much easier to lose track of than a laptop; they are also much more likely to be damaged or stolen.  Many don’t have remote wipe capabilities, a security feature popularized by Research …

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing

Headline writers love to proclaim The Next Big Thing, something I talked about in a column almost eight years ago.
At the time, I commented on TSTBTNBTBNWs (Things Supposed to Be the Next Big Thing but Never Were).  A few items on this list included artificial intelligence and push technology (such as PointCast).
Truly great ideas in business that weren’t proclaimed The Next Big Thing when they arrived on the scene include …

Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset

Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset

Is it a headset or a fashion accessory?  The Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth headset collection (and the use of the word “collection” shows a crossover from the technology world to the fashion world), with its unique VFrame design and elegant finish, is both.
Introduced at Spring 2008 New York Fashion Week, it’s one of the most practical headsets I’ve come across as well.
The VFrame design hugs the contours of the user’s …

iPod Classic

iPod Classic

The Apple iPod is unquestionably the most popular MP3 player to hit the market, with 71% of market share, according to the NPD Group.
So what could Apple do to improve the world’s favorite music player as it continues to define the portable music player? Quite a bit, it turns out.
For starters, the 80 Gbyte iPod Classic ($249) is thinner than its 60 Gbyte predecessor. The 160 Gbyte ($349), only slightly …