The Phone Belch

Why is it that cellphones ring louder the longer they go unanswered? The ring starts quietly, then builds up to an ear-splitting crescendo. I know what the apparent logic to this is — if the phone is right in front of the person, they don’t need it loud to be able to hear it, so …

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How To Collect And Access Data?

A reader wrote asking I am a writer who has tens of thousands of 3×5 note cards and no system to organize them. What I want to do is have their content available on my computer so that I can mine them as I write. Do you have a suggestion for any software that can do …

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The Danger Of The Mistyped URL

F-Secure Computer Virus Information Pages: Googkle: F-Secure staff has found a malicious website that utilizes a spelling error when typing the name of the popular search engine – ‘Google.com’. If a user opens a malicious website, his/her computer gets hijacked – a lot of different malware gets automatically downloaded and installed: trojan droppers, trojan downloaders, …

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SkypeIn And Miscalls

Just got my first SkypeIn miscall! That was fun. A guy called Christian, calling a guy called Simon, somewhere in the UK, but got my UK SkypeIn number. Simon, he’s only going to be there until five pm. That was fun! Could I be the first? I feel that the least we should do is …

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Cutting Through The PR Dross

A hilarious Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Adobe’s ‘FAQ’ Regarding Their Acquisition of Macromedia by Daring Fireball, which blows a hole a mile wide in this — and all such — verbiage-laden press releases. This for example: Do you anticipate a reduction in force as a result of this transaction? When two …

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The Technology Of Packing

In this week’s column I write about the joys of modular packing (subscription only, I’m afraid): I’m a journalist. I don’t travel as much as I used to but I do travel. I’ve learned a few tricks over the years. And what has struck me is how, on the surface, not much has changed in …

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A Directory Of Windows Explorer Replacements

I’m always amazed at the inadequacy of Windows Explorer and how most users just seem to accept its limitations. The good news is that you don’t have to. Here’s a list of programs that seek to replace, one way or another, Windows Explorer (not to be confused with Internet Explorer) used not only to view …

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A Wake, And A Wake-Up Call

Just got back from a ‘wake’ for the Far Eastern Economic Review, which, after 58 years, went monthly last October under the ownership of my employer, Dow Jones. I won’t get into the politics of that decision, but it did occur to me, listening to some eminent former FEER personnel talking this evening, that three …

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Another PR Mis-step

This blog occasionally touches on the border between PR and journalists, usually when PR start approaching blogs and bloggers. But my perspective is on how PR folks connect, or misconnect, with journalists. And I notice that PR folk often misfire on one key issue: how to present their credentials to journalists. It’s like this: Journalists, …

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The Context (Menu) Revolution

Either we’re spoilt or something is really changing and others better catch up. Either way, I like it. Software is becoming more integrated. With features like Firefox extensions and other tricks we are able to move material from one program to another, check the spelling of a word, value of an amount in another currency, …

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