productivity

How to screen unwanted calls on iPhones and Android phones

Robocalling telemarketers ignored the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call Registry in record numbers in fiscal year 2012. According to the FTC's National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for FY 2012 (PDF), the agency received 3,840,502 consumer complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls in the period, up substantially from the 2,273,516 complaints it fielded in fiscal year 2011.

Telemarketing robocalls are reaching epidemic proportions: complaints to the FTC about robocalls increased from just under 150,000 in October 2011 to 216,338 in March 2012 and remain near that level: 201,699 robocall complaints … Read more

How to print a page from a magazine app

I'm a magazine junkie. And these days I tend to read a lot of mags on my iPad, especially now that I can get most of my favorite periodicals (Men's Health, Entertainment Weekly, Wired, etc.) in tablet form.

Just one problem: Few, if any, magazine apps let you print. What's the big deal about that? Well, suppose you're perusing the digital pages of Bon Appetit and want a hard copy of one of the recipes? Or you've found a cool project in Family Handyman and need a shopping list to take to the hardware store? … Read more

This easy hack adds wireless charging to Samsung Galaxy S3

Although wireless charging is creeping into the market (and already evolving), the technology is still absent in some of the most popular phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Initially, Samsung did mention a wireless charging kit that would be released following the launch of its flagship phone. But promises, promises -- Samsung's aftermarket kit never came to fruition.

Alas, the Internet has moved on, tech blogs are abuzz with rumors of wireless charging coming for the much-anticipated Galaxy S4.

Well, if you have an S3, and you're tired of waiting for the unicorn charging kit, there is a … Read more

Free Office 2013 alternatives

Microsoft Office 2013 has officially hit the streets, and it offers a significantly upgraded interface, more tools, and perhaps most importantly, a cloud-friendly system that lets you work from anywhere. While CNET's Jason Parker did give the updated Office suite high marks, he was also quick to say that its new $100-per-year subscription scheme will likely be hard for many people to swallow. Sure, there are (confusingly) single-pay standalone versions available as well, but those don't offer quite as much as the Office 365 subscription version.

In any case, if you are part of the camp that is … Read more

Use Find My Friends to alert anyone of your location

Find My Friends is a handy app for families who want to keep tabs on each other. Of course it has a downside for couples who aren't always honest with each other, but that's to be expected.

Previously, I had shown you how to set up alerts for your Find My Friends contacts. Once set up, you'd receive an alert on your iOS device when they either arrived or left a location. But I neglected to show you how to send alerts to a Find My Friends contact, or to anyone else, regardless of if they have … Read more

Stream media to your iPhone or iPad with Skifta

Perhaps Skifta works better on Android. A universal iOS version of the app was released earlier this month, and I found it to be buggy and prone to crashing. It's worth keeping an eye on, however, because if done right, it could be a useful app for the iPhone and particularly the iPad. Skifta is a free app that lets you stream video, music, and photos from your PC or another networked device in your home. There are also a number of Internet services you can connect to in order to stream media on your iOS device.

If you'… Read more

How to purchase movie tickets using Siri

Apple has released iOS 6.1 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. Among other fixes and new additions is the ability to purchase movie tickets using Siri, as originally reported back in November.

Siri's new capability requires iOS 6.1, the Fandango app to be installed on the iOS device, and you'll also need to be in the U.S. to purchase tickets.

Once you have updated your device and have Fandango installed, buying tickets is as simple as launching Siri and asking for tickets to a specific movie time, or asking for a list of movies … Read more

Get phone alerts for suspicious activity on your Google account

The end-user is at the mercy of the service creator when it comes to how secure their data will be online. Google, fortunately, offers extra opt-in features to help ensure than no one other than you will be able to log-in and access your information. One of these security measures is the two-step authentication process.

With two-step, the user decides if they want to enter a randomly generated code each time they log in from a specific place, or if they want to enter it only every 30 days. The benefit is that if you try to log in … Read more

Death at plant throws Samsung under investigative lens -- report

A worker at a Samsung facility in Korea has died after an incident at one of its semiconductor facilities.

According to Korean news service Yonhap, the incident began around 11 p.m. local time last night when a 132-gallon tank of hydrofluoric acid started leaking at the company's facility. At 5 a.m. this morning, 2.6 gallons leaked in gas form. Samsung contacted STI Service, a maintenance company, to fix the leak. One person died from exposure to the acid, while four others were hospitalized.

Yonhap today claims to have spoken to a Samsung spokesperson, who said that … Read more

5 safe places to put your smartphone while driving

After moving to a new city and buying a new car to get around in, a close friend of mine found herself needing some sort of GPS navigation to guide her around her new hometown. So, she bought a used portable navigation device and hit the road.

"This GPS sucks! The maps are out of date and it didn't come with a cable to connect to my computer for updating!" she declared after just a few trips.

"Wait, didn't you just buy a new iPhone?" I realized aloud. "You have to be the … Read more