Review: Organize your desktop with TAGO-Fences

TAGO-Fences helps you tidy up your desktop by grouping icons, folders, and files by type in expandable, customizable windows known as Fences. You can drag and pin Fences anywhere and show or hide them almost instantly. TAGO-Fences automatically adds new stuff to the right folders and hides icons you don't use often. Double-clicking restores and hides your regular desktop, so you don't have to change a thing to use TAGO-Fences. It's a neat idea that works pretty well in action, once you get used to it.

The first step is to create your Fences. It's easy: … Read more

Fences 2.0 helps manage your desktop chaos

Fences 2.0 doesn't mess with what worked in the first version, which we loved when we looked at it three years ago. You get the same easy functionality of creating shaded areas (aka fences) on your desktop for organizing your files and folders. It lets you create rules, as you could with the old Fences Pro version, which automatically direct certain types of files to particular fences. Fences 2.0 introduces two new and useful features -- Folder Portals and Desktop Pages -- but before we get to them, let's quickly go over how the app works.… Read more

Simplify your desktop organization

Fences is an app that allows you to organize your desktop icons into categories to un-clutter your workspace. The latest version, Fences 2.0, adds new features to help you get and stay organized even faster.

The interface of the newer version is much like before. The fences look the same - they're clean and blend well, and you can adjust the transparency and color to suit your needs. You'll also still be able to easily sort your files and program icons into multiple fences on your desktop. One of our favorite features, Auto-Organizer, also lets you choose … Read more

How the Border Patrol uses tech to combat smugglers

TUCSON, Ariz.--It's summer in the Southwest, and there may not be a hotter border anywhere in the United States. For one thing, the mercury is easily over a hundred every day. And then there's the steady flow of organized smugglers trying to sneak themselves and their substantial cargo -- of migrants and/or drugs -- across Mexico's long desert frontier with Arizona.

There are nine U.S. Border Patrol sectors stretching across America's southwestern frontier. And back in 2000, the agency was snagging more than 2,000 people a day for crossing illegally into its … Read more

Raytheon, Lockheed lock horns for Space Fence contract

Last month, the European Space Agency abruptly declared its Earth observation satellite, Envisat, dead. After more than 10 years of successfully monitoring the planet's natural behaviors from space, the once valuable tool is now considered junk that could endanger active space assets for as much as 150 years.

Situations like this are what has led the U.S. Air Force and partners around the globe to move forward with the construction of a system designed to closely track as many as 200,000 piece of space debris. And now, the Air Force is considering which of two contractors' proposals … Read more

Lockheed touts progress on Space Fence

Earth's orbit is a very cluttered place. And that makes it dangerous.

The U.S. Air Force is looking to get a better handle on that clutter--from functioning satellites to abandoned rockets and shards of machinery--with something it calls the Space Fence. This isn't a barrier to keep the bric-a-brac at bay, but rather a radar-meets-catalog initiative to keep track of what's where.

Today, Lockheed Martin said it's taken a key step forward with its prototype of a ground-based radar system for the $3.5 billion Air Force Space Fence program: that prototype is now tracking … Read more

A beginner's guide to telecom jargon, part 8

The mobile world moves at a breakneck pace, and it's difficult to keep up--even without the technical jargon most industry insiders throw around. And they do love to toss those terms about.

This week, I explain what a geo-fence is, why a feature phone is really just a dumb phone with a niftier marketing title, and why companies love rebates.

So for some light reading, here are a few terms (and definitions) commonly used by telecommunications experts who assume everyone understands them.

Alignment: Look, it's another code word for layoffs. While not exactly the best example of telecom jargon, it's a relevant term given Nokia's decision to "align" its workforce, which means shedding 3,500 jobs on top of a prior plan to cut thousands of other jobs. It's in the same vein as synergy and redundancy, fancy words that mask the ugly truth that a lot of people are getting canned.

Feature phone: This is the industry's term for any phone that isn't a smartphone, which runs on a more complex operating system that can run applications. You have to admire the marketing spin on what is essentially a dumb phone.

I, for one, hate using the term, and have largely stuck to calling them basic phones.

Feature phones are in a phase of gradual decline as people jump to smartphones, which are getting more affordable. Leap Wireless CEO Doug Hutcheson said he expects smartphones to cost $100 or less without a contract by the holidays, just slightly more expensive than a feature phone.

HTC's global marketing chief, Jason MacKenzie, boldly said he sees his Rhyme smartphone as a better upgrade for feature phone users than the iPhone.

Geo-fence: It's a virtual perimeter you can set up anywhere to ensure your child or pet stays in a certain zone. If they leave the designated area, an alert is sent to your phone. … Read more

AT&T ShopAlerts texts location-based promos

AT&T has launched a new service that will send customers texts promoting special deals whenever they're near certain stores.

Teaming up with mobile marketer Placecast to deliver the new ShopAlerts service, AT&T says it's the first mobile provider to offer a location-based marketing program designed for mobile consumers.

AT&T subscribers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco who sign up for ShopAlerts will get text messages describing special offers, rewards, coupons, and other promotions at nearby participating stores. AT&T said that so far it's signed up Hewlett … Read more

How I almost bought an iPad

Recently, I was in an Apple store in New York looking for the new, updated MacBook Pro units and toying with the idea of buying an iPad, when I was approached by one of Apple's friendly and knowledgeable sales people. She asked me whether I needed any help finding what I was looking for.

I really didn't--or at least I didn't think I did--but we started chatting anyway. I told her I'd heard the iPad could overheat in the sun and shut down. To my surprise, she responded that yes, it could, especially if you had it lying flat on your lap. But, she explained, it wasn't that big a deal, because it would just take a few minutes to cool down and then start up again.

The way she said it made it seem like it was an integrated feature to protect the device--not a downside. She talked about how the iPad didn't have a fan inside to cool it down like a laptop, which was why it shut down if it got too hot.

"Where'd you hear about it?" she asked.

"I read this article on the Internet," I said, then quickly changed the subject, afraid she might have actually read the article and somehow associated it with me. "Has anybody returned an iPad because it was overheating?"

"No, I haven't had to process a return for that."

"What about a cracked screen?"

Nope. No one she'd seen had come in yet with a cracked screen. She thought that was because people were treating them like laptops, rather than phones. They were more careful with them.

"So, why do people return them?" I asked. "You have 15 days to return it, right?"

"Well, people really only seem to be returning them because they decide they want the 3G version, which comes out at the end of this month. We get some of those." … Read more

Nothing plain about these Fences

Fences Pro builds many requested features on top of the publisher's free version, Fences. The original helps you corral your desktop icons into tidy, organized spaces on your desktop, and then rename, resize, and move them around at will. This premium version now lets you name a default folder in which all newly installed icons should appear--not just the Desktop. In addition, Fences Pro showcases a list of rules you can configure to deposit specific types of icons (images, music videos, etc.) into any "fences" you created. The icon installation rules worked well in our tests, saving … Read more