In search of a grown-up laptop bag

Like many office workers, I lug my laptop to and from work most days. For years I've been encasing it in a protective sleeve and stowing that inside a no-name backpack. Lately, though, I've been looking for a more elegant solution....

Device Design Day: Key takeaways

Last week I was lucky enough to attend Device Design Day in San Francisco. This annual one-day conference is mostly for designers who create consumer devices and the software that runs on them, but many of the points the speakers...

Up close and personal with the Robot Petting Zoo

What's more fun than a barrel of monkeys? A robot petting zoo, of course!Not that anyone was actually petting the robots on display at Device Design Day, an annual conference for pros who design software and hardware for mobile...

Three free iPhone apps to keep you fit on the road

If you're like me, you're pretty good about exercising and eating right at home, but all your good habits go out the window when you travel. But on a recent 10-day trip, I found three free iPhone apps (two of which are also available...

Three big ideas from Mobilize 2010

This week's Mobilize 2010 conference in San Francisco was a jam-packed day of discussion, analysis and, yes, argument about the vast market that mobile and wireless technology is opening up worldwide. Here are a few ideas that I...

My picks from DEMO Fall 2010

In his opening remarks kicking off this week's DEMO Fall 2010 conference in Santa Clara, Calif., host Matt Marshall highlighted three trends driving value behind today's startups: social interaction on the Web, increasing time spent...

Songs of (User) Experience

Highlights from UX Week 2010, Day 1 There's an interesting conference happening in San Francisco right now: Hosted by user experience design and consulting firm Adaptive Path, UX Week 2010 is for user experience professionals of all...

It's "clean out your inbox week"

How many e-mails are sitting in your inbox right now -- 30? 100? More than 1,000?That's how many messages I had accumulated in my inbox last spring. I tend to use my inbox as an unofficial to-do list, keeping e-mails there until I've...

Digital Think In harnesses high-tech brainpower

Allen Ginsberg may have seen the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness, but today I saw 60 of the best minds of *my* generation doing something more constructive: Putting their heads together to figure out the digital...

Do you file your taxes online?

The move to online tax filing in the U.S. continues apace, according to a new survey from The Conference Board and TNS:About 40 percent of online households are planning to file their federal taxes online this year, up from less than...

In praise of the animated GIF

As I was helping to assemble Computerworld's 2008 holiday gift guide last week, I was initially puzzled as to why ThinkGeek, maker of the iconic Wi-Fi Detector Shirt (which lights up to show your proximity to a Wi-Fi signal), had...

Voting technology: Arrows vs. ovals for optical scan ballots

I voted bright and early this morning in Alameda County, California. After confirming my name and address, I was given the option of voting electronically or by paper ballot, which I would feed into an optical scanner. Well aware of...

California's new cell phone law isn't logical. So what?

My colleague Mike Elgan points out in his blog that California's new cell phone law fails the logic test. As Mike notes, the new rule outlaws holding a phone to your ear while driving -- but it's still legal to use a hands-free...

More help for seasick gamers

Last week I wrote about Doom Sickness (also known as "VR sickness" or "simulator sickness") -- that horrible feeling of nausea some people get from playing certain video games. I discussed a solution that worked for me -- wearing...

Help for seasick gamers?

I'm not a frequent gamer. Sure, I love to take a turn at Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution every now and then, but many typical video games -- especially first-person shooters -- leave me cold. Or, rather, they leave me nauseated....

A treasure trove of online tax help

Oh boy, it's tax time! If you haven't filed your 2007 tax return yet, there's no time like the present.There's extra incentive to file on time this year in the form of an economic stimulus payment that will net qualifying taxpayers a...

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