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Tablets, Tablets Everywhere, Part 1

Usually the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January ends up having a "theme." It isn't a theme given to the show by the organizers, but instead some product category that seems to be pervasive throughout the show. Last year it was 3D television. This year it was tablet computers.

While tablet computers have been around for almost 20 years, they have been primarily premium upgrades from standard notebook computers. In the past, tablet computers were targeted at business users. Medicine was going to be revolutionized by tablet wielding doctors and nurses.

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Wait to Buy That New Smartphone

The middle of January the expected, but much anticipated, announcement of the iPhone on Verizon's network finally was official.

I wouldn't rush right out to buy one.

Even if you've been waiting for an alternative to AT&T's well known network issues, the iPhone being released this spring has two problems. First, and most significant, it is only a 3G phone, offering no real speed improvement over the current iPhone. Second, apparently it gets less battery life than the AT&T version.

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Social Email

I live in my email client. Probably 85% of my written communications with the outside world are done with email. I'd bet it's the same for you.

I also do a little bit on social media, mostly LinkedIn with a little Facebook and Twitter thrown in. But I have many business contacts who are much more active on social media.

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Start Thinking in Five Dimensions

There are the standard four dimensions: length, width, height, and time, usually represented by x, y, z and t. Add your data and you have five dimensions.

Too many computer systems collect data without any additional information.

An example is a traditional warehouse management system. It might collect the quantity on hand, derived from quantities received and quantities shipped.

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Top-Down Rarely Works

You’ve been to industry or association conferences. They are organized “top down.” The challenge for the conference organizers (the top) is coming up with topics and speakers that will be interesting and relevant to the attendees (the bottom). Not surprisingly, they frequently miss the mark, making the “meetings in the hallways” the most valuable part of attending.

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Easy Way In

The last Tech Bit I wrote about an easy way to opt out of a lot of email newsletters you might have subscribed to, often just to get to something else.

The reality is a lot of the web's content is only available if you register on that website to access it. Add in the amount of on-line shopping I do and that's a lot of forms asking for my name, address, email address, etc.

Plus almost every site where you register lets you pick a password, which you need to come back in the future.

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Easy Way Out

If you are like me, you probably get a ton of emails that aren't quite spam but you don't want either. It seems like any time I want to get to something interesting I have to "sign up" for their newsletter first.

Most email newsletters come with a message at the end, usually in microscopically small fine print, on how to unsubscribe. It's actually required under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

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Cable or DSL?

Change is good.

My first high speed internet was a 256 KB link that U. S. West offered. I tried to get it for the office, but we were 16,528 feet from the central office (they measured it electronically while talking to me on the phone). The limit then was 15,000 feet. But I could get DSL at home and took it.

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Screen Sharing Redux

It's been almost 60 articles since I wrote about using screen sharing, back in Tech Bit 7. Since then a lot has changed.

Back then, there were very few free options, the one I mentioned was Vyew, www.vyew.com. It is still available for free, with a 10 person watching limit, and has the advantage of being entirely web browser based. It can also support both VoIP and a Webcam to let your viewers see and hear you.

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