Desktop or Web-based e-mail?

Are you a user of Web-based e-mail like Gmail or Yahoo!? Or do you make use of a desktop e-mail client like Postbox, Outlook or Sparrow? Each e-mail option features pluses and minuses. As a newly released story by the Lifehacker Web site says, some users would do better with a desktop e-mail client and others will thrive with a Web-based e-mail system. Are you currently debating over whether to install that latest desktop e-mail client? Or are you contemplating signing up for Gmail? Deciding whether Web-based or desktop e-mail is right for you requires a close look at your computing habits.

When desktop makes sense

Here’s who ought to be using a desktop e-mail client, according to Lifehacker: Computer users that have multiple e-mail addresses with different domains, people who need to access their e-mail messages even when they’re offline and those who filter and block e-mail messages according to subject headers, senders and certain words. Lifehacker also recommends the use of desktop e-mail clients if you like using security features such as encryption and digital signing.

When Web-based makes sense

Lifehacker recommends the use of Web-based e-mail if you need a single unified inbox for all your e-mail messages and you only have a small number of e-mail addresses to track. Web-based e-mail may also make sense if you like using Web-based programs instead of downloading them to your computer and if you’re more comfortable storing your e-mail messages in the cloud instead of on your machine.

Plenty of choices

No matter if you go with desktop or Web-based e-mail services, the good news is there are more alternatives than ever when it comes to e-mail. At one time e-mail was more or less ignored by technology companies. Today, though, companies have launched a wide variety of e-mail services, both Web-based and desktop, that can make organizing and managing your e-mail messages a simpler task than ever before.

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The tech trends that small business owners need to follow

There was a point in time when e-mail was considered cutting-edge tech. Before that, businesses were considered tech-savvy if they had their very own fax machines. Technology, though, is constantly evolving. What companies needed three years ago is nowhere near what they need now to thrive. CIO Magazine, naturally, recognizes this. That’s why the magazine so emphasized the evolving nature of technology when it listed its top tech trends for businesses. The trends that the magazine’s editors have cited will definitely affect the way businesses operate in 2013. If you’re a wise businessman, you’ll pay particularly close attention to them.

Hospitals and BYOD

There’s a reason why more companies adopted the BYOD – bring your own devices – movement last year. When employees bring their own tablets or laptops to work, hook up to a company network and then perform their tasks on their own devices, they generally tend to be both happier and more efficient. This boosts the bottom line of companies. At the same time, companies that embrace BYOD don’t need to provide individual computers for their employees. This year, CIO Magazine says, the BYOD movement will grow even stronger as increasing numbers of businesses – even highly secure ones such as hospitals – being encouraging their workers to bring their own iPads to work.

3-D Printing Continues to Soar

3-D printing has made a big effect on businesses. The ability to use a printer to produce objects with heft and depth – for example plastic machine parts – is definitely an amazing one. And CIO Magazine predicts that more businesses will see this in 2013. In fact, CIO Magazine predicts that 3-D printing will become a breakthrough technology this year for companies.

The End of Passwords?

Passwords have always been a technological problem for businesses. A great number of their employees rely on their children’s names, street addresses or favorite hockey team when deciding on passwords. These passwords are easier for hackers to guess. When hackers guess a password, they can quickly gain access to confidential company information. But what if companies instead relied on biometrics to secure their computers and confidential data? That day is coming, predicts CIO. In biometrics, companies use such body parts as the iris’ of their workers’ eyes or their fingerprints as replacements for passwords. It really is a more secure option for businesses to guard their critical data.

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Orchestra hits a home run with Mailbox for iPhone

Do you read and send e-mail messages through your smart phone? Naturally you do. Do you genuinely like the e-mail program that you use to get this done? If you’re similar to most smart phone users, most likely not. The simple truth is that few smart phone users like their mobile e-mail programs. There is a new contender in the mobile e-mail space, though, and it may well change this. Tech provider Orchestra just recently released Mailbox, its new e-mail client for the iPhone. And the assessments? Thus far, they’ve been fantastic.


So why has the tech press weighed in so positively about the iPhone version of Mailbox? Probably because it operates as if it was actually designed to be used with smart phones. Several other mobile e-mail programs feel like they are simply rehashes of e-mail programs that work better on desktop or laptop computers. Here’s the fundamental difference: With Mailbox, users save, delete or archive messages by swiping, the same as they do most anything else with their smart phones or tablet computers. Here are some examples: If you swipe an e-mail message to the left, you’ll save it for a later date. When you instead swipe to the right, you’ll archive the message. And when you swipe to the right while holding also, you’ll delete an e-mail message. Swipe to the left while holding? A List screen will pop-up. Using this new screen, you can either label messages or move them to new locations. Basically, using Mailbox is intuitive.


Supporters of the new Mailbox app point out that sending e-mail messages feels a lot more like Tweeting or texting. That’s a pretty heady compliment; after all, most smart phone users prefer texting or sending out quick Tweets to depending on traditional e-mail programs to transmit messages. Mailbox also configures e-mail messages so that they are easy to read on a typical smart phone screen. When messages are first displayed, as an example, Mailbox does not show unneeded information like signatures. It’s only when users tap on messages that additional information — such as the “To” and “From” features — are shown.

To Do

Mailbox for iPhone also acts as a handy to-do list for replying to e-mail messages. For example, when you read a message, you can assign it a priority. You could tend to have the message reappear in your e-mail inbox, for action, two days later. If the message carries a lower priority, you can request for it to appear again in a month. This supplies users with a simple way to gain some control over their incoming e-mail messages. If you’re aggravated by your present mobile e-mail program, it may be the perfect time to explore the iPhone version of Mailbox. You just might discover that it is the perfect e-mail application on your favorite smart phone.

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Apple’s iPad Mini might be the best tablet value

Looking for that perfect tablet? You have an abundance of choices today, from classic iPad to the upstart Galaxy tablets. But which gadget is actually the best to buy? Which gives you top capabilities at a reasonable cost? And, this being tablets we’re talking about, which best fits in your purse or book bag? One Website has a interesting answer: the iPad Mini.

The Benefits of the Mini

Staffers at the WireCutter blog advise the iPad Mini for one simple reason: It’s equally as powerful as its more substantial cousin, however it weighs less. For the staffers of WireCutter, the traditional iPad’s heft, as they refer to it, has become a serious problem. As the staffers wrote inside a recent article, you can’t support the traditional iPad like a magazine, which is the ultimate purpose of a tablet. That’s because its weight is more similar to a hefty coffee table or perhaps thinner telephone book. The iPad Mini, in contrast? It really is light.


Of course, the Mini’s small size isn’t enough to recommend it as the very best tablet on the market. The editors of WireCutter also discovered that it performed exceptionally well. As reported by these editors, watching movies on the iPad Mini is a pleasure. Same goes with listening to music, surfing the Internet and playing video games. This performance, combined with the lighter weight and smaller size of the Mini, combine to make the iPad Mini the top tablet for informed shoppers today, WireCutter wrote.

The right recommendation?

Of course, this is simply one Web site’s viewpoint. Your opinion may differ. The obvious way to determine which tablet is right for you: Shop around. Experiment with the numerous tablets at the nearest bookstore or technology retailer. See which of them feel too heavy, which ones boast the best graphics and which have the most intuitive Browser or greatest variety of apps. It may seem like there are too many tablets available today. But wouldn’t you prefer too many of these wonderful devices than too few?

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Internet trivia for a new year

It’s tough to envision a world minus the Internet. After all, so many of us use the Internet now to watch movies, talk with our friends, play games and catch up on current events. But how much do you understand the Internet and how it works? You may be surprised at all you are not aware of. The Web site Business Insider recently took an intriguing look at the world of the web, paying special attention to those little factoids that you should but most likely have no idea of.

Facebook is King

We are all aware Facebook is big. But the social networking company isn’t just big. It dominates cyberspace. Business Insider quoted data from Hitwise to discover just how big of a player Facebook has become: Facebook accounts for one in every five page views on the Internet. Facebook also, in September of 2012, reached 1 billion users.

The Biggest Data Center is Rising in Utah

Business Insider also mentioned of the fact that largest data center in the world is now being built in Utah. The National Security Agency is behind this center, and when the data center is complete, it will store a yottabyte of data. You might not know just what a yottabyte is. But it’s huge. It equals 1,000 zettabytes or 1 million exabytes, according to Business Insider.

Streaming is on the Rise

Do you stream movies or Tv programs on your TV, computer or tablet? Even if you don’t, the possibilities are high that your neighbor probably does. Streaming became one of the Internet’s most widely used features. As stated by the Business Insider story, quoting statistics from Harris Interactive, greater than 50 percent of U.S. residents are using the Internet to watch TV. Streaming video has grown to be a particularly desired service among the many younger customers which are flocking to Web streaming. As per Business Insider, streaming is a huge hit among users under the age of 35.


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A standing desk can keep your heart healthy

If you work in an office, you may unwittingly be setting yourself up for health problems. According to a recent story by NPR, people who spend too much time sitting during the week face a greater probability of heart related illnesses compared to those people who are more physically active. The NPR report quoted a researcher from South Carolina University who discovered that men who sat more than 23 hours each week were 64 percent more likely to die from heart disease than were those that sat fewer than 11 hours in the average week.

The Good News

But there is good news, too: It is possible to dramatically reduce the number of hours each week that you sit by creating your own standing desk, a desk at which you stand as opposed to sit. Best of all? You can build that standing desk even if you are not handy or you haven’t got many dollars to shell out. Website Lifehacker recently gave a unique recipe for a standing desk, one which uses reasonably priced parts that you can find at any Ikea furniture store.

The Easy Way

Need an easy desk for yourself? Lifehacker suggests creating a standing desk with Utby legs. This is a smaller desk, but it will provide you with enough room for a monitor, keyboard and laptop. For this desk, you’ll need a Vika Amon Top, Utby underframe, Ekby Jarpen shelf and one set of Capita legs, all of which you can find at Ikea for a total of approximately $140. According to Lifehacker, you can put this desk together by just assembling the main desk and platform using a screwdriver.

A Bit More Complicated

Do you want a desk with a wider top, one which will provide you with more room for your speakers, keyboard and monitor? Why not construct a wide standing desk completely from Ikea parts? Lifehacker recommends that you invest about $250 in five Vika Byske legs, one Lack shelf, two packages of Capita brackets and one Vida Amon tabletop. Then, with just the help of a power drill, you’ll be able to come up with a standing desk that includes more room.

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Struggling to master Excel? Follow these three tips

If you’re like most people who use computers, you make use of Excel on a daily basis, whether you’re figuring out your household expenses and income or figuring out what each of your company’s sales representatives sold for the month. But, if you’re really like the majority of Excel users, the possibilities are also good that you are not making use of this program to its full capacity. Excel can be a truly powerful software. You only need to learn how to tap into its full power. Here, then, are three tricks to help you get more from Excel.

Adding non-contiguous values

Excel’s AutoSum option is an incredibly useful tool. It lets users instantly add rows of numbers together to calculate a single sum. Way too many users, though, don’t know the way you use AutoSum to add values which aren’t contiguous, or adjacent, to one another. Fortunately, this task isn’t as complicated as users might think. The TechRebpublic blog recently highlighted how users are able to use AutoSum to include non-contiguous sums. The procedure involves picking one column of numbers and holding the computer’s “Control” key to select a second column. Users are able to use AutoSum to compute the sums of both columns, even if they’re not located alongside the other.

Preventing bad data entry

Do your employees often enter bad data within your company spreadsheets? Your workers might be entering text in a spreadsheet designed just to accommodate numbers. This is often a frustrating situation when it’s time to analyze your spreadsheet. The good news, though, as PC Magazine wrote in a recent story, is the fact that Excel features a method intended to protect against personnel from typing the wrong information inside a company spreadsheet. This phenomenal feature? It’s known as Data Validation. Click on the “Table Tools” tab on Excel. Next, click “Data Validation.” Excel then will allow you to enter just what type of data your employees need to be entering into the spreadsheet. As an illustration, you could tell Excel just to allow numbers and never text inside a spreadsheet’s fields. Excel will prevent employees from entering an incorrect kind of data.

Don’t let unsaved files ruin your day

We all get that sinking feeling when our computers turn off while we’re working with an Excel file that we never saved. Fortunately, with newer versions of Excel, there’s no cause for that feeling. That’s because Excel makes it simple to easily recover documents which you thought you lost. To recover these important files, click the “File” tab in Excel. Then click “Recover Unsaved Documents.” After this, you simply select the “lost” document once it appears on your screen. This procedure works for Excel files that you never even gave a name.


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