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Netflix Tech Tips: Tricks and Hints for Getting New Releases

Considering the number of times we've uttered, "I'll watch it when it comes out on DVD," it's no wonder we're such hounds for new releases. Sadly, we've become used to the new movies in our Netflix queue being perpetually stuck at "Very Long Wait." It's bad enough that we have to hold off until we can watch something of merit. (Damn you, New York movie ticket prices!) But having to wait indefinite...

How to Put Your Netflix Account on Hold

There's a little red envelope that's sitting on our coffee table, and in it is a DVD. We haven't opened that envelope since it arrived, and it's been lying there, gathering dust and staring at us accusingly, as if to say, "Will you ever make it through all of 'Lawrence of Arabia'?" We tell ourselves we'll get around to it. Days go by, then weeks. Seasons change, time passes, we grow old. And stil...

Shopping Tips: Be the Keeper of the Online Coupon Holy Grail

Your writer would like to brag for just a moment: everyone has talents, and hers (mine) happens to be Internet shopping. There is a groove one gets into, a zen-like hum, where this faithful blogger can surf the Internet for deals and scores with a preternatural agility, leaping from one excellent buy to another. And with Christmas just around the corner, the world will be looking for ways to spen...

P2P and Online Gaming Pose Risky Problems for Uninformed Parents

File-sharing and online gaming expose kids to a variety of harmful elements. The fact that most parents are unfamiliar with these services (relative to other online endeavors like social networking) only compounds the inherent dangers and issues. File-sharing services, also known as peer-to-peer networks (P2P), close as frequently as new ones spring up, which makes it difficult for parents or cas...

Tech Tips: Thwart Chatroom Shenanigans, Predators and Danger

Chris Hansen thrust chat rooms, and their inherent dangers, into the national consciousness with his legendary 'To Catch a Predator' sting operations on 'Dateline.' Despite Hansen's admirable and alarmingly successful crackdowns, chatting online definitely remains a perilous endeavor, particularly for kids. To combat the dangers, both parents and children need to familiarize themselves with threa...

Google Calendar: Get Your Weather Forecast and Custom Date Views

For all the good that Google has done in helping us keep our e-mails and events organized, it's notoriously bad for hiding useful tools and features out of sight. We've got two simple tips today for opening up Google Calendar's potential. Google Calendar's '4 days' view has always seemed out of place, but makes much more sense when you realize it's customizable. You'll need to head to Settings to ...

Your New Text Friend: Google Calendar and SMS

Sometimes a simple SMS reminder buzzing in your pocket is enough to break all the pings and alerts hitting your computer screen throughout the day. Fortunately, Google Calendar is SMS-capable, which means you don't need a cutting-edge smartphone to get calendar alerts. Read on after the break to learn how to text your calendar....

Back Up and Share Your Contacts with CSV files and vCards

Alright, so you've siphoned your contacts out of Facebook and into a much more manageable level. All your repeat entries have been consolidated and unidentifiable e-mail addresses deleted. Your once chaotic set of contacts, scattered across several devices and services are now all together in one, reasonably manageable pile. But what if you cleaned them up using Yahoo and now you want to move ever...

Contact Tips: Group Your Peeps Together to Stay Organized

Alright, guys, this is it. You've got your contacts combined, synced, Facebook-free, and cleaned out. You're feeling good, and your address book is looking pretty. Or, so you think. But, Padawan, why stop now? We've already come so far, so why not really whip your contacts into shape, and treat yourself to some serious organization in the form of labels and groups. Practically any contact-mana...

Do a Fall Cleaning of Your Contact List

This week we've focused on creating a single, giant pool of contacts. First, we combined your Web-mail address book and the random numbers stashed on your cell phone. Then, we freed your friends' photos, e-mail addresses and phone numbers from the evil clutches of Facebook. Now, you've got a comprehensive database of hundreds of contacts. Your mother is in your address book 13 times, your girlfri...

Organize Your Black Book: Syncing Google Contacts With Your Phone

With your Facebook contact data freed from the evil clutches of the mighty Zuck, we're halfway done with consolidating your address books. While getting your info from Facebook is the trickiest part, we all know that the disaster of an address book on your cell phone is the worst offender when it comes to disorganization. Today, we're going to combine your Gmail contacts with those on your Androi...

Free Your Friends' Contact Info From Facebook's Grip

Getting your contacts all in one place is a giant headache, and Facebook doesn't help. Recently, Google has been making a big stink about Facebook "trapping" your contact information. And, to be fair, the complaints aren't entirely unfounded; Facebook wants you to have your friends' contact info... just as long as you're looking it up on Facebook only. But there are ways around The Book's blockad...

Tech Travel Tip: Remember to Bring (Gadget) Protection

With the week drawing to a triumphant close, we thought we'd end our series on tech travel tips with a brief rundown of how to go about physically protecting your gadgets while abroad. Of course, the degree to which you sheath your beloved laptops and tablets largely depends upon where you're going. If you're planning on surfing the Web from the beaches of Brazil, you might want to take extra pre...

Tech Traveling Tips: Avoid Roaming While Roaming Freely

Networks, bandwidth and capabilities are varied enough within any given country (as will be confirmed by anyone who's tried to get an iPhone on Verizon), but they're an entirely new mess when you start crossing borders. So, if you plan on staying connected without bankrupting yourself, you might want to see if your phone can handle the trip -- and make sure you aren't signing away your first-born...

Tech Travel Tips: How to Keep Your Power Pumping

Once you're across the seas, you'll start snapping photos, turning up your MP3 player, and blogging your adventures -- that is, until you run out of juice. Buying converters in the airport is always über-expensive, and being stuck without one when you need it is hair-pulling. Not sure if you should make the investment? Remember that voltage varies in different continents, and, if you have an...