All posts tagged: Tech

6 Apps to Remember Stuff and Get Comfy in the Cloud

In this age of constant alerts, badges, and notifications, it’s increasingly difficult to filter signal from noise. How do you remember what’s really important when the flow of information never ceases? In our busy modern lives, it’s way too easy to let essential material slip through the cracks. The good news is that there are a plethora of tools available to help manage the onslaught. With a little planning, technology can become an extension of your mind, improving your memory and helping you maintain focus. As a digital fanatic, I’ve created a system that allows my entire brain to live in the cloud. A brief introduction: I’ve worked in digital since the late ‘90s, back when people told me that the internet was a passing fad. Today, I run a social media agency – and to say that our work moves fast is putting it mildly. The good news is that by putting our memories into the ether, we become smarter humans, with an enhanced ability to understand and process information that our minds alone …

We Can Be Friends Without Being Facebook Friends

At least once a week, I invariably have a conversation that goes like this: My friend: “Jamie is so annoying! She won’t stop posting pseudo-science articles about how coconuts cure cancer. And then she liked all my vacation photos from three years ago. Who does that?” Me: “Just unfriend her.” My friend: “I can’t do that! It’ll hurt her feelings!” I really don’t understand all the tiptoeing around Facebook friendships. Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. As a native Philadelphian transplanted to the suburban wilds of Connecticut, Facebook lets me easily keep in touch with my nearest and dearest at a time in my life when my closest family member is a four-hour drive away. I don’t have to miss anyone’s kids growing up, and I can easily arrange dinner, drinks and karaoke when I’m back in town for a visit. But I’ve found that people put up with an amazing amount of BS in the name of Facebook “friends.” [pullquote]As Roger Murtaugh said in Lethal Weapon, “I’m too old for this shit.”[/pullquote] A …

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Mr. Knightley Is Not on Tinder

Newly single, I have, at the urging of friends, downloaded dating apps on my iPhone. On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself in some dark hole of the internet and wondered if I was an unknowing participant in a secret Cindy Sherman project where she’s disguised herself as red-eyed, heavily jowled men sitting next to sedated tigers or at the finish line of Tough Mudders. Those first few swipes felt odd. Throw in a married dad from my son’s elementary school and a few minutes of swiping left made me want to wash my hands. I’ve been guilty of having a few laughs at the expense of these dating prospects. I’ve screenshot their most awkward profile photos to share with friends, and I’ve attended Lane Moore’s Tinder Live Show. When I was first single and my friends would ask me what I was looking for, I would tell them straight up that I wanted someone with integrity. A strong moral compass. Their replies were varied versions of “Good luck with that.” I’ve also mentioned this …

6 Easy Ways to Tidy Up Your Desktop

Got a jumble of icons cluttering your Mac’s desktop? Are the icons themselves too big—or too small? Wish they would just arrange themselves? Read on for six ways to whip your messy Mac desktop into shape, starting with… 1. Arrange Your icons Automatically Want to see your desktop icons arranged in nice, straight columns, and in some kind of logical order? First, here’s the secret weapon you’ll need to use: the View Options tool in the Mac OS X “Finder.” Here’s your secret weapon for cleaning up your desktop: the “View Options” menu. Just right-click your desktop, then select Show View Options. (If you’re fond of keyboard shortcuts, you can also hit Command-J after clicking the desktop.) Next, click the drop-down menu that’s labeled “Sort by” and pick an option, from Name and Size to Date Created and Date Last Opened. Note that no matter which automatic sorting option you choose, your Mac will group your icons by type—meaning internal hard drives come first, then shared and external drives, and finally your folders and files. …

Mom, Interrupted: Let Me Finish My Sentence

“Mom, can the new kid in my class come over sometime and…” Click. “The new kid in MY class from Japan brought in this candy today that tasted like…” Click. “Somebody said there was a bug in the noodles today, and my whole class was, like, screaming…” “Tristan’s mom is having a baby…” “Sweetheart, can you please get my watch fixed before… “ Click. Click. Click. Somehow my entire existence has become a live-action website. Each day hurtles at me at warp speed. But it’s not like it was when I was growing up, when life seemed to unfold in a forward motion not unlike the 1970s TV shows I watched after school. Instead, life in my family today seems as if it’s its own social network of bang-bang status updates – an unyielding series of nested hyperlinks, one after another, mouse click after mouse click after mouse click. They carry me, like a cognitive tidal wave, away from whatever it is that I’m trying to say and think. [pullquote]Perhaps we’re afraid our overscheduled 40-something …

Teaching My Son to Be Nice to the Robots

“Siri. Siri, you’re stupid.” My son — the most polite, sweetest, kindest little boy I know — is at it again. “Siri, I think you’re ugly.” I cringe. I yell from my office, “CALVIN! Stop being mean to Siri!” “But Mom, she’s not human!” he yells back from his nest of pillows on the couch. Yeah, I think to myself. That’s exactly what people said about their slaves 150 years ago, isn’t it? It’s what the Nazi’s said about their victims in the ‘40s and what ISIS says about Yazidi women today. Is that where the bar lies in this household? Is this our acceptable level of conduct? Calvin, like many children of his generation, learned the word “acceptable” even before he learned to walk. He used to toddle around and scold his stuffed animals with that big, grown-up word. “No ass-ET-ball,” he’d chastise, wagging his chubby finger at Elephant, who is, unsurprisingly, a stuffed elephant. “NO ASS-ET-BALL!” [pullquote]“But if you can’t learn to be nice to the robots, then you can just…just…FORGET about having a robot. …

What in the Ham Sandwich?! We Made a Kimmy Schmidt Shop

Yes, the shop. What in the ham sandwich?! Some of us around here had such anticipation for the new Tina Fey Netflix series The Unbreakable of Kimmy Schmidt, we set our alarms for its premiere today. So in honor of the new, bound-to-be-side-splittingly-funny series, and the binge we’re about to go on this weekend, we created a little boutique, just for Kimmy. Filled with candy colors, a backpack (to replace the one she — TINY SPOILER ALERT — loses) and more, we know there are some goodies this former Indiana mole woman will love. Here are just a few from our KIMMY! boutique on GREAT.LY:     Happy Yellow Sun Mug, $39 The perfect morning accompaniment to Kimbird’s plucky yellow cardigan. Each piece is handmade, so your order will look like the one in the photo with its own touch of uniqueness. Made with a sturdy, white stoneware clay. Dishwasher safe and lead-free.     Kawaii Sweet Marshmallow Earrings, $16 Sweet pastel colors earrings for girls who likes sweets. Earrings made from polymer clay.   The Bedford, $75 …

11 Problem-Solving Tech Gifts & Apps

To me, a tech gift is a romantic gift. What is more loving than solving major problems in my life so that I may live more seamlessly? Dreamy. Here I offer problem-solvers for every kind of person you know. They will adore you — and hopefully not be too annoyed that you’re trying to fix their issues.   1. For the Stressed: The Muse Place this stress-reducing contraption around your head and it actually senses the electrical activity of your brain. Pair it with an app called Calm and it walks you through a series of guided, chill-out exercises. You have to fiddle with it to make sure it’s adjusted correctly, but once it is, it’s a pretty effective way to reinforce those five minutes of meditation. $299, gaiam.com   2. For the Person Who Could Be a Little Neater: The Stash Catchall We love the bright colors and sleek design of this simple, smart cord, coin and “stuff” container. Enable your inner Joan Crawford: No more wires! $30, modco.com   3. For the Person Whose Headphones Aren’t …

Analog

Margit’s Note: The Analog Issue

  “Why do you pet the glowing thing more than you pet me?” says my cat, as I swipe my iPhone. (Seriously, she tells me with her furrowed kitty brow.) Earlier this month, on the National Day of Unplugging, I spent 5 whole minutes wondering if I could embark on a digital detox. Let me text this to you: “Nope.”  As last week’s New Yorker piece “The Pointlessness of Unplugging” argued, “Few who unplug really want to surrender their citizenship in the land of technology; they simply want to travel outside it on temporary visas.” Because there is obvious benefit to our e-lives — from expedient access to data to the ability to order dinner without ever moving from this chair. And as Gen-X era women, we find ourselves betwixt and between the analog and the digital: we took a typewriter to college and maybe ended it — or started our first job — with an email account. We mix and match our lives — post-it reminders mingle with our favorite To Do app (mine …

Women Who Inspire: Reshma Saujani

                  NAME: Reshma Saujani AGE: Almost 38 OCCUPATION: Founder, Girls Who Code WHO SHE IS: Saujani is the daughter of Indian immigrants who were expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin. A lawyer by education and training, she worked for various Wall Street firms and hedge funds before launching a political career. She became the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress in 2010 (losing the primary to incumbent Carolyn Mahoney). It was during this race that Saujani was first inspired to found the nonprofit Girls Who Code, which launched in 2012. GWC teaches young women the technical skills they need to survive in our new tech-centric society; skills that include web design, algorithms, and robotics. She was inspired to do this, she told TechRepublic, because she found fewer girls in technology education at every level, no matter their socioeconomic status. Saujani became New York City’s deputy public advocate and ran last year to become the city’s public advocate, losing the race to Letitia James. She has continued …