Do you lock your smartphone? Why not?

Do you lock your phone? Should you? Gizmodo writer Lily Hay Newman tackled this question in a recent post on the site. For the record, Newman doesn’t lock her phone. She doesn’t rely on a password, key or swipe pattern. She admits, though, that this isn’t smart, and that it’s a practice she’ll probably regret someday.

No lock

Why do so many people not lock their phones? You can probably blame it on laziness. Then there’s the fact that we tend to check our smartphones a lot. This is Newman’s case. She writes that she’s always checking her phone. To enter a password or complete a swipe pattern every time she does this, she writes, would be a hassle.

Why you should lock

It’s clear why you should lock your smartphone. What if you lose it? This could give a complete stranger access to your most personal information and contacts. If you lose a locked phone, the odds are much lower that a stranger will use your personal information to cause you trouble.

More locking?

Our advice to you? Lock your phone. Even good people might be tempted to sneak a look at your personal information should you lose an unlocked phone on the bus or leave it on the train. Yes, it’s a hassle. Yes, it’s one more thing to do, often several times a day. But locking your phone is something that could pay off should you misplace your phone.

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You can change your bad email habits

Do your co-workers frequently complain about your curt, cold email messages? Do you often accidentally hurt the feelings of a fellow employee when responding to an email? You might have picked up bad email manners during the course of your career. Fortunately, you can take steps to erase this bad email etiquette. With practice, you might even become one of your company’s favorite e-mailers.

The basics

According to a recent story by Inc. magazine, good email etiquette starts with knowing what subjects to address in an email and which ones to handle in a more personal way, either over the phone or person-to-person. It’s like breaking up with someone; you wouldn’t do that in an e-mail, would you? If you’re rejecting a fellow employee’s request to work together on a project, or giving a fellow-co-worker a negative performance review, it might be best to pick up the phone or schedule an in-person meeting. Sending an email message with negative information seems passive-aggressive.

No Sarcasm, Please

Alex Colon, an advice columnist for PCMag.com, provides another important tip: No sarcasm. The problem, of course, is that sarcasm can be very tricky to detect in an e-mail. Besides, in a professional work environment, sarcasm is best avoided in written correspondence. What, Colon asks, happens if the person to which you sent your sarcastic email needs to forward that email to company superiors? Even if these higher-ups can detect the sarcasm, there’s no guarantee that they’d appreciate it.

Stay Calm

Inc. Magazine also suggests that you only send an email message when you’re calm. Upset about a fellow co-worker missing an important project meeting? Don’t rush to your inbox to send a scalding letter to your fellow employee. Take a breath, relax and send that message out after you’ve calmed down. Remember, a furious email message could live on forever. You don’t want to become known as the angry worker at your office, do you? Oh, and one final suggestion – also from Inc. – do not use exclamation points in your e-mails unless absolutely necessary. A message filled with exclamation points makes you look childish.

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Is the iPad Air the perfect PC for you?

Consumers are increasingly turning to tablets to handle more of their computing needs. PCMag writer Tim Bajarin, in a recent story on the magazine’s Web site, suggests that with the release of the iPad Air, the transformation of tablets into mini-PCs is just about complete.

A better device

Bajarin has plenty of praise for the Air. Not only is the iPad the thinnest and lightest full-size tablet on the market, it is one of the most powerful. That’s because Apple has added a 64-bit A7 processor. As Bajarin writes, this processor is already powering most mainstream PCs and laptops. This is the first time, though, that it’s inside a tablet.

The PC for the masses

Because of this, Bajarin writes, the iPad Air might be the perfect PC for most consumers. The more powerful processor brings better apps to the iPad Air, Bajarin writes. It also allows for more multi-tasking. This is why he says that the iPad Air is an ideal personal computer for most consumers while at home.

Not for work

This isn’t to say that the iPad Air can replace PCs and laptops, Bajarin writes. It’s easy and convenient to have fun on an iPad Air. You can use it to browse the Internet, send Tweets, watch movies and read the news. But it’s still not easy to do real work on the iPad Air. You don’t, for instance, want to write a 20-page business report on the device. Still, the impressive iPad Air is one more step closer to a real PC experience that fits in the palm of your hand.

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Mobile workers? Here’s the tech they need

Workers don’t spend nearly as much time chained to their desks. Today, they make sales presentations at hotel conference centers. They write and upload reports while flying to a new city. They sell your company’s goods and services to clients spread out across the country. Fortunately, technology has kept pace with this changing business environment. Mobile workers can rely on this new tech to make working on the road a less daunting task.

Not Too Big

As office store Staples says in a recent Web post, business travelers today don’t have to lug 17-inch laptop computers on their travels. Today, notebook computers — which can weight two to three pounds lighter — are powerful enough for business use. Other travelers can use a 1.5-pound tablet, Staples suggests. These tools can allow business travelers to access their email and surf the Web while on the road. And their recharging cords are smaller and lighter than those that go with a notebook.

iPad Presentations

The popularity of the iPad means that a growing number of business travelers are relying on the device to build and show presentations to their clients. Brendan Cournoyer, writing for Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, says that the iPad has become the preferred presentation tool for salespeople. This makes sense: It is much smaller and lightweight than a laptop. Cournoyer recommends the SlideShark app, which allows salespeople to deliver PowerPoint presentations directly from their iPads. There’s an added benefit to using an iPad: The device still impresses many clients.

The Right Gadgets

The Staples Web site also recommends a list of gadgets that business travelers should take with them on all their travels. Staples says that multi-purpose gadgets are the best, tools that have more than one use. Some of the tools they recommend are pocket projectors that double as camcorders and digital cameras. Staples also suggests that business travelers should pack business-card readers, a combination wall socket/car charger to keep devices powered and mini power strips to boost the socket ability of hotels. And don’t forget those portable wireless speakers.

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Is Apple working on a curved screen for the iPhone?

Are the rumors true? Is Apple really developing a large iPhone that boasts a curved display? No one knows for sure. But ZDNet writer Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in a recent online post speculated about such plans. He wondered if it makes sense for Apple to chase after a market already mostly cornered by Samsung and LG.

Future plans?

Kingsley-Hughes cited comments made by Bloomberg News that Apple is developing iPhone designs that include bigger screens with curved glass and sensors that can detect different levels of pressure. How big will these curved screens be? According to the Bloomberg stories, the new phones will have screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. This is much bigger than the current iPhone’s 4-inch screen. And the glass will curve downward at the edges, according to the rumors.

Too familiar?

Kingsley-Hughes wonders if these plans are too similar to what Samsung has already done. Its Galaxy Note 3 boasts a 5.7-inch display. Samsung’s Round and LG’s G Flex — though both of these are only available in South Korea — already feature curved screens.

Pros and cons

Does such a move make sense for Apple? On the pro side, Kingsley-Hughes says that curved screens would differentiate the iPhone from other smartphones on the market. At the same time, Apple lags in the large-screen market, a problem that these screens can alleviate. Curved screens also minimize glare. On the con side, Kingsley-Hughes writes, curved screens are largely a gimmick and offer little real benefit. At the same time, there is no proven market for smartphones with curved screens.

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