Erin Kane

Recent Posts By Erin Kane

These Gen-Xers Eschew Kindle

Over the weekend, on a sandy beach on Martha’s Vineyard, five girlfriends celebrated their annual retreat to the island by flopping into lounge chairs and pulling out their favorite magazines, books, and newspapers. In a departure from normal book club etiquette, which dictates the selection of paperbacks only, three of us are reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. As we complained about toting the heavy book in our beach bags, someone pointed out the book is available for the Amazon Kindle.

This started a lengthy debate about the merits of the Kindle.

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Stylish Wi-Fi Radio Plays Music From Around the World

There’s something about local radio that grounds me. It serves to remind me of where I am at any given time. When I’m driving long distances in my 2004 SUV, as one station is lost, another is found. Whizzing along on the highway, through dozens of cities and towns, my index finger is constantly perched above scan button as I search for my favorite music or the local NPR station. For me, this is an experience that’s unique to my vehicle, as it’s the only place where my choices are still limited by the reach of my antenna. At home, however, it’s an entirely different story.

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How to Be a Gmail Ninja

It seems like I’ve been writing about Gmail a lot lately. I don’t mean to give other Web-based email applications the cold shoulder, but as I spend more time with Gmail, I learn more and more ways to tackle my inbox. For me, e-mail continues to be a blessing and a curse. In some ways, it increases my personal productivity. But unread messages haunt me at work the way piles of dirty laundry haunt me at home. I have to deal with it at some point, but it just keeps getting pushed aside for more immediate, must-do-now tasks.

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Flip MinoHD is My New Favorite Gadget

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been using a new Flip MinoHD camcorder (retail price $230) from Pure Digital Technologies to record everything from birthday parties to soccer games to my baby boy’s preschool graduation. In just a matter of days, I have fallen in love with this tiny gadget! Believed to be the world’s smallest HD camcorder and weighing just 3.3 ounces, the Flip MinoHD fits nicely into your purse or your jacket pocket and can shoot up to 60 minutes of high quality HD video with its 4GB built-in memory.

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Are You a Mobile Misfit?

Here’s something that shouldn’t shock you: 90 percent of U.S. adults are frustrated by others’ etiquette or lack thereof when using mobile devices. According to the recent “Mobile Etiquette” survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Intel Corporation, nine of 10 adults had a pet peeve with 72 percent of adults reporting that their top annoyance is when others text or type on their mobile devices while driving a car.

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Electronic Invites that Look as Good as Paper

While I advocate for almost anything electronic these days, I am still a bit old-fashioned when it comes to party invitations, thank you cards, and yes, even birthday cards (that is, when I can remember to mail them on time). I don’t know about you, but I like going to my mailbox and finding a beautiful envelope tucked inside. I especially love if the envelope is brightly colored and weighty and contains a pretty invitation to a celebration among girlfriends. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a baby shower brunch, a 40th birthday party, or a casual potluck among old friends, I love a party (bonus if I don’t have to clean up after).

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Using Filters to Manage Your Inbox

(Writer’s note: I realize I said I would file this post on Monday, but life got in the way. Does anyone else feel like June is the busiest time of year or is it just me?) It’s been almost a week since I moved all my e-mail accounts over to Gmail and I am absolutely loving it. Being able to access all of my e-mail accounts with a single login is great, but what’s better is being able to quickly and easily set up filters for my incoming mail.

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Merging My Many e-mail Accounts

At last count, I had five active e-mail accounts. There’s the one for my PR business, two for personal use, two for Manic Mommies (one for listener mail and one for business) and then the few random abandoned accounts that I use primarily to register with Web sites I have no intention of ever visiting again. I realize this sounds crazy, but truth is, it’s never really bothered me to have separate logins and servers for all of this mail. Until this week. This week I experienced a spike in e-mail activity that can only be described as dizzying. And it finally sent me over the edge. I couldn’t keep up with important correspondence, including electronic receipts for payments we received through our Web site. At long last I sat down and did something I should have done a long, long time ago.

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Electronic Bill Pay Saves Time and Money

As the owner of two small businesses, I have a lot of bills. Payroll, quarterly tax payments and monthly bills are a constant source of stress and frustration. Even when I hire other people to handle these tasks for me, I still have to stay on top of when bills are due, maintain neat and organized receipts, keep detailed records of bank deposits, and tax my income at the appropriate rate. Thankfully, my husband manages the household bills so I don’t have to worry about those expenses (I just have to worry about him taking too much money from my business account, but that’s a story for another day).

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Why Doesn’t the Picture Fill the Screen?

On Monday, my husband and his buddy spent much of the day hanging our new, Sony Bravia 52-inch flat screen high-definition TV on our living room wall. I’m being generous when I say “our TV” because the truth is, this was very much his purchase. I was not consulted on the model, the size, or the features. It doesn’t matter that I write about technology for this Web site, or that in a past life I worked for a leading public television station where the terms 16:9, HD, and letterbox were part of the organizational lexicon.

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