Monthly Archives: December 2008

Top 10 Tech Terms to Know for 2009

Throughout the year, when it comes to computer and Internet technologies only one thing is certain — technology trends (like everything else) come and go with the changing tides.  Terms that will make — or continue to make — headlines in the coming year are not necessarily “brand new” technologies, but are those technologies. like the Android Platform and netbooks that gained traction in 2008, and new developments will move them to the forefront of hot technologies for 2009.

From, here are the top 10 technology terms and related references that we expect to be hearing more about this coming year.

Technology Terms to Know For 2009
By Vangie Beal, December 24 , 2008

Gyration Air Mouse with MotionSense Review

When is a PC like a Wii? When it’s paired with Gyration’s 3D-motion mouse, a pointing device that keeps working when you lift it off your desk and wave, shake, or swipe it in the air. Vangie Beal finds the $100 high-flyer a little clunky when earthbound, but as addictive as, well, a Wii for PowerPoint and other presentation and media-center power users.

What’s worse than hearing a bad speech or presentation? Hearing one from a speaker who looks fixedly down reading cue cards or PowerPoint slides without making eye contact with the audience — or who’s busy manipulating a mouse or notebook touchpad instead of noticing the attendee who’s had her hand raised for the last five minutes.

Gyration Air Mouse with MotionSense Review: Watch the People, Not the Mouse
By Vangie Beal, December 29, 2008

EBay Watch 2008: The Year in Review

A look back at the many policy and platform changes in 2008 that set the stage for eBay in 2009.

Seller rebellion was another hot topic of 2008. Leading up to May we saw a number of grassroots boycott movements that gained a lot of publicity. One group even went so far as to call for the resignation of John Donahoe, which went largely ignored. The boycott actions from earlier this year were a big deal mainly with small to mid-sized sellers, but even in the face of a public boycott, eBay still rolled out its policy changes.

Donahoe’s hand will continue to play out into the coming year, regardless of how many sellers he rankles with policy changes. How long he remains at the helm in 2009 is a topic debated in many blogs. E-commerce blogger, Randy Smythe of My Blog Utopia is predicting that Donahoe will probably get at least two more quarters to turn eBay around, and at most a year. Many industry watchers agree he is on the way out, but how much longer he has is up for debate.

EBay Watch 2008: The Year in Review
By Vangie Beal, December 31, 2008

Text Language: A Guide to Understanding Text Messaging and Text Faces

With the rise in usage of real time text-based communications, such as cell phone text messaging (SMS), instant messaging, e-mail, and online gaming came the emergence of a new text language tailored to the immediacy and compactness of these new communication media.

To help you understand what friends and family are really saying in those quick text messages, Webopedia has put together several guides to help you decipher the abbreviated text language lingo and to assist you in using different online communication applications.

  • Text Message and Chat Abbreviations: If you have ever received a text message or you have been in an online chat room, instant messenger, or on a game server and the messages seem to be in its own foreign language, this Webopedia Quick Reference will help you decipher the text language by providing the definitions to over 1,000 text and online chat abbreviations.

  • Text Faces (Smiley Faces) and Emoticons: A ‘smiley face’, often called a text face, smiley face, or emoticon, is used in text communications to convey an emotion with a text message. this Webopedia Quick Reference offers step-by-step instructions to understanding and creating your own text faces.

  • A Guide to Understanding eBay, Auction and Classified Ad Acronyms:  Internet and online classified lingo has also grown. Abbreviations and acronyms on eBay and other sites are important to sellers.This Webopedia Quick Reference will help you decipher what sellers are saying in their online ads.

  • A Guide to Online Forum Etiquette: Forums are an online discussion areas where you can post and read messages from other users with similar interests, usually in an organized thread layout. The Webopedia Forum Etiquette Guide can help you learn forum language, and offers tips to keep new users from being banned.

  • Webopedia “Did You Know… Internet Grammar Concerns?” With new technology comes new jargon, and often it takes years before we can agree on the proper spelling and usage of words that seep into our vocabulary from common usage.

  • Webopedia Quick Reference: A Guide to Public IM Services: From AIM to Meebo to Yahoo Messenger, here’s a list of the leading public (and free) instant messaging services.

Read the Webopedia Guides to Texting (Messaging) here.

Stay Safe With These Holiday Shopping Tips

‘Tis the season for cheer and shopping, and while small business owners openly welcome the cheer, some have mixed feelings about letting employees do their online holiday shopping from the office.  Online shopping may sound harmless, but the reality is that many businesses are not aware of the security risks associated with online shopping or know how to protect their business computers from the threats.

Stay Safe With These Holiday Shopping Tips
By Vangie Beal, December 9, 2008

How to Spot a Holiday Shopping Scam

Online shopping has its benefits, but just like the real-world, there are some risks. The best way to stay safe when shopping online is to know what the risks are and how to avoid them. If you plan on shopping online this holiday season, here are some security risks to watch for and tips to help you shop safely online.

Online Ripoffs: How to Spot a Holiday Shopping Scam
By Vangie Beal, December 05, 2008

Microsoft Explorer Mouse with BlueTrack Technology Review

Microsoft says its new flagship mouse’s glowing blue bottom is the key to better tracking and higher precision than any optical or laser mouse has offered to date. Vangie Beal throws her mouse pad away to test the company’s claim that BlueTrack works on virtually any surface: Denim? Tile? Skin? Carpet? Kleenex? Lego? Read the full review on

Microsoft Explorer Mouse with BlueTrack Technology Review
By Vangie Beal, December 1, 2008