Archive for January, 2010

SMS Text Message reminders on your phone

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Got a birthday to remember? How about an important meeting? Sure, you can set reminders in Outlook or other apps on your computer, but that's no good to you if you aren't sitting in front of your machine. What would be great is to have those reminders come to you on the one piece of technology you are never without: your cell phone. is a free service that sends reminders to your wireless phone via SMS text message. Go to their site, sign up for a free account, and start reminding yourself. Birthdays, anniversaries, meetings–they're all fair game. And you can have reminders sent to your phone, or send them via email, or even have them posted to your Twitter account. No, you probably don't want "send a card to Mom" out there in front of the whole world, but you may have some other important "tweet' you want to have hit some time in the future.

While is a free service, remember that you may incur charges for text messages that you receive, depending on your carrier.

Haiti: Contact and Relief

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

We've all been touched by the scenes of the earthquake last week in Haiti. The devastation and carnage have been overwhelming; the stories of survivors plucked from the rubble even a week later are a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit.

For a two-week period, Google is offering free calls to Haiti via their Google Voice service. If you've got family or friends in the affected area, this is an opportunity to touch base with them and make sure everybody's okay.

As the relief effort ramps up, there are several agencies that are sending aid workers and relief supplies into the stricken area. As tempting as it might be to donate a blanket or a case of bottled water, what these folks really need is cash. You can donate online, via phone, and in some cases via text message to these or many other organizations:

Red Cross 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
or text Haiti to 90999 to donate $10

CARE 1-800-521-CARE (1-800-521-2273)

UNICEF 1-800-4UNICEF (1-800-486-4233)

Save the Children 1-800-728-3843

The Salvation Army 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
or text HAITI to 52000 to donate $10

Donations should be tax deductible (check with your tax professional for details). Standard text messaging rates apply to text donations (check with your carrier for more information).

Finally understand what the kids are saying with transl8it!

Friday, January 15th, 2010

What are those crazy kids talking about? While that's a question that parents and other adults have asked of the younger generation since cave-man days, there have never been so many opportunities for the jargon of the younger set to go totally over the heads of all the old fogies out there. Along with just plain old conversations, there are a wealth of other venues for confusion, including text messages, IM exchanges, even cute little emoticons. If you're not living on the cutting edge, then you probably need a bit of translation to understand what they're talking about.

transl8it! is a free online service that helps you bridge the gap between what you saw/heard/read and what it really means. Just enter the text message, phrase, or emoticon, click the transl8it! button, and you'll get the English-language equivalent of the cryptic message. It works the other way too: enter what you want to say and it's translated for you from English into lingo. Everybody will be impressed at how on top of things you are–the most excitement in your life since you got those white bucs for the prom!