Square rolls out turnkey 'Business in a Box'

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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Square made it possible for small businesses to accept credit cards via smartphone. Today the company unveiled a decidedly non-mobile solution: a payment system for brick-and-mortar stores.

The new Business in a Box for Square Register provides a complete point-of-sale system built around Apple's iPad (which, it's worth mentioning up front, you'll have to provide yourself).

Thus you get two Square Readers, a countertop-friendly (and secure) swiveling iPad stand, a cash drawer, and, if you're willing to pay extra, a receipt printer. That does indeed provide everything most retail shops would need to conduct commerce, all "in a box."

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App Spotlight: Sendboo translates multi-lingual messages on the fly

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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Sendboo for iOS translates text messages in real-time.

So you're looking to work with an overseas supplier for parts. Or you need to hire a programmer whose English is fractured at best. Now what? Do you really need to hire a translator just so you can communicate with these folks?

Nope: Hire an app instead. Sendboo for iOS translates text messages in real-time, effectively turning the language barrier into a language floodgate. Now you can communicate with pretty much anyone, anywhere, as long as they have a smartphone or tablet. (An Android version of the app is expected later this quarter.)

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Infographic: The top 10 productivity-killers (and how to beat them)

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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Time is on your side, at least according to Mick Jagger. (Think: song lyric.) But it rarely seems that way when you get to the end of the day and realize you didn't have nearly enough of it. Where on earth does the time go?

To find out, OfficeTime conducted a survey of "over 600 small business owners, freelancers and professionals." The resulting infographic (see below) lists "The Top 10 Time Killers (and how to fight back!)".

Number one? You guessed it: email. Thirty-three percent of survey respondents spend 1-2 hours per day dealing with email, while 22 percent spend more than two hours. In an eight-hour day, that's a full fifth of your time devoted solely to your inbox.

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How to recover lost form data in your Web browser

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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The other day I spent a goodly amount of time writing a blog post. This blog post, in fact. As always, I composed it using PC World's browser-based tool, saved it, previewed it, then published it.

But somewhere along the way, a glitch ate my post. (Talk about the modern equivalent of "the dog ate my homework.") When I realized that it hadn't appeared online, I went back to the blog tool to investigate, and discovered, to my horror, that only the first paragraph survived. Everything else: gone.

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App Spotlight: DialMyCalls automates group calling, texting

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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Are you managing a sales team? Running a small business with far-flung employees? Looking for unique ways to market to your best customers?

Then you know that email isn't always the best way to contact all these people, especially if the message is urgent or time-sensitive. But it's not like you have the bandwidth to pick up the phone and call each and every person.

What you need is a way to blast out a pre-recorded phone message or a text message. That's the idea behind DialMyCalls, an app that lets you blast out phone and text messages right from your smartphone. A new 2.0 version just hit Apple's App Store; an updated Android version should be along soon.

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Discuss and organize team projects with Dispatch

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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If there's one thing the Web probably doesn't need, it's another project-management tool aimed at teams. I mean, hello? Basecamp? Bitrix24? Yammer? How the heck does start-up Dispatch hope to compete?

By keeping things simple, and by integrating cleanly with other cloud services you already know and love: Box, Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive. Also, by being free, at least for now.

Suppose you're developing a new widget with your team. You'd create a "dispatch" for that project, invite team members (who need only click a link to join in—no registration required), then share various items from various sources.

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Free Microsoft quick-start guides teach you the Office 2013 basics

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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The other day I offered four reasons you don't need Microsoft Office 2013. However, if you fall into the camp that does need it, or you just decided not to follow my advice (it's been known to happen), Microsoft wants to help you get started using the new suite.

Specifically, the company just unveiled a collection of Office 2013 Quick Start Guides, printable sheets packed with tips, shortcuts, screenshots, and other useful suite stuff.

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