THE FUTURE ALREADY GOT HERE

Movies versus video games, public radio app, setting your home page and finding a professional.

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OFFICE POLITICS

Topics in this column: Office politics, Losing the Internet, TED Talks, an app for Healthy Eating, Giving away a Kindle Fire, and the new Mac operating system.

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MEDICAL APPS

A reader asked us to find her a blood pressure app for the iPhone. There are several of these for both iPhone and Android. Unlike the kind you see at the doctor’s office, the apps do not use a compression band that temporarily cuts off your circulation. They measure the slight pulsing from placing your finger on the phone. We tried “Finger Blood Pressure! Free” on our Android phone, and compared it with the reading we got on the $35 Omron 3 Series Blood Pressure monitor with a pressure cuff. The Omron is battery operated, so you’re not tethered to the wall plug. Omron said Joy’s systolic pressure was 118, her diastolic reading was 74 and her pulse was 46. […]

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BLUETOOTH MYSTERIES

We heard from a reader who wasn’t sure what Bluetooth was and why she needed it on her new iPad Mini. The answer is (the envelope, please): It’s a short-range radio transmitter and receiver, and she doesn’t need it.

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MONEY GEEK

MoneyGeek.com has free financial guides and tools, including a cost of living calculator, and a mortgage refinance calculator, among others.

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SIMPLIFYING PAYROLL

FingerCheck 360 is a smart phone app for handling payroll. It costs $6 per employee per month. It combines time tracking and payroll so you don’t have to re-enter hours worked. When workers clock in, the payroll data gets entered automatically. Taxes are calculated as well.

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ORGANIZING DOCUMENTS ONLINE

“Docady” makes it easier to organize all your important documents. It pulls them from various online locations, such as email or online storage services such as iCloud and Dropbox, and sends you reminders when anything is about to expire, such as your passport.

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FREE CREDIT SCORES

Joy was pleased with our credit score after we let WalletHub.com evaluate us. Last December WalletHub became the first website to offer free credit scores, full reports and a financial fitness analysis.

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A KILLING IN ADVERTISING

Over 40 million people have downloaded “AdBlock,” a free program for blocking ads on  the web. We were skeptical initially but are now converts. Often, when a web site comes in slowly it’s because it’s loading ads. Lately, Joy’s computer has been so slow, she could put on water for tea and come back before the site had loaded. Then she loaded Adblock, and it helped. It counts the ads it kills and gives you totals; it knocked off 2,500 in the first week. What made Bob turn to AdBlock was pants. He bought some pants online and by the next day the entire clothing business had ads for pants on whatever web site he called up. It was clear […]

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SELL YOUR OLD GAMES, CDS AND DVDS

Decluttr.com is an online service that buys your unwanted DVDs, CDs and video games. They noted that “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” was the most traded video game over Christmas Day.

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