DRONE ENTREPRENEURS

First there was the Drones Club, then Drone Racing and now: making some money with drones. Our friend Lee gets his family a tech present every year. Last year it was drones. Lee’s 20-something daughter, a civil engineer, started using hers to offer aerial photography and video to construction sites. Then she started her own drone business, offering these services as a certified remote pilot in Wisconsin. If you Google the phrase “how to be a drone entrepreneur,” several sites come up. The first, from Virgin.com, describes several possibilities. One is farming. Drones have been crop-dusting in Japan for 15 years, and U.S. farmers are getting started. American farms are much larger and farmers here are looking for drones that […]

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EASILY DONE

Topics: A better way to do email, alternatives to cable TV, Internuts, trends, and kid’s coding book.

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DUDE, WHERE’S MY CAR?

Topics: Finding your car, looking out for bogus email, sharing your opinions, and Google Now.

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FINDING YOUR ANCESTORS ONLINE

Topics in this column include: Finding Your Ancestry Online, Brain Teasers and other interesting websites, Getting a hacked Gmail account back, Fun Projects from Maker Lab’s new book, Sending birthday greetings online, Tips and Tricks for your cell phone.

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USING GMAIL OFFLINE

Say you’re on a train without a connection to the Internet. If you’ve previously downloaded “Gmail Offline,” you can answer mail. It will be sent out the next time you’re able to connect. This is free for computers and phones. You’ll need to use the Chrome web browser. If you don’t have it, you can get it at Chrome.com; it’s free.

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PERSONALIZING GMAIL

A few people send us email in a larger font. It’s easy on the eyes. But how do you make that your regular size?

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BETTER GMAIL

“Mixmax” is a free service for Gmail users. Click to add it to your Chrome or Firefox web browser and get some great features that Gmail doesn’t have — like “boilerplate.” These are standard replies you send over and over to respond to standard questions and comments.

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GMAIL ADDS NEW BLOCK SENDER COMMAND

Gmail has a new “block sender” command that’s much better than their “report spam” button. We’ve labeled hundreds of items as spam, only to see them come back the next day. We’ve tried using filters as well, but sometimes they filter out too much and you miss things you would have liked to see.

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HELP WITH EMAIL

“Sidekick” by Hubspot is a free add-on for Google Chrome or Microsoft Outlook that lets you know when your emails were read and also when to schedule them. The business version syncs with the leading contact manager Salesforce and fills in info from the giant Salesforce database. That way you know which companies have visited your website, what competitors they have and other info. Gotcha!

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GMAIL TIPS

— “Auto-Advance” is helping Joy to get through her Gmail a wee bit faster. What it does is automatically advance you to the next email in your list, so you don’t have to waste time leaving an email and going back to check another. To enable it, click the picture of a tiny gear, then “settings,” then choose “Labs.” Click “enable” next to “Auto-Advance.” — “Boomerang for Gmail” is a plug-in for scheduling emails to go out when you want them to go out. You may be writing at 3 am, but you’d rather they went out the next morning at 9. It’s free unless you’re a heavy user, and works with Chrome, Firefox and Safari web browsers. — To […]

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