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Greatest Hits of '07: Drunk Emailing

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As we near year's end, I'm re-posting a few heavily-commented-upon posts from earlier in the year. Here's one of my favorites!

Now I'll admit that from time to time, I enjoy a good glass (or six) of, uh, wine, in the course of, oh, let's say an academic discussion or an evening symposium. One such evening last week led to an incident in which I, being thoroughly uninhibited and deeply joyful, decided to share my unedited joy with others...let's say coworkers...via email at 2am.

Although I didn't manage to embarrass myself out of a job, it led me to wonder why I don't hear more about drunk emailing. It must happen all the time. It's akin to drunk dialing (featured in the movie Sideways), but even easier to do (and easier to track down the next day in your Sent Mail folder). Imagine the ease of drunk emailing if you have a BlackBerry (or are just really good at texting). New technology gives us newer, faster, and more trackable ways to connect with the world at times when we really shouldn't.

Some (sober) Googling revealed that this does happen all the time, of course, and there's even a term for it: d-railing (apparently a slightly drunken conflation of "drunk emailing"). There's also drunk blogging and even (shudder) drunk eBaying.

I asked some friends what they do online when they're drunk, and by far the winner was: drunk iTunes Store purchases. That "buy now" button is just too easy. And then I remembered something from my evening of drunken computing...checking my Amazon wishlist, I discovered that I'd decided to treat myself to a few paperbacks that had been languishing on my list for a year. I even got the two-day shipping.

So let's have it, folks: what do you do online when inebriated?

Note: check out the 109 comments on the original post!

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A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
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Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]

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Trying to Save Money? Avoid Shopping on a Smartphone
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Today, Americans do most of their shopping online—but as anyone who’s indulged in late-night retail therapy likely knows, this convenience often can come with an added cost. Trying to curb expenses, but don't want to swear off the convenience of ordering groceries in your PJs? New research shows that shopping on a desktop computer instead of a mobile phone may help you avoid making foolish purchases, according to Co. Design. Ying Zhu, a marketing professor at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, recently led a study to measure how touchscreen technology affects consumer behavior. Published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, her research found that people are more likely to make more frivolous, impulsive purchases if they’re shopping on their phones than if they’re facing a computer monitor. Zhu, along with study co-author Jeffrey Meyer of Bowling Green State University, ran a series of lab experiments on student participants to observe how different electronic devices affected shoppers’ thinking styles and intentions. Their aim was to see if subjects' purchasing goals changed when it came to buying frivolous things, like chocolate or massages, or more practical things, like food or office supplies. In one experiment, participants were randomly assigned to use a desktop or a touchscreen. Then, they were presented with an offer to purchase either a frivolous item (a $50 restaurant certificate for $30) or a useful one (a $50 grocery certificate for $30). These subjects used a three-point scale to gauge how likely they were to purchase the offer, and they also evaluated how practical or frivolous each item was. (Participants rated the restaurant certificate to be more indulgent than the grocery certificate.) Sure enough, the researchers found that participants had "significantly higher" purchase intentions for hedonic (i.e. pleasurable) products when buying on touchscreens than on desktops, according to the study. On the flip side, participants had significantly higher purchase intentions for utilitarian (i.e. practical) products while using desktops instead of touchscreens. "The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers' favor of hedonic products; while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers' preference for utilitarian products," Zhu explains in a press release. The study also found that participants using touchscreen technology scored significantly higher on "experiential thinking" than subjects using desktop computers, whereas those with desktop computers demonstrated higher scores for rational thinking. “When you’re in an experiential thinking mode, [you crave] excitement, a different experience,” Zhu explained to Co. Design. “When you’re on the desktop, with all the work emails, that interface puts you into a rational thinking style. While you’re in a rational thinking style, when you assess a product, you’ll look for something with functionality and specific uses.” Zhu’s advice for consumers looking to conserve cash? Stow away the smartphone when you’re itching to splurge on a guilty pleasure. [h/t Fast Company]

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