Get a Headset for Your Cordless Phone 
Friday, September 29, 2006, 04:28 PM - Phone, Reviews, Technology, Work Habits
I recently bought a headset for my cordless phone, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Because I work at a computer, and often have to type while on the phone, I got really tired of constantly wedging the phone between my left ear and my shoulder. Even worse, I think it might have caused a bit of damage to my left ear, having used it exclusively and probably at too high a volume.

Before I was self-employed, I worked in an office where a sales associate wore a headset all day, and I thought it looked ridiculous. (It is important to point out that I have an aversion to gadgets and habits that people use to feel more important than they really are, or to feel more "high-tech" than their coworkers. Hands-free phone devices have always been high on my list.)

However, I decided that something like this might actually be useful, if not a necessity, so I went ahead and picked up a basic GE headset that retails for about $20. It has a padded ear piece on one side (which I generally use on my right ear), a microphone that extends out near my chin, and a volume control and mute button on the cord that connects to the phone's handset.

So far it's been fantastic. I can put the phone in my pocket and walk around, type as much as I want, and relax my head and shoulders when I'm talking to someone. The telephone has become my friend instead of an irritation.

If you sit at a desk and use a phone for more than a half hour a day, stop by your nearest office supply or electronics store and check out the options that are available, including wireless headsets and hands-free phones. Just remember - whatever you end up using, make sure you don't appear to be talking to yourself (i.e., no earpieces), and don't wear it when you're not on the phone. Otherwise you'll look like a jerk.
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Protect Your Online Content 
Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 10:13 AM - Links, Reviews
It's very easy to plagiarize on the Web, but now it's going to be a lot harder to get away with it. Copyscape, an online service by the makers of Google Alert, can help you discover who is using your content - even if it's not exactly identical. Just enter the URL of a particular page, and if there are any matches, you can see which words have been lifted directly from your site.

Copyscape also has a guide on what to do if you find that your work has been plagiarized, as well as a forum where you can discuss your experiences with others.
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