Home 2 IT/Telecommunications 2 2017’s Best Technology Tips And Tricks

2017’s Best Technology Tips And Tricks


CreditMinh Uong/The New York Times

The Tech Tip online column is published five days a week on The New York Times’s Personal Technology page, which adds up to about 240 questions tackled over the course of a year on a variety of topics: hardware, software, social media, gadgets and more. Looking back on 2017, here are five Tips that stood out — either in their timeliness in syncing up with current events or in your positive response.

Power Up Your Phone by Hand or by Sun

With a barrage of devastating hurricaneswildfiresearthquakes and floods, natural catastrophes have affected millions of people around the world this year. Shortly after Hurricane Maria pummeled the Caribbean, a Tech Tip about keeping your smartphone charged during a disaster suggested the most basic methods to use when the usual backups — a generator, spare battery and car — are not available. (Yes, cellular networks may also be down in a disaster, but in the case of still-hurting Puerto Rico, Alphabet’s Project Loon and its telecom partners are trying to provide internet connectivity by way of hot-air balloon.)

Loss of personal photos and documents can be another side effect of a disaster, and Tech Tips also offered advice on the best ways to use your smartphone or third-party services to create digital copies of photosand documents. When the storm clouds gather, having an online backup tucked away on your own private cloud can provide peace of mind.

Finding Your Roots, for Free

Despite the privacy concerns of some, those home DNA-testing kits that purport to tell you your ethnic makeup based on a cheek swab or saliva sample are hot this year, even turning up as a gift-guide suggestionWirecutter, the product-recommendation site owned by The New York Times, tested the ancestry tests themselves this summer. For those on a budget and seeking the narrative structure of a good old-fashioned family tree, this Tech Tip explored the free online resources for those who want to know more about their ancestors without having to subscribe to a genealogy service.

  • 9 Ways to Live Healthier in 2018

  • 9 Ways to Work Better in 2018

  • 8 Ways to Have a Better Relationship in 2018

  • 6 Ways to Be Better at Money in 2018

Stopping Autoplay Videos on Safari

Videos unexpectedly blaring out of your desktop web browser have long been an annoyance for readers as sites and advertisers seek to grab their attention. This recent Tech Tip explained how to use the controls Apple has built into its latest Safari browser to mute or block clips from playing automatically — and notes that Google is working on its own similar tools for its Chrome browser.

Luggage Tags That Help You Find Your Suitcase

Technology tools for travelers are a frequent topic here at The Times any year, and this Tech Tip explored the radio-frequency bag tags that let you track your suitcase’s whereabouts with your smartphone. The technology has been in the works for years, so it is nice to see it becoming a useful, everyday part of air travel — especially with air travel itself being something of a challenge at times.

When You See Something (Fake), Say Something

Even if you do not have a Facebook account, it was hard to avoid reading about the company this year, especially in regard to the social network’s impact on society and the democratic process — and what can be done about its influence in the future. Although Facebook is constantly updating itself and you should check its Help Center for the latest, this Tech Tip highlighted the company’s early efforts to crack down on the spread of false news across its service.

Misinformation about Facebook itself also came up this year, and this Tech Tip explains how to avoid phony Facebook phone lines and the people behind them who want to rip off unsuspecting users.

Continue reading the main story

Happy New Year, and let’s be careful out there.


  1. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your web site.
    Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues?

    A few of my blog readers have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks
    great in Safari. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this problem?

  2. Hi there, I check your blog like every week.
    Your story-telling style is witty, keep up the good work!

  3. I am sure this post has touched all the internet viewers, its really really fastidious article
    on building up new web site.

  4. It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on net as compared to textbooks, as
    I found this paragraph at this website.

  5. Hi there this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering
    if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with
    HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice
    from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Please wait...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.
Copyright @ 2017