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I was in Hawaii on a family holiday the day of the ballistic missile threat. The alert interrupted our breakfast at Denny’s and we returned to chaos in our hotel, where we were advised to shelter in the bathroom.

I started writing a message to loved ones which I was about to send when it was confirmed it was a false alarm. The experience shows how important it is to be aware of emergency procedures. Here’s what it was like in those 38 minutes of fear.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Telstra has updated its alerts system for data usage, pinging users when they have used 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their data. Telstra has also changed the way it calculates usage, which means (at least in theory) you should see alerts sooner.

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Switching on data roaming when you head overseas is almost always a bad idea, as you'll pay a small fortune more often than not. From today, Optus is trying to cut down bill rage by sending an SMS to contract customers when they first use roaming, to ensure they're aware of any potential expenses.

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Google recently revamped its News search site and made it easier to customise, but one of its most useful features -- setting up alerts for topics of interest -- remains much the same. Here's how to set up a regular alert from the service on your favourite topics.

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According to Google-focused blog Google Operating System, Google is retiring the Google Web Alerts and replacing it with the comprehensive alert this week. With this change, Google Alerts will no longer be able to monitor when something appears in the top 20 results for a Google Web search only.

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Windows only: Scott's Gmail Alert 4.0 is a feature-packed Google Calendar and Gmail notification tool, offering great looks and a wide array of customisable options, including the ability to only schedule notifications only during pre-defined times. Distractions begone!