December 2009 - Posts

Phone Amego – Caller ID for your Computer
Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:58 PM

 



I am not sure if everyone is aware of the Caller ID feature built into some cable providers cable boxes. You plug your cable box into a phone line and when someone calls you can see who is calling right on  your TV. A handy little feature that allows lazy people to not get off the couch in order to see who is calling. It would be nice if our computers did the same thing wouldn't it? Well that is exactly what Phone Amego does for you and more. Phone Amego even integrates into Address Book, Google Voice, and Bluetooth phones.

Phone Amego allows you to place calls from your computer and see who is calling your landline or Cell Phone. When Phone Amego sees an incoming call is pops up a little transparent window that shows you who is calling and allows you to send it to voicemail. Phone Amego also has ical integration which allows you to record a call log into ical as events. This helps you keep track of when calls came in and went out. The Google Voice integration allows you to dial out with Google Voice so that the person you are calling will see your google voice number.

The application is free to try and cost $20 for the full version. I have reading some the the reviews of the product and it seems the application works pretty well and the problems it does have are being worked out. Check it out.

Phone Amego @ sustworks.com
by willburns1 | with no comments
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iPod hearing lawsuit finally over and Apple won, they usually do
Thursday, December 31, 2009 2:43 PM

 


Remember in 2006 when Apple got sued because people were claiming that the iPod was capable of producing more than 114 decibels, which can damage your hearing over time. What ever happened to that lawsuit? I kind of assumed it was over or Apple settled out of court or something but little did I know it was still going on and on December 30, 2009 the appeal court dismissed the case again on the same grounds it was dismissed on in 2008 by the U.S. District Court of Northern California.

So that pretty much means it's over for the hearing loss lawsuit for Apple. The lawsuit was pretty ridiculous to begin with. The argument wasn't that iPods were making people loose their hearing it was that they were capable of making people loose their hearing. Neither them or anyone in the lawsuit had lost their hearing because of their iPod. I file this lawsuit in the same folder as the McDonald's one where the person sued them because they spilt coffee on themselves and got burned.

 

by willburns1 | with no comments
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Gorillacam iPhone App by Joby the Makers of GorillaPod
Thursday, December 31, 2009 1:33 PM

 


Joby the makers of the GorillaPod and GorillaMobile, a bindable and wraparound tripod system, has come out with a free iPhone app that give a little more functionality to your camera. Gorillacam comes with some very handy features like a Self-timer, Unlimited rapid-fire, 3-shot burst, Grid Overlay, Time-lapse, Auto-save, Full screen shutter, and a Bubble level. All this for how much? Free, that's right Free there are many apps out there right now that you would have to pay to get that kind of functionality.

The self timer comes in handy for group shots and you can even set the timer at different intervals so you can be sure to have enough time to get into the shot and get situated. The rapid fire is fun also giving you the ability to change how man seconds between shots and how many shots are taken. The full screen shutter is nice because sometimes it's hard to hit the little button depending on where the camera is positioned. This feature allows you to touch anywhere on the screen to take a picture. All the features are great and are all handy.

I have the iPhone GorillaMobile and I love it. It makes short of taking pictures with your iPhone in strange  places, but if you want a group shot there is no one to hold your phone. Enter the GorillaPod and the Gorillacam app. Perhaps the app is there to help advertise their genuinely awesome product for the iPhone.    

Gorillacam @ App Store 

Gorillamobile @ Joby.com

by willburns1 | with no comments
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Mitto – Free Online Password Storage and login
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 4:01 PM

 



Have you ever forgotten a password or used the same one because who can remember them all right? Do you find it annoying having to login to every site you go to? Mitto might just be for you. Mitto will store all your passwords for you and can log you into those services with a single click. That way when you start your browsing session all you have to do is login to Mitto and click the services you want to be logged into and your done.

Mitto is secure, fast, and easy. You can even securely share logins with other users. Because you don't have to remember your passwords you can make them really long and use different passwords for every website. Something you should do anyway but probably don't because how are you going to remember them all? You also don't have to store them in your browser which removes the possibility of someone stealing your password file and decrypting it, which can be done. For all these reasons Mitto is fast and even more secure than the way you most likely store or use your passwords now.   

If you have security concerns about saving your passwords online read what ThePCSecurity.com had to say about the application. The writer of the story, who is a self proclaimed security buff, seems not to have a problem with it saying “these services employ exhaustive security and encryption techniques for the safety of your passwords.” I also agree and have no security concerns or reservations about it.

So if you want an easy online solution for password storage and login then I think the free Mitto is for you. Watch the video and checkout the website.

Mitto.com 

 

 

by willburns1 | with no comments
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OMG Pirates! - A New iPhone Game by Mika Mobile
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 12:07 PM

 

 



From the same people who brought you Zombieland USA comes OMG Pirates a great iPhone game that will keep you entertained for a while. There's that age old question of who would win in a fight a pirate or a ninja. In OMG Pirates you play a little ninja fighting off the invading pirate horde. As you gain experience, by fighting off the pirates, you unlocks new moves and power-ups. OMG Pirates is a side scroller game that has easy controls featuring a joystick on the left and two buttons on the right. There are 10 levels to play through each of them featuring 3 scenes for ninja vs. pirate action.

The game play is really smooth and the moves are fun and easy to accomplish. You can move around with the joystick, perry and jump with one button, and attach with the other. As you play you unlock new attacks that help you dispatch the pirates faster. As you kill pirates you charge your special power notated by the blue circle in the top left. When it's charges up you hit it and your ninja lets out a super blast that hits any pirate in it's wake.



OMG Pirates is a great iPhone game and has just the right balance of fun and easy with determination and difficulty. It sells for $1.99 on the app store and is one of the best affordable iPhone games I have seen in a long time.

 OMG Pirates! @ the App Store 




 
by willburns1 | with no comments
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MailDrop – Automate sending files to Dropbox VIA Email – Windows Only
Tuesday, December 29, 2009 9:50 PM

 



MailDrop is an application for Windows that will automatically download email attachments from a particular folder or label and add them to one of your Dropbox folder to be synced in the cloud. This could be really handy if you want to send files to your Dropbox via email or if you have a phone that doesn't have a native Dropbox application like the BlackBerry.

MailDrop is a compact application that runs in the system tray. It checks your IMAP email folder, that you specify, for new messages, When it finds a new message it will download the attachment and add  it to your Dropbox folder syncing it to the cloud where you can access it anywhere.

The little application comes in handy especially when you setup a Gmail label or mail rule to put messages into your specified folder. That way all you have to do is make sure the email with the attachment meets the qualifications to be filed into that folder and it will be uploaded the the Dropbox server.

MailDrop is a free application for Windows so check it out.

by willburns1 | with no comments
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LifeLock Command Center – A New Level of Protection Includes Peer-to-Peer Detection
Monday, December 28, 2009 1:38 PM

 


Lifelock has rolled out a whole new level of protection that goes way beyond anything the other identity theft protection service have to offer. For all you computer geeks out there that spend a lot of time on peer-to-peer networks listen up.

People use peer-to-peer networks to download music, videos, and documents from around the world and from several computers at once. What a lot of people don't know is that those connections can be used by hackers to steal information from you and are sold on the black market. There is no fool proof way to protect yourself from this threat without using the software in the first place but with LifeLock's Command Center you can be alerted to the presence of your information on the p2p black market. If your information is detected LifeLock will help you protect yourself.

If you spend a lot of time downloading music, movies and other files on these networks you are at risk and LifeLock can help you detect your information and help protect it something other services don't offer.
Other than the Personal Breach Detection that alerts you of p2p breaches, LifeLock Command Center also offers the following additional protection above and beyond their standard services.
  • Payday Loan Alerts and Reports: Alerts you when your information is used for Payday Loans, who don't use the standard credit bureaus something that makes it's detection difficult.

  • Sex Offender Registry Alerts and Reports: Alerts you if a register sex offender is using your address as their home address.

  • Public Records Alerts and Reports: Will show you a list of addresses that are associated with your ID which are found in the public record.

  • Alias Records Alerts and Reports: lists alternative names associated different pieces of your identity found in public records.


Court Records and Reports: Shows a list of court records that are associated with your information. Will alert you is someone is committing crimes using your identity.
LifeLock's Command Center still offers all the protection of the standard service like eRecon, WalletLock, Identity Alerts and TrueAddress. Command Center also offers all these additional services for just $15 a month. I found the promotion code “DEFENSE” that gets your $10 off. I'm not trying to sell you anything I just signed up for LifeLock and thought I would write about the benefits. I just had my check card canceled for the second time in 6 months because of some find of breach. It thought it was time to get LifeLock.



 

by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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PunchClock – Keeps track of Projects and Time Spent
Monday, December 28, 2009 11:52 AM

 




If you are someone that bills work hourly or someone who works on projects for only a select period of  time PunchClock just might be for you. PunchClock is a timer that can track time spent on different projects and can even stop the timer if your computer goes idle. I left my computer and was getting some lunch and when I returned the application asked me if I would like to subtract the time spent idle and I said yes and the time was removed from the timer. You can even have your times sent to web services like Basecamp, Blinksale, and freshbooks.

Even though I think this application is neat and it has some pretty cool features I don't know if it's worth the $29.95 they are asking for it. I mean $30 for a timer seems a bit steep, but perhaps it's because I am not in great need of such an application. If I was perhaps I would be willing to pay the money for it. Having said that you can download and try the application for free for 14 days and I think it's worth a look.

PunchClock @ FuelCollective.Com

by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Goodnight – Mac OS X Application Puts your Mac to Sleep after your Downloads are finished.
Monday, December 28, 2009 10:57 AM

 



If you regularly download large files or use bit torrents this application might just be for you. There are many times I have left large downloads running on my computer over night. I however don't think it's necessary to have the computer running when it's not downloading. So the solution is a little application called Goognight. Goodnight will monitor your download speed and will put your Mac to sleep when it reaches a lower limit that you can set.

If you are like me you don't like to let my computer run all day and night. I think it's unnecessary wear on the computer. So with the help of Goodnight you can have your downloads and keep your computer from unnecessary wear and tear.

Goodnight Website
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Mini Squadron Game for iPhone
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 2:01 PM


Mini Squadron is a little game for your iphone that is sure to capture your attention. It's simple and fun as you fly around shooting down planes, helicopters, and UFOs. The controls are simple using a left side joystick and a right side fire button. The game offers multiple levels, unlock able planes and keeps track of your high scores. As you fly around shoot down planes power-ups and extra lives fall from the sky offer a change in your planes abilities or arsenal.

One thing I really like about this game is when you use all of your lives you can always restart the level from the same wave you were on when you died, preventing the frustrating replaying of the same waves as before. You can also play multiplayer with friends and complete strangers online. The game play also offers a survival mode which will throw endless waves of planes at you until all your lives have been spent.

You unlock new planes by getting high scores and completing levels and waves, which allows you to select different of planes the possessing different capabilities and weapons. It's a great game for only $2.99 and is worth every penny. Check it out in the App Store.

Mini Squadron $2.99 App Store

by willburns1 | with no comments
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Cinch – Window Management that's a Cinch
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 11:49 AM

 



Managing your windows size can be bothersome, not really hard just annoying having to grab the widow corner and move until the desired size has been achieved. Then you when your done with the window you have to move it back to it's normal size. I have already touched on this before with my post about Sizeup and Twoup also made by Irradiated Software.

With Cinch all you have to do to resize a window is drag it to the side or top of the screen and release. If you drag the window to the top of the screen it will make the window fill the entire screen. If you drag a window to the left side of the screen it will occupy half of the left side of the screen and the same for the right occupying half of the right side. One of the features I like about Cinch is when you move the window, after you have used Cinch to resize it, it will pop back to it's original size, something Sizeup and Twoup doesn't do. Cinch also works with multiple monitors and spaces so if you use more than one monitor of use spaces your covered.

Checkout Cinch at their website! It's a great and simple tool that I have enjoyed. You can download Cinch for a free and demo the full application. The Application costs $7 to stop the constant reminders to buy and is worth your money.
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Color Blind Gamers Petition Modern Warfare 2 Patch
Monday, December 21, 2009 2:23 PM



A petition has been put forth to Infinity Ward to release a patch that allows players to change the colors used to notate who the good guys and bad guys are in the multiplayer. Currently when you play MW 2 Multiplayer the people who are on your team are green and your enemies are Red. Likewise on the map the enemies are red and friendlies are green. For people who are colorblind and have a hard time distinguishing red and green they don't know the good guys from the bad. They want Infinity Ward to release a patch that allows players to change the colors to ones more easily distinguished. 

The petition mentions that Call of Duty World at War had a feature that allowed people to change the colors from red/green to orange/blue. The petition also mentions that Ghost Recon had a similar feature. The writer at Kotaku, who is colorblind, was pretty hard on the people putting out the petition. He said that people with colorblindness find workarounds and that it's just not cost effective to release an update for 10% of the male population. I can't imagine that they couldn't release the color change feature along with some other patch. They released an update because people turned themselves into suicide bombers using the javelin glitch, so why wouldn't they patch the game so 10% of the male population can play the game properly? Makes sense to me but maybe I sympathize with the people who are colorblind because I'm left handed and also deal with only being 10% of the general population. We live in a right handed non-colorblind world i guess.

by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Dragon Search – Voice Search with tabs to pass search to others websites
Monday, December 21, 2009 11:38 AM

 



Dragon Search is another application released by Nuance the makers of the PC application Dragon Naturally Speaking. They are also the people responsible for the Dragon Dictation app for iPhone that surprised everyone with how fast and accurate it's voice transcription was.

Their new Dragon Search application allows you to conduct a search by speaking it into the application. The application will pull your search up in either Google, Yahoo, Or Bing, depending on your preferences, as well as tabs for Wikipedia, Twitter, iTunes Store, and Youtube. When you switch tabs to another website the search is automatically transferred to that site and results pulled up.

This is very much like the Google application that allows for voice searches the major difference being it will only search through Google where as the Dragon Search application will do the three major search engines as well as other popular site as mentioned earlier. The ability to search iTunes with your voice could be handy if you are in need of finding music on the go.

The Dragon Search application is free for now so go and pick it up asap.

Dragon Search
@ App Store
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Hulu Now has Closed Caption Searching
Monday, December 21, 2009 11:04 AM

 

 



Have you ever remembered a line from a TV show or movie but couldn't remember where it was from?Hulu now allows you to search through the closed captions of TV shows and Movies for the specific clip where the line is said. You can search through all show's closed captions or just the video you are currently watching.

To search for a specific line in the video you are watching all you have to do is pull up the video and click on the Caption tab below the video. A search box will appear and you can type in your search. The search results will show you the line where your search word was said as well as a thumbnail from that scene. If you hover over the thumbnail it will play the clip from the show where your search term  appears. Hulu has also included a “Heat Map” that shows the clips timeline where your search term appears in the show and how popular that section of the show is.

This functionality is not a new concept. In fact I wrote a post about Anyclip a website that will show you where a line appears in just about any movie. The website I believe is still in Beta but does a pretty good job finding where a particular quote was said and can show you the clip from the movie.

Checkout Hulu's new functionality and enjoy being able to find clips just that much easier.

 

VIA Lifehacker 


by willburns1 | with no comments
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How to make your Mac fast again!
Thursday, December 17, 2009 3:03 PM


People are always asking me how do I make my Mac faster like it was when I bought it? The answer to that question is often times a little bit more complicated than most people want to hear. So I offer a couple easy things you can do to make you and your Mac happier and faster.

Let's do a Little Spring Cleaning!


 So if you want to make your Mac happy and fast again make sure you have plenty of space to play with. You computer uses what's called virtual memory that needs hard drive space to store temporary files for processing. If you are maxing out on hard drive space you might be headed for a crash. So go through all your files and delete things you don't need like applications you don't use or old video project files that take up space. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have at least 10% - 20% of your hard drive free.

Apply Some Elbow Grease  


 Okay so your hard drive has some wiggle room so now it's time to make your drive sparkle. There are some processes you can do to make sure that the structure and file permissions are what they should be.  For that you can use the disk utility to verify and repair your hard drive and your file permissions. You can also use an application called Onyx that can do those functions as well as others like running a hard drive diagnostic to ensure your hard drive is healthy. Onyx can also delete caches and logs that most people don't use anyway to free up space and to force applications make new ones. This can sometimes speed up your boot time for the OS as well as applications if the caches and or logs were corrupted to begin with.

About Your Usage

Okay so you we have room on the drive and it's clean now let's talk about how we use our computer. It makes sense that your computer get's slower the longer you have it because you install more and more junk onto it. At some point you will realize that you can't run all your applications at once because your computer just isn't fast enough. What about all those processes running in the background? I have several apps that run in the background that can take up a lot of memory if I let them. Applications that provide shortcuts or stream media to my Xbox are some examples. All these and more run all the time slowly eating away at your RAM and will slow you down. So pick which ones you want to run and ditch the others. You can control what applications run on startup by going to the System Preferences >> Accounts >> Login Items. Select the application you don't want to start at login and hit the minus button. Some applications will automatically add themselves to this list when you launch them. You can find the setting in their preferences so when you take them off the list the app will not add themselves back again.

Watch the Stats


It's great to leave your applications open so you don't have to relaunch them to open a file in them, but this takes up memory. You can gauge how hard you are running your computer by looking at the Activity Monitor. At the bottom of the window you will see a color coded pie chart that shows you your memory consumption. If the chart is almost all yellow with little green or blue you are out of memory and your computer might be running slowly. You can sort the list of processes by memory consumption to find which application is using all your memory. When you study the activity monitor you can find out how much memory an application uses, which may allow you to adjust which applications are open at what time.  For example if I was going to run more than one adobe application at the same time on my computer I would close others to save memory. I also might discover that an application that runs all the time takes up a lot of memory and I might choose to only open it when really need it.

Wrapping it up


Okay so these tips are more like good habits that you should try and do on a regular bases. I know that I have been trying to keep to this and it seems to keep my computer happy. So keep your computer happy and until next time happy computing and thanks for reading.
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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