January 2011 - Posts

LastPass Browser Hits the App Store
Monday, January 31, 2011 12:23 PM

LastPass is a great solution for storing and autofilling passwords into websites. Until now if you wanted to use LastPass on your mobile device you had to use their Booklet because Safari doesn't allow plug-ins. Now LastPass has released a full fledged browser with LastPass integrations so you can have your cake and eat it too.

The LastPass browser, other than having LastPass integration, doesn't have a lot of other features. The iPad version, called LastPass Tabs, does however have tabs which is pretty awesome. The application does however have a pin code feature that allows you to lock people out of the app if you don't have a lock on the rest of your phone. So if you were worried about people having access to stored passwords in safari you can now delete them and keep them secure in LastPass.

The iPhone version of the app is for Premium users only but the premium version is only $12 year so if you would use the mobile version it's totally worth it. The iPad LastPass Tabs application is 100% free which is great for iPad owners.

LastPass for iPhone and LastPass Tabs for iPad
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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IntoNow - An Amazing iOS App! Think Shazam but for TV Shows with a Social Network Attached!
Monday, January 31, 2011 10:38 AM

The internet is all a buzz this morning with the release of a new application called IntoNow. IntoNow is a iOS app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that can identify 2.6 Million TV shows, and what episode you're watching, just by listening to the audio for 4-12 seconds. It works just like the app Shazam, which is used for identifying music, but IntoNow does it for your TV shows.

Once the app has identified what show and episode you are watching you can have the app show you info about the show, give you one-click access to IMDb, as well as iTunes and Netflix. If Netflix has the show in it's library, you can add it to your instant queue all from within the app. You can of course share what show you are watching on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Once you identify a show you are watching it goes on your profile and can be seen by your friends on IntoNow. The app shows you what is popular with the IntoNow users and the activity of your friends as well as the community as a whole. There is also a tab that displays what shows your friends are watching that are currently on air. The Discover tab displays random TV shows divided into categories to make discovering new shows easy and fun.

I think IntoNow is going to be huge success, and is going to be the Foursquare of TV shows. It's going to do very well for itself in the future. It's going to be a great way for friends to keep track of what their friends are watching and discover new shows they never thought they would like. That and the show discovery feature works really well and is kind of like magic.

IntoNow App Store
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Airport Security in UK thinks 3 Inch Plastic Gun is a Weapon!
Friday, January 28, 2011 12:23 PM


So it seems the Airport security at Gatwick Airport in the UK has declared this little toy gun to be a weapon! I wonder why they didn't interrogate the little toy soldier who they just disarmed. I mean come on what's next to be banded from airplanes? A drawing of a gun? I can see if it was a life size gun that could be mistaken for a real one, but this little think would get you laughed at if you pulled it out on a flight and tried to brandish it like a real gun.

The security personnel removed the tiny gun from the package and handed it back to the owner who stuck it in an envelope and sent it back home. The security then proceeded to x-ray the rest of the package just to make sure there were no other miniature weapons hiding in there.


by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Should the Internet be a Human Right?
Friday, January 28, 2011 11:12 AM

With all that is happening in Egypt right now it begs the question should the internet be a human right. Is the internet more than just a bunch of websites and LOLCATS, but a way for people communicating freely with one another. Twitter is usually the first to go in situations like these, and in this situation that happened on Tuesday. Followed quickly by Facebook and Google. It seems that now All SMS Mobile and Internet is completely been cut.

Should a government be allowed to kill the internet in order to control their people? Of course living in America I would have a big problem with that. I don't think the Government should do much more than protect our rights and the mainland. Should communication and connections to the outside world through the internet be protected? I think so!

Even in America President Obama wanted to build legislation that would allow the Government to basically turn off the internet. Is this what will happen in America if there is ever a reason to protest something we don't like? Are they simply going to try and silence us by cutting off all communications?

I think people have the right to communicate and know what is going on in the rest of the world. If the internet is how one does this I don't think the Government should be allowed to shut it down. I don't think the Government is responsible for provide it for everyone, I just think they shouldn't be allowed to prevent it's use.

Let's just hope that something like what is happening in Egypt doesn't happen in the US. I don't doubt for a minute that it could. My heart and prayers go out to the people of Egypt who just want to be heard.

 

 
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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AT&T Loophole Could Give Unlimited Data Back to Those Who Had It!
Thursday, January 27, 2011 12:08 PM
According to USA Today there is a Loophole which AT&T is quietly offer to give customers back their unlimited data plan in order to prevent them from switching. This only works if you at some point had the unlimited data plan at some point. If you never had it you are still out of luck. Verizon is going to offer an unlimited data plan as well but only initially. They have already said that they too are going to cap the data at some point and discontinue the unlimited plan, grandfathering in those who already have it just like AT&T did. It makes sense that AT&T will try and tempt customers to stay who might be tempted to switch simply because Verizon is going to have unlimited data plans if only for a while.

AT&T has not said whether or not this is true but it's starting to come in from all corners of the web so there's a good chance it's true. That and AT&T better so something to keep their customers. Everyone has been foaming at the bit to get to a new carrier and now it's their chance. AT&T better sweeten the deal and prevent people from switching or there might be some layoffs in their future.

More from AP USA Today
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Facebook Finally Adds Built in HTTPS Support
Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:56 AM
Facebook has finally added the support for HTTPS protocol on their social networking site. HTTPS and SSL work together to encrypt the communication between the sever and the client. Most importantly the session cookie is encrypted which means session hijackers can no longer easily take over you session. Also the recently popular Firefox plugin Firesheep won't be able to hijack your session either. 

Facebook has had the ability to run the HTTPS protocol for a while now, but you needed something to keep you on it. You could force the conenction but  a link back to Facebook would land you on the regular site again. The new HTTPS setting will be rolling out over the next couple weeks. It will be available in the Account Setting under Account Security. 


by willburns1 | with no comments
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Bottoms Up - Fast Draft Pouring System that Fills your Beer from the Bottom UP!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:39 PM
Beer has got to be one of the oldest beverages known to man. Civilizations have been making it for centuries and I happen to love it. I wouldn't have thought that someone could completely rethink the way we pour our beer but it seems someone has. The current tap systems pours beer from the top down to the bottom of the glass. This has to be done slowly or the beer will foam up too much releasing too much CO2 making for a flat beer. This has been eliminated by the Bottom Up system that pours the beer from the bottom allowing you to pour beer much more quickly.  

The Bottoms Up uses a special glass that has a hole in the bottom which is sealed after pouring by a little disc which is magnetic called "The MAG." The best part about the little MAG plug is that it can be branded for advertising. So the major improvement of this system is the reduction of waisted beer and the speed of the pour. The distributor has a video on their website where they pour 55 beers in one minute! 

They are of course selling these things to commercial bars and stadiums, but they are also making a consumer version! I think my Kegerator could use a Bottom Up system what do you think? There are only a couple things I don't like about this system. First off you have to drink your beer out of those plastic cups which is never my first choice. Second if you put your beer down on something or you accidentally grabbed the bottom of the cup you could punch the plug out spilling your beer everywhere. My last concern is the cost of the cups and plugs. You have to purchase their special cups which is how they get you I imagine but I can image they are not that cheap to produce since they have a magnet in each of them. Other than those concerns I think it's brilliant. I have no idea what one of these things cost, but perhaps I'll contact them and ask but it can't be cheap. Check out the Bottoms up in action!

by willburns1 | with no comments
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Google Voice Now Allows You to Port you Phone Number Over!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:10 PM

Google Voice is great and has some great features, but before today they only allowed you to get a new Google Voice phone number and forward it to your current cell and home phones. Well Google has just announced that they are going to offer the ability to port your current number over to Google Voice.

What does this mean? Well Porting your number is kind of like changing cell phone carriers. It will basically cancel your current service plan with your provider and given the phone number to Google. Since Google isn't cell phone carrier you still need service. So you then get a new service plan with a new number. You then forward Google Voice to the new number. 

Confused? Yeah it's a bit confusing. Think of it like this. You have a phone number that everyone has and you want to keep that number. By porting your number you are basically replacing your old Google Voice number with the number from your cell carrier, the one everyone has. By doing this you have to get a new number and plan to make it happen. You then place it as your new forwarding phone number. Still confused? Maybe a Google video will help. 

by willburns1 | with no comments
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Quick Mac Tip - Create Alies for System Preferences
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 11:51 AM

Do you use a specific system preference all the time and keep having to open system preferences and navigate to it and wish there was a fast way. Well there is. You can create an alies or shortcut ,is it's known in the Windows world, to your often used system preferences. 

All you have to do is navigate from your computer's root directory System>>Library>>PreferencePlanes. Then all you have to do is hold down Command+Option while dragging your desired preference plane icon. You can then place this alies anywhere giving you the ability launch specific preference planes without having to open the main system preferences menu. 

Confused? See Lifehackers video on how to do this. 



Another quick tip concerning system preferences is after you have opened system preferences once you can right click the icon on the dock and be presented with the contextual menu that now has a shortcut to all the options in system preferences. I discovered this a while ago and comes in handy now and again. 



by willburns1 | with no comments
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iPhone 5 Rumored to have RFC Chip Inside! Everyone is saying it.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 1:29 PM

Well it seems everyone around the net today is talking about the possibility the new iPhone 5 is going to be NFC, Near-Field Communication, compatible. What does that mean? Well it means you will be able to communicate with NFC device like the Visa Paywave and other similar devices.

This is all well and good and it's going to spark some fear in some people who think their information is going to be insecure because of this, but what's the big deal really? Well as Cult of Mac points out Apple will most likely take NFC technology to the next step and do something that no one has ever seen before. Cult of Mac mentions the rumor that Apple was going to develop a NFC technology that would allow you take your Mac account and apps anywhere, which would be pretty cool. I'm sure Apple is thinking ahead and has something more than just paying bills at the local CVS.
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Firefox and Chrome get 'Do Not Track' Feature Added to their Browsers!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 12:29 PM

Yesterday both Mozilla and Google both announced and released a feature that allows users to prevent third-party advertisers from tracking you while you surf. This has all come about primarily because the Federal Trade Commission has publicly advocated the creation of an online 'Do Not Track' list. So Firefox and Chrome now have one and Internet 9 does as well, but this in not a new feature for them.

Mozilla and Chrome's system works a little bit differently. Googles Chrome plugin, Keep My Opt-Outs, allows users to permanently opt-out of online tracking conducted by companies that already offer self-regulated opt-out services, like Network Advertising Initiative or Online Behavioral Advertising.

Mozilla's feature for Firefox works a little bit differently. What Firefox does is everytime some third party tries to track you Firefox sends it a 'Do Not Track HTTP Header.' This header is supposed to tell the advertisers that they are not to track you and you should start to see ads become more generic over time. The down side to this feature is it depends 100% on the third-party tracking companies to comply, and I don't know if I would trust them to not.

The FTC seems to think Mozilla and Microsoft have done a great job in creating their do not track features, but has not said much about Google and their efforts. From what I understand about the features implemented by both I would rather have Google's then Mozilla's where they have to depend on the tracking companies heed the 'Do Not Track HTTP Headers.' Seems a bit backwards to me, but that's just my opinion.



by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Splice - Free Video Editor For iOS! Works with iPhone 3GS as Well!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:33 AM

When the iPhone 4 came out Apple released iMovie that allowed you to edit video and place it along with pictures into a movie. This was great except it was $4.99 and it was only for the iPhone 4. Every one else was left out of the video editing fun. Well Splice is a video editor for the iOS that is not only free, but also works on the iPhone 3GS.

The little application has all the features you need to put together a movie with images and video. You can import images and video to your time-line as well as music from your own music library or some from the built in Slice library. Videos added to the time-line can be trimmed, crop, slowed down, speed up, and duplicated from the edit menu on the clip. Photos have effects that can be applied to them like Black and White, Sepia, and Sketch just to name a few. You can also duplicate an image, crop it, or add a Ken Burns effect which has always been a favorite of mine.

You can also add audio tracks to your creation. You have a choice between music in your collection as well as music available in the Splice library and items available for in-app purchase. You also have full control over the video clips audio letting you mix the multiple audio tracks making for a more delightful viewing experience. They also have a narration audio track that lets you record your voice and narrate your video as it plays in the background.

Once you're done using the app you can export the movie in a variety of sizes and save it to your camera roll. You can then do what you wish with it including uploading it to Youtube or emailing it to someone. Splice is a free app that is ad supported and has in-app purchases. If you want the ad free version you can download it for $1.99.

Splice 
by willburns1 | with no comments
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AudioGalaxy - iOS App that Streams your Music to your Device from Anywhere!
Monday, January 24, 2011 12:53 PM
Two Weeks ago I wrote about Skifta, a handy little Android app that could stream your home media right to your phone. I said then that I wasn't aware of an iOS equal and even though AudioGalaxy only does music, unlike Skifta, it does music really well. 

AudioGalaxy is a free iPhone app that has a desktop helper that goes along with it. After creating an account and installing the helper application it will then begin to index all your music. You can then launch the iOS app and browse all your music by Artist, Albums, Genres, and Playlist all of which are taken from your iTunes library. The AudioGalaxy app also works on a playlist queue type model allowing you to add songs to your song queue as well as artists and whole albums. You can of course review your list of queued songs, edit, and even save it as a new Playlist if you would like. 

AudioGalaxy also has a web app as well so if you're on a friends computer or your own you can access all your music right there All you have to do is login to their website and start adding songs to your music queue. It couldn't get much simpler so give AudioGalaxy a try. 

by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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Vid.ly - One Video for any Web Browser any Device!
Monday, January 24, 2011 12:11 PM
When you put videos on the web for people to see what format do you put them in? You have tons of options and depending on what browser or device the user is using determines what format they need in order to view it. Everyone including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Flash are trying to push their video formats on the world. Google has already said they are going to stop supporting H.264 in Chrome sometime in the future, which is currently around 90% of internet videos. So how do you make sure the users can watch your videos no mater what they have installed and no matter what browser or device they are using? Vid.ly, a brilliant little URL shortener that does all the work for you. 

Vid.ly works by allowing you to upload your video to their servers. They then encode the video into several formats. After they finish encoding the video they present you with a short url that can be tweeted and sent directly to mobile phones, an embed code for websites, and a direct link to the FLV for Flash players. When someone tries to play your video vid.ly will automatically detect their device and browser and deliver the appropriate video. 

This take all the guess work out of the equation for you and your viewers can enjoy video delivered in a format they can view. This is really the best of both worlds and perhaps the future of internet video unless everyone can agree on a video standard which is unlikely. TechCrunch has an interview with the co-founder, which has some interesting conversation on the current internet video situation and they have a Beta Code TCRUNCH2011 if you want to try vid.ly. 
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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QuickCal - Create Calendar Events in Plain English
Monday, January 24, 2011 9:05 AM


One thing I don't like about iCal is every time you add an event it's like filling a form. You have to fill out the event title, location, and time and it seems like work to me so I end up adding less stuff to my calendar because I don't want to mess with it. Quickcal lets you add events to iCal in plain english letting you type out an event like you would describe it to someone and it creates the event for you. The default shortcut to activate the Quickcal menu is Command + Shift + C but can be changed if you would like. 

Quickcal was already a dashboard widget but not everyone likes them and I happen to be one of them. This is why the developer of the widget has released this menu bar version for the dashboard haters like me. 

Quickcal has a couple tricks up it's sleeve other than just event creation. You can also create a tasks by typing something like "todo – get stuff done" or "pay taxes before 4/15." You can also switch calendars by simply starting to typing the name of the calendar and Quickcal will pull it right up, letting you add an event to that calendar. Quickcal also adds alarms for all events as well as one based on how far out the event is. So by default all events will alert you 5 minutes before the event happens, events a week away will remind you a day before, and events a month away will remind you a week ahead of time. Makes you realize how weird the default alert setting in iCal are because Quickcal's setup makes a lot more sense. 

Quickcal is a free download so go and check it out. 
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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