DropBox Now In Public Beta!

11 09 2008

As of today, the once invite-only service DropBox is now available without a special beta code. DropBox provides you with 2Gb of free online storage that syncs with a DropBox folder on your computer. DropBox is available for Windows, OS X and Linux users. Sign up and check it out for yourself here.

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Maximizing Your iPod/iPhone’s Battery

2 09 2008

Recently, I took a trip down to Ottawa from my hometown of Oakville, Ontario to drop my older sister off at university. The time it takes to get there is roughly around five and a half hours. Naturally on a rip of this caliber I decided to take my trusty iPod touch along for the ride. On the way there I was using regular settings and was able to watch around 20-30 min of video and a couple hours of music – no other applications.

When we arrived at our destination, I got the warning that my iPod had only “10% battery life remaining” and I thought to myself, Oh crap!. And of course, being the great planner I am, I didn’t bring an iPod charger with me so I would have to make do with what I had. And so I set out to achieve a record battery life on 10% juice remaining – 7 and a half hours!

Curious as to how I did this? I am kind of too…but what I can tell you are the settings I used for the trip back to limit my power usage. The first thing I did was to turn off the “Ask to Join Networks” option (Settings>Wi-Fi). That saves a chunk of power because it won’t constantly be looking for new networks to join. The second setting I changed was the brightness (Settings>Brightness). I lowered the slider all the way to the bottom and turned auto-brightness off. Finally I made a personal decision to listen to only to music and to keep it off unless I needed to change a song. In which case I would use the handy double-tap on the home button to bring up the simplified music controls.

That final step may not be everyone’s choice but I have a feeling that it was one of the major reasons that it lasted so long.  Feel free to experiment for yourself and if you have any other battery-life saving tips, feel free to post them below.

Cheers!





Meet: Backdrops for Your Life

19 08 2008

Yesterday I launched a new site entitled Backdrops for Your Life which is where I will be posting all of the wallpapers that I have created. I did this because I had been posting them here for a while but I didn’t think it really suited the site. Therefore, I moved them to this new site which I am very proud of.

Now you can enjoy both of my web sites! 😀

[Backdrops for Your Life]





Scour Combines Top Three Search Engines, Pays You

10 08 2008

A recently introduced search engine by the name of Scour has surfaced and I, personally, am a fan. The first thing you may notice when you enter a search are the small icons next to each result with the Google, Yahoo! and MSN logos and a number next to each. This indicates the “rank” on each search engine. So for example, below, you can see that there is a 1 next to the Google logo. The “1” indicates that if you were to search the same phrase in Google, it would turn that link up as the first result. This is a great feature that helps to weed out the poor links and give you the best results from all of the main search engines. You also have the option to show the results as they would appear in each search engine separately, leaving almost no excuse not to use this as an alternative to your current engine.

Another feature used to help weed out the poor results is a voting system. Next to each result and the footer of each clicked result you have the option to give the page a thumbs up or a thumbs down. It is also optional to leave a comment as to why it was a good/bad site. After enough votes, the listings will move down in rank, placing the relevant ones where they should be, according to the users. When using Scour, you can read comments left by other users about websites based on your keyword. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of looking for the right link.

The way that Scour encourages you to vote and comment is by using a points system. If you sign up with Scour (it’s free and optional) you will receive one point for each search, two points for a vote and three points for leaving a comment. They also allow referral points where you receive 25% of the points they make. Once you achieve 6,500 points, Scour will send you a $25 Visa gift card.

They also have browser search plugins for Firefox and IE with Opera arriving soon; start page search widgets for Netvibes, Pageflakes and iGoogle (all arriving soon); and Desktop search widgets for Windows, OS X and Yahoo! Widgets (all arriving soon).

I honestly can find no good reason as to why not to use this browser as an alternative. If I don’t like the “Scour” results, I can change it to Google, Yahoo! or MSN-only results while being paid. I honestly can’t think of a better way of attracting users to a search engine than this.

The link for Scour is here.





WordPress For iPhone

22 07 2008

photo

Early today, WordPress released their brand new iPhone and iPod touch app into the App Store. As of right now, I can tell to covers basically every blogging function in WordPress and places it in this great package. The option to preview a post is a great feature that I wouldn’t have expected to been implemented in the initial release, but non-the-less it was brought to us.
The only function I would like to see added as of right now would be the addition of blog stats like the ones on their website (and obviously you can’t view the graphs in Mobile Safari because of the lack of Flash).
Overall, this is a very nicely designed app and am excited to test it out further on the near future.

Note: This entire post was written through the WordPress app.





1Password Review

9 07 2008

[OS X only] I purchased my copy of 1Password back during Macheist II and have fallen in love ever since. For those who don’t know, 1Password is a manager for web passwords, but with many more capabilities than one might expect. Firstly, it integrates into almost any modern browser, placing an icon at the top for easy access to all web passwords. Another neat feature of 1Password is that it will also store “identities” containing your name, occupation, address, email, etc. to make filling in forms online as easy as clicking a mouse button. It also contains a built-in password generator with a slew of options from the number of characters (from 1 to 50) to the ratio of digits to symbols. Also, (as though that weren’t enough) you are able to place all of your credit card information in a “wallet”. Not only can you put your credit cards in there, but also items such as memberships, passports, Social Security Numbers, iTunes accounts and much more.  Finally, you are also able to create “secure notes” which house any information that you would like to be kept confidential.

Not too long ago, Agile Web Solutions, the makers of 1Password, implemented a similar option for the iPhone and iPod touch which prompts a dialogue box overlaying the current web site, asking for the master password and the options available for the site. I found this feature helpful but not entirely as great of a solution as the one for desktop computers. But once again, 1Password has found out how to create a brilliant workaround – thanks to the iPhone and iPod touch SDK and the AppStore. The plan, according to Agile Web Solutions’ David Teare, is to create their own browser with 1Password built in. They were forced to do that because Apple has disallowed any modifications to their own applications. According to Teare, they’re including some “cool features” that will “make users not want to use Safari directly anyway.” Sounds good to me.

Last but not least, the 1Password team has just released a new feature to their killer application (like there weren’t enough features already) entitled “Bookmarks”. This opens up a well designed HUD panel that contains all of your passwords and with a simple click, directs you to the web site and logs you in. Also, it includes a search bar at the top for easy finding of all of your passwords.

Also to note: It protects against phishing sites by alerting you that you have never entered information on that site before. Also, their customer support is well beyond my expectations, replying to my email within the hour.





Congrats to Mozilla!

3 07 2008

Firefox officially now holds the world record for the most downloads of a particular item in a 24 hour period. The total number stated by Mozilla is a whopping 8,002,530 downloads – along with 21,114,091 more downloads spanning betweeng the then of the Official Firefox Download Day and today as of 1:13 PM ET. That brings the total of downloads of Firefox 3 to an incredible 29,116,621 downloads in total.

In my experiences, Firefox 3 was leaps and bounds above the previous incarnations, with the “awesome bar”, brilliant favoriting system and new look. Couple these features with some of your favorite plug-ins (Better Gmail 2, PicLens, CyberSearch, etc.) and you have one killer web-browser that is tough to beat under any circumstances.

If you havent been one of the 29,116,621 people who have downloaded it as of yet, you can grab it from here. Happy browsing.








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