Monday, May 31, 2010

Snapfinger is an app for takeout ordering from chain restaurants.

In a world where everything is becoming faster and faster, food ordering it turns out, needed some boost. We all know that food ordering on the go was always possible over the phone but that was never the most efficient use of time and guaranty of accuracy.
To catch-up with the modern world, times could not have been better for the restaurant industry with the availability of new technologies and their rapid adoption by the mass.
One of those new technologies are the apps for mobile phones and the myriad of possibilities that they open. Count in that category a new entrant called Snapfinger, a Web and mobile app for ordering takeouts from chain restaurants like Outback Steakhouse, Boston Market, Subway etc.
According to the New York Times, the app is free for users to download at, with the company behind the app, charging a percentage off every order to participant restaurants.
Still according to the Times, Snapfinger menu offerings come from 28, 000 restaurants in 1,600 nationwide and in Canada. While for now the service include only offerings from chain restaurants, efforts are under way to expand it to independent ones.

For more, see

Friday, May 28, 2010

IObit Uninstaller is an effective tool to help remove unwanted toolbars.

Over time, computer's toolbar can get cluttered with a lot of unwanted toolbars, some of them installed by the owner, some of them self installed.
If that's your case and you are wandering how to get rid of them, now you have an option to do just that with a tool from IObit, the high-performing software maker.
IObit just released the version 1.1 of its IObit Uninstaller, suited for toolbars removal.
The process is pretty straightforward and you will see results almost immediately because the new version is more efficient than the original, according to AppScout.
IObit version 1.1 is particularly suited for removal of toolbars not viewable via the Control Panel and the price (free) is unbeatable. It can be downloaded at

For more, see

Thursday, May 27, 2010 is a social network site suited for kids.

Last Wednesday has seen the launch of a new social network site ( I know, some of you may be saying: "Another social network again?")
But the new kid on the block is a little different in the sense that it is totally dedicated to kids.
The site, Togertheville at, is designed to teach children 6 through 10 how to interact Online using their real identities and with a close parental participation.
The way that is possible is through the site link with Facebook, allowing parents on the grown-up site, to tag along with effective control over who their children can talk to or be friend with, according to the Wall Street Journal. Also, the site has a lot of restrictions regarding what kids can do or can not. For instance, kids can not type free-form text, only choose between pre-approved sayings. Another safety feature is the inability of kids to send "friends" requests to others kids. To request one, kids will have to go through their potential friends' parents who will review the solicitation before giving an answer.

For more, see

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Solar Surge from Novotek doubles as phone case and solar charger for iPhone.

For iPhone owners wanting to save the planet or just their wallet by using less energy when charging their unit, relief has arrived. Solar Surge made by NovoThink, doubles as an iPhone protective case and a solar charger. It works by charging an external battery lodged in a case containing the iPhone and it offers about 20 minutes of extra life to the battery after a two-hour sun exposure, the New York Times reports. And for more detailed guidance on how much juice can be extracted from the charger, the company offers some information on its Web site calculator and on an iPhone app.
For now, the charger is only available at the company's Web site and sells for $80 for the iPhone version and $53 for the one for the iPod Touch.
For more, see

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Outlook E-mail organizer Xobni has a mobile version for Blackberry phones.

Outlook users who have come to rely heavily on Xobni, the add-on service that organizes and searches e-mail messages and contacts, can now enjoy the same experience on their smarthphone if it happens to be a Blacberry. Since March, Xobni has started selling Xobni Mobile for Blackberry devices for $9.99.
One of the greatest appeal of the Xobni Mobile is that it acts like your personal assistant in charge of your cellphone address book. It knows all the persons with whom you correspond and organize them by names and contact information, even pulling that information from the corps of the message or other places Online.
To upper the ante, Xobni has come up with a new service called Xobni One which can tie together Xobni on your computer and Xobni Mobile on your Blackberry and make the contact information on both services accessible from either device, according to the New York Times. It costs $6.99 to download and $3.99 a month to use, still according to the Times.
Now if you own another brand of smartphone, Xobni plans is said to planing to offer the service for other makes, without any indication of which one and when.

For more, see

Monday, May 24, 2010

The most generous airlines in fulfilling frequent-flier seats.

Frequent fliers wishing to snatch a free ticket using their standard mileage points have various luck depending on which airlines they are trying to use.
A recent study of availability of free seats by a consulting firm, showed that when it comes to accommodating such requests, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Air were the most generous with 99.3% and 75% fulfilment respectively.
At the bottom of the list, were US Airways and Delta Air Lines with accommodations of 10.7 % and 12.9 % respectively.

For more, see

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pepsi Loot app for iPhone to showcase restaurants and reward shoppers.

Starting in June, Pepsico will partner with the location-based Four Square application to send discounts and other rewards to its loyal customers once they get close enough to a retail outlet that carries its products. The partnership is a way for Pepsi to drive traffic to those locations. But on top of this effort, Pepsi is planning to roll out its own mobile app called Pepsi Loot slated to be available this month on the iPhone. Through Pepsi Loot, customers can collect points that can be redeemed for various products and services, like free music download.
The main focus of the Loot app will be restaurants with about 200,000 of them participating in the program. The app will show Pepsi serving restaurants on a map, including menus and will allow users to sign-in to those locations, according to the New York Times.
Once they do, they start accumulating points that they can redeem for various products and services. On top of those freebies, the participating restaurants can also add their own offers to customers when they show the Loot app.

For more, see

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wal Mart to expand its offerings in electronics

To keep up with the competition, Wal-Mart is expanding its selection of electronics starting next week.The roll out will include more big name brands of TVs like LG, which will be available at Wal-Mart for the first time, a larger selection of Blu-ray players, smartphones and other gadgets. So expect to see more TVs with the latest technology like Internet connection, Web-connected Blu-ray players and home networking equipments.
For smartphones, the new effort will focus on carrying the latest and trendiest ones as soon as they hit the marketplace accompanied with more mobile broadband plans.
Talking about service, part of Wal-Mart strategy includes offering movies download through the Vudu home video service that it acquired earlier this year.
The Internet-connected TV and Blu-ray player brands to be available at Wal-Mart will include Vizio, Samsung, Sony and later this year, Sanyo and Emerson, will also be added to the lineup of Internet-ready TVs to be sold at Wal-Mart according to

For more, see

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Google Mapps 4.2 gives bike route directions and maps.

Bike enthusiasts got a treat this week from Google with the release of an app for biking route directions. Called Google Maps 4.2, the app, is available at the Google Android apps marketplace and is compatible only with phones running the Google Android operating system vesion 1.6 and higher.
The apps can work either in the direction mode with the touch of the bicycle icon on the screen, or as one of the layers of the Maps app.
In directions mode, the app will give you a route favoring roads that are considered good for cycling, roads with bike lanes and bike paths.
When open as a layer of the Google Maps, the app will highlight bike-only trails showing them in dark green, while showing roads with bike lanes in light green, and roads Google considers good for cycling get a green dotted line.
Google is said to get the information it displays in the app from different sources like bike organizations, bike maps, municipalities and riders who send in routes.
At this point, the data stored is said to cover nearly 200 cities all in the U.S.

For more, see

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Microsoft Office Suite 2010 is released for businesses customers..

Microsoft started selling its Office Suite 2010 to businesses customers with the noticeable inclusion of Web friendly features of the main components of the software.
That constitutes a radical shift from the software giant company which is being forced to jump unto the new trend of releasing applications on the Web instead of having people install them on their machines. But don't hold your breath yet since Microsoft foray into cloud computing as that new technical trend is called, is very tentative for now. Unlike Google Docs, Google competing document editing software entirely based on the Web, Microsoft is not giving away its cash caw that accounted for close to 60% of its operating profit during the last fiscal year.
Even thought Office Suite 2010 for for businesses contain a Web version of Excel, Word and others Office applications that will reside in users' browsers instead of their machines allowing them to collaboratively edit documents, the bulk of the program will still need the traditional machine installation. One of the components of the program that will fall in that category is a new Outlook email feature that can access information from Facebook and others social networks to give users a glimpse of what their email recipients are up to online, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The paid version of Office Suite 2010 for businesses will run from $100 to several hundred per users per year and usually require the purchase of additional software to enable collaboration between users.
For consumers, Microsoft is giving away a free Web lite version of Office Suite 2010 that contains advertisements, the Wall Street Journal notes.

For more, see

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flickr app allow you to create a virtuall drive on your computer to view or share pictures.

If you are using Flickr service to store pictures or have friends or family who do the same, chances are that you may only have one copy of the original saved in one machine. Therefore, if you are away from that machine, the only way to view those pictures again is by logging unto your Flickr account. And to view the pictures of your family and friends, they will have to be logged in and let you view them. Now imagine having the possibility to have all your pictures and those of your family and friends who choose to share theirs in Flickr, available to you in any computer you are using? Well, imagine no more, because that possibility is reality thanks to an app called Flickr Drive by Flickr.
The free app works like a free shell extension for Windows and functions as a virtual drive on your system pointing out to your Flickr folders, allowing you to access your photos on the site and the photos of whoever has given you permission to see theirs from any machine in which the app is installed.
According to, "once Flickr is installed on your computer, when you use it to log in to Flickr, the app would create a drive letter under My Computer that has folders inside for your photos and the photos of your Flickr acquaintances."
You can also manage your photos on your Flickr account "by dragging and dropping them into the drive which uploads them back to Flickr with the update", still according to

For more, see

Friday, May 14, 2010

How to disable the images on Internet Explorer Web browser for more speed.

If you are using Internet Explorer Web browser and want to speed up your Internet surfing, there is a way to do just that by preventing images to be displayed when browsing the Web. According to the New York Times, you do that by going to the Tools menu, then to Internet Options and click on the Advanced tab; from there, look for the Undermedia tab and uncheck the boxes related to "show pictures" then click OK. Most Web browsers include an option or preference in the settings that will disable images. In Internet Explorer, for example, go to the Tools menu to Internet Options and click on the Advanced tab; then under Multimedia, uncheck boxes next to “Show pictures” and anything else you don’t want to see or hear. Then click OK.

For more, see

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Square is a free alternative to accept credit card payments through smartphones.

For business people who lack the resources to use a traditional credit card processing service to accept credit card payments, or people who conduct most of their business on the go, there is now an option to take credit card payments if they own a smart phone.A startup called launched this past December, has devised a mobile payment system that works through a smartphone. Vendors can sign-up at and receive for free a small credit-card reader that is to be inserted into the audio jack of the phone. When customers make a purchase, they swipe their credit cards into the reader which would authenticate the card through the phone and let the customers sign their names on the screen to complete the transaction.
Available at first for iPhone and other Apple mobile devices, the system is now available for Android based phones.
According to, Square charges a flat fee of 2.75% plus 15 cents for every swipe, and 3.5% plus 15 cents for any charge where a card is not present but the number is keyed in.

For more, see

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Zomm and Phone Halo are wireless key-chains phone locators.

Most cell phones users have experimented being involuntary separated from their beloved devices one time or another only to be left wondering if they will ever be reunited again.
That is a testimony of how much invested in their cell phones, people are nowadays.
To help that from ever happening, there are some solutions as simple as what amounts to a modern day leash for your cell phone.
The idea is what is behind two products reviewed by the Wall Street Journal; they come in form of key-chain gadgets that works as wireless leashes for Bluetooh-connected phones.
They are the $80 ZOMM, available at and the $60 Phone Halo available at Phone They are gadgets that you attach with to your keyring and they basically work the same way by emitting an acoustic warning whenever you find yourself further than a preselected distance from your phone.
Beside that simple proposition, both of them offer more or less conveniences in terms of what kind of phones they are compatible with, or what sort of little extras they offer.
For instance, the ZOMM works with any Bluetooh enabled phone while the Phone Halo works only with Blackberry and Android based phones for now .
The Phone Halo is available for purchase at Phone, while the ZOMM won't be available for sale to the general public till next month. But according to the Wall Street Journal, people were able to pre-order it and those orders should have been shipped early this month.

For more, see

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kylo and Loop are two tools for watching TV shows over the Internet.

Despite all its appeal, watching TV programs over the Internet is not one of the most pleasant experience in life. Some people have tried a lot of different things like using a laptop connected to a TV screen through a long extension cable, or using a wireless keyboard and mouse. There are many others solutions (, free to name a few), available for dealing with this issue but two recent ones from the same company have caught thee attention of critics and reviewers. They are from a company named Hillcrest Labs from Rockville Md who has just put out two very revolutionary products that address the problem.
The first product is a Web browser called Kylo available free at and refereed to by the company as " the Web browser for television." According to the Wall Street Journal, it runs on both Windows and Mac computers and has links to 128 popular Web video sites; it is still in beta mode and needs some improvements according to the WSJ.
The second product is a round shaped remote control called Loop available at which controls the computer it is linked to and not the TV. With a simple wave of the Loop in the air, you can move the cursor on the compute or scroll down or up the screen. The Loop came out last summer and works well with Windows and Mac and sells for $99. The Loop can be used separately or in combo with the Kylo Web browser and like the later, it is a nice concept in need of refinement, according to the WSJ.

For more, see

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cell phone apps that prevent distracted driving.

With all the talks about the dangers of distracted driving and the use of cell phone being one of the main culprit, different States are scrambling to enact various laws to outlaw driving and texting or even talking on the phone. All those laws in the pipeline or already enacted, address the issue differently with most of them making the act of driving and texting a secondary offense only enforced when the driver is stopped for another one. For its part, the fed is also getting into the act, with a federal ban of driving and texting in the work.
But until then, something needs to be done specially given the rate at which the most accident prone drivers on the road, teenagers, text and drive. For concerned parents, hopefully, there are some technical solutions available right now that would give them some peace of mind knowing that their kids' phones are not in use while they are behind the wheels.
Those technical solutions come in the form of cellphone apps that can block the ability to send or receive texts or make or receive calls or surf the Web. The extend of what these apps allow or don't allow, varies per app. But they almost all work based on the same principle of using the cellphone GPS system to sense when the car exceed a certain speed, to start blocking whatever they are set to block. Here a list of some of them to just name a few: iZup, tXtBlocker, CellSafety and ZoomSafer. The list is far from being exhausted with new apps or services being made public almost every day.

For more, see

Friday, May 7, 2010

Watching streaming Netflix movies directly into a TV.

As if any additional proof were needed, the recent news that movies rental Hollywood Video was shutting down is a further evidence of the ever increasing popularity of Netflix, the Online movie rental company. The business model of Netflix has struck a chord with consumers for the convenience and ease of use. And now the model is getting even more convenient with the possibility to watch movies from Netflix vast catalog, directly streamed to your TV screen bypassing a computer. That is possible with a small portion of Netflix catalog and with help of set-top boxes or other
TV-connected hardware that allow these movies to be played directly on a TV, according to the Wall Street Journal. The most popular of those are the Xbox 360, TiVo digital video recorders, Play Station 3 game consoles and the simplest and least expensive, the Roku.

For more, see

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Give me my data app allows users to retrieve their personal information on Facebook.

Recently, Facebook has proceeded to remove users personal information that they have spend years to built, from their profiles to make room to its newest project called " Open Graph."
With that latest initiative Facebook plans to connect users to others people, places, and things across the entire Web. It is part of the much more buzzed about "Instant Personalization" project which is Facebook attempt to link with as many Web sites as possible by letting them install its "Like" button. With that button, Facebook users who visit those sites will have the possibility to click on it and have the page in which it was in, linked to their profiles and have all their friends made aware of the action. More of that Facebook Instant Personalization project can be found at this previous post.
Facebook removal of users' personal information from their profile interfaces has been met with a lot of negative feed back from perplexed users. The good news is that that information is not deleted, it is just removed and moved to a place unreachable by the new interface. But with the whole thing done without any explanation from Facebook to make its users understand what is going on or to give them the necessary tools to retrieve that information, it did not take long for confusion to reign in. Fortunately, there is a little known app called Give Me My Data created earlier this year and available at that walks people through the steps of retrieving their data. And according to the New York Times, the free app will let users retrieve not only their personal information on their profile pages, but a variety of their Facebook data making it possible for them to make copy to be saved somewhere else.

For more, see

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to safeguard your identity Online.

In this digital age where some people spend more time socializing online than in real life, and with the ever expanding list of every day activities done on the Internet, the amount of information about people stored and sometimes shared out there, can be mind boggling.
One thing is sure: unless you live completely off line and under a rock since the day you were born, it is almost impossible to completely erase your digital tracks.
With the genie already out of the bottle, the one or two things that you can do is to make sure what is out there about you is as accurate as possible and to limit it to only what is in the public domain.
One first step, calls for some pure common sense by limiting the number of sites you sign up for, never sign for site just in the spur of the moment, like when they are claiming to have contests or free give aways.
On the social networking front, try to only sign up with sites that have been around for a while and with a strong commitment to safeguarding users' information. I know that proposition may be a little hard for many people trying to be early adapters. But given the fact that there is something new almost every day, it may be a bad idea to engage in a race trying to be one of the first to try them.
That said, after limiting yourself to a few sites, you should do a good job to keep track of them and be careful about what you reveal in there. And when a site like Facebook starts to play loose with users data, you always have the option to take down your data and delete your account because after all, that data belongs to users even though from time to time, Facebook acts as if it had forgotten about that.
Another tool in users' arsenal, is Google Dashboard which gives them the means to edit or remove--information about users that various Google sites and services may be storing.
Others information repository places in the Web like, also allow you to edit or sometimes remove some information about yourself.
And who can forget about Twitter? With the micro blogging site experiencing a phenomenal growth and people eager to share almost any thing instantaneously, there are a lot of room for regrets later. To deal with embarrassing tweets, the service offers its users a way to remove them, but that can be done only one at a time. So, if you are tweets prolific with a bunch of those, until recently, your options may have been limited to just close the account and open another one even though the old offending tweets, would be still out there. But now, there is another option offered by a third party service called TweetWipe, at to get rid of them all at once.

For more, see

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Artnear is an app that lists art exhibits near you.

If you are into arts and are visiting a town and would like to see some exhibitions you can do that with the help of an app available to iPhone and Blackberry owners. The app maps nearly contemporary art exhibits and presents them to you in the form of a list based on your location.
It comes in two versions: a free one that is adds supported and a $4.99 adds free version that lets you bookmark events you are interested in.
According to the New York Times, Artnear compensates the lack of comprehensiveness of its database by listing links to different venues that it may not include yet in its listing.

For more, see

Monday, May 3, 2010

How to opt out of Facebook sharing option.

With the announcement last week by Facebook of the expansion of its "Like" program to other sites, little notice were made of the possible ramifications of such program. The program works by allowing outside participant sites to embed Facebook Like button on their sites. Once embeded, the button will appear on its page of the site and will give Facebook members a chance to click on it when they see something that they like. That seemingly harmless action will have a lot of ramifications since since that one click will essentially broadcast the user action to his or her network through his or her newsfeed. Also, all the names of the user Facebook friends who have already clicked on the button, will be broadcasted alongside.
In conjunction of the new Like program, Facebook has launched a new innovation called Open Graph which is a technology that allows certain sites like Pandora, Yelp, and Docs by Microsoft, to personalize their offerings to users based on the information stored in their personal profiles. That level of personalization is possible because Facebook gives those sites access to those users information. Ant that's where it gets scary for unscrupulous users who unwillingly may be giving away access to their personal information.
As you may have noticed, the opt-in option is by default and users who do not want their information accessed that way, have the means to opt-out.
You can either turn Instant Personalization off entirely at Facebook, or you can opt out at individual websites on a case-by-case basis. The latter is easy; the first time you arrive at a website that uses Instant Personalization, a bar will appear at the top of the page letting you know that’s what’s happening and giving you the option to either accept that or not.
To opt out of the personalization feature altogether, you can do so by going to Facebook home page, access your "Account" and click on "Privacy Settings."

For more, see the

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