Friday, July 30, 2010

Amazon and Facebook to offer shopping recommendations.

With 500 millions members, it is becoming increasingly difficile to find someone that he or she is not on Facebook. The fact that the social networking site has became such a central hub for so many people, makes it a natural place to turn to for more than just connecting. Now Facebook is trying to use all the wealth of information that it has about its users to be even more relevant.
The recent announcement of a shopping recommendation service in a partnership with between Facebook and Amazon, reinforce that approach.
The service is deigned so that a friend on Facebook looking for a gift for another Facebook friend, can get recommendation from Amazon based on that person profile in the social site. The service will be able to access users' accounts and look at their profiles to get a clue of their favorite movies, music, books and others interests.
It is in testing mode and users can only joint in by opting-in. To do so, they will have to go to Amazon's recommendations page and click on the Sign in and Connect button under "Tap into your Facebook Network." From there, they will connect to their Facebook page after their Amazon credentials are verified.

For more, see

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Family Tracker app for iPhone allows to keep track of iPhone users.

The new Apple iPhone 4 has been making the news lately because of problems with its antenna resulting in dropped calls and frustration from users. But that did not stop apps developers to go full speed ahead and produce apps suited to the new phone. One of those apps is the Family Tracker that when installed on the phone, and turned on, allows to the person in need to know all the times the whereabouts of the actual phone's user, to be able to do just that.
The app runs unseemly in the background and checks on the phone location via its GPS and uploads the findings to the Family Tracker's servers. From there, the person who signs up for the service-generally the with with the need to track the user-, can log in to the service's Web site or from their own iPhone to have an idea to where the phone is actually located. It goes without saying that the person being tracked has to give his or her consent and be willing to keep the service running in the background for it to wrk.
The app has even a "ping" function that allow for push notification which is a way for the person doing the tracking, to send a request to the phone user through the the service and receive his or her GPS location if they choose to acknowledge the request. That added feature is important since it can work on older iPhones.
Citing some users, AppScout, said that the app is dogged by bugs and is slow to display updates.It goes without saying that the person being tracked has to give his or her consent and be willing to keep the service running in the background for it to wrk.
It sells for $5.99 and is available for download at the iTunes store.

For more, see

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Google launches Image Search Ads to appear on Google Images.

Last week, Google introduced a new feature called Image Search Ads that would display ads on Google Images alongside the images search results. According to PC World, the ads "allow advisers to include a thumbnail image beside the traditional lines of text."
The new feature can be a help for business advertising Online as users searching for images can now be targeted with ads relevant to their searches.
For now, Image Search Ads appear only on Google Images and they are competitively priced as standard AdWords ads according to Google.
To use the new feature, "advertisers can use Google's Display Ad Builder template to match their texts with a relevant image" pcworld said. More details are available at AdWords Help Center.

For more, see

Monday, July 26, 2010

India unveils a $35 prototype of a touchscreen tablet PC.

Since Apple introduced the iPad about three months ago and given the huge success that followed, computer and smartphone makers everywhere have been scrambling to catch up, trying to come up with a tablet of their own. But this week, a new entrant has created a big splash with the unveiling of a prototype of a touchscreen tablet PC with very unique features.
But above all, it's the entity behind the project that first draws attention. The entity in question is the Indian Government. People who have first account of the device, describe it as impressive with a very innovative approach. For a starter, the device runs on a variation of Linux, and use a memory card as storage unit. It also come with a built-in word processor, video conferencing capabilities and a Web browser. That's not all: It can run on solar power.
But as the commercial would say, wait, there is more; the tablet is set to sell for $35 a piece, PCWorld said. Right now, the Indian Government is looking for manufacturers who can bring the device to market at that price point or even lower because the device primary target market is low Indian low income families.

For more, see

Friday, July 23, 2010

Travel booking via smartphones.

With the summer travel season upon us, many people are busy scheduling trips and looking for the best deals. Nowadays, such tasks should not be the walk in the dark it used to be with a travel agent as the middle man.
With several Online tools available, chores like tracking airline schedules, making hotel and car-rental confirmations and restaurant reservation should be more easily manageable.These tools are tailored to be accessed on the go through smartphones.
They are offered by Services like, and with various degrees of functionality.
One thing shared by all three services is the ability to send users confirmation e-mails to an specific address set-up at the time of registration.
They also "can alerts about flight status and gate changes, and let you book new flights or search for hotel rooms on the fly" according to the Wall Street Journal.
"Some of them do also link up with social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook allowing users to track each others comings and goings" the Wall Street Journal said.

For more, see

Thursday, July 22, 2010 is a tool for sharing travel tips and adventures.

A new mobile app called Gowalla at, promises to be a combination of Foursquare and something where serious travelers can share travel adventures or tips. According to its founder, "Gowalla enables its users to share their everyday ventures as well extraordinary places and events of their lives; in other word, to inspire people when they're traveling."
Available for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm smartphones as well as the iPad, Gowalla encourage people to take pictures with their phones and save them in the service in organized categories such as trips or specific sites. As with Foursquare, users will have their passports stamped when they check-in or for the trips taken.
It integrates smoothly with Facebook and Twitter which will allow for automatic posting of users' whereabouts on those sites. Users who want to stand out, can create their own trips and share them with the rest of the users on the site.
In the feature, Gowalla is looking for to use an editorial team to choose some users' generated content and promote them as featured trips according to pcmag.

For more, see

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hulu to start Hulu Plus a $9.99 a month subscription service

Emboldened by its dominant position in the Web TV viewing, Hulu the video Web site formed three years ago by two of the majors TV networks and Fox Entertainment, has decided to take the experiment to a new level with the announcement last week of its ad-supported subscription service. For $9.99 a month, users will have full access to more episodes of current and classic shows including entire seasons in many cases and on a much broader range of platforms: PCs, iPhones 3 and 4, iPads, Bluray players, video games consoles and even old Internet connected TV sets. The service called Hulu Plus will be initially available only by invitation to be handed out at random to the site followers or friends on different social networks with the possibility for people interested in testing the new offering, to request one on the service Web site.
On top of the paid version, Hulu executives said that what was free on the site like the most recent episodes of shows from the three partners, would remain as such.

For more, see

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To help against impersonators, Facebook will allow users to register their computers.

With the recent wave of bad publicity stemming from its controversial measures related to its privacy policy, Facebook can benefit from any act seen as good will. A series of new features introduced by Facebook last month, failed to get the same kind of attention that its tinkering with its privacy got. One of those features has the potential to be of great help for users to guard against impostors and cybercrooks who may take over their accounts with very bad intents. The feature will allow users to register a list of "approved" devices -be it a home or work computer, a mobile phone etc- that they will be using to access their Facebook accounts and when someone try to access their accounts from an unregistered device, an alert will be sent to them via e-mail or text message.
If it happens that they were not the one trying to log in, they will be instructed on how to remove the unauthorized device and reset their passwords.
The new feature can be accessed from the "Account Settings" page and is easy to set up.

For more, see

Monday, July 19, 2010

Apple drops iPhone 4 restocking fees.

Following its mea culpa regarding the reception problem with its iPhone 4 and the numerous lawsuits that have been filled since the release of the phone by disappointed customers, Apple has decided to drop the usual restocking fees for people looking to return their devices.
Customers returning the iPhone4 with 16 GB, will be spared the usual $20 restocking fee while the ones returning the iPhone 4 with 32 GB will get a full refund without the $30 restocking fees. In any case, the return has to be made within 30 days of the purchase date.
In an attempt to deflect blame, Apple has also issued an explanation on why customers where experimenting those drops in coverage in the first place: a software glitch that was showing an inaccurate display in the real amount of bars that should be displayed to begin with.
In a blog post on Friday, Apple said that it plan to release a software fix in the coming weeks to address the issue with a display not overstating the actual signal strength.

For more, see

Friday, July 16, 2010

Facebook starts testing a photo-tagging feature.

Any Facebook user who has tried before to tag several pictures on the social network site knows first hand how painstaking of a process that is. Each picture had to be processed separately and the results saved. Catching up with technology, Facebook just announced the launch of a new automatic photo-tagging system that is in test phase and available to only a few users right now. With the new system, Facebook won't automatically tag the people on someone picture, but instead will select them and display a prompt asking " Whose face is this?" At that point, it will be up to the user to respond and enter the friend's name and hit "save."
There are no indication on when the new feature will be rolled out to the entire site but Facebook officials are promising it to be just one of many new improvements planned for a more enjoyable browsing experience on the site.

For more, see

Thursday, July 15, 2010

FishPhone iPhone app gives you a lot of info about your fish.

Most the times, fish lovers or novice who want to know more about the fish they are looking at at the fish market or on their plates at the restaurant, there is not much to go by with. It does not have to be that way if you own an iPhone and are willing to download a free app called FishPhone from the iTunes store.
"With the FishPhone iPhone app from the Blue Ocean Institute, you have a wealth of information about the type of fish you're looking at and whether it's been sustainably farmed or caught right on your iPhone," according to AppScout.
The fishes in the app have an icon appear next to them indicating the level of sustainability or environmental friendliness in which they were caught or farmed.
Each fish in the seafood guide has an icon next to it that represents its sustainability or environmental friendliness.
Non iPhone or iPod owners who still want to know more about a fish they are interested in, can still get the information via text message from the Blue Ocean Institute by asking.

For more, see

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New personalized travel guides from

When planning to visit a new destination, it may be helpful to enlist the services of a tour guide if you can afford one. For more adventurist people, walking behind a tour guide may not be their idea of fun associated with discovering a new place. Maybe because they do not need that much of a hand-on experience, they would rather take matters in their own hands.
But whatever may be the case, travelers wanting to design their own paths, can do so by visiting to generate a customized guide for the things they plan to see or do during their stay in a new location.
The new service is in beta mode and can used to create a customized guide for more than 50 cities around the world. integrates with Google Map allowing users to use push-pins to highlight destinations.
Users can view local attractions on a map and read reviews about them; better yet, they can view "personalized" guides created by other users and print them if they find them suitable to their taste.
After compiling a personalized guide, users will be prompted to register for free with the service in order to download their guide along with associated maps, directions, and photos to take with them on their trip according to
The site tries to make money by earning referal kickbacks from some suggested locations if users choose to have book those services for them.

For more, see

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

McAfee Family Protection app for iPhone offers more protection to keep kids safe Online.

Parents whose kids own iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and worry about their safety Online, can rest a little easier with the knowledge that there is help just a click away in the form of an app.
The app called Family Protection is from McAffe and is designed to help parents protect their children from inappropriate Internet content. The new app offers a more adequate protection compared to the old built-in Safari Web browser with one that comes with URL and search filtering capability to prevent the access to inappropriate sites. According to AppScout, the new browser covers more areas like tabbed browsing, bookmarks, pinch zoom and link sharing.
The McAfee Family Protection app does also monitor Online usage and generates reports of sites visited and durations. Ultimatly, it gives parents the power to block individual sites and even remotely deny all Web access altogether.
The app is available now on the Apple App Store for $19.99.

For more, see

Monday, July 12, 2010

Support for is now available for Facebook's fan pages.

The collaborative venture between Microsoft and Facebook in the area of Office documents called, received a boost last week with the announcement by Microsoft of the availability of support for Facebook fab pages. With the new addition, administrators of Facebook fan pages will be able to disseminate Office docs as a supplement to their existing Web pages, said PC Magazine.

For more, see

Friday, July 9, 2010

New and more secure Hotmail to be released this summer.

Despite being the number one web mail in use in the world, Microsoft's Hotmail has always suffered a perception problem in the U.S. where it comes in distant second behind Yahoo mail.
Microsoft has set out to change that with the upcoming release of a new and revamped Hotmail with users' security as the main priority. To prove that point, the new Hotmail will use HTTPS to encrypt all data sent within the system.
To help users against phishing schemes and others impersonators of financial institutions and governments agencies like the IRS, Hotmail will begin showing a safety symbol next to those entities after they have been identified. To protect against password thefts when using a public Wi-Fi, the new Hotmail will offer its users the option to request a temporary one good only for one single use and that will be sent to users in the form of a text message to their cell phones.
Users will also notice a new tool called "personalized spam filtering" that will help reduce the number of e-mail messages marked as spams that in fact aren't. The personalized filter should be able to automatically recognize people people with whom someone communicate with often and keep their messages from being sent to the trash bin. The filter is also designed to let users personalize which sender's messages they want to block or allow.

For more, see

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Foxit Reader 4.0 is a free safe PDF Reader alternative to Adobe Acrobat.

For most people, when the need arise to work with Adobe PDF files, it became almost like second nature to use Adobe Acrobat Reader which dominate the market in that category.Licensing fees and recent widely publicised security concerns linked to the Adobe Acrobat, have made it opportune for some PDF Reader alternatives to be given a second look by users.
Heavy weights like Google have gotten into the act with the search giant release of Google Reader as part of its Google Docs. Beside Google, some much less known players like Foxit Sofware have their own free PDF Readers.
Foxit Software recently announced the release of its recent version of its free PDF Reader called Foxit Reader 4.0.
According to AppScout, Foxit version 4.0 reader allow users to do comment, spell check documents collaboration, to populate PDF forms all that with a multi-level security and multimedia support.

For more, see

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Skype video-calling software is availlable on some Internet ready TVs.

Made popular by Skype, video-calling service has gone from being the thing of early adopters, to becoming more widely used by the general public. But until now, it was confined to computers or smartphones, leaving out one ovious device, the TV set. That is about to change with the introduction of a Skype software designed for TV sets.
It comes preloaded on some TVs models which when hooked to a TV webcam, will anyone to make high-definition video calls on the big screen.
The only limitation is that the software is available only on some models of Internet ready TVs like the Panasonic with Viera Cast and the Samsung 7000 and 8000 series with Samsung Apps.
LG 's Netcast models are said to be next in line to get the Skype software, according to the New York Times.
With either brand of TV, users will have to spend about $150 on a new webcam to be hooked to the TV. Skype is not planning to stop with the TVset with the announcement of a a software development kit or SDK that will allow third parties to embed Skype video software in all kind of devices like navigation unit, automobiles dash boards, PBX telephone etc, the Times said.

For more, see

Monday, July 5, 2010

New improved Amazon Kindle DX is set to go on sale July 7 at a lower price.

It was not a very long time ago when Amazon reigned supreme in the e-readers market with its Kindle models. That what then and now the e-reader market has became very crowded with new players entering the field almost every day; those players range from well known to lesser known. And now with the release of the iPad tablet which is a multiple functions device that can serve as an e-reader and with more tablets from different manufactures to enter the market in the near future, one can only feel Amazon line of thinking: how to hold on to its market share? It's response came last week with the announcement of the upcoming release of its high end Kindle DX model loaded with new features at a reduced price of $379. It will go on sale July 7 and will joint the standard and more popular Kindle e-reader already offered at the reduced price of $189 after competitor Barnes & Noble dropped the price of its Nook e-reader.
According to TechNewsWorld, "the new Kindle DX comes with an improved screen contrast, zoom capability for handling PDF files, a collection of tools that allow readers to better organize their reading materials and offer the ability to share selections from books and periodicals via social networks using the free 3 G service that is available with the device."

For more, see

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Google News "News for you" is rolled out.

On Wednesday, Google announced a new Google News page that is totally different from the previous set up and was introduced without any warning to its users.
The new Google News is an attempt by the search giant to customize the news that people will see on their front page when they open Google News. Called "News for you", the new feature "will offer a stream of local, customized and socially edited content" quoting the News York Times. The aim is to let users choose which sources they want showcased more prominently in their news feeds with a favorite source appearing above the rest.
According to the New York Times, Google goal with this project is to have the biggest stories of the day highlighted with multiple pages devoted to them. Also, Google is trying to present a local news brief that will try to be as neighbor specific as possible with display of weather conditions.
"News for you" has a social sharing feature with the possibility for users to share what is called "story clusters" which are articles grouped together with links to several news sources, still according to the Times.
The revamped Google News site is rolling out for the English-language edition of Google News in the United States on Wednesday and will reach in other countries in the coming months.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Personal chores outsourcing services

In today's world where multitasking has became a way of life, there are certainly times during the day when some people wish they had more time to accomplish more things or just have someone do it for them. But unless you are among the wealthy types, such possibilities seem like way out of reach. Fortunately, the same Internet that gave us the opportunities to do more and more things with the help of a keyboard to the point of feeling overwhelmed, provide us also with the chance to have many of those tasks delegated for a fee. In a sense, that's outsourcing at a personal level and because of the Internet, such endeavour is economically feasible.
Today, there are a variety of entrepreneurs that offer such services at an affordable price. Most of these services are based abroad, specially India and some of them have their headquarters based here in the U.S. while their operatives stay abroad. The Wall Street Journal tested a few of them that according to the journal, "cater to personal requests like making customer-service calls or researching vacation details, or anything else that doesn't need to be handled in person." These services play a role like of personal assistants and charge fees that can be one time or monthly. People wanting to use these services need to do their homework to make sure that they are dealing with trustworthy operations for whom people data safety is a must.
Fortunately the Wall Street Journal has done some of that leg work and the article can be consulted at the link beneath.

For more, see

Business - Google News


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