Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apple adds "like" feature to Ping music service.

Responding to critics who were lamenting about the lack of "social" aspect in its new Ping music social media service, Apple has added a new feature that let users both post the music they are actually listening to and to "like" other music that friends, colleagues or random strangers are listening to. The new feature is accessible via a sidebar that pops up within iTunes anytime one starts playing a song.
The way the service works is very simple: Whenever you are listening to a song, Ping will recognize it and automatically ask you if you want to put it in the "like" category and if you answer yes, will instantaneously, post it to your feed without any additional input. The add-on service also give users the option to leave comments alongside the song.
The tweak to Ping service, is a step in the right direction but doesn't satisfy the strongest critics.
To these critics, the limited nature of Ping to iTunes, makes it useless for songs who are not in the iTunes store. Unfortunately, Apple is not giving any indication that it is planning to move Ping into a browser-accessible service.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Microsoft is phasing out its Windows Live Spaces blogging service in favor of WordPress.

Starting this past Monday, Microsoft is dropping its Windows Live Spaces blogging service and make WordPress the default blogging option for Windows Live. The move follows Microsoft recent actions directing users of some of its services within Windows Live towards other leading Web services.
Users of Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces users who wish, can start moving their blogs, comments and integrated photos starting today to without any disruption. And for the upcoming update of Windows Live Writer this fall, Microsoft will make WordPress its default option. Users who don't want to make the move right now, will be given the tools to download their blog content for a later migration or just delete it.

For more, see

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TwtRoulette just launched and will allow users to have a neak peek at others'

This Sunday, TwtRoulette a service that lets Twitter users take a peek at others users' timelines launched. But before you start worrying about privacy and who can access those timelines, there is some safeguards.
First of all, being part of TwtRoulette is totally optional and only people who choose to be part of it, will be able to see others already signed in, timelines. For that effect, users who wish to be part of it, will have to add their name to a vast database of users alike and from there, will gain access to those users' Twitter timelines. By gaining such access, users will be able to have a peek at the Twitter timelines of others users in the said directory as if they were them.

For more, see

Monday, September 27, 2010

Geek On Site donate IT time to Non Profits Organizations.

Geeks On Site, the computer repair service who has always landed a helping hand to Non Profit Organizations in the form of free or reduced computer repair works, has created a more formal program to better serve those organizations with their IT needs.
What has changed is the way Geeks On Site handles its give back program. Instead of just donating its services in the first come first served basis, Geeks On Site has created a new program where Non Profit Organizations with a valid 503c registration, can apply for a donation for up to three flat free Tune-ups. According to, the tune-ups consist of adware and spyware clean up, computer virus protection, and updates, among other things. Organizations can also get a special rate for further work by showing proof of a tax ID number.

For more, see

Friday, September 24, 2010

PayPal mobile app Donate, makes it easier to donate.

The new PayPal mobile app for Android and iPhone phones launched last month, spots a new Donate feature that allow you to make donations to charities very easily and in no time. The new app saves users time by skipping the cumbersome step of having to type information such as name, address, phone and credit card numbers, etc.
The new Donate feature let you choose among more than 23, 000 charities and organizations vetted by by a non-profit organization called MissionFish which also process the donations and keeps 3.75 percent of each donation.
The organizations featured in the new service are displayed in an order following their appeal and popularity according to the New York Times. But users have the possibility to use PayPal search tool to look for a specific organization. Also, PayPal plans to be more flexible in the future by promoting causes as the need arises.

For more, see

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hotel Inn hotels is testing smartphones as hotel room keys.

The list of doors opened by smartphones just keep growing and this time, the smartphones are opening real doors, hotel doors that is. In a test run, the hotels chain Holiday inn has started using an mobile application developed by MobileKey and called OpenWays iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphones to serve as hotel room keys. With the new system in test until December, hotel guests in the two test markets of Chicago and Houston, can reserve their rooms Online and receive a text message on their phones containing their room number and a link to unlock the door. When they arrive at the hotel, they won't even need to stop by the reception desk to pick up a key.
According to USA Today, people interested in the program, can sign up by making online reservations.

For more, see

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Genius Scan is a very smart document scanner app.

If you are a business traveler, you certainly deal on a regular basis with an onslaught of receipts and other documents like business cards or brochures that need to be preserved for accounting or taxes purpose or for future uses. But on the road and far from your office, you are time and space constraint in terms of getting organized and filing things away. That's where a new app for the iPhone called Genius Scan comes handy. It allows you to have all of your receipts and any other important documents saved on your phone in case the original is lost. The app works by transforming snapshots of documents you take into PDF and JPG images.
According to AppScout, Genius Scan Genius Scan doesn't do text recognition but is smart enough to do other things like recognize the edges of whatever document you are scanning so you only get the information needed. It also does angle correction of a snapshot taken at an odd angle so that the scanned document is stored straight on.
The app process the scan right from your phone and store the final product there too so you will not need to use your phone service data plan or a Wi-Fi hot spot for it to go to work.
Scan Genius is free and available for the iPhone and iPod Touch running iOS 4 or newer.

For more, see

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 lets people list things or services to buy or sell.

Think about the pre modern days where there was no currency and almost all needs were met via trade. Well, you may be surprised by how ironically the Internet is bringing them back with the sprout of all kind of sites built essentially around that idea.
In that context, a new Web site called Needly at, has just went live with the purpose to let people post things or services that they think may have market value, but also any good or service that ican be valuable to someone. It is safe to say that what makes the site interesting, is the impredictable nature of things that are offered or solicited there.
For example, next to items like shoes or clothes, someone may run unto a rare sport vehicle for sale.
Unlike the similar site where all services go only for five dollars, members are free to set the prices of their services or goods or what they are willing to pay for such things. According to, "Needly acts as a broker between the buyer and the seller, and handles the payment between the two parties as well. When you decide to buy something someone has up for sale, you pay Needly via Paypal, who then takes their cut and passes the rest on to the seller. If you're looking for something to buy, you can either search for something specific using the keyword search at the top of the page, or you can browse the individual categories, like cameras, musical instruments, tech and gizmos, video games, household, and more, on the left side of the page."

For more, see

Monday, September 20, 2010

USBFlahCopy automatically backs USB flash drives' content by running in the background.

As useful and handy as they are, USB flash drives are not a magic wand: they can be lost, damaged, or have their contents accidentally deleted. A solution against those risks is to constantly back up their contents as you go. But that's where lies the challenge for most users: remember to do it faithfully. The good news is that there is a new app called USBFlashCopy that will automatically back up the entire content of your USB flash drives every time it is connected to your PC.
When installed in a PC, the app runs quietly in the background until a USB flash drive is plugged in and the suite will jump into action and start the drive's back up before you even can start using it. The app is a smart one who does differential backups only, meaning only files recently added or changed will be backed. The app takes very few storage space and doesn't require a full installation and is transferable to another PC or accessed from afar with a network drive or any other location according to
The app is free for non commercial users and business users can buy a license for $39.99.The app works with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7, in both 32 and 64-bit versions.

For more, see

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nokia launches three new smart phones running on the Symbian 3 OS.

On Tuesday, Nokia the world biggest smartphone maker launched three new smartphones in an attempt to position itself as a viable alternative to the coolest players in the market.
The new devices are geared towards different segments of the market. Nokia's new devices include the business oriented Nokia E7, the consumer friendly C7 and a redesigned C6.
All three devices feature Symbian 3 OS, the latest iteration of Nokia's smartphone OS first introduced this year on the Nokia N8.
All these phones will launch in Europe first with retail prices there ranging from $335 for the C6, to $430 for the the C7 and $637 for the E7.
Right now, there is no launch date for either these phones for the U.S. nor retail prices.

For more, see

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Apple to end the free case giveway for the iPhone 4 by September 30th.

Based on its claim that the number of affected users is smaller than originally thought, Apple plans to end its free iPhone 4 case giveaways by September 30. Nevertheless, users who still experience problems, would be still able to get the free case but that would require a lot of more work convincing Apple that it is needed. As a result of this plan, Consumer Reports is saying he still can't recommend the iPhone 4. In the meantime, there are rumors circulating that Apple is busy redesigning and re-engineering its iPhone 4 with plans to introduce it at the beginning of next month.

For more, see

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Wal-Mart Family Mobile Wireless service is a cheap alternative.

Wal-Mart announced plans to introduce its own wireless service to run on the T-Mobile's network. Called Family Mobile, the new service will offers unlimited talk and text for $45 a month for the fist user with additional lines costing $25 each a month. To be available in Wal-Mart stores starting September 20, the new service will be offered with a choice of phones from major brands like Samsung, Motorola, and Nokia with prices starting at $35 and the possibilities to upgrade a phone any time.
This will be the third Wal-Mart offering of prepaid wireless services coming on the heels of two other services, Straight Talk in partnership with Verizon Wireless and Common Cents offered with Spring Nextel. The new Family Mobile costs the same as the Straight Talk service but is a better value with the possibility to add additional lines and comes preloaded with 100 MB Web Pak Internet access to be shared by all lines in the same account. Any unused data credit can be indefinitely carried over the next month. On the other, additional WebPak can be purchased pre-paid at a rate of $40 per gigabyte.

For more, see

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cardstar and Key Ring make loyalty shopping cards easy to manage.

As Online coupons are becoming more and more popular, a growing number of start ups are springing up trying to capitalize on the trend. Beside a traditional Web site, some of these start ups have moved into the mobile world by having their products available in the form of apps for smart phones users. Earlier this month, two interesting apps Cardstar and Key Ring have moved in the arena and their offerings are impressive.
While Key Ring is designed for Android and Apple devices, Cardstar works on both those platforms and on Blackberry's too. But in general, they both function as a central command for your multiple loyalty shopping cards numbers as the number of those grow.
When it comes down to how they work, the two apps differ a little bit; while you type your loyalty numbers into Cardstar, you can do the same with the Key Ring or use your cellphone’s camera to scan the card’s bar code. By the way, it is worth mentioning that the scanning is not one hundred percent infallible as your chances for success depend greatly on the type of phone that you are using. And more often than not, you will have to manually enter the loyalty card member into your phone and that is particularly true regardless which type of phone you are using. According to these apps developers, the good news is, that as phones' scanners improve, so should be the experience with these apps.

For more, see

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shopkick makes its debut at more than 187 Best-Buy stores.

In partnership with a start-up called Shopkick, Best-Buy has started last month an in-store mobile couponing system in 187 of its stores with plans to have it in place in 257 stores by October 1.The system borrows a page from the playbook of geo apps like Foursquare and Gowalla and then take it a bit further. Instead of having users checking in as they would with those services,
Shopkick automatically recognizes when someone with its app installed in their phones, walks into a store. The main difference being that Shopkick doesn't use GPS like other location-based apps to recognize when a person with it in their phones, walks through the doors. It uses a custom hardware app system created and installed in partner stores. The minute you enter a Best Buy location, your phone recognizes it and you get points and a message that there are deals available at this location. You can also use it to scan items and get more points and other potential deals according to Techcrunch. What that means is, it eliminate drive-by check-ins and also allow users to do more interesting things like scan items with your phone, look for deals and earn points or "kickbucks" redeemable at in various ways including discounts at the store, Facebook credits, or songs download from Napster. The app is free and people interested to sign up for it, can do it at

For more, see

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Barcode Hero is an in-store shopping app with a gaming aspect to it.

Combining the attributes of location-based services like Foursquare and StickyBits an app that turns barcodes into message boards, Barcode Hero is an app that attempts to make shopping more social. When a user takes his or her phone with the free app to a store and launch it, he or can start scanning the barcodes on merchandises. Every time they do so, they earn points and rewards called dukedoms and kingships, just like on Foursquare.
The purpose of the whole process is to help the service built a database of product categories therefore make it easier for it to offer a more personalized shopping experience.
Another aspect of BarcodeHero is its gaming side which can be very additive by pitting for instance a group of friends against one another to see who would gain more points in a product categories. Founded by two former Amazon workers, BarcodeHero has a lot competition in start-ups like Blippy, Swipely or the new hot upstart Shopkick. Only available on the iPhone platform for now, the founders have plans to expand to others very soon. It can be downloaded from the iTunes store here.

For more, see

Friday, September 3, 2010

Times iPad news aggregator gives users more control over their news.

iPad ownerss who use the social news aggregator Flipboard to get their news, now have another option that will allow them to define their own sources of news and information instead of leaving it up to their network of friends on Twitter or Facebook. According to AppScout,"Times is a feed reader that reformats news stories to look and behave like a newspaper on your iPad screen, complete with categories across the top of the page, popular news stories highlighted with larger images and more prominent placement on the display, and the ability to save and share news stories with your friends."
With Times, users have total control over the feeds they read and the sites that make it to the app. It is accommodating in terms of how many feeds users want to incorporate in one single page therefore giving them the possibility to scan through headlines, photos, and videos all at the same time.
Inspired by the magazine-style look of apps like Flipboard, Times adds the convenience of having each section of the layout scroll independently with the option to read a chosen story in its original Web page.
The extra convenience doesn't stop there with Times offering users the possibility to
add their favorite blogs and Web sites by just entering their URL, to create categories to help organize them. "You even get control over Times' layout: you can add or remove columns, change the number of articles included in each column, and change the way stories and photos are presented. Times also allows you to share stories on Twitter and Facebook, and e-mail them to your friends directly from the app" according to .
Times news aggregator doesn't come cheap, costing $7.99 at the iTunes store.

For more, see

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ways to keep Facebook status updates invisble.

If you are a Facebook user who didn't use a lot of discretion when accepting someone as a friend or just no longer want to have some members' status updates visible to you and find it akward to defriend them, there are some options.To make someone statu update invisible to you, all you have to do is place your mouse over his or her name and wait for a light blue X to appear on the right upper corner of the update. By clicking on the X, you will be presented with three options: Hide, Mark as spasm, or Cancel. If you choose Hide, that person's updates will never be visible to you again. To keep someone from reading your updates, a multiple steps process is needed and here is the walk through offered by the New York Times: After writing an update, look for the lock-shaped icon below and to the right of the text input box. Click on the lock, and Facebook will pop up a menu. Click the bottom option, Customize. That will pop up a dialog box labeled Custom Privacy that lets you filter who will see your update.
There are two ways to exclude people. The quick and easy way is to type their names into the box labeled “Hide this from these people” at the bottom
of the dialog box. To hide all future updates from these people, click the check box at the very bottom that says “Make this my default setting.” Then click the big blue Save Setting button. From now on, evil Charlie won’t get your updates.
The more sophisticated solution is to replace this blacklist with a list of people you do like. That way you can accept any number of new friends without having to accidentally share your updates with them.
To do this, click on Friends in the left margin of Facebook’s interface. You’ll see a button at the top of the Friends page labeled “+ Create a List”. Click that and use the dialog box that pops up to make a list of the friends you want to share with. Call it, say, True Friends.
Next time you post an update, follow the instructions above to bring up the Customize dialog box. But instead of typing into the “Hide this” field, click the menu at the top labeled “Make this visible to these people.” Select the option Specific People. A text input box will appear. Type the name of your new list, True Friends, into this field. Click “Make this my default setting” and then Save Setting. From now on, only your True Friends list will see your updates.

For more, see

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How to put your Facebook account on hold?

If you are a Facebook user and want to take a break from the service with an intent to be back one day, there is way to do just that without having to delete your profile.
Here are the steps needed to put your Facebook page on hold according to the New York Times: Click on the Account button at the top of the screen and choose the Account Settings option. At the bottom of the screen, you should see an option to “deactivate” your account.
Account deactivation differs from outright deletion because Facebook keeps all of your profile content (like your Friends list and photos) in storage, but it removes your profile page from public view to everyone else on the site. The deactivation page requires a reason for leaving and gives you the chance to send messages to friends telling them you’re going AWOL.
Later, if you decide to return, you can log back into Facebook with your old name and password and reactivate your account. Your profile content should eventually reappear on the site. If you decide that you want to leave for good, log back into Facebook and submit a request to permanently delete your account from Facebook’s database.
As the site’s help center explains, all the personally identifiable information (like name, e-mail address and screen names) from your account gets flushed, but a copies of things like photos and notes may stay on Facebook’s servers for “technical reasons.” Facebook states that the content left behind is dissociated from any identifying information and that it does not use material from deactivated or deleted accounts.

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