Following are some very useful links if your looking for some software.
I saw this clip today and wanted to pass it along. There is also a clip on CNN that you can get a home version for around $1300. In short: If you can think it, you can print it.
Just watch the video and be amazed.
I have noticed that it seems that every time I turn around there is a new cloud storage system rolling out. Think about all of the choices you have; Microsoft Skydrive, DropBox, Google Docs, Box.net, Amazon, and iCloud to name just a few. These do no include all of the ones that give you a free 2G to join. Of course they all have their individual mobile apps as well.
What would really be nice is a service that didn’t give me anymore free storage but would provide an interface to access the various services already out on the market. I must admit that I havent done a terrible amount of researching on this topic and there may be a solution that I’m unaware of. The type of product that I have been thinking about would be a cloud application that you could log into and register your individual accounts. The app would then scan your stored files and present an interface where you could search and either open or download the file you are looking for.
Anyway, it just seems we have ample cloud storage solutions, but not an easy way to tie them all together. Maybe a cloud backup service that backed up not devices but services.
At a recent event, Steve Jobs compared Desktop Computers to Trucks and the iPad/Laptops to the family car. At the time, I dismissed the comment as crazy. Maybe the comment was more ‘Crazy Like A Fox’.
Recently I have been researching all of the different cloud applications that are compatible with Google’s Chrome Browser. It is quite clear that for the typical PC user; which I am not, cloud based services are a definite option.
A recent article that I shared out, written by ChromeBook Lounge: Chrome app equivalents to Windows default applications. Points out a number of web based applications that provide alternatives to disk based applications. This list only touches the tip of great web based applications available, the list continues to grow.
I personally find that I need an old fashion desktop as I’m running a media server and do web development work as well. But for most when it comes to general computing, a desktop is not required, which frees up your desk as well as lowering your electrical bill. So if all of this great stuff available why haven’t we all moved to mobile devices and switched over to cloud storage and applications?
It all boils down to being connected, or the cost of being connected everywhere. It’s not a problem for most of us at home or work, its having access when we are not in those familiar environments and having access to our stuff. When we have a consistent and cost-effective solution for staying connected, then we will see the mass migration.
Below are some of my favorite cloud based applications:
- Office Live or Google Docs – Both of these are excellent cloud based services. I personally find myself using Office Live more than Google Docs.
- Picknik - http://www.picnik.com/ Picnik makes your photos fabulous with easy to use yet powerful editing tools. Tweak to your heart’s content, then get creative with oodles of effects, fonts, shapes, and frames.
- YouConvertIt - http://www.youconvertit.com/ConvertFiles.aspx Online file converter.
- Aviary -http://www.aviary.com/ Aviary provides free applications for creating digital art, graphic design, and audio mixing.
- Evernote – http://www.evernote.com/ Premier note application for text and audio notes.
We say goodbye to XMarks with a heavy heart. XMarks; one of the premier bookmark syncing applications is closing its doors, Jan 2011. XMarks has been one of my favorite cloud based services and I for one will be sorry to see it go. XMarks is:
“Foxmarks, one of the most popular Firefox add-ons for social bookmarks, is re-branding itself as Xmarksand making significant additions to its functionality. Since Foxmarks has collected so many urls (600 million to be exact), the company is creating a search feature that turns up pre-qualified results. Since Foxmarks’ launch, the bookmark synchronization add-on has been downloaded over 14 million times, with most downloads originating from Firefox users, though the add-on launched Internet Explorer and Safari browser capabilities in early February.”
So, if its so great, why is it closing its doors? According to the CEO, Mitch Kapor now that most browsers are including a sync function they feel that any kind of monetization will be un-fruitful. For me the big plus in this service was the ability to sync my bookmarks and passwords across multiple computers as well as multiple browsers.
Why multiple browsers? Granted, most computer users only use one browser, as a web developer I run between three (3) and four (4) browsers so I can test my sites. XMarks answered a need and there are very few if any alternatives.
After much searching I have decided to use Delicious for my bookmarks and LastPass for my passwords. If you would like to check out my shared bookmarks on delicious you can see them at: http://www.delicious.com/robtruman
It looks like Xmarks will get a new lease on life due to the out pouring of its user base. Here is the latest from its Blog:
The past ten days have been an amazing lesson in the power of community. Not in the “web 2.0 social graph” sense – I’m talking about old school community with users speaking up, speaking out and banding together. Thank you Xmarks users. You told the world it was simply unacceptable for our service to shut down and it worked. Thanks to your passion, Xmarks now has multiple offers from companies ready and willing to take over the service and keep making browser sync better and better!
My wife was notified in an email and phone call yesterday that she had won all this money for some reason. She told the caller that she wanted to see a copy of the money order before going any further. They sent us the image below.
We checked out the bank and sent them a copy of the check, never anticipating a reply. But the real story here is about GoDaddy and a company called DomainsByProxy. I decided to do a WhoIs search on the domain that the email came from. The domain was purchased through GoDaddy by a company called DomainsByProxy.
DomainsByProxy will register a domain for you, thereby keeping your contact information private. What more could a scammer ask for. Now I understand that there are legitimate reasons, in fact the company states on their site:
The law requires that the personal information you provide with every
domain you register be made public in the "WHOIS" database. Your
identity becomes instantly available – and vulnerable – to spammers,
scammers, prying eyes and worse.
But now there’s a solution: Domains By Proxy®!
There is a very good reason that domain ownership is designed to be public, now this company in its attempt to protect people have made it a safe haven for the bad guys.
Sometimes the best of intents go bad!
Syncing your contacts across cloud applications, such as Gmail, and mobile devices has been a long sought after function. For most of us it’s been a wonder why it hasn’t been included in the standard functionality considering that when it comes to Google its a shared commonality between Gmail and Google Voice.
Recently I came across Soocial.com which does exactly that. So what is Soocial, here is what LifeHacker has to say:
Web application Soocial promises hassle-free contact management, seamlessly syncing contacts between a handful of potential buckets including Gmail, Outlook, the OS X Address Book, Highrise, and over 400 phones (including your BlackBerry). To get started, just sign up with Soocial and start adding accounts and apps using their simple setup wizards. Some syncing will require you to download a utility (Outlook and Address Book, for example), while others simple require that you enter in a password (e.g., Gmail). The site is currently in beta, and though it’s gotten a lot of positive feedback from users, keep in mind that you could run into a bug or two. If you’re concerned with the privacy implications, Soocial makes it clear that if you decide to cancel your account, all of your data will be permanently deleted from their servers.
Sign Up At:
MailBrowser is an addon that works with Gmail and makes dealing with your contacts and files a real breeze. As most of you know, I am a real fan of anything that works and is free and this qualifies on both accounts.
MailBrowser wants to make Gmail and Google Apps more useful by offering a consolidated view of all your contacts and attachments in a browser sidebar. In this sidebar, you can quickly search for contacts, see the latest emails you received from a specific contact, add calendar events and attach notes and tags to a contact. In many respects, MailBrowser looks a lot like Xobni for Gmail.
In short, MailBrowser stores all your data locally on your hard disk, so no information is ever shared with the service. Because all the data is stored locally, MailBrowser also keeps a copy of all your attachments on your machine. The application also syncs all the data back to Google Contacts in the cloud, so any changes you make on one computer will automatically appear on another machine.
When I first discovered this I was unsure of how this would make my Gmail better, but after trying it, I am sold and have added it to all of my machines.
For more information see the LifeHacker article or watch: