Archive for March, 2008

Xobni is supposed to help you organize your Outlook Inbox

March 27, 2008

I happened across Xobni today (Inbox, backwards … ain’t that cute!) It’s an interesting idea and it looks like they’ve been around for quite a while in one form or another (their weblog goes back to April 17 of 2006). It’s still an invitation-only beta but it looks like invitations aren’t all that difficult to get. There’s a little discussion of them in this thread over at EmailDiscussions.com.
No, I haven’t tried it and I’m not sure I’ll have the time soon so if anyone has any experiences with them, please let me know.

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Photoshop Express is up

March 27, 2008

Adobe’s opened shop on their Photoshop Express site and, if you can’t guess what it is, think Photoshop Elements on the web with 2GB of storage for free. You can publish your galleries/photos for others to see. They have links to Facebook, PhotoBucket and Picasa so you can get to the photos you’ve stored there. Haven’t seen a way to upload photos from your phone or email photos to the service yet but I imagine they’ll add that feature. And you don’t have to actually sign up for an account if you don’t want as they’ve got a try-me feature.

Turn Your 3G Phone Into A Hotspot

March 26, 2008

This Yahoo! news story says that TapRoot Systems has (will have?) some new software called “WalkingHotSpot”. I haven’t found anything on TapRoot’s website yet but the article says it’ll support Windows Mobile and Symbian 60 phones. The demo version, which is to be free to individuals, supports one WiFi connection at a time. Keep your eye on this, especially if you keep forgetting your USB cable like I do.

VoicePulse update — I’m pleased

March 25, 2008

I started with VoicePulse Connect on January 10. As of today, I’ve used 972 minutes (a little over 16 hours). It’s cost me a grand total of $10.64 or a little over a penny per minute. Service and call quality has been excellent and I haven’t had to mess with my router for about 2 months.
If you’re interested in the details or more about how to set it up for yourself, drop me a note. You know how to reach me — tony at this domain.

Twitter bots

March 25, 2008

Many of you already know that twitter’s an interesting site. Me, I’m still learning. Sure, there are lots of interesting folks out there but there are some also interesting and useful bots. One I just discovered, well a pair actually, are qr and rq. Together they manage a list of personal variables for you. Follow them, send a direct message to qr with the name of your variable and its value and you can get it back by sending a direct message to rq.
There’s also timer which will send you a message after the specified interval has expired, and rtm which is the Twitter persona/interface to Remember The Milk.
If you know of any other interesting or useful bots, let me know.

Comcast and Plaxo: Comcast Universal Address Book

March 17, 2008

I’m a subscriber to Comcast’s High Speed Internet service and I just got an email telling me that Comcast and Plaxo have joined forces to provide the Comcast Universal Address Book. I don’t have much more information other than it’s free to HSI customers and it’s Plaxo’s Premium service that goes for $49.95/year.
I’ve looked into Plaxo’s services before and their premium service provides synchronization services across multiple computers, multiple email clients (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.), LinkedIn, mobile phone and more. All in all, it looks like it’s a win although I’ll be tieing myself to Comcast. When I have a chance to look into it a bit more, I’ll post more.

More sync: Dropbox.com

March 11, 2008

So, no sooner do I write the piece on sync and the piece on FolderShare than I find out about Dropbox.com. They’re in private beta right now so you have to sign up to request an account and who knows how long it’ll take to get one. Basic idea is similar to FolderShare. Drop by and play the flash demo that’s on their front page.

Speaking of sync: sync folders over the ‘net

March 11, 2008

Microsoft has made an updated beta available of their Windows Live FolderShare. It was announced in this entry of their FolderShare Live Spaces Blog (the whole FolderShare Live Spaces is here.
So, what it is? It’s a service (free, right now, while it’s in beta) that allows you to upload files to a central server and synch them between multiple computers. Right now, it’s Mac and Windows only — no mobile and no Linux, but I imagine at least the mobile part will be available sometime soon. You can also supposedly share public folders with friends or colleagues and there’s even a web interface for it, although they say the web interface isn’t as secure as the client you download — communications with the client is encrypted with AES and uses SSL for communications.
I haven’t been able to find much more information or reviews of it yet but I’m sure someone with more time available to them than me will be digging into it. Just quickly browsing their help I see that you can have up to 10 private libraries, each with up to 10,000 files, each file no larger than 2GB. Sounds like a LOT of storage to me and, since it’s free right now, I imagine there’s some other limit that I couldn’t find.

The importance of being in sync

March 11, 2008

This article from Microsoft Watch discusses the importance of Sync. I’m a geat believer in the power and utility of synchronization. Keeping information current across all of your information sources is crucial to being able to RELY on your data. And I believed in it even before I ran Internet Operations for Pumatech/Intellisync. When I had my first Palm Pilot I was at a loss to explain why more people didn’t use these devices to keep their contacts and calendars with them. I was happy that I could synchronize my device with my desktop but, at the same time, I was quite unhappy with the fact that I had to cradle the device to do it.
Enough preaching, the REAL reason I’m writing this is to say that I think Nokia does, at some level, understand the importance of sync because they BOUGHT Intellisync who were the leaders in the entire synchronization market, owning something like 85% of it (I say “were” because I have no idea what their market share is nowadays).
One of our noble but failed efforts at Intellisync was Intellisync.com — the great synchronization server in the sky (or the ether or whatever we called it back then). In 2001, we could synchronize your calendar, contacts, notes, tasks and email to your desktop(s), laptop(s), mobile phone(s), PDA(s), all via the Internet, wired or wireless. It was true multi-client, multi-platform synchronization and it was great because the “sync point in the sky” was the place to which everything synchronized. It was automatically maintained — whenever anything that had or could make a connection to the Internet was connected to the Internet, it would sync. There was no question of which source contained the current “master”. The effort failed back then, perhaps because the Internet bubble burst, perhaps because it wasn’t marketed correctly, perhaps because it was a bit buggy (it never got out of beta), perhaps because the world wasn’t ready for the service, but probably for a combination of the reasons listed as well as a few others that I haven’t listed.
Now, 7 years later, we’re finally getting back to realizing the need for sync. Let’s hope we get it right this time.

Good PowerShell tips article + resource links

March 11, 2008

This Computerworld article has a few good tips for PowerShell users but also has a good list of links and resources for those who haven’t really used it much.