Digital Planet Podcast
Wed Aug 11 15:07:33 +0000 2010
The emergence of broadband has had a profound effect on the way in which we can use the web. It's gone from static web pages, to dynamic content with loads of audio and video. Broadcasters are increasingly taking their output to the masses through catch-up services or as time-shifting podcasts. As nearly all of the latest mobiles can now play these downloads, it's now possible to never miss a favourite show. One particularly good example of this is the BBC's podcasts page which offers a huge selection of quality audio entertainment. There are no shortage of tech and science based shows including our current favourite Digital Planet. If you are looking for new material to fill those hours on the bus, train or whilst fighting your way around city bypasses, this will help the time flow that little easier.
Wed Aug 04 20:30:12 +0000 2010
If you are already a fan of sites which let you upload and share your digital snaps with friends and family, you may have discovered the downside to relying on the cloud to store your memories. In order to show your pictures you have to be connected to the net. On top of that, you are also leaving all your precious pictures in the hands of a third party. If it’s a site like Flickr then the chances are you’re going to be pretty safe, but you can never be too careful. That’s where the beta bulk downloader for Flickr comes in. There are a few programs which will download your pictures en masse but Bulkr, now at beta version 0.5 and very stable, is one of the slickest so far developed for Flickr. Running in conjunction with Adobe Air, Bulkr will work on Macs, Windows PCs and Linux. If you’ve a burgeoning backlog of online photos with Flickr, you’ll love this application.
Wed Jul 28 19:53:21 +0000 2010
If you're familiar with Evernote but find it a bit difficult to use, you might be interested in another free note taking solution from Springpad. Much like the former, it allows you to make collections of notes, links and pictures via a web browser or apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android OS. You can create to do lists and set alarms. Best of all it's quick to learn and thus use productively. Whether you're a mobile or PC user, this is a great contender for space on you platform of choice as a tool that, "helps you remember stuff today so you can make better decisions tomorrow".
Wed Jul 14 16:28:09 +0000 2010
If you're the lucky owner of an iPhone you already enjoy the advantage of a much more comprehensive Market place for discovering new apps for your phone. Not so for Android owners. Unfortunately one area where Google's Android clearly trails is its own market which does not make the job of discovering new apps very easy at all. Step up AndroidPIT. With short reviews covering a range of newly released Android apps this site is a refreshing opportunity to read authoritative views on the latest gadgets for your phone. There are quite a few games reviews but you can get to more categories such as News or Communications via the site's navigation. A very welcome addition for any Android users and you can simply follow new updates with the site's RSS feed.
Wed Jul 07 17:14:00 +0000 2010
If you're a Facebook user you have probably noticed how you can instantly chat to friends whilst on any of the site's pages. It's a handy little tool which doesn't require any special downloads to work. Google's chat tool does a similar job inside Gmail. If you run a site of your own it might be useful to be able to offer your own real time chat channels too in order to give instant feedback to clients or customers. Nurph aims to provide the perfect solution with its own take on the web based chat client. A free service, the UK developers have made it as simple as possible to set up. Just register or use your Twitter account and give your channel a title. That's it. You can then embed the channel on your preferred page of your website in a manner that will look very familiar to Facebook users. Simple to set up, simple to use and it doesn't require any technical know-how to be up and running in a few easy steps.
Wed Jun 30 20:38:18 +0000 2010
Whether you have a blog, a website or an email newsletter, one of the hassles you have to face is how you're going to easily integrate links to all the latest social sites out there. The idea is that by providing links to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many more, you'll encourage your readers or subscribers to promote your content to their own networks. There are a number of companies and enthusiastic developers who have come up with a range of simple and free plug-in solutions, but here's one you may not have discovered. Called AddToAny it provides a share button to a wide range of social sites, as well as the option to email or bookmark a page link. It works on a broad array of CMS services including WordPress, Blogger, Drupal and Joomla, plus options for adding directly to web pages or even email newsletters. If you feel it's important to have your content be part of the social web you should check it out.
Wed Jun 23 14:21:33 +0000 2010
You may already have a website but have you optimised it for smartphones? In some cases it's easy to adapt existing sites, driven by software such as WordPress and a ready-made mobile plug-in, to serve up a decent looking result to a smartphone's browser. But you could go one step further and make use of a service called AppMakr. This service lets you sign up and produce an iPhone app in a matter of minutes. Provided you have an Apple developer key costing USD99 (or can borrow someone else's) you can then submit it to Apple for approval. You can customise your app to include your own logo on startup and any number of content tabs which imports via the RSS feeds you specify. It's a great solution for those companies that would like to offer a branded experience to their customers and at the moment you can produce the app at no cost. An alternative is iSites. This offers the option of producing both Android and iPhone apps to give a similar result to AppMakr, though no free option is available at the moment.
Thu Jun 17 08:28:51 +0000 2010
There's a form of security blindness which affects the bulk of smartphone users. Despite the latest mobiles being more powerful than desktop PCs of just a few years ago, we tend to assume that these devices are somehow immune and unlikely to be hijacked, infected with viruses or ripped for our precious bank details. That's a big problem. With more people upgrading to highly capable smartphones they also carry a wealth of personal data we'd rather not get into the wrong hands. That's where Lookout comes in. Working across Android, BlackBerry and Windows phones, the app is currently a free beta install which protects against viruses, malware, loss and even theft. The big plus is the ability to set automatic backups to your online Lookout account which can include your contacts and photos. The whole concept of smartphone security is just beginning to take shape but Lookout, even in this early incarnation, is already a fully formed, feature-packed solution that's well worth checking out.
Fri Jun 11 10:58:32 +0000 2010
We've touched on cloud backup solutions in the past, having sung the praises of Microsoft's Live Mesh with 5GB of free storage and a wealth of powerful syncing features across PCs. But Live Mesh still remains weak on cross-platform and especially mobile support. That's where SugarSync makes its mark. Offering less free storage (2GB) it is still a very impressive solution with easy drag and drop backups and version control which keeps your previous five backup files yet only counts the most recent version towards your 2GB limit. It also works on current versions of Windows and the Mac OS. But it's the web and mobile access options which catch the eye. SugarSync has apps for Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and the iPhone, as well as a mobile optimised website for other devices. So if you find yourself on the move and keen to keep on top of your office files, this just might be the solution you've been waiting for.
Marc and Angel Hack Life
Tue Jun 08 10:26:21 +0000 2010
If you're a fan of self-help tips then this week's web pick is just for you. Marc and Angel Hack Life is a site specialising in "practical tips for productive living". But what caught this reviewer's eye wasn't the site's own gems of wisdom so much as a very handy "Top 40 Useful Sites To Learn New Skills". This page offers a wealth of useful links to sites solely intended to help you improve your skills and knowledge. Well worth anyone's lunchtime.