Archive for category Web tools

CE#670: The 50 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For (Lifehacker)

The 50 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For

Whitson Gordon

It’s the time of year where we all give thanks, and among many other things, we here at Lifehacker are thankful for all the free apps out there that improve our lives (and the developers that make them!). Here are 50 of our favorites.

We asked you which free apps you’re most thankful for, you offered hundreds of suggestions both classic and new. Here, we’ve taken your votes (and added a few of our own) and ranked our 50 apps using those votes as a guide. So without further ado, here are 50 free apps for your downloading feast.

The 50 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For

1.    Dropbox

Category: Cloud Storage
See also: Top 10 Clever Uses for DropboxThe Cheapskate’s Guide to Getting Free Dropbox SpaceHow to Get 8GB+ Extra Dropbox Space for Free with Google AdWords,How to Supercharge Your Dropbox with Wappwolf, and more Dropbox coverage

2.    Google Chrome

Category: Web Browsers
See also: The Always Up-to-Date Power User’s Guide to ChromeHow to Really Browse Without Leaving a TraceWhich Browser Should I Use: Firefox or Chrome?How and Why Chrome Is Overtaking Firefox Among Power Users, and more Chrome coverage

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CE#365: 9 Reasons to Switch from Facebook to Google+ (PCWorld)

Can Google+ steal users from Facebook? Yep. There are good reasons to switch from Facebook to Google+, ranging from ease-of-use to respect for data privacy.

By Mark SullivanPCWorld    Jun 30, 2011 6:20 pm

When people ask “can Google+ beat Facebook?” they’re misstating the question. It’s not about one site versus another site. Google+ is bigger than that. The reason Google calls it the “Google+ Project” is that Google+ will become a central part of Google’s whole identity. It will reshape the company. So the real question is “can Google beat Facebook?” Put that way, the contest seems a lot more even.

Facebook, of course, has a huge head start, but there are good reasons for people to seriously consider dumping Facebook for Google+. [See our Hands-on Review]

1. Integration with Google Services

The biggest wedge Google has for driving people toward using Google+ is integration. That is, Google will build Google+ social networking features and tools into almost all of its existing online services from Search to Documents to Video (YouTube). Google+ is already integrated into the navigation bar at the top right of almost all Google products; this lets you monitor all Google+ events (updates, messages, etc.) as well as share content with friends without ever leaving the Google service you happen to be using. Millions and millions of people use Google’s free services (Gmail, Docs, Search, etc.), and with Google+ bound so tightly to them it may start to seem silly to jump out to some other site (Facebook) to do your social networking.

2. Better Friend Management

Google is right that the “Circles” concept is more in line with the way we make friends in real life. We have many different kinds of friends, and we interact with them and communicate with them in very different ways. Facebook’s Groups feature lets you form ad hoc groups of friends, but compared to the way its done in Google+ it seems cumbersome. After all, Facebook’s Groups feature is pretty new; it was “built on”, while friend “circles” are the bedrock of the Google+ platform.

3. Better Mobile App

If you’re an Android user, you may find that getting content from your phone to your social platform is easier, cleaner more functional with the Google+ mobile app. The app is already great, but Google will seek more and more ways to make your Android phone a seemless appendage of your Google+ social platform. Google hopes to use its huge Android user base as a wedge against Facebook, whose mobile app, while nice-looking, is a little clunky to use.

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CE#309: Here, Tweeting Is a Class Requirement (WSJ/Technology)

Big consumer-products companies are going back to school.

Businesses including Sprint Nextel Corp., Levi Strauss & Co. and Mattel Inc. are sponsoring college classes and graduate-level research to get help with their online marketing from the young and hyperconnected. Sprint, for example, supplies a class at Boston’s Emerson College with smartphones and unlimited service in exchange for students working gratis on the company’s local Internet push.

Universities, in some cases, receive funding or proprietary consumer data from companies for their research. Students get experience they can display on their résumés, and add lively classes to the usual mix of lectures and written exams.

“We are helping students to go out and get hired,” says Randy Hlavac, an instructor at Northwestern University’s Medill School. “They’ve done the work.”

The partnerships are emerging as businesses are scurrying to bolster their ability to engage with their customers on the Web by using Facebook, Twitter and the like.

Of course, some parents may be surprised to learn their tuition dollars are helping to underwrite corporate marketing in addition to their children’s education.

Sprint provided students in an online marketing class at Emerson College with 10 smartphones with unlimited wireless access. In exchange, students blogged, tweeted, produced YouTube videos and posted Facebook updates about the launch of Sprint’s 4G network in Boston. “We’re teaming up with the class again this semester it worked so well,” says Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott.

On a recent Tuesday evening, the students of Emerson Social Media—or #ESM, as the students refer to it on Twitter and elsewhere online—settled on the concept of a Twitter-based scavenger hunt to help spread the word among Boston’s college population about Sprint.

“The winner could maybe get a free phone,” a student said.

“Or maybe, like, free service for life,” said another.

“We should probably check with Sprint before we offer that,” said student Caroline Richov, who explained how the students would execute the campaign by posting instructions to Twitter and Facebook. She suggested telling people to take a Sprint phone, go dance in front of Boston’s Quincy Hall, and upload a video of themselves “and we’ll tell them why it’s better to use Sprint.”

Ms. Richov says her experience using Sprint’s Evo smartphone and working for the company has changed her opinion of the brand, which she associated with “the old, clunky, Nextel phone.”

“I am certainly more likely to go with a Sprint phone than I ever was before,” she says.
Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704476604576158643370380186.html#ixzz1G4n2kKfF

 

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CE#298: Why Some Twitter Posts Catch On, and Some Don’t (NYT/Business)

AMID the talk last week of a Facebook revolution across the Middle East, Americans and other English speakers took to Twitter — to post about their love lives.

Hashtags — the community-driven shorthand used to identify conversation themes — like “icantdateyou” and “worstpickuplines” were vastly more popular a few days ago than ones like “Egyptians” or “jan25,” a reference to Day 1 of the Egyptian protests. In just one hour last Tuesday, “icantdateyou” racked up nearly 274,000 mentions on Twitter, with posts like “icantdateyou if all you wanna do is fuss” and “icantdateyou if you look like your brother.”

Alas, poor “Mubarak” rated fewer than 11,000 during the same hour. (Many Egyptians could not post on Twitter because their government had temporarily cut off most Internet and cellphone service.)

Sure, many of us are more inclined to toss off frivolous posts than politically charged ones. But a new study of hashtags offers some insight into how and why some topics become popular quickly online while others don’t.

People generally pass on the latest conversational idioms — like “cantlivewithout” or “dontyouhate” — the first few times they see them on Twitter, or they never adopt them at all, according to the study by computer scientists. The researchers analyzed the 500 most popular hashtags among more than three billion messages posted on Twitter from August 2009 to January 2010.

Full article here

 

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CE#251: You Can Now Dynamically Track Flights On Google Earth

Google has just added a pretty cool layer to Google Earth – near real-time flight location of every flight over the US.

The KML file, provided by FlightWise, can’t be offered in real-time because of FAA regulations, so the flights you’ll see are 15-20 minutes behind on average. The layer shows the flight path of the airplane, and when you click on it you’ll be offered a pop-up that gives you more detailed data, as well as a download option to download a KML file of the entire flight that you can then replay.

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CE#243: GooReader Brings Google Books to Your Windows Desktop

GooReader is a desktop application that allows you to search, download and read books and magazines available on Google Books.

http://www.gooreader.com/

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CE#237: Interactive Weather Map intellicast (Hurricane Alex)

http://www.intellicast.com/Local/WxMap.aspx

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