Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Backing-up the files on your computer is kinda' like flossing - something you know you really should do but can never consistently keep up.

But as we rely on our computers for more and more, the risks of not backing up can be extremely costly.

Take music for example. If you've got an iPod or an iPhone it's likely that your entire music collection is now stored on your computer's hard drive. Perhaps you ripped your entire CD collection and then - like me - decided to sell your CDs because they're just gathering dust in the attic.

But what happens if your hard drive fails and you haven't backed-up your music? While the iPod is a great device, Apple doesn't give people an easy way to transfer music from their iPod/iPhone to their computer.

Thankfully there's 3rd party software out there to help. One of my favorites is - a Mac only program that makes moving music from iPhone/iPod to computer a breeze. Check out the video above for a full walk-through.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

If you're a frequent Web surfer it's likely you'll have seen an icon at the bottom or next to the content you're reading/watching that reads "" or "Digg This" with a number after it.

In an act of reckless abandon you may have even clicked on one of these links to see exactly what this deal is all about, and after being presented with a pop-up window asking you to create a Digg account you may have closed said window like a startled fox.

Today's post is designed to be an introduction to Digg for beginners. It's really not that scary and some would even say quite useful, but check out the video above to see for yourself. Digg tutorial.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My general lack of non-English language skills is at best an embarrassment and at worst an inconvenience, especially since my day-job (yes, I don't just spend all day blogging) involves working with colleagues all over the world.

Google has made a valiant attempt to address this problem by adding a to its Gmail email program. Simply enable the feature and if you receive an email in a language that is not your native tongue just click a link at the top of the message and it's immediately translated.

The beauty of this feature is that you can control which language you want the email translated into via the Gmail settings (it doesn't just have to be English). So Spanish to French, German to Dutch, or Swedish to can translate from and into pretty much any major language you can think of.

While the transcription won't be 100 per cent perfect, it WILL be enough to help you understand the content of the email. A real lifesaver to a linguistically challenged individual like myself.

Check out the video above for a full walk-through.

Monday, May 18, 2009

If ever there was a case of a product living-up perfectly to its tagline, then is surely it.

The text next to the WA logo reads "computational knowledge engine" which sounds like a rather dry, heavy program built by a guy with odd glasses and questionable social skills. And that's actually not too far from the truth.

Strip away the geek jargon and what you have is a product that's essentially an answers engine, not a search engine. Search engines - like Google - return a list of relevant web sites that may help you find what you're looking for. Knowledge engines - like Wofram Alpha - don't return any web pages but instead return actual data and information that it thinks you are looking for.

So search for any town name on Google - let's say - and you'll see a list of results that include links to the official town site, a community site and also an entry for the town name in Wikipedia - plus hundreds of other sites that may or may not be relevant. Perform the same search using Wolfram Alpha and you'll be returned the population size of Maplewood, its weather forecast, location, nearby cities and other facts that may be relevant.

So if you perform a lot of searches that involve finding data Wolfram Alpha will be a vital tool in your arsenal. But for most average joe publics - searching for things like "Miss California, scandalous photographs" or "American Idol" Wolfram Alpha will be all but useless.

Check out the video above for a full walk-through and check out this clip from the creator explaining his invention.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To deny that newspapers are in trouble would be like saying that scored "somewhat aggressive" in a "What kind of investor are you?" financial quiz.

The publishing industry has been one of the most lucrative money-making vehicles of the last century, but amid a backdrop of collapsing ad markets and content saturation the printing-presses no longer seem to be dripping with gold.

Take the New York Times, for example. After seeing its revenue streams disappear down the toilet The Gray Lady is experimenting with different distribution channels, but its latest project - - is actually rather nice.

This downloadable application allows you to read the daily edition of the newspaper with the main 12-15 stories being free and the rest available on a paid-for subscription basis. The experience is really impressive and the way the content is laid-out is simply a joy to read and far superior to any Web site.

Another advantage is that each day's content downloads quietly in the background when you're connected to the Internet, which means you can read each article off-line without worrying about a Web connection.

Check out the video above for a full walk-through.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What is it with corporations? First they stick you in a gray cube to spend 33 per cent of your day and then they freak out if you spend a few morale boosting minutes catching-up with your Twitter or Facebook friends. Anybody would think we're in a recession or something.

If you have a boss who's prone to lurk over your shoulder just as you're making a critical status udpate, is the program for you. This brilliantly inventive application lets you manage your Twitter account via an interface that looks exactly like an Excel spreadsheet (even down to a fake toolbar). So if anybody take a peek at your monitor they'll think you're crunching numbers rather than pissing away more of your life on online buddies that you vaguely know and will probably never meet.

Check out my video review above for a full walk-through.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Back in January I featured a tutorial that .

I love RSS and think it's still the fastest and most efficient way to receive targeted content.

Today I want to look at what I think is the easiest, most intuitive RSS Reader on the market - and that's .

Check out my video review above for a full walk-through.