Category Archives: Cell Phone Apps

Clinical Decisions – Smartphones, Healthcare Providers, And You

imageBy some estimates, 70 percent of the population in India and 64 percent of the population in China had cell phones in 2011. The numbers are growing steadily around the globe, proving that even in times of economic uncertainty, the tech industry is expanding.

What’s amazing is the speed of development. The curve of technology is now pointed exponentially upward to the extent that new advancements will come at an alarming rate in every field, from entertainment to industry to healthcare. Technology companies are addressing challenges related to global health and wellness, private communication and financial fitness—among other things.

Communications giant Qualcomm developed 2net—a platform that depends on the cloud for storing and sharing medical information. The secure connectivity solution is designed to work across multiple devices and applications providing consumers with reliable storage and retrieval.

With the August 2012 release of their new 2net App SDK, the doors are now open for innovative developers to engage in the advancement of mobile medical technology. Via 2net Connect APIs, developers can access a consolidated data stream on data-enabled platforms like Android, iOS and Microsoft.

What does this mean on a practical level for different smartphone users, though?

Physicians and the Medical Community

New advancements already provide faster, sharper imaging features for physicians. Sharing radiographic images with commentary allows doctors on opposite sides of the globe to consult each other concerning difficult medical cases. Secure connections open the door for pharmaceutical discussions regarding prescriptions and inventory replacement.

In the future, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be able to issue global alerts instantly. Developing nations may be able to request assistance from skilled surgeons and researchers, via live links with more secure settings and clearer video support. A virtual interactive comprehensive medical library may one day be available with instant language translation. The possibilities are limited only by vision and imagination.

Individuals

For citizens at large, the number of applications to manage personal health and wellness is growing daily. Vital stats tracking is available that will help people monitor and record important information to share with their doctor. Technology is already being used by thousands of consumers that want to take charge of their own health. Cell phone apps can help manage readings for the items below and many more:

  • Temperature
  • Heart Rate
  • Blood Oxygen Saturation Levels
  • Blood Sugar Levels
  • Breathing Patterns
  • Weight

In addition to health trackers and monitoring applications, cell phone users stay connected to support groups and medical providers. Applications to manage personal health records can be life-saving. Accessing a complete and thorough electronic record during a crisis or after a dramatic injury eliminates unnecessary time spent trying to remember all medications and past illnesses, speeding up access medical care in the emergency room.

Personal technology for entertainment and communication’s sake has been the cornerstone of the market for some time; however that’s not to say we can’t use our mobile computers for other practical benefits as well.

Innovators pushing the boundaries of what mobile applications and smartphones are capable of have the opportunity to enhance the daily lives of people everywhere. Healthcare is only one facet of life working to be improved, others are sure to follow.

This guest post is contributed by Grady Winston. Grady is an avid writer and Internet entrepreneur from Indianapolis. He has worked in the fields of technology, business, marketing, and advertising – implementing multiple creative projects and solutions for a range of clients.

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Filed under Cell Phone Apps, Connected Devices, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity

Top 5 Apps for Travel

imageWhether you’re a business traveler or just like to hop around the world for leisure, utilizing travel apps on your smart phone device can make jet setting easier. From applications that help you organize an itinerary, to maps that provide details of far away lands you’re visiting, here is a look at the top 5 travel apps you should download to your smart phone device.

TripIt

Are you a disorganized traveler who can’t remember the details of your reservations? Are you a busy business traveler that travels from city to city? Then the TripIt app is for you. Why? Because this app takes the confirmation emails you receive from airlines, trains, hotels and rental car companies and it creates an itinerary for your trip.

The app also updates the departure and arrival gates for your flights as well as provides you directions to the airport. That’s quite a helpful tool when you’re traveling in a city where you’re unfamiliar.

iXpenseit

Keeping tabs on how much you spend when you travel is important for a couple of reasons. First, if you’re traveling for pleasure you want to make sure you’re not blowing your budget between meals and additional expenses you don’t usually have when you’re at home. If you’re on business, then often you’re reimbursed for the money you spend. Whatever the case, iXpenseit will track every penny you spend.

You have the option of pie, bar or standard charts which detail how much money you’re spending. It also lists your top expenses and how close you are to reaching your budget limit. Finally, the app also operates in multiple currencies making tracking international spending a snap.

Weatherbug

One of the toughest parts about traveling is knowing what to wear. While traveling you don’t have all the comforts of home to suddenly change when the weather surprises you. With Weatherbug, you’ll always be prepared. Weatherbug includes weather for your current location including updates of storm warnings and alerts.

The app also lets you check weather throughout the entire United States by simply pointing to that location on the map. This can be quite a handy tool prior to boarding a plane to that city. Finally, the app provides easy to read weather forecasts for up to 10 days.

AroundMe

Need to find a bank? Restaurant? Hotel in a pinch? Then AroundMe is the application for you. While you are probably familiar with where you live, AroundMe will provide information about everything that is around you when you travel to a new location. This can also be helpful when trying to find local area attractions in a new city.

Once you determine where you want to go, AroundMe will provide with directions and contact information in case you need to call the place you are heading.

World Customs & Cultures

When traveling to a foreign country, you want to be mindful and respectful of their customs. However, if you were never steeped in their traditions, how will you know? Enter the World Customs & Cultures application. Things such as eye contact, personal space, communication style and taboos are all discussed.

The app also details views of the time and gender issues that may or may not be present. Downloading this app will ensure that you are always an appropriate traveler.

While these are some of the best travel apps on the market, there are certainly many others that people use. What are some of your favorite apps?

Author Bio:

This is a guest post from Mark Lindstrom who is a savvy shopper trying to save money wherever he can. He uses everything from Priceline discount codes for travel, down to HP promo codes for the ultra book he takes with him.

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Filed under Cell Phone Apps, Guest Writers, iPhone, Mobile Applications, Software

WinX Blu-ray DVD iPhone Ripper Giveaway – Free Until January 10th, 2011

Limited time license freebie, from Digiarty Software.

From the developer’s site:

Ideal software to rip and sync Blu-ray DVD to iPhone (iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4), iPod, iPad and Apple TV. Based on High Quality Engine and advanced De-interlacing, it delivers remarkable image quality which is near original movie. The software comes prepared with sets of profiles to maximally simplify the ripping process.

 

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To Download this application, go to the developer’s site. Following installation, enter this license codeAB-TQUQYZGY-PFRNUT

If you have no need for this application, your friends, coworkers, or family, with an iPhone, might like the opportunity. Consider passing it on.

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Filed under Apple, CD/DVD Tools, Cell Phone Apps, Connected Devices, Digital Media, downloads, Free Full Versions, Giveaways, iPhone, Software, Software Giveaways, Video Tools

RunKeeper Pro is FREE Until January 31, 2011 – Save $10

RunKeeper Pro, a hugely popular smartphone fitness application which employs GPS to keep track of –

  • how far you ran
  • how fast you travelled
  • your running route – overlaid on a map
  • and much more

is now free, through the end of January, 2011.

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Features (from the site):

Activity Tracking – No need for an expensive, standalone fitness tracking device when you can use your iPhone 3G or 3GS to do the same thing. Now you can track how far you went, how long it took you, and the route you traveled right from your iPhone

Personal Dashboard – Store all historical activities on runkeeper.com, where you can keep track of totals and monitor your progress

Maps integration – See the exact path you traveled on a map, both on the device and on our website

Activity Sharing – Share your activities with friends via email, or by posting them to your favorite social sites, including Facebook and Twitter

Music – You can listen to the iPod during your activity, and even change tracks without leaving the RunKeeper application

iPod Integration – Choose one of your iPod playlists to start automatically the moment you begin your activity

Audio Cues – Get time or distance-based updates through your headphones during your activity

Interval Workouts – Create a workout built from intervals of time and/or distance, and let the audio cues coach you every step of the way

Target Pace – Enter a target pace at the start of your activity and get coached on whether you are ahead/behind that pace through your headphones

Geo-tagged Photos – Take photos without having to stop your activity. Photos are geo-tagged so when you view them on RunKeeper.com, they appear on the map right where you took them

Splits – You can see your split times in the app as you do your activities

Manual Activity Input – You can enter activities manually, including runs done on a treadmill or without your iPhone

Requirements: Smartphone – iPhone or Android.

Download at: RunKeeper

Having once been a running enthusiast (now, walking is much more my speed), I certainly recall the rather crude devices we once used to calculate running distances, calories burned, and so on. Back then, this application would have sounded like science fiction.

If running is your thing (and you’re a smartphone user), this application should help keep you on track.

I’ll get back on my soapbox (just for a moment), and recognize RunKeeper as one more mature software developer who’s focusing on the big picture – creating an opportunity for significant numbers of users to benefit from an application giveaway. Not 5 or 10 free licenses, as companies who are stuck in a Twentieth Century marketing mode, continue to do.

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Filed under cell phone, Cell Phone Apps, Connected Devices, downloads, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Giveaways, GPS, iPhone, Software, Software Giveaways

IdentityMine’s 2010 Report On Mobile Application Development Trends

imageI’ve been around computing since long before the PC was even a spark in the consciousness of those involved in data manipulation.

I’m speaking here of a computer that is used in a “personal” manner. In fact, my first exposure to computers and programming was (if you can imagine this), in 1966.

In the years since, I’ve watched the incredible growth and buoyancy of the PC and connected devices market, with absolute amazement. But, the growth in the mobile market, and the  increased functionality of mobile devices, has not only amazed me, but has left me dizzy!

I found that keeping up with the breathtaking changes in the mobile/connected devices world, has been more than a bit of a challenge. Luckily, I discovered a solution that ties the missing bits and pieces together, all in one place.

IdentityMine, a leading-edge digital application and software solution developer for multi-screen, multi-touch, multi-platform, and multi-hardware devices, recently released its Application and Mobile Application Development Trends Report for 2011, which includes for good measure, a look at what we can expect in this expansive market in 2011.

This report has been the perfect catch up tool which brought into focus a number of data points that had completely passed me by. If you need a refresher on what’s been happening in the mobile market, and what’s likely to occur in the coming year, you’ll find the following information invaluable.

Application and Mobile Application Development Trends Impacting 2010 (and the Outlook for 2011):

1. In 2010, Mobile stopped being about form factor – it became about users. Mobile previously was defined as anything that can travel with you (not just phones) – including tablets. In 2010, Zuckerberg redefined mobile as anything that you can use while ambulating, which is basically anything that fits into your hands (and does not include tablets and laptops). We can already see this trend happening with iPhone 4 and Windows Phone 7.  In 2011, we can expect smaller form factor out of all our devices and the focus to shift from mobile devices to mobile users with a variety of hardware devices.

2. In 2010, IdentityMine became aware that Mobile devices were vector transmitters.  In 2010, IdentityMine created an unscientific study and found that touch-enabled devices like, iPads, smart phones and other devices particularly in high-traffic environments such as hospitals, retails stores, and hotel lobbies mobile devices transmitted illness.  When sick people use an iPad and pass it around, other people pick up germs.  In 2011, we can anticipate that healthcare will increase attention on gesture-based navigation (as opposed to touch-based) as a way to prevent disease/virus transmission.  We foresee applications for gesture everywhere from clinic waiting rooms to surgical suites.

3. In 2010, People let go of keyboards and mice. Two revolutionizing technologies occurred in rapid succession prompting this phenomena (iPad and Kinect). NOTE: iPad isn’t gesture-based. The iPad managed to do what tablets had been trying to achieve for some time, and surprisingly was a huge hit with seniors and baby boomers, who are not usually early adopters. Kinect was a game changer, particularly with developers. While some speculated that Kinect it seemed like a response to the Wii, Kinect actually taught UX experts new ideas about navigation and gesture control and they are already utilizing the hardware to produce applications that are gesture-based. We can expect more gesture-enabled and voice-enabled applications in 2011.

4. In 2010, the gaming market started redefining the software application market. We can expect this to continue into 2011.  Enterprise applications will take on gaming features with Gamification. We can expect companies to start managing employee activity through apps.  Anticipate that companies will integrate a reward/badge system.  Applications like Yelp, FourSquare, and Gowalla added game play to every day activities, and in 2011/2012, we expect enterprises and non-recreational applications to start incorporating gaming-style rewards to non-gaming behaviors.

Additional Application and Mobile Application Development Trends Impacting 2011:

1. Application Design becomes increasingly important. With the release of iPhone 4, Droid and Windows 7, mobile users became addicted to good design in 2010. Mobile application providers tried to provide intuitive applications. In 2011, we can expect that UX designers at agencies will be tasked to create beautiful intuitive design.

2. People will want the cloud even if they don’t realize they want the cloud. We can also expect that every application will need to function with a single login.  UX designs will be tasked to figure out how to minimize login experiences without compromising security.

3. In 2011, We can expect continued Market Fragmentation when developing applications. Even though developers are being pushed to choose between specializing in a UX (Mobile, Touch, Desktop, etc.) and specializing in a platform (IOS, .NET, Silverlight, MonoDroid, etc.), Developers will need to develop apps for multiple devices/platforms. Much like the .com boom, the strong will survive, while application development will become despecialized (especially as more tools are available)

4. Application development bubble will take on air. In 2010, consumers saw a plethora of applications hit the market. The bubble is growing, and will probably burst in the next 12-18 months.

5. Application Monetization will continue to take more of a focus. Many applications are incredibly cheap, considering the effort that goes into making a sophisticated one (such as IMDb or History Here or SBB). Because the price points make it difficult to monetize apps, there will be an increase in ad-sponsored apps.

6. Application utility will take more of a focus. Apple and other vendors are encouraging volume for application monetization. However, out of 250k apps in the Apple app store, only a small percentage actually are used long-term and have lasting impact. In 2011, we can expect there to be a host of applications that improve people’s lives. 3/4s of apps are deleted within 72 hours of being downloaded; in 2011 the focus will be on useful apps as much as fun ones.

7. Microsoft kicked some ass – both WP7 and Kinect, which came out mere months apart were legitimate advancements in technology, vs. the “long-follow” approach that they were typically accused of.  Windows Phone 7 is a big advancement for mobile app developers (which will ultimately benefit users), and Kinect leapfrogged Wii and other gaming companies are rushing to compete.

About IdentityMine, Inc.

Headquartered in Tacoma, WA, IdentityMine is an expert interactive design and user experience (UX) company. They develop leading-edge digital applications and software solutions for multi-screen, multi-touch, multi-platform, and multi-hardware devices for a variety of markets including mobile, retail and sports. They are able to create unique digital interactive user experiences by leveraging deep expertise in a variety of platforms to deliver highly engaging mobile, Internet and other media experiences for major brands in mainstream markets.

Clients include: Microsoft, Path 36, The New Orleans Saints, Elektra NOC, Nordstrom and others.  More information about IdentityMine can be found here.

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Filed under cell phone, Cell Phone Apps, Connected Devices, Integrated Solutions, Interconnectivity, iPad, Reports, Windows Tips and Tools

Heading Back To School? Make Your Life Easier And Checkout These Free PC Applications

School is in and let’s face it, you’ll need to trim your expenses this year and software applications that cost hundreds of dollars are not going to be number one on your list of must haves. Well, they don’t really need to be.

There’s a ton of tried and tested free software out in the wild blue of the Internet, that will meet virtually every need you’re likely to have this school year.

Take a look at the following recommended free downloads that will help you communicate, get those assignments done, have some fun, and manage and protect your system while you’re surfing the Internet.

These applications have riding out the storm of new competitors, and have developed a strong, loyal following, based on their reliability and functionality.

Process those words:

OpenOffice

OpenOffice 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages including Microsoft Word.

AbiWord:

AbiWord is a free light weight word processing program similar to Microsoft Word. It is suitable for a wide variety of word processing tasks.

WordWeb:

WordWeb is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows that can look up words in almost any program. It works off-line, but can also look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

Manipulate and correct your pics – put them online:

FastStone Image Viewer:

This is one of my favorite photo applications, with good reason. It’s not just a viewer, but an image browser, converter, and an editor as well. You’ll find the interface intuitive and very easy to use. This program is loaded with features including, renaming, cropping, color adjustments, lossless JPEG transformation, drop shadow effects, image frames, scanner support, histogram and much more.

IrfanView:

With IrfanView you can fix and enhance digital photos including resizing, cropping, correcting red eye, flipping, and rotating. As well, you can perform a wide variety of image adjustments, including brightness, contrast, and applying special effects such as sharpen and blur. I’ve been using this neat little program (every day), for years and with each new release it just keeps getting better.

Google Picasa:

A free application that helps you locate and organize all the photos on your computer, edit and add effects with a few simple clicks, and share your photos with others through email, prints, and on the web.

Play those tunes:

Audacity:

Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It’s available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Definitely the best of breed.

iTunes:

According to Apple, this is the world’s best digital music jukebox. Download music, TV shows, movies, and more.

Winamp:

A multimedia player that supports numerous audio and video formats. It also plays streamed video and audio content, live and recorded, authored worldwide.

Watch your fav videos:

Miro:

Miro is a free application for channels of internet video (also known as ‘video podcasts and video rss). Miro is designed to be easy to use and to give you an elegant full screen viewing experience.

VLC:

A highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

Free FLV Converter:

This free software let you search YouTube and dailyMotion videos without opening your browser and you can even watch the videos using the built-in video player.

Free Video To iPhone Converter:

Convert video files to Apple iPhone MP4 video format. Convert the whole movie or select a partition from the movie to convert (trim video).

iPod Video Converter:

Free iPod Video Converter provides an easy and completed way to convert all popular video formats to iPod video.

Better browsing:

Firefox:

Firefox includes tons of useful features such as tabbed browsing, built-in and customizable search bars, a built-in RSS reader and a huge library of extensions developed by thousand of developers.

Opera:

The fastest browser on Earth is even faster. But that is not all. Use Opera Turbo to double your page-download speed on slow connections. Download Opera now and get more from the Web.

Web of Trust (WOT):

WOT is a free Internet Browser add-on. WOT tests web sites you are visiting for spyware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, unreliable online shops, phishing, and online scams, helping you avoid unsafe web sites.

Protect your system:

Immunet Protect 2 – Free Cloud Based Antivirus Application:

Immunet Protect is a lightweight cloud based, community driven, antivirus application, (available in both a free, and a paid version), designed to add a layer of protection while working in partnership with the most popular antimalware solutions.

Microsoft Security Essentials:

Microsoft Security Essentials, which incorporates antivirus, antispyware and rootkit protection, all under one roof, was released by Microsoft as a free  replacement application for the late, and unlamented, Windows Live OneCare.

ThreatFire:

ThreatFire blocks malware (including zero-day threats) by analyzing program behavior, instead of relying only on a signature based database. ThreatFire works together with your signature based security applications, to increase the effectiveness of your total security arsenal.

SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition

The free version of this award winning program, is used by millions of people worldwide to protect their computers. And why not? SUPERAntiSpyware is well known for its high malware detection rate. A simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface makes SUPERAntiSpyware straightforward to setup, customize, and run, for both less experienced and expert users alike.

Zone Alarm Firewall:

If you are a casual computer user, Zone Alarm Free is definitely worth considering as a new Firewall installation, or as a replacement for a current Firewall that is not meeting your expectations.

Staying in touch:

Windows Live messenger:

The next generation MSN Messenger. It comes with everything that were already available in Messenger, and a new IM Initiative that makes helping your favorite charity as easy as sending an instant message.

Pidgin:

A multi-protocol Instant Messaging client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once. Pidgin can work with: AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Yahoo!, MySpace IM and many more.

Trillian:

A fully featured, stand-alone, chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC.

Skype

In its basic form, Skype is a free communication package, using proprietary code, which allows users to make free computer to computer calls, including video calls, across the globe. As well, there are a bundle of additional features, that can be purchased at a low cost, which will expand the application’s functionality.

System Tools:

WinPatrol:

You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.

CCleaner:

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a second to run.

Autoruns:

You can configure Autoruns to show additional locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and more. Autoruns goes considerably beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows.

Glary Utilities:

Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application for the last 2 years has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system. With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

Revo Uninstaller:

Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over (those “orphaned” registry entries we talked about earlier), on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

Have a great school year!

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Audio Applications, Browser add-ons, Browsers, Cell Phone Apps, Computer Maintenance, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Firefox, Firefox Add-ons, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Firewalls, Free Office Suites, Free Photo Applications, Free Word Processors, Media Players, Microsoft, MS Word Alternatives, Open Office, Productivity Software, Skype, Software, System Security, System Utilities, Video Apps, Video Calling, Windows Tips and Tools

Free HAMSTER High End Video Converter – Works With Over 200 Devices

Popular guest writer Rick Robinette, has done it again. Rick has a knack for finding the best in Freeware, and this time, he has found a terrific free video converter; HAMSTER.

Here’s Rick’s review:

In today’s world of technology we are presented with numerous devices that allow us to watch video (such as iPod, iPad, iPhone, PS3, PSP, Blackberry, xBox, Zune, Apple TV, iRiver, etc.).

The gap we face is that a video (such as a movie) may play OK on one device, but not another. In order to bridge this gap you must have available to you a good video converter that can make the necessary audio and video configuration changes (i.e. resolution, bitrate, framerate, compression, etc.), on the fly, to match the required specifications of the device.

Often, as part of the purchase of the device, you are given software to assist with video conversions; however, learning that software or even getting future upgrades is a problem.

The solution to all of these problems is in a NEW software video converter called HAMSTER.

HAMSTER Free Video Converter

I just started using HAMSTER and I must say it is one of the best, easy to use, video converters I have experienced. The components that I like the most is that it is nice looking in appearance, provides a step-by-step, 1-2-3 interface that is very easy to understand; AND MOST IMPORTANTLY you can specifically pick your device during the conversion process. I do not know of too many video converters that let you do that.

As a matter of fact it provides the ability to select from over 200 devices. For example, I have a Blackberry. I can take a full size movie, put it through the HAMSTER process, select Blackberry from the list and HAMSTER will do the work to make it work on my Blackberry.

HAMSTER Free Video Converter

It’s FREE! Full version is free for everybody!

Features:

Converts any video to iPod, iPad, iPhone, PS3, PSP, Blackberry, xBox, Zune, Apple TV, iRiver, etc. More than 200+ devices

Converts to AVI, MPG, WMV, MPEG, FLV, HD, DVD, M2TS and others! Integrated video player!

Easy-to-use! Drag-n-Drop! It does not require special knowledge. There is Wizard for beginners.

Changes codec/System type/De-interlaces your video file

Converts many video files in batches

Adjusts audio video bitrate, frame rate

Integrates into Windows!

Supports 40 languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Japan, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, Korean, etc.)

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP

Download at: HamsterSoft

This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC. Like me, you’re sure to become a frequent visitor.

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Filed under Cell Phone Apps, downloads, Freeware, Software, Video, Video Apps, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Software Giveaway – iPhone Video Converter, available for FREE from 13th July, 2010 to 26th July, 2010

iSkysoft Studio let me know the other day, that their iPhone Video Converter is being offered for free, from 13th July, 2010, to 26th July , 2010.

I have not tested this application, and the following information has been provided by iSkysoft Studio.

iSkysoft iPhone Video Converter converts all popular video and audio formats such as AVI, MPEG, MOV, OGG, WAV to iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4 supported formats including MP4, MP3, etc.

It provides a series of practical settings such as video crop, file trim, video brightness, contrast and saturation, and merging multiple files into one output file.

There are Mac and Windows version, both free.

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Key features for iSkysoft iPhone Video Converter:

Convert video such as M2TS/MTS, MOD, TOD, AVI, MKV, WMV and audio for playback on iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, etc.

It supports new iPhone 4.

Extract audio to iPhone audio like MP3, AAC, WAV for playback on your iPhone and other portable players.

Crop away black borders of the movie and watch it in full screen.

Trim the length of any title or chapter to get video or audio clips you need and convert the specific segment you like.

You can get your favorite lines or episodes and save them in MP3 format for your iPhone as ringtones.

Merge several video clips to one output file so that you can enjoy a long video without interruption.

Note: You can’t get free upgrade and technical support.

You can checkout this free offer at the developer’s site here (Mac), or here (Windows).

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Filed under Apple, Cell Phone Apps, downloads, Free Full Versions, Freeware, iPod touch, Mac, Multimedia Tools, Photo Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, Video Tools, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Anonymizer Universal – Multi System Compatible Anonymous Surfing Application

We’ve covered anonymous surfing, and the applications designed to facilitate this, a number of times in the past two years here on Tech Thoughts.

Interestingly, previous reviews of anonymous surfing applications have been read disproportionately by readers from Middle Eastern countries. There are obviously more reasons to surf anonymously in these countries, than in others.

Anonymous surfing (the use of an anonymous proxy server between a user and the Internet), offers protection against snooping web sites, annoying advertisers, employers, or even curious family members. And, if the large number of readers fro the Middle East is any indication, from repressive governments.

Additional reasons for for choosing anonymous surfing include, surfing in internet cafe, public terminals in libraries, or hotel business center hotspots. All are “hangout spots”, frequented by hackers.

When surfing anonymously, your web browser talks to the proxy server; the proxy server talks to the web site. Effectively, this means the web site does not know you; it knows only the anonymous proxy server.

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You have a number of choices when it comes to anonymous surfing. You can use a free proxy server service; some of which are quite good and up to the task; most however, are less than reliable.

More reliable and safer, in my view, is to download and install a client application which manages the details of anonymous surfing for you.

Anonymizer Universal is a fee based anonymizer application with a difference – it’s PC, Mac, and iPhone, iPod touch, iPad compatible. Anonymizer Universal, routes all of your Internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel from your computer, or iPhone, to Anonymizer’s secure and hardened servers. Anonymizer Universal then changes your real IP address to a different untraceable IP address each day, to ensure continuous anonymity.

Whether you are using a Web browser (such as Internet Explorer‚ Safari‚ Firefox‚ etc.)‚ checking email‚ using an instant messaging program‚ or conducting any other type of personal online business‚ all of your activities are protected.

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Fast facts:

Total Network Security

All Anonymizer Universal’s servers and authentication procedures are completely secure and can only be accessed by Anonymizer.

Compatibility/Portability

Universal compatibility across platforms–Mac‚ iPhone‚ and Windows

Secure mobile Internet access from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

Concurrent logins that allow you to be protected on your mobile device and computer simultaneously

Technologies

Powerful encrypted L2TP/IPSec VPN connection and tens of thousands of untraceable rotating IP addresses combine for the ultimate protection for all your online activities‚ from Web browsing to email and chat.

The advantages of L2TP/IPSec VPN technology include:

An encrypted tunnel for all of your Internet traffic as it travels to Anonymizer’s secure servers.

Confidentiality and security as your data and personal information travel the Web.

An extra layer of protection for your Wi-Fi no matter where you connect.

All ports and protocols secured (outgoing mail port 25 is blocked).

Proprietary IP Rotator Technology

Trialed and tested Anonymizer IP Rotator technology guarantees your anonymity every time you connect online.

Each day‚ your computer’s IP address gets replaced with a different‚ anonymous IP address.

Your daily‚ anonymous IP address comes from a pool of tens of thousands of U.S. IP addresses that are ordinary and untraceable.

Ease-of-Use

Simple installation

Easy-to-use interface

Seamless connection

System requirements:

Windows XP‚ Vista, Windows 7 (Microsoft .NET framework)

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

iPhone, iPod touch, iPad – iPhone OS 3.0 or greater

About Anonymizer:

As the global leader in online privacy, anonymity, and identity protection solutions for over 15 years, Anonymizer continues to push the envelope with products that allow consumers and organizations to remain safe, secure, and anonymous each time they go online.

Proprietary Technologies—Customizable Solutions

Our proprietary technologies allow us to provide solutions that address the needs of home users, businesses, and other customers. In addition, our state-of-the-art solution sets can be uniquely adapted and customized to meet the needs of any client.

Billions Protected—and Counting

Each day, Anonymizer’s solutions protect the identities and privacy of worldwide users as they go online. With a pristine 15-year history of protecting customer online identities, our products have protected billions of Web searches and personal communications. Anonymizer has set the standard in Internet privacy solutions.

A one year home user license is $79.99 USD. Visit the developer’s site for more information.

If you are more inclined to go with a less costly, or even a free solution, then checkout OperaTor and XeroBank – Anonymous Surfing Tools, here on this site.

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Filed under Anonymous Surfing, Cell Phone Apps, Don't Get Hacked, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety Tools, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, Online Safety, Privacy, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

CalcMoolator – Free Online Financial Calculators

image “The love of money is the root of all evil” – often misquoted as “money is the root of all evil”, is one of those apparent truism in Western culture that needs a shakeup.

It seems to me, that a more accurate statement might be – the lack of money is the root of all evil. Or, to put it in a more reasonable context; the lack of money adds substantially to a person’s anxiety index.

At a personal level, I’ve certainly observed that a lack of understanding of money; how to acquire it legitimately, (wages, salaries, investments, etc.); how to hold on to it; how to manage it; is a source of great discomfort in many peoples’ lives.

I think Charles Dickens said it best, when he made the statement –

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”

Early in my career as a young Banker, my primary responsibility was personal and business lending. It didn’t take me long to recognize that most people had poor money management skills, and that many failed to grasp the most important consequence of debt – it leads directly to less disposable income.

Economic indicators continue to show, that personal disposable income has taken a nosedive in recent years. Nevertheless, I think it can be safely said that now, more than ever, servicing and reducing debt, in the most efficient manner, is critical to an individual’s and a family’s financial health. So, cost effectiveness in every dollar spent, has taken on a new importance.

Recently, I was invited to take part in testing a private Beta of CalcMoolator. A free web based service that offers a series of financial calculators (30 currently, with hundreds more in development), designed to make it simple to calculate costs, compare financial options, make educated financial decisions and most importantly – help users save money.

Dan Khasis, founder of the company, speaking on the benefits of Calcmoolator, summed it up nicely when he said:

“Fairly often, people will make financial decisions based on their emotions, rather than facts, mainly because they don’t have the financial knowledge or tools to adequately weigh their options.

Sometimes results are just too complicated to understand, but Calcmoolator gives users access to highly sophisticated financial tools in a nicely packaged application that is simple to use and interpret.”

One of the things I’ve learned in my life travels is – financial advisors are rarely financial wizards; they simply have access to the right tools. You can gain access to similar tools using Calcmoolator – the tools you need to evaluate the most productive ways to spend your money.

Fast facts:

Calcmoolator is available for free on the Web

No registration required

No software to install

Easy-to-use ( no need to be a math wizard)

A simple user interface

More than 30 calculators with more on the way

Each calculator is powered by mathematical formulas developed by a team of mathematicians.

Available for the iPad & iPhone (download required)

The following screen shot illustrates nicely, just how easy it is to use a Calculator – no degree in mathematics required.  🙂

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Most Popular Calcmoolator Calculators:

Auto Lease vs. Buy

House Rent vs. Buy

Auto Loan Estimate

Mortgage Payment Estimate

Pay Off My CC Debt Sooner

Spending Worksheet

Here’s a fact for you to ponder – the art is not in making money, but in keeping it. I’m attracted to any tool that can help make it easier for me to do that, and having tested Calcmoolator, I think it could make it easier for you, as well.

As of today (June 18, 2010),  Calcmoolator is out of Beta, and is now available to the general public, so drop by the site, and see what you think.

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Filed under Cell Phone Apps, Cloud Computing Applications, Financial, Freeware, Money Management, Recommended Web Sites, Software, Windows Tips and Tools