Twitter to Facebook

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

One of the best things about Twitter is that, with a little tweaking, it allows you to easily update Facebook without going through the hassle of logging into Facebook and dealing with all the distractions. A week or two ago, however, I realized that the connection between Twitter and Facebook no longer seemed to be working.

Here’s how I was able to fix it.

  1. Go here: http://apps.facebook.com/twitter/
  2. Uncheck the boxes.
  3. Send a tweet without the boxes checked, it won’t go to Facebook.
  4. Check the boxes to have Twitter update your Facebook status, the status of a page, or both.
  5. Send another tweet and it should work – it did for me.

Note that if you’ve told Facebook to force https connections, you’ll have to turn them off in order to reconnect this application – it’ll prompt you to do so during the process. Don’t forget to turn https 0n once you’re done, else you’ll be Firesheep fodder. Here’s how.

  1. In Facebook, click the Account menu at the top right.
  2. Curse the idiots at Facebook who designed a drop-down menu into a website.
  3. Click Account Settings
  4. In the Account Security section, check the box labeled “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible”

Note while you’re there that Facebook lists the computers that are authenticated to your account and, like Google, allows you to disconnect any you don’t recognize.

If you haven’t connected your Twitter account to Facebook yet, the instructions here should be a good start. Hit the comments if you have questions or comments about the procedure.

Posted in geek, services | Tagged , , , |

Evernote turns your handwritten notes and receipts into searchable database

This is icon for social networking website. Th...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve never been a note-taker. In my experience growing up, notes always were taken but never touched again. I quickly realized I was better off paying attention than taking notes, since I had a better chance of remembering than going back to reference notes. If only there were a way to have the convenience and speed of hand-written notes without the hassle of paper and piles.

I’ve tried taking notes on a handheld with stylus and on a laptop with a touch screen. It’s always so awkward, and there’s always the delay of a few seconds turning it on and launching a note-taking app. It’s not a replacement for pen and paper.

Enter: Evernote. It’s one of several players in the “everything bucket” category of web apps. You can put anything in it, including text notes, PDFs, pictures and sound recordings.

Evernote is cross-platform. Not only can you access it from any browser, but there’s an app for Windows and Mac and pretty much every kind of smart phone and device.

While the text editor isn’t as powerful as that found within Google Docs, Evernote shines in that the mobile app it’s the most convenient optical character recognition system ever. Here’s how I use it.

Take notes. Launch the Evernote app on Android or iOS. Use it to take a picture of the notes. Put notes in trash.

Once the picture is uploaded, it not only is available on the Evernote website and all the apps on all your devices, it’s also scanned and indexed so that it’s searchable. After a few months of use, you have a database of your handwritten notes that you can search by keywords. Granted, your mileage may vary based on your handwriting, but this can be helped with a little categorization of notes into what Evernote calls notebooks and the use of tags for notes to ease future searches.

I realize OCR isn’t anything new, and that using a scanner would yield stored notes of much higher quality than using a phone’s camera. However, the action of snapping a picture of a note with an always-with-me phone is below the hassle threshold that makes it worth the time, where waiting until I’m buy a computer to use a scanner isn’t.

Another very useful application for this process is with receipts. I’ve developed the habit of snapping an Evernote picture of every receipt before I throw them away. Now, if I’m looking for a Best Buy receipt from three months ago, I simply enter “Best Buy” in the Evernote search box.

Evernote recently released an initiative to build a database of other software and hardware that supports Evernote. It’s called Trunk and comprises the Livescribe smartpens that automatically save what they write in Evernote, the Voice2Note third party app which uses speech recognition to turn your Evernote audio notes into searchable content, and PDF readers and scanners with buttons that allow one-click upload to your Evernote account.

Evernote has a freemium business model, offering a basic plan with a monthly upload cap of 60 MB for free, which has always been more than enough for me. Power users may want to pay the $5 per month for 1 GB monthly uploads, double the maximum single note size from 25 MB to 50 MB, and the ability to upload any kind of file.

Posted in Apps, services | Tagged , , , , , |

LikeBids to launch as social auction site

I don’t know too much about it, but it seems a new site that’s billed as a social media auction is about to launch.

LikeBids is social auction site

LikeBids looks to be a site that allows users to win items by convincing the most people to like or share links. I’m guessing that if you’re the person who convinces the most people to like and share the newest CD released by your favorite band, you may win a copy of the CD or at least get a discount.

Is it a true auction site? I wouldn’t go as far as to say that, but I will say that the concept sounds very fascinating and I look forward to the beta launch to try it out.

LikeBids

Posted in services, theory | Tagged , |

Mint’s credit card infographic

I first wrote about Mint in 2008, after having used it for six months and being pleased with the results. If you’re unfamiliar with Mint, it hooks to your financial accounts and automatically analyzes your spending and saving and investing habits to provide you with trends and charts as well as suggestions for improving your financial health.

Credit cards

Image via Wikipedia

I was disappointed when it was acquired by Intuit and the innovation subsequently slowed to a crawl. I’ve been waiting for months to get their tech support to correctly categorize an auto loan as a loan instead of a credit card, and finally received a response that’s not much more than “we’re working on it.”

My love-hate relationship with Mint aside, they released a pretty impressive infographic about credit cards last month. If you’ve ever wondered what the numbers on a credit card mean, or if you foolishly thought it was a 16-digit random number made just for you, you should roll on over and check it out on the Mint blog.

Cracking the Credit Card Code

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Media use survey for auctioneers

Friend of the auction industry Carl Carter over at NewMediaRules Communications is conducting an anonymous survey about the auction industry. The stated goal is “to collect data on how auctioneers are using a full range of media to promote their auctions.”

The survey itself contains 11 questions ranging from the types of assets sold and the way the auctions are conducted to the types of media used and how the marketing mix is configured.

Carter regularly publishes articles on his blog and in various auction-related publications connecting the auction industry with media and publications, both old and new. There’s no question that the information will be kept anonymous and put to good use. Take the two minutes it takes to head on over and take the survey now.

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