daly

Top Golf Apps Every Wacky Hacker Should Own

The true rites of Spring are all around. From the chirping of the birds to the greening of the grass to the steady supply of swear words emitting from the nearby golf courses it appears that Winter has finally lifted. For those that enjoy taking to the links in a supposed relaxing afternoon, perhaps it’s time to start putting the smart phone to good use for more than calling the clubhouse to have the cart girl fetch another round of shots. Some of the top golf apps available for the smart phone can actually have a profound effect on improving a person’s game.

Golfshot
The standard score cards that most courses give out for gameplay just don’t do justice to the lay of the land for each hole. Golfshot is a top golf app that provides an aerial view of each hole from over 40,000 courses around the world. The $20.00 fee is justified with an average review of five stars by fellow users.

V1 Golf
For $9.99 an amateur golfer could basically replace a pricey golf pro just by downloading V1 Golf. With this app users can record video of their swing for comparisons to some of golf’s greats. The corresponding changes will hopefully eliminate slicing and poor ball contact resulting in a better score.

LatestGolfWeather
The best way to determine whether to leave the sanctity of the clubhouse to brave an oncoming storm or sit tight and enjoy another Bloody Mary is with the LatestGolfWeather application. This is one of the top golf apps for finding out the immediate weather, two week forecast and visibility for up to 18,000 golf courses.

Tiger Woods: My Swing
After a little hiatus to attend to some personal matters, the greatest golfer in the world is back on top. To be the best you need to train with the best and while individual rounds with Tiger will cost thousands, this $5 app is the next best thing. Tiger has implemented the same swing analysis technology that he studies into this app complete with video and swing line marking ability. The only thing missing is a green jacket sizing chart.

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BeerSmartphoneCase

Best Beer Apps for Smartphones

I guess smart phones are nice to instantly look up maps when traveling, identifying if a storm is approaching, or video chatting with long lost relatives, but the new technology advances are also good for man’s one true love – beer. The newest apps for the iPhone are being developed with the technologically advanced guzzler in mind. The following are the best beer apps currently on the market.

Note: The links below are all for iPhone, some apps are also available on Android. 

iBeers Pro
The developers of iBeers Pro probably took computer classes in college, only to flunk out after too much partying. While their parents probably immediately thought of them as a disgrace, they found a way to put their love of beer to make a profit. iBeers Pro is like a booze dictionary with over 2,700 beers databases for beer type, alcohol content, country of origin, user reviews, and more.

Happy Houred
For business personnel that travel the United States making sales pitches and conducting meetings, there’s nothing better than enjoying a beer after another stressful day. Happy Houred is one of the most user-friendly beer apps that helps a person find the best deals for a cheap drink in whatever city they find themselves in.

Beer Stat
This is one of the beer apps that can be both enlightening and possibly depressing. Beer Stat enables a person to input how many beers they’ve had each day and the application will keep a running tab so to speak of the amount of calories a person has consumed, how much money they’ve spent, their daily averages and so on. The ability to calculate how many times a person has struck out picking up ladies is still in Beta Testing.

Beer Match
The ideal place to enjoy a cold brew is in the shower but the second best place is with a meal. The beer apps Beer Match enables a user to input what type of food they’re eating and it will return the best type of beer that goes with that meal.

 

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Cheap Apps Bnnr

Don’t be a cheapskate when buying apps

The race to the bottom in app pricing has been talked about a lot. People will always pay the least they have to whenever they can but just keep in mind “A cheap app isn’t always good and a good app isn’t always cheap”. But as consumers, customers we get so much more for the price we pay when we buy an app. So please don’t be a cheapskate when buying apps.

I wrote a post sometime last year about just this topic and since it’s now gone that means I get to try to bring some attention to the issue again. Over at Macworld Lex Friedman (@lexfri) wrote a great post “A $5 app isn’t expensive” it’s a great read, check it out, there are many great points. I’m also going to talk about the same topic and will speak on some of the same points but with my own opinions and point of view. To start off with let’s look at what we get when we buy an app. If I buy an app I’m not only able to run it on my iPhone. I can run it on my iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or iPad Mini, if I owned all of those devices. I don’t need to pay again or pay a licensing fee for each device I just pay for the app once and I can enjoy it on a multitude of devices. The updates to apps so far have also been free. I still have apps I bought when I owned an iPhone 3G. Whenever there are updates to increase the functionality, enjoyment, etc. I get it without having to pay a cent.

Coffee, Beer and Smokes

Now I’m not saying buying coffee at Starbucks, a 24 pack of Bud or a pack of cigarettes is less worthwhile than an app. Every person can spend their hard earned money on whatever they want. My point is if a person just takes a minute to add up how much buying a Latte, 24 pack or cigarettes costs for a month or a year and then compare it to the cost of buying a few good apps at 2.99, 5.99, 10.99. It would be eye-opening what the difference in cost is and yet the apps will be entertaining, useful and relevant much longer than any of the consumables will last. Now I know there are people who might buy bargain price coffee or not drink or smoke at all. However that is not the point, most people have things that we spend money on, hobbies, interests things that we enjoy. Apps provide the same things enjoyment, productivity, creativity, entertainment. So why do we value them so cheaply when compared to other things?

Developers need to make a living too

I know the executives from Apple always stand on stage and show the image of a check for the Billions of dollars that has been paid out to developers. The amount seems enormous and paints a picture that every developer is rolling on easy street. Now while I’m sure many developers have been successful at making a living take a look at the number of apps that are in the app store. If every developer was raking in thousands of dollars the money paid out would be much larger. It’s a hard process to create these apps that help us to do things, create things, keep in touch, or just relax. Just like you and I these developers have families, mortgages and bills to pay. I feel like this is something that is partially Apple’s fault because by bringing big companies up on stage at their keynotes they have made developers out to be these big companies able to produce blockbuster titles. People don’t get to see the little guys who are trying to make it on their ideas and talent. So what happens when consumers shy away from the pricier apps? The standard of quality of the apps goes down because if only the cheap apps sell then developers will just make apps cheaply. Apps will get abandoned or never be updated because the developer will just move on to some other endeavor that will feed their family. Perhaps one day we will even start having to pay for updates, it might seem impossible now but never say never!

Race to the bottom

When I compare Apple’s app store to the Jailbreak app store “Cydia” it’s funny because it is not as I would expect. In Cydia there hasn’t been a race to the bottom with most apps costing 0.99 cents. There are many themes, tweaks and apps that are free whether supported through ads or they were just made out of the developers love of providing features or a theme. However many of the functional tweaks, apps or full system wide themes, tweaks like Gridlock 2, Infinidock, Zephyr and apps like BiteSMS, will cost 3.99 all the way up to 10.99 and people will pay. Perhaps because there aren’t a multitude of apps that do much of the same thing but cost less. Perhaps because the developers set the price and you either pay or move on. I’m not sure why but that is what I would love to see in the Apple app store. I’d love to see apps that cost what they are worth, for the gorgeous interface, brilliant features and the usefulness it provides to the customer. I’d love to see more developers making more polished apps because customers are willing to pay for them when they are put in the app store.

So the next time anyone is browsing the app store or a friend or family member has suggested an app. Try not to let yourself react in shock at the sticker price of the app and immediately close the app store. I’m sure many of us can afford that $2, $5 or $10 so just consider if what the app will enable you to do is worth the price tag. Don’t be a cheapskate when buying apps!

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IG Tps

How to take better Instagram pictures

I’m a big Instagramer and an amateur photographer. If you don’t know what Instagram is I just have one question “Where have you been living in the past year?”. Instagram is probably the most popular photo sharing platform right now for mobile devices. As a big Instagram user I see a lot of un-necessary photo snafus. I’m not talking about composition or using the rule of thirds or anything. Instagram is for everyone professional and amateur alike. So I know people just want to share pictures of their adorable new pet, food or a new addition to their wardrobe among a million other things. What I’m talking about are the little things in the background that a few seconds could have lead to a nicer picture to share. So here are a few tips on how to take better Instagram pictures.

Selfies
If anyone says they use Instagram for themselves it’s a lie. Instagram is for sharing that is why it’s a Social app. We are all social beings we love to share what is going on all around us. If the pictures were for yourself they would still be in your camera roll or on your computer. Whether you are a fitness guru, twenty something partier or a teen obsessed with “Selfies”. There are a few quick tips you can follow to make your pictures a little nicer.

  1. 1.Take a couple seconds to scan the background: If you’re taking pictures in the bathroom checking if the toilet  seat is up, shower curtain/door is open or anything else that doesn’t need to be hanging around in the background can help. It only takes a few seconds and believe me nothing takes the focus off the image of you like a toilet right behind you with the seat up.
  2. 2.Think about where you are taking the picture: This kind of adds to the first tip. Take a minute to consider where you’re taking your selfie and what is around you. You might want to go to a different room, spot, turn slightly or move things out of the way. If you’re in a room where your pets live move the feeding bowls out of the way. If the hallway or room beside you can be seen and is cluttered or distracting close the door or go to a different room.
  3. 3.Dirty Mirror: Most selfies are taken using a mirror to take a picture of the person’s reflection in the mirror. If the mirror is dirty take a minute to clean it off.
  4. 4.Cropping can be your friend: Before posting a picture to Instagram there is the chance to crop it. It can also be cropped from the Photos app before even getting to Instagram. Most people hate the thought of cropping the image because it removes parts of the picture. Sometimes it makes a better picture ie. If you are holding up your iPhone for the picture who needs to see your bent elbow and “camera face” (when the camera covers the person’s face while taking the selfie)
  5. 5.Filters and special effects: Use them carefully and with purpose. The pictures posted on Instagram are personal but at the same time it is being put out there for others to see. So make sure people will see what was intended to be seen. Some filters will hide details or add to the image in a distracting way.

I did a quick search on Instagram to find a few examples of pictures that could have used a few of these tips. They are not horrible these tips would just have made them a little better.

2ded62bc7e4011e2baac22000a1fbda6_7 Here is amessy room in the background and a partial “Camera Face”

EditedCropped to get rid of the partial “Camera Face” I can’t do anything about the mess

b39edd0668b411e28cc022000a9f308d_7The toilet seat up in the background just really ruins this one

 

Foodies
These are the people who love to share the food they are making or eating with everyone. I am one of those people, I am a foodie. It’s fun and different to share and see what people all over the world have on their plates. Again a few little tips can help make the picture as appetizing as the food being eaten.

  1. 1.Take a look at the food before you bust out the camera: The food isn’t going anywhere so make it look appetizing in the picture too. Move the fork so it’s not just stuck in the middle of the food. Get the cup or glass out of the shot unless it’s meant to be there.
  2. 2.Have fun with it: The whole idea of taking pictures of our meals has taken off once smartphones got cameras and social networks to share the pictures. There’s a camera that is always available and travels with us at all times. It also means that after all this time every shot of food looks the same. It’s food on a plate, on a table with a knife and fork. So have some fun with it take the picture from different angles, highlight one specific part of the meal, spin the bowl on the table while taking the picture just make it creative and have some fun with the whole process.
  3. 3.Every meal doesn’t need to be shared: I don’t mean the meal doesn’t need to be photographed but it might not need to be posted to Instagram. Things are always novel, interesting, exciting or cool when it’s done in moderation. So while the dinner at the Mediterranean restaurant is colourful, different and has an interesting context. The bowl of honey nut cheerios for breakfast might be a little mundane after the third time being posted.

These tips can also be appliied to most of the other types of pictures being posted on Instagram. At the end of the day pictures are a personal thing and I’m just trying to make them look a little better with a few tips.

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Windows phone from nokia

Best Features of Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 From HTCWindows Phone 8 is more than just a cool alternative to an iPhone for those of us who don’t want to give our money to apple. True, Android does have more of the market share but because Windows Phone 8 allows users to easily share across platforms, it definitely has a leg up in the productivity department. But just why should you consider ditching your old mobile device for a new Windows Phone 8 handset?

(Special thanks to Travis Pope for poiting these HTC Exclusive features out.)

Windows Phone 8 Features that Are More than Flash

(Had to get that little dig in there about the iPhone’s refusal to adopt Flash Player, sorry.)
Integrated Speech – Sure, the iPhone has Siri but what good is she really? This OS has integrated speech with a ton of cool Windows Phone 8 apps already on the way. So instead of just using voice commands to control your phone, you can use voice commands to actually be productive. Imagine that?

Tap to Share – this feature made a big splash in anti-Apple advertisements a little while ago on TV and the Internet. However, it’s more than just a gimmick. It is actually handy to be able to share photos, videos, and even documents with friend, family and coworkers without having to go through all the trouble of sending an email, opening your BlueTooth, or running a third-party app to get the job done.

Multitasking – Apple did just recently upgrade its notoriously stoic IOS so users could “technically” multitask, but that feature comes standard with Windows Phone 8. All you have to do is highlight what you’d like to share (if anything) then hold the back button. It functions just like the ctrl + alt function you’ve used on your PC for years.

Wireless Charging – Sure it’s a Verizon exclusive, but it’s something that not even the iPhone 5 will have. It’s kind of annoying to have to plug in your phone to charge it – I know, #FirstWorldProblems, right? Still, it’s nice just to drop your phone on a pad when you get home and have its little battery topped off within hours.

Info and Image Source: Gottabemobile

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Opera Browser launched with Webkit

Opera Browser Beta Now Available for Android

Opera has just made the new version of its browser available for download from the Google Play store. The new Opera browser now uses the WebKit, an open source rendering engine. This is a huge shift for Opera which has dropped the Presto engine that it had been using until now. This new beta version has gone through a major makeover on the front end as well; with new features and better performance.

Just like chrome, the new Opera version too will have the URL and search bars unified. It supports many of Android’s native user interface features but also still has Opera’s own unique features such as the Speed Dial which helps easier access to favorite sites. The links will be a confined selection of the favorite pages that will show up on new tabs. The new Opera treats the links like bookmarks and it can be organized into folders.

New features include the Off-road Mode that enables a proxy-browsing technology that has been designed to work with the slow network connections. The Discovery tool is for people who would love to browse content customized to their interest. The start-up screen has been significantly improved. The start screen interface now stands ahead of the competition as it is more spontaneous, more feature rich and more attractive than the other browsers present in the android platform.

The features that made Opera popular amongst the mobile users previously like the optional server –side compression that reduced data usage and fast page loads and the ability to save pages for offline reading are still present in the new Opera version intact.

The iOS version of the new browser will be out soon probably within the month according to the CEO of Opera  – Lars Boilesen who also mentioned that they are rebuilding its personal computer versions too based on the WebKit engine. Presto will probably released to the open source community to tinker around with.

I gave the new browser a go on my Nexus 7 which ran smoothly and “Off-Road” mode showed more than 80% savings in bandwidth which is amazing if you are on a mobile data connection.

Click here to download Opera.

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RIOT

Raytheon’s RIOT Tracks Your Every Move

RIOT

Raytheon’s Rapid Information Overlay Technology (RIOT) is intended to assist governments by providing a social network data analysis program enabling the development of a detailed picture of activity for targeted individuals.  RIOT isn’t new, but the following video obtained by the Guardian is.

Using the software it’s possible to construct a complete picture of someone’s life — their friends, places they’ve visited, where they might go, when they might go — in only a few minutes.

In this video obtained by the Guardian, Brian Urch, Raytheon’s principal investigator, explains that “exif header data” embedded on smartphones sometimes includes latitude and longitude data with photographs. Of course, the software doesn’t just retrieve that information. It scourers through everything that’s available.

The program takes this information and organizes it in a way so as to show not only the targets photographs, but also the locations they were taken.

Urch says in the video, “We’re going to track one of our own employees…Nick… We know where Nick’s going, we know what Nick looks like… now we want to try to predict where he may be in the future.”

RIOT can also display a spider diagram which shows associations and relationships between individuals online by determining who they’ve communicated with and how often they communicate. It mines data from Facebook and GPS data from Foursquare. RIOT compiles a list of the top ten places a person of interest visits, when they visit, and when they might visit them again.

Urch goes on to say, “So if you ever did want to try to get hold of Nick, or maybe get hold of his laptop, you might want to visit the gym at 6am on a Monday.”

RIOT’s associated patent states that Raytheon believes its software can determine of subjects constitute a security risk.

Ginger McCall of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) told the Guardian that, “Social networking sites are often not transparent about what information is shared and how it is shared… Users may be posting information that they believe will be viewed only by their friends, but instead, it is being viewed by government officials or pulled in by data collection services like the [RIOT] search.”

A spokesperson for Raytheon’s intelligence and information systems department said this about RIOT, “Its innovative privacy features are the most robust that we’re aware of, enabling the sharing and analysis of data without personally identifiable information [such as social security numbers, bank or other financial account information] being disclosed.”

However, a bit of conflicting information from 2010 claims that RIOT, according to vice president of Raytheon’s Information Security Solutions business, “readily scales to trillions of entities.” Yeah that’s right, trillions.

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Best Google Reader Apps for Android

5 Best Google Reader Apps for Android

Best Google Reader Apps for AndroidRSS has fallen by the wayside, and most new Internet users probably don’t even know when they are using it. This is because of things like FlipBoard where social curation has become so fashionable. That being said, there are still those who enjoy using RSS feeds. The best way to keep track of your feeds is through Google Reader.  My favorite way of getting to Google Reader is through apps. Here are the 5 best Google Reader apps for Android.

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