Ever since our son was born about a year and a half ago, I have been making and preserving memories as best as I can. I take way too many pictures and videos, write down all of his milestones, and share them on Facebook and Twitter. Trust me, if you follow me on either network, you know exactly what I am talking about. But one thing that I am not the best at is being able to take all of these memories and put them in one place where family and friends can go to stay up to date on our son.

Last week I came across Irrive, an app that takes your social networks and turns them into scrapbooks to help you preserve your memories. After getting to play with Irrive for a little bit, I got really excited for the potential of this app and how easy it was to use to create a scrapbook of all my favorite memories, using the apps that I already use to document my life. It is kind of like a digital version of scrapbooking, but less time consuming than the actual version, which for someone like me is a win my book. Lets take a look around this app and how it works. (more…)

As a writer for the App Storm network as well as a tech fanatic, I am constantly keeping up on all the tech news around the world. For the longest time, Google Reader was one of the easiest and best ways to consume news on the net. But as time has gone on, there have been other apps out there that have gained traction on it and have also incorporated Google Reader into their own app. One of the that comes to mind is Flipboard, who has added their own twist to consuming news while incorporating Google Reader feeds into their app as well, instead of trying to fight Google’s dominance directly.

Then, another major trend is that Facebook and Twitter have become popular ways to consume tech news. There are some developers out there that have recognized this and have come out with some great apps. One of them, called Prismatic, has done this well, enough that I took it for a test drive for a few days and came away impressed. Can it replace your Google Reader feed? Well, I guess you are just going to have to read on and find out.

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As the web continues to get better and better, something that I take for granted a lot of the time is the amount of information that is on it. It continues to amaze me at how I can type in a random question or phrase and usually always find an answer very quickly and easily. Add on top of that the increase in blogging and how easy it is for someone to set one up, you will soon have an internet with an almost infinite wealth of knowledge.

But, what about those times where you want to ask a specific question to people, and you want to gather information and opinions in somewhat real time? Yes, a Google search can help with that, but it doesn’t always get the job done. Enter in a web app called Branch, where you can ask questions in real time and get answers from the millions of people around the world. I have been able to test it out over the past week or so, and I have learned some interesting things about it and how it works.

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With the advent of the tablet, specifically the iPad, book and magazine publishing has gotten a lot more attention than they thought they would ever get. Gone are the days of just publishing your book for print and selling millions of hard back copies to make the New York Times bestseller list. You have to also think about publishing for ebooks and for some, targeting devices like the iPad or another tablet. The same goes for magazines, more and more I am seeing them being tailored to the tablet or the web because frankly, that is where the audience is at or heading toward.

The same can be said for content creation as well, it is moving toward creating for not only a hard back, but also for the web and other devices. But, what is also pretty cool is that content creation is becoming easier for the average Joe to get his/her hands on and come up with something pretty decent. Zeen, is one of those services that make this possible for people like you and I to create something beautiful on the web, and then be able to share it out with the world in a way that looks presentable. It is one of those apps that if you are willing to be a little creative, it has a lot of potential to be a useful tool.

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Looking at and analyzing data just does not excite me like it does for some people. There is something about it that is just boring. I am not sure what it is, but it is not my cup of tea. Needless to say, in my job one of the things that I have to do is prepare charts, graphs, etc. and use them to make presentations. With that being said, I am always trying to find web apps out there that can do this for me so that I don’t have to rely on something like Excel to make this happen.

A little while ago, I was given access to try out Infogr.am, which lets you create graphs and charts on the web. Their whole goal is to give you, the user an easy way to create interactive infographs on the web. There were two things that immediately got me a little excited about trying out their app. One, it looked super easy to use and two, it was web based, which is always a plus in this ever changing world of cloud computing.

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In my last post, I wrote about how you can use the internet for TV and cut cable if you really wanted to. To be perfectly honest, it was a post that I had been wanting to write for a really long time, but I felt that I had to wait for the right time. The reason being is that if I were to write that post when I first started the experiement almost two years ago, it would have been very different that it is now. When it comes to options for watching TV online, the difference between now and then is like night and day. The TV industry is starting to recognize that the web has become a viable player in all of this and that they’d better get on board.

Using the internet for TV doesn’t mean you have to watch TV on your computer only, though. There’s many different devices that promise to bring internet video to your TV, but two stand out from the others: the Apple TV, and the Roku line up of streaming devices. The reason why I chose to go with these two is because they are head and shoulders ahead in this area, and as we look forward will probably be the two main competitors for this space. If you are anything like me, you want to get the one that will give you the most bang for your buck. Hopefully, I am able to provide you with enough information that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

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Let’s face it, cable is expensive and it is definitely not going to be getting cheaper any time soon. About two years ago, my wife and I finally made the decision that it was time that we “cut the cord” so to speak, and get rid of our cable bill. As I look back on it, it was probably one of the best decisions that we made. I thought I would miss it, and there are times when I do, but for the most part, I have definitely learned to live without it.

I didn’t get rid of watching television all together, and I don’t think I could ever do that. But, what we did do was we took a long look at some web alternatives that would help us get our TV fix. As with any other cost cutting move, it definitely did not come without some sacrifice on our part. But, if you are every interested in making the move, then continue to read on and see if it is the right move for you.

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Tasks that used to take days to do can now take a few hours or even a few minutes, thanks to the internet. Even ordering a physical book or CD from Amazon feels like it takes forever now that we’re used to instant digital downloads. When there’s any delay, it can feel incredibly frustrating.

Take, for example, signing documents. This process can sometimes take what feels like forever. We get the documents ready to be signed and either the signees have to travel to sign it together, or we have to mail the documents to them and wait for them to sign and send the document back to us. Try getting documents signed internationally, and the delays (and expenses incurred) are even crazier.

HelloSign, the makers of HelloFax, an app I reviewed a little while back, aims to make this process a whole lot easier for everyone that needs to get documents signed. Technology is moving forward and they are taking advantage of it, by giving you an experience that leaves you thinking “What did I do without this?” At least that was my initial thoughts as I played around with it and started to see how this could be very useful. (more…)

I don’t know how many times I get an email and it has something in it that’s important, so I do one of two things. I either leave it in my inbox or I archive it thinking that I am going to remember about it later. We all know how this goes: it either gets buried under all my other emails and I never look at it or I just forget about it. Or what about this scenario, you are out and about and you remember that you need to stop at the grocery store on the way home for milk. I know for me, I tend to just shoot myself a quick email so that I can remember or I put it in my task manager app and set an alarm. But, these never seem to work the way that I want them to and since I change task managers like I change my clothes, that doesn’t help either.

That is why when I came across FollowUpThen (FUT), I just had to try it out and see if it could work for me. The minute I started to use it, I started to see the potential and the different ways that I could use it to remember things. FUT is so simple to use and learn that you will find yourself using it literally in seconds.

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A little over a year ago, I remember reading an article about how eBooks have finally taken over paperback books here in the United States. We’ve all known that sooner or later this was going to happen, and there’s no turning back. With tablets and eReaders gaining more traction each year, as a teacher, I needed to start to look toward how I can embrace the eBook rather than ignore it. And as you can probably tell, I am not the only one thinking this too. Authors, journalist, bloggers, and other professionals are also thinking and strategizing for the eBook revolution, so to speak.

One thing that hasn’t necessarily evolved just yet is the ability to create an ebook. Of course there is Apple’s iBook Author app, but that is limited to making books for the iPad. But a new web app, Bookletsworld, is working in its own way to democratize eBook publishing. Yes, I say that with hesitation because what they provide is not necessarily the ability to create your traditional eBook that we all know, but more of a way to create booklets on the web. Sound interesting?

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