Have you ever drawn a mind map? We bet you have. Mind maps are the kind of diagrams that business planners, mad scientists, and other innovative types scribble over blackboards and whiteboards, linking balloons and boxes with a variety of lines, arrows, and assorted scribblings. Ordinary people might draw one on a napkin while planning out their day. In any case, mind maps are one of the most flexible, useful, and intuitive planning techniques known. Open Mind is freeware for creating customized mind maps for any use you can think of. You can insert text, images, and even YouTube video … Read more
Been looking for a way to look like Billy Badass at parties or cookouts without incurring broken limbs and/or pesky restraining orders? Who hasn't, right? Well, should your bottled beverage of choice not have the convenient screw-cap top, don't reach for that boring old standard bottle opener.
Instead, whip out the Bottle Blade Bottle Opener, which looks like a razor blade. The oversize bottle blade is made of brushed stainless steel and measures 4.5 inches by 2.25 inches, so you're probably not going to confuse it with your shaving blades.
You can preorder yours from GadgetsandGear.com for $9.99; they're expected to arrive in March. Booze and friends sold separately.… Read more
Microsoft is targeting a host of improvements for SkyDrive, potentially giving iCloud and similar services some healthy competition.
The next version, dubbed SkyDrive Wave 5, could lead the way, with several features revealed by blogging site LiveSide.net.
Tipped off about "new features that are said to be coming to SkyDrive soon," the site detailed such items as support for the OpenDocument format and the ability to store and manage BitLocker recovery keys on SkyDrive.
A new URL-shortening service will provide links to your shared files, while you'll be able to share those files directly with your … Read more
Love 'em or hate 'em, Facebook's timeline apps seem to be here to stay.
"As media organizations build new timeline apps, initial results show significant increases in traffic and engagement, while allowing media sites to reach new--often younger--demographics," Facebook Director of Media Partnerships Justin Osofsky said in a statement.
The new apps include Buzzfeed, CBS Local: Los Angeles and New York, CMT, The Daily Show, GetGlue, Huffington Post, Mashable, MSNBC.… Read more
After less than a month in the wild, Open Graph is already a huge source of traffic and engagement for Facebook Timeline apps.
Facebook revealed last fall that it would be expanding its lexicon beyond the "like" with Open Graph, which helps third-party publishers link their content with the social network and allows users to see what friends are doing on other sites and join in. Although it's only been a few weeks since additional verbs like eating, buying, and listening to began appearing in earnest, the social network is pleased with the early results.
Facebook today … Read more
Forget the flowers this Valentine's Day. Go for a lightsaber-lit dinner, the open-source iNecklace, and the flirtatious Fingle app. Bridget Carey shows off tech to woo the nerd of your dreams.… Read more
The dominance of Apple and Google mobile browsers is leading to a situation that's even worse for Web programming than the former dominance of Internet Explorer, a standards group leader warned today.
Daniel Glazman, co-chairman of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) group overseeing the formatting and effects standard called Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), said that programmers are overlooking other browsers when they use newer CSS features--even when those other browsers support the features.
The result is that those other browsers--Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera, chiefly--might have to essentially masquerade themselves as other browsers. When that happens, the "… Read more
There's been some chatter lately about Amazon opening its own stores out in the non-cyber world. Yes, we're talking physical, brick-and-mortar stores, the kind people can actually walk into.
This is all speculation, of course, but Jason Calacanis got the ball rolling with a post late last year entitled "Rumor: Amazon Retail Stores Coming & Predatory Pricing Channel Destruction."
That was followed last week by a story in The New York Times Bits blog speculating (and citing that Calacanis story) that Amazon might just very well be exploring opening physical stores.
"For years, there has been speculation that Amazon will open its own outlets, presumably to sell Amazon-label products," David Streitfeld wrote. "The idea seems far-fetched, but before 2001 so was the idea of Apple operating its own stores." … Read more
You have a high-resolution wide-screen LCD monitor, good video card (or cards), and HD sources, yet you're using Windows to display images? Or maybe you've had to flip through huge batches of image files and wished there was an easier way. There is, in the form of Fullscreen Photo Viewer. This simple, free tool is optimized for displaying high-resolution images in full-screen mode. With keyboard, mouse, and command line options, it lets you move quickly through batches of images with minimal effort.
Fullscreen Photo Viewer opened with a black screen with basic instructions displayed DOS-style in the upper-left … Read more
Looking for a truly open-source tablet? A new Linux-based slate may just be it.
Dubbed the Spark, this tablet doesn't have the latest and greatest hardware--it comes with a 1GHz ARM processor with 512MB of memory and 4GB of internal storage. However, it includes an SD card slot, a capacitive, multitouch display, and Wi-Fi. And at $265, it won't break the bank if you decide to go the open-source route.
Its main draw will be the KDE Plasma Active user interface that's preloaded on top of its Linux roots (apparently it runs on Mer, a fork of … Read more