If you've never used CCleaner or a similar tool before, then chances are your computer is running slowly, displays errors every so often, and has much less free space than you'd expect (for those of you who just got your computers recently, that's cheating). CCleaner is a tool for Windows that can remove clutter from your PC, such as temporary Internet files and cookies. The problem is, you have to remember to run the cleaner regularly to really benefit from it. If this sounds like a problem for you, just follow these eleven steps to automate the … Read more
Being able to automate tasks is a very convenient option when using computer systems, which is one of the reasons why Apple included its Automator tool in OS X that can various scriptable tasks within applications and therefore do things like organize files and contacts, create documents with specific items in them, and manage calendar events.
While Automator and other scripting options like shell scripting or AppleScript are convenient, they are missing the triggering tool that will run them. Apple supplies its Apple Events options where you can have the system run a script when a folder's contents are … Read more
Conventional fluorescent tube light fixtures officially need to die now that a Japanese company has announced a Wi-Fi-equipped LED fluorescent tube lamp replacement worthy of being on a spaceship.
The 40W LED light panel from NetLED is networkable to the cloud, allowing users to dim the lights to various intervals of brightness (and wattage) from a computer, smartphone, RFID-enabled device, or motion/light sensors. An iOS app for NetLED is already available, and according to AV Watch, an Android version is in the pipeline as well.
As with any other technology way ahead of its time, there's a rather large cost involved with NetLED's fixtures. Each individual main tube costs 19,800 yen ($257), but the main tube can drive up to three secondary lights, which cost 14,000 yen ($182). Then you need the primary NetLED server, which sets you back another 60,000 yen ($781) and supports up to 100 lights.
Marketo, a marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) company, has raised $50 million in a new round of funding, the company said today.
Marketo provides several marketing-automation services designed for businesses of all sizes. One of the key facets of the company's services is to facilitate interactions between its customers and their own clients through its CRM solutions.
The financing round was led by Battery Ventures. The company's existing investors--Institutional Venture Partners, InterWest Partners, Mayfield Fund, and Storm Ventures--also participated in the round. The cash infusion has brought Marketo's total funding to $107 million since the … Read more
Could a computer replace this era's crop of clownish sportscasters like Dick Vitale or Lee Corso? We can dream--while a Swiss company works on software that could create artificial intelligence systems to call sporting events.
Computer researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland are working on a system that can track multiple athletes on a football field, a basketball court, or a soccer pitch via multiple cameras and advanced scanning algorithms. These days, computers can track human athletes, racing cars, and other sporting elements via GPS. But that's illegal in many sports as the introduction of such technology threatens to overpower the human element of athletics. The EPFL technology uses visual cues instead. … Read more
While the OS X Finder handles files and folders similarly to how they're handled in Windows, there are some nuances to which Windows users may be accustomed that are different or missing on Mac systems. For instance, the ability to cut and paste files is missing in OS X 10.6 and earlier, but while Apple added this function in Lion, its implementation is still a bit different and requires different keystrokes than the Windows Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V combination.
Another Windows feature you won't find in OS X is the Windows Explorer "Send To" option for … Read more
We often repeat ourselves when working or playing with our computers. Maybe I want to start my media player when I close my BitTorrent client, or maybe I want to shut down my computer once I exit Word. It'd be nice to automate at least some of that repetition, and Windows users have a neat, free option to do just that. When Then is a lightweight, free app that acts kind of like a PC-based IfThisThenThat, letting you direct and automate Windows processes to make life easier going forward. Here's how to use it:Download and install When Then. … Read more
I'm a sucker for automation. I'm the perfect storm of impatience, laziness, and sausage fingers, so anything that can save me a step or two qualifies as a must. In fact, there are plenty of things I'd never do if they weren't taken care of in the background (like posting links to my blog entries on FB). IfThisThenThat, which recently opened its doors to the world, wants to streamline our online lives and make it easier to integrate multiple services. In a way, it's like very simple programming using the easy-to-remember format "if this … Read more
Can the merciless resolve of a robot overlord help you shed pounds? A Hong Kong startup is hoping dieters are willing to pony up for a $960 droid instead of just using an app.
The 15-inch talking droid has an LCD touch screen. Users enter data on calories they consume and the exercise they do each day. The robot responds with customized advice and encouragement, and can download new speech patterns from the Internet so the chatter doesn't get too dull.
Developer Cory Kidd says that many dieters have tried phone- or Web-based apps to get rid of excess weight, but there's a "psychological difference" in using a machine with a head, blinking eyes, and body.
Perhaps Autom's face-tracking function and big blue eyes will make users feel guilty about sneaking that pizza slice between meals. Kidd refers to Autom with female pronouns, and says "she" doesn't scold users.
A study by Kidd compared 45 dieters in the Boston area and monitored their calories and exercise by computer, on paper, or with Autom. The results showed the robot helped people stick to their diets for nearly twice as long as the other tracking methods. … Read more
A couple months back I told you about Mr. PhoneTree, an iOS-only app that can automatically call every person in a group and play a recorded message--a huge time-saver for anyone who manages, say, a soccer team or social group.
Although the app came with 25 call credits to get you started, you had to purchase credit bundles after that. If you're looking for a cheaper solution and have minimal automated-call needs, check out DialMyCalls for Android and DialMyCalls for iOS.
The app is buggy and confusing in places, and much more limited than Mr. PhoneTree, but it does have one ace up its sleeve: it allows you one free phone blast per week (up to 30 seconds long and to as many as 25 people).
DialMyCalls comes from the Web-based service of the same name, but obviously it's far more convenient to set up and launch an automated call on your smartphone. The process is fairly straightforward--record your message, choose the recipients, then send the message--but the app suffers from numerous annoying quirks.
For starters, I couldn't create a new account on my iPhone; for some reason the app rejected my Gmail address as "invalid." Fortunately, I was able to set up an account on DialMyCalls.com, then sign into it on my phone. But the app requires your password every time you run it, with no option to remember it.… Read more