Category Archives: technobabble

Cozi a warm and friendly family calendar

So, I start work today, yay! This past week I found there was a lot of organizing I needed to do to prepare my home for my new schedule.  I apologize for my absence! I looked at the wall calendar and thought of filling in the pertinent appts for my husband to see. We will now need to share the teacher conference schedule as well as dental appts and school physicals.  I went hunting for a solution and I stumbled upon Cozi.com, not just another calendar. It is a virtual assistant. I created a family profile, set a group password my husband could remember then loaded my chlidren’s school schedules. This part was super easy because you can load the electronic school calendar. That’s right Cozi’s got district schools in it’s system including my children’s small year-round district.  Then I proceeded to load the appointments on our calendar.  Next I downloaded the app to mine and my husband’s iPhone then set the alerts! Best part ever it will text and e-mail reminders to whoever is designated on the appt. So on Friday, two hours before our daughter’s preschool parent conference, my husband’s phone will  text remind him, and he will get an email from Cozi. This may just be my new best friend! You can add the whole family then simplify and only view the events that involve one person.  Did I mention you can set others to read-only so they can’t mess with your beautiful schedule?

Pinterest addiction

There are a lot of unique features of Pinterest  and it’s growing popularity. I found this information graphic on Mashable that adds great clean graphics with an even cleaner explanation off the rapidly growing popularity of the site. One of their greatest aspects is simply the KISS principle. (keep it simple stupid). The clean and simple design makes for extreme ease of use.

Tether is back!

For those of you who don’t remember it’s previous 20 hour debut in the appstore, I forgive you! It was clearly only out for a hot minute. The claim was that the software burdened the data networks But now it’s back.  So for 15 dollars a year your can use iPhone or iPad to provide internet access for your laptop. You need to have a data plan on your iPad to use this feature. Who needs this app? Anyone who has ever traveled with his or her laptop and paid 10 bucks for 30 minutes of internet access! Tether is an application you can install from their website.It is also much cheaper to tether from your phone than paying 30 bucks a month for the mobile hotspot feature now offered for iPhones.

There is a downside, It is device specific. You can tether your one computer to your phone, not multiple devices.

Smugmug exposure lock for iPhone

Ok so I have regular readers who are not professional photographers who want to take better photos with their smartphones. Smugmug is an app that actually give you some options that a professional photographer consider, necessary for making great photos. On my SLR I have an exposure lock button. This button lets my camera meter for one area of a photo while letting me focus on another area. Until now your iPhone metered where you were focused allowing for little control of severe lighting etc.  Smugmug offers a lot of neat features, but as a pro this is my favorite.

Do you Hulu?

I know you are wondering what’s Hulu got to do with business? Let me tell you, a lot. Hulu’s new application  for the Wii console was the white glove challenge to Netflix. Hulu offers streaming TV and Movies and usually in their current season.  This challenges Netflix which only offers TV shows after their season has ended.  The subscription is the same 7.99 offered by Netflix and the offerings are actually a little more pertinent to the business medium. You can find documentaries on both but the financial series options on Hulu actually surprised me.  Shows like “the Business of Innovation”  and “Start-up Junkies”  are worth the fee! The nice feature is you get to try it free for a week and see if it has something that interests you. I’m on my third episode of Start-Up Junkies love it!

Putting glasses on your fisheye lens!

Aahh the love of wide-angle lenses is strong, but the disdain for cone-heads and straight lines that bend is even stronger. PhotoShop CS 5 allows you to correct lens distortion automatically. You no longer need a tilt shift lens to correct building convergence.  This hidden gem tutorial shows you how to correct the distortion, vignetting and coloration variations instantly. Shooting banners and panoramic images just got a lot easier. You can even save and share the presets for your camera and lenses to automatically correct. Love this hidden gem!

Editing video in PhotoShop extended

Ever want to add the same cool filters you add to still photos to an entire video file? You could apply a hand drawn effect to a video clip or liquefy a fan blade in motion you can. Video editing in PhotoShop extended gives you options to tone portions of your videos or entire video the same way you tone your photos. This Adobe.tv episode shows you how.  The best part is this feature has been around since Photoshop CS3 so no need to rush out and upgrade!

Wow, what a reaction! Whitney you’ll be missed!

Whitney Houston dies at 48. So sad really. Twitter is all about the Pop Legend tonight. The social microblog has transformed into a memorial. Tweet links to video’s and memories of the star’s greatest moments. It is unique when technology allows you to share your teen memories with millions of people. The world is virtually closer. I loved Whitney. I wanted to be her growing up. A beautiful voice, stardom and fame and she looked like me. That is something that makes an idol for children. I screamed the greatest love of all into a hairbrush when the video came on MTV, back when they showed videos! I will be anxiously watching the slightly impromptu tribute to the star on the Grammy’s tonight all while watching the Twitter feed. I’m a little sad for my loss, and greatly sad for the loss her daughter is feeling. I know this post is a little off topic for my blog but I can’t help but remember how I used all the technology I had access to tonight to reminisce about the love I shared with many for Whitney Houston.

Taking technology breaks

It is very important for a technology geek like me to take scheduled technology breaks. I know we all talk a good game but how often do you put down your gadgets? Not just for an hour, but for a whole 24-hour period? I’m about to take a really nice technology break. I have planned for it. We are taking a break with our girls. We will spend 24 hours offline and just have fun. I like to do this when we camp in the summer, but I have to be mindful of how Winter hibernation leaves us glued to our computers for recreation. Last Friday I was in the living room on my laptop. My husband was on Facebook on his iPhone. The four-year-old was on the iPad playing a game and the 8-year old was playing hangman on my iPhone. Amongst the dull blue hazy screen glow hypnotizing everyone  in the room, I realized it was time to disconnect for a bit. I navigated to our favorite local water park’s website and checked out the schedule. Thurs-Sunday are the winter hours. I bought tickets for Thursday.

You see  it is my job as the Mom to make sure I limit screen time for the family.  Don’t get me wrong technology is efficient for communication and business, but logging off, is just as important! I can’t teach my children social skills if sitting in a room glued to technology is how we spend our family time. So on Thursday you won’t be able find me for 24 whole hours!  I will be swimming with my girls and reading an actual book and enjoying conversation with my husband. A quick break to recharge our batteries in a world filled with digital stimuli. The best part is I know that my virtual world will be here when I get back, and it won’t have missed me much!

Facebook as a recruiting tool!

While I’m avoiding all the Facebook Pages devoted to the New York Giants, I do frequent brand pages and employment pages, especially when they are liked by my friends. Here is a neat info graphic that might help you justify the practice of Facebook recruiting for HR departments. It is simple and makes a great case for why a brand page should also carry job listings. Sharing a job listing has never been easier.Click to enlarge.