Tag Archives: Tools

Skype 4.0 is out!

I am a huge fan of Skype and have been for a very long time, since Skype version 2.0 to be exact 🙂

Oprah uses Skype almost every other week since she started using it on her show last year.

Skype 4.0 for windows is out, with a lot of enhancements:
First, you will notice the “Windows Vista” skin to give you the look and feel of a light application.
The software is lighter, they have even removed the Skype Extra manager from running in the background like it used to before.

The new look is 100% redesigned to get you everything you need in one screen, whether standard or compact, you still get an entire view of options in one shot, very cool.

Voice and video enhanced to crystal clear and video calls are still in the same window of the person you’re calling.

Juggling between people and conversation is never easier, they kind of copied the multi-chat window idea from digsby!

One thing Skype is still missing, is the automatic update, I got a notification from my iSkoot app on my phone, but never got it on my computer, so unless you are reading the Skype blog or have iSkoot installed on your Android phone, how should people know that there is a new and improved Skype?

Also as a sneaky addition, eBay (The owner of Skype) is pushing a new FireFox plugin during the installation of the new Skype, the new plugin will dedict items on shopping websites that are available on eBay and will highlight it and compare the pricing on eBay. It’s useful for shoppers that really don’t know how to shop! For me, I uninstalled it soon after I tried it.

The new version will take some get used to time for native Skypees, but it’s worth it, I have been playing with it for 2 days now and I am loving it 🙂
You can download the new Skype here.

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Use Digsby and change your life!

Note: 3 Hours of video/audio classes on digsby are available for free on Wahol.com

Ever since I have moved from using Trillian messenger into using digsby, my online life has changed.
To make it simple: Digsby is a universal IM and email application, in other words, you can use your existing IM account (Yahoo IM, AOL’s AIM, Google talk, MSN/Live, ICQ, Jabber or even facebook chat) and use it all within one easy (And light waight) window, and here is the best part: You can use multible accounts from the same providor at the same time. For example: You have 2 Yahoo accounts, one for personal use and one for your business, you can use both accounts at the same time and be logged into both instead of logging off one account to log in to the new one.

You can even open multible chats within one chat window, kinda like tab browsing in Firefox. Cool!

Another cool feature is that it will allow you to combine multible buddies if one person have more than one account (For example: one account on Yahoo IM and a Google talk account) you can combine them both to appear as one.

Not satisfied!

There are 2 more great features:

1. You get email notifications from your Gmail, MSN/Hotmail/Live, Yahoo mail, AOL email, IMAP and pop accounts. And you can reply directly from digsby!

2. (And that’s my favorite featuere) Social networking: Stay connected without having to go to your browser on facebook, myspace, twitter or linkedIn.

Digsby will keep you updated with your friends new status on facebook, or your naighbor’s mood change on myspace or your replies on twitter, and of course you can update your twitter status from digsby or @ reply to someone, or directly open your friends wall page on facebook.

Oh, besides the fact that I appear online on facebook almost 24/7 (when I am actually only on digsby), Digsby is truly universal, you will create one account on digsby during your first install, then if you travel or change computers, all you have to do is to sign in your digsby account and all the rest of your accounts that’s stored from before will load and log in automaticaly.

There are many other feature that you can find here. Or you can Join Wahol.com for free and learn even more by video and audio.

Digsby developers are always updating the software with new features, I have personally requested to add an RSS reader feature through their feedback requests, I also requested to have it as an Android mobile app so I can use it on my phone, there is also digsby for facebook application that is already published and ready for you to download in your facebook account.

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Now accepting money via Twitter (TwitPay)!

The idea is very simple: Tweet the following:

@GuruOfSales twitpay $5 for green earth cause

And I will get $5 from you in the form of an Amazon gift card (That I might use for the Green Earth group).

That’s it!

This is how simple it is.

More details?

OK, so you don’t have to send me money right now (Although I will take it to start the group) 🙂

I think that this is  great idea and a great business model, it’s simple and easy.
The way it works, is that you send someone a tweet (Twitter update) like the example above, you can send anywhere between $0.01 and $50.00.
Twitpay will keep track of your messages (Promises) and will send the recipient an amazon gift card every time they have reach just $10 in their twitpay account.
You can keep your promise or cancel it. it’s up to you.
Other ways to spend your twitpay money is to twitpay a charity or to twitpay (The company). However you need to remember that they will charge you a flat $0.05 for any payment that’s over $0.99

How do you check your twitpay account?

Just go to http://twitpay.me/yourtwittername (Replace ‘yourtwittername’ with your twitter name!) and you will see how much money you have or owe!

For more on twitpay you can visit the service here or read the FAQ here.
Please note: At the time of writing this, twitpay is stil under beta, they are still looking into more ways to integrate their payment systems. Please becarful if you’re sending money to any one. except if you’re sending it to me ;-p

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Be in the know! It’s you own health!

This is a guest post by: Rick Jones
Rik Jones is a self-described Technology Evangelist who’s writings can be experienced on his blog at www.surching4me.com

This post explain (in-depth) the idea by Google Health (Read more here) and how it will help you to stay in the know of your health conditions.

During the recent U.S. Presidential Race there were several recurring issues that were hot topics on the plate of every candidate. At the forefront was the issue of health care in the United States. Debates raged around the issues of privatization over national health care, insurance and pharmaceutical costs to an already struggling system.

There are some however, who are not waiting for politics to provide the solutions. This group is looking to reduce the costs of health care one challenge at a time. More importantly by providing all of us the methods to take back our health from an industry that seems in complete disarray. In this arena anything is possible.

One of the key elements highlighted in the incoming President, Barack Obama’s health care plan is to focus on modernizing the U.S. Health Care System to lower costs & improve quality of care. The idea is simple; Health information technology investment aimed at reducing unnecessary spending that results from preventable errors and inefficient paper billing systems. In his administration’s plan, they are predicting that this will contribute in cutting the typical family’s heal care costs by $2,500 (US).
This term “modernization of health care” is not solely part of his heath care policy, but also it is documented in his Administration’s Technology policy paper. This is exciting news for the Technologist. One area of focus is that of migrating the management of medical information from a paper-based process model to that of an electrical one. This could prove to be a boom in many areas of Technology and as with any surge in a new technology field, getting in early is key.

Historically, pharmacies have been the public’s exposure to controlling their medical services. In reality, this was nothing more than acting as a messenger for the physician by delivering a paper prescription to a pharmacy then picking up their prescription. The evolution commenced with the expansion of pharmacy services as more and more traditionally retail stores opened their own pharmacies. Now these traditional pharmacies are fighting back by going electronic. First by establishing networks across their pharmacies providing a convenience of picking up prescriptions from any one of their stores.

CVS has recently raised the bar and positioned themselves inline with the incoming Administration’s goal of moving towards the electronic management of medical information.

CVS now allows the patient to manage their prescriptions on-line to include access to historical prescriptions which could be made readily accessible for the patient to provide to their physicians. On top of this, additional services have been made available to include information for the patient on Diet & Nutrition, basic Medical information and the ability to look up medication in their Drug Information Center.

If you haven’t noticed by now a trend is emerging. A trend that started with the likes of WebMD.
Actually treating individuals with respect and providing information to them to allow each person to take responsibility for their own Health Care. CVS and others are now taking this from the simple WebMD Informational approach to that of actual practical usage. At the end of the day in any instance it all revolves around the management of Health Care data.

What might appear to be an interesting retail battle shaping up for your personal health care management needs might actually be nothing more than a marketing exercise for a much larger player. One that has years of experience in the management of information and data. That 800 pound gorilla in the room also known as Google.

Currently

running in BETA, Google has introduced Google Health. According to the website, Google Health claims to put you in charge of puts you in charge of your health information. safely, secure, and free!

Not limiting themselves to simply providing an individual with the ability to manage prescription information, they have created the Google Health Advisory Council with membership spanning the Medical Industry, Government and Retail industries to focus on the difficulties individuals and health care providers face everyday with the current limitations in operating in today’s medical environment.

Google is also reaching out, looking for partners to assist in developing the means for individuals to access not simply prescription information but all medical records for management in one location. Giving the individual a power that continues to elude the medical industry to this day.

Naturally, the two most protective areas of anyone’s life are: finances and medical information. Google Health is an undertaking that would have never made it this far without an extensive set of policies designed to address the protection of this sensitive information. It is far too extensive to go through here so if you are interested in understanding how your information will be protected you can review Google Health’s Privacy and Policy page.

But wait…. There’s more!

It is one thing to have all of your medical information conveniently located in one place. But another to actually do something with that data. Information is only truly as valuable as the functions you can perform with it. This is where it begins to get “Fun.” Through APIs and security Google offers the opportunity for 3rd party services to interact with your profile information. As a test and for example, I created a profile with the fitness site LIVESTRONG.COM. From this site I can manage meals, workouts and track almost anything I choose on a daily basis in the day-to-day active lifestyle I am attempting to develop. At the same time they also offer a convenient iPhone application which I can use to track meals when out and about, not to mention actual workout information in real-time. Yes, more information relating to my personal health.

It is at this point where you gain the benefit through linking the information in LIVESTRONG with that of Google Health to again give you a centralized set of data to provide you with more control of your own health.

At the end of the day, that is what it is all about. Taking back control of our lives. For far too long we have all relied on the medical industry to tell us what we should do, what medication we need to take (despite the rumored kick-backs some physicians get for pimping products.) More importantly, we as responsible individuals need to become more informed on general health issues so that we may be able to focus on preventative medicine rather than become victims of an expensive health care system that appears more focused on operating as a business than as providers of a valuable service to humanity.

It is refreshing to know that this issue is
finally getting the attention it deserves and my hopes are that the efforts of CVS and Google spawn a new era in a healthier society.

For more on Google Health, read more here.
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Introducing Google Health


Still under beta at the time of writing this article, coming from Google Labs, a new approach by Google to help the public with their medical history. The way I think about it is that this new tool will help you take back control of your life.

How?
By providing more than just medical history management tool for you.

You will get many options as soon as you sign in with your Google account (with a very strict privacy policy):

1. Store and manage all your health information in one place. And it’s completely free.

2. Start tracking a medical history and learn about your conditions.

3. You can import your medical records.

4. View your history.

5. Find out how medications might interact (Which is very useful) as Google Health will automatically check any interactions may happen between your drugs, allergies and stored conditions. Then provide you with tips, all in one place.

6. Make your health information work for you.

Refill prescriptions online, ask for a second opinion, or get personalized health information based on your profile.

7. Search for doctors and hospitals. integration with Google Maps and info is seamless from within Google Health (My personal favorite option in this tool).

You can sign up (Or sign in) for a Google Health account by going to the Google Health Homepage.

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Own a mini Facebook using Google’s Friend Connect


It is as simple as it sounds, with Google friend connect you will be able to insert little gadgets that will turn your blog or site into a mini Facebook or a Myspace!
Still in beta, but has a lot of social gadgets, Google’s Friend Connect is the result of a greater project that Google started a while back called OpenSocial.
Without the geek talk, a very good example will be Facebook. Think of your Facebook’s profile as your own blog or site and the facebook add-on applications is (instead) your Google Friend Connect gadget.
You choose your social gadget, copy the code then paste it into blog or website and your done, now your blog’s readers can sign from within Google Friend Connect and interact just like any social network.


Now your site is more social than ever, your visitors can sign into Friend Connect using their Google ID, Yahoo ID, Twitter ID, or their OpenID. Pretty easy and slick is the feeling they will get.

Still worried about the coding and geek stuff? Worry no more, at Wahol.com there will be an entire video class (Still for free) about Friend connect as part Wahol’s setting up your Online life section. (Sign up at Wahol.com)

Or maybe the following image will explain:

Adding Friend connect to your self hosted WordPress blog could make your blog as powerful as Facebook in terms of interacting social readers. (A video on Wahol will also go though how to add it to your blog)

You can visit Google Friend Connect here!

Don’t forget to get the RSS and follow me on Twitter.
Any questions about Friend connect? Ask in the comments below and I will answer 😉

WordPress 2.7 is here!

After playing around for a couple of weeks with the new WordPress 2.7 interface on beta, I am happy that WordPress.org announced the stable version today. (download at: http://wordpress.org/)

Here is what they have mentioned in their release:

The first thing you’ll notice about 2.7 is its new interface. From the top down, they’ve listened to our feedback and thought deeply about the design and the result is a WordPress that’s just plain faster. Nearly every task you do on your blog will take fewer clicks and be faster in 2.7 than it did in a previous version.

Next you’ll begin to notice the new features subtly sprinkled through the new interface: the new dashboard that you can arrange with drag and drop to put the things most important to you on top, QuickPress, comment threading, paging, and the ability to reply to comments from your dashboard, the ability to install any plugin directly from WordPress.org with a single click, and sticky posts.

Digging in further you might notice that every screen is customizable. Let’s say you never care about author on your post listings — just click “Screen Options” and uncheck it and it’s instantly gone from the page. The same for any module on the dashboard or write screen. If your screen is narrow and the menu is taking up too much horizontal room, click the arrow to minimize it to be icon-only, and then go to the write page and drag and drop everything from the right column into the main one, so your posting area is full-screen. (For example I like hiding everything except categories, tags, and publish. I put categories and tags on the right, and publish under the post box.)

For more, check this video in HD:

Update: As of right now, there are 87,441 downloads for WP 2.7!
Now that’s powerful!
Another update:
As of 12/13/08 there are 222,905 downloads. To keep track with the downloads counter go here.
And to read more about the new WordPress, go here.

The Roadmap to become a Blogger

Yaro Starak is at it again, sharing his wealth of information about blogging from A to Z, this time he’s got Gideon Shalwick sharing the creation of their new product release The Roadmap to become a Blogger or for short they called it The Roadmap.

2 Things I can tell you right now:

The 72 pages report is FREE

And

The 10 FREE Become A Blogger Videos are available immediately for you to watch.

I have met Yaro a couple of months ago in New York and scored a video interview with him ( I consider my self very lucky for that). And I can tell you that whatever comes from Yaro in regards of blogging, I consider it gold.

Yaro and Gideon both came up with the report and the idea of the premium training program, but after reading the report throughly, I am impressed with the value of the information in it.

At almost 60,000 views of their videos as I am writing this, credibility is speaking out (or should I say screaming out at 60,000 volts!) and there is nothing more I can say about that.

Click Here to Watch the FREE Blogging Video Tutorials

But wait, when you download the free report and read it, here are the main 3 things you will learn about:

The 5 essential milestones for a successful blog

What the “X-Factor” for successful blogging is and why you’ll fail without it

How to use social media to boost traffic to your blog

My Favorite part as a native blogger myself, was the “X-Factor” I mean really, I learned something new from it.

Don’t waste time and get the free “Roadmap” right now!

I will be keeping you up to date with more info about this, but take your time and read the free report then please take a look on the 10 free videos, they cost nothing to view!

To stay up to date please get the RSS and follow me on Twitter

NOTE: This is in no way affiliated or related to my own school launch on December 15th, I am writing this as I beleive in sharing, and here is my YouTube channel to view my interview with Yaro.

A new YouTube (feature & service)!

This video may help:

After spending hours watching YouTube Live! on Saturday night, and only 48 hours after it was over, I am still browsing some interesting videos and all the sudden I notice 2 things on YouTube:

1. YouTube announce it’s sponsored videos:

YouTube is promoting the Google chrome browser in pretty much every page lately, but just last night I started noticing the new announcement, the YouTube sponsored videos, in other words, AdWords the YouTube way, or Facebook ads, or a new PPC service or you name it..
Which is an extremely smart solution by Google of course.
What’s better than the user paying YouTube to promote their video that’s hosted on… YouTube!
Not only they profit from this program but also the end page will contain “ads by Google” and there is a big chance it would have another AdWords from within the video.
Google made their investment back in no time when they acquired YouTube.
Don’t get me wrong, I am loving the new sponsored program to the fullest, for a minimum budget of $5 a day and as low as 10 cents per click on the video promoted from YouTube’s homepage, this is like a marketer dream come true. And it’s organized, unlike what eBay had for years with their homepage featured upgrade option, which was not calculated and cost way much more for a tiny chance of actually being on the homepage.

Plus, (and like I always said) free is good, free and sponsored is even better, that’s how the big guys been doing it forever, offer a good free service and support it with ads!

That’s how I am doing my Online training school, it is for free, other trainers charges an arm and a leg for membership with a very poor content to provide, on the other hand, lot’s of big companies and friends wondered why would I give out a high value information to people without charging for it? My answer is 3 reasons:

a. Not everything is about money.
b. I love sharing!
c. I am not stupid, I got sponsors (big ones) 😉

And now, my 4th reason is: Just look on what YouTube did and think about 2 things: Great free service, and even greater profit returned!

More about the new starting date (12/15/08) and why will be in a post soon 🙂

2. YouTube now in true widescreen HD:

And I love this one, now I can upload true HD 16:9 videos straight from my camera (the Sony dsc-t500) without having to worry about resizing the video to a 4:3 ratio.

I showed a little on the video above, but there is way much more into having a true widescreen on YouTube, specially that most screens (TV’s, Desktop’s and Laptops) are being manufactured this way nowadays.

I’ll go through more details (the technical stuff) soon once I study the new option thoroughly.

Don’t forget to get the RSS here!

Why do I LOVE Twitter?

twitter

3 Days ago I asked this question on Twitter: Name 1 reason you love Twitter and 1 tool that you use to “Tweet” the most.
Here is my answer:

Here are the first 50 answers (Replies or Direct Messages) from my friends on Twitter:


What is Twitter? Find out here!

Follow me on Twitter here!

Twitter is a personal friendly tool used to network socialize and most importantly staying up to date on what’s going on in the world.

Best answer that made me laugh was @netik answer, we all know that you work there John, so thanks for participating 🙂

All the other answers are great, I received almost 100 replies with only one of them asking if they can say why they hated twitter. Well, as any person would, I was a bit skeptical too when I first started using Twitter. But that’s another story in the making and will be shared with you all soon.

Don’t forget to comment on this post of what you think of the answers and of Twitter in general.

Thank you to everyone that replied or DM’ed me back and if you are looking to learn more about Twitter and beyond, I have just finished a 5 hours session to be included in the free online school starting November 1st, so keep updated and sign up when the doors opens soon 🙂