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An iPhone app that tracks down the Taliban has been developed by a U.S. soldier — who put $26,000 of his own money into the project.
The idea for a smartphone application to assist soldiers in combat came to Capt. Jonathan J. Springer in a dream last July, he said Monday. The 31-year-old, from Fort Wayne, Ind., has worked with programmers ever since to make the idea a reality. Tactical Nav, which is expected to be available through Appleâ€™s App Store next month, assists soldiers in mapping, plotting and photographing waypoints on a battleground and conveying coordinates to supporting units. Springer used a variety of armored vehicles, remote observation posts and harsh combat conditions to test the accuracy of his invention, which can also be used to direct artillery fire on enemy positions or call in helicopter support. Springer, who serves as a battalion fire support officer in eastern Afghanistan, said most soldiers use smartphones and the app has been designed specifically for them.
Apple launched its 10 billion download countdown for the App Store a week ago when it was at a little over 9.7 billion downloads. For the past week, the counter has been racing ahead at a speed of about 1.8 million downloads a day, eventually reaching its target on Saturday. The winner of Appleâ€™s promotion is Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent, UK. Gail’s fortuitous download of Paper Glider will earn a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card. Thatâ€™s enough money to download another billion apps (provided almost all of them are free).
I have been using the Gtdagenda.com service for quite some time now and love its implementation of the GTD management and productivity approach. Now I can do it even easier while on the go using the new Gtdagenda app for the iPhone/iPod Touch. I can manage my tasks, projects and contexts directly on my iPod touch (don’t have an iPhone yet but its coming to Verizon finally!), and full CLOUD-SYNC with my Gtdagenda account.
With the iPhone app you:
– Create, edit and delete Tasks. Set/unset Next Actions, mark tasks as Done
– Create, edit and delete Projects
– Create, edit and delete Contexts
Here are some screenshots…
“The iTunes App Store is huge. More than 300,000 apps huge. Iâ€™ve watched this monster start from nothing and turn into a billion-dollar industry in only a few short years. Weâ€™ve been approaching this point for some time now, but itâ€™s more apparent than ever that app exposure is of critical importance. A healthy majority of iOS app users discover new applications directly from their device as opposed to using iTunes. If you look specifically at the iPhone, the amount of real estate for discovery is only available to a very small percentage of the total apps.”
“So youâ€™ve just (carefully) torn open the wrapping of a brand new iPad. Youâ€™ve hooked it up to iTunes for its initial sync, but now what? Which apps should you download first? Here are some essentials to get you started.”
“The Smurfs’ Village,” a game for the iPhone and other Apple gadgets, was released a month ago and quickly became the highest-grossing application in the iTunes store. Yet it’s free to download. So where does the money come from? Kelly Rummelhart of Gridley, Calif., has part of the answer. Her 4-year-old son was using her iPad to play the game and racked up $66.88 in charges on her credit card without knowing what he was doing. Rummelhart had no idea that it was possible to buy things â€” buy them with real money â€” inside the game. In this case, her son bought one bushel and 11 buckets of “Smurfberries,” tokens that speed up gameplay.
Here is a list of 10 tools to help manage your digital content. The great things about these products is that they are all free and can be used on multiple OSs and most of them are also on your smart phones.
1. Firefox â€“ Web Browser
2. Evernote â€“ Notes everywhere you are
3. Dropbox â€“ Online file storage
4. Carbonite â€“ Secure, Online Backup for all my files!
5. Logmein â€“ Remote Desktop Software
6. Google Docs â€“ Word Editor, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Drawings and Forms
7. Gmail â€“ Email and Contacts Manager
8. Google Calendar â€“ Calendar
9. Google Reader â€“ Web Based RSS Reader
10. Google Picasa â€“ Online storage for Photos and Videos
If you have read my blog for any amount of time you probably already realize that I am a huge fan of the GTD principles and proccesses. I have used GTDAgenda since it started and highly recommend it! The new Android app has the GTD essentials: The Inbox, the Next Actions, Projects & Contexts, and of course Syncing with the web-app/server. This is the first version of the app, and the Goals and Checklists are not yet included. I have talked with the developer and they plan to add new features based on user feedback. This is the same approach they took with GTDAgenda and it has gotten better with each addition. If you have an Android don’t hesitate to give this a try!
Here are some screenshots of the first version:
Main App Menu
Context Menu, for actions on tasks
New Task/ Editing Task
Login for Sync
Amazon’s New Plan for eBooks: 70% Cut For Publishers, $10 Max Price – “Amazon’s finally got some competitionâ€”and may be about to get even moreâ€”so they’re doing everything they can to stay competitive, and to keep publishers happy. This means higher revenue cuts, but also new rules. Interesting rules. The new system works like this: If they elect to publish under this new program, publishers are entitled to 70% of a books sale price, minus delivery costs, at $0.15/MB. (Amazon says the average book size now is about 368k, which would cost six cents to deliver). This is practically an inversion of their current scheme which saw publishers getting less than half of the book’s sale price, so on the surface this is a very good thing.”
So after coming to the realization that I have a lot of information on my Mac (not that I havenâ€™t thought about it before), and thinking about how although I have multiple backups of my system they all are here with me and not somewhere else. I could encrypt an external hard drive and keep that in my vehicle but thatâ€™s not very practical especially with the weather changes possibly damaging the drive in the long run. I could keep one in a safe deposit box but again not very practical. So I decided to take the 15-day free trial that Carbonite offers. First let me say that you get unlimited space for your backup and each computer requires its own account, which is how they keep the space usage under control. The default settings are to backup your entire â€˜userâ€™ folder on the Mac. On my system that is about 33GB worth of data so I knew the initial backup was going to take some time especially with my insanely slow upload bandwidth with Metrocast Cable (the only broadband option I have except for the expensive satellite which comes with its own set of problems). On a good day I might see 400kbs up. I realized about day 10 that it was going to take more than the 15 days to get all of my data uploaded. That has nothing to do with Carbonite and everything to do with my ISP. This is actually why I felt compelled to sign up for the full year and to give them a good review. It has now been 18 days and my initial backup is almost done. I have logged off, rebooted, and put my system in standby and no matter what happens as soon as the Carbonite software (preference pane) sees a connection it starts to work again in the background pushing my precious data up to their server. I am really impressed with the system.
If you are concerned about security, and everyone that knows me and reads this blog knows that I keep a close eye on computer security concerns and risks, rest assured that Carbonite is also concerned about security. All of the files are encrypted using 448-bit Blowfish encryption. If you would like to get a better understanding of their security processes they have a great blog article here. Hereâ€™s another great bonus â€“ there is a feature that gives users access to your files remotely from any computer. Files can be accessed individually with just an Internet connection. So now when I am on the road or anywhere else I can get to all of my files via my Carbonite username and password.
If you have any additional questions please post them in the comments section. If not then why not give them a try yourself. I definitely recommend their product whether you are using a Mac or a PC.