January 2009 - HighTechDad

January 2009

This week two pieces of software came out that allows you to “Copy & paste” on the iPhone. About time, right? Well, you can get them, only if you have a jailbroken iPhone. The first one to hit the streets is called “Clippy” and the second, released today, is called “hClipboard.” Both essentially do the same thing: allow you to select, copy and paste text to and from different or the same application.


Both Clippy and hClipboard are available via the Cydia downloader on jailbroken iPhones. Clippy comes from the iSpazio repository and hClipboard is from BigBoss & Planet-iPhones repository. But these two applications, while similar in functionality, differ in their implementation of that functionality.


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We all know about the site Digg, right? It is a place “to discover and share content.” Somebody (or you) submits an article or video or news item into the Digg “community” and if people like it, they increase the story’s popularity by clicking on a “Digg button” which increments a counter. The higher the count of people liking it, or “Diggs”, the higher the story rises on the Digg site. Think of it as a popularity contest. So much so, that if the story you submitted reaches astronomical numbers, the more of a chance that you will get on Diggnation, a video podcast hosted by Kevin Rose (co-founder of Digg) and Alex Albrecht (co-host of Diggnation). However, I’m now starting to wonder if Digg has hit its prime and Twitter is now starting to overshadow them. ((Twitter surpasses Digg’s market share))


Getting “Dugg” can do wonders for your site’s exposure and traffic. All of us writers and bloggers do our best to have Digg badges prominently displayed on our sites. I must admit, I have yet to hit that home run that blows my site out of the water (sometimes it isn’t good to get Dugg as it can bring webservers to their knees with huge amounts of traffic). But now that I think back, I realized that I actually used Twitter (@hightechdad) more to try to actually increase my Digg traffic.

Whenever I write a blog article, my blog automatically sends out a post to Twitter (a “Tweet”) informing the Twitterverse that there is new content on my blog. If people express interest or enthusiasm in one of the posts, I try to get them to Digg it…all of this via Twitter (and sometimes via blog comments). Twitter brings a much more social and personal side to the “popularity contest.” (If you are interested in Twitter and what it is, you might want to read my post titled “Using Twitter is like Fishing.”)

Yesterday I installed a WordPress plugin called “TweetSuite” by Dan Zarrella. It is this plugin that really got me thinking more about the Digg vs. Twitter dichotomy. But first, a bit of a side-step. I’m simply using Digg and Twitter as the most well-known sites out there. I could have just as easily chosen Yahoo!’s Buzz vs. Identi.ca or Reddit vs. Plurk. I still haven’t figured out how FriendFeed falls into the mix though. But the comparison is this: Content Aggregation vs. Social Aggregation.

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cookies_group It’s that time of year again, when pre-teen girls (AND THEIR PARENTS) start playing on the good will of friends, family, neighbors and co-workers as they start peddling their tasty and addictive sugary goodness. Yes, all hail the mighty Girl Scout Cookies sales! This time comes as regularly as the tide and it is upon us all again. I should know, our oldest just got her sales packet, set her sales goals and wants me to help her do her sales pitch. This year I told her she was on her own (sort of, I’m still hitting up my coworkers).

Selling Girl Scout Cookies is an important event within a young girls life. If done correctly, it teaches about hard work, money, and how to “close the deal and make the sale.” And let’s all face it, those cookies are really good! Unless of course, you have Milk, Soy, Wheat or Peanut allergies, then these cookies turn deadly.

When we got my daughter’s order form, she excitedly told me about some of the new cookies that were added to the list: Dulce de Leche and Lemon Chalet Cremes. Yum! Then I decided to read the ingredients to see how they might affect my youngest daughter who has peanut allergies. I grabbed the order form and started perusing the ingredients. I was a bit angered with the result.

These days, all labels are required to include allergens that are in the item’s ingredients ((Read about labeling requirements on FDA site)). This allergy alert information typically appears in bold at the end of the list of ingredients. This has become such a helpful addition to the packaging that it is difficult to literally live without it. I wish, for example, we could get these same labels for meals we eat at restaurants or when we go to parties. It would be so nice to allow my youngest to come off “the peanut leash” once and a while. But her allergies are deadly and we can’t control how people that we don’t know prepare their food.

The labels for the Girl Scout Cookies have taken the first step by complying with the labeling standards. They have also added a tiny section in red that says: “All products contain wheat, soy and milk ingredients.” Do-si-dos and Tagalongs contain peanuts. Lemon Chalet Cremes may contain peanuts. Trefoils and Sugar Free Chocolate Chips may contain tree nuts or traces of tree nuts.” Boy, THAT is encouraging. Basically, for my youngest daughter, she cannot enjoy any of these cookies.

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Review: Green Lasers – Fun, Interesting & Somewhat Legal

January 10, 2009

A few months ago, I was approached by a company called TechLasers about doing a review of a green laser product of theirs. Now, I have to admit, I have always thought that lasers ( which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) were incredibly “cool”. Recently they have been made even more […]

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MacRumorsLive Gets HACKED Covering Macworld Expo 2009

January 6, 2009

This is just plain silly. The MacRumorsLive site (http://www.macrumorslive.com) got hacked only about 25 minutes into them covering the keynote. I took a quick screen capture of when the hack first reared its ugly head: After the tasteless insert of “STEVE JOBS JUST DIED” into the live blogging, things just got progressively worse with a […]

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Places to Track the Macworld 2009 Keynote Live

January 6, 2009

Below is a list of places that are tracking the Macworld 2009 Keynote: Engadget – http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/06/live-from-the-macworld-2009-keynote/ Gizmodo – http://live.gizmodo.com/ ArsTechnica – http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20090106-macworld-ars-macworld-2009-keynote-live-on-ars.html (follow updates on Twitter – http://twitter.com/arsmacworld) MacRumors – http://www.macrumorslive.com/ TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) – http://www.tuaw.com/macworld2009/ (follow updates on Twitter – http://twitter.com/tuaw_mwsf09) Macworld – http://www.macworld.com/article/137730/2009/01/expo_live.html?lsrc=top_1 C|net – http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10131491-37.html (note, page will not be […]

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Ongoing Roundup of Macworld 2009 News, Products, Links, etc.

January 5, 2009

I will be at (or currently am at) Macworld 2009 this week. As you can see, they have been waiting for me (GRIN – see picture below).  I’m hoping to visit quite a few vendors and see what new gadgets and technology are being announced. If you are a vendor, please contact me here. I […]

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