The cult of Evernote?

On March 28, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Mooney28Geraldine

You’ve heard of cult movies. Cult bands, too. But did you ever hear of a business app that had its own cult following? Now you have, owing to a recent story by BloombergBusinessweek. The story details the remarkable popularity of Evernote, a five-year-old organization and note-taking app which has swiftly developed its own cult of ardent users. These users aren’t shy about praising the application to the uninitiated. And Evernote’s ceo isn’t boasting when he says he’d one day like his organization app to boast more than 1 billion followers.


How popular is Evernote? Evernote reports that it has 50 million users around the globe. The company also states that it is adding 100,000 users every day, a rather remarkable figure. And this is only the start. The BloombergBusinessweek story quotes Evernote chief executive officer Phil Libin as saying that he’d like to reach 1 billion users.

Why so hot?

Why so much admiration for what is, essentially, a simple note-taking application? The true secret might be in the way Evernote allows us to organize ever more busy lives. With Evernote, users can enter a note, image, Web page, video or audio recording into one column, save it in a notebook in another and search for it in a third. And fans of Evernote praise the app’s search function. It even allows you to search for words embedded in images. With this simple set-up, then, it’s an easy task to search for upcoming meetings, phone calls, anniversaries and your son’s cello recital.

The secret

In the story, Libin says that he doesn’t understand the concept of work/life balance. For home, work is part of life, and something that he enjoys doing. It’s why he admits to checking e-mail messages late into the evening. Evernote takes advantage of this changing view of the world, one embraced by not just Libin. A growing number of consumers work on the fly, scheduling meetings and interviews around the clock. An organizing program like Evernote is a great fit for this lifestyle. Which might just reveal why the app has become so popular so quickly.


Why one tech writer switched to Android

On March 28, 2013, in Uncategorized, by hpzjtp3

Are you like technology writer Andy Ihnatko? The writer never imagined he would dump his iPhone. As he writes in a newly released column for the Tech Hive Web site, he obtained his first iPhone when Apple was launching its first-generation versions. And has raved about the devices in his tech writing. Yet that didn’t stop Ihnatko from switching recently to a Samsung Galaxy S III. The reason? The Android operating system that powers the phone. In Ihnatko’s opinion, this operating system has grown to be more efficient, powerful and intuitive in comparison to the system powering iPhones, iOS.

The big switch

So why did Ihnatko make the switch? For the same reason that many other former iPhone users did: He simply thinks that Android’s operating system outperforms that of the iPhone’s. Or in other words, Android phones make it easier to surf the Web, post messages on Facebook, watch movies and find directions to the newest Thai restaurant in town.

The power of Android

Ihnatko is so pleased with Android phones that he’s willing to surrender the unlimited data plan from AT&T that was included with his iPhone, a plan he obtained by becoming one of the first buyers of the first-generation iPhone. For a writer like Ihnatko, who is constantly Tweeting, checking e-mail and watching videos on his smartphone, giving up an unlimited data plan is a big deal. And it signifies a big motivation on his part to move to Android phones.

What makes it better?

So, what makes Android better, as stated by Ihnatko? First, Android phones come with better keyboards, he writes. This is very important for anyone who answers several e-mail messages and sends out several Tweets every day. Plus there is screen size. Ihnatko states that the screen on his iPhone now seems tiny in comparison to the screen on the Samsung Galaxy S III. In today’s mobile world — when we spend a lot of time watching video and accessing the Web through our smartphones, that larger screen means a lot.


E-mail etiquette for a busy world

On March 21, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Jacobad2sk

E-mail can be overwhelming. It clogs up our inboxes and slows us down. Sometimes, we pound out replies as fast as possible to clear out our inboxes, giving little thought to whatever we are actually writing. This really is ill-fated. There is a certain etiquette that we ought to follow when sending e-mails. If we forget to mind our social manners, we might end up disparaging or confusing the recipients of our e-mail missives. Here, then, is a quick look at some e-mail etiquette essentials.

Brevity might be off-putting

When a person receives an e-mail message that simply says “yes” or, worse, “no,” they may ponder whether you’re a lttle bit ticked at them. After all, that is a very short reply. When sending e-mail messages, be sure to include a little more meat to make your recipients feel better. Instead of just answering “yes,” you could start to add a, “Thanks for asking” or a “Hope you’re doing well today.” That can make a big difference. If your message is brief simply because you’re typing it on a smartphone or tablet, make a special e-mail signature that conveys to recipients that this is the reason for your brevity.

Always reply

When your inbox is clogged, it’s very easy to let some messages languish without a response. You’re simply short on time. But not answering an e-mail message from a co-worker, friend or family member is awfully rude. Even if you can’t yet address the specific question in an e-mail message, make sure you send back a quick reply explaining that you’re overwhelmed with other tasks but will get to the request as quickly as possible.

Take your time

Even the most careful of typists make some mistakes when they write e-mail messages too quickly. And no recipient wants to receive an e-mail message full of misspellings, incorrect words and typos. Slow down when crafting your message. It’s an indication of politeness to take the time to make a clear, concise message.

Keep your voice down

PR firm Ragan advises that you keep in mind your basic offline manners when composing e-mail messages. This means including those magic words within your messages, “please” and “thank you.” All too often, in the rush of writing and sending e-mails, we neglect these niceties. Ragan also warns against shouting in your e-mail messages. To those who don’t know, “shouting” means typing in all capital letters. This looks extremely annoying on the computer screen.


You need to research Einstein’s life for a school paper. You must check out the history of your company’s biggest competitor. The Internet is there for you. After all, the internet is loaded with just about every stat, study and research paper that you’ll require to learn more about any subject imaginable. But how do you know that the information you are finding online is actually true? Online research is convenient, having said that the Internet is also full of half-truths and outright lies. Fortunately, the Lifehacker Web site has come up with a couple of effective tips for doing accurate research online.

Watch for your bias

No one is free of bias. We all have our own strong beliefs. These views, though, can alter our online research. For this reason, Lifehacker recommends that researchers first understand their own biases before performing online research. For instance, if you believe that life starts at conception, you may not be willing to acknowledge studies or opinion pieces taking the opposite side. This can ruin your online research before you even start. Make sure, then, to take what Lifehacker calls your confirmation bias into consideration before you begin scanning the Internet for your research.

Bad information

The most common trap for online researchers, though, is bad information. The Internet is stuffed with a lot of improperly cited articles and half-baked research, says Lifehacker. Depending on these articles for your research can provide you with extremely inaccurate information. It’s best to rely on articles from respected sources, whether that be medical journals, government studies or college reports.

Specialized online research

Google, Bing and Yahoo! are fine search engines for the very beginning stages of your research. However, if you want to get in-depth, you’ll need to use more specialized search engines. Fortunately, there are several to choose from. Try such engines as PLOS, Scirus, Google Scholar or The U.S. Library of Congress. You may be amazed at the information that’s available.


Is the U.S. government making the Web more dangerous?

On March 13, 2013, in Uncategorized, by StuppChernoff399

Is the United States making a more dangerous Web? That’s the theory depicted in a recent story by the MIT Technology Review. The story details the history of Stuxnet. You might remember this piece of malware as it made big news in 2010 when it was discovered. These days, the consensus is that Stuxnet was created by the governments of the United States and Israel to attack the industrial equipment needed to run Iran’s budding nuclear program. As the Technology Review story states, Stuxnet may be the first well-known demonstration of a new form of warfare, one in which countries use malware along with other computer viruses to attack the computer and security systems of other nations. And the United States might just be the leader in this method of virtual warfare.

A more dangerous Internet?

According to the Technology Review story, investigators are continually uncovering new malware that, like Stuxnet, has one goal: to act as a weapon. How many malware weapons have governments around the world created? Nobody knows the answer to that. But the story does report that governments and companies, including in the United States, are paying big dollars to computer professionals who develop these malware weapons. That leaves a significant question left unanswered: Are these new malware weapons making the Internet an even more hazardous place?

A mobile attack?

Even more chilling? Smartphones and tablets are far from safe from this type of government-created malware. It’s undeniable that consumers are leaving desktop computers and latching onto smartphones, tablets as well as other mobile-computing devices. As this trend gains momentum, governments are focusing their efforts on the mobile market. The Technology Review story says that exploits that target mobile software are prized because manufacturers so rarely send updates to their mobile operating systems. As a result these systems are especially vulnerable to malware attacks.

An old story?

The Technology Review story ends on a somber note. Maybe, it suggests, these malware weapons are not so unusual. Countries across the globe routinely create new weapons. Malware exploits might be the latest version of an arms race. Unfortunately, consumers could be caught in the crossfire of a Web that’s suddenly become infinitely more dangerous.