Monday, August 14, 2017

Android race game puts you in the driver's seat

Browsing around Amazon the other day, I came across a full-sized race car simulator for PC and PS3 driving games. It looked like a pretty sweet deal, but only if you had $3,099 to blow.

I think I can be entertained just as well playing In Car Racing on my Android phone. Sure, it doesn’t have a steering wheel or a gas pedal, but it does deliver a straight-ahead windshield view, which is not very common among handheld racing  games.

The latest version of the game lets you steer by tilting your phone or tablet to the left or right. And you just have to touch the screen to accelerate or hit the brakes.

The game includes a variety of 3D locations including busy city streets, bucolic countrysides and curvy mountain roads. Each location presents a variety of challenges from weaving through congested traffic to overpowering a sports car hogging your lane.

The game delivers coin rewards to drivers who outmaneuver their competition, avoid crashes and perform high-speed stunts.

Other features include dashboard maps, steering wheel mods, night racing and the ability to adjust the rear-view mirror.

And here’s the part that I really like: In Car Racing is a free download in the Google Play Store. I already feel $3,099 richer.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Windows app checks global time, weather and exchange rates

When I was planning our last trip to Europe a few years ago, I spent a lot of time on my computer jumping from one website to another.

I remember getting weather reports for Paris, London and other cities, checking the exchange rates in various countries and trying to calculate the time difference in different areas.

I also remember wondering why someone hadn’t wrapped all those elements into a single application?

Now someone has. It’s called mayago WET and it combines a currency converter, weather forecast and world time clock in one stand-alone desktop app for Windows.

The desktop display can show any number of locations selected from a list of more than 1,500.  The weather feature offers the predicted temperature range, in Fahrenheit or Celsius, along with the current exchange rate and local time.

Users also have the option to view a 5-day forecast, see the historical exchange rates for the past 6 months, and compare local time between any pair of cities.

The display can be customized to give it a personalized look and feel and it will support multiple users on the same computer.

The software is available as a free download at the mayago website. You can add additional features by upgrading to the Pro version.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Service offers CRM from the cloud

Over the past few months, we’ve had several service calls at our home. Those folks used to carry a notebook or clipboard with forms for one of us to sign when their work was done. Now they pull out a mobile phone or tablet.

I’m seeing companies of all sizes using software like CRM Runner, a cloud-based customer management tool that was built specifically for service providers such as plumbers, electricians and installers.

CRM Runner is an affordable platform that offers the same features as most of the expensive platforms. Because it’s based in the cloud, it can work with any device, including computers, tablets or mobile phones.

The program supports full communication between a company’s administration and its field operations. It has a scheduling module that tracks where and when the field operations are scheduled and an SMS module that will notify customers when service techs will arrive and advises the field staff when there is a change of plans.

Other features include sales lead management, customized estimates, inventory management, and supplier tracking. It will also manage contractors and store their certificates and licenses.

CRM Runner costs $15 per month. You can get more information about the service and sign up for a free 15-day trial at the CRM Runner website.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Logojoy lets anyone be a graphic artist

It was about five years ago when I hired a professional artist to design a logo for a new digital service and its website. The process took a couple of weeks and multiple revisions before I got a finished product that made everyone involved reasonably happy. The price was about $400.

That’s how the process worked back then. It was complicated, time-consuming and expensive. And that’s why the next time I need a logo, I plan to use artificial intelligence.

AI is the engine behind Logojoy, an online service that puts graphic creativity in the hands of ordinary people like me.

Here’s how it works: You enter the name of your company or service and Logojoy shows you several examples of fonts, colors and styles. Choose five or more examples that you like, then move to the next step to select a color.

Can’t decide? Logojoy helps the process by displaying attributes that are associated with different colors. Red says power and passion, black communicates elegance and formality, and so on. With each step, you move closer to the design that’s hidden somewhere in your brain. You'll know it when you see it.

Once you've created the design that you want, Logojoy will deliver it in high-resolution digital files and give you full copyright ownership plus access to make changes for $65. If you need some human hand-holding, you can add a one-hour session with a professional designer for an additional $100.

You can try the service for free at the Logojoy website, follow @logojoyapp on Twitter and get a closer look in the video below.

Monday, August 7, 2017

IDM offers faster downloads

In my neighborhood, there’s not many options for broadband Internet service. I can get it from the cable company or the cable company. And if I want speedy service, I’ll be on the hook for a hefty monthly fee.

That’s why I’m investigating other ways to get faster downloads. One is Internet Download Manager, a Windows software program that promises a dramatic increase in in download speeds for transferring large files from the web such as games, music, videos.

The people who created IDM say Internet Download Manager is able to segment downloads and reuse web connections to assist it in achieving rapid download speeds.

The software also offers several other useful features. IDM gives users the ability to resume unfinished downloads and download videos from most popular video websites. It also allows users to schedule downloads and set limits on download rates.

The program costs $24.95 and works will multiple versions of Windows, from XP through Windows 10. It integrates with most popular browsers including Internet Explorer, FireFox, and Google Chrome.

For more details and to download the program, visit the download manager website.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Followadder helps draw Instagram followers

Movie stars and other celebrities don’t have much trouble building a big following for the Instagram feed. But the rest of us could probably use some help.

Followadder is automated software that helps Instagram users build their page and increase their fan following.

The program  will  schedule automated photo posts, apply likes to photos and videos, post comments and create lists of users.

Here’s what The Small Business Blog said about Followadder:

You will save time and increase your exposure, expand your brand, create more engagement, and get more followers and likes by automating those tedious tasks on Instagram.

The program promises to deliver real Instagram followers as users work with it’s dashboard controls and its internal search engine that can tune in to locations, hashtags, and other connection points.

For more details, read the full Followadder review at The Small Business Blog and visit the Followadder website.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Temporary email address can help preserve your privacy

Your email address has become the lingua franca of the digital world. Want to read a story on a news site? Post a comment in a forum? Get a discount coupon? There’s a good chance you’ll be required to register with an email address.

But there is often to requirement that it be your primary address. If you want to avoid the chance that your personal or work address will be added to somebody’s span database, consider getting a temporary email address from a site like Correotemporal.

The website will instantly generate an email address that stays live and viable for 10 minutes. All you have to do is click the bar on the site’s home page that says “Create your temporary disposable e-mail now.”

You can’t miss that bar - it’s almost the only thing on the page. There’s an “About Us” button, but it leads to a placeholder page, so I can’t tell you anything about the people or company behind this service.

But I do know that a temporary email address can be a very useful thing to have when you don’t want or need to share your primary address.

Check out the service for yourself at the Correotemporal website.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Social media channels come together in Simplifi Me

Now that there are several babies in our extended family, everyone has stepped up their picture-posting game. Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn’t share a fresh photo of a cute toddler on their favorite social media channel.

And that’s the problem. Everyone seems to have their own preferred platform. Some are anchored on Facebook while others prefer Twitter or some other outlet. And that makes it difficult for grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles to keep up.

Simplifi Me could be the solution. The Android app lets users manage their social media by following their connections across multiple platforms. The app currently supports posting pictures and videos to Facebook and Twitter simultaneously and it and likes and comments on Facebook. Aggregr8tor, LLC, the app’s developer, says it plans to add more channels in the near future.

With Simplifi Me, users sort all of their social media content by contact. That makes it easy to see what a particular person has posted without having to across through days of tweets or updates. Users can also use the app to share photos or videos to a wider audience.

For a closer look at the app, check out Simplifi Me in the Google Play Store where it’s available to download for free.

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