Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Ensellify has market data for eBay sellers

For more than 20 years, I've been selling things on eBay with a sales approach that could best be described as "winging it." If I had something to move - maybe a used phone or some other tech gear - I wrote it up a posted it. 

Then one of my customers told me I should time auctions to end on weekends because that's when potential buyers are more likely to be browsing for bargains. 

Now I've found Ensellify, an eBay-focused market research tool. It offers more tips and data to help sellers their approach and treat their eBay store more like the business that it is. 

For example, Ensellify helps eBay sellers identify popular products and discover opportunities in markets where demand is high but supply is low. Listings for watches, it seems, get more traction  in period just before Valentine's Day. 

The service also assists sellers with competitor research in a specific product niche. It provides data on product pricing and it suggest keywords to use in a listing title to help boost a listing's visibility. 

Ensellify is a subscription service with pricing that ranges from $15 for one month to $70 for six months. 

To get a closer look at the service, visit the Ensellify website.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Face maker tricks out Android watches

I have two adult children who both thumb their noses at Apple products in general and the Apple Watch in particular. They are all in with Android phones and Android watches.

One big reason why they favor Android is Andros give them much more control over their devices than the other guys. They especially like to personalize their watch faces.

That’s why I told them about Live The Times. It’s a development house that offers more than 30 faces for watches that run Wear OS. And a lot of them are pretty slick.

The Courser face caught my attention. It offers multiple complications such as moving bezels and an analog and digital stopwatch. , and custom complications. The bezels rotate and work with the analog hands to add functionality. 

The Executive Gold Earth shows some serious style and the Cyber Red Tech tells time down to the second, for someone who wants to make every second on this planet count.

The most popular face in the collection is the Flames watch face. It has a detailed fire animation and complications such as weather updates and heart rate sensor support.

Live The Times faces support a variety of Android watches including models mad by LG, Asus and Fossil along with fashion brands such as Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade and Emporio Armani. To see the full collection, visit the Live The Times website and companion store on Google Play

Monday, October 5, 2020

Eco village practices sustainability

We’ve all heard talk about creating communities built on the principles of environmental management, renewable energy and a reduced ecological footprint. But I’ve run across an organization called Eco Futures that plans to be put that eco-friendly philosophy to work.

The group's goal is to create "eco-village" on a track of land near Strathaven, Scotland. Like a similar village that is growing near Findhorn, Scotland, the new residents of the new community will share a common goal of becoming “socially, culturally, economically and ecologically sustainable.” 

The town will have the things you would look for in a modern agrarian village: bountiful gardens, orchards, organic food production and a bee-keeping operation.

But planners say it will also use a newer generation of renewable  technology to create a sustainable village for the future. 

Eco Futures says it intends to use intends to use SUDS ponds to collect rainwater, solar, wind and hydro power to generate electricity for its residents and underground heat sources to generate heat from the earth.

Small wastewater treatment plants will use “living machines,” tanks that contain bacteria, algae, micro-organisms, snails, fish and other living creatures to treat the water.

More information about Eco Futures and its Eco Village can be found on FacebookLinkedIn and MeetUp.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

CloudCat helps gamers build to win

If you're a gamer, CloudCat says “We understand what you are struggling with.” 

You love playing mobile strategy games like Clash of Clans or AFK Arena. But you don’t have time to do all the grinding background work like farming, building or adding to your meager stockpile of gold. 

It's a dilemma that CloudCat calls the vicious P2W cycle: 

Only way to win is to cough up your hard-earned cash. You need tons of gold and elixir just no way of getting it. So if you want to build up your village quickly you need to pay for resources, and that sure ain't cheap.

You may be a player who wants to get to the good stuff quickly but your life requires that you devote time to other things, like maybe work, studying or sleeping.

That's where CloudCat wants to help. It's a mobile game helper service that takes over much of the grunt work that online multiplayer games often require. Think of it as a robot that will plow your simulated farm fields while you're asleep.

The service is completely cloud-based, so there's nothing to install or configure on your gaming device. CloudCat is designed to be used on any device that has a browser - a mobile phone, a tablet or a desktop computer.

Cloud Cat currently supports Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and AFK Arena. The company says it plans to support more games and it invites players to make suggestions through CloudCat's social media accounts.

To get a closer look at the service, visit the CloudCat website where you can watch an introductory video. CloudCat is also on Facebook.    

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Catching up with digital nomad Steve Roberts

For Throwback Thursday I exhumed a couple of Courier-Journal columns that I wrote about Louisville native and professional nomad Steven K. Roberts. 

I first met Steve in 1988 when he came through Louisville to promote his book Computing Across America. 

The book chronicled his 1983 coast-to-coast trip on a recumbent bike he had outfitted with a Radio Shack Model 100 computer and a CB radio. With a simple keyboard built into the handlebars, Roberts was able to pedal the bike while writing email on CompuServe and composing articles for computer magazines. 

When Roberts stopped in, he still had his "Winnebiko," but this time he was traveling in relative luxury aboard a converted school bus that he parked behind my house for a couple of weeks before he headed west. 

For a couple of years, I was his base camp. I paid his bills, collected his paper mail and helped him sell his articles and his book. I still have my copy of CAA but I should have held on to a case or two of those books. You can buy one on Amazon but a used copy costs more than $50. 

Roberts sort of settled on the West Coast where he spent years outfitting a succession of boats, each one more crammed with an expanding collection of gadgets. The last was Datawake, a 1974 Vic Franck Delta 50, more of a yacht than a boat. Since 2016, he lived aboard his floating lab in the San Juan Islands between Seattle and Vancouver. 

But now his website reports that Roberts has moved onshore and is making the Datawake "available for remote workers, digital nomads, or northwest voyagers." 

If you want to book the Datawake for a trip to Alaska or just keep up with Steve and his never-ending projects, visit his Microship website or @nomadness on Twitter. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

App supports workplace misconduct probes

In the wake of the MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements we've heard lots of promises to do better. Businesses, schools and government agencies are saying they want to do a better job of collecting and responding to misconduct complaints such as sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

Some have have even given employees a mobile app that makes filing complains faster, easier and more confidential. The app is called Telli and it was created by Triangle Investigations, a group of lawyers and investigators that specializes in misconduct investigations.

Triangle's founder is Kia Roberts who was a former assistant district attorney in New York and the NFL's first Director of Investigations. At he NFL, it was her job to examine allegations of violations of the league's Personal Conduct Policy. Situations involving sexual harassment, workplace violence and criminal conduct landed on her desk.

The Telli app is available to Triangle's clients to distribute to their employees. Triangle promises to contact a reporting party within 24 hours after a submission is received through the app. Within 72 hours, Triangle provides the client with a framework showing how the investigation will be conducted. 

The Triangle website says the agency "conducts timely, sensitive, comprehensive investigations into allegations of misconduct. Triangle provides a conclusion of findings to the party who made the initial report and also to key organization stakeholders."

In addition to the the misconduct reporting app, Triangle also offers investigations under a long-term contract or on a case-by-case basis. It also provides employee training and human resources consulting service.

For pricing and more details about the Telli app, visit the Triangle website and follow @triangleinv on Twitter.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Done app helps build or break habits

 I remember when the first fitness wrist bands hit the market. Their instant popularity showed that people wanted to know how many steps they took in a day or how much distance they covered in their daily runs.

But even more attractive was their ability to collect and chart the wearer’s progress. Now they could clearly see that they were running farther than they did on an average day two months ago, or that they tended to ease up on Mondays. The charts and graphs helped them keep their focus on their goal.

That same idea is put to work in an Apple app called Done hat can help people reach goals that go beyond physical fitness.

With Done you can track any habit that you repeat on a regular basis. Let’s say you want to drink more water every day. You create a new habit that you might call Hydrate and maybe set a goal of drinking 12 cups a day.  

As you log your daily drinks, Done builds a record of you progress and generates on-demand reports that show how well - or how poorly - you are doing.

And it’s those report cards that really provides an incentive. There’s something about seeing your streak portrayed on a calendar or a chart that reinforces your determination. You get pumped up seeing proof that you really did go to the gym six days in a row. The app can also be used to help break bad habits, like smoking or drinking.

Users can group habits into custom categories, set multiple reminders for each habit, assign color codes and enter notes about each habit. And the app works with the Apple Watch, Siri and Apple’s HealthKit.

The basic version can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store. A Premium version with additional features is also available. For more details, visit the Done App website or follow @treebetty on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Zencca serves CA cannabis shoppers

Among the many advantages of online shopping is the ability to easily get detailed product information and reviews written by actual users. These days we buy almost nothing without checking the fine print and user opinions.

Now there's a website  that provides a similar level of service for people shopping for legal cannabis products in California.

Zencca offers photos and profiles of more than 1,000 cannabis products. Each profile includes a description of the product including its CBD content. Those who have tried cannabis-infused pretzels, for example, can give it a star rating and also rate its effects (was it euphoric? Did it stimulate creativity?) and its physical impact (did it affect your head, body or both?).

The profile page also has a map showing the location of stores that stock the product. Almost all of the stores mapped on Zencca are in Southern California. The site is labelled as a Beta version, so coverage of other area might be in its future.

Visitors who register on the site can also get a Cannabis Profile Assessment that will suggest products that fit your lifestyle and interests. Zencca's privacy statement says the company will not sell or share your information.

The assessment starts with a series of questions about how you spend your time. Do you prefer outdoor activities or do you prefer reading or similar pursuits? Do you use cannabis for health reasons or for artistic stimulation? Would you rather go out on the town socializing or relax at home? What's your potency tolerance level? Do you prefer edibles and other discreet products?

The system will assign you a profile type (I'm a Spartan) and begin displaying products keyed to your profile. Zencca suggested that I might like lemon-flavored cookies, a rub for body pains and a bud described as having "a sweet, heavy aroma that will relax the user with its tasty flavor profile and uplifting effects."

All good suggestions, in my opinion. Unfortunately, I live quite far away from the stores in LA, Escondido and Palm Springs that stock those lemon cookies.

To get a closer look at the site and get your own cannabis profile, check out he video below and visit the Zencca website.

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