Category Archives: Productivity

ifttt

If This Then That: How To Automate Your Web

There’s a cool new web application that you may want to check out. It’s called “If This Then That”, and it lets you connect your social media and web application accounts and create “triggers” that will automatically do things for you. The possibilities are endless, you can basically do anything with this tool. Like, for example: You can set up an auto-response when you get a new follower on Twitter. You can automatically email yourself when the weather forecast says it’s going to rain. And you can automatically move files between different services including DropBox, YouTube, and Photo sharing services…



It’s kind of hard to explain, it’s probably best to just try it yourself. The website is http://ifttt.com. Have fun! And feel free to ask me questions in the comments if you need help figuring it out.

User-configurable Keyboard Shortcuts

Concept: A System that allows web surfers to configure their own Keyboard Shortcuts for web applications.

Probably a firefox extension or chrome plugin, but also a web directory where visitors can install greasemonkey scripts that will add keyboard shortcut functionality to various apps. The full add-on will be promoted to be able to notify you of configuration change possibilities and specific website productivity tips, all based on the current URL in view. Users will be able to change/add/remove keyboard shortcuts for every URL.

Challenges:
– compatibility
– change monitoring
– conflict resolution

Listen to RSS Feeds by Phone with Jott

Jott just released a new feature, allowing you to subscribe to RSS feeds with their service, and then listen to them by calling a toll-free number. If you’re not familiar with Jott already, they provide a speech-recognition service to save text notes for yourself, and also integrates with other sites, like allowing you to post converted text to Twitter for example. So, this text-to-speech feature is an interesting addition that somehow makes the service seem more complete.

I haven’t really figured out what RSS feeds I would prefer to listen to a robot reading… however I’m sure I’ll find a use for it. Now if only Jott Feeds would integrate with Google Reader and you could listen to your Google Reader news, and then Jott would mark those items as read. That could be really awesome in the car.

Link

Dictation Software

I’m considering using MacSpeech Dictate for blogging. However I can’t decide yet whether using dictation software is more liberating or more constricting in the writing process. So far I feel I have a limited vocabulary, and the dates it and the dictation software can’t pick up on my implicit punctuation. However the software is otherwise quite fast, and generally highly accurate.

The next thing that I would like to see, is MacSpeech Dictate implemented on the iPhone. A dictation application on the iPhone would be really awesome. However, I wonder about the accuracy of the built-in microphone. Although I imagine a Bluetooth headset, along with noise reduction technology, could be a solution.

Seeking Better Mobile Solution

So, I love my iPhone. There are some things that it can’t do that I really really want.

  1. 3G Data Speeds… EDGE is too damn slow.
  2. Video Broadcasting … no app exists, and it would be too slow anyway.
  3. GPS. Location-based notifications among other things, also broadcasting my location. Also, tracking my whereabouts for posterity.
  4. Ability to act as WiFi hotspot. I want to share that 3G speed to my laptop… or to yours, wherever we go.

These things -might- get updated this summer with the next iPhone, but I doubt we’ll see video broadcasting or real GPS. And frankly, I don’t really want to buy another iPhone. And I also don’t want to wait that long.

So I’m thinking about getting a Nokia N95, or something comparable. There are applications to do all of the aforementioned things. And, I could still use my iPhone to browse the web over the WiFi connection the Nokia creates. One cool thing is that I can just pop the SIM card out of my iPhone and into the Nokia, keeping the same phone number… and my unlimited data plan from AT&T includes 3G already so it won’t cost me any more per month.

The only thing is, I don’t know if it will work the way I want, or if I’ll be happy with the phone itself. Know of a better solution?