Cue, Formerly Greplin, Gets Smarter

Readers here may recall me extolling the virtues of Greplin, the app that lets you search across social networks and emails in your cloud to find that needle in the haystack you thought you remember seeing sometime long ago. Well, Greplin has morphed into Cue and has gotten a bit smarter and more agile. The basic premise remains the same – you can organize your information across accounts so you can pull that information and actually use it. But now Cue will actually index your information and combine snippets that appear to be connected, resulting in an almost semantic collection of related data that makes sense. So, if you are searching for a meeting you know you scheduled for a month from now, Cue will not just give you the meeting information in your calendar, it will give you contact information for attendees and emails pertaining to the meeting. Pretty cool.

Cue also has added support for your iOS calendars, and allows you to set which calendars will show up in your Cue. Cue indexes information from Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, iPhone Calendars, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, iCloud Mail, Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for free. Premium, costing $50 a year or $5 monthly, adds Evernote, Salesforce, Yammer, Basecamp, Reddit, Pinboard, Delicious, Tumblr and Google Reader accounts. That is a whole lot of information.

If you haven’t tried Cue, I suggest you do – more than once it has been able to find a lost email or post whose location  I couldn’t quite remember. It’s nice to have the mental backup. Works on your iDevice or the web. Check it out.

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Archiving The Web Via PDFs and Dropbox

Hi, my name is Martha and I am a data hoarder. No really. I love to clip and save and organize the cool stuff I find on the web. Perhaps it comes from my professional background as a researcher – you never know when you are going to need that great bit of information in the future.

I also am a fan of PDFs and I love to work with them on my iPad. My favorite PDF app is iAnnotate, but there are other great ones, like the venerable GoodReader which has been around about as long as the iPad has. I also love Dropbox, the web storage / syncing / sharing application that is pretty much everywhere these days.

So, when MacStories published this great hack, I was all ears. Imagine using a web bookmarklet to save a webpage or URL as a PDF and store in your Dropbox so you can edit and sync across devices and access from anywhere? Federico Viticci has a great means of doing just that using the Instapaper Text Bookmarklet, available on the Instapaper web site (scroll down to the bottom of the page) and a command line Mac HTML converter called wkpdf.  Sure, its geeky. But it works great. Mac only, though, so sorry all you Windows users.

Hit the link above for the very explicit details. Viticci offers a couple of ways of getting the job done, but the end result is stored PDFs of sites with active links and images, with the crap stripped out for easy reading. I particularly like the option to use IFTTT by sending a Mail message with the URL, which then appends the body of the message to a text file. Takes a little bit of tweaking and a few apps to set the system up, but once it is up and going, you will be an automated URL / HTML to PDF machine! Thanks Federico!

Apple UDID Breach & You

So maybe you have heard about the Great Unique Device ID breach of 2012 – a hacker group has claimed that it has pulled 12 million device IDs and personal information associated with Apple iDevice users. Scary stuff. The info was grabbed from the laptop of an FBI agent using that Java exploit that was in the news earlier this year. Double Yow.

Alone, the UDID – that 40 character string associated with your device -presents little risk. When coupled with other data, there are heightened risks of identity theft and social engineering.

You can check your status, to an extent, by entering your UDID into a tool provided by LastPass that will compare it to the leaked list. To get the ID, plug your device into your computer, open iTunes, and click on the device in the left bar.  Click on the serial number and the UDID will appear. Then navigate to the LastPass tool here. This will check your ID against the 1 million that were leaked by the hackers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t check the remaining 11 million not yet disclosed.

There isn’t a fix for a leaked ID short of a brand new phone. All you can do is monitor your credit for unusual activity. And hope for the best.