Cool Odds & Ends: OnSwipe, Free FB Page Tool, Desktop Cloud Drive

I have a few cool tools to share that have little in common except the useful factor. Rather than clutter the feed with multiple posts, I thought I would report on them all in one spot. My involvement with them ranges from “in the process of using”, “about to try” or simply “just interested in the application.”

The first, OnSwipe, I began using yesterday. While I am still working out some bugs with it, it holds a great deal of promise for Web publishers in this tablet-crazy age. OnSwipe is a plug-in available automatically to all WordPress.com users and by choice to all self-hosted WordPress users to give your blog that iPad-esque, Flipboard-y, Pulse-able sort of look. It takes full advantage of the swiping gestures available to touch screen users and even uses some slick animation on the front page of your blog, which is generally composed of whatever image you have loaded in your latest post. It offers accelerometer aware content (vertical or horizontal positioning), a cool dedicated homescreen icon for your blog, the ability to use a selected loading screen, integrated WordPress comments and built-in sharing tools. My issue is digging past the second page of most recent posts – I can’t scroll to earlier posts or bring a single post to full-screen. But I am working on it by turning off various plug-ins that might be in conflict. I think it is worth the effort – the end result on your iPad, or any other touchscreen device, is fabulous.

The second came to me via email in response to my Facebook Business Pages for Dummies post a few weeks back from developer Wilco de Kriej, an affiliate marketer in the Netherlands looking for a free way to improve the experience of creating Facebook Pages in the new iFrames format. As Studio readers may recall, I used my WordPress blog editor to create code to embed in the iFrames application. Doable, but somewhat unwieldy and definitely limited. Mr. de Kriej has created a WordPress template that you can use to create an iFrame friendly page, complete with fan-gate (fan only and non-fan only content). He calls it WP4FB, (WordPress for Facebook, perhaps?) and you can download it yourself for free and/or watch his demo here. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I am going to give it a shot because, well, I am just that way.

Finally, if you have managed to get yourself past the Vader-ian terms of service for the new Amazon Cloud Drive, you might want to check out this cool hack from the fine peeps at Make Use Of – a desktop tool to easily access and work with the heretofore web-only Cloud Drive interface.  Hit the jump above for the complete instructions, but for the reader’s digest version, it involves using an application called Gladinet Cloud Desktop, a longstanding cloud-storage access application. It handles more than just Cloud Drive, but is especially useful for Cloud Drive, which doesn’t have a companion desktop application. Easy set up and very cool result.

Nice little basket of toys for your web-and-desktop pleasure. Hey, who said there was no such thing as the Easter Bunny?

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More Free On-Line Space – Amazon Cloud Drive

Further to last week’s cloud management and storage post, I just happened on this deal this morning. You can 5GB of cloud storage for free from none other than Amazon via their brand new Cloud Drive. While it appears intended for use with Amazon’s music downloads (and uploads), it appears able to store all sorts of media. Purchases of MP-3’s from Amazon’s store are stored for free and don’t count against your 5GB space. You can buy additional space for reasonable change – essentially $1 per GB per year. Get your tunes in the cloud for free and a little extra storage space to boot. Beating Apple and Google to the cloud music-punch, with a freebie on the side. Nicely done, Amazon.

Kindle Threatens to Become Lawyer’s Swiss Army Knife

Image representing Amazon Kindle as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

It’s coming, I know it. I called it a year ago. Who wouldn’t rather have their entire library with automatic updates on a roughly 8 by 5 by 1/2″ tablet? The Wall Street Journal ran this article on Friday by Jeffrey Trachtenberg announcing that Practicing Law Institute (“PLI”) is making its law books available on the Kindle. The discounts off hard copy are not as steep for the PLI’s offerings as for other Amazon titles, but they should measure around 20%. The article quotes a VP from a market research firm on why law-on-Kindle makes sense:

“[t]here are a lot of practical reasons to believe that the digital market may well be more profitable for publishers of legal, medical and educational texts,” said Andrew Frank, a vice president at market-research firm Gartner Inc. “Since these texts are reference material, the ability to index them and set up bookmarks, which you can do easily with the Kindle, will save time and money for users.”

With all due respect, Mr. Frank, no duh! The article goes on to explain why the marriage makes sense: easy updates;  the ability to delete old information; portability; search; and, quick links to footnotes

Well over half of PLI’s 90-book catalog are now available. If all goes well, other legal publishers will follow suit and soon you will have a library in your hands that rivals the one at your law school.

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Kindle Threatens to Become Lawyer's Swiss Army Knife

Image representing Amazon Kindle as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

It’s coming, I know it. I called it a year ago. Who wouldn’t rather have their entire library with automatic updates on a roughly 8 by 5 by 1/2″ tablet? The Wall Street Journal ran this article on Friday by Jeffrey Trachtenberg announcing that Practicing Law Institute (“PLI”) is making its law books available on the Kindle. The discounts off hard copy are not as steep for the PLI’s offerings as for other Amazon titles, but they should measure around 20%. The article quotes a VP from a market research firm on why law-on-Kindle makes sense:

“[t]here are a lot of practical reasons to believe that the digital market may well be more profitable for publishers of legal, medical and educational texts,” said Andrew Frank, a vice president at market-research firm Gartner Inc. “Since these texts are reference material, the ability to index them and set up bookmarks, which you can do easily with the Kindle, will save time and money for users.”

With all due respect, Mr. Frank, no duh! The article goes on to explain why the marriage makes sense: easy updates;  the ability to delete old information; portability; search; and, quick links to footnotes

Well over half of PLI’s 90-book catalog are now available. If all goes well, other legal publishers will follow suit and soon you will have a library in your hands that rivals the one at your law school.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Advocate’s Studio – Live & Kicking On Your Kindle

Advocate's Studio MastheadThe Advocate is very pleased to announce that you lucky Kindle owners can now get your favorite law, research, writing and technology blog on your Kindle for easy reading on the go.  As of yesterday, Amazon opened up its Kindle blog catalog to publishers large and small. Follow the link to Ben Parr’s Mashable article for more information. Signing up to install the blog on their directory was simple: all it required of me was to set up an account with a tax id number and make some simple formating choices. Amazon does the rest and has told me that the Studio will be available within 42 – 78 hours for download to your Kindle.

Convenience does come with a small price tag. I am not sure what the Studio will cost to purchase from Amazon, but I figure it cannot be too much since the big name blogs will be going for between .99 cents and $1.99. Personally, my preference would be to make Advocate’s Studio on the Kindle available for my favorite number: free. Unfortunately that is up to Amazon and not me. As with iPhone apps, however, I am never bothered by a small fee for the convenience these portable tools offer and hopefully, Kindle owners won’t balk at the price either.

I also signed up my art blog, Star Toe Studio, so that both sides of my brain will be available for viewing by Kindle users far and wide.

I don’t have the URL’s at which the blogs will be made available yet, but I will update this post when they are live.

Happy reading!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Advocate's Studio – Live & Kicking On Your Kindle

Advocate's Studio MastheadThe Advocate is very pleased to announce that you lucky Kindle owners can now get your favorite law, research, writing and technology blog on your Kindle for easy reading on the go.  As of yesterday, Amazon opened up its Kindle blog catalog to publishers large and small. Follow the link to Ben Parr’s Mashable article for more information. Signing up to install the blog on their directory was simple: all it required of me was to set up an account with a tax id number and make some simple formating choices. Amazon does the rest and has told me that the Studio will be available within 42 – 78 hours for download to your Kindle.

Convenience does come with a small price tag. I am not sure what the Studio will cost to purchase from Amazon, but I figure it cannot be too much since the big name blogs will be going for between .99 cents and $1.99. Personally, my preference would be to make Advocate’s Studio on the Kindle available for my favorite number: free. Unfortunately that is up to Amazon and not me. As with iPhone apps, however, I am never bothered by a small fee for the convenience these portable tools offer and hopefully, Kindle owners won’t balk at the price either.

I also signed up my art blog, Star Toe Studio, so that both sides of my brain will be available for viewing by Kindle users far and wide.

I don’t have the URL’s at which the blogs will be made available yet, but I will update this post when they are live.

Happy reading!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]