Monday, September 14, 2009

New Asus E-Reader- Folds Like a Book

Computer maker Asus, known for its line of Eee PC netbooks, is working on an e-book reader that will have two touchscreens and when laid open will resemble a hardcover book.
Asus showed a prototype of the device at the CeBIT trade show in March. But now additional details have trickled out.
An Asus representative confirmed to the company will probably show the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Asus’ e-reader will likely have color touchscreens, a speaker, a webcam and a microphone, along with the capability to make inexpensive Skype calls. Despite all those features, Britain’s Sunday Times reports, somewhat unbelievably, that it may be priced lower than its competitors from Sony and Kindle.
The e-reader market is one of the hottest consumer product categories this year. Just the last few months have seen a slew of new product announcements. After introducing Kindle 2, the updated version of its e-reader, Amazon launched a broadsheet reading device called the Kindle DX. Last month Sony introduced a $400 wireless e-reader with a 7-inch screen and cut the price on its older models to offer the cheapest e-book reader in the market. Meanwhile, two other companies — iRex and Plastic Logic — plan to offer new large-screen readers later this year or early next year.
But all e-readers, available and planned, are black and white. Asus’ product will likely be the first to offer a color screen. The move, coupled with unexpected features such as speakers and mic, is the only way the company can stand out in a crowded market.
With dual screens, the new Eee e-reader could give readers a user experience similar to paper books. The device could also offer readers the option of using the second screen to browse a web page.  The best part about the device, though, would be the price tag, says the Times report. The cheapest version of the Asus Eee reader could lost about £100, equivalent to $165.
While Asus has a well-deserved reputation for making extremely inexpensive computers, that price may be too low for even it to match, given the promised feature set.
For Asus, getting this mix of features and price right is essential if it has to make a dent in the e-reader market at this stage.

Promote & Publicize Your Latest Blog Post With An Email Signature

If you are a blogger like me or even if you happen to like a blog post by another hand, using your email signature could be the easiest way to spread the word. There’s no promotion like self promotion. Quite logically, wouldn’t we like our first readers to be the ones we touch base with through emails? It should be the easiest job in the world to enlist their help to promote your blog. In the ‘Digg’ and boost world of the WWW, grabbing a few eyeballs is what counts. Think of the humble email signature as a no cost viral way to publicize your blog.
Adding a link to your latest blog post not only spreads the good word but also spices up your signature.  If you write about something specific, then a blog post signature link adds to your ‘brand’. In today’s ever changing world, an active signature could be like those 30 second filler adverts which play in staccato sequence. They grab our attention because they keep changing.
All it takes for a little bit of PR are these two ways and of course the habit of writing regular and relevant blog posts.


BlogSigs attaches the link to your latest blog post in your email signature. This utility with a simple function works with a number of email clients like Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and Entourage.
Additionally, there’s also a Firefox add-on available which makes it the right fit when we send mails using the browser. The Firefox add-on, though free, comes with a BlogSigs promotion link in all emails. Purchasing a BlogSigs Registration Key removes the BlogSigs promotion link (note: the add-on is still not compatible with Firefox 3.5.2).
To get back to the Windows version, here’s how it runs from the system tray.
  1. BlogSigs can be setup using the single configurable window.

  1. On the first run, BlogSigs detects the signatures saved for your Outlook accounts. If not, create a signature from the Outlook Menu path – Tools – Options – Mail Format – Signatures.
  2. In the BlogSigs options window, choose the accounts you want to use BlogSigs for.
  3. Specify the RSS feed of the blog you want to use. BlogSigs pulls the latest post from the RSS link and sends the headline as a part of the signature.
  4. Append an optional stylized text before the blog post. Set the update in days, hours or minutes for BlogSigs to update the link.
The little app worked well notwithstanding a few errors. BlogSigs is a 646KB download and compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Mac OS X.

WiseStamp Email Signature

This Firefox add-on nearly came head of the class in the brief review I did last year in my post on 5 Ways To Create Custom Multiple Signatures In Gmail. Just to refresh, WiseStamp lets you setup rich personalized signatures using a simple WYSIWYG Editor. The app supports Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL and Hotmail.
If you have come over from my earlier post, WiseStamp has added a few new features since then. Automatically sharing of blog posts is what caught my eye.
WiseStamp’s Feed tab allows us to easily include our favorite personalized feed and it automatically updates in our email signatures. Now we can share not only our latest blog posts but also bookmarks, videos, pictures, events and much more. This is a excellent way to promote your blog.
  • Download and install the WiseStamp add-on.
  • Access it from the browser’s Tools menu or right click on the little WiseStamp icon near the bottom right of the browser (Right Click – Edit signature).

  • Design your signature in the WYSIWYG editor.
  • Click on the RSS tab, enter a Feed title and the Feed URL. WiseStamp automatically validates the URL and OK’s it.
  • You can preview the signature before clicking on Apply and OK.
  • Open your email account to compose a new email. Right click on the little icon located on the formatting toolbar or the one at the bottom of the browser window to choose a signature (i.e. if you have more than one). The signature gets automatically inserted with the latest blog post.

Download the WiseStamp Firefox add-on for rich email signatures.
Familiarity may not breed contempt but it certainly lays the grounds for boredom. In a medium where it takes seconds to go from reading a mail to consigning it to the trash, an interesting link attached to the signature might just make someone pause. Who knows, following that link may make someone’s day a lot better.
There are of course many, many innovative ways to promote your blog post. Using your email signature to showcase your latest blog post is comparatively a modest one.

Free Ebooks-That don't suck!

If you’re a fervent reader and nerd like I am, you’ve probably encountered quite a lot of writing online. However, most of them are either absolute garbage or entirely illegal.
It’s hard to find good, legal reads online – unless you know where to look. There are several sites that offer classic out-of-copyright writing, or publishes new e-books online as promotions.
If you know where to look, you can feast on these completely free Ebooks for all the time you’ve got, and today is the day we’ll show you where to look.

Planet eBook

Planet eBook is a classy site that offers classic literature for free. These books, because they’re out-of-copyright, can be offered to you in an entirely legal fashion.

However, Planet eBook doesn’t just give you any piece of ‘free literature’. Right now, they offer about 60 books to their readers, all of which have been carefully selected. True, you won’t have the buffet of thousands that you’ll find on other sites, but you can be assured that each and every piece of writing on Planet eBook is of outstanding quality.
Furthermore, if you feel like a book is ‘missing’ from it’s collection, you put it up as a suggestion.
All books on Planet eBook can be read on the site, but can also be downloaded as a PDF, both in a 1-page and 2-page version.


ManyBooks works in the same way as Planet eBook, they offer pieces of classic literature for free that are out-of-copyright. However, where Planet eBook presents a carefully selected array of literature, ManyBooks handles in bulk (as the name truthfully implies).

At the time of writing, there are 24,741 completely free eBooks available and although it might be true that not all of them will read your socks off, I’m sure you can find some good reads in the better part of them. To select a book, you can browse by author, title, category or language, or you can browse through the site’s recommendations.
Not only does the site offer an amazing number of books, it does so in an incredible number of formats. Although you might not be able to read it directly on the site, you can check out one of the mirrors or choose between a dazzling 25 different filetypes to read it on your desktop, mobile, or eBook device.

Classic Reader

Classic Reader takes a conceptual place in between Planet eBook and ManyBooks. It offers noticably more books than Planet eBook (3,629 titles at the time of writing), its material is still more selected (by a 1-man Canadian company) and controlled.

Perhaps the major distinction with the two previously mentioned sites is that there are no eBooks available for download. Alas no PDFs, ZIPs, or anythings — the eBooks are all meant to read online, on the site.
You can browse the author or title list, or filter content out by looking into a specific genre: fiction, non-fiction, young readers, poetry, short stories, drama or classical.


Contrary to the three previously mentioned sites, PublicBookshelf is NOT filled with works of classic literature. Instead, PublicBookshelf relies completely on new, promising authors who publish online as a means of promoting their printed books. As such, you won’t be able to download the books, but will often find an Amazon link to support the author (who – with the books on this site – is often still alive).

PublicBookshelf – focusing entirely on romance novels – is a great site to sample the writing if you’re looking for something fresh, but it’s also a great site if you’re looking for a good read. Check out their top novels for reading directions, or venture off into the depths of the site and discover treasures of writing yourself.
I hope you’ve got 4 fresh bookmarks for completely free ebooks that will be able to satisfy the literacy-vampire that’s inside of you.  If they are not enough, check out where to get more romance e-books, 6 more e-book sites, where and how to read comic e-books, and how to make your own e-books from Wikipedia.
If you know of any other sites or have something to say about the ones discussed above, head for the comments section below.

10 Tips to Safeguard Your Facebook Privacy :D

Facebook statistics show that it has 250 million active users each with an average 120 friends. More than 1 billion photos are uploaded every month by its users, over 70% of whom use applications like games and quizzes in Facebook. Unfortunately, most users don’t know the implications of entering personal information, making friends, and playing games on Facebook.
This guide will show what you can (and cannot) do to safeguard your Facebook privacy.

1. Organize Friends in Lists

What do you do when your boss, mother-in-law, or a casual web acquaintance sends you a friend request on Facebook? Use Friend Lists. Friend Lists are the foundation of your Facebook privacy settings. Select Friends from the top menu, and use the Create link to create friend lists like Co-workers, Family, College Friends, etc. Your friends can’t see your lists, so you can name them whatever you like.

Tip: On your left sidebar, all your friend lists may not show up by default. Click More to see all of them, and drag and drop those you want above the separator.

2. Customize Profile Privacy

Click Settings > Privacy Settings > Profile. Select which parts of your profile will be seen by whom

If you choose Customize in the drop down, you can be more specific. This is where the Friend Lists you created before become really useful.

Also go to the Contact Information tab and choose how you want your contact information to be shared on the Internet.

3. Set Facebook Privacy Level of Photo Albums

On the Photos tab of your profile page, click Album Privacy. Here again, you can use your Friend Lists to set the privacy for each photo album.

Note that your profile pictures go into a special album that is always visible to ALL your friends.

4. Restrict Search Visibility

Click Privacy > Search to set your visibility when someone searches Facebook for people. This is an important way to safeguard your Facebook privacy.  You can also select what will be visible in the search results.

5. Control Automatic Wall Posts and News Feed Updates

Your actions in Facebook such as comments, likes, appear as highlights on ALL your friends’ home pages. You cannot use friend lists here, only turn them on or off.

Go to Privacy > News Feed and Wall and choose whether you want your boss or ex-girlfriend to know that you’re in a relationship.

6. Set Facebook Wall Privacy

Go to your profile page, click Options > Settings under the status box.
Here you can control whether your friends can post to your Wall, and who can see the posts made by your friends.

7. Avoid Appearing in Advertisements

Facebook has two types of advertisements: third-party and Facebook. Third-party advertisements are currently not allowed to use your pictures, but there is a setting to disallow it if it is allowed in the future.

Go to Privacy > News Feed and Wall > Facebook Ads tab to turn this off.

The Facebook ads shown to your friends are about ‘social actions’ like becoming a fan of something. You can turn this off at the bottom of the page.

8. Protect Yourself from Friends’ Applications

Go to Privacy > Applications, and click the Settings tab and uncheck all the boxes. These settings control what information about you is visible to applications installed by your friends. By default, these are set to visible. This means that your religious, sexual, and political preferences, pictures, etc. are readily available to one of the million worldwide Facebook application developers, each time any of your friends takes a quiz, plays a game, or runs any other Facebook app. This is obviously a Facebook privacy issue.

This is the most commonly misunderstood aspect of Facebook privacy. These settings control what applications installed by your friends can see about you, even if you don’t install the application yourself.
Why is this important? Because these settings will not change anything about what you are sharing with the applications you install yourself. For that, go to the next step.

9. Privacy from Your Applications

There is no way to control what applications see about you; it is an all-or-nothing affair. Take this quiz developed by the American Civil Liberties Union to check what anonymous application developers can know about you and your friends each time you take a quiz.
The Burton Group’s Identity Blog features the Facebook Privacy Mirror, an application that you can use to find out what applications know about you and your friends. If you really want to see exactly what profile data of each of your friends is visible to application developers, Privacy Mirror shows it in detail.
The only thing you can do is to authorize only those applications you require and trust. Go to Settings > Application Settings from the top menu. Change the drop-down from Recently Used to Authorized. Here you can see all the applications you have authorized to get access to ALL your profile information. Remove the ones you no longer need.

Also check the list of applications Allowed to Post and Granted Additional Permissions to remove unwanted ones.

10. Quitting Facebook? Delete, Don’t Just De-Activate Your Account

You can easily deactivate your account in Facebook from the Settings page. But deactivation will retain all your profile information within Facebook, including pictures, friends, etc. If you want to permanently delete your Facebook account, click here to submit a deletion request. Note that:
  1. There is an unspecified delay between submitting your delete request and actual deletion.
  2. If you login to Facebook, your deletion request is automatically cancelled.
  3. There doesn’t seem to be any way to confirm that your request was completed.
  4. Even after permanent deletion, Facebook says that copies of your photos may remain on their servers for technical reasons.
Also, note that once in a while, there is news of a Facebook hack or leak that can expose your information on the Internet. It is better to be safe than sorry by avoiding using Facebook for anything that may embarrass you.
I hope this article gives you a better understanding and insight into Facebook’s fragile privacy. Have any questions or concerns? Liked the post? Please tell us in the comments!