Tag Archives: Reviews

Why Use Go To My PC When You Can Use Live Mesh

On my last vacation, I decided to try Go To My PC as a way to keep on top of my email churn. It is not uncommon for me to have over 1,400 emails on my return from a week’s vacation. I ran www.GoToMyPC.com through its paces and actually liked the product. The problem was I could not rationalize spending $10 a month when I only needed several week’s access a year.

After research, I found that there was a way for me to access my PC at home when I travel that’s free! It’s called Windows Live Mesh. I already used Live Mesh to sync files on my laptop and other computers, but did not realize that Live Mesh also allows me to access my home computer while traveling.

Here’s how you set it up.

  1. Get Windows Live Mesh here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-live/essentials-home?SignedIn=1 You’ll get it as part of the Windows Live Essentials.
  2. Install Live Essentials on your desktop and your laptop.
  3. Following the instructions in Mesh, sync the two computers as you desire. For me, I simply sync one folder and sync my favorites in Internet Explorer.
  4. When you travel turn on remote access which is on the top of the page on the left on the computer you want to access remotely.
  5. When you travel access over the Internet your Live Mesh account and click to access your previously set up computer.

That’s it, you’ll log in as if you are in a remote desktop setting. Have full access to all programs on your home PC. You’ll just need to make sure that your home PC is on, that’s all.

Easy, simple to set up, and best of all it’s free!

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Scribe SEO Plugin Reviewed

I thought I would run the Scribe WordPress plug-in through its paces and let you know my thoughts and if it is worth the monthly subscription fee.

First, I bought the publisher level and paid a discounted fee of $17 a month instead of the regular price of $27 per month. The plug-in touts itself as SEO made easy. You will need to have one of several themes in use or piggyback on the All in One SEO plug-in to use Scribe. For more information you can visit the business’ website. I think that if I had paid $27 a month, I would be very unhappy, but as I only paid $17 a month I am willing to continue through this weekend to test the options.

Once installed, you will see several new fields in the left hand sidebar of your blog: a Scribe Keyword Research Tool where you enter in your potential keywords for your blog post to get suggestions, the Scribe Content Optimizer, and Scribe Link Building tool. From the website, it sounds like this is a great tool to help you do all these things to improve the content of your blog post to get better placement, but in reality is is just a reminder checklist of things to do. It will green light that yes your blog post has content. Whoops, you forgot to write a custom title tag, but get this without suggestions and without automation. Hey, the All In One SEO plug-in will write both your meta title and meta description tag for you FOR FREE!

Once you perform the analysis of your blog post, which is where your subscription fee comes into play giving you a word count, readability scan, the tool will make some recommendations of blogsites where you can go and try to get back links. It does not help you get back links, just gives you a shortlist. It will then give you some suggestions of social media sites you can try to get links from too. What the tool does not mention to you is that all WordPress applications and most forums will do not follow your links.

Do I think that this plug-in is worth the money. No, I do not. I feel like for me as a professional blogger, I can write my own post it note, did I put a title on my blog post, and did I install the All In One SEO pack for WordPress and set up automatic generation of the meta description tag without paying $17 a month. I can’t wait to install this one.

Oh, by the way it gave a 95 rating to this blog post.

 

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Integration of United Parents and Chit Chat for Facebook makes Online Collaboration Safer for Students

Today’s post is a guest post from the people at Chit Chat for Facebook. As we are concerned about kid’s online security, this product may be something that you may be interested in taking a closer look at for your family’s use. Although I have not used the product myself, I felt it was important enough to share the information with you in this special featured blog post.

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The makers of Chit Chat for Facebook, an instant messaging application that runs on the desktop and integrates with Facebook, have recognized that the internet has become an important and indispensible tool in the education of youth. Students have immediate access to more information of better quality than at any time in the past thanks to the internet. Additionally, social interaction on the Web allows for the exchange of information and ideas on an unprecedented scale.

Collaboration on homework is as likely to occur online now as it is face to face. Students can not only collaborate with local peers, they can discuss topics with experts, hobbyists, and lay persons from around the globe, bringing expertise to any topic at hand. Of course, with access to information and expertise comes exposure to some unsavory elements as well. To parents, the problem is three-fold because they wish to protect their children while simultaneously encouraging them to explore the world available online and also allowing them their privacy.

The makers of Chit Chat for Facebook understand these concerns and the desire for Facebook parental controls, which is why they have chosen to pair their award-winning Facebook chat application with the best security software offered by United Parents. United Parents Child Protection Service is a leading provider of solutions for parents who want to protect their children online while respecting their privacy.

Chit Chat for Facebook is a desktop program for Windows PCs that provides an enhanced environment for chatting through Facebook. There is actually no need to be connected to Facebook to use Chit Chat because it interacts directly with the Facebook servers. The fact that Chit Chat is a separate application allows for enhanced security features to be enabled that may not otherwise be available through the Facebook user interface. By integrating Chit Chat for Facebook and United Parents, the following child internet safety protections can be offered while still respecting a child’s privacy.

The Child’s Summary Dashboard is the main feature of United Parents and it offers a continuously updated analysis of a child’s online behavior. This includes the times the child is online, demographic information of the people the child is communicating with, and the top subjects discussed. There are no details in this report that would violate the child’s privacy or provide parents details of personal discussions. Rather, the summary is just that, an overview of what is going on that can help parents to identify red flags and then discuss them with their children before any problems arise.

In addition to the Dashboard, United Parents Child Protection Services also offers monthly reports that are sent by email and Alerts that can inform a parent if or when a child gets into trouble online. Probably the most innovative feature offered by United Parents though is Digital Graphology. This can be thought of as an online fingerprint system, which analyzes the grammar, phrases, sentence construction and other behaviors of individuals who are communicating with the child. Because these patterns are unique, United Parents can compare them against a database of known predators and bullies. This means that no matter what the screen name or location, if a digital fingerprint matches that of a known offender, parents can be notified. What makes the system even more innovative is the fact that it updates based on user experience. Thus, the more people who are using the system, the more effective it will be and the more complete the database.

Many parents are concerned about the ramifications of such software on their relationships with their children. Some also worry that it is a violation of trust. However, United Parents has taken great care to address the issue of privacy, which is the reason the makers of Chit Chat for Facebook feel comfortable partnering with them. The key feature of the software is protection, not intrusion. There are two important aspects that must be considered to make an informed decision about United Parents. First, the software is primarily intended to identify threats, not to record or eavesdrop. Its principle intention is to monitor patterns of behavior and flag acts on the part of the child or those they are communicating with that may be dangerous. In many cases, children are not even aware of the potential danger of a situation.

The second aspect of United Parents that needs to be considered is that it leaves control in the hands of parents, who are encouraged to use the software to interact with and better understand their children. Then idea is to alert parents to risks so that open dialogue can occur. In essence, United Parents is looking to bring children and parents closer together.

The industry for Facebook chat applications is awash in options, which makes choosing a particular application somewhat difficult. However, for parents who wish to protect their children while allowing them their freedom, the only real option is Chit Chat for Facebook as it is the only one to pair with an online child protection service. Many parents regulate how and when their children use Facebook. It is, after all, a potential source of bullying and cyberstalking. Facebook software app, Chit Chat for Facebook, aims to give both parents and children peace of mind through partnership with United Parents.

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If This Happens Then Do That

I found a cool website and wanted to share it with you, it is called www.Ifttt.com. With this interactive website you can connect your social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook and use their premade “recipes” or action steps to react automatically when an action happens.

This is what I have set up. When someone mentions me on Twitter on #FF or Follow Friday. I have Ifttt set up to send an automatic thank you to the sender – cool!

I’ve also got my blog feeding to Google+ using Ifttt also. There are literally hundreds of actions that you can use or you can easily create your own. It’s worth a quick look, you might just find and action that needs your action too.

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire Reviewed – A Real WOW

I just bought my Kindle Fire yesterday from Staples and wanted to add a bonus blog post today telling you what I think about it. First, WOW, this is really revolutionary! I can afford any technology I want, money is not a problem, but  with the iPad over $500+ I just could not rationalize the purchase. I was just not sure how much I would really use it. I have a laptop, I have a smart phone, I wasn’t sure I would drag something so big around. Besides that, it is heavy and large a 10 inch screen. Way too big to fit in my purse.

When I saw the first announcements on the Kindle Fire back in September and October in the Washington Post, it was the price that made me look and the reviews that said it was a real competitor to the iPad. I wanted to hold one before I purchased it however, and so did not buy one in the presale period. Staples sent me a newsletter via email yesterday and I went to our nearest store to check it out.

This is what made me buy it and what I like about the Kindle Fire:

1. It feels nice in your hand; not cheap and lightweight. The unit weighs 14.4 ounces.

2. It has a glass cover and very slim almost non-existent shell border. Very nice and polished looking. It looks expensive. Don’t confuse the Kindle Fire with the regular Kindle. It looks and feels different.

3. It took me a while to learn how to use my smartphone and so I was also looking for out of the box simplicity and ease of use. I was not disappointed. There was only a card in the box to explain how to turn it on. You turn it on, add your Amazon account number, and Fire does the rest. I downloaded my first book and app in the first five minutes.

4. I read a lot, I mean really a lot, and so when my library said they now had Kindle integration to borrow books, that was very important. You select the book from your local library site and then the library forwards you to Amazon.com to check the book out.

5. I already have a NetFlix account for our home TV. I just connected my Kindle Fire to that and my kids watched the Gumby movie last night on my new Fire.

6. I can do email. Although I use my Droid for mail, I have connected my GMail account to my Kindle Fire. It was done in two easy steps.

7. I can use the Amazon app store. I have already bought games and downloaded several free ones.

8. The screen resolution is excellent. Viewing quality is totally wonderful – crisp and clear. Web pages are not so small you cannot read them and the browsing experience is excellent. You can swipe and scrunch to change the screen size just like you do on a smartphone.

9. Make sure when you buy yours you get a micro USB cord. I did not, and will need to buy one. This will make it easier to move files and music from my PC to my Kindle Fire.

10. Get a case with a stand. I got mine for $40. It allows you to set your Fire up for viewing on a desk top for you to share.

I have to say I just cannot believe that this bit of technology cost only $200. The Kindle Fire lives up to the other reviews you have seen online. Everyone who has seen mine now wants one. Although it doesn’t do some of the things the iPad does, for me it is a very smart tool that is more for fun than work. Besides that, it fits in my purse to be on the go with me so I can use it anytime with my smartphone’s mifi hotspot.

Way to go Amazon! You have created an innovative tool that is sure to bring you an excellent new revenue stream. I have never bought ebooks or online movies at Amazon and now with my Fire and 1-click easy purchase at Amazon I am have already bought several things and am making my purchase list.

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Want to Check Your Backlinks Here is an Easy Tool

If you are concerned about organic search placement, then you need to keep an eye on your website’s backlinks or more commonly known as inbound links. I’ve found an easy to use free tool that allows you to check your link numbers quickly and even review links that are follow and nofollow. The tool is called the Open Site Explorer and can give you a snapshot picture of link on the Web being pointed back to a page or domain.

As you review your statistics and numbers you may wonder what a nofollow or follow link are. A nofollow link is one that a search engine robot will not be following to discover your site. You receive no search engine “juice” from this link. You may still get site traffic, but no organic placement benefit. On the other had follow links are goldmines. That means that the search spider will follow the link all the way to your website from the original website. You may get an authority rank benefit as well as a link number benefit that may raise your own organic search placement. Follow links are good as long as they are from legitimate non-spammy sources.

Try the tool out for yourself and see what you think. I think it is pretty cool!

I am not receiving any compensation for writing this blog post from the site owner. I just found the tool, like it, and wanted to let you know about it.

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