Unplggd- New Obsession Alert.

I think it’s safe to say that everybody out there (both online, and offline) knows that I’m slightly obsessed with coffee technology and gadgets. Also, since we’ve been in the process of buying a condo, I’ve become super obsessed with the fact that we’ll own it and we can do pretty much whatever we want to with the interior.

Hello modern interior design.

So needless to say, when I came across this site (actually, Shane shared it with me) I got sucked in immediately. There’s a site that has both awesome fun & modern tech gadgets, coupled with home design?!

And before you start thinking, “Oh Jesus. Home Design. Martha Stewart, is that you?” you absolutely have to take a look at this site. It’s completely not what you’ve imagined.

UNPLGGED.

CardMunch 2.0 Release- The Future of Business Card Storage

I had the pleasure of trying out the new 2.0 version of CardMunch for the iPhone in its beta phase earlier this week, and I must say… I’m pretty impressed.

I’m in the internet marketing business, so when I go to conferences, I get ALL KINDS of business cards- mainly because my main point of contact with people that I meet there is going to be either through email or through a social network. But what do I do when I get home? I store these cards away, because I’m slightly OCD about how the desk in my home office is, and I also refuse (hear that?! REFUSE) to use a Rolodex. They are sooo 2000.

I gave CardMunch 2.0 a whirl, and noticed it has a lot of great features. For one, all the data on your business cards is pulled in via a photo that you take, and it’s reviewed, transcribed and entered by real people- meaning you’ll get everything you need, and just exactly how you want it.

CardMunch will also automatically crop the logo from the business cards for easy reference, and you can even view the cards in a slideshow type view- where you can scroll through all the cards that you’ve entered.

If you want to enter a card it’s simple- you simply place the business card within the box, and let CardMunch take care of all the rest. You can also pull in multiple cards at once- and you’ll also have the ability to do full text searches through each one. If you utilize the tags system on here, you can even tag the cards so you can remember what event, conference, coffee shop, or whatever place you met that person at.

You’ll now have an online “rolodex” and you don’t have to look like a dork by having an incredibly large stack of physical business cards to reference.

CardMunch is a free download, and you get 20 credits as a new user. 1 credit = 1 business card. The app itself is free, so you may as well get your free credits and give it a try. Save the trees! Or something. :)

RSS Reader HELP.

I really need to catch up on blogs and websites I like to stalk (please see previous post, to understand why its neccesary for my sanity) and as much as I love Google products, Google reader is just way too cluttered and annoying for my liking. YEAH. I said it. I dislike a Google product Whatdya know?

So anyway, with that being said, what are some other RSS readers that are a little more simple but have a nice interface and organization? I don’t want some ghetto application that just displays titles to me, but I also don’t really need to have it completely integrated with Gmail, seeing as I spend my whole day in there anyway.

So? What are some good ones? Why do you like them?

Linkedin Contact Exchange- In Person

I was using Linkedin on my iPhone to approve some requests that I had, when I noticed something that I had never seen before. This very well may have been a feature for a while that I’ve overlooked, but I honestly haven’t seen it before.

On the homescreen, there’s a little button called “In Person”

When you hit that button, it takes you to a screen that explains how to use it. The feature allows two people to have “In Person” turned on, and they can link up via bluetooth.

Pretty awesome if you ask me. Now I just have to find someone to try it with :)

“The Video Website”

I absolutely love parodies. I came across this last night and figured I would share. It’s actually spot on, so much that I could probably believe it might one day turn into a movie. But let’s hope it doesn’t. The Social Network is enough as it is…

This Week in Apple July 4 – July 11

This week was filled with new additions, anniversaries and, unfortunately, more class action lawsuits for Apple.  Let’s start with the bad news:

Another Class Action Lawsuit for Apple

Apple is included in another class action lawsuit, this time they are named along with their American bosom buddy AT&T as defendants in the suit.  Earlier this week, a lawsuit brought on Apple and AT&T regarding an alleged illegal monopoly over American iPhone consumers was bumped up to class action status by a Northern California district judge.  Essentially this means, anyone who has ever purchased an iPhone in America is now included as a plaintiff in the suit.  Looking at the extreme popularity of the phone since it’s release this lawsuit will include millions of “plaintiffs”.  Most likely we’ll see an out of court settlement occur and considering the sheer number of plaintiffs, iPhone customers shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for any substantial compensation.  However, this suit may shed some light on the elusive terms of the exclusivity contract between Apple and AT&T which would be a nice piece of information for those who are holding out for Apple to switch carriers.

Tiny Apple Touchscreen

We were treated to photos of a new Apple component this week.  It’s a small, 1.18″ square touchscreen.  People are speculating this may be anything from a new display for the next generation nano to an ‘iWatch’-type device.  It comes from Apple.pro a website that has provided us with pictures of pre released white iPhone 4 cases and MacBook Pro unibody enclosures.  Now don’t get too excited, many times we have seen patents, images of components and heard rumors about concepts Apple is working on that never see the light of day so for now file this in the “wouldn’t it be cool if Apple made a…” file.

Shanghai Store Opens Doors

The highly anticipated opening of the new Shanghai Apple store took place earlier this week.  Among those in attendance was Apple’s VP Ron Johnson.  The store itself is a thing of beauty.  The store is similar to the New York 5th Ave store with an above ground 40 ft glass structure (this time in the form of a cylinder boasting the world’s largest curved glass panels) with a magnificent silver Apple logo hanging from the center.  Walk through the glass doors, go down a winding stair case and you’re presented with one of the largest Apple stores carrying the demo gadgets in any store.  This marks the 2nd store in all of China.  Early store patrons received a special edition Apple shirt (I want). From the videos of the store opening the energy was similar to an Apple product launch time 100.  So if you’re ever in Shanghai stop by, from the looks of it, you won’t be disappointed.

App Store Anniversary

Yesterday, July 10th, the Apple App Store celebrated it’s two year anniversary.  It’s hard to believe that just two years ago we were introduced to the electronic store that would give developers an avenue to create and disseminate an app for anything.  If you remember, the app store sold more than 1 billion app downloads within it’s inaugural year.  Now, two years, 225,000 apps and 5 billion downloads later the App Store is still going strong.  This concept, developed by Steve Jobs, has truly revolutionized the way developers reach consumers and, even more so, the way consumers use their smart phones.  To mark this anniversary a group of developers created “Appsgiving“.  To learn more about this Apple fan holiday click here.

While the buzz over the most recent class action lawsuit seems to be much lower than last week’s, the fact is, Apple is still facing two significant class action lawsuits.  Obviously these lawsuits have not distracted Apple from their daily bouts of genius, opening one of their largest retail stores and celebrating the wild success of their App Store has kept Apple on top of their game this week.

Josie is an avid tech junkie and Apple fangirl who loves writing about anything related to Web 2.0, social media, gadgets, and, of course – Apple.  You can read more of Josie’s work on her website, Geekulous and on Twitter – @geekfab.

Appsgiving – a Day of Apps and Giving

Happy Appsgiving day everyone!  What’s that?  You don’t know what Appsgiving is?  Well let me enlighten you.  This year a group of developers   came up with a pretty brilliant idea to celebrate the anniversary of the App Store while simultaneously boosting their sales.
So what is Appsgiving exactly?  Appsgiving is the brainchild of the developers of the not-yet-in-store iWishApp, an app dedicated to creating and sharing wish lists of iPhone and iPad apps. Essentially, it’s a day for people to ‘gift’ their favorite apps to friends and family.  Not that this can’t happen every day but today people are especially encouraged to give .  Here’s what they’re saying over at Appsgiving.com:

We all love apps.  Your friends and family love apps too.  Did you know that you can gift apps to them?  There is one special day when you should make someone’s day with an app.  Appsgiving day is celebrated the official day the App Store was born.  Celebration is in order!  Give and bring more joy to the world one app a time!

For a short tutorial on how to gift an app head on over to Appsgiving.com.  They have a Twitter account (@appsgiving) with a few followers and,-this being it’s inaugural year-that’s to be expected but, hopefully, we will see this really catch on.  What better way to celebrate the store where we can find an app for ANYTHING than to give our friends and families apps we love?  So circle July 10, 2011 on your calendar so we can keep this new tradition going.

Happy birthday App Store, thank you iWishApp developers and Happy Appsgiving everyone!

This Week in Apple June 22 – July 2

Well this week in Apple has been dedicated, surprise, iPhone 4 issues.  The week went from Apple looking for a few good antenna engineers, to apologizing for the reception issues to attempting to dodge class action lawsuits.  Needless to say it was another busy week for Apple but unlike weeks prior this one seemed to be all about damage control. Wanna know more?

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This Week in Apple June 13-20

Pre-Order Debacles Galore

Lots has happened this week in Apple.  First and most prevalent piece of news coming out of Apple this week – the pre-orders.  Apple reported receiving 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4.  Both AT&T and Apple were obviously not prepared for the sheer volume of orders they received on June 15th.  AT&T was the first soldier down posting their “sorry out of iPhones sign” at around 1:30 pacific time.  Apple followed suit a few hours later changing the expected delivery date for pre-ordered phones from June 24th to July 2nd, then (as of today) July 14th.  In addition to pre-order issues, Apple’s website was simply not prepared for the influx of visitors attempting to order the coveted device, their lack of preparedness lead to a plethora of network issues, people getting booted out of the pre-order process and causing people to try multiple times over a span of the entire day to get through.  Add to that the fact that the white iPhone 4 was not available for pre-order with no mention of a date of availability Apple seemed to have stumbled a bit in the pre-launch of the phone.  Will that impact them in any way?  Most likely not considering they took the most pre-orders (for a product most haven’t even seen in person mind you) in one day in the history of the company.

Apple is moving to Ver- T-Mobile?

In addition to the frenzy of iPhone 4 pre-orders, rumors have surfaced indicating Apple may be bringing their prized phone to T-Mobile instead of Verizon once their exclusivity contract with AT&T is up (later this year).  While the general consensus is that this is much less likely than a move to Verizon, there is evidence to support these rumors.  One being the recent announcement T-Mobile made about bringing 4G networks to their customers.  4G along with a network that is already set up to work with the iPhone increase the credibility of these rumors but for now, they are just that, rumors.

Minis Abound

Apple also quietly rolled out an updated MacMini on the same day as the iPhone 4 pre-orders began.  The new Mini boasts a new, sleek design, feature upgrades and a lower price tag.  Some of the more notable upgrades include an SD card reader and HDMI output (great for all those looking to use the Mini as a media server).

Last but certainly not least, Apple did finally release the iTunes 9.2 software update (in preparation iOS4) alongside a new security update for Snow Leopard.

It’s been a busy week in Apple and with the actual release of the iPhone 4 they’re sure to see another busy one next week.  Stay tuned for more weekly Apple updates.  And, if you were one of the many who missed the pre-order window you can live vicariously through me, I will be tweeting my experience in picking up, activating and playing with my new iPhone on release day (June 24th), follow me at @geekfab.

Find more of Josie S.’s articles at her tech blog: Geekulous or find her on Twitter.