Zap Junk Snail Mail With Your Phone & This Great App!

tumblr_m2zkfzY8Lu1ro09o3If you’re like me, you get more junk snail mail then mail that matters. If so, you’ll welcome this app PaperKarma. With it and your phone, you merely take a picture of the offending mail and hit the unsubscribe button. PaperKarma does the rest. They unsubscribe you from the offending company’s mail solicitation list and when they do, they send you a push notification letting you know.

Yesterday, I got junk mail from Geico, Chase and Discover. I didn’t even open the envelopes. I merely took a picture of the envelope and sent to off the PaperKarma. Within one minute I got a push notification telling me that I shouldn’t be getting anymore solicitations from Chase and after another ten minutes or so I received push notifications about the others.

It’s FREE for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

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The mobile story for 2011 was the rise of Android.

It looks like the mobile story for 2012 is not going to be so good for Android. It appears as though the operating system is in choppy waters, and is suddenly facing a lot of trouble.

We’re going to lay out all the small and big problems we’re seeing for Android in this post.

Let’s start with the number one news story of the year: Facebook buying Instagram for $1 billion. This is bad news for Android, because it shows that a developer can build a massively successfully product that the world goes crazy for without even using Android.

He goes on to explain the reasons why Android is in trouble but most of us in the tech industry knew of these problems the past couple years. I think that suddenly the average consumer is getting irritated with their Android product.

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KGI Securities’ “research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has in the past offered accurate information on Apple’s Mac product roadmap, recently took on a new position with KGI Securities and has published a new report today indicating that Apple may be preparing to drop the 17 inch MacBook Pro from its lineup due to weak sales,” Eric Slivka reports for MacRumors.

The thing weighs a ton too and that pretty much defeats the purpose of a laptop computer. With a 15 inch MacBook Air rumored to be on the horizon, it would make a 17 inch MacBook Pro that much more irrelevant.

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The new, 15-inch MacBook Pro will be a significant departure from the current design, with a retina display and an ultra-thin profile, 9to5Mac claims citing sources from Apple‘s supply chain.

It will be so thin, in fact, that it won’t have room for an optical drive, just like its lightweight cousin MacBook Air.

Other design changes include a power button on the keyboard itself (replacing the eject button) and, possibly, the lack of an Ethernet port (replaced by an extra Thunderbolt port).

The MacBook Pro’s new Retina display is described as “definitely the most important Mac innovation in years” by the sources who’ve handled a prototype of the device. The specifics are unknown, but users should be able to choose between several Retina resolution modes.

Finally, the new 15-inch MacBook Pro will have USB 3.0 support, and the latest Ivy Bridge processors from Intel are a safe bet, too.

If these rumors are true, the new 15-inch MacBook Pro might be one of the most important MacBook devices to see the light of day in recent years.

How do you like these specifications? What do you think about a 15-inch MacBook Pro without an optical drive? Share your opinions in the comments.

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The modern environmental movement began on April 22, 1970, when Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, headed an environmental teach-in with over 20 million participants. This event became known as Earth Day, now in its 42nd year and observed by more than 500 million people in 175 countries.

This year’s Earth Day theme is “Mobilize the Earth,” actively encouraging world leaders to put us on the path to sustainability and take the green economy seriously. Earth Day isn’t just for helping the planet one day out of the year — it’s a great way to begin a green, environmentally conscious lifestyle.

There are various avenues you can take to support this year’s Earth Day initiative, and a great way to mobilize the earth is by using mobile devices. Check out these apps that can help you go green in time for Earth Day, and set a precedent for the rest of the year.

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Dropbox Sharing Gets Ridiculously Easy With Links

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In the words of Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, sharing documents and other files online is “bafflingly, still really difficult.” I mean, clearly it’s doable through email and, yes, services such as Dropbox, but it’s still kind of a pain. With a new feature launching today, Houston and his team are trying to make things as absolutely simple as possible. And it looks like they’ve succeeded.

Houston and Product Manager Ivan Kirigin demonstrated the feature to TechCrunch Editor Eric Eldon and me last week. It was one of those demos that went flew by — in a good way. Now, if you want to share a file in Dropbox, you just click on the file, then click on “Get Link”, and Dropbox will automatically generate a custom URL. You can share that URL via email or however else you like, and whoever clicks on it will be able to view the file in their browser. Simple, and also the first easy way for Dropbox users to share files with people who don’t have Dropbox accounts.

I’m an avid Dropbox user and this is good news. If you haven’t tried Dropbox out yet you should give it a look. A 5GB account is FREE.

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NEW YORK — Apple generates more gossip than the Kardashians. There’s a constantly spinning mill of rumors about Apple products, most of which turn out to be untrue. What’s unusual this week is that talk has revived of a smaller iPad model, an idea company founder Steve Jobs derided publicly a year before he died. Apple and its suppliers aren’t commenting. Rumors of a smaller iPad, or “iPad mini” have percolated ever since the first iPad was launched two years ago. This time around, they’re fed by media reports from South Korea, China and Taiwan, saying Apple has ordered Samsung screens that are 7.86 inches measured on the diagonal. That would make the screen about two-thirds the size of the current iPad, which has a diagonal measurement of 9.7 inches.

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Adobe has posted a warning on their website about a security flaw that affects a number of their products on just about every platform including Android, Windows, Mac, Solaris and Linux.

Following is the summary of the problem from their website – go there to read the full text.

A critical vulnerability exists in Adobe Flash Player 10.2.152.33 and earlier versions (Adobe Flash Player 10.2.154.18 and earlier for Chrome users) for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems, Adobe Flash Player 10.1.106.16 and earlier versions for Android, and the Authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat X (10.0.1) and earlier 10.x and 9.x versions of Reader and Acrobat for Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

This vulnerability (CVE-2011-0609) could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. There are reports that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks via a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Excel (.xls) file delivered as an email attachment. At this time, Adobe is not aware of attacks targeting Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Adobe Reader X Protected Mode mitigations would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing.

We are in the process of finalizing a fix for the issue and expect to make available an update for Flash Player 10.x and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris and Android, and an update for Adobe Acrobat X (10.0.1) and earlier 10.x and 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh, Adobe Reader X (10.0.1) for Macintosh, and Adobe Reader 9.4.2 and earlier 9.x versions during the week of March 21, 2011. Because Adobe Reader X Protected Mode would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing, we are currently planning to address this issue in Adobe Reader X for Windows with the next quarterly security update for Adobe Reader, currently scheduled for June 14, 2011.

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Since the iPad was announced over a year ago, one of the uses that seemed to be natural for it was that of a Magazine and Newspaper reader. Real life results, unfortunately have been mixed. Many magazines such as Wired, Popular Science and The Economist were on the iPad shortly after launch. Others such as Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily and Sir Richard Branson’s Project appeared with much fanfare but mixed reaction.

The main problems users report are that the magazine interfaces aren’t consistent from one magazine to another and these interfaces generally aren’t intuitive.

This is counter to what most users of Apple software – whether it’s OS X or iOS – are accustomed too.  Apple has a rather large document for their developers; Apple Human Interface Guidelines. This document describes, in excruciating detail, how an Apple App should look and act.

These guidelines are built-in to Apple’s developer tools in the form of templates. That’s why Apps for OS X and iOS operate similarly from one to another and because of that, they’re reasonably intuitive for the user.

I’m hearing that Apple is developing a magazine template that will be in a future release of their developer environment and toolkit – Xcode.

This publishing template will create a familiar consistent user interface. It also will facilitate in-app purchases for subscriptions and back issues. Another benefit Apple anticipates is that there will be a plethora of new magazines on the iPad. They believe that anyone will be able to create a magazine relatively easily and have it published by Apple and sold through iTunes.

I’m told; “Imagine a guy drawing and writing a comic book. He can’t sell it to Marvel or DC so he hooks up with a programmer and within days, he’s getting his comic book published and sold on iTunes.”

Of course, a comic book is just one example. I could see all kinds of these “Garage Magazines” as I call them, being created. Undoubtedly, quality would vary widely.

Apple hopes to have this implemented by the end of the year.

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