The kitchen tool I have to replenish most often is paper towels. Thankfully, most brands now have the "select-a-size" half-sheet towels, so I can wipe up without being as wasteful, but it seems as if I still use more than I need. Although most of them are put to good use, many paper towels inevitably fall victim to accidental spoilage, like when I steady the roll with my left hand to tear off a sheet, leaving saucy fingerprints on the row of towels that are going to be used next. If the point of paper towels is to … Read more
Pixily is a cool scan-by-mail service that launched in early June. Like Shoeboxed, which I checked out last month, Pixily is all about taking paper clutter out of your life by scanning it in for you and making it both searchable, and able to be organized into buckets. The big difference between the two services is that Pixily is focused less on receipts and finances, and more on day-to-day papers like insurance claims, long cell phone bills (with call lists on them) and little things like birthday cards.
Everything that's scanned goes through optical character recognition (OCR), so you … Read more
Convergence is the key to staying ahead in the technology game, so it's no surprise that printer vendors are offering more and more printers that do quadruple duty as scanner, copier, and fax machine. Today, Lexmark caters to the back-to-school shoppers with a handful of new All-in-Ones that are competitively priced but include all the features you'd find in their larger counterparts.
The $99 X5650 AiO is a printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine with an auto-document feeder for scanning/copying stacks of paper. It can reportedly print up to 25 black pages per minute and 18 color. … Read more
GreenPrint World is a free Windows utility that helps eliminate wasted pages while printing. Installation takes some time since it requires Visual C++ 2005, which is included if necessary. GreenPrint will also put four new programs into your Windows start-up menu, add a browser helper object for Internet Explorer, and add three printers (GreenPrint PDF, GreenPrint MailPDF, and GreenPrint). During installation, GreenPrint will ask you to select a default printer, but the printer can be easily changed later from the GreenPrint interface.
After installation, you can print from any application to GreenPrint, which will automatically remove pages from your printout … Read more
No sooner did we post an item about an ill-advised promotional tchotchke that another one has popped up on the radar. But unlike the previous gadget, this one isn't of dubious value because of anachronistic timing; rather, it would be questionable no matter when it came out.
The reason: It's a paper clip dispenser. Not that we have anything against paper clips, mind you, but we can't exactly see the point of a dispenser that's also a pen holder with USB ports.
Hong Kong-based Earth Trek is trying to cast this in the best possible light, … Read more
In a major change of policy, the Transportation Security Administration has announced that passengers refusing to show ID will no longer be able to fly. The policy change, announced on Thursday afternoon, will go into force on June 21, and will only affect passengers who refuse to produce ID. Passengers who claim to have lost or forgotten their proof of identity will still be able to fly.
As long as TSA has existed, passengers have been able to fly without showing ID to government agents. Doing so would result in a secondary search (a pat down and hand search of … Read more
Document host Scribd has a new service for people afraid of opening attachments. It's simply an e-mail address (iPaper@Scribd.com) you add as a CC recipient on your e-mails. If there are any documents attached, they'll be uploaded to Scribd and hosted for you. Less than a minute later the service sends a second e-mail with a link to that document or documents on Scribd, all of which have been set to private--regardless of whether you or the people who are getting the e-mail have Scridb accounts.
Last week I sat down with Scribd co-founder Trip Adler to chat about this new service and Scribd in general. The last time I wrote about them it was for the dubious Paper-to-iPaper program, which lets people send off their paper documents to be scanned and hosted. I gave it a try and it actually works as advertised--they even send it back free of charge. The whole process took about three weeks, which Alder says will be shortened as the program progresses.
WW: What are users uploading the most of?
Alder: We get a lot of academic papers, school work, study notes, things like that. We get a lot of eBooks and presentations for work and legal documents. We get a lot of slideshows of photos.
WW: What's the average size of what people are uploading?
Alder: It ranges. We have a lot of really long documents that go over 1,000 pages, and a lot of really short ones too. The long stuff tends to be more interesting, it gets a lot more traffic too.
WW: Have you thought about spinning off versions for niche sites, like adult content or something document heavy like the Smoking Gun?
Alder: We've thought it, but we're working with educational institutions and big enterprises, and people can find that stuff somewhere else.
WW: Speaking of which, how is the push to get school to use your service?
Alder: There are institutions using it, we haven't been pushing that hard because it takes forever to contact universities. We talked to Harvard for example, where I went to school, and it's so hard to get the entire organization to use a single tool because it's so segmented into different areas. MIT OpenCourseWare is uploading all their documents. They created an account just to test it out--they don't have that much yet. They're going to upload about 100,000 documents. As we get bigger and get more resources we'll definitely try to get out and talk to more universities and get them to upload content.
WW: Do you have any users who are uploading an outrageous amount of stuff?
Alder: Yeah we have some power users. We had one guy who was uploading 40,000 documents or something. We ended up hiring him and now he's our community manager.
WW: What type of content was it?
Shoppers who want to save some trees soon will find a new option for rejecting receipts at the checkout counters of major retailers.
A service that will enable consumers to receive digital receipts through big box stores, such as Best Buy and Target, is set to launch May 16.
AllEtronic is an add-in for digital cash registers running popular point of purchase applications. When it recognizes a customer as a sale is rung up, allEtronic blocks the receipt-printing process, triggering details to be sent to its servers instead.
Consumers can visit allEtronic's Web site to view and export receipts … Read more