The ability to digitally sign a document is sure to save you some time. Apple has rolled out a new feature in OS X Lion's Preview app that allows you to create a digital signature using your FaceTime camera, and then sign a document with relative ease.
Wolfram today rolled out its Computable Document Format, which is designed to turn documents into interactive applications.
The goal is to turn "lifeless documents" into ones that bring data to life, show the data behind assumptions and illustrate concepts. Conrad Wolfram, strategic director of Wolfram, said the CDF effort has now reached the point where the company can open it up to developers, publishers, and other interested parties.
Wolfram is still working out the business model behind CDF, but publishers have reportedly shown "great interest." For now, CDF is delivered via a free player that can bring infographics, journals, and math lessons to life. It's not a stretch to see how a magazine like Popular Science could publish in the CDF format.
The rub is that Wolfram needs adoption and there's already a dominant document format in Adobe's PDF. One big challenge would be figuring out the interplay between CDF and PDF. Would someone want to embed a CDF document into a PDF? Conrad Wolfram said that "the CDF format will be open" with the goal of becoming a public standard.
For now, Wolfram needs developers on board. CDF has reached the point where a developer with the know-how to author an XML document can bring publications to life. Indeed, the use cases for CDF revolve around journal articles, knowledge apps, textbooks, infographics, and presentations and reports.
Still think the paperless office is a pipe dream? Half the battle is scanning all your documents, which is a pretty big hassle with typical flatbed (and even sheet-fed) scanners.
That's what makes the NeatDesk such a cool tool: it quickly batch-scans documents, receipts, and business cards, then organizes them into digital filing cabinets. There's no other product quite like it.
Alas, such efficiency doesn't come cheap. The NeatDesk retails for $399.95, and it's rare to find it selling for much less. Today only, however, Woot has a refurbished NeatDesk desktop scanner for $269.99, … Read more
Apple recently updated its Pages, Numbers, and Keynote (iTunes links) apps for iOS. The latest update brings the apps iWork trio to the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as updated the iPad version. With the additional exposure and use that is sure to follow with the new release, being able to quickly find documents on the go is something users are going to want to do.
Foxit PDF Reader, the program that many consider to be a faster, lighter, more able Windows alternative to Adobe Reader, has recently jumped to version 5.0. This newest release comes with many of the same solid features, a few new ones, and an upgraded interface.
As with the previous version, the setup process is a bit cumbersome. First, watch out for the two check boxes that make Ask your browser default search provider and Ask.com your home page. Opt out as necessary. Then, toward the end of the installation process, be sure to read carefully and opt out … Read more
Doxillion Document Converter from NCH Software is a free tool for converting documents to and from the most commonly needed file formats. It can convert DOC, DOCX, HTML, PDF RTF, TXT, and WPD documents into DOC, DOCX, HTML, PDF, RTF, and TXT files, singly or in batches of thousands. It integrates with right-click menus in Explorer and also supports drag and drop. It can even attempt to repair corrupted documents as it converts them, potentially rescuing data. It's totally free and needs no other software to run, but it also integrates with NCH's other tools.
Doxillion is very … Read more
Genius Scan+ is an excellent application for when you're away on business and need to keep track of expenses, letting you quickly use your iPhone camera to scan receipts for your records. It also comes in handy for making quick copies of documents, shopping lists, or recipes, for example, but really any time you need a quick copy, Genius Scan+ does the job well.
Upon launch, you have the option to use a picture in your iPhone library or to create a new one using the iPhone camera. Once you have your scan, you can use Genius Scan+ to … Read more
The big Apple news out this week was the event that launched the new MacBook Pros--and they are certainly drool-worthy. All three new models are twice as fast as their predecessors, featuring quad-core Intel i7 processors for the 15- and 17-inch models, and dual-core i5 and i7 processors for the 13-inch models. The AMD Radeon graphics processors have been improved along with newly added Thunderbolt technology that lets you use a new port (along side your USB ports) to transfer data at up to 10GB per second. Read our full coverage here.
I'm not sure whether I'll rush out and buy one of these new MacBook Pros with the iPad 2 coming out in April, but that's mostly because I don't have as much use for the high-powered graphics and processing power in my line of work. I also can't afford to buy both.
Are you in the market for a new laptop and thinking about getting a new MacBook Pro? Are you waiting to see what the iPad 2 will offer before pulling the trigger? Are you going to buy both? Let us know in the comments.
This week's apps include a handy image-scanning app for getting quick copies on the go and a 2D side-scrolling game where you can reverse gravity with a touch of your finger.… Read more
Whistle-blower site continues to face heavy criticism and repercussions for publishing extensive details of U.S. military and diplomatic activity. Controversial editor Julian Assange, meanwhile, confronts his own challenges in court.
Assange can be extradited to Sweden U.K. judge approves extradition of WikiLeaks founder to Sweden to face questioning over sexual assault and rape allegations. Assange has a week to appeal. Witness: Assange's version of events needed to be heard Assange extradition hearing kicks off in London (Posted in Politics and Law by Tom Espiner) February 24, 2011 3:38 AM PT
WikiLeaks hearing set in dispute over Twitter data … Read more
I love that you can now write full, rich, graphical applications for the Web--even for core tools like word processors. As Stephen Shankland recently noted, Google Docs has evolved into something surprisingly useful, even for a professional writer. I second that opinion, and add that competitors like Zoho Writer are similarly powerful, usable, and useful--as are other "Office 2.0" apps for spreadsheets, presentations, project management, and other tasks. Cloud apps have come a long way, baby!
Online editors let you move your work easily to just about any connected computer, and they enormously facilitate live, real-time collaboration. … Read more