Bizman's Findings - Interesting Stuff from the Interwebs

Hemingway, the Webapp that Helps You Proofread, Is Now on Desktop

Hemingway, the Webapp that Helps You Proofread, Is Now on Desktop

Windows/Mac: We're fans of Hemingway because the syntax highlighting makes it easy to glance at a block of text and edit for specific parts of speech. Now, the webapp is available for Windows and Mac.

The desktop version is essentially a skin of the web app, but it works offline and it seems to handle larger blocks of texts better. The desktop version does have a few tricks up its sleeve though, including support for Markdown, a more useful "Write" function of the app, and the ability to save. Otherwise, it's still a handy tool to proofread short blocks of texts like emails.

Hemingway ($4.99)

Remember the 2:2:2:1 Ratio for Perfect, Recipe-free Punch

                                               Lifehacker                          Remember the 2:2:2:1 Ratio for Perfect, Recipe-free Punch                                         

When you need to make punch at any holiday party, you can wow everyone by never needing a recipe and making do with whatever ingredients are available. All you need to know is one magical ratio, courtesy Food52's Assistant Editor Kenzi Wilbur. Yup, ratios are the best way to free yourself from recipes.

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How Much to Tip Your Bartender If You Want the Best Service

                                               Lifehacker                          How Much to Tip Your Bartender If You Want the Best Service                                         

Tip generously and you'll have an easier time not only getting a bartender's attention but also possibly sweet buybacks. This graphic from Thrillist reveals how to tip a bartender like a boss.

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Sign Into Multiple Accounts on Any Web Site with This Extension

                                               Lifehacker                          Sign Into Multiple Accounts on Any Web Site with This Extension                                         

Chrome: It's ridiculous that you have to open multiple Chrome profiles or incognito windows just to sign into different accounts on the same web site. To quickly log in with two or more profiles for one service, it doesn't get easier than Multi-Account Login.

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Learn Over 60 Google Now Commands with This Infographic

                                               Lifehacker                          Learn Over 60 Google Now Commands with This Infographic                                         

There are a ton of cool things you can do with Google Now, but with Google constantly adding more voice commands (and integrating Google Now even more with Android KitKat), it's easy to forget all your options. This graphic shows many of the latest instructions available if you just say "Okay Google..." or tap the microphone.

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Edit Office files and present on the go with hopTo for iPad

                                               Iphone -- TUAW                          Edit Office files and present on the go with hopTo for iPad                                         

iPad owners, are you feeling constrained in your content creation choices? While there are some savvy cloud-connected apps that let you open, edit or share your Microsoft Office-formatted documents, relatively few will connect to multiple data sources, sync files with a desktop PC, track changes in Word docs or keep the visual fidelity of a file. Even fewer claim to show PowerPoint presentations with animations, transitions and other flair intact.

Several of the standalone/offline-capable apps with this sort of pedigree have been gobbled up by Big Search (QuickOffice bought by Google, and stripped of the ability to talk to non-Google Drive cloud storage) or Big Terminal (Byte Squared, publisher of Office2HD, was acquired by Citrix). Apple's Pages and Numbers, while quite capable with their own file formats, aren't always 100% when dealing with Microsoft-formatted files. Apps like CloudOn, Parallels Desktop and Onlive work around the visual fidelity issue by connecting to a terminal-enabled version of a real Windows PC, but that approach has latency and UI issues galore.

That's why the new hopTo app for iPad is so interesting. It layers a fresh-looking and somewhat minimal file management stack over connectors to Dropbox, Google Drive, and even your very own Windows PC. From any of those sources, you can easily edit both Word and Excel-formatted files on the go -- even inserting pictures from the web or from your iPad's local image library. PowerPoint decks aren't editable, but they are presentable; they keep the fonts, images and animations/transitions from the desktop experience.

The app presents your documents in a simple, tabbed interface that does allow you to open and work on two docs simultaneously -- a rarity in the one-task-at-a-time world of iOS. In Excel documents, you even get a custom numeric keypad to enter your figures. PDF, image and other filetypes are generally viewable rather than editable.

Document visual fidelity and tracked change support is excellent in hopTo; in fact, you get access to all of the standard Office fonts, which is pretty much unheard of in an iOS app that isn't doing a terminal connection in the background. Founder/CEO Eldad Eilam didn't confirm the infrastructure to me when he previewed hopTo last week, but I strongly suspect that underneath the gloss, hopTo is doing something similar to CloudOn's "remote Office" and providing some remote application resources to render the document. (Don't bother trying to use hopTo in Airplane Mode or away from connectivity; it doesn't work offline and will time out after a few minutes in the background, another pair of clues to the approach used to build the service.)

One challenge with the lean hopTo interface is that it isn't immediately obvious how to perform operations on files, or create new ones. The trick is the "long press" -- tap and hold on a file icon or on the plus button, rather than a quick tap. If you do a long press on a file icon, you get hopTo's "orbit menu" where you can email files, delete, favorite, and so on. Long-pressing the plus button, which conventionally creates a new tab, allows you to start up a new Word or Excel doc in the cloud folder of your choice. In a PowerPoint full-screen slideshow, you long-press to get your controls back and escape out of the show.

The initial version of hopTo has some quirky corners, as you might expect from a 1.0; among several minor disappointments, it can't edit native-format Google Docs files -- but then again, neither can Google's own Quickoffice app (it hands them off to the separate Google Drive app, which is a bit disconcerting). Still, as a free tool with reasonably complete editing capabilities for both Word and Excel documents, it's quite good. As a PowerPoint viewer/presenter that tries to keep track with the original presentation, it's extraordinary.

Edit Office files and present on the go with hopTo for iPad originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 14 Nov 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bolt Battery Charges Your Gadgets and Itself at the Same Time

                                               Lifehacker                          Bolt Battery Charges Your Gadgets and Itself at the Same Time                                         

Most backup batteries charge your gadgets, but when they run out of juice you have to charge them and your gadgets separately. This leads to carrying quite a few power adapters. Bolt seeks to solve this problem by providing a 3,000mAh battery that-when plugged in-can charge itself and your gadget at the same time.

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How to Use Amazon Glacier as a Dirt Cheap Backup Solution

                                               Lifehacker                          How to Use Amazon Glacier as a Dirt Cheap Backup Solution                                         

Not too long ago, Amazon introduced Glacier, an online storage/archiving solution that starts at just a penny per GB per month. Depending on your storage needs, Amazon Glacier could be the most cost-efficient way to back up your data for a lifetime. Here's what you need to know about it and how to set it up.

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Sell Your Used Junk for More Money by Letting Amazon Store and Ship It

                                               Lifehacker                          Sell Your Used Junk for More Money by Letting Amazon Store and Ship It                                         

We've shown you all kinds of ways to sell your unwanted crap for real money, and many of them involve selling through Amazon, since it's a natural place people go to shop. Take it a step further and let Amazon store and ship that stuff. You'll sell faster and for more money, and you get rid it immediately.

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Find Out Your "Fitness Age" by Answering Five Questions

                                               Lifehacker                          Find Out Your "Fitness Age" by Answering Five Questions                                         

How well does your body really function relative to your actual age? Researchers have figured out a way you can find out-without having to go through extensive physical stress tests. In fact, all you need to do is plug in your numbers into their calculator.

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