App Store Expense Monitor

Everyone likes the App Store, right? Easy to buy, one click and the app is yours. No credit cards, no fuss – awesome. But how much are these app’s really costing you? If you spin through all your app receipts you can get a total costs but there is an easier way for Mac owners – the free App Store Expense Monitor.

App Store Expense Monitor

The app runs in the menu bar and show a running total of how much you’ve spent so far on app’s. As you can see from the screenshot my total is £189.25. Ouch. The app scans your application directory and gets the current price of each of the app’s you have installed. While that gives you a rough spend it doesn’t cover the changing prices of app’s over time. However Expense Monitor has that covered as you can edit the price for individual app’s.

Nice little app that is simple and free while being scarily informative. So how much have you spent on iPhone app’s? Let us know in the comments.

DigitalOutbox Episode 9

DigitalOutbox Episode 9
In this episode the team discuss the latest tech news.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
– Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, Google DDoS
– Down for a couple of hours plus service impacted rest of the day
– Num 3 story on BBC news….perspective?
– Rumour now is that this was a DDoS against one person – http://mashable.com/2009/08/07/twitter-facebook-2/
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8190786.stm
– Russia to blame? – pro-Georgian blogger, known as Cyxymu, said he had been targeted for “telling the truth about the Russian-Georgian war” in his writings.
– Ev interview on Newsnight – awful journalism and editing – he looked bemused

– End of free news
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8186701.stm
– Will charge customers for news content across all it’s websites
– Would you pay to look at The Sun online?
– $3.4bn loss
– Agree that if they are successful other sites will follow
– Make content “better and differentiate it from other people”
– Google News Archive
– http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/extra-extra-updates-from-our-growing.html
– http://news.google.com/archivesearch
– Quadrupled the amount of newspapers
– Now have articles dating back to mid 1700’s
– All searchable – great resource

– Skype under threat of closure from licence issue
– http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/aug/01/ebay-case-threatens-skype-shutdown
– Turns out eBay only gets issued a licence for the technology underlying the Skype service.
– The Skype founders company, Joltid, who issues the licence looks now as though it’s going to pull the plug on the licence over copyright infringement arguments.
– Skype was bought by eBay for $3.1billion – something which could now be worthless without the licence.
– It’s unclear what this will mean for users – whether eBay will develop it’s own tecnologies to continue to support the platform, whether we’ll all need to find a new service or whether Joltid will buy back Skype for a reduced rate.

– Friends Reunited sold for £25 million
– Bought by ITV for £125 million in 2005
– Bought by BrightSolid (owned by DC Thomson)
– Really bought for Genes Reunited as Brightsolid run Find My Past
– Is it relevant anymore – Facebook, Twitter taken over (London is top twitter using city in the world)

– Delicious.com upgrade
– New homepage – focus on recently bookmarked and tweeted messages
– No longer waits for a volume of bookmarks to show on homepage which takes time
– More focus on realtime
– Adding timelines and tag filtering to search
– Can tweet as you add links, sending to friends etc

– Flickr Search
– Much improved search
– Points to groups, photographers, tag clusters and places as well as photo’s
– Size control on photo’s
– Can search for creative common images as well
– Easily see notes, views, fav’s against each image
– Real opportunity to make flickr the place for quality image searching on the web but…
– Can’t sort by views, comments etc
– Can’t query by any of the camera metadata that flickr currently hold

– Both these show how yahoo can still compete but, is delicious still relevant? Is it too little too late?

– Windows 7 ‘E’ Cancelled – sanity prevails
– http://windows7news.com/2009/08/02/windows-7-‘e’-canceled/
– The European – ‘E’ – versions of MS Windows 7, due to be shipped without an internet browser, have been cancelled.
– It now looks as though the only sensible solution to the whole saga has been chosen as the way forward. The user will now be offered a selection of popular browsers to install from a menu.
– The solution still needs to be agreed officially but looks likely to be spread out across the windows suite of operating systems.
– Those who’ve ordered the ‘E’ versions already will most likely receive simply the full version of the operating system.
– This should also open the way for upgrade versions of the software to be sold – rather than forcing users down a full clean install of their computer.

– Palm complain again to USB Implementers Forum
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/05/palm_uses_apples_usb_vendor_id/
– Palm Pre changed vendor ID to Apple to foil latest iTunes update
– Says Apple are being anti competitive
– Should develop their own media player – can’t see how it’s anti competitive
– Get out

– Gary McKinnon
– Lost legal appeal against extradition
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/31/mckinnon_judicial_review_reaction/
– Will try and appeal to Supreme Court and Obama
– Arrested in 2002 hacked into 97 computers
– Hacked from UK, comp’s were in USA
– Now diagnosed with mild form of autism
– Terrorist charges in USA, faces 70 years in jail, fears for his mental health and welfare

– O2 data fail
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/05/o2_data_down_yet_again/
– Third time in three weeks
– Half a million text tweets since launching last week
– No explanation for the outages

– O2 loses iPhone exclusivity
– http://www.9to5mac.com/october_9_o2
– October 9th – other networks to sell 3G

– T-Mobile selling iPhones in the UK
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/03/t_mobile_i_phone/
– No publicity
– Limited to a small amount per week for people spending >£75 a month

– Apple
– Apple try to gag teenager with exploding iPod
– http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/5963015/Apple-tries-to-silence-man-and-his-daughter-over-exploding-iPod.html
– http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/personal_tech/article6736587.ece
– Offered to refund money but denied liability
– Would only payout if owner signed a letter
– “agree that you will keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential”, and that any breach of confidentiality “may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties”.
– Eric Schmidt resigns from Apple board
– Android and Chrome OS are conflicts of interest
– Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s Board.
– FCC inquiry a factor as he is on the board of two out of the three companies at the centre of the inquiry?

– New hardware reference found in iPhone OS beta
– http://theappleblog.com/2009/08/05/mystery-product-reference-found-in-iphone-os-beta/
– iProd1,1 alongside standardMuxPTPEthernet
– Tablet with high speed wireless internet?
– iMac refresh/new features?
– http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/08/07/apples_next_imacs_rumored_with_compelling_new_features.html
– Blu-ray?
– Price drop?
– September?

– Prolific app developer banned from app store
– http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/08/05/banned-app-store-developer-auctioning-off-business/
– Had 900 app’s, mostly crap
– Planned to grow company and have around 10,000 app’s in app store by year end
– A good app store story
– Apple censors a dictionary
– http://daringfireball.net/2009/08/ninjawords
– Removes objecitonable words
– Still forces a 17+ rating
– Words like ass and screw omitted
– Didn’t apply this to dictionary.com’s app
– http://daringfireball.net/2009/08/phil_schiller_app_store
– Response from Phil Schiller
– Apple insisted on 17+, not the removal of words – that was the developer’s decision
– Developer since agreed
– Apple listening….communicating???
– Sex Offender app removed
– Dev may raise suit against Apple
– Rumour that e-book readers may be removed due to concern over copyright ownership

– Tom Tom for iPhone Priced?
– £113.85
– Includes suction mount for car and software
– Good value?
– CoPilot Live United kingdom – £25.99, lot’s of positive reviews, top 25 (no 11) in UK app store

– Gaming
– 80GB PS3 discontinued in Japan, rumours: either 160GB finally releases in JPN or … PS3 Slim http://gizmodo.com/5329524/80gb-ps3-discontinued-in-japan-one-step-closer-to-the-ps3-slim

– Gadgets ‘n Stuff
– Nikon launches S1000pj, first compact camera with built-in VGA projector, 12.1MP, 5x zoom, 2.7” LCD, $430 http://www.europe-nikon.com/product/en_GB/products/broad/1850/overview.html
– Pioneer SC-LX72 £1699, SC-LX82 £1799-£2000 – both with intimidating features: Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio decoding, DLNA audio streaming and internet radio access, and Class D amplification, 1080p up-scaling, 24p support, Five HDMI inputs and two outputs. http://www.trustedreviews.com/home-cinema/news/2009/08/04/Pioneer-Announces-SC-LX72–SC-LX82-AV-Receivers/p1

Picks
– Shakeel – HTML 5 Canvas examples, work with FireFox 3.5 and Safari 4, unable to try in IE but hear it don’t work or some bits do work but veeeeeeery slowwwwwwwwly
– http://www.phpguru.org/static/html5-canvas-examples
– From Ian (I know it’s your pick but try and mention this, slow I guess due to twitter DDoS) – http://9elements.com/io/projects/html5/canvas/ – 0 lines of flash
– Ian – App Store Expense monitor
– http://wetfish.de/
– Free – lets you know how much you’ve spent in the app store – £165.07
– Let’s you edit prices as some prices have changed so you can get the true price of what you’ve paid – I’m nearer £185

LittleSnapper 1.5 and Ember

There are no shortage of screenshot snapping tools on the Mac but one of the best I’ve used is LittleSnapper from Realmac Software which has recently been updated to version 1.5. LittleSnapper makes it easy to snap screenshots and websites in a variety of ways but more importantly it helps you organise your snaps into collections for easy retrieval.

The capture engine has been re-written for 1.5 and allows for full screen and timed captures. The timed capture is a welcome addition as previous to 1.5 it wasn’t included which was frustrating. You can also snap an area instead of the full desktop and also a window. One nice feature is holding down shift when selecting multiple windows will create a separate snapped image for each window. Hold down cmd when selecting windows and only one image containing the selected windows will be created. The webpage snapping doesn’t just snap what is currently visible – LittleSnapper will snap the full web page which is great for keeping screenshots of inspirational sites as you surf. View the webpage within LittleSnapper and you can select individual elements of the page to snap which is far easier than selecting an area.

Your screenshots and images are held in a local library. Within the library you can organise by type (mockup, illustration, screenshot etc), folders and collections. Each image can be tagged too which makes it easy to find an image in a large library. I have a few collections for blog and website designs that I like and also for podcast album art. One tip is that you can move the LittleSnapper library to a disk location of your choosing. I’ve moved mine to my Dropbox account which means I can share my library across mac’s.

LittleSnapper's editing tools, with highlighting and blurred sections used on the image
LittleSnapper's editing tools, with highlighting and blurred sections used on the image

The editing tools allow you to crop the snap’s further and also add non-destructive edits like text, boxes, arrows and also the ability to highlight and blur out area’s. These are all available in one easy to use toolbar and are simple but quick to use.

You can export snap’s into local folders, an FTP account, Flickr or to Ember, the partner service to LittleSnapper. At first I dismissed Ember (formally called QuickSnapper) as a poor man’s Flickr clone in that you can upload images, favourite other images, follow other Ember users and make comments on images. Nothing too ground breaking really.

Explore Ember

The difference is in the content uploaded and the collections that people are making available. The ember homepage will highlight an image liked by the developers and also give you access to popular images, recent images and also access to to groups of images via tags and collections. The screenshot above shows the homepage and also the ability of LittleSnapper to snap the whole web page, not just what’s visible via the browser.

The content is of more interest. It’s more focussed on web and application design with an abundance of great looking websites and applications being highlighted by the Ember community. Since the update I’ve found Ember to be a great go to site for design idea’s, more so than anything I’ve found on Flickr. It’s also easy to browse around the site by collections, tag’s or user and can be a real time sink.

Ember is free to use and upload to but the free account is limited to hosting three online collections and 30 uploads per month. You also see adverts while using Ember but these aren’t intrusive and for me the free account is more than enough. The pro account costs $24.99 per year and allows unlimited uploads and collections, removes the adverts and also gives you free upgrades to LittleSnapper. It’s important to note that you can use Ember without LittleSnapper and it is well worth a visit if your interested in web or application on any platform.

There are many competing screen capture tools like Skitch, Voila and Snapz Pro but I found LittleSnapper to be one of the best. Used alongside Ember it makes for a great capture and design resource.

DigitalOutbox Episode 8

DigitalOutbox Episode 8
In this episode the team discuss Microsoft loves Yahoo, Twitter and some Apple hate. Honest.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
– Microsoft & Yahoo deal
– http://www.choicevalueinnovation.com
– http://kara.allthingsd.com/20090729/yahoo-ceo-carol-bartzs-letter-about-the-yasoft-deal/?mod=ATD_rss
– All about competing with Google
– Leaves Yahoo looking pretty weak – if they don’t do search what do they do? Mail, Flickr. Link/lander page?
– 10 year agreement – long time in internet timeline
– Google AdWords vs. Microsoft AdCenter and Google AdSense vs. Microsoft PubCenter – thats it
– They don’t mention Google by name – “the market leader” or “the competitor’
– There’s no upfront payment.
– The deal requires regulatory approval and isn’t expected to close until 2010.
– The company’s don’t expect to see the full benefits of the deal until 24 months
after regulatory approval.
– While the companies claim Yahoo! “will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers”, most of the value is and will be derived via the self-service channel – which Microsoft will
now control.
– The deal could put Yahoo!’s affiliate/syndicated search business at risk.
– The deal’s 10 year length may put Yahoo at Microsoft’s mercy given that there’s only one other supplier — Google.
– Combined they have 40% ad market share in the US, 8% market share in the UK.
– We have a plan where some Yahoo engineers over time may move over to Microsoft.
– Yes, there are certainly many Yahoo search employees who will be asked to take jobs at MSFT. There will also be search employees [who get redeployed]. Unfortunately there will be some redundancies in Yahoo. This is a transition over the next 2 and half years. Nothing will change until we get regulatory approval, but yes, there will be redundancies, but in the future.

– European Windows 7, XP and Vista owners get to choose browser
– http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/29/microsoft-giving-europeans-with-windows-xp-and-vista-choice-of-b/
– Choose from 10 browsers – IE8 installed but on first launch users get to choose a different browser
– Update to XP and Vista users means they will get same option
– MS bending over backwards…looks a good solution though

– Broadband UK
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8171074.stm
– http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/4014-ofcom-finally-publishes-final-broadband-report.html
– People still not getting advertised speeds
– Virgin Media (10Mb) fastest compared to the others (8Mb)
– Doesn’t take account of throttling etc
– Sky – customer base increasing
– O2 & BE – customer base increasing

– Palm Pre
– Web OS 1.1 – iTunes syncing works again
– System: … “Resolves an issue preventing media sync from working with latest version of iTunes (8.2.1).”

– Twitter
– Twitter 101 guide for business
– 1000’s of spammers deleted from twitter
– New homepage coming soon
– Launched Wednesday
– Search focussed
– See popular topics by minute, day, week
– Changed ‘updates’ to ‘tweets’
– More aggressive Twitter?
– Be careful what you tweet – person is being sued for their tweet – http://mashable.com/2009/07/28/woman-sued-tweet/
– O2 launched their text tweet service early – Monday.

– Apple
– Tablet
– September launch or early next year
– 10 inch touchscreen/tablet
– Same OS as iPhone
– This has been rumoured for years
– Cocktail – interactive booklets, sleeve notes alongside music
– Prize – still rumoured at $800-$900

– Time Capsule now 2TB
– http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MB996/Time-Capsule-2TB?mco=NzE0MTY
– 2TB for £349 – same price as 1TB was
– 1TB now £229
– 500GB discontinued

– Suicide factory worker at Foxconn
– 4G iPhone lost
– Family claim worker was beaten and bullied
– Family got $52,600 + $4385 every year while a parent is alive compensation and girlfriend got a free Mac laptop

– iPhone Hack Alert
– http://mashable.com/2009/07/30/iphone-hack/
– A text with a single square character – turn off phone
– Apple told about this at start of July
– No fix yet
– Couple of weeks before hackers build tool to exploit this?
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8177755.stm
– O2 announce Friday that a fix will be available on Saturday to address issue
– Hear nothing from Apple
– 3.0.1 released on Friday
– 250 Meg download
– Allegedly addresses the text security issue
– The also release a statement – We appreciate the information provided to us about SMS vulnerabilities which affect several mobile phone platforms. This morning, less than 24 hours after a demonstration of this exploit, we’ve issued a free software update that eliminates the vulnerability from the iPhone. Contrary to what’s been reported, no one has been able to take control of the iPhone to gain access to personal information using this exploit.

– iPhone 3GS security
– Encrypted but ‘easy’ to hack
– Can copy all disk contents within 2 mins
– Demo’d to Wired magazine

– Google Latitude
– Not an app but a web app
– No location in the background – real shame
– Google said Apple requested Latitude as a web app, not an actual applicaiton
– Surely Brightkite is a better option?

– Spotify for iPhone
– http://www.spotify.com/blog/archives/2009/07/27/spotify-for-iphone/
– Waiting for Apple approval – will it get it?
– Playlists sync’d, updated pushed automatically
– Offline playlists – download music to iPhone for playback later
– Premium subscribers only (£9.99 a month or £119.88 – no saving but you get 30 invites – wow, not)

– Official Google Voice App blocked
– Other Google Voice app’s removed from App Store
– Is AT&T behind the move but still stinks?
– http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/27/apple-is-growing-rotten-to-the-core-and-its-likely-atts-fault/
– http://www.riverturn.com/blog/?p=455
– Blog post from developer of Google Voice app that was pulled
– Horrible conversation with Apple rep
– Want Google Voice? There is no app for that. Except on Android and Blackberry. Blackberry on AT&T.
– Will this encourage jailbreaks? Switchers to Palm/Android?
– One of the unofficial Google Voice app’s now on Cydia – jailbreak time if you use Google voice?
– http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/31/i-quit-the-iphone/
– Now the FCC are to investigate the Google Voice issue:
– Earlier today, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) sent out letters to Apple, AT&T and Google, readable here [FCC’s letter to Apple, to AT&T & to Google] asking each company about its involvement in the Google Voice app rejections. The agency is asking Apple to explain why the Google app was rejected and the third-party apps removed, if any VoIP apps have been approved, and whether there are general rules and regulations covering application approvals (something many developers would also love to know).
– Will ask Google if other Google Voice app’s were allowed, whether Apple explained why the rejection took place and what is Androids approval process
– Will ask Apple why Google Voice was removed as well as third party app’s, if any VOIP app’s have been approved (Google Voice isn’t VOIP) and also what general rules covering approvals are in place
– Will ask AT&T whether they were consulted on this, if any VOIP app’s run on their network and for a list of rejected app’s while explaining how some are approved for 3G enabled services like Sling

– iPhone dev’s backlash?
– http://www.polarbearfarm.com/blog/?p=124
– http://carpeaqua.com/2009/07/28/where-do-i-sign-up/
– http://stevenf.tumblr.com/post/152606616/im-furious-with-apple-and-at-t-right-now-with
– Rejections are final straw
– Turning into a $0.99 store – consumer expects app’s to cost this now
– Why would you spend months developing an app for it to be rejected?
– Poor developer relations
– Is it sour grapes from the established Mac development community?
– Hardly. If your app connects to 3rd party server or the web it needs a NC-17 rating. Instapaper now comes with a warning. Where’s the warning in Safari, iTunes or Mail?
– http://dashes.com/anil/2009/07/apple-secrecy-does-not-scale.html
– Where’s the Apple bloggers?
– Microsoft, Adobe all have their dev’s blogging and being open to a certain extent, open once they’ve publicly announced something at least
– Jailbreaking could disable towers
– http://theappleblog.com/2009/07/29/apple-claims-jailbreaking-could-disable-transmission-towers/
– Desperate
– Surely bull?

– Secret of Monkey Island hits the iPhone
– 350mb
– Swap between new and old graphics with one swipe
– Space Invaders Infinity Gene

– Wipeout

Picks
– LittleSnapper 1.5 and Ember
– LittleSnapper
– http://www.realmacsoftware.com/littlesnapper/
– $24 ($15 off)
– Capture desktop (full, area, window, timed), webpage
– Create collections, add tags
– Annotate pictures
– Store in library
– Export to flickr, pdf and Ember
– Ember
– http://emberapp.com/
– Inspiration rather than Flickr type images
– Focus on design, screenshots, websites etc
– Explore via collections or tags
– Free and paid options
– Limited amount of uploads and collections
– 1Password