Will 2013 be the year that Google Play takes a stand against Amazon Music and Apple iTunes?

Will 2013 be the year that Google Play takes a stand against Amazon Music and Apple iTunes and finally make a mainstream surge?

 

With Android already on a strong footing against iOS, this year could be the tipping point.

 

The infographic below was supplied with the kind courtesy of the guys at Neo Mammalian Infographic Agency and shows the lay of the digital music land.

Google Play, Apple iTunes, Amazon Music Infographic

Source: Best Show Tickets Las Vegas

Trigger Torrent Downloads by email in Mac OSX with Dropbox and IFTTT

This is a nifty little recipe for triggering a torrent download using Dropbox, Transmission and IFTTT on Mac OSX.

It’s useful if you find a torrent you want to download but you’re not at your computer. Combined with the new Power Nap feature which can keep one eye open on your apps in the background even when your Mac is asleep, this formula for Transmission Remote downloads is a great little Mac trick.

1.Set Up Transmission to Watch A Dropbox Folder

Enable Transmission Watch Folders

This will allow Transmission to keep an eye on a folder that you specify. When a new torrent file is added to the folder you choose, Transmission will automatically start downloading the torrent.

  • Open Transmission Preferences
  • Click ‘Transfers’ and select ‘Adding’
  • Enable ‘Start transfers when added’

This means that the transfer will download as soon as you add the torrent file, without the need to confirm the location or any other settings.

Tip: It’s useful to set up some filters for different file types. e.g. I have a rule that automatically stores any file with an avi extension in the Movies directly on my secondary drive. I also have my torrent files set to delete after completion, so the Torrents folder stays nice and clean.

If you need a Dropbox account, you can create a free account here:

Enable ‘Auto Add’

This will allow Transmission monitor a folder that you specify. If a torrent file is added to this folder, Transmission will automatically start downloading the file (assuming the computer is a) powered on and b) connected to the internet).

I created a folder called ‘Torrents’ in my Dropbox folder and set Transmission to watch it. Now, no matter where I am I can upload a torrent file to Dropbox and my computer at home will start the transfer.

Tip: You might want to set a threshold for seeding if bandwidth is an issue. I have mine set to 1:1. Sharing is caring after all.

 

2. Email files to Dropbox using IFTTT

  • For this to work, you will need an account with IFTTT. You can create one here – www.ifttt.com

Once your account is open, you will need to enable Dropbox as a ‘Channel.’ Click on Channels, then select Dropbox and complete the authentication process.

Once authentication is done, select this recipe  – https://ifttt.com/recipes/68867 – and add it to your Recipes.

Now, whenever you send an email to triggers@ifttt.com with the tag #dropbox in the subject line, it will add whatever file you have attached to the Torrents directory in your Dropbox account (or any other directory you choose for that matter).

And since Transmission is watching this folder, it will start the download for you.

 

Email files to Dropbox IFTTT recipe

 

 

I know that if you’re attaching a file to your dropbox, you may as well just log in to Dropbox and upload it that way, but I like doing it this way for two reasons

  1. It’s cool, and it got me thinking of other ways I can use this (e.g. I have a nifty recipe which allows me to email in any audio file and Dropbox will convert it to an MP3. Way cool)
  2. You might not always want to log in to my Dropbox account, e.g. if you are at work. But you could, for argument’s sake have a rule that forwards any mail from your work with the tag #dropbox to triggers@ifttt.com. So that way you can DL a torrent file at the office, mail it to yourself and kick off the torrent back home, without even having to open your personal email account.

Apple vs Google vs Microsoft: Financials 2002-2012

As a lover of tech and a bit of a Geek, I could reasonably argue that over the last 10 years there have been three companies that have pretty much owned my attention and sucked up a lot of my money. It’s been pretty much Apple vs Google vs Microsoft, but not always in that order.

 

With the recent Facebook IPO and Google stock splitting, I got to wondering how much money these companies actually make. Once I saw the eye watering sums of money they pull in, it further tickled my curiousity to see how much moolah they have pulled in over the last ten years. Right now, I almost wish I hadn’t looked.

 

Below you can see the following data graphed for the last ten years:

Apple vs Google vs Microsoft

  • Revenue
  • Net Income
  • Market Cap
  • Share Price

Prepare your mind for boggling, as these are gargantuan sums of money. The AAPL net revenue number made jaw go slack.

 

AAPL

GOOG

MSFT

 

Revenue 2002 – 2012

Apple vs Google vs Microsoft Revenue over the past 10 years

 

Net Income 2002 – 2012

Apple vs Google vs Microsoft Net Income over the past 10 years

 

Market Cap 2002 – 2012

Apple vs Google vs Microsoft Market Cap over the past 10 years

 

Share Price 2002 – 2012

Apple vs Google vs Microsoft Share Price over the past 10 years

 

Data Source: Ycharts.com;

Create a strong exoskeleton for your laptop backpack with a cheap in tray

I’m paranoid when it comes to my gadgets, especially my Macbook. I spend a fair amount of time lugging it around in my backpack, and from time to time I put the backpack down a little too hard or bump against something.

Now I use a cheap in metal in tray to protect my Macbook.

1. Buy a cheap metal ‘in’ tray.

Make sure that it’s just a little larger than your laptop so that you get good coverage. I found one with a curved lip at the end, which is better for easily sliding your laptop in and out of your backpack.

laptop-exoskeleton-1

2.Check that your laptop fits in the tay

My laptop lives in a pouch, so I measured it while in the pouch, it fit just fine.laptop-exoskeleton-2

 

3. Insert the tray in to your backpack’s laptop compartment

With my Targus backpack, the tray slid right in with no issues, I’m showing it peeking out here, but the tray is fully concealed in side the compartment. Make sure that the back of the tray is facing the back of the pack.

laptop-exoskeleton-3

4.Slide your laptop in to your new exoskeleton

laptop-exoskeleton-4

Now that I have this in my backpack, the bottom of my laptop is protect by the bottom of the tray, so if I do put the back down too hard, the tray will take the hit. The back is also protected. This isn’t an issue when you’re wearing your pack, but it can be a lifesaver when your pack tips over or someone accidentally kicks your pack when it’s on the floor (it’s happened, it was ugly).

Overall, the in tray hack doesn’t add much weight to my backpack, and what little weight is does add, I’m more than happy to live with when I consider the added peace of mind this little lifehack affords me.

How to Sign PDF Files with a Digital Signature in Preview (Mac OSX)

Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing lots of virtual paper work, banks, contracts work, etc. Most of this, however, was done virtually via PDF. One of the problems I constantly faced was having to sign documents. It’s a problem for me because I don’t have a printer or a scanner, which meant out of the way trips to little copy shops.

Now though, I have a found a solution that lets me use my Mac’s camera and Preview’s Annotate feature to digitally sign documents.

Creating a signature in Preview

  • Open Preview and select “Preferences”
  • Click on “Signatures” and then “Create Signature”
  • Sign on a white piece of paper and hold it up to the camera. You’ll see a preview of your John Hancock on the screen, so keep going until you’re happy.
  • Click on “Accept” to capture the digital signature

Now you can access and stamp your signature onto any PDF files opened within Preview.

Signing a Document in Preview

Now that you have your signature on file, you can use it to sign a pdf document that you open with Preview

  • Open the PDF file you want to sign
  • Click on the Annotations button (pencil icon) followed by the Signatures button
  • Next, select the area in the document where you need to sign and drag out the size of the signature.

Sign A PDF document with Mac preview

That’s all there is to it, once you have signed the document, you can save it and it’s ready to be used.