Category Archives: Rest and Relaxation

76 iPad apps for kids, as recommended by Robert Scoble’s Google+ readers

If you’re looking for some great iPad apps to keep your kids entertained, look no further than this list of recommended titles.

Over on Google+, Robert Scoble asked his followers about what apps their kids were using… I’ve compiled the list with descriptions, screen shots and direct links to the iTunes store for your convenience – and added a few of my favorites. Check the original article for comments and reasons for each title.

Continue reading 76 iPad apps for kids, as recommended by Robert Scoble’s Google+ readers

Counter-Strike vs. Wii: Two Sides of the Same Social Coin

Counter-Strike and the Wii offer two very different social experiences that you should study when planning your social media strategy.

Exosocial Networking

Counter-Strike is an online cops-and-robbers game where you collaborate with and compete against players around the world to complete missions. Real time chat and voice communications keep the team on the same page, while your screen shows the position of every other player in the game. Counter-Strike is the type of social experience considered anti-social by the rest of your family members: you’ll forget most of them even exist. But you’ll forge great new friendships with your squadron teammates (and your enemies too).

Endosocial Networking

The Wii, on the other hand, is the ultimate in-house social tool. You’ll find yourself enjoying countless hours with the rest of your family and even get to know unknown facets of your significant other’s personality. I’ll bet it’ll bring most of you much closer. You can even invite friends over to join the fun.

While both Counter-Strike and the Wii will keep you at home, one will connect you with people across the world while the other will connect you to those close by.

Why is this important to your business?

When planning a social strategy for your business, you need to keep in mind both examples.

Are you connecting with your customers but failing to create the in-house bonds that will turn your workforce into a team? Or are you focusing on in-house, team-building exercises but failing to create a strong, lasting connection with your clients?

It’s important that you explore both sides of the Social Networking coin, building a strong team that knows each other’s strengths and creating a strong relationship with your client so that you can anticipate his needs and improve their experience with your product or service.

Which tools or techniques are you using to create social bonds in your business? What’s your Counter-Strike and your Wii?

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Oops, they did it again: Sawx sweep World Series

Sweet Caroline… Good times never felt so good… So Good! So Good! Photo - World Series

[Photo: – Click here for full World Series photo gallery at]

It’s becoming sort of an October script for the Red Sox: sweep the division series, fall behind in the playoffs, pull off a wicked comeback and then go on to sweep the World Series. There’s very little I can say objectively about a team I’ve loved since the 1975 World Series against the Reds, but here’s my take on The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:

The Good:

  • Josh Becket – pick any game.
  • John Lester – first guy to win a World Series clincher on his debut.
  • Dustin Pedroia’s HR and his offensive combination with Jacoby Elsbury.
  • Mike Lowell – it’s gotta be hard to beat a team with both Lowell and Jason Varitek behind them.
  • Terry Francona – 8 for 8 in World Series games!
  • Mike Timlin – lights out relief pitching.
  • John Papelbon – can you say wicked fastball? Pitched more than one inning every time.
  • Coco Crip’s catch in Fenway’s Bermuda Triangle to end the ALCS.
  • Julio Lugo – scooping anything around ShortStop like a Dyson.
  • Manny Ramirez taking out Kenny Lofton at second base, playing the Monster-rebound.
  • J.D. Drew’s Grand Slam.
  • Dice-K’s 2-out, 2-RBI single. Who say’s AL pitchers can’t hit?
  • Bobby Kielty’s insurance HR last night.
  • David Ortiz at first base. Who say’s he’s liability playing the field?
  • Kevin Youkilis – anytime he was at bat.
  • Curt Schilling, Dice-K – when it mattered.
  • Immediately taking back any runs the Rockies scored. That just kills a team.
  • Scoring so many times with 2-outs.

The Bad:

  • Manny Ramirez playing the Coors Field outfield.
  • Julio Lugo’s dropped fly ball in the ALCS.
  • John Lester bunting – at least he didn’t hit into a double play.
  • Hitting into so many double-plays… I think it’s a new record.

The Ugly:

  • Manny’s base running. Stop worrying about your fugly helmet.
  • Eric Gagne coming into game 2 of the ALCS. It’s like a Dementor had entered Fenway Park. Really. I was there and the place just went quiet and the temperature dropped a few degrees (but he did pitch well in the World Series).
  • Hideki Okajima in Coors Field – this guy went from being lights out in the post season to almost friggin’ killing everyone in Red Sox nation of a heart attack. Good thing the Boston bats took all those runs right back.

Congratulations to the Colorado Rockies for a wonderful season and for playing like they did to get to the World Series. I’m sure they’ll be around next year.

Question: Do you think there was a turning point in this World Series? I think it was when Matt Holliday got picked off at first base by John Papelbon. Leave a comment with your thoughts.

Saturday Funnies


Over a Gynecologist’s Office:

“Dr. Jones, at your cervix.”

In a Podiatrist’s office:

“Time wounds all heels.”

On a Septic Tank Truck:

“Yesterday’s Meals on Wheels.”

At a Proctologist’s door:

“To expedite your visit please back in.”

On a Plumber’s truck:

“We repair what your husband fixed.”

On another Plumber’s truck:

“Don’t sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.”

On a Church’s Billboard:

“7 days without God makes one weak.”

At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee:

“Invite us to your next blowout.”

At a Towing company:

“We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.”

On an Electrician’s truck:

“Let us remove your shorts.”

In a Nonsmoking Area:

“If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.”

On a Maternity Room door:

“Push. Push. Push.”

At an Optometrist’s Office:

“If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”

On a Taxidermist’s window:

“We really know our stuff.”

On a Fence:

“Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!”

At a Car Dealership:

“The best way to get back on your feet – miss a car payment.”

Outside a Muffler Shop:

“No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”

In a Veterinarian’s waiting room:

“Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”

At the Electric Company:

“We would be delighted if you send in your payment.

However, if you don’t, you will be.”

In a Restaurant window:

“Don’t stand there and be hungry, Come on in and get fed up.”

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:

“Drive carefully. We’ll wait.”

At a Propane Filling Station:

“Thank heaven for little grills.”

Chicago Radiator Shop:

“Best place in town to take a leak.”

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33 Fun Things to Do With Your Photos Online

Now that you’ve got yourself a digital camera, what can you do with all those wonderful photos? Here’s a list to get you started:

Organize and share them:

These services allow you to upload your photos, share them with friends and family, tag them, make slideshows and send them out for printing:

FlickrFlickr – Owned by Yahoo!, Flickr offers both free and premium services. You can tag your photos, add comments to any part of an image, create sets, collections, slideshows, print out photobooks, postcards, snapshots, etc.

ZooomrZoomr – Think Flickr, but map centric. Zooomr offers nice photo storage functions, closely integrated with geotagging (placing your photos on a world map) and e-commerce (selling your photos) functions.

SmugMugSmugMug – SmugMug is a wonderful website for storing your images. It’s fast, well supported, and offers plenty of sharing options, including making photos private and password-protecting them. There’s even a special offer for Yahoo Photos customers who are looking for a place to store their now orphaned images.

PhotobucketPhotobucket – Photobucket also offers tons of features including easy options to share your images online (particularly useful for bloggers and photographers sharing their photos in online discussions)

Shutterfly – Primarily a photo-printing business, Shutterfly also lets you store your photos, create photobooks, postcards, share your photos, etc.

Fix them:

These services will let you upload your photos and edit them online. Useful if you don’t have an image editor on your computer, or when you need to quickly edit a photo while at a cybercafe.

PicnikPicnik – I was impressed by this one. Picnik will even let you play with their software without creating an account (Scrapblog will too), a clever way to let you try Picnik without forking over your personal information. Slick looking, fast and powerful. Worth trying, even if just for fun.

LookWowLookWow – Java-based online photo editor. Will let you apply effects to an image, undo, compare and save.

SnipshotSnipshot – Another really good looking online photo editor. Not as powerful as Picnik, but worth trying.

PhixrPhixr – Has a nice set of tools, but took forever to load.


MyPictrMyPictr – Quickly create image thumbnails for online social networks. Upload your photo, crop the area you want to keep (usually your face), choose the network you need your photo for and MyPictr will spit out your image in the proper size and format.

QuickThumbnailQuick Thumbnail – Great when you need to quickly resize an image. A useful feature will resize your image to several sizes at once (i.e., 25%, 50%, 75%)

ePassportPhotoePassportPhoto – The Internet equivalent to a passport photo booth, it will format your picture so that it can be printed and cut into six passport-ready photos. No more paying $8 for 19 cents worth of prints. Make sure your photo is passport-worthy before uploading.

BigHugeLabsBigHugeLabs – Do almost anything with your Flickr images. Calendars, frames, print-out projects… too many to list.


ScrapblogScrapblog – Online scrap books. A wonderful service by my Miami friends. You can give Scrapblog a try without creating an account (you can create an account later and recover your trial project). Connects directly to your Flickr account, so using your existing images is very easy. Amazing flash-based interface will leave you wondering what else is possible on the Internet. Let your inner Martha Stewart run wild.

Spell with FlickrSpell with flickr – A fun service that will turn any word into its Flickr image letters.

PhotagiousPhotagious – Online Slideshows, themes, editing, text, unlimited uploads. Should probably be listed under “Organize and share them” but their slideshow functions are in a league of their own.

RiyaRiya – Although it’s been transformed into a “visual search engine,” you can still access their original image storage and sharing service. Riya’s technology will let you search for items containing similar items to a reference image. It will also let you identify a person in an image and find additional images where that person appears.

PikiStripsPikiStrips – Turn any image or images into comic strips, with text balloons and special effects. Look through the earlier examples uploaded into the system for the better quality stuff. It seems the latest ones are mostly people making gang signs.

Map Them:

You don’t need a GPS to map your images online, though one certainly helps. These services will let you identify the geographical place where each image was taken and show them on a map.

PanoramaBuilder Build panoramic images by stitching together your photos. Now you can pan around a place as if you were (almost) there.

3cim Virtual ToursVirtual Panorama Tours on Google Maps – A list of panoramic images overlaid on Google Maps. Mostly used for real estate.

PanoramioPanoramio – Map centric photo storage and sharing. Geotag your photos, correct photos others have wrongly placed. Panoramio photos are regularly uploaded to Google Earth so that other Google Earth viewers can see them by activating the Panoramio layer.

Make real stuff:

Your digital images don’t need to stay trapped inside your computer (or the Internets’ tubes). Make books, posters, postcards… almost anything you want with these links:

MpixMpix – Photobooks, Cards, Magazine covers, greeting cards, calendars, bookwrap, tickets, puzzles and statuettes (these last ones you HAVE to see… worth every cringe-inducing penny!)

QOOPQOOP – Photobooks, postcards, mugs, stickers, canvas prints, mini photobooks, shirts, hoodies, mousepads, calendars, greeting cards, etc., directly from your photo storage account. Works with most popular photo storage sites.

FlattenMeFlatenme – Create customized children’s books with your little rascal’s image in place of the book’s hero or heroine.

RasterbatorThe Rasterbator – An application which creates rasterized versions of images. The rasterized images can be printed and assembled into enormous (or smaller, if you prefer) posters. See website for details.

Improve your technique:

Microsoft Research Group ShotMicrosoft Research Group Shot – MSR Group Shot helps you create a perfect group photo out of a series of group photos. With Group Shot you can select your favorite parts in each shot of the series and Group Shot will automatically build a composite image. Erase someone in the background, fix faces with eyes closed, etc.

Fascinating! Content Aware Image Resizing – An amazing image resizing algorithm. Watch the video and rest easily knowing that the scientist behind is already working with Adobe on the next Photoshop.

Improve your photos with classical artImprove your photography with classical art – An interesting technique that uses traditional classical paintings to correct the light and color of your photographs.

Automator Actions: Photoshop Automator Actions v3.5 – If you’ve got a Mac and Photoshop, these scripts might make your photo-editing life a bit easier.

Manage your digital images on your computer:

These programs will help you manage your entire photo library on your PC or Mac. Most will allow you to do minor editing, cropping, resizing, color correcting and printing. Easily upload your images to your favorite online photo storage service.

PicasaPicasa – PC/Linux photo management, also includes online photo sharing for anyone with a Gmail account.

iPhotoiPhoto – Mac photo management. If you’ve got a recent Mac, then you have iPhoto installed already.

Apple Aperture – Professional photo management for Mac.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – Professional photo management for Mac and PC.


2007/10/01: Make that 34 Fun Things to Do With Your Photos Online. Abhiram Sarat of flauntR sent me an email highlighting their quite promising online photo apps:

flauntRflauntR one-click effects – Online photo editing and effects. Includes uploading from your computer or flickr account and is nice enough to include sample images to play with. You can try out the apps (currently PhotostylR and PhotoeditR, soon PhotoprintR) without registering.

You Gotta Believe!!!

We did it! The Red Sox are going to the World Series, becoming the first team in baseball history to come back from an 0-3 deficit. WE BELIEVE!!!

Pedro Martinez enjoys the bubbly:

Pedro celebrates
Theo Epstein, extraordinaire:

Theo celebrates
Celebrating in the house the Ruth built… and Johnny demolished:

Team celebrates
A.L. Champions!

Champagne bath
Red Sox Nation, Congratulations! And congratulations as well to the New York Yankees for a memorable series.