ecoATM.jpegThis is wild. A new company called ecoATM has developed an ATM machine that pays you cash to recycle your old cell phones. In addition to buying refurbished cell phones, recycling your phone is a great way to cut down on the need for conflict components and reduce the world’s waste. These ATMs make it really easy to do your part – and they pay you!

This is how it works: You walk up to the ATM and plug your phone in via a cord attached to the machine. The machine then scans your device to determine how much it is worth and then makes you an offer. If you accept, you deposit your phone and the machine spits out your cash. The average payment from machines in San Diego is $20 per phone.

ecoATM is based out of Sand Diego but has been sending test machines to Midwest, San Diego, Boston, Dallas and Seattle. Apparently, people have been lining up to recycle their old phones. ecoATM has also secured investors, so it shouldn’t be long until you see these machines in your city.

Full Article at Reuters

iGoogle3This post is for our friends who need to catch up with technology. Judging from several conversations I’ve had this week, the general public is not aware of what an RSS feed is or does, which is sad for us as we hope that everyone signs up with our feed in order to effortlessly follow along with our updates.

Basically, signing up for an RSS feed (which usually has an orange icon with the little wireless symbol in it  (as is seen at the top of our column to the right) enables our blog to automatically send each update to you via whichever of the several available methods you choose. The benefit of RSS feeds is that you don’t have to actually go to all of the blogs/sites that interest you everyday to see what’s happening. Instead, their updates come to you, which is great because you don’t have to waste time checking sites that haven’t updated anything in a few days.

Don’t like getting lots of updates sent to your email account? Me either. That’s why you need to sign up for iGoogle. iGoogle is a digital dashboard (which you should make your homepage) that manages all of your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, etc. as well as your Gmail account and RSS feeds. You can customize your iGoogle page to your liking so when you sign on, you get to see all of your updates from all of your different accounts in one place. It’s awesome, trust me.

Ok, so now you have iGoogle. The next time you are at a blog or a website that you find yourself visiting frequently, sign up for their RSS feed. When you click to sign up, it will ask you how you want to receive the updates, and you can now click to receive via Google/iGoogle. Signing up for a site’s RSS feed really means a lot for the website as it tells Google that their content is so good, you want it sent to you every time it’s updated, so be sure to sign up for all of your friends RSS feeds (and ours of course!).

Enjoy iGoogle. Class dismissed.

earthand2Google released the Google Earth App for your new or refurbished Android cell phone today. The app is claimed to be the fastest mobile version of Google Earth yet with “a smooth framerate and a beautiful 800 x 480 screen.” The people at Google are thrilled with the way the Nexus One is handling Google Earth.

With the release of the app for Android comes a nice little improvement to Google Earth, which is the Roads Layer. You can now have the names of roads layered over the satellite imagery view to get a better understanding of where are you are or are going.

Like always, Google has packaged the best of their technologies with their newest release. With this Android app, you can now use voice search to locate things in Google Earth. Just say things like “Empire State Building” or “Romantic getaway Santa Barbara” and watch the pin marks pop up.

I think the app is only available for the Nexus One right now, but Google says it will soon be available for all Android devices running 2.1 software.

blackberryappworldIn response to the Apple iPad buzz, Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, plans to release a free Kindle app for your new and refurbished Blackberry. The app will provide Blackberry users access to over 420,000 books online.

Amazon’s Kindle for Blackberry app will allow users to purchase and read books directly from their devices for, on average, $10 or less. Apparently, the following Blackberrys will be compatible with the app: the Bold 9000 and 9700, the Curve 8520 and 8900, the Storm 9530 and 9550, and the Tour 9630.

Amazon’s vice president for Kindle said that the Blackberry app is a direct result of the iPhone app’s success.

Full article at Mobiledia

google-shopper-1Yet another ridiculous application from Google for your new or refurbished cell phone. Google released a new app called Google Shopper today for Android devices. The app allows you to quickly and easily locate product information by using your phone’s camera. Simply take a picture of product or of its barcode, and you will be provided with information about the product, about how much it should cost, and about where you can buy it. The app also recognizes cover art for books, CDs, DVDs, and Video Games.

The shopper app also allows you to search by voice if, say, there is no barcode on a product. You can also star products in order to save the information to be viewed at a later date. Because starred information is saved, you can view it whenever you like, even if you have no service on your phone. To download the app, just search for “shopper” from your Android device.

As usual, Google has provided a nice little video demonstration. Enjoy.

goggles_landmarkIn December, I did a post about what Google Goggles can do for your new or refurbished cell phone. I just read a post from Google today that was pretty impressive. Google is working to integrate their translator program into Google Goggles so that you can take pictures from your phone of things written in a foreign language, and, within a fraction of a second, Google Goggles translates the text for you.

In the video below, you can actually see it working with a menu written in German. According to Google, German is the only language that Goggles can translate as of now, but they plan on making it compatible with 52 languages in the near future.

Google’s online translator does work incredibly well (with, I believe, 52 languages), but Google Goggle with the translator will save you the time of having to enter the foreign text, and, being an avid traveler, I can tell you that the few seconds it takes to enter the foreign text into your phone usually costs you the entire conversation.

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