Tech Notes – April 27, 2012

Here’s this week’s collection of interesting tech tidbits:

  • There’s a lot of cloud storage items in the news this week. Both Microsoft’s SkyDrive and Google Drive were hot topics, but Dropbox, iCloud and Amazon’s Cloud Drive got their share of attention too. If you’re shopping for a cloud storage solution, don’t just use price as your decision point – make sure you read the terms of service fine print too.
  • Need some help designing a book cover for your publishing project? Publetariat has a great series showing you how using the free GIMP graphics application.
  • Flickr users will fall in love with the new HTML5 uploader. The new interface sports a drag-and-drop functionality allowing you to not only add images for upload by dropping them on the browser window, but lets you manage and arrange them BEFORE beginning the upload operation. The rollout to replace this as the default online uploader began today. It will take some time before it’s available to all, but be patient – it’s coming your way.
  • Amazon released their Send to Kindle app for Mac this week. It installs to you system’s tray so all you have to do is drag a file onto the app’s icon and select the Kindle device/app that will receive it. Windows users have already been enjoying this app for some time.
  • I just downloaded a trial copy of Flying Meat’s VoodooPad 5 [Mac - $24.99, iOS - $9.99] to take a look. VoodooPad is a desktop wiki that can manage anything from research notes to project management to system documentation. A couple of things caught my eye that would make it well worth the price: 1) Dropbox sync between the Mac and iOS, 2) Markdown support and 3) export to PDF and ePub. Markdown is the lazy man’s HTML (more on that in an upcoming article) which, combined with graphic support and the ePub export, could mean a really easy way to build an ebook. I should have a review published early next week. By the way, Flying Meat is also the developer of the delightful Acorn photo-editing app [Mac - $49.99] that has replaced Photoshop Elements on my desktop.
  • I received a very nice comment that included some great news on my recent article about PressBooks. Hugh McGuire, the force behind PressBooks, wrote that they were about to release an import feature that would make it easy to import from WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger. Heaven!

That’s the latest news from the Creek. Hope you all have a great weekend!