The Neat Digital Filing System

Neat The Neat digital filing system helps you organize your receipts and documents. It is a full system including both software and a hardware scanner. There are a number of ways you can get the information into the Neat system. You can scan the information in. You can email digital receipts using your Neat email address. You can use the Neat app on your iPhone or android phone and take a picture of the receipt and upload it to the Neat Cloud. If you want you can send a box of receipts to Neat and they will process them for you. The Neat system allows you to categorize and organize the information for tax purposes. It is fully searchable and with extended search it will also search such apps as Evernote and Dropbox. You can export the information and save it to PDF and you can also share the information.

The Neat mobile scanner is $199.95 and the desktop scanner is $399.95. There is a monthly fee for the service which starts at $5.99 for the basic service. If you are trying to go paperless and get organizer Neat maybe exactly what you need.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network and by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

PlanOn Announces ScanStik – World’s Smallest Scanner

PlanOn, a leader in scanning and printing solutions, announced today they will be releasing the ScanStik, which is billed as “the world’s smallest scanner”.  The pen-sized device is capable of full-color, full-page scans and will easily fit in a pocket.  It’s designed for business travelers who have a need for such a device, but also some individual users may find it helpful for doing research in libraries and other such locations.

PlanOn claims a full-page scan takes as little as 4 seconds.  It features a DPI resolution of up to 600 (it can also do 150 and 300), 24 bit color, a rechargable lithium polymer battery, microSD card slot, and an LED function display.  The device is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and XP.  It will ship with PaperPort OCR software and a USB cable for connection to your computer or tablet.

The ScanStik is available for immediate shipment.  It retails for $159.99 and can be purchased directly from the PlanOn web site, and will likely be available soon from other locations such as Amazon.

PaySaber Point-of-Sale Terminal for iPhone

POS PaySaberAndy chats to Matt from PaySaber at CES‘s Showstoppers about their iPhone-based point-of-sale (POS) solutions.

The PaySaber is a portable handheld POS terminal sled that incorporates a barcode reader, card swipe and thermal printer into the unit. An iPhone or iPod Touch slots into the PaySaber to provide the screen and the wireless communication for the transaction.

The flexibility provided by the iPhone allows credit processing in the normal way, but gives additional benefits such as emailed receipts. From the moment the card is swiped, the whole transaction is encrypted and secure, so the credit card information is never transmitted in cleartext. As you’d expect from any POS system, PaySaber can be configured to interface with inventory systems to automatically deduct items from stock as a sale is completed.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net.

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G Data Mobile Security for Android

G Data’s Mobile Security provides anti-virus and security monitoring for Android smartphones and tablets. Is this really necessary, you might ask, but I think after some of the recent malware removals by Google, there’s sufficient evidence that Android will increasingly be a target for malware and virus writers. Such is life.

Mobile Security provides three main functions, on-demand scans, blacklist control and authorisation checks for installed apps, all controlled from a main home screen.

G Data Mobile Security Main Screen

Tapping on any of the four areas will show the next screen for that function. Here’s the on-demand virus scanning – no surprises there – but Mobile Security also scans apps as they are installed from the Android Market (or elsewhere presumably) which gives additional protection against malicious software.

G Data Mobile Security Virus Scanning

The Permissions area shows a set of controlled features such as calls and internet access, and by selecting a particular feature Mobile Security shows the apps that have permissions for that feature. I thought that you might be able to then select an application and revoke its permissions to, say, access the internet, but the only option is to uninstall the app.

G Data Mobile Security Permissions    G Data Mobile Detailed Security Permissions

A settings screen is accessible from the menu key which provides greater control over the behaviour of Mobile Security’s activities. Usual stuff about scan intervals and automatic scans but all good stuff.

G Data Mobile Security Settings

The Logs area shows what Mobile Security has been doing and Update simply checks that the virus signatures are current and up-to-date. Nothing unexpected here.

G Data Mobile Security Logs

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any malware to hand so I wasn’t able to test out Mobile Security’s detection and disinfecting abilities but I would imagine that G Data’s got that covered.

It’s a free download from the Android Market to try it out, but it’s £9.99 per year to get updates for new malware and viruses. Alternatively, purchases of other G Data security products such as  G Data AntiVirus include a Mobile Security licence as part of the package.

The licence for this review was provided free of charge by G Data. Thanks.

 

Plustek OpticBook 3800 Scanner

Plustek Image Solution ProviderThe newest scanner from Plustek, the OpticBook 3800, purports to scan easily without damage to books.  I received one of the scanners for review and couldn’t wait to try it out.  Flat-bed scanning of books or pages from books is one of the things I do a lot of, and having an easier way, with less manhandling of the original, is something I’m always wanting.

Unfortunately, the OpticBook 3800 is not that scanner.  It does, however, have some worthwhile features, which I’ll cover in my review.

Upon unboxing the unit, I was surprised at how light it was.  It is four inches thick, 10 and a half inches wide, and 17 and a half inches long, yet weighs considerably less than the laptop I attached it to.  It connects via USB.  I connected it to a Toshiba laptop with 4 gb of RAM running Windows 7.  The unit did not self-install using Windows Update, and had to be installed using the software that accompanied it.  Installed was the driver for the device, Abbyy FineReader 9.0 Sprint (for Optical Character Recognition), and Plustek Book Pavilion.  It also included Presto Page Manager and DI Capture, neither of which I could figure out how to use.

The scanner can be used with any of these products, or with any other software that employs a TWAIN interface to the scanner.  I had trouble getting Adobe Photoshop to recognize the scanner’s TWAIN interface, but was easily able to scan using the Plustek Book Pavilion software and a push of the button on the scanner.  Scans are fast, and the result can be a PDF, TIF, or JPG.

Plustek claims that because of the height of the scanner, books can easily be laid one page on the glass, and the rest of the book laying against the side of the scanner, thereby eliminating the usual distortion of words near the spine of the book.  I found this worked well with a larger book that opened more fully, but less well with a smaller book with a tighter bind.  I still had to press the book nearly flat to get a good scan unless it was already rather loosely bound.  However, the scan itself was very clean, and after a run through Abbyy FineReader Sprint, a PDF was created that could be read through Adobe Acrobat Reader’s on-board reader with considerable accuracy.  The physical appearance of the scan is not as good as I had hoped, however.  A change in resolution of the scan itself (from the default of 300 dpi to 600 dpi) did improve the overall look.

One frustration for me for this device is that it does not turn off when not in use.  I had to physically turn the device off to have the scanner lamp shut off.  This is surprising, since having that scanner lamp on can really decrease its useful life.

Priced around $300 (or less if you shop around), the Plustek OpticBook 3800 does offer a low-cost, effective solution for those that not only need to scan photographs and images, but  text as well.  I may consider it for my own home office, since it includes the OCR software with it (usually pricey all on its own).  It would be great for digitizing some things I keep holding onto that really would be more useful if they weren’t stuffed into a box.