Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


Tag: Evernote

Catch Notes for iOS, Android, Web Closing Down

Posted by J Powers at 8:09 AM on August 5, 2013
Catch Notes Closing

Catch Notes Closing

Last year I reviewed Catch Notes, a way to not only take notes, but also tag and catalog those notes for quick reference. After a year and a half in production, Catch has decided to close the app.

The Evernote competitor had a small but good following to the app. It was available for both Android and iOS devices, along with a web interface. Catch had integration with Citrix Ready Worx Verified Program, amongst other partnerships. However, from their blog they wrote:

Catch has made the difficult decision to take the company in a different direction. As such, we will be terminating service next month. We value our users and have greatly enjoyed providing Catch to millions of people over the last several years, but it is time for us to move on.

Catch.com (formerly Snaptic) was founded in 2008 and had received $11.6 million in funding within the last 3 years.

If you are looking for an alternative to Catch, other notepad options include  OneNote, Simplenote or Springpad.

Evernote User Passwords have been Compromised

Posted by JenThorpe at 8:55 PM on March 6, 2013

Evernote logoUsers of Evernote were recently sent an email that said that the company had decided to implement a password reset. It required 50 million users to reset their passwords. Why? The answer is the usual one when a company urges users to change their passwords – Evernote got hacked over the weekend.

This explains the difficulties that my husband and I had when we went grocery shopping. He uses Evernote to create grocery lists (instead of writing it down on paper). Usually, this works really well. However, when we got to the store and he tried to open Evernote, it wasn’t functioning as he expected it to. Oh, no! Could hackers be reading our grocery lists? If so, then they must be awfully bored.

The email Evernote sent to its users says:

Evernote’s Operations & Security team has discovered and blocked suspicious activity on the Evernote network that appears to have been a coordinated attempt to access secure areas of the Evernote Service.

It goes on to say that this is the reason why they are implementing a password reset. So, if you opened Evernote today, and wondered why it was asking you to reset your password, now you know. Evernote says that they have no evidence that any payment information for Evernote Premium or Evernote Business customers was accessed. It also says:

The investigation has shown, however, that the individual(s) responsible were able to gain access to Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts and encrypted passwords. Even though this information was accessed, the passwords stored by Evernote are protected by one-way encryption. (In technical terms, they are hashed and salted).

There are helpful suggestions on the Evernote website (where the email it sent to users was posted) that give advice about how to create a more secure password. It also points out that you should not click on “reset password” requests in emails, and should instead go directly to the service itself to do that.

Hiku on Kickstarter

Posted by Andrew at 4:03 PM on October 16, 2012

Let’s say you’re a crack team at Palm who suddenly has nothing to do because HP decides to get out of the mobile device market. What do you do to follow up on the Treo, the Centro, WebOS and the TouchPad? You create Hiku, a pebble-sized gadget that “turns everyday grocery shopping into something modern, magical and fun” and fund it via Kickstarter.

What is Hiku? Basically, it’s a barcode scanner with built-in wifi that’s intended to send your shopping list to your mobile phone so that when you are in store, you can get everything that you need. And if you don’t have a box or tin handy to scan, you can talk to Hiku and tell it what you want.

Hiku Scanning

Hiku

Out of the box, it’s going to support iOS with Android coming along soon after launch. There’s also integration with Evernote and Remember the Milk. Check out some of the videos on Kickstarter or YouTube – they show what the Hiku can do and it is really cool. More advanced features include checking prices on the Net and showing where a product can be bought cheaply.

One of the cleverest things is how you program your wifi settings onto the Hiku. It uses Electric Imp‘s BlinkUp technology which uses light pulses to transmit information and the light pulses are generated by your smartphone. Amazing – there’s a video of the prototype working on YouTube.

I’m backing this project partly to support the ex-Palm guys, but mainly because it’s such a clever kitchen gadget. The Kickstarter funding round closes in about 2 days and they need another $24k-odd to hit the $80,000 target. $99 gets you on the list for a Hiku so if you are thinking of ordering one, get your pledge in now.

 

Boogie Board Rip Hands On Review

Posted by Andrew at 4:00 AM on November 25, 2011

Boogie Board RipThe Boogie Board Rip from Improv Electronics is an electronic clipboard that will save handwritten notes and drawings to Adobe‘s .pdf format for later transfer to a PC via USB. You draw or write with the included stylus on the pressure-sensitive 9.5″ dark monochrome LCD screen, which results in light coloured lines and writing.  When you want to save your work, you simply press the “Save” button at the top. To start over, the “Erase” button wipes the screen. It’s that easy.

Here’s a few scribblings and the complementary .pdf. I’m no artist. That’s an A4 notebook behind it for scale.

Improv Electronics Boogie Board Rip

Improve Electronics Boogie Board Rip PDF

I’m not sure exactly how the stylus and the screen work together to record the image as any stylus can be used to write on the screen, but only writing from the included stylus will be recorded in the saved .pdf. Sometimes, I found that I wasn’t pressing hard enough for all the lines to be recorded; if you look at the picture of the hedgehog, you’ll see that the drawing is much spikier than the .pdf. This was an early trial picture and you get used to pressing that little bit more firmly.

Boogie Board Rip Hedgehog

Boogie Board Rip Hedgehog PDF

The internal memory is only 8 MB but this is sufficient for around 200 .pdfs. Getting the .pdfs off the device is simple – just connect up via micro USB and the Rip appears as an external drive. I had no problems connecting it up to both Windows and Linux machines. The Rip has an internal rechargeable battery which charges via the USB and lasts ages – the manufacturer suggests a week of normal use and I can see no reason to disagree.

I found the Rip to be a great partner for tools such as Evernote. I could take notes in a meeting and then transfer the notes into Evernote, creating a chronological record of meetings and discussion. Personally, I was looking for a simple paper notebook replacement that was a relatively cheap and robust, and nowhere near as expensive as a full tablet.

In the end, I had mixed feelings about the Rip. It does what it does well, but it’s not the complete package that I need it to be for the Rip to replace my A4 notebook.

First, the 9.5″ screen is too small. Being used to A4 notebooks, I struggled with the narrower page and often used the Rip in landscape mode rather than portrait to get extra width.  If you are a Moleskine person, more used to the A5 format, it will perhaps be less of an issue but I look forward to a larger screen.

Second, the “resolution” of the screen and stylus combination isn’t detailed or fine enough. When I write with my normal handwriting, it’s difficult to read the writing on the screen because the lines are quite broad. As a result, I have to write larger which compounds the small screen issue. To be fair, the saved .pdf does record the handwriting accurately so perhaps I just need to get over the display and rely on the .pdf.

Boogie Board Rip Handwriting

Boogie Board Rip Handwriting PDF

I admit that I have specific needs so I would also emphasise the Rip’s good points.

First it’s very easy to use. There are two buttons, “Erase” and “Save / Wake” and when you do press the buttons, the device responds almost instantly. There’s no PIN or password to enter.

Second, it’s lightweight with little difference between it and a paper notebook.

Third, the saving of drawing and notes straight to a .pdf is the brilliant bit. No need for scanning or special paper. I can instantly upload the .pdf to Evernote (or Microsoft’s OneNote) for a historical record of meetings and other activities.
Finally, it’s fun and you’ll never run out of paper.

In summary, Improv Electronics’ Boogie Boards are styled as paper replacements and they’re not far wrong but for me it’s just not there. At the moment, the Rip is best suited to drawings and sketches but falls short for handwriting, so I’ll be keep my A4 notebook for now. However, I genuinely look forward to the Rip 2, which will I’m sure will have a larger screen and a more detailed stylus.

Your Free Evernote Account Just got Better

Posted by Alan at 2:15 PM on September 7, 2011

Evernote is probably the most popular online note-taking application.  With versions for computers (both Windows and Mac) and mobile versions for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and WebOS, the app is virtually everywhere.  There is a free version and a Premium version, but the free version previously limited users to only being able to include text, image, audio and PDF files in their notes.

Today, Evernote announced that the restriction has now been removed and free account users can include any type of file in their notes.  “The reason we lifted our file restriction is that we want to allow our users to store everything related to an experience or memory in a single, visual, searchable place.”

The other restrictions for free accounts still apply – there’s a 25 MB file size limit for notes and a 60 MB upload limit per month.  Evernote is promising that there are a lot more innovations “in the works”.  If you aren’t familiar with, or haven’t tried, the service, you can visit Evernote to check it out.