Who amongst us hasn't had fantasies of becoming a spy and doing nifty spy stuff? From Emma Peel to James Bond, spies have always been cool-at least in the movies. One staple of espionage Hollywood style is the spy camera, often secreted in an innocuous device like a watch or a pen. Part fantasy and part military-grade tech, the spy camera's neat trick was its ability to take crystal clear shots of enemy intelligence despite being smaller than your pinky finger. Back in the heyday of the swingin' spy, this was practically the stuff of science fiction.
Portable document scanner for iPhone ($1.99) by developer Pixoft
As with most things, yesterday's fantasy has mostly become today's mundane reality. Though we don't yet have jetpacks or cars with missiles hidden behind the license plate, we do have tracking devices and lasers powerful enough to burn a hole in your trousers. And what about that tiny spy camera with the resolving power of the Hubble Space Telescope? We're not quite there yet, but apps like TurboScan push us closer to that reality. Utilizing the iPhone's built-in camera, TurboScan can photograph, enhance and transmit text documents like receipts and forms.
Document scanning with a camera as small as the iPhone's can be troublesome, especially in low light. The regular photo scanning function is great if you've got plenty of light, but in case you don't, TurboScan also has SureScan-take three photos of the same document, and the application will attempt to eliminate camera shake and blurriness to produce a more readable document. It won't work if you need to capture clear images of illustrations or photographs, but if all you want to do is keep your receipts in digital form-or transmit the latest Russian ciphers to MI6-TurboScan should be your weapon of choice.
Free web-based meeting planner and notebook (currently in beta, paid accounts to follow) by Hyper Tiny
Meetings are social events designed to help people get things done. But given all the housekeeping and organization involved in planning them, you could be forgiven for thinking meetings don't help anyone get anything done besides plan more meetings. You need to know what everyone needs to discuss at a meeting; then someone needs to transcribe the proceedings to make sure everyone knows what was discussed; then someone has to prepare and send those notes out to everyone, along with an agenda for where to go from here. A month, a week or twelve minutes later, the cycle begins anew.
Ketchup was designed to streamline all the tedious tasks associated with setting up and running a meeting. It holds meeting agendas and notes all in one place, and can act as a repository of information about what everyone's decided and what actions everyone needs to take going forward. Ketchup is accessible from any web browser, and provides a simple, elegant interface for organizing a meeting and all its associated documentation.
You can share meeting agendas and notes with other people through the URL posted on every meeting page, or keep meeting notes private if you wish. Ketchup also provides calendar feeds for iCal and Google Calendar, allowing you to integrate Ketchup meetings into your scheduling application of choice. Ketchup doesn't reinvent the wheel, and you can use pretty much any note-taking application-or even a pen and paper-to do what Ketchup does. It's just that Ketchup is so much easier to use that you might start to wonder why you're bothering with other options.
Free multiple-account browser add-on for Windows/Mac/Linux (via Firefox) by developer: Jeferson Hultmann
Do you lead a double life? Most people find it far too troublesome and maybe a little duplicitous to maintain more than one online profile, but there will always be those who have their reasons for maintaining multiple accounts on the same site. Lots of people have multiple GMail accounts to separate their home and business lives, for example. Others might maintain multiple blogs on the same service, or use several Twitter accounts because they're writing some form of bizarre social media interactive story.
But trying to keep all your GMail personas cooped up in one browser is asking for trouble; you'll just end up with one logged-in account and a whole lot of scrambled cookies. The alternative, however, isn't much better; for each set of accounts, you needed to open an entirely different browser. One of your online lives might be led in Firefox, while your split personalities lived in Chrome and Safari. Workable, but unwieldy and annoying.
Multifox is a Firefox add-on that manages the feat of allowing you to log into the same site with multiple accounts. Instead of using different browsers, Multifox allows you to assign personas to individual Firefox windows. Simply right-click on a link and open it in a new identity profile, or open a new identity profile directly from the File menu, and you'll have a new window where you can login to your favourite sites with different accounts.
Multifox can keep track of your various personas even after closing and re-opening Firefox, if you've set the browser to restore your closed tabs and windows. A helpful Multifox badge identifies which persona window you're in so you can keep everything straight. And that's it-no advanced options, no messing about with other browsers. Multifox lets you manage your split personalities without having to split your time between different browsers as well.