Don’t spam your twitter followers


Some people tend to re-tweet a lot of tweets right after they came on-line on Twitter. While re-tweeting is not a bad thing, it might be disturbing when somebody I follow spams or floods my timeline with 5 or even more re-tweets, posted in the same minute. At least, I find it disturbing.

On the other hand, clicking RT is very easy, and scheduling all these RT’s can be a huge and time-consuming job. Buffer solves the pain of scheduling tweets

What does do?

If you buffer a tweet, a Facebook or LinkedIn update buffer will add this post in your buffer queue. You define the time schedule, and buffer adds it in the next available slot. And when the time has come, buffer will post on the selected social media network.

Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your buffer at one time in the day and buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long.

Integration in other software

Buffer is integrated in a lot of other software. Just to give an overview I will list some applications where you can buffer your tweets:

  • Pocket (formerly ReadItLater)
  • Reeder
  • Chrome , Safari, Firefox
  • IFTT
  • Instapaper
  • Twitter
  • Google reader
  • Shareaholic

And many more. For a complete overview, you can visit http://bufferapp.com/extras You can also email to a special buffer email address

Analytics

Buffer also give you analytics about your posts. For a tweet, you’ll get the number of re-tweets, mentions, clicks, potential readers and favorites. So you can see which posts are most successful.

Price

Buffer is free of charge for 4 social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and App.net) and 10 buffers in each account. Create your Buffer account, for free.

If you need more than 10 updates, or 2 team members to post or up to 12 social media profiles, you can go Awesome for $10 a month or $8.50 per month paid as $102 a year.

 

Dropbox vs Spideroak vs Box vs Sugarsync vs Skydrive vs Google Drive

Cloud storage, synchronization and backup.

Storing files in the cloud has become a habit since a few years for me. In the beginning I was very reluctant to storing files in the Cloud, but now this habit changed. I had the right rewards to change my off-line habit to an on-line one à availability of my files, on different platforms

In this blog post I will compare services and give my opinion about them. I must also tell you that I use affiliate links in this post. This means, that I might get extra space if you register with these links, but with no disadvantage or extra cost for you. And the nice thing is that you might also get extra space when you use these linls. There is a chapter dedicated to links and benefits in using my referral links.

While all these on-line sync/backup providers offer a free account they actually work from a freemium model and also offer paying accounts, sometimes with just extra space and sometimes with extra features.

As you can see in the comparison sheet hereunder, Skydrive is by far the cheapest on-line storage provider at this moment (June 2012). With $50 a year for an additional 100 GB (on top of your free 7 GB) there is no other doing better.

However price is not everything. It sure means a lot if you compare the pure file sharing/syncing services. Dropbox is by far the most known, but they don’t score too well on storage price and on security/privacy.
Dropbox is now 4 times more expensive for 100 GB compared to Microsoft Skydrive. The ease of use that you have in Dropbox is also applicable in Skydrive or Google Drive. You install client software and that software created a folder on your hard drive and syncs the folder between your account and devices. But you can only sync this folder.
Spideroak however, makes it possible to have more than 1 computer used in this setup. However, sharing files the way Dropbox, Skydrive and Google drive do, is not that straightforward with Spideroak.

Spideroak is then a lot better in performing back-ups compared to the others. You can choose folders, files and exclude file types and add backup schedules. It is also possible to backup USB or network drives with SpiderOak.
They are also the only service where you can’t reset your password, and if you are concerned about security and privacy, this is a good thing. Since Spideroak encrypts the files on your computer and sends them encrypted to the Spideroak servers, they can’t access or even see the files.

Comparison sheet

Here is how I use these cloud services

Dropbox:

I use dropbox to quickly share files. Most people I know have a dropbox account, and it is easy to set up and share files. Dropbox is also the place where I create my back-ups from my blog using WP Time machine.

Spideroak

Spideroak is my preferred tool to make backups. I can also back up my external disks (USB and also network drives), the data is encrypted on my computer before it is transferred to the Spideroak server. Configuring synchronizing is harder then with the other services in this post and the user interface is a little awkward.

Box.net

I have a box account of 50GB when I registered with my IOS device, but since the free version lacks a client application I don’t use box.net. Downloading files one by one in the web interface is not really “being productive”.

SugarSync

Well, I started using Sugarsync some time ago, before I discovered SpiderOak. It found it quit challenging to configure Sugarsync and stopped experimenting with it.

Skydrive

I use Skydrive to have some office files available, like presentations or reports I’m working on. Skydrive is also my favorite service to collaborate in Microsoft Office documents with the on-line version of Word, Excel OneNote and Powerpoint.

Google Drive

Since I mainly use Skydrive to collaborate on files (in my private life, professionally it is usually SharePoint) I installed the Google Drive app and registered my account just to see if it is any different from Skydrive. For me, the main functionality which is syncing files is about the same. I don’t use Google Drive actively.

Referral links

Service

Link

Advantage of this link

Dropbox http://bit.ly/drOpbOx We both get 500 MB extra
SpiderOak http://bit.ly/spiderpat We both get 1 GB extra
Box.net https://www.box.net None
SugarSync http://bit.ly/sugsyncpat We both get 500 MB extra
Skydrive https://skydrive.live.com/ None
Google Drive https://drive.google.com None

*Extra:
When you have a SpiderOak account you can upgrade your 2GB to 5 GB FREE FOR LIFE by using the WORLDBACKUPDAY promo code. To redeem this offer, click ‘buy more space’ and enter WORLDBACKUPDAY. If you want to register for a 100 GB account, like http://www.facebook.com/SpiderOak and you can find a coupon for 20% off all plans!

My preferred services are SpiderOak and Skydrive.

Which are yours?

Remember only 1 password and manage the others with LastPass

Before I started using LastPass, I was very skeptic about storing my passwords in the cloud. What would happen if somebody would be able to hack my account and get a hold of all my passwords? What would happen when the servers are down?
We were talking about passwords and not just a simple non secured document. Losing my passwords could lead to identity theft and even losing money.


Now, why did I start using LastPass?

LastPass actually means ‘The Last Password you need to remember”. And the last password you need to remember is the LastPass password.
I use several internet services (like personal email accounts, work email account, Twitter, Facebook, task management, YouTube or Vimeo, …) and it was a mess to remember all the passwords. Or maybe it was easy since I used the same password several times… So far for my password security.

If you want to have security (or better say as much security as possible) you need to have different passwords for all your log-ins, and these passwords should be random. So something like “Gt!58*:EfZ(Indeed, they look like 1234567, password1 or CoolDude.

And even when I used secure passwords, I got frustrated in remembering them and it is difficult not to write them down in a Moleskine notebook somewhere. Unencrypted…

Here come secure passwords!

With LastPass you can start using secure passwords. Heck, you don’t even have to remember them. You can generate a secure password with LastPass and then store it encrypted together with your username for that website or service.

When you browse to that site, LastPass will automagically fill in your username and password, or suggest filling it in (if you use more than 1 account to that specific website or service).

How does it work?

Downloading and installing the plug-in, as well as creating your new LastPass account, takes less than 5 minutes.
After downloading a version that supports the browser of your choice (Internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera) for your Operating System of your choice (Windows, Mac or Linux) you can start using it. There is even a version for Chrome and Firefox Portable (installed on a USB thumb drive).

After installation you need to create a LastPass account with a master password (this is all done during the installation process) and you will need to choose a master password. This is your last password to remember, so pick it good and secure. After installation restart your browser and you will see an extra icon in your browser toolbar. Red indicates you’re logged in, while gray indicates you’re not. Once logged in, you can visit your “Password Vault”, which is LastPass’ spreadsheet layout of your passwords.

LastPass can import the saved passwords from your browser or from another password manager you were using (like Keepass, 1password, ..).

Is it safe?

Yes. The encryption/decryption occurs on your own computer, not on the LastPass servers. This means, that an encrypted password is stored on the LastPass servers and your sensitive information does not travel the Internet from the server to your PC.

You have an encryption key on your computer and that key is created from your email address and the Master Password you have chosen during the setup of LastPass.

Can I use it on more than 1 computer?

Sure. You can install the browser add-ons on many computers and if you are working on a shared computer or on a computer where you can’t install anything, you can access your LastPass Vault via the web interface. This allows you to copy and paste usernames and passwords from your Vault to your login-window. When you copied a password in memory (to the Clipboard) it stays there for 30 seconds by default. You can change this if needed or required.
You can also use One-Time-Password to login on a shared computer.

Here are a few other features of LastPass:

  • Automatic Form filling
  • One click login
  • Synchronize across multiple browsers and computers
  • Generate strong passwords
  • Share passwords with other LastPass users
  • Identify weak passwords with the LastPass Security Challenge
  • On-screen keyboard to enter your LastPass Master password (to protect you from key loggers)

And the best thing?

It is free. The basic functionality is free. There is a premium account too which costs $12/year. The free version will be more than enough for most users, at least to start with. Upgrading to the Premium version will get you LastPass on mobile devices (IOS, WebOs, Windows Mobile,Android, ..), multifactor authentication via USB Thumb drives or YubiKey, the ability to use LastPass without installing the plug-in and priority support..

Oh, and for now, you can get 1 month of Premium access if you register via this link

Question: Do you use secure passwords? Do you use a password manager? You can explain which one, and why or why not. You can leave a comment.

Before I started using LastPass, I was very skeptic about storing my passwords in the cloud. What would happen if somebody would be able to hack my account and get a hold of all my passwords? What would happen when the servers are down?
We were talking about passwords and not just a simple non secured document. Losing my passwords could lead to identity theft and even losing money.

Now, why did I start using LastPass?

LastPass actually means ‘The Last Password you need to remember”. And the last password you need to remember is the LastPass password.
I use several internet services (like personal email accounts, work email account, Twitter, Facebook, task management, youtube or vimeo, …) and it was a mess to remember all the passwords. Or maybe it was easy since I used the same password several times… So far for my password security.

If you want to have security (or better say as much security as possible) you need to have different passwords for all your log-ins, and these passwords should be random. So something like “Gt!58*:EfZ(Indeed, they look like 1234567, password1 or CoolDude.

And even when I used secure passwords, I got frustrated in remembering them and it is difficult not to write them down in a Moleskine notebook somewhere. Unencrypted…

Here come secure passwords!

With LastPass you can start using secure passwords. Heck, you don’t even have to remember them. You can generate a secure password with LastPass and then store it encrypted together with your username for that website or service.

When you browse to that site, LastPass will automagically fill in your username and password, or suggest filling it in (if you use more than 1 account to that specific website or service).

How does it work?

Downloading and installing the plug-in, as well as creating your new LastPass account, takes less than 5 minutes.
After downloading a version that supports the browser of your choice (Internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera) for your Operating System of your choice (Windows, Mac or Linux) you can start using it. There is even a version for Chrome and Firefox Portable (installed on a USB thumb drive).

After installation you need to create a LastPass account with a master password (this is all done during the installation process) and you will need to choose a master password. This is your last password to remember, so pick it good and secure. After installation restart your browser and you will see an additional icon in your browser toolbar. Red indicates you’re logged in, while gray indicates you’re not. Once logged in, you can visit your “Password Vault”, which is LastPass’ spreadsheet layout of your passwords.

LastPass can import the saved passwords from your browser or from another password manager you were using (like Keepass, 1password, ..).

Is it safe?

Yes. The encryption/decryption occurs on your own computer, not on the LastPass servers. This means, that an encrypted password is stored on the LastPass servers and your sensitive information does not travel the Internet from the server to your PC.

You have an encryption key on your computer and that key is created from your email address and the Master Password you have chosen during the setup of LastPass.

Can I use it on more than 1 computer?

Sure. You can install the browser add-ons on many computers and if you are working on a shared computer or on a computer where you can’t install anything, you can access your LastPass Vault via the web interface. This allows you to copy and paste usernames and passwords from your Vault to your login-window. When you copied a password in memory (to the Clipboard) it stays there for 30 seconds by default. You can change this if needed or required.
You can also use One-Time-Password to login on a shared computer.

Here are a few other features of LastPass:

  • Automatic Form filling
  • One click login
  • Synchronize across multiple browsers and computers
  • Generate strong passwords
  • Share passwords with other LastPass users
  • Identify weak passwords with the LastPass Security Challenge
  • On-screen keyboard to enter your LastPass Master password (to protect you from key loggers)

And the best thing?

It is free. The basic functionality is free. There is a premium account too which costs $12/year. The free version will be more than enough for most users, at least to start with. Upgrading to the Premium version will get you LastPass on mobile devices (IOS, WebOs, Windows Mobile,Android, ..), multifactor authentication via USB Thumb drives or YubiKey, the ability to use LastPass without installing the plug-in and priority support..