Greatest invention of all time?

Sure, mankind has done plenty of "good" things – the light bulb, the wheel, beer, the telephone, high-def television, etc, etc – but has there ever been an invention as awesome as the Spoonacho? I don't think so.

Spoonachos: Nachos that are spoons. ((insert sound from Heaven here))

My only real question is… why didn't I think of this?!

Roll Your Own URL Shortener with WordPress in less than One Hour

With the closing of the tr.im url shortening service yesterday, many users are beginning to worry about what will happen to all of their shortened URLs.

The reality of the situation is that many almost every social media service – including twitter, friendfeed, jaiku, indenti.ca, etc, etc – all rely on URL shortening services. (After all, it's hard to have short messages with long urls, right?) But if those services cease to exist, many of the links that have been cultivated, traded, and broadcast will cease to function. In other words, all of your tweets & posts could ultimately become lost or broken links.

The solution? Create your own URL shortening service using WordPress!

Not only will you you ensure that your links don't become broken or rot, but you'll also have complete access to click-through statistics, be able to custom tailor the link name & appearance, and you can harness the power to promote your own brand!

Continue reading Roll Your Own URL Shortener with WordPress in less than One Hour

How to Create a Social Media Safety Net

While I didn't get social media at first, I now know exactly how I can use & benefit from my favorite social media apps – like Twitter, FriendFeed, Tumblr, Soup, BrightKite and others.

(In fairness, much of my social media awakening should be credited to Rob @ Orangejack, Mike McBride, and nf0).

One of the issues that's troubled me over the past two years is the EXTREME decentralization that has been brought about by the rise of great social media websites. It's as if there is no common thread tying all of these social thoughts, musings, and ideas together.

The problem is exacerbated somewhat by the realization that I have no control over the content that I have created. What I have posted to Twitter now lives on Twitter's servers. If Twitter folds (as Pownce did in December), then those digital bits of my life may be lost forever. And that would really suck.

Continue reading How to Create a Social Media Safety Net

The best last-minute gift idea EVER!

I have to give credit to Rob, who suggested this to me last week via twitter. Thanks, Rob!

Did you forget the work gift exchange? Do you need a great last minute gift? Fear not, because in just three minutes, you can have the best last-minute birthday/holiday/anniversary gift in your hands.

If you need a last minute gift for someone special (or someone not so special, either way), then simply go to Amazon and print out a gift certificate.

Available in any denomination and printable at your home or work, Amazon gift certificates are the perfect last minute gift.

So… the next time you need a holiday gift exchange item or you just forgot/misplaced a gift, simply click, print, and give!

How long for that Fast Pass??

One of the great additions to the Disney parks over the past ten years has been the Fast Pass. While some loathe it, I love the Fast Pass system.

And there's really only one thing lacking from Disney's FP approach – a universally accessible ledger that tracks wait times for each park's attractions. Sure, there are other ideas on how to improve Fast Pass, but this is the kind of everyday genius that you would have expected from Disney.

But… fear not. The fine folks at Twisney have created a mobile site that allows park visitors to post & view current wait times for any attraction… even dining.

To view & post wait times for the Disney Parks, visit Twisney's Mobile Wait Times site.

And spread the word – the more users that contribute, the more timely the updates will be!

Christmas Shopping the easy way

It's no secret that I like to do things the easy way. It's not (just) that I'm lazy, but I… appreciate efficiency. 🙂

So… as in years past, I'll be renewing my Amazon Prime membership again this fall.

Why? Well, it's simple really.

I like Amazon Prime because:

1. I get FREE two-day shipping on almost anything I buy at Amazon
2. I can upgrade to overnight shipping for just $3.99 per item (perfect for that last minute gift!)
3. I get the free shipping (or upgraded overnight shipping) regardless of how much (or how little) I buy, which is awesome because I generally buy one thing at a time 🙂
4. I can share my Amazon Prime membership with Merrin or anyone else in my household

I mean, think about it: Let's say I forgot to get you something for Christmas, and we're supposed to do a gift exchange tomorrow night. ACK! I can jump on Amazon, pick something you would like, and have it in my hands (gift wrapped, even!) tomorrow.

Or, let's say I ate the last popcorn in the house. I can order some Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop from Amazon and have it delivered to the house with Amazon Prime. Not only would I save on the price versus the grocery, but I also save the gas, tolls, time, sanity, etc.

Pretty cool? You're damn skippy.

Now I bet you're thinking, "I wish I had Amazon Prime." Well… you can.

In fact, you can try Amazon Prime free for a month through a special promotion. Check it out, kick the tires, and see if you like it.

But… take it from an efficiency expert… you're gonna love you some Amazon Prime.

How To: Geotag your iPhoto pictures

I like to catalog my pictures in iPhoto by event and location. It's not only helpful as a reference, but it allows me to make cool travel photo maps online at Flickr or in Google Earth. For example, here's my geotag map from Flickr.

Since iPhoto doesn't offer a native interface for adding geotags to pictures (although some use this hack — !not recommended!), here's a quick and easy way to add location information and geotag your pictures in iPhoto, using Google Earth.

Continue reading How To: Geotag your iPhoto pictures

Convert AOL Email Address Book to Mac Address Book

With the holidays approaching, many people will be wondering how to download their AOL email address book to use in Mac OSX's default Address Book.

Luckily enough, AOL already has a tool that will allow you to download your AOL address book into OSX. To convert your AOL email contacts, all you need is to download the AOL Service Assistant and run the application.

The program will download and sync your AOL contacts into the Mac Address Book. (Ta-da!)

The Slingbox-ness

With me living out of the hotel in Orlando, I'm miles and miles away from my Tivo and the ESPN Gameplan college football package. I have to tell you – the separation has been killing me. (And my wife & dogs, too, of course.) If only there was some way to have access to my DirecTV, Tivos, and ESPN Gameplan when I'm in Orlando.

Enter the Slingbox AV.

The Slingbox links my DirecTV/Tivo to a private channel on the internet, allowing me to access my stuff anywhere in the world – just like if I were home! In other words, the Slingbox "slings" (beams) my entertainment center anywhere I go with internet access. (demo)

I can watch anything I've recorded, watch live TV on either/both tuners, and program new recordings – all through a virtual Tivo remote that looks just like the one I use at home.

The compression is exceptional, so — provided you have a broadband connection — there is very little noticeable degradation. It's literally just like watching TV.

The setup was quick and painless. Plug it in, plug in the network and away you go. The Slingbox will even set itself up in your router so that you may access it from anywhere worldwide without having to mess with any settings (port forwarding, etc).

If you travel frequently and miss a lot of your favorite programs/channels/team's games, you should definitely check out the Slingbox. I know it probably sounds like I'm shilling for them (I'm not), but this is a seriously awesome product – especially for sports fans.

I am 100% smitten with the Slingbox-ness.