“Lovelace & Babbage” is a free iPad app for a comic book about the lives of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. Ada, born in 1815, was the daughter of the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” poet, Lord Byron. After being steered toward math to tame her wild blood, she invented the first computer language for the first computer. (The computer was never finished but was fully conceived by Babbage.) A print version just came out, for $21, re-titled “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.”
Email marketing service companies provide templates for emailed newsletters, ads and fundraising materials. They also help target your audience, time your campaign, and analyze the results. Finally, they’ll send you a warning if you’re in danger of getting blocked for sending too much email. Here’s an example of costs from one of the leading companies, “MailChimp.” They let you send up to 2,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free; beyond that, it’s about $10 a month. There’s a comparison of major services at email-marketing-options.com.
– “Localeur” gives you local tips for 14 large U.S. cities. It’s also available without the app at Localeur.com –“MoviePass” lets you see a new movie at a local theater every 24 hours. It’s $42 for a three-month pass. Get it at MoviePass.com. –“EyeReader” for iPhone makes it easy to see a restaurant menu in low light. It uses your phone’s light, and magnifies the text. Android eye reading apps here. “Magnifier” for Android is similar.
“This for That: Visual Schedules” is designed to help children with autism. It’s free through April for iPhone/iPad or 99 cents for Android. It helps break down tasks into easy-to-follow steps, helps ease the transition between activities, and gives them rewards for good behavior.
We spotted some great recipes in a “WebMD” magazine in the doctor’s office, including one for “Tofu-Pineapple Stir Fry.” (OK, Joy thought it sounded great, Bob still prefers grilled cheese.) But when we tried to subscribe, we discovered that the print version is only available in doctor’s offices. (We think rioting in the streets might be appropriate here.)
Google is working on a way to let you read a bill in your email and pay it right there without leaving your inbox. Facebook is rolling out something similar, letting you transfer money to friends and family right there in the Facebook Messenger app (Android) (iPhone) which split off from Facebook last Spring. You can also send money to anyone through the “Google Wallet” app. None of this can be good news for Western Union.
We were burned when we signed up for the “prime” version of Health Tap, after they offered us a free two-week trial of their doctor on demand service. We didn’t remember that they had our credit card, so it was a big shock to learn we’d been dinged $109 per month for three months. This has become a “business model,” as they say, and it’s a nasty practice.
We’ve always been skeptical of those “RealPad” ads in the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) magazine. But readers tell us this senior version of a tablet computer is really neat. RealPad simplifies the user experience. If you can put up with a shorter battery life and a less zippy performance, it could be for you.
– “Google Earth Pro,” which used to cost $400 a year, is now free. It can print much more detailed images, import thousands of addresses at once to be pinned on a map, capture high def videos of what’s on the screen, and measure distances using paths, circles and other shapes. It can measure the acreage of an area quickly or open ESRI files, the common format for Geographic Information Systems.