Category Archives: intro

Google Labs has a new one for ya “Google Fast Flip” Virtual headline magazine

fast_flip_logo.gifSo imagine looking at the web as a virtual magazine of content, you get to see the stories of the day.  The stories can be any of the vast number of topics your interested in everyday.  Google Labs has a new item called Google Fast Flip it’s described as:

Google Fast Flip is a web application that lets users discover and share news articles. It combines qualities of print and the Web, with the ability to “flip” through pages online as quickly as flipping through a magazine. It also enables users to follow friends and topics, discover new content and create their own custom magazines around searches.

It’s simple you visit the site and skim, the news content that interest you and your friends, or just choose a subject and start viewing your virtual magazine.  One day when they put this into a reader like Kindle from, then we might really have something on our hands for now I’ll just play around with it for the rest of the day.

At present it’s only available on the Google Labs website in English, but International users should be able to see it.  You can also view a full list of the headline sources here


Snapter Easily create PDFs without expensive Adobe Acrobat software

While looking for great sites to write about I stumbled across Snapter. Snapter uses your digital camera as a mobile scanner to scan documents, business cards, white boards, and books into your computer in .jpg or .pdf format. Snapter claims to make your camera photos of documents look like scanned documents.

The software automatically crops, stretches, flattens and converts photos into more portable images. I downloaded Snapter installed the application and started using the system. I decided first to take a picture of my receipt from a laptop purchase I had on my desk. I took this picture with my BlackBerry Curve. The picture while nice is not the best of quality when I later zoomed in on the text. Then I decided to take the same picture with my Canon Powershot SD750 I got 100% better quality.

Use your digital camera as a mobile scanner to scan documents, business cards, whiteboards, and books.

Next I decided to try the book I used my recently purchased HTML, XMTML & CSS Book by Peachpit Press. I turned to a random page and clicked a good picture. The image came up but when I clicked to process the output that’s when It went south. Although it worked I could only see one half of the book after the image processed. The picture was of both sides but it seems that some how the light or dark area in the ream of the book wigged the processor in Snapter out. I tried several times to move the line to tell the software that I wanted the other page included on the scan but I could never get it to go far enough.

Snapter makes camera photos look like scanned documents!

Snapter says they have improved the image process algorithms, but in my opinion it still seems to be an issue. Again it could be user error but I tried 3 times with the same results. I will say this if I really took the time to sit back take great pictures of documents and then tried to make .pdf files I would probably get better results but my frustration factor reached critical mass and I stopped trying to tweak it. To help others there is a Getting Started Guide.

The software is not Freeware that is why this was not included on the Wednesday download tag. You get a 14 day trial to use the software with no limits, after that you get a watermark over every scan that you make. The best part is after the 14 days it still works. Kudo’s to the Snapter team for allowing that you know some students would like to use this but cost is a factor.

While I only did limited examples of what you can do here the website will shed more light on the advantages of Snapter.

3 Thumbs out of 5



I am overly excited for the launch of The Black Tech this has been a long time coming. Last night July 16, 2007 I recorded my first podcast to support this website with informative, and useful information about technology. I have wanted to put together a show like this for some time and I’m just now getting the real opportunity to complete this task off my list.

I hope you find my podcast and videocast about different subjects both entertaining and useful. Technology does not have to be so complex that you think people from Harvard, Yale, and MIT are the only ones who can achieve in this realm. I hope that men, women, boys, and girls of color see and hear these cast. I also hope that as a viewer if you like the program you will leave feed back and also tell your friends about this very infomative website.

Please leave me any comments that you want about the Podcast and Videocast. Oh also if you know of any topics that you want me to discuss please email me at thebtr[at]gmail[dot com] that way I can put your ideas to work.

Thanks again,

Jayson Flint