As Published In
Oracle Magazine
March/April 2013



Mash Up

News • Views • Trends • Tools


Utilities Apps

Smartphones and tablets are actually powerful computers and can perform better and more efficiently if you add some smart utilities.

Bad Hire?

You’re Not Alone


 69 percent of employers say their company was adversely affected by a bad hire in 2012. Nearly 2,500 US hiring managers and HR pros were surveyed online.
Source: CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive

FCC Mobile Broadband Test
This app analyzes the download and upload speed of your mobile data connection, so you can make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Free (iPhone, Android).

GreenPower Battery Saver
Get the most life from your device’s battery by managing Wi-Fi, mobile data, and Bluetooth networks based on time of day, location, signal level, and more. US$2.90 (Android).

Onavo Extend
By compressing data, this app helps you get more mileage from your data plan—up to five times as much, according to the app’s maker, Onavo. It also categorizes your data usage by app. Free (iPhone, Android).


Get Out of Debt
Debt Payoff Planner lets you consolidate all your debt in one place and track payments and schedules. Pay off bills by highest balance first, lowest balance first, highest interest first, minimum payments only, or your specified order. US$0.99 (Android).

Useless Apps Remover
The name says it all: Get information on which apps you use most, check storage and data-use info on each app, and delete unwanted and unused apps with a single touch. US$0.99 (Android). 

Hard-Core USB Storage

If you’re hard on your USB key—immersing it 200 meters underwater, heating it to 200°C, chilling it to –30°C, or crushing it with a 10-ton vehicle, for example—the LaCie XtremKey is for you. This USB 3.0 flash drive, available in 32 GB and 64 GB models, has a rugged yet stylish protective case made of a zinc, aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloy called Zamac and hermetically sealed with a rubber O-ring. XtremKey also comes bundled with cloud backup and AES 256-bit software encryption for protection against more-mundane challenges.
Starting at US$49.99.

book-UnrelentingInnovation “Market dominance leads to confidence, complacency, and inertia resulting in a failure to innovate. . . . Long-term dominance belongs only to those firms that carefully nourish and sustain a culture for unrelenting innovation against the forces that destroy it.”

Gerard J. Tellis, author of Unrelenting Innovation: How to Build a Culture for Market Dominance (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

Asia Leads, North America Lags in Mobile Consumer Interactions

More than 600 business leaders (most from companies with greater than US$500 million in annual revenue) were asked what percentage of their consumers used mobile devices to interact with their companies in sales, marketing, and customer service transactions in 2012.

48%     Asia
42%     Latin America
28%     Europe
21%     North America


Your Garage Door Can Tweet


Want to know if your furnace fails, your water heater breaks, or your kids left the garage door open while you were at work? Check out Twine, a Wi-Fi enabled 2.7-inch square sensor that can monitor almost any environmental condition and let you know when something’s amiss. Once you set up Twine on your home network, its no-programming-required Web app receives and acts on input by sending an e-mail, tweet, or text message. Twine comes with a built-in temperature sensor and accelerometer (which detects the device’s orientation) and has optional magnetic and moisture sensors and a breakout board for connecting other sensors.
US$124.95 (more with optional sensor packages).


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