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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 13, 2012 / 18 Teves 5772

A smart(phone) solution to business card scanning

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A reader (and friend) in Vienna, Virginia, asked if I had any favorites among business card reading software for a smartphone.

Frankly, I hadn't thought of the idea before, but it makes sense: most of today's smartphones (including the Apple iPhone 4S I'm privileged to use right now) have very good cameras, capable of taking high-resolution pictures. In turn, the pictures can be scanned to decipher text and fill in a computerized "address card," or record, for your contact.

It sure beats trying to enter all that data on a tiny smartphone keypad, either real or virtual.

Using a camera-equipped smartphone as a scanner isn't totally new; the folks at Evernote and Instapaper, to name two mobile applications providers, have been doing this for a while. And, scanning business card information into a PC or Mac system is also something that's been available for quite some time.

The wrinkle now, of course, is that social media comes into play. We're all connected to each other, or so it seems, via Facebook and, in the business world, often via LinkedIn. Building up our virtual networks is, apparently, as important (if not more so) than building up our physical ones.

That's where an application such as CardMunch by LinkedIn comes in. It's free and available for the iPhone, though the makers claim it is also under development for Android phones.

The trick here is that CardMunch will scan your card photos, input the data and offer a LinkedIn "connect" invitation if the person is on the LinkedIn network. You build your roster of real - and virtual - contacts quickly and easily.

The downside? It does seem to be a bit slow, when the image and transcript are being verified at a distance. Chunks of time seemed to pass while I awaited the processing of cards that I'd photographed.

The upside? Almost every card was either transcribed perfectly; one or two needed minor, easy-to-make corrections. And, the program suggested corporate names when the scanned data was a bit garbled. Overall, it's not a bad deal for the price, which, as mentioned, is free.

There are any number of similar programs in the Apple iTunes App Store that have a price tag on them; I selected the full ($6.99) version of ScanBizCards.app, which is also available in a free "lite" version. The paid version offers more features, as might be expected.

The program does what it advertises: it'll scan your business cards, transcribe them, and export the results to your smartphone's address book. From there, they can go to your desktop, and programs such as Microsoft Outlook, if desired. There's also an option to issue LinkedIn network invites and to send a virtual business card, or "vCard," to the person whose card you just scanned in. An optional, $9.99 per year, service will back up your database of business cards online. You can also copy and paste e-mail "signatures" into your ScanBizCard listings.

Performance, in terms of speed, was much faster than CardMunch, though accuracy wasn't always as good. The differences between the two programs were relatively few, but noticeable. I have the feeling this may be due as much to enthusiastic graphic design as anything: simple, straightforward styles seem to work best with both programs.

For the moment, I'd go with CardMunch as my program of choice, in part because one of my resolutions this year is to become more active on LinkedIn. But ScanBizCards has a lot of nice features and a fair amount of potential.

Who should be worried about this? Well, I'm guessing the folks who make and sell traditional scanners for business cards and the like, although devices such as the ones sold by The Neat Co. can do far more than just business card scanning, including scanning receipts and helping to prepare expense reports. Then again, services for that function are also available via smartphone. Welcome to a brave, new and perhaps more organized world.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2012, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

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