FreshBooks Launches iPhone App

FreshBooks, a popular web-based invoicing and expense-tracking service for small businesses, today launched an iPhone app that integrates with--and delivers the same features as--the original desktop browser-based version.

FreshBooks started out as an invoicing app, but has since expanded to include features such as time and expense tracking, integration with major online payment gateways (e.g. PayPal), and reports.

One of its greatest strengths is its library of more than 70 third-party add-ons--apps that can automatically send data to FreshBooks.

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QuickBooks Online Gets Some Mint.com Data Entry Smarts

QuickBooks Online home screen.
QuickBooks Online, the Web-based version of Intuit's popular small-business accounting software, is getting an update that includes improved online banking features and income transaction tracking.

The online banking enhancements borrow technology from Mint.com, Intuit's Web-based personal finance manager. QuickBooks Online will now download transactions automatically every night, and assign them categories based on historical data or intelligence built in to the software.

Users can review the categorization when they log in, and (as before) override them as needed. The software will remember the approved category and use it on future transactions. Since QuickBooks Online supports transaction downloads from some 5000 financial institutions, automatic categorization should save customers time they'd otherwise spend entering data manually.

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Evernote Launches New Business Tool, Smart Moleskine Notebook

Evernote Launches SMB Tool, Smart Moleskine Notebook
Popular productivity app Evernote is targeting small companies with the launch of Evernote Business, while bridging the gap between paper and digital notebooks.

Evernote Business beefs up Evernote's collaboration features while adding administrative capabilities to help companies manage users.

"Sharing and collaboration is the fundamental thing you want to do at work," said CEO Phil Libin at the Evernote Trunk conference in San Francisco. "We want Evernote not only to be your personal brain but your company's brain."

In addition, Libin called a "ceasefire" to Evernote's war against paper with the launch of a smart Moleskine notebook at $24.95 and $29.95, shipping in October. An updated iPhone and iPad app, available today, adds a Page Camera feature for digitizing content from the notebooks, whose pages are formatted for Evernote.

In beta testing until December, the service will cost $10 per month.

Evernote Business users will be able to separate personal and professional notebooks, with businesses setting up private spaces. The sharing tab will disappear from Evernote, which will display all notebooks in one place. These changes apply to all of the interfaces of Evernote--for the browser, the desktop, and the major mobile OSs.

The Moleskine notebook designed for Evernote features stickers to help organize your paper and digital content.

Evernote promises not to mine users' data, giving companies and individuals full data ownership.

"We came up with a kind of playground solution, which is what's mine is mine, what's yours is yours," Libin said, adding that most of Evernote's 38 million users are professionals.

Evernote also will introduce phone support.

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Firefox 17 Will Boost Add-On Security

Add-ons are a big part of the Firefox experience for many users of Mozilla's popular browser, and just recently we saw the number of add-ons downloaded so far cross the 3 billion mark.

firefox
Now, it looks like Mozilla is working to make those add-ons more secure than ever.

“Add-ons often need to interact with page content, and mixing privileged and unprivileged code can be a tricky thing to get right without compromising security,” explained Jorge Villalobos, Mozilla's add-ons developer relations lead, in a post on the Add-Ons Blog on Monday. “Unintentionally exposing privileged objects to Web content is a major security concern.”

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Google+ Starts Rolling Out Custom URLs

There's nothing like a social networking URL involving more than 20 numbers to make a user yearn for something easier to remember, and on Monday Google announced that it's begun to deliver just that.

google plus
Specifically, companies and individuals using Google+ will soon be able to claim a custom URL for use instead of the long, klunky ones they've had so far.

“Today we’re introducing custom URLs to make it even easier for people to find your profile on Google+,” wrote Google product manager Saurabh Sharma in a post on the company's social network on Monday.

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Need to Choose a Creative Commons License? This New Tool Can Help

Creative Commons licensing can be a good way for businesses and artists alike to protect their creative works while enabling productive sharing, but figuring out which of the six Creative Commons licenses is best for you can feel like a daunting challenge.

creative commons
I wrote a guide to the topic earlier this year, but now the Creative Commons organization itself has come out with a newly revamped tool to help users choose which license to adopt.

“The license chooser has been completely redesigned for greater clarity and ease of use,” wrote Jonathan Palecek, a software engineer with the Creative Commons, in a blog post on Tuesday.

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Chrome 21 Debuts with New Video and Audio API, 26 Bug Fixes

Google on Tuesday released version 21 of its popular Chrome browser, complete with several new features and a raft of security fixes.

chrome
Perhaps most notable among the browser's new features is an API for high-quality video and audio communication.

Known as the getUserMedia API, the new technology “lets you grant Web apps access to your camera and microphone without a plug-in,” explained Shijing Xian, a Google software engineer, in a Tuesday post on the Google Chrome Blog.

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