Forty Hours

You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself. - Galileo Galilei

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Backing up Facebook and Twitter accounts

backing up facebook account
backing up twitter account

For many of us, Facebook and Twitter have become such an integral part of our lives that losing the digital memories posted on these two social media sites can be devastating.
To back up your photos, status updates, wall posts and profile information on Facebook, you can use an online service like Backupify (

Another good tool that can help you back up your Facebook data is the desktop program SocialSafe (

SocialSafe requires Adobe Air, a free program that you can download from After you have installed SocialSafe, grant it access to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The free version of SocialSafe backs up your Facebook photos, profile information, status updates and friend lists. Once your Facebook data has been archived, you will be able to browse your social history.

If you want to back up your Twitter data, you can upgrade to SocialSafe Pro, which costs US$6.99 (S$8.90). This version also lets you back up your Facebook wall posts and photos posted by your friends in which you have been tagged.

A free Twitter backup option to consider is Tweetbackup (, an online tool from the Backupify folks. To use the freebie, you are required to follow @tweetbackup and post a tweet to promote the service. You have to be patient when using this tool as it could take a while to archive your tweets. Also note that because Twitter allows you access to only your latest 3,200 tweets, you may not be able to back up every tweet, especially if you are a compulsive Twitter user.

Tweet Scan Backup ( is another free service to try. It downloads your last 1,000 tweets and combines them with its database to improve the completeness of your backup. The service trawls the Twittersphere on its own to build up a vast database.

It will then generate an archive that comprises a CSV file and a report presented in the TiddlyWiki format.

Besides tweets, the archive includes data about your replies, friends, followers and direct messages.

For now, restoring data to Twitter from backup data is not possible, due to limitations in the software interface used by programmers to access Twitter data through third-party applications.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Android App Saves You Taxi Booking Fees

Android app just one of many developed by Temasek Polytechnic students. OO GIN LEE reports

android app taxi booking fees

Five Temasek Polytechnic students have created a smartphone app that lets commuters get a cab without having to pay the usual booking fees.

Running on Android devices, this passenger-to-cab matching app lets users hunt for cabs in the vicinity and allows cabbies to find them as well.

Called Virtual Hailing, it overlays the location information of both caller and cab over Google Maps. Passengers and taxi drivers have slightly different versions of the app, which can be customised.

Passengers and cabbies looking for a match simply press an icon on the app to broadcast their respective locations on the shared Google Maps interface. Cab drivers can then view the exact locations of each passenger on Google Maps as an icon and vice versa. Either party can initiate a connection by simply tapping on an icon.

If the passenger initiates the link, then the cabbie has to tap to accept. Once accepted, both parties will see a line on the map which tracks the movement of the cab as it reaches the passenger. This way, a passenger gets a real-time view of the exact location of his hailed cab until it arrives.

There is also a feature in the app which tells cabbies which are the top five locations where the most passengers have initiated a virtual hail in the past week.

Group leader of the Virtual Hailing app team Benson Poh, 21, said: 'This helps cab drivers decide where to drive to if they want the best chance of getting passengers.' He added that there is a community rating system to blacklist the pranksters and errant cab drivers who do not show up.

Virtual Hailing is the final year project for Mr Poh and his friends, who are pursuing the Diploma in Business Information Technology full-time. Mr Poh said the idea for the app came about because his team mates were often late for group meetings.

'I would call them and they would always say they could not find a cab and they did not want to pay the booking fee,' he said.

'So we decided to solve the problem ourselves and get marks for it too.'

The students will be graduating later this year and hope to commercialise their app after that.

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