What's My Name: Android app tests name memory

As someone who's bad at remembering names, I have developed several survival mechanisms. I post my neighbors' names on the fridge. I attempt to use mnemonic devices like matching names to celebrities or figuring out creative rhymes.

None of these techniques actually help much. That's where an app like What's My Name for Android comes in to save the day.

Thankfully, the app doesn't make you snap a pic of every new person you meet. That could be a little awkward. What's My Name imports photos from your contacts, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

The photos are then displayed with a choice of four different names. Choose the wrong one and a big red "X" lets you know you failed miserably and should try harder.

Names can be broken down into groups so you can separate out your drinking buddies from your clients or in-laws.

The flash card-style game can be played in continuous mode or timed mode to simulate the pressure you'll be under during an important business meeting or social mixer or when greeting well-wishers at your wedding.

The app from developer Knowlysis costs $1.99 after a one-week free trial. It should be handy for heading off the embarrassment of calling someone by the wrong name or referring to him as "That guy over there. Whatshisface. You know who I'm talking about." … Read more

Disney's Club Penguin domain name lapses

Disney was willing to pay up to $700 million for Club Penguin, but apparently forgot to renew its domain. Parents can't be happy.

If you go to Club Penguin--like my daughter did--you may get an odd-looking Network Solutions page. It's the page you get when you haven't renewed a domain name. The page has been down for a good chunk of the day. CBS News reported that Club Penguin returned about noon, but a lot of folks still can't get to the site. The outage has been widely reported on Club Penguin blogs such as the … Read more

Unborn babies name themselves with iPhone app

It was hard enough coming up with names for my cats. I can't imagine the struggle to find just the right name for a human baby. Busy parents-to-be can now hand the baby-naming burden off to their unborn children with the Kick to Pick iPhone app.

Choose your favorite names from a list of thousands or let the app randomly pick from boys' or girls' names in its database.

The 99-cent app takes the term "baby bump" in a whole new direction. Start up the kick picker, place the iPhone on your belly, and wait for your baby to give a hearty kick. You can stick with the name Junior lands on or try again.

I picked out a few names and tested out the app. I'm not pregnant, but it still works with the tap of a finger. If I have a boy, he will be named "Festus." If it's a girl, she will be called "Agnes." My imaginary kids are going to hate me.

Kick to Pick doesn't shy away from some of the unusual names that are so popular with Hollywood types. You can, for example, throw "Captain," "London," "Early," and "Zebulon" into the name hopper.

If your little angel complains when he gets older, you can just say remind him that he picked his own name using an iPhone app. … Read more

Mozilla fights DHS over anti-MPAA, RIAA utility

No judge has ever declared a Firefox plug-in called MafiaaFire Redirector to be illegal. But that didn't stop the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from trying to censor it from the Web.

The Mozilla Foundation says DHS requested the removal of MafiaaFire, which describes itself as a utility that "automatically redirects you to the correct alternate site" if the main domain has been seized by the U.S. government.

Harvey Anderson, Mozilla's general counsel, told CNET today that the request from DHS was made over the phone. Anderson replied in writing, posing a list of … Read more

Seized Web sites won't end up like drug dealers' cars

When the government seizes a dope dealer's car, it can put the auto up for auction. But what happens when agents seize a Web domain?

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) said today that those sites seized for trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods will now serve to help spread the government's message that "unfairly devalue America's contributions, compromise American jobs, and put consumers, families, and communities at risk."

The Obama administration and the U.S. Congress have declared war on online piracy and law enforcement agencies have seized more than 100 sites in the past year. Of those, 65 domain names now direct visitors to a public service announcement. … Read more

Home and system directory names not translating in OS X

OS X supports a number of different languages, and either during installation or in the system preferences you can choose your default language in which to have the system display localized elements such as menu text and dialogue text. In addition to interface elements, Apple supports localization on some system files and folders, including the default folders in the home directory. This means that if you switch your system's language, the names Desktop, Movies, Pictures, Documents, and so on that are in your home directory should also be shown in the new language.

While this works for most people, … Read more

Addressing OS X file extensions reverting after change

While the launch services in OS X use file name extensions to associate files with various applications, generally users do not need to interact with these extensions and the system keeps them hidden by default; however, you can have the extensions shown, either globally or for specific files. If you edit the extension the system should prompt you for confirmation and then change the extension, but sometimes the system may revert the file name back or continually append the old file name to the new one.

For example, if you have a script file such as a JavaScript routine that … Read more

The 25 worst-named tech products

Companies agonize over what to name a product, and we certainly recognize how difficult a process it is to come up with a good name.

Over the years, we've seen lots of good ones: the Palm Pilot, the Motorola Razr, TiVo, the Flip cam, are just a few.

But today we're not here to celebrate success. No, let us to rejoice in failure and admire some of the truly bad -- and, in some cases, truly awful -- names that have come along in the last 10 years or so, including the latest additions to the list: the Asus FonePad/PadFone, Grace Digital Ecoxgear Ecoxbt, I'm Watch, Nintendo Wii U, and Qi inductive charging. … Read more

Rename huge batches of files easily

This awkwardly named utility (now known as "Better Rename" in the Mac App Store) can be extremely useful in some very specific situations. Anyone who needs to rename large batches of files on a daily basis--especially Web developers and anybody working with lots of photos or audio files--should definitely check out A Better Finder Rename. Most of what this app does can also be done with the Finder and Automator, but nowhere near as quickly nor as easily.

ABFR offers a huge number of renaming options, everything from modifying text and adding sequence numbers to changing formats and … Read more

Managing files with forward slashes in their names

In the classic Mac OS, colon characters were used to separate folders in a file path, but in Unix-based systems the folder separator is a forward slash character. These characters are prevented from being used in file names because it would confuse the system when trying to access the file. When Apple developed OS X, the use of the forward slash was adopted because of its Unix underpinnings, so in OS X you cannot include a true forward slash in a file name.

This may cause some confusion, since in the Finder you can rename files to include a forward … Read more