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May 21, 2010

Create HTML Signatures Right Inside Gmail

This tip describes how you can create sleek and professional looking HTML signatures for your outgoing Gmail messages right inside Gmail itself without requiring any extensions or add-ons.

HTML Signatures in Gmail

HTML Signatures for your Google Email

Gmail does support email signatures but the problem is that it limits you to plain text – you can’t add graphics (like your company’s logo) to the signature and there’s absolutely no support for HTML so you can’t use different font styles or colors for the signature text.

There are workarounds. For instance, you can create an email signature in Outlook or some HTML editor and then copy-paste the whole thing to your Gmail message. Or you can get one of these browser add-ons to create rich HTML signatures directly on the Gmail /Google Apps website.

There’s a third-option as well – it’s easy, it’s fun and doesn’t require extensions. Best of all, you can create multiple signatures for the same Gmail account and use them depending on who you are corresponding with.

Gmail Signatures Step-by-Step

Step 1: Go to Gmail Settings –> Labs and enable “Canned Responses” as well as “Inserting Images.”

Step 2: Compose a new message in Gmail and create a signature just like you would compose any other email message. Be creative!

You can either upload logos and icons from the computer or use ones that are already on the web. I suggest the former style as that will permanently embed the image into your email signature.

Step 3: Once your happy with the formatting and layout of your new “HTML signature,” go to the Canned Response menu and Save – give some logical name like “Personal” for a signature that you want to attach to your personal emails.

Now whenever you are composing a new message in Gmail or replying to an existing message, just select the relevant signature from the Canned Responses drop-down and it will be inserted inline as in this screenshot.

See this page for additional Gmail tips & tricks. Thanks @Ree and @Asfaq.

Create HTML Signatures Right Inside Gmail

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Originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal.

May 20, 2010

Founders of Two Successful Internet Startups Share Their Secrets

Adam Smith and Drew Houston, founders of two successful Internet startups – Xobni and Dropbox – share secrets that helped their products win two million users in two years with mostly word-of-mouth marketing and no advertising spend.

Besides building a great product, some key tips mentioned in the deck include:

  • Go where your early adopters hang out
  • Simple landing page: capture interest/email address
  • Focus: do a few things really well instead of a lot of things poorly
  • Hook the user first, educate over time (tours, tip emails, etc.)
  • Meet journalists in person (they’re very busy people)
  • Niche first, world later (Facebook was initially restricted to Harvard students)

If you run an online startup or are planning to launch one, this is one presentation that you should definitely have in your bookmarks.

Founders of Two Successful Internet Startups Share Their Secrets

Originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal.

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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip . . .

. . . After a good meal they lay down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend awake. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars."

"What does that tell you?" Holmes questioned.

Watson pondered for a minute, Holmes' expectations ever-present in his mind. "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three AM. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. "Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent.

May 19, 2010

Visa officially announces their case that turns your iPhone into a credit card (and we’ve got pics!)

by Greg Kumparak on May 17, 2010

Around two weeks ago, Visa announced that they’d partnered with a company called DeviceFidelity to build the iPhone case of our dreams: one that would allow us to use our iPhone as a credit card at any of the thousands of retailers who support no-swipe payments. As quickly as it was announced, however, it was gone; around an hour after the press release went up, it got pulled.

It has returned! This time around, it’s got a name — and better yet, we’ve got pictures.

Back in 2009, DeviceFidelity managed to stuff a near-field communications chip into a microSD card. Stuff said microSD card into a compatible phone, and bam – your phone can now act as a contactless credit card, with on-device software unlocking the card for use whenever the user punches in their password. The problem: none of the iPhones released thus far have a microSD slot.

Enter the new case, now dubbed the “In2Pay” (They should have called it the “payPhone”. Get it? Like a pay phone. Hah. Update: Crap. Someone already trademarked it.) Like a handful of third-party external battery cases, this new case plugs into the bottom of the iPhone via the dock connector. This connection provides power and an interface for the SD card. Pop on the case, plug in the microSD card, download the payment app from the App Store — and bam, you’re buying stuff at PetCo like someone from the future and/or Japan.

Check out the full release below:

DeviceFidelity Announces Mobile Contactless Payment Solution for iPhone

Protective case designed to host microSD based contactless apps turning iPhone into a Visa mobile payment device

Richardson, TX – May 17, 2010 – DeviceFidelity, Inc. today announced the availability of its In2Pay™ solution for iPhone, designed to enable iPhone users to make contactless transactions, such as Visa mobile payments, by simply waving the iPhone in front of a contactless payment terminal. The solution combines DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay microSD technology with a specially designed, patent-pending protective case that adds mobile contactless capability and works with iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.

By placing a removable In2Pay microSD into the protective case, iPhone users can take advantage of In2Pay’s secure contactless capabilities where contactless transactions are offered. They range from buying goods in retail stores and at unattended kiosks, to transit ticketing, and even securely accessing buildings and computers networks. Trials are scheduled to start during the second quarter of 2010.

“The more than 200,000 apps on the App Store are an integral part of iPhone users’ lives.” said Amitaabh Malhotra, COO, DeviceFidelity. “With our In2Pay solution, we want to give both iPhone users and app developers the power to do even more, by putting the convenience of interactive secure mobile transactions, right at their fingertips, anywhere they are.”

DeviceFidelity and Visa collaborated to combine Visa’s contactless payment technology, Visa payWave, and In2Pay technology to transform a mobile phone with a microSD memory slot into a mobile contactless payment device. Today’s announcement extends this functionality to iPhone and has the potential to accelerate the adoption of mobile contactless payments globally, especially in geographies where merchants have already upgraded payment terminals to accept contactless transactions.

“Visa is working to bring the security and convenience of digital currency to mobile users around the world,” said Dave Wentker, Head of Mobile Contactless Payments at Visa Inc. “Our collaboration with DeviceFidelity can extend the reach of Visa mobile payments to millions of iPhone users.”

The In2Pay solution gives iPhone users the ability to add greater convenience, flexibility and functionality. The In2Pay solution is designed to stay attached to iPhone and provides a micro USB slot for users to sync and charge their devices. DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay microSD provides secure, convenient one-click access to contactless transactions. Compatible with smart card industry standards, the microSD can be issued and personalized like traditional smart cards or in the future through a secure download of the account information via a mobile network.

DeviceFidelity has multiple patents pending in the USA and several international countries for microSD and handset case based plug-and-play technology. DeviceFidelity has recently launched a partnership program allowing application and Trusted Service Manager system developers to upgrade their NFC solutions by adding support for the In2Pay microSD. The In2Pay microSD can be inserted securely and easily into the In2Pay Case for iPhone.

About DeviceFidelity, Inc.
DeviceFidelity, Inc. develops plug-and-play technologies that empower a variety of institutions to deploy their services and applications on millions of mobile phones worldwide. Its patent-pending In2Pay microSD solution, transforms any mobile phone with a memory card slot into an interactive contactless transaction device. Committed to bringing contactless innovation to the mobile phone, the company has numerous patents pending in both U.S. and international patent offices. DeviceFidelity is a private corporation with headquarters in Richardson, Texas and offices in Foster City, California. For more information, go to

About Visa
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks–VisaNet–that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit