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Kazam Screen-Recording: Do Try This at Home
December 19, 2013
Kazam is a screencasting and screenshot application that shows much potential, but it is not yet fully suitable for anything more than personal use. Screen-recording tools are a step or two beyond single-frame screen-capture applications. Kazam performs both functions and can record input from the computer's microphone as well as from the speakers.
'Systems Performance': A Definitive Guide for the Cloud Enterprise
December 17, 2013
Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud is a must-have reference guide for any IT manager or sysadmin whose job involves working with computer systems that are tethered to the cloud. Author Brendan Gregg is no newcomer to writing definitive books on computer networks and system performance, but his latest release could well be his best work so far.
DaisyDisk Helps Keep Your Hard Drive Fresh
December 17, 2013
Since the dawn of personal computing, managing storage has been a persistent challenge. Certainly the pressure has eased up on the desktop with the proliferation of 1 TB hard drives, but for laptops and lightweight notebooks, the struggle continues. One of the problems with grappling with all the data on a hard drive is transparency. Eyeballing thousands of file names in the Finder is both tiresome and inefficient.
'Anchorman' Scotchy Toss App Might Be Better After a Shot or 2
December 16, 2013
One of the best side effects of Apple's app ecosystem is spinoffs -- in addition to great games and apps for most everything imaginable, successful franchises can create apps to keep stoking the adoration of fans. If you haven't noticed the invasion of Duck Dynasty-branded merchandise in department stores everywhere, you might have stumbled upon the surprisingly delightful Battle of the Beards app.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Chrome Apps for Book Lovers
December 13, 2013
Books in a multimedia environment bring certain advantages not available on paper alone or via classic audiobooks. Among those advantages are audio accompaniment for text and cloud syncing of notes and highlights. Add to that the lower distribution costs of multimedia over paper and the browser becomes a good tool for books. You don't need an e-reader or a tablet.
Remote Video Security Is Mydlink+'s Weak Link
December 13, 2013
As a smartphone app reviewer, I often like to include a bit of explanation for why I choose to review the apps that I do. It adds a bit of human interest, and can make for a more enjoyable read. This week, the story is especially exciting. This is a review of D-Link's Mydlink+ remote security camera Android app add-on, and I can explain the reason for the review in one word: goats.
Turn Your World Into Vibrant Comic Life
December 10, 2013
Comic Life's latest incarnation has some really useful new additions: a script editor, new filters, a background knockout feature and some new fill options. With great new features, though, come greater complexity and greater demands on screen real estate, which can make the software more difficult to use for newbies and challenging to manage on Macs with smaller screens.
Tweetbot 3 Makes Your Twitter Timeline a Thing of Beauty
December 09, 2013
Let's get this clear up front: I am not a Twitter expert. I've used multiple accounts for different purposes; I enjoy following a few personalities; I like searching through Twitter. Until now, I've rarely bothered to tweet or mess with Twitter on my iPhone or iPad, preferring to use the standard browser-based method on my Mac. I know I'm missing out, though.
If You're Jonesing for a 2nd Screen, Air Display Is a Nifty Fix
December 06, 2013
I was intrigued when I came across Air Display, an Android app that lets you use your tablet as a second screen. Second PC displays definitely boost work productivity. I've been using two displays for years, keeping my email client open all the time on the left screen -- a laptop display -- and work-work on the right screen. I'm able to monitor incoming junk mail without having to stop working.
Mailplane Gives Gmail a Nice Lift
December 03, 2013
Gmail may not be the prettiest email program in the world. Yahoo Mail is easier on the eye. Microsoft's Outlook online has a clean and modern appeal. Nevertheless, many of us use Gmail -- warts and all -- so any app that adds utility to the Google offering can be worthwhile. Mailplane has been around for six years, but its developers have given it a makeover in this latest edition.
Zamurai Whiteboard App Makes Brainstorming a Breeze
December 02, 2013
If you've spent a good portion of your life sitting around a table with colleagues who need to plan and strategize, then you've likely used old-school markers to jot notes on sheets of white paper -- or on dry-erase whiteboards. There is a better way. Enter Zamurai Mobile Whiteboard for iOS, a well-designed app that lets you drag and drop handy and commonly used icons onto your whiteboard.
MacBooster Can Help Keep Your Mac Humming
November 26, 2013
Surf over to the Mac App Store, and you'll find plenty of utilities for keeping your Apple personal computer in tip-top shape. There are tools for freeing up RAM and cleaning files from disks and thoroughly uninstalling apps. Have you ever wished, however, that you had a an app to perform all those tasks under the same hood? IObit is doing that with MacBooster.
Clumsy Ninja May Tug Your Heartstrings
November 25, 2013
NaturalMotion first wowed Apple fans at last year's September Apple event with a tantalizing demo of a new game, Clumsy Ninja, which was teased to hit iOS sometime during the 2012 holiday season. Santa came and went, and no little kids played Clumsy Ninja. And then boom, Apple reveals Clumsy Ninja as an Editor's Choice app in the iTunes App Store with, get this, a video trailer.
All Things Appy: Top 5 Language Tools for Firefox
November 22, 2013
In this week's All Things Appy, we take a look at the top five free tools for Firefox that will help you navigate the polyglot world. The PC-based browser is well-suited to languages, and in this week's piece we recommend the best pop-up dictionary along with a multilanguage search tool and highly efficient translator engines that are superior to hard-copy dictionaries.
GoToMyPC for Android Shines With Striking Simplicity
November 22, 2013
If you've had any technical support dealings recently, you may have experienced the wonders of a tech agent taking over your PC remotely -- with your permission -- and running ghostly commands and installs using remote-access software. I saw this first-hand recently when a Microsoft support engineer had to repair a failed Office installation on a machine of mine.
Baseball Simulation App Hits One Out of the Park
November 19, 2013
With the Major League Baseball season over, some fans of the American national pastime have started to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Others are hashing over the past season and mulling the next in Hot Stove Leagues. Out Of The Park baseball should bring a smile to both these groups of diamond followers. The baseball simulation game lets a baseball fan experience the game from outside the lines.
Oceanhorn Taps Zelda's Goodness in All-New iOS Adventure
November 18, 2013
Oceanhorn is a delightfully odd adventure game for iOS, at once fresh and yet heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda, a classic title from the days when Nintendo ruled video gaming. Beyond evoking fond memories of exploring a wide open land while trying to save a princess, Oceanhorn is interesting because it's on iOS. Success? Definitely. It's a fun diversion.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Windows 8 Apps for the Home
November 15, 2013
Here's a look at the top five free Windows 8 apps for the home. Among the offerings covered in this week's All Things Appy are apps for Windows 8-based home-tech hacking on the cheap -- or not so cheap -- plus cooking, home repair, gawking and some spiritual guidance. Remodelista, for example, includes some great ideas for repurposing, including door mats made from recycled fire hoses.
CamScanner Delivers Document Freedom on the Go
November 15, 2013
If you've been trying to keep an aging all-in-one printer out of the graveyard, forget it. Move on. I've been banging my head against the wall with a bunch of space-hogging Dell printers. I had an 8-year-old, office-grey laser printer for manuscripts and an equally old and grumpy faded-white scanner-fax-printer inkjet combo for which the cartridge nozzles kept drying out, still half full of ink.
Apple Sheds Maps Humiliation and Gets the Last Laugh
November 14, 2013
Apple angered millions of iPhone users -- and baffled millions more -- when it ditched the generally functional built-in Google-based Maps app in favor of its own. That was last year, when it introduced iOS 6. Howls of anger rocketed across the Web, and fanboys of other platforms -- including some Apple enthusiasts -- started tracking Apple Maps fails.
Thunderbird Lets You Fly Through Your Email
November 12, 2013
Mail clients have lost their luster in recent times. Between social media fulfilling the messaging needs of many people and webmail's growing popularity, desktop email apps are beginning to look passť. Still, email clients have their adherents. I count myself among them. I like the idea of having all my email on my computer, not in someone's cloud where someone I don't know might peruse it.
Duck Dynasty: Battle of the Beards: Redneckify Yourself
November 11, 2013
Duck Dynasty is an American reality television series on A&E featuring a band of redneck family men who sport ratty beards. They became wealthy by making the popular duck call, Duck Commander, and the reality show itself? It's a wild phenomenon -- the fourth season premiere snagged a whopping 11.8 million viewers. When I saw that the show had a No. 1 paid app game, I had to take a closer look.
All Things Appy: Top 5 iOS Apps for Musicians
November 08, 2013
Apple was one of the forerunners in bringing the power of music production to the masses. Recording and music-making gear that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars and occupy dedicated studios first shrank to home-studio-capable sizes when powered by Apple computers in the 80s, and now it can be found on a smartphone or an iPad. While much smartphone music-making isn't free, there are some free apps out there.
Silent Text: Basic Anonymity at a Hefty Price
November 08, 2013
The Tibetan government, law firms in Thailand and human rights groups in Sudan are all using a relatively new encrypted communications tool -- one that fits easily, if not cheaply, onto your smartphone. Silent Circle is an encrypted voice, video, text and file-transfer protocol that's available in app forms for Android devices, among others.

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