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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.
When Freemium's Good, It's Very Good and When It's Bad, It's Horrid
December 19, 2013
When I read a new report on app store trends for 2013 recently, my most irritating fear was confirmed: The freemium app business model has not only won the app sales model, it has handily crushed the paid app model -- squeezed it down into a tiny sliver of relative revenue. The results are so tilted that even more new apps will apparently be written entirely with the freemium model in mind.
'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.
Manjaro Smooths Out Arch's Rough Edges
December 12, 2013
If you want a Linux distro that is different and almost always up to date, look no further than Manjaro. If you can get it to load on your computer, Manjaro has a few features that could interest a Linux user who likes tinkering with the OS. The latest release failed to impress me with its cantankerous loading, but once I got it running I was pleased.
The Maddeningly Painful, Pathetic Apple TV Experience
December 12, 2013
It's damn near 2014, and what's the most baffling computing experience we have? The Apple TV television experience. It's so disappointing. We get new so-called TV channels -- or little Applets -- that give us a kaleidoscopic glimpse into the content available from a particular broadcast network, but it's also locked down so we have to be a cable television subscriber to view it.
Terminator Ends the Terminal Window Blahs
December 05, 2013
Terminator is not for casual Linux users who rarely stray from the menu-driven applications. If you ever venture into what some regard as the dark side of the Linux OS, however, Terminator can end your discomfort by using a single-session terminal window. Terminator is a powerful and useful terminal emulator built with many features not included in standard terminal applications.
Build Your Own Simple Linux Banking Tool
December 03, 2013
The Linux OS lacks an effective yet simple checking and banking tool. There are money-management tools for Linux users, of course, but most full-fledged offerings are overkill for monitoring spending patterns and balancing financial accounts. In general, Linux financial applications are either too complex to use without an accounting degree or too simple to be truly useful.
Task Coach Keeps You on Target and in Control
November 21, 2013
Attention to detail is often the missing feature that separates really useful to-do managers from the mundane list-tracking options. Task Coach goes out of its way to help you keep track of the details. The latest version of Task Coach -- version 1.3.33-1 -- does a good job of servicing two categories, in fact. It is both a personal task tracker and a to-do manager.
Cloud Efficiency: Different Paths, Same Destination
November 18, 2013
Aggressive use of cloud-computing strategies can significantly improve delivery of applications to end users. Healthcare patient-experience improvement provider Press Ganey and project and portfolio management provider Planview are both exploiting cloud efficiencies and agility. Their paths have been different, but the outcomes speak volumes for how cloud transforms businesses.
Devs Will Get to Put IBM's Watson Through Its Paces
November 14, 2013
IBM plans to open up its Watson cognitive platform, allowing developers to access it in the cloud starting next year. The technology is based on its Watson supercomputer. Participants will build apps incorporating Watson's cognitive computing intelligence. A cognitive computing system is "capable of continually learning and refining itself through human/computer interaction," said IBM's Rob High.
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.
All Things Appy: 5 More Great Android Utilities
November 01, 2013
A few weeks back All Things Appy covered some of the best, must-have free utilities for the Android mobile environment. This time, we look at requisite keyboard, antivirus, backup and download management apps to supplement the battery management, task killer, storage analyzer and monitoring tools that we've looked at previously.
Apple's New iWork: 3 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back
October 31, 2013
Real updates to Apple's iWork suite of apps -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- have been a long time coming, so when Apple updated the suite with a free upgrade that plays well with iOS 7 and with Web browsers, plenty of users jumped into the new version without looking. Unfortunately, a good many found they had leapt into a shallow pool full of sharp rocks.
New Relic Analytics Aims to Speed IT Problem Solving
October 28, 2013
New Relic last week previewed Rubicon, a new software analytics tool that aims to let companies use live application data to provide clear, actionable business insights across an organization. "This isn't analyzing consumer data, sales data or anything like that," noted tech analyst Jim McGregor. "It's just analyzing how an IT system is running in terms of resources and data it's using."
Apple Starts Serving Free Beer
October 28, 2013
Well we've had a few weeks of fun here in the Linux blogosphere dissecting Linux poll results, but last week brought those inwardly focused musings to an abrupt end. The cause? Yet another news flash from the outside world. The conversation was in full swing down at the blogosphere's Punchy Penguin when a turtleneck-clad stranger burst through the saloon's swinging doors.
Apple Plays the Free Card
October 23, 2013
Apple threw down the gauntlet to the PC industry and aimed some veiled barbs at rival Microsoft at a Tuesday launch event to refresh its software and hardware lines. Apple announced new editions of its iWork and iLife suites, which will come free with any new iPad, iPhone or Mac. Further, all of its customers can upgrade to OS X Mavericks, the latest version of OS X, for free.
Will Apple Throw the Enterprise a Bone?
October 21, 2013
Apple will likely debut a new iPad and possibly a new iPad mini at its Tuesday event in San Francisco. There is speculation about a new CPU, a keyboard case, better cameras, a splash of color, and the likelihood the new iPad will come preloaded with the buggy iOS 7. If the enterprise is looking for a little more business-friendliness from Apple, it may not find much gratification this time around.
Security Pros: iMessage Security Is a Myth
October 19, 2013
Apple's iMessage instant messenger service, which has made headlines for being uncrackable by law enforcement, may not be so secure after all. An internal DEA document published in April stated that it was impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices. Not so, said Quarkslab researcher Cyril Cattiaux, who identified weaknesses in its end-to-end encryption.
Oracle Unleashes the Mother of All Security Patches
October 17, 2013
Oracle has released a whopper of a critical patch update for October, with 127 security fixes across several of the company's products. Of these, 51 are fixes for Java SE, and all but one of those will allow remote exploitation of a computer without authentication. Oracle recommends the patch be applied as soon as possible, as many of the vulnerabilities cross product family lines.
How to Get Rid of Bloatware on Your Phone or PC
October 16, 2013
You know all those free programs that typically come on PCs and mobile devices whether you want them or not? Common examples include paid antivirus programs within the PC environment and phone company add-ons like music stores within Android. Often called "bloatware," they are usually manufacturer- or carrier-sanctioned stripped down come-ons designed to get you to buy a subscription or upgrade.

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