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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.
Google Maps Learns to Multitask
October 10, 2013
Google Maps has become the default source of directions for many users, but one feature it has notoriously lacked is the ability to provide directions to multiple destinations. On Wednesday, however, the company announced that it is now rolling out the feature at last. "One of your most requested features -- directions for multiple destinations -- will begin rolling out today," said Google's Florian Goerisch.
Amazon Sweetens the Deal for App Developers
October 10, 2013
Amazon this week unveiled a new program designed to draw third-party developers to the company's platform. Known as "Appstore Developer Select," the program offers incentives such as promotional boosts to developers that optimize their apps or games for the Amazon Appstore and the Fire OS mobile operating system on which the company's Kindle Fire devices run.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Geo-Oriented Tracking Apps for iOS
October 04, 2013
This week's All Things Appy takes a look at the five best, free geo-oriented apps for the iOS platform. To keep your costs down, we're concentrating on those tracking apps that don't require additional hardware, like sensors. Not all mobile Apple hardware products have GPS satellite location, which many of these apps require for best results. The iPod is one of those.
All Things Appy: Top 5 Android OS Utilities
September 27, 2013
Battery managers, task killers, analyzers and monitoring apps make up the basis of a solid Android mobile tool kit. This week's All Things Appy takes a look at the must-have, free apps in this genre that will keep your device operating swimmingly. First up? ReChild's Advanced Task Killer app, which lets you kill runaway applications that are hogging resources and slowing down your device.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Weather Apps for Google Chrome
September 20, 2013
Fall is just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere, and at least for those of us in some locales, outdoor activities can now ramp up with the milder temperatures. This week's All Things Appy takes a look at the top five free Chrome apps in the weather department. First up? Full Screen Weather, an app that offers the best-looking weather maps out there for desktop.
Box Unboxes Note-Taking App Beta
September 16, 2013
Cloud storage provider Box has unveiled a private beta of Box Notes, a real-time content creation and collaboration feature, as an add-on to its existing services. Box Notes is designed to let business teams capture and share ideas on the fly. "Box has gotten a reputation as being the most secure enterprise file-sharing service," said Gerry Purdy, principal analyst at MobileTrax.
All Things Appy: Top 5 Map Apps for Firefox
September 11, 2013
This week, we look at the top five free map apps for the Firefox platform. These are power tools that will make it faster to look up addresses and gain new perspective on the locations you want to visit. We look at pop-up maps, unique map-related search add-ons and one alternative to common old Google. First up? Quick Maps, which adds in-page Google Map frames to website street address listings.
VCE's Digital Factory Vision
September 11, 2013
Technology has always enabled the "factorification" of processes and skills for both users and suppliers of IT. The success of early computing solutions rested in replacing hundreds and thousands of Bob Cratchett-like professionals with systems that required few, if any, sick days and no vacations. Then businesses discovered they needed to hire hundreds or thousands of technical gurus.
CherryTree Takes the Pits Out of Pruning Your Notes
September 04, 2013
Keeping track of my bits and pieces of information across several computers running Linux and Microsoft Windows has long been a problem. CherryTree is a sweet solution that keeps my information local and cloud-free. CherryTree is an outliner-style hierarchical note-taking application that features rich text and syntax highlighting. It stores data in a single XML or SQLite file.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Communication Apps for Windows 8
September 04, 2013
In this week's All Things Appy, we take a look at the five best, must-have free apps for communicating in Windows 8 and taking advantage of the tile-based layout that's native to the ecosystem. Voxofon's Voice-over-Internet-Protocol app, for example, lets you text and call. It works by placing the call for you and then ringing your phone to complete the call.

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