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PopClip and Unclutter: Big Utility Comes in Small Packages
January 29, 2013
Size isn't always a measure of an app's usefulness. Sometimes you can get more utility from a small app than you'd get from larger one that you use only occasionally. Two such useful programs are PopClip and Unclutter. While PopClip can help you cut down your keystrokes during the day, Unclutter can keep you from losing your mind trying to rifle through the mess on a chaotic desktop.
Soulver Takes the Problem Out of Problem Solving
January 22, 2013
It's nigh impossible to avoid numbers in our daily lives. Whether it's preparing a household budget, doing a tax return, calculating travel expenses or divvying up a dinner tab, dealing with digits is inescapable. Necessity, however, doesn't make numbers any more interesting to many of us, especially those of us more comfortable with words.
New Parallels Aligns With Mountain Lion, Windows 8
August 31, 2012
Following the lead of competitor VMware last week, Parallels raised the curtain Thursday on a new release of its software for running Windows software on a Mac computer. Parallels Desktop for Mac 8 will run on the latest version of Apple's OS X operating system, 10.8 Mountain Lion, and supports the upcoming release of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 8.
Gesture App Flutter Flickers With Potential
August 27, 2012
I like to listen to music occasionally while I work, but I also end up pausing songs often -- there are phone calls to take, to make, and sometimes writing particular paragraphs requires all the brain power I have available. I usually just hit the Play/Pause button at the top of my Mac keyboard.
Sony Mobile Plans Exodus to Japan
August 23, 2012
Today in international tech news: Sony plans to move its headquarters and slash yet more staff. Also: An Israeli park designed to give visitors a taste of biblical times equips its donkeys with WiFi routers; Google heads to Canada to map the North Pole; Spotify launches in Canada; Google finally has some success in China.
Mint for OS X Provides Eagle-Eye Scrutiny for Personal Finances
August 20, 2012
Back in the days of coin and cash, you could see your money. You could hold in your hands, put it in your wallet, and hang onto it. When it was time to spend it, you could feel about how much was leaving you in exchange for something else. Was the transaction worth it? Maybe, maybe not.
Can Sparrow Teach Gmail to Sing?
July 23, 2012
Google has acquired Sparrow, the maker of an email client available for various platforms, including Apple's iOS and Mac OS X. The news comes one week after Sparrow announced that its product is ready for Mac OS X Mountain Lion and for Apple's Retina Display technology.
Apple Products See the Unpolished Side of Chrome
June 29, 2012
Mac owners have been having more than a few headaches with Google's Chrome browser. Owners of new Macbook Airs have been complaining for several days that their devices have been freezing or crashing when they use the Chrome browser. Google confirmed that the problem is a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X.
Apple Draws Up Blueprint for iTunes Renovation
June 29, 2012
Apple's iTunes may be getting a facelift soon. The new iTunes Store will be rolled out later this year -- most likely along with the next generation of Apple's popular iPhone -- and sport improved discovery and sharing capabilities, as well as better iCloud integration, according to a report.
Ringer for OS X Sets Just the Right Ringtone
June 5, 2012
Tone overlap syndrome can be a stressful affliction, and it seems to affect iPhone users on a regular basis. It's a phenomenon in which someone with whom you live or work has the same kind of phone you do and they use one or more of the same built-in tones you use on yours. Left unchecked, tone overlap can lead to annoyance, acute irritation, and eventually madness.
A Slap to the Interface: 3 Apps for OS X Window Management
May 22, 2012
Features that Apple has added to OS X over the years, like Mission Control and Spaces, have given users more options for laying out their work areas. Each time another edition of OS X comes out with new interface abilities, the desktop feels more manageable, less constricted. However, there are still a few window management tricks and functions that OS X can't do on its own.
MenuTab Keeps Facebook Nicely Widgetized
May 15, 2012
Facebook's march toward its IPO has put a harsh spotlight on the social network's shortcomings, and one of the primary worries among prospective investors is that Facebook doesn't have very sharp mobile chops. There are a million things it could be doing in mobile to draw in more revenue, they say, but it's still an area in which the network moves painfully slowly.
Schlepping Files Got You Down? Enter the DragonDrop
April 23, 2012
I'm a highly visual guy, and while there are all sorts of ways to work with files on my Mac, I still love cluttering up my desktop with folders, links, documents and photos. I treat my desktop like a table surface, and I have elaborate stacks and sections of folders and files.
Appinator Makes a Very Easy Task Ever So Slightly Easier
April 3, 2012
Recent Mac converts who've used Windows machines for years sometimes undergo a slight learning curve as they figure out how to accomplish certain tasks that were second nature on PCs. Often these Mac mysteries can be solved with a single well-put Google search, or perhaps a quick and inexpensive trip to the Mac App Store.
Photoshop Beta Pops With New Features, New Look
March 23, 2012
It's not often that Adobe offers the public a free preview of its flagship product, Photoshop, but that's what it's doing with the next version of the photo editing software. Adobe announced Thursday that a beta release of Photoshop CS6 for both PCs and Macs is available from the company's website. Although the CS6 download is free, you have to create a user account before you can install it on your computer.
Mountain Lion Messages: A Few Crossed Wires, Lots of Potential
February 27, 2012
The new Messages app for the upcoming release of OS X Mountain Lion -- that's right, it's "OS X" without the old "Mac" in front of it now -- is in beta and available for download. Unlike some companies, Apple tends not to release beta software, but it occasionally does. Of course, it took me all of six seconds to decide to give it a whirl.
Google Caught With Hand In Safari's Cookie Jar
February 17, 2012
Google is one of four online advertising companies that have sneaked around the privacy settings in Apple's Safari Web browser to track user activity, according to research from Stanford University graduate student Jonathan Mayer. All four surreptitiously submitted a Web form and placed trackable cookies in Safari, Mayer's research has found.
iBooks Author Lets You Build Astounding Texts
February 13, 2012
In my mind, the most important element of any software application is the ability to make users feel empowered, as if they can act on information, make changes, or best yet, create. Apple's new iBooks Author application for Mac OS X lets you create -- so much so that I actually believe that I could write an awesome iBook textbook myself.
Apple Remakes Final Cut Pro X
February 1, 2012
Apple announced an update Tuesday of its video editing software Final Cut Pro X aimed at quelling dissatisfaction with the product among professional media producers. This latest version of the software, release 10.0.3, is available from the Apple's App Store as a free upgrade for existing Final Cut Pro X users and for $299 for new users. A 30-day free trial version is also available.
Yoink: Efficient Swatch Snatcher Makes Full-Screen Feel Less Bloated
January 31, 2012
Of all the changes brought about with OS X Lion, full-screen viewing was one that failed to make much of an impression on me, at least at first. Ballooning a window to the edges of the screen and blowing out the menu bar seemed a little restrictive at first. Full-screening an app the way OS X does it just felt uncomfortable and weird.
iOS and OS X: Time for Some Real Convergence
January 26, 2012
Lately I've found myself more frequently irritated and dissatisfied with my Mac than ever before. This is a weird feeling, made all the more powerful by the fact that Mac OS X Lion is the most useful operating system ever. With a simple two-fingered swipe on my Magic Mouse, I can flick my entire screen to a whole new desktop view, and with a swipe in the other direction, go back.
New Apple Offerings Could Retool Education
January 20, 2012
Apple's release of some new tools for the education market has the potential to transform both the teaching and learning experiences in the nation's schools, according to William Rankin, an academic at the forefront of bringing technology to the college campus.
Forget a Million Filters - Picturesque Focuses on Just a Few Awesome Effects
December 5, 2011
A while ago I ran into a little photo effects app that helped me make drop shadows and those cool reflection photos that Apple popularized -- you know, the ones that make the iPhone look as if it is sitting on a shiny white tabletop, with a faint reflection below it. To make that reflection happen with a more robust photo-editing tool took many steps.
Office on iPad and Mac: Late's Just Barely Better Than Never
December 1, 2011
There's a new rumor circulating this week: Microsoft is working on a version of its Office business suite for the iPad, along with a Mac OS X Lion version, according to The Daily, citing unnamed sources. The Lion version will be available via the Mac App Store. About freaking time!
Color Splash Is a One-Trick Pony, but It's a Beautiful Trick
October 3, 2011
One of the things I like most about the Apple App Store for iOS -- and now, the Apple Mac App Store -- is that you can find and buy highly focused apps that just do one cool thing. Instead of shelling out for a powerful application with features you won't ever need, much less truly understand, you can buy a simple app, for example, that turns your snapshots into black and white marvels with a spritz of color.
Mactracker Faithfully Pins Down Apple Product Specs
September 19, 2011
If you've ever wanted to track down the specifications of a particular Apple product, you can eventually find them through the company's online support pages. However, there's a better way than drilling down through Apple's site or searching until you find the right document that refers to the Mac in front of you: Mactracker, a free app for Mac OS X available through the Mac App Store.
Editors Play New Reel in Final Cut Fiasco
June 30, 2011
Apple has attempted to dial down the flack it's received since the release of its latest movie-editing application, Final Cut Pro X, by publishing an FAQ that addresses some of the editing world's edgier criticisms. Meanwhile, professional film editors angered by Apple's recently released Final Cut Pro X video editing software are flocking to sign a petition.
Apple Amps Up Productivity With Final Cut Pro X
June 21, 2011
Video editing pros, get out your wallets. Apple released a new version of Final Cut Pro on Tuesday. Final Cut Pro X reinvents video editing, according to Apple. Magnetic Timeline allows users to edit on a flexible trackless canvas. Content Auto-Analysis categorizes content during import based on shot type, media and people. The background rendering feature allows the user to work without interruption.
Heavy-Duty Hard Drive Weeding Machine Drives a Hard Bargain
May 9, 2011
Hard disk drives have a tendency to fill up with all sorts of useless files. I try to keep up on the small stuff by using the trash often and frequently, but there's always some large files lurking deep within the bowels of your Mac. And inevitably, I look at the bottom of a folder and realize I've got just 10 GB left of my 320 GB hard drive.
Lion Scopes Out Territory in Apple Ecosystem
February 25, 2011
Apple may be hoping that Mac operating system release number eight becomes the eighth wonder of the technological world. The company released a developers preview of the OS, code-named "Lion," on Thursday. However, Lion is primarily a "user interface evolution rather than a back-end functionality upgrade," according to Appitalism founder and CEO Simon Buckingham.
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What effect is social media having on the current discussion of sexual misconduct?
It's enabling many more people to engage in serious discussions.
It's functioning mostly as an echo chamber.
It's giving everyone a voice.
It's creating much more divisiveness.
It's enabling a cultural re-education.
It's making my news feed so unpleasant I'm staying away.