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Women in Tech
US Open Tennis App Is a Smash
September 3, 2013
Second-screen or only screen, the official USTA US Open Tennis Championships for iPad app brings some of the greatest hardcourt tennis in the world into your hands, wherever you happen to be. Right there, the app starts off on a great footing for tennis fans. Fortunately, through nimble footwork and a lot of great serving, the app does a decent job of keeping you updated on all the action.
New Coat of Polish Heightens DevonNote's Shine
August 27, 2013
One of the best things about a computer is it gives you a single place to store scraps of information and research that used to be scattered in notebooks and paper notes across your office. One of the worst things about a computer is it gives you a single place to store scraps of information and research that used to be scattered in notebooks and paper notes across your office.
Vevo Brings Music to Life Through Video
August 26, 2013
If you've watched and listened to music videos posted on YouTube, you've likely seen quite a few major stars with official channels featuring their names with "Vevo" slapped on the end of it, like OneRepublicVevo or LukeBryanVevo. Outside of YouTube, Vevo is a Web-based music video service that also has an iOS app. Said app was just updated to provide AirPlay support, in fact.
A Twist of Timelime Makes Time Tracking More Fun
August 20, 2013
Let's face it. No one likes keeping track of time spent working. If you're a professional like an attorney, you may be able to pass the task off to someone else. Most of us, though, have to go through the grind of keeping tabs on our work hours ourselves. Some of that grind can be reduced -- maybe even become more enjoyable -- with Timelime.
Hey Buddy, Fix Your Face - Oh Wait, I Can Do It for You With Facetune
August 19, 2013
Longtime readers know I'm a fan of straightforward apps that do one core thing really well. Facetune lets you fancy up portrait photos of your friends -- or your selfies -- and it's fantastic. In fact, it's got the perfect blend of powerful tools with utter simplicity. Want to whiten your best man's yellowish teeth? No problem. Boom, white like Ryan Seacrest.
Arq Saves Your Data for a Rainy Day
August 13, 2013
There are lots of free places and free programs to back up data from your Mac so why would you want to pay $40 for software plus $0.095 a gigabyte monthly for storage? The answer to that question may be a no-brainer for you if you only have a few gigs of data that need backing up. For people with larger demands, though, the answer may not be so obvious.
Dialogue's Great if You Love the Sound of Your Own Voice
August 12, 2013
Dialogue is a new app in the Mac OS X App Store that lets you place and answer smartphone calls on your Mac. So why do you need to take calls on your Mac when an iPhone is already super portable? Sometimes your iPhone is stuck in a pocket or inside a backpack, bag or purse. I mean, not my purse -- I never put my iPhone in my purse. Still, the phone isn't always handy.
TotalFinder Adds Oomph to Apple's Adequate Native Navigator
August 6, 2013
Without a doubt, one of the most frequently used programs on a Mac is the Finder. That's because files remain the milk of personal computing interfaces, no matter how hard designers have tried to hide it. Finder performs basic navigation functions well. It will display files in several ways, let you move and copy files, compress files and archive them, and empty the trash.
Cool FPS Nav Doesn't Rescue The Drowning's Sinking Vision
August 5, 2013
The Drowning is an evolutionary new first-person shooter iOS game. It boasts a graphically rich post-apocalyptic world where an ecological disaster has turned millions of people into naked-but-genderless zombie-like monsters with bald skullish heads and claw hands. They try to kill you. You try to survive by shooting them or bludgeoning them when they get too close, and you have to reload.
iWork for iCloud Beta Gives a Tantalizing Hint of What's to Come
July 30, 2013
Google has Google Docs. Microsoft has Office 365. Now Apple has iOffice in iCloud -- almost. Apple has begun sending invitations to iCloud users to try out the new versions of the programs in its iWork productivity suite -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote. The editions of the iCloud programs are in beta, but you only have to work with them for a little while to get excited about their potential.
Come to the Ear Monsters Ball
July 29, 2013
When I stumble upon a fresh and creative app, particularly an app that pushes humanity forward in cold dark universe, I take a closer look. One such app is Ear Monsters: A 3D Audio Game. Monsters from a parallel dimension have created wormholes to invade our universe. They quickly become invisible in our world, but luckily for us, they don't realize we can still hear them.
Eternal Storms: A Little Flotsam and Jetsam With the Cool Stuff
July 23, 2013
Independent software makers are the backbone of any platform's ecosystem. They've made Apple's app stores exciting places. "There's an app for that," as Will Sonnett used to say, isn't brag -- just fact. One independent code warrior who recently caught our eye is Matthias Gansrigler, the principal of Eternal Storms Software. Gansrigler's apps for the Mac are narrowly focused but inventive.
Briefly Transforms Images of Your Life Into an Ecstatic Blur
July 22, 2013
Before now, it never even occurred to me to try to show 500 photos in under a minute -- or thousands of photos in just a few minutes. Briefly lets you do that. How? By quickly and easily converting gobs of photos into a "still motion video." Oh, and the per-photo slide duration is fast. Really fast. Sub-second fast. The feeling was all amped-up anticipation, but then boom, it was over.
You, Mixtab, Are No Google Reader
July 16, 2013
With Google Reader's demise, makers of software to subscribe to RSS feeds have hustled to fill the void. The biggest winner in the RSS sweepstakes so far has been Feedly, which attracted a large portion of Google Reader's orphans. Feedly has been so successful, in fact, that some RSS makers, like Reeder, are connecting to it, much as they plugged into Google Reader.
Limbo Is Dark, Moody, Gory - and Irresistible
July 15, 2013
Some games on iOS are original creations -- designed for the touch interface and ready for fun -- while others are ports from previously released PC or console games, giving these popular-yet-obscure titles a whole new audience and life on iPads and iPhones. Enter Limbo, first released in 2010 exclusively for the Xbox Live Arcade. Playdead later ported it to PS3, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
Portrait+ Makes Everyone Beautiful People
July 9, 2013
ArcSoft may strike a dissonant note among PC users. It has been a prime contributor to the bloatware libraries found on many new Windows laptops and desktops. Nevertheless, its professional and prosumer product lines have proven to be quality alternatives to the higher-priced offerings of its competitors. That's true of one of its recent offerings, Portrait+.
The AOL: Mail, News, Weather & Video App Is Like High Fructose Corn Syrup
July 8, 2013
There's been a lot going on in the content aggregation world this summer, mostly due to Google turning off the power to its Google Reader. I've been following the action with half an eye open, not particularly invested in the outcome, mostly because I prefer to get my news, articles, reviews and columns directly from the original source.
Ulysses III Banishes Word-Processing Bloat
July 2, 2013
During the fledgling era of word processing, developers divided into two camps over formatting documents. Software makers like Xywrite believed formatting and composition should be distinct. They designed their word crunchers to have two modes -- one for writing, another for formatting a document. Other programming outfits, like Microsoft, favored the "what you see is what you get" approach.
The Human Face of Big Data Is a Mind-Expanding Adventure
July 1, 2013
"Big Data" is one of the most apt -- and annoying -- new terms to describe a gazillion points of information all used to understand and predict things the human mind can't parse on its own. The term has been exploited by large technology corporations to sell software and hardware that promises business executives answers that are more accurate and useful than anything coming from a gut feeling.
Opera Mail Sings but It's Sometimes Off-Key
June 25, 2013
At one time, all the major browsers had email programs cooked into them. The practice was largely discontinued as webmail became more robust. One holdout -- until recently -- was Opera. With the introduction of Opera Next, its next-generation browser based on Chromium, the Norwegian browser maker has stripped its email program from its Web navigator and given it legs of its own.
Cut Calculator Lets You Rip Away Without Sweating Bullets
June 24, 2013
Back when I was paying for ramen noodles and graduate school by working as a framer for a small construction outfit, the most stressful event I faced was when I had to cut the support beams for a set of stairs going into a new restaurant. One wrong cut and I would have wasted hundreds of dollars on a suddenly useless beam. It's even more stressful if the job is your own.
Airmail Flies Into Sparrow's Email Space
June 18, 2013
Two schools of thought have begun to emerge about email. One says the technology has passed its prime and needs to be replaced by some kind of social networking technology along the lines of Facebook. The other maintains that email can be saved by better software, like Airmail. Airmail is being compared to Sparrow, a popular email client that became too popular for its own survival.
Opera Tantalizes With Its Next Browser
June 12, 2013
In the browser wars, Opera is hardly noticed. In can barely be seen on a battlefield dominated by the likes of Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and Apple. Yet the little browser that could keeps chugging on. It recently released a beta version of what will be the next version of the browser. A distinctive feature about this version of Opera is something you can't see because it's under the hood.
All Things Appy: 5 Best iOS Car Apps
June 12, 2013
Cars -- we love them. We're hooked on their looks, their shine, the freedom they represent. The insurance, the payments and the smog checks, maybe less so -- but cars are still a good example of a genre of app that fits well with the smartphone. This week, All Things Appy takes a look at key, free must-have apps in this area, including one for drooling and one for speeding, gambling and swearing.
Radar Cast Pro Puts a Meteorologist in Your Pocket
June 10, 2013
I'm not a weather junkie, but when it's time to get up and go -- a wintertime road trip or a fishing or hiking expedition -- I usually take a peek into the mountains with a weather app that I've now replaced with an even better version. The new app? Radar Cast Pro - NOAA Hi-Def FutureCast, Push Notifications, Lightning Strikes & Weather by WeatherSphere.
Make Your Kids Stars With a Little Disney Movie Magic
June 3, 2013
If you're a parent, there's a great chance that your iPhone will house a whole series of photos and videos featuring your kids following a road trip, a visit to the beach, a hike or a soccer game. Enter Story, a free app from Disney for the iPhone. Story accesses the photos and video stored on your iPhone and -- using the metadata -- combines them into a story. There are some limited editing options, but not enough to overwhelm.
Nothing Nutty About Acorn 4's Powerful, Affordable Image Editor
May 28, 2013
Acorn 4's tagline says all you need to know about the app. It's "The Image Editor for Humans." Image editors are like a new pair of shoes. You have to walk in them awhile before they get comfortable. With this latest version of Acorn -- the first major overhaul since 2011 -- author Gus Mueller keeps that comfort period short and sweet.
Stay and StatsBar Worthy Additions to a Mac's Utility Belt
May 21, 2013
Designers of operating systems can't think of everything that should be in their programs. Utilities are a testament to that. Utilities are software programs that do things that should have been included in an operating system, but weren't. They can help you keep your system performing at top speed or solve irritating problems.
The Clock Is Ticking on 30/30's Simple, Powerful Task Manager
May 20, 2013
I'm a sucker for productivity management -- too much to do, never enough time, and there is always, it seems, some sort of flashing distraction. There are plenty of people out there with similar problems: Even if they survived a round of layoffs, there's usually a business need to get more done with fewer resources and people.
WebStart's a Snore-Worthy Substitute for iGoogle's Snappy Style
May 14, 2013
With iGoogle scheduled to be axed in November, orphans of that offering will be looking at alternatives like uStart, Protopage, Netvibes and Myfav.es. While those alternatives will meet the needs of many iGoogle users set adrift by the search company, some souls may want to create their own homepage substitutes for the versatile portal.
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Women in Tech
Which technology has the strongest positive or negative impact on race relations?
Smartphone cameras, by holding people accountable.
Twitter, by reporting news as it happens.
Facebook, by providing a platform for discussing the issues.
YouTube, by exposing viewers to other cultures.
Twitter, by fueling antagonisms.
Facebook, by spreading fake news.