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More Software Opinion

  • Opinion: Prollie gives your tweets an A for effort

    Twitter and Facebook will tell you to follow and friend--a celebrity with millions of followers or an acquaintance from high school, usually--but they can't figure out whose updates won't bore you out of your mind.

  • Opinion: Meet Stanley, the player piano that will play just about any song you tweet to him

    For too long, player piano-human interactions have been a one-way conversation. But thanks to a little techno-tinkering, this no longer need be the case. Sing for Hope Pianos, an annual art project that places 88 piano-based installations throughout New York City, has teamed up with digital boutique agency Digital Kitchen to reinvent the old timey player piano for the social media age. The result: Stanley, the player piano that can read your tweets and play (just about) any song you send his way.

  • Opinion: Answers to your questions about iTunes and videos

    Many of the iTunes Guy columns focus on music, since the majority of the questions I receive are about that kind of media. But I get a fair number of questions about videos, and in this week's column, I cover four questions dealing with videos: their formats and tags, and how to make smart playlists to group movies by title.

  • Opinion: Replace Calendar with Fantastical on your iPhone

    Apple's built-in Calendar app for iPhone is fine, but I prefer Fantastical, a $5 alternative from Flexibits. Because the app can access your iPhone's calendars, it essentially offers complete integration with any calendaring system your iPhone can use or sync with--including iCloud, Google, Yahoo, and Exchange calendars. I reviewed the app in November of last year, awarding it four mice.

  • Opinion: Automator workflow of the month: Automatically copy Photo Stream images

    I recently read Jeff Carlson's "Four things Apple could do to improve iPhoto right now," and one point he made struck me in particular--that I couldn't make Photo Stream images appear in a folder of my choosing. Thinking how convenient this could be--for copying images into my Dropbox folder, for example--I set about finding a way.

  • Opinion: The Macalope: The fast with the facts and the furious

    Several thoughful pieces have been published recently on smartphone market share.

  • Opinion: Bugs & Fixes: iTunes 11.0.3 update improves app updating

    Along with the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, the recently updated iTunes 11.0.3 introduces several interface tweaks. For my money, the most welcome addition is one that Apple doesn't even mention on its "About iTunes 11.0.3" page: a redesigned interface for checking on and downloading updated apps.

  • Opinion: With an SSD, backups are more important than ever

    Welcome to the dawn of the SSD age. Solid-state drives now offer great performance at affordable prices, which is why more and more users are choosing them in new PCs and adding them to older ones.

  • Opinion: All about About This Mac

    In this week's tip, I'll discuss a cool feature that you may be wholly unaware of--even if you're a long-time Mac user.

  • Opinion: $99 Linux stick turns any HDMI display into a virtual desktop

    Hard on the heels of the news that Dell's "Project Ophelia" thumb PC is expected to ship this summer, thin client vendor Devon IT on Tuesday rolled out a similar contender of its own called the Ceptor.

  • Opinion: Mageia Linux 3 brings a raft of key updates

    Mageia has long been what you might call a "best-kept secret" of the Linux world, consistently residing among the top five distributions in DistroWatch's page-hit rankings despite minimal marketing and hoopla.

  • Opinion: Lightpack protects your precious eyesight while watching TV

    Your eye can clearly see only a small part of your screen any given time. The rest of your field of view is some measure of blurry--a smearing of color your brain pulls, along with the sharp central focus, into a coherent image. That makes it relatively simple to extend the perceived breadth of a scene on your TV screen or monitor. Woodenshark aims to capitalize on this with its Lightpack (funding through May 31), an inexpensive back lighting system that extends your visual experience beyond the borders of your box.

  • Opinion: New tablet boots Ubuntu Linux, Android, and Windows 8

    We've seen several Linux tablets emerge over the past year or so, but examples with triple-boot capabilities are much less common.

  • Opinion: Three simple ways to get a speedy PC

    There are three ways to get a faster PC or laptop: buy a new one, upgrade the hardware, or upgrade the software. We can show you how to do them all.

  • Opinion: Five Dictionary tricks I can't live without

    You've probably ditched your paper dictionary, but do you know how to use OS X's built-in one? This week's video shows you how.

  • Opinion: Seeking a simple movie editor? Try QuickTime Pro 7

    Reader Cameron Chang seeks a simple movie editor. He writes:

  • Opinion: Blurring objects you want to hide in iMovie '11

    Reader Fred Hendricks wishes to be respectful of others' privacy but isn't quite sure how to go about it. He writes:

  • Opinion: Korora Linux 18 aims to deliver a friendlier Fedora

    There's no doubt that desktop Linux has become increasingly user-friendly over the years, but it's equally true that some distributions focus more on ease of use than others do.

  • Opinion: How to undo accidental browser zoom

    Earlier today my dad called the Hassle-Free Hotline (also known as my home phone number). The poor guy seems to encounter more than his fair share of inadvertant computer problems.

  • Opinion: Bugs & Fixes: When TextEdit won't save

    Occasionally, maybe once every few weeks, TextEdit refuses to save any documents I currently have open in the application. Any changes I have made to these documents appear in danger of being lost. When this symptom appears, any new documents that I open in TextEdit will similarly refuse to save. It's as if TextEdit decided to go on strike. I've seen this happen with a couple of other applications, but most often it's TextEdit. as well.

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