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More Software Opinion

  • Opinion: Zombo-O-Lanterns Desktop Wallpaper

    Jack-o-lanterns are everywhere at Halloween--how about throwing some zombies into the mix? Macabre designer Chad Savage gives us a ghoulish mashup with his Zombo-O-Lanterns desktop wallpaper, which manages to be both playful and creepy at the same time.

  • Opinion: Autumn Harbinger Desktop Wallpaper

    Get into the spirit of the season with Autumn Harbinger Desktop Wallpaper, which features grinning skeletal Jack-o-lanterns wishing you a happy Halloween against a rising harvest moon. The colors are autumnal and Halloweeny, and the effect is cheerful in a slightly creepy way. Unlike much of designer Chad Savage's imagery, this desktop wallpaper is perfectly appropriate for children.

  • Opinion: iTar Turns Your iPad Into an Instrument, Invites You to Start Strumming

    If you're ready to step it up a notch from Guitar Hero without actually having to pick up and learn a guitar, the iTar seems like it'd be a great choice. Not to be confused with the MANTARAY iTar we mentioned in 2010, this beauty is brought to you by Starr Labs, the iTar is a nifty dock that turns your iPad on its side and becomes a "neck", complete with strings that can actually be fingered. Hold it in the usual guitarish way, and you can fiddle with the iPad screen and play with the neck to create a nifty little guitar controller.

  • Opinion: What Google's Rubin Doesn't Understand about Siri

    The head of Google's Android mobile OS, Andy Rubin, doesn't think your smartphone should be your personal assistant. In comments made during an interview at the AsiaD conference this week, Rubin downplayed the impact of Siri--the voice interactive personal assistant included with the iPhone 4S.

  • Opinion: Send and Receive Text Messages on Your PC

    Text messaging is great--except when it isn't. For one thing, it's expensive (unless you have an unlimited messaging plan, which itself can be expensive). Plus, it forces you to type on your phone's tiny keyboard--not always the fastest or most convenient method.

  • Opinion: As Ubuntu Linux Turns 7, 'Precise Pangolin' Planning Begins

    It was exactly seven years ago that the very first version of Ubuntu Linux--dubbed "Warty Warthog"--was released, kicking off a long line of increasingly popular versions of the free and open source operating system.

  • Opinion: Ice Cream Sandwich: 7 More Cool Features

    Ice Cream Sandwich, Google's latest update to the Android franchise, has plenty of improvements and changes hidden under the surface that make the mobile OS even sweeter. With more Android phones being announced every day in preparation for the holiday shopping season, here are seven new features in Ice Cream Sandwich you should be aware of.

  • Opinion: Five Things Apple Needs to Do to Improve Siri

    Siri and I just met a few days ago. I think we're getting along pretty well so far (although she seems to get a bit testy and sarcastic when I ask her to "open the pod bay doors."). As great as Siri seems, though, Apple is calling this a beta and I can see why.

  • Opinion: Can I Backup a PC When It's Off?

    In what I'm guessing is a response to my post, Turn a PC Off or Leave It On?, Jim Lane asked if he could back up computers when they are not turned on.

  • Opinion: Malware Uses Smartphone Accelerometers to Steal Keystrokes

    Did you know your smartphone's accelerometer can be used to steal keystrokes from a nearby keyboard?

  • Opinion: Microsoft's Ballmer Knocks Android, Commends iPhone

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had some nasty things to say about Google's Android operating system. But the iPhone? Not so much.

  • Opinion: Apple's Siri vs. Android's Voice Actions: Feature Showdown

    Apple's new voice input-based digital assistant, Siri for the iPhone 4S pits the iPhone against Android's Voice Actions, a popular feature for Android phones running Android 2.2 (Froyo) or higher. Both Siri and Voice Actions promise to make your life easier by letting you speak--rather than type--your messages, web searches, notes, and navigation.

  • Opinion: Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Transformer 2 First Tablets to Get Ice Cream Sandwich OS

    Asus has released a sneak peek video of the Eee Pad Transformer 2, which, along with the original Eee Pad Transformer, is the first set of tablets confirmed to be getting Android 4.0, a.k.a., Ice Cream Sandwich.

  • Opinion: Linux Mint Will Soon Get a GNOME 3 Edition

    Now that Ubuntu Linux has chosen Unity as its default desktop environment, Linux Mint stands out as perhaps the most user-friendly distribution offering a non-Unity default alternative, as I've noted before.

  • Opinion: RIM Apologies for Recent BlackBerry Outages with Free Apps

    Research in Motion extended an apology for last week's multi-continent BlackBerry outages last by offering free premium apps and one month of free technical support for its enterprise customers.

  • Opinion: Car Makers Rev up Plans for Hands-Free Car Tech

    Over the past few years, the tech capabilities of a vehicle have gone far beyond acting as a power generator for a backseat DVD player. Car dashboards can display exactly how fuel-efficient your driving habits are, direct you with a built-in GPS, read your tweets, and read your SMS texts outloud.

  • Opinion: More Image Editing Tricks for Brightening Shadows

    You already know that life is full of compromises--like the way you have to eat your broccoli before you get desert, or promise to walk the dog in order to get your spouse to agree to let you, you know, get a dog. So too with photography: A "good exposure" sometimes means that while most of the photo looks fine, there are some deep shadows lacking in detail, like in my photo of a Coast Guard sailor protecting the Staten Island Ferry enroute to Manhattan. Last week I talked about a few techniques for brightening shadows to reveal hidden details This week, let's wrap it up with a couple more ways to selectively improve the quality of your photographs.

  • Opinion: Teaser Page Offers Sneak Peek at Motorola Droid RAZR

    Motorola is offering a quick glimpse--well, if your timing is right--of its new Verizon 4G phone scheduled to debut Wednesday at a media event in New York City. Here's a screen grab of the device as it appeared on the teaser site earlier today.

  • Opinion: Use iOS 5's Shortcuts to Create Second E-Mail Signature

    By default, Apple's iOS limits you to one e-mail signature. That's fine if you only need one, but I know plenty of business people who'd prefer different signatures for different e-mail accounts, different recipients (co-workers versus clients, for example), and so on.

  • Opinion: RIM Faces Hard Questions at this Week's Developers Conference

    Will Blackberry-maker Research In Motion finally lay out clear plans for its next-generation devices on Tuesday during the company's Blackberry DevCon Americas developer conference in San Francisco? That's what some critics are wondering as RIM attempts to overhaul its image following a number of setbacks in recent months. Most recently, the company's reputation was battered from a multi-day service outage leaving Blackberry fans all over the globe without messaging and Internet capabilities.



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