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More Software Opinion

  • Opinion: Post-Jobs, Apple Needs to Open Up

    There's no denying that the departure of Steve Jobs as Apple CEO is the end of an era. It's difficult to think of any other leader as synonymous with a brand as he has been.

  • Opinion: Google Maps Adds Voice Search to Chrome Desktop

    If you talk to your desktop PC, it's probably for all the wrong reasons--usually to hurl expletives at the machine for not working properly. Well, users of the desktop version of Google Chrome now have a more productive reason to get chatty with their computers. Google has added voice search for Google Maps to Chrome, offering users a (sometimes) faster way to get directions.

  • Opinion: Love Him, Hate Him, Steve Jobs Has Transformed Your Life

    Steve Jobs is still Chairman of the Board at Apple, and he is still going to be involved in steering the iconic tech company, but he has officially handed the CEO duties over to Tim Cook. Whether you are an avid fan of Apple, or an ardent Apple-basher, Steve Jobs has had an undeniable effect on technology and the world around you.

  • Opinion: Gliffy Snaps Out Spiffy Charts With Ease

    I don't have to make all that many charts in my daily work, but every now and then some project I'm working on demands a quickie flowchart or Venn diagram, and I never seem to have the right software on hand for the job. That's where Gliffy comes in. This handy little web app lets you whip up all kinds of charts on the fly, without forcing you to buy any high-end software to do it.

  • Opinion: Digital Janitor Straightens Out Messy File Hierarchies

    My Downloads folder can get messy. Before I started testing Digital Janitor (free), it contained over 150 different files, weighing in at over 700MB--and this is after a recent cleaning. Digital Janitor’s promise is to sort and tidy up any random bunch of files you throw at it, so my Downloads folder seemed like an ideal candidate.

  • Opinion: Check Out The (Surprisingly Good) Portal Fan Film

    The Portal videogames by Valve are one of my favorite series of all time. After completing the groundbreaking first game I remember walking around thinking of where I would shoot portals to expedite my route. The long-awaited sequel that came out earlier this year exceeded lofty expectations and left fans wanting even more.

  • Opinion: Android Becoming Prime Target for Malware Makers

    Attacks on Android by malware writers have jumped 76 percent over the last three months, making it the most assaulted mobile operating system on earth during the period, according to a report by cybersecurity solutions maker McAfee.

  • Opinion: Make a Better Black-and-White Photo

    There are a lot of things you can do to your photos with a single click in your photo editing program. Last week, for example, I showed you how you can use the Color Replacement tool in Adobe Photoshop Elements to change specific colors in an image. And in the past, I've explained how easy it is to convert any photo to a stylish black-and-white composition by setting the saturation to zero in any image editor.

  • Opinion: Lion, Time Machine, the death of the iPhoto interface

    Reader Ian Martin is perplexed by one of Lion’s “features.” He writes:

  • Opinion: Soothe Sore Eyes With Fluxs Time-Sensitive Lighting

    When you spend more than 10 hours a day staring at a computer screen, you’ll welcome anything that can help reduce the risk of eye strain. A cool cross-platform utility called F.lux can do just that.

  • Opinion: Open Finder folder in Terminal

    We've published a variety of hints over the years about opening a Terminal window that's already focused on the folder of your choosing. But Hints reader ceej discovered that Apple's built a new Service into Lion that can make this task even simpler.

  • Opinion: Freebie PC Wizard Tells You What Device Manager Can't

    Contrary to the implications of its moniker, there's really no wizardry involved with PC Wizard. Unless of course you consider a comprehensive querying and report on your system's hardware magic. This free utility from CPUID relays a lot, and I mean a lot of info. Much of said info may be found in Windows Device Manager, but a lot of it can't.

  • Opinion: Is Cloud-Based Backup Safe?

    Melissa has her doubts about backing up online. "With hackers now able to hack into government and large holding companies' computers, wouldn't I also be at risk?"

  • Opinion: Design a Vegetable Garden With PlanGarden

    As someone who gets itchy (green) thumbs around mid-winter, PlanGarden sounds like my dream software. Starting with a plot size as large as five acres, you can use PlanGarden ($20, limited demo) to draw your envisioned garden beds, lay out all of your imagined plants including plant spacings, set frost dates and indoor starting dates, and start a daily PlanGarden log. When you're ready to plant, use PlanGarden to track varieties, amount planted (by plant, row, or area), date planted, and estimated days to harvest. PlanGarden has a harvest log too, so you can track how much you gather from each plant. Unfortunately, overly basic features and a clumsy interface make PlanGarden somewhat less than dreamy.

  • Opinion: Microsoft Camera Codec Pack

    One of the best things about digital SLR cameras and higher-end point-and-shoot cameras is the ability to shoot in RAW mode. RAW images give you uncompressed, data-heavy versions of your digital photos that can be used for intensive edits and adjustments without negatively impacting the image quality.

  • Opinion: File Expert Offers Wireless Sharing With File Manager

    Last week, I looked at a great free app for Android, WiFi File Explorer, which lets you share files between your phone directly over a local Wi-Fi connection. This week, I'm looking at another great app that does all that and more.

  • Opinion: Free WinSplit Revolution Makes Monitor(s) More Useful

    Ever since the dawn of Windows, a big part of the appeal was… well, windows. Being able to give each application its own area on the screen and run multiple applications at the same time completely transformed computing. But that’s old news; today, many of us have 24” monitors (sometimes more than one), and the challenge is how to use all of that screen space effectively. With the free WinSplit Revolution, you can make sure every inch of your monitor or monitors is displaying valuable information.

  • Opinion: Pin Folders to the Windows 7 Taskbar

    Readers are so much smarter than me. (Don't tell my boss.) Take Renee, who wrote in regarding a post from last week: Create a Keyboard Shortcut for Your Favorite Folder. In it I noted that Windows 7 doesn't allow you to pin folders to the Taskbar, hence the advice to set up a keyboard shortcut instead.

  • Opinion: Google's Photovine app shares themed photos

    Although the new Photovine iPhone app in the App Store appears to be from a developer of the same name, it’s actually a Google joint. (Google owns Photovine.) It’s a free app for photo sharing that seems to fall somewhere between Instagram and Color.

  • Opinion: Bugs & Fixes: How best to restore an OS X Lion drive

    If you ever need to restore the entire contents of an OS X Lion startup drive, or just perform a reinstall of the OS, you’ll find that there are numerous ways to accomplish these tasks. In fact, there are so many permutations, that I began to lose count after awhile. Trying to figure out the best method for your situation can get a bit tricky.



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