Spotify debuts weekly top 50

This week the most streamed song on Spotify in the U.S. is "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and the most shared song on social networks is "Lift Me Up" by Five Finger Death Punch.

How did this information become available?

Spotify launched a new feature Tuesday that provides weekly updates of the 50 most streamed and viral songs within its music-streaming platform.

Dubbed Spotify Charts and available in 28 countries, this top 50 feature also shows how many plays each song has to date. ("Can't Hold Us" is … Read more

My Job Chart 1.63 Review

It's the 21st century -- so why are you still relying on your fridge to store your family's chore wheel? This digital version not only keeps your family on track but rewards them for getting the job done. My Job Chart connects seamlessly with the Web version, making it a great download if you have a connected family.

Since My Job Chart is a companion to the Web site you'll need an account to log on. You can set one up right from the app with just your e-mail address and name. Your whole family is managed … Read more

YouTube viewership takes its place in Billboard charts

Billboard's charts, the gold standard for assessing the most popular music, now have a new metric.

YouTube streaming data is now being incorporated into those charts, Billboard announced yesterday. YouTube viewership will now join digital and physical singles sales, terrestrial radio airplay, and streaming as the metrics that determine Billboard's chart order.

Since there are often thousands of clips of a single music video, Billboard's YouTube data is limited to "all official videos," Vevo clips, and user-generated videos that are using "authorized audio." In other words, only legitimately used songs can be included … Read more

White House debuts 'enhanced' streaming for SOTU speech

The White House is debuting a new way to watch President Obama's State of the Union speech tonight -- it has created an "online-only enhanced" live stream that lets viewers both watch in real time and see different policy charts, stats, and data.

Obama mentioned the live stream on his Twitter page:

Watch Obama's #SOTU address with enhanced graphics, charts, and useful stats on his plan to keep us moving forward: OFA.BO/eJ9Z7k

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 12, 2013

This "enhanced" live stream seems to be geared toward people who don't have … Read more

Draw stunning images and share them with others using Paper by FiftyThree

Paper by FiftyThree is an app that lets you sketch drawings and diagrams on your iPhone and iPad and share them with others. A free app from iTunes, Paper by FiftyThree installs easily.

There's barely an interface with Paper by FiftyThree. You can touch the screen of your device and draw anything you want, just as if you had a stylus and paper in front of you. There's a selection of tools available, but it pops out of the way when you don't need them. Paper by FiftyThree claims that its engine reacts to touch-screen pressure in … Read more

Grab, edit, and share

Anyone who needs lightweight screen-capturing and editing software will love Skitch for Mac. Although it lacks some of the tools -- such as mask and layer -- that you find in a high-end image editor such as Photoshop, its well-designed, intuitive interface guides you all the way through the quick and effective editing actions, and the result speaks for itself.

The app launches in a gray window with a white canvas in the center, while the outer borders contain all the available options, allowing you to perform a long list of actions. But since Skitch is centered around screenshots, you … Read more

Create Gantt charts in Excel with Project Gantt Chart

Gantt charts aren't essential to project planning; it just seems that way. Project Gantt Chart is a free template for Microsoft Excel. It's specifically designed to address some of the shortcomings of other free Excel templates for creating Gantt charts, such as the need to enable Macros. The Lite template is a free version of a premium template, Excelindo Gantt Chart. The premium software adds several features, including custom color options and Flexible Work Days, Custom Holidays and Leave Dates, and Smart Workday Calculations. But the free template offers plenty of features itself. In fact, it's actually … Read more

Chart your course with yEd Graph Editor

Diagrams can often organize information and get your point across in ways that text alone just can't. yEd Graph Editor is an easy-to-use tool that lets you create diagrams, flow charts, and many other visual representations of processes and relationships. It's a fairly sophisticated program and new users might have to spend some time getting acquainted with it, but the payoff -- an endless number of graphic possibilities -- is well worth it.

yEd Graph Editor has an attractive interface, with a tabbed work area that lets you have multiple files open at once. Several aspects of the … Read more

Get better movie recommendations

Most of us have used Netflix or iTunes recommendations to check out movies or TV shows, and while they can be pretty good, they do offer up duds from time to time -- especially duds that happen to be quite popular. FlickChart aims to fix this by offering recommendations based on relative ranking of movies instead of a five-star system, and can deliver much more focused movie options. Here's how to use it:

Point your browser to Flick Chart and set up a free account. They don't want much info from you. Rank movies. They will show you … Read more

Paper brings your sketches to life (hands-on)

As CNET's Mary Jo Foley reported earlier today, former execs associated with the nixed Courier dual-screen tablet from Microsoft have joined together to make an elegant sketchpad and ideas app.

Paper, by developer FiftyThree, is free and offers only a handful of features initially, but it's just enough to make you want to sample some of the in-app purchases for more tools.

Upon launch you're presented with a welcome screen that outlines the simple set of tools. A tap opens a book, and swiping horizontally lets you turn the 3D pages. The feel of the app is very fluid, and it even accounts for your swipe momentum, so a stronger flick turns several pages until they slow to a stop. Details like these make the simple interface impressive, even without many bells and whistles. From there you simply tap on a page to start editing.… Read more