Office 2010 is almost here

Microsoft Office 2010 is available today for business licenses, with the public release coming in June. According to Microsoft, the focus of this major overhaul was on three things: to make workflows more efficient; to effectively use Web applications to make your work available anywhere; and to make collaboration with others much easier. In this CNET First Take for Microsoft Office 2010, we'll take a look at some of the notable feature changes across many of the applications. Microsoft says Office 2010 will let you use your PC, smartphone, and the Web to make your projects come together more … Read more

Multimedia notes and 2D Motocross racing: iPhone apps of the week

Is Apple really the next big gaming-hardware company? I mean, sure, I'm aware there are thousands upon thousands of games in the app store and that the iPhone and iPad are changing the way we think of touch-screen games, but I never would have guessed Apple would be in the same conversation with Sony's PS3, Microsoft's XBox 360, or the Nintendo Wii.

Apparently, Apple is making a much bigger splash in the gaming market than I thought because now, according to the Times Online UK, Nintendo's president, Satoru Iwata, is calling Apple the "enemy of the future."Read more

iPad Notes app not syncing

Some users have been having an issue wherein their iPad's Notes application will not sync with their notes on the Mac. Generally, the Notes application will put synced notes into a folder in your Mac's Mail application under the On My Mac section. Should this syncing not work properly, here are some steps to take.… Read more

Hitting the road with Bill Gates

Bill Gates is going back to college, and Beyond Binary is going along for the ride.

Next week, the Microsoft chairman and philanthropist is doing a three-state college tour, meeting with students and faculty to encourage more people to join efforts to solve society's biggest global challenges.

In a blog post this week, Gates noted that he's done similar tours during his time at Microsoft, but that this is the first time he's done it in his capacity as head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"I'm most looking forward to my conversation with … Read more

BugMe!: A Palm classic reborn for iPhone

There's something to be said for a simple, straightforward note-taking app that borrows from the familiar: sticky notes. BugMe! is one such app.

If the name rings a bell, you probably owned a PalmPilot at some point. That's where the app originated, and call me nostalgic, but I'm happy to see it reborn for the iPhone.

Admittedly, the App Store is already replete with sticky note-inspired task managers, so what sets BugMe! apart? In a word: simplicity.

Instead of packing the app with features, developer Electric Pocket kept the interface about as straightforward as they come. Tap &… Read more

Springpad bookmarks the world

Springpad is a cool little utility to bookmark things you find on the Web and in the real world as well.

When you're on the Web site, it's very easy to create a new free-form note or to-do item. If you're typing in a name of a product or business (like a movie, the model name of a camera, or a restaurant), Springpad will probably identify it as you're typing and create a note with specific items info for the category it fits in. There's also a bookmarklet that makes it fast to save an … Read more

Unintuitive PDF maker

pdfMachine is a multifeatured program that allows users to convert documents into PDF files with a variety of extra options. Unfortunately, although the actual conversion is quick and easy, we found the rest of the features quite unintuitive.

We tried several times to review this program and kept putting it aside, thinking that it wasn't making sense because we were tired or distracted or otherwise mentally unprepared to deal with it. We finally came to the conclusion that the problem wasn't with us. The program's interface looks nice enough, with a sleek design and attractive graphical buttons. … Read more

Want to take notes on an iPad? Here's your stylus

If you had visions of scribbling notes on your iPad, much like you can with virtually every other tablet that preceded it, Apple pretty much dashed them with Wednesday's focus on its onscreen keyboard.

Unsurprisingly, accessory makers have already stepped up to fill the gap. Ten One Design recently announced the Pogo Sketch and Pogo Stylus, which are fully compatible with the iPad.

As with the iPhone and iPod Touch, the iPad's screen requires capacitive input, which is why a traditional plastic stylus (or a gloved fingertip) won't work. The Pogo pens have special tips that mimic … Read more

Bill Gates investing in Vinod Khosla green-tech fund

Bill Gates, whose philanthropy is aimed at improving the lives of people in poor countries, is also taking a interest in clean energy, both intellectually and financially.

In an interview published Sunday, Gates said he has invested in Vinod Khosla's green-technology fund, which is aimed at incubating breakthrough technologies.

"He is backing some great entrepreneurs. I get some exposure to them as part of that. Innovation is called for in a big way," Gates said.

After leaving full-time work at Microsoft in mid-2008 to focus on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the software pioneer had been … Read more

Bill Gates thinks big on energy and climate

Nuclear energy is worth pursuing, wind and solar are good but have limitations, and the government is putting minuscule amounts of money into energy R&D dollars.

So says software tycoon turned philanthropist Bill Gates, who launched his Gates Notes Web site on Wednesday to share his big-picture ideas on big topics. High on his list is energy and environment, an area where he's already taken lots of notes.

In a series of podcasts, Gates sketches out what technologies and policies are likely to lead to the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to zero.

In a response to a question, … Read more