Star Apps: Phil Keoghan from 'The Amazing Race'

Phil Keoghan has always looked outward to new adventures in foreign lands. The Emmy-award-winning producer and host of CBS's "The Amazing Race" credits this to growing up on an island nation, New Zealand. He became a world traveler who shares his passion for globetrotting through "The Amazing Race." I chatted with Keoghan about the upcoming "Amazing Race: All-Stars" finale on May 18, the secrets to winning the highly competitive show, his favorite and least favorite contestants of all time, learning to seize life by the horns, and his favorite apps.

From having a … Read more

Amazing Maze for Mac review

Amazing Maze for Mac allows you to create non-repeating musical tracks using various sampled sounds, even if you lack musical skills or talent. It makes a positive impression with its functionality and its ability to generate complex tracks. This freeware works with all Mac OS X versions after 10.6.


Random music composition: Amazing Maze does not produce pop music, but more sophisticated sounds, comparable to the tracks of a soundtrack album.

Autonomous composition: The application can compose music on its own, but you can also intervene in the creation process. Regardless of your choice, however, the result will … Read more

Review: Amazing Slow Downer for Mac plays back music at any speed on the fly

Amazing Slow Downer for Mac is an impressive piece of software that will slow down your music files or CD tracks on the fly without having to record them first, making it a perfect fit for burgeoning musicians. Because it works with your CD-Rom drive and doesn't require recording, it is faster and more accessible than other software that offers similar functionality.

Installation of Amazing Slow Downer is fast and the app will load immediately once you have unzipped the DMG file. The interface is all on one screen and is a bit dated. Without a clear tutorial onscreen … Read more

Review: Amazing Icons Pro provides tools to create custom icons on your iPhone

Amazing Icons Pro offers a number of tools to create custom icons on your iPhone. There are issues, however, mostly stemming from the lack of clear direction upfront and the abundance of buttons and options onscreen at any given time. Finding the tools you need, finalizing an icon, and exporting it takes more time and effort than it should in an app like this.

After installation, you can start creating icons right away. The app doesn't provide a tutorial so you'll need to tap around and check out each of the options. There is a demo button that … Read more

Review: Amazing Photo Water Effect Photo edits reflections in your images

Amazing Photo Water Effect is an editing app that creates a faded mirror image with any photo on your photo stream to give the impression that it is reflecting off water. The app actually has many different features for those that enjoy editing images, but with a lack of instructions, photo saving issues, and the "reflections" requirement, those extra features are rendered near-useless, and the app, itself, has limited use for iPhone photographers.

The Amazing Photo Water Effect app is much like other photo editing apps with features that include image sharpening, filters, meme creation, and more. But … Read more

Ultrapixels? Karaoke? Where HTC's 'M7' could go next

HTC's rumored M7 smartphone will usher in cutting-edge audio and photography features, if recent clues are an accurate indicator. A close look at an official HTC infographic teases a "new sound and camera experience" and provides hints of what to expect.

While the last line of the infographic might be the most fun to read, it is the lead-up that tells us where HTC is focused. HTC makes a point of saying that Apple did not change the image sensor size for the iPhone 4S in 2011.

What's more, the handset maker opines that it doesn'… Read more

Next-gen 3D runners on iOS

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post comparing older running games to new ones, to see how the genre that works so well on the touch screen was evolving. But even since then running games have gotten much deeper, with more 3D entries than just the popular classic Temple Run (iOS|Android).

I'm a big fan of these types of games because they're so easy to pick up and play for a short time and I'm never too worried about turning them off when it's my turn at the DMV or my bus has reached my stop -- there's always another run.… Read more

Windows 8 hybrid-tablet mania

Thursday's tech news roundup calls for a deluge of tablet-PC hybrids:

Everyone is talking about tablet hybrids at this year's IFA electronics trade show in Berlin. Every major laptop maker is getting in the game, all because of the October 26 release of Windows 8. Some choose to have the screen swivel or fold to be held like a tablet, such as the Dell XPS Duo 12 and the Asus Taichi. But most hardware makers are also offering tablets with full keyboards that snap on, like HP's Envy x2 tablet and Samsung's Series 5 and 7 Slates (… Read more

Rovio puzzler Amazing Alex keeps you coming back for more

Amazing Alex (99 cents) for iPhone or Android is a physics game where you're challenged to create chain reactions with objects to complete objectives. Our hero, Amazing Alex, is a kid who's stuck cleaning his room and tries to get creative with organizing his belongings by building Rube Goldburg-like devices.… Read more

Yahoo hack reveals most-used passwords

This Thursday, it's time to train your brain to win the gold in multitasking:

Seems to be the season for security breaches. This time, it deals with a subsection of Yahoo, called Yahoo Voices. Hackers posted more than 450,000 login names and passwords of Voices users, and it was said to be done as a wake-up call to Yahoo and others to step up security. The Voices section of Yahoo was slacking in security and did not hash passwords or require complicated strings.

CNET's Declan McCullagh wrote a program to comb through the most frequently used passwordsRead more