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Adobe Flash Player for Mac review

Adobe Flash Player for Mac lets you access Flash content in Web sites when using browsers like OS X's Safari. The plug-in integrates seamlessly and through a preference pane, gives you control over the type of access each Web site has to your system. The only downside to using it is that it suffers from performance issues.

Pros

Configurable: The plug-in adds a new preference pane in System Preferences where you will be able to adjust your local storage, camera, mic and peer-assisted networking settings to either allow the feature for all Web sites, on a per-request basis, or … Read more

Adobe After Effects CS6 for Mac review

Adobe After Effects CS6 for Mac provides you with professional tools for creating special video effects and making complex video edits. This subscription software comes with a free trial and is the current industry standard. Because of the sheer amount of features it includes, it requires a powerful Mac in order to run smoothly.

Pros

Large installer and slow installation: Installing Adobe After Effects CS6 for Mac may take a few minutes since the app weighs 1GB. The need to obtain an Adobe ID if you don't have one already further slows down the installation.

Plenty of features: This … Read more

Get Pixar's rendering software behind 'Toy Story' absolutely free

Pixar's award-winning, in-house rendering software, RenderMan, will be free starting in August. All you have to do is sign up. The Emeryville studio has announced that it will offer the $500 rendering software for free, provided it is used for noncommercial purposes. The animation giant has also stated that the "free non-commercial RenderMan is exactly the same as the commercial version." This is pretty awesome news for aspiring digital artists.

The free version of RenderMan will be released with its commercial counterpart sometime in August. You can sign up here to get notified once it goes live. … Read more

ManyCam for Mac review

ManyCam for Mac allows you to add special effects to the pictures and videos you take with your computer's built-in iSight camera. When you select it as your video source, these effects can be added to your video chats with programs such as Yahoo Messenger, Google Hangouts, or Skype.

Pros

Entertaining effects: ManyCam for Mac offers many entertaining photo effects including objects, backgrounds, and face accessories. You can also draw over video, add text over video, and add date and time. However, some of the other features we stumbled upon while exploring this program were welcome surprises. For example, … Read more

Star Apps: Berlin's Terri Nunn

Seminal new-wave band Berlin has returned to a more electronic sound on its latest release, "Animal," which the band is currently supporting on tour. Part '80s synthpop, part contemporary EDM, the record should appeal to nostalgia seekers and current club kids alike. The racy title track is as sultry as band classics "Sex (I'm a...)" and "Pleasure Victim." Vocalist Terri Nunn talks about the move back to electronica; the successes and failures of her platinum-selling, Oscar-winning band (for "Take My Breath Away" from "Top Gun"); her sex symbol status … Read more

Animals Memory Game For Kids review

With Animals Memory Game For Kids on your Android tablet or phone, youngsters stay busy sharpening their memory skills -- only they think it's fun. Softdiv's free but ad-supported game challenges kids to flip and match animal cards by memory. Gameplay involves tapping squares, so even small children can manage it on a tablet or smartphone.

Pros

Easy in concept, challenging in play: The game's concept is easy to grasp: kids tap squares to briefly uncover cards bearing pictures of different animals, and then tap the matching card to create a pair that then disappears. The further … Read more

Animal Puzzle Game for Toddler review

Softdiv's Animal Puzzle Game for Toddler keeps little ones busy and entertained while they learn fine motor skills and visual cognition. As the name suggests, this free app is more or less an Android rendition of the classic wooden picture puzzle for very young children. Youngsters drag shapes into outlines, aided by sound effects.

Pros

Easy to play: With no more than three or four shapes per animal, and many in single pieces, Animal Puzzle Game for Toddler is suitable for any child old enough to swipe a finger on a touchscreen.

Sound effects: Audible feedback lets players know … Read more

Animal Sounds: Moo Box! review

Animal Sounds: Moo Box! is an app for kids that plays recordings of different types of animals while also showing a photo of each animal. This can help kids learn the sounds that different animals make, as well as what the animals look like and where they live.

The first time you open Animal Sounds, small help windows pop up to explain the various components of the interface. While the interface is fairly straightforward, it's also kind of clunky and definitely not easy to use for kids. Ads do pop up fairly frequently while you're in the middle … Read more

Watch a wild crow tackle a complex eight-step puzzle

We love crows. Crows are amazingly smart, smarter than all other birds and even most other animals. If you think that's an exaggeration, it's not. Crows use tools, and even save good ones for future use. They know how to use their environments, such as human car traffic, to help get food. They recognize human faces across generations, remembering humans who have done them either harm or good and reacting accordingly. And they are the only bird to have passed the mirror recognition test.

Apparently, they're also really clever at solving complex problems.… Read more

Animated Desktop Wallpaper Starfield review

Animated Desktop Wallpaper Starfield creates the feeling that you're flying through space with its stars streaking past on a colorful background. From black to purple to blue to white, all of the colors you associate with space are visible in the backdrop to this wallpaper, which is attractive by itself. But the addition of the tiny, white moving stars makes the illusion that you are in space even more intense.

When you open this program, it's accessible from the taskbar in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Right-clicking on the app's icon there will allow you … Read more