books

Oyster for Android review

Touted as the Netflix of books, Oyster is an online service that serves up a buffet of books. For a monthly fee, you get access to Oyster's entire library of half a million books.

Pros

An expanding library: Over the course of a year, Oyster has quadrupled the amount of books in its library and, as of this review, has 500,000 titles. There's something for everybody, from lesser-known works to books from popular authors such as Orwell, Fitzgerald, and Tolkien.

Read anywhere: Now that the service has expanded support to Android, people with multiple gadgets can rejoice. … Read more

Mactracker for Mac review

Mactracker for Mac lets you look up and compare the specifications of every product ever made by Apple through a straightforward interface. You can browse by category or search for a specific model, and you can even create smart categories to highlight products with certain specifications.

Pros

Detailed entries: The entry for each product listed in this app includes detailed information in a variety of categories. And to make accessing the information you're looking for even more convenient, the app features multiple categories of information for each product including General, Memory and Graphics, Connections and Expansions, History, and Notes.… Read more

Phone Amego for Mac review

Phone Amego for Mac sits on your menu bar and interacts with your phone for a number of functions, monitoring and controlling calls, blocking unwanted callers, doing Web reverse lookups, and setting calendars. It works well and proves useful, but doesn't support Wi-Fi.

Pros

Intuitive interface: Configuring Phone Amego for Mac does not take long. Everything is clearly presented on the application's different panes. Setting your communication logging parameters, for instance, is as easy as ticking check boxes.

Works with AppleScript: You can use AppleScript to automate your interaction with connected phones, which means you can place calls … Read more

Sony CD Architect review

Sony CD Architect enhances your audio tracks to meet Red Book specifications. This professional quality app hosts a bevy of features that you can use to fine-tune your audio and add fresh new effects. In fact, there are so many features and options that it can be overwhelming.

Pros

Comprehensive: Sony CD Architect unleashes a plethora of features, including ripple editing, allowing you to edit multiple events simultaneously, and autosave crash recovery, which saves a backup of your file every five minutes.

Easy to customize: The Playlist, Tracklist, Trimmer, Mixer, and Media Pool windows are all fully customizable. You can … Read more

Impressed Photo Books review

Impressed Photo Books lets you add photos to a stylish layout, add captions or additional pages, and then order a physical copy of the book. Create albums to commemorate events or to give as gifts for a special occasion, and have them turned into high-quality prints that you'll be proud to share.

To start creating an album in Impressed Photo Books, select either the lightning bolt for a Magic Start, or choose to customize the entire process by tapping the "+" icon. The Magic Start feature selects a cover for you and gathers some photos that you already … Read more

BookBuddy review

BookBuddy lets you create an organized list of all the books in your library, create and save notes, and keep track of which of your books is on loan to a friend. Just scan the books' barcodes to enter them into the app, and then file them, mark them as loaned out, or enter any other information you'd like to save.

This app has tons of features packed into a clean and streamlined interface. It comes preloaded with five sample entries, so you can get an idea of how it works and which types of information you can access … Read more

Apple rumor claims all-new, 12-inch MacBook Air

Apple is planning a radical redesign of the MacBook "soon," if a forum post out of China is to be believed.

A key aspect of the redesign would be the elimination of the fan assembly, according to MacRumors, which describes the post as coming from a reliable leaker of future Apple hardware.

A fanless design almost always implies ultrathin and -light. For example, the iPad Air is a fanless design as are Android and most Windows tablets. Even some of the newest, thinnest Windows 2-in-1s are fanless, such as the Intel Haswell processor-based HP Spectre 13 tablet that … Read more

Nook Press self-publishing tool expands to global markets

Barnes & Noble's Nook Press, a self-publishing tool for aspiring authors, has expanded its footprint in international markets.

Nook Press is now available in authors and publishers in the UK, France, and Germany, among other European countries, Barnes & Noble announced on Tuesday. Nook authors can upload their titles for sale on Nook devices and through Barnes & Noble's e-reader apps. Authors share the revenue with Barnes & Noble, with royalty rates based on list price. All authors are paid in their local currency.

Barnes & Noble launched its self-publishing tool last year to compete with Amazon and … Read more

Exclusive cover peek at latest Ian Doescher 'Star Wars' parody

Life's but an Ewoking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage.

"William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return" -- the third installment of Shakespeare's "Star Wars" parody books by Ian Doescher from Quirk Books -- hits bookshelves on July 1, and CNET got an exclusive look at the cover.

On it, Jabba the Hutt takes his place as the ultimate Shakespearean villain. Will Princess Leia's metal bikini, the treacherous sarlacc pit, and Ewoks and the Battle of Endor all be given the Shakespearean treatment? Fans will have to wait until the summer to discover what exactly is in store for their favorite characters in this homage to George Lucas' iconic "Star Wars" film "Return of the Jedi." … Read more

Microsoft, HP blaze business tablet trail

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft think the tablet is more lean forward than lean back. Are they right?

The PC has one (at least) distinct advantage over Apple. Windows 8.1 isn't a mobile operating system like iOS. In other words, the same 64-bit Windows 8.1 that runs on a brawny desktop PC now runs on featherweight 8-inch and 10-inch tablets.

And that may be a good thing because the tablet is in dire need of new markets, with predictions that the rate of growth will drop sharply in 2014.

"As consumer shipments slow in many markets, commercial (business) … Read more