Review: Trick Photography offers a collection of cool photos, with little long-term value

Trick Photography is a decent photo gallery full of cool shots, but it's hard to say if that's really worth the download. You might be better off finding similar shots individually online and downloading them that way; you'd certainly save space. Still, if you aren't very good at finding pictures, yourself, this app might be a dream come true.

This app is a collection of pictures that seems to bend the laws of physics and photography. You'll find pictures of people appearing to hold the Eiffel Tower or kicking the moon like a soccer ball. … Read more

Photography 101: Learning the ropes with your new camera

Editors' note: This is an expanded and updated version of a story first posted in December 2011.

You've opened the box, charged the battery, and oohed and aahed over your shiny new toy. Now what?

Scan your manual No, you don't have to read the whole thing, just the important stuff. In the beginning somewhere there will be a diagram showing you the parts of the camera. That's the really important stuff. Then turn to the index, providing the manual has one (there are some utterly heinous examples of manualcraft that don't include an index); if there isn't, use the table of contents instead. Run down the index or TOC, and look at the page in the manual for every term you don't understand. … Read more

Presto! iBalance magic trick makes smartphones float in midair

There are lots of magic tricks you can perform with your smartphone, usually using some combination of real-world objects (like, say, cards) and an app.

For example, with Card2Phone, physical items like coins and cards seem to disappear into an iPhone, then reappear again in the real world.

But with iBalance, the phone itself becomes the illusion. This new trick, designed for amateur and professional magicians alike, makes any smartphone appear to balance in an impossible way. Take a look:

As you can see, it's a pretty good piece of prestidigitation. I've dabbled in magic since I was … Read more

Review: Word Trick Free is a familiar take on the word game formula

Word Trick Free is very similar to other word games like Words with Friends, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing as it is loaded with features, runs smoothly, and integrates with your social networks. This makes it easy to connect with other players, start games, and keep track of scores while on the go. For those looking to find another word game other than the classic "with Friends" brand, this is a good one to consider.

When you open Word Trick Free you'll need to run through the usual sign-up gauntlet, connecting to Facebook, adding … Read more

Google posts six tips and tricks for Google Maps on iOS, Android

After Google launched a completely redesigned Google Maps experience for iOS and Android users, our own Nicole Cozma covered five tips for Android (which applied to iOS as well) users to get started with Google Maps.

On Monday Google posted six tips of its own for Google Maps. Some of the tips covered overlap with our previous post, but there are some additional gems from Google.

One of them is the ability to zoom in and out on the map by double tapping the screen with a single finger, then sliding up or down to zoom in and out. This … Read more

Review: Alter and enhance your picture files with Image Tricks for Mac

With the large number of photo editing programs available, choosing a useful one can be difficult. Image Tricks for Mac does have some good features, but it appeared to be missing one of the most basic editing options. And with its muddled interface and lack of user guidance, less experienced users might feel that the learning curve is too steep.

Tricks for Mac offers a free trial version with some filter restrictions. The full version requires a payment of $19.95 to activate. The download completed quickly and there were no unnecessary user agreements to accept, which was welcome. Unfortunately, … Read more

Hooked Up: Check out the set of NCIS with Pauley Perrette and her tech toys

In this week's episode of Hooked Up, Kevin Frazier hangs out on the set of "NCIS" with actress Pauley Perrette, who plays Abby Sciuto, the show's fan-favorite quirky forensic scientist. She talks about her role as the social media ambassador for CBS during "Tweet Week" and how she used Twitter to help keep the Hope Gardens shelter for families open.

Pauley bring hers own tech on set, including the dirtiest Macbook you've probably ever seen, and she shows us some of the fun set pieces in Abby's lab. She also talks about … Read more

The Top Essential Hotkeys for Windows 8

Whether you're new to Windows 8 or a seasoned veteran, it's always good to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Let's face it: without a touch screen, Windows 8 can get a tad tedious to use. Here are the most essential Windows 8 shortcuts for accessing and working with the Charms menu, and system-wide. You can thank us later.

Useful keys to access Charms in a touchless world

Windows Key + C: Opens Charms Bar Windows Key + I: Access the settings or control panel for active app Windows Key + Q: Search your applications Windows Key + Z: Open … Read more

President Obama is not the Jedi you're looking for

As just about everyone knows by now, President Obama got the entire Internet in a tizzy this morning by seemingly mixing up "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" references and trying to pass them off as a clever "Star Wars" line.

It's been much reported that, speaking about his negotiations with Republicans over budget reform, he complained that he can't perform a "Jedi mind meld." Cue a million anguished Twitter users in outrage, jokingly insisting on impeaching the president over his inability to remember that the line is actually "Jedi … Read more

How to make your iPhone 5 'dance'

When I first read Rafe Needleman's tweet where he encouraged his iPhone to dance, I shrugged it off. Then I clicked on the link in the tweet and watched one of the videos posted on the site. I shook my head in disbelief as I watched an iPhone 5 spin in a circle -- hands-free -- while standing on end. I was convinced there had to be some sort of special effects or movie magic going on. Obviously this was a prank. Right?

Boy was I wrong. So I followed the link to the App Store, forked … Read more