Hands on: Google Earth 5 delightful but imperfect

Google Earth upped the cartographic ante again today with Google Earth 5 for Windows and Mac. As CNET News reported back in April 2008, the latest version incorporates even more data from NASA, the BBC, National Geographic, and other proprietary sources to create one of the most unique map offerings ever, meshing comprehensive real-time data on Earth's surface with information on the oceans, the stars that we see, historical maps, and topographical information on Mars.

Conceptually, the... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions , Desktop Enhancements , Mac Software

Tags: 3D , Google Earth , maps

iLife '09 continued: My first iMovie '09 video

I spent most of Friday fiddling with iPhoto '09, and you can read my first impressions here. On Saturday, I spent some major quality time with iMovie '09, and I have to say it's pretty easy to grasp. I'm no professional, and I'll admit that I preferred iMovie HD (or the '06 version) to iMovie '08, but it's not too bad. In fact, I created this short little video of the public pillow fight in San Francisco on Valentine's... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Apple

Weather apps: Six more weeks of winter?

Even if you're not one to trust a groundhog's shadow as your weather vane, watching a pet rodent emerge from a hole before hundreds of onlookers is a fascinating North American ritual. The rest of us may not have the prognosticating meteorological savvy of a Punxsutawney Phil, Buckeye Chuck, or Shubenacadie Sam, but on February 2, we can have the next best thing--weather widgets and applications.

Here are some of our favorite ways to read the mercury on our Windows PCs.

Weather Watcher Live... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Desktop Enhancements

First Look video: Apple iLife '09

Apple updates its popular production suite, iLife, that aims to corral your video, photo, music, and Web needs inside one big fence.

Facebook compatibility, facial recognition algorithms, advanced editing features, and music lessons from the stars are just some of the improvements made to iVideo, iPhoto, GarageBand, and iWeb. Check out what's new in this First Look video. We've also got a slide show with even more iLife '09 goodness, and an in-depth review for iWork, Apple's... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software , Digital Photography , Design , Audiomp3

iPhone apps of the week

I scout several Web sites every week for new iPhone applications to try to find what I think are the most useful (or the most fun) for everyone who reads this column. A couple of weeks ago, I featured a budgeting application that I thought had some nice features, but a user quickly pointed me in the direction of something much better.

Mint.com (Free) is an excellent money management tool that automatically syncs up with your accounts to help... Read More »

Topics: Utilities And Drivers , Office Software , Mac Software , Digital Photography , Mobile Software

Tags: iPhone , Apple , iPhoneappsweek , iPod Touch , 3G

First Look video: Air Mouse for iPhone 1.5

Infinitely cooler and more practical than the still-respected iTunes Remote is Air Mouse for iPhone 1.5 ($6). Why? You can play music and videos from any media player, for starters, not just from Apple's pet player.

In fact, Air Mouse gives you the reins to the keyboard and mouse, with new screens in this version that are tailored to commanding the Web browser, media players, and function keys. Then there are the two methods for wielding your iPhone's remote... Read More »

Topics: Mobile Software , Audiomp3

Tags: iPhone , First Look , iPod Touch

Up close and personal with iLife '09 photos

Curious about the new iLife? You can get a look at all the new features in this gallery of iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, and iWeb.

... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software , Digital Photography , Audiomp3

Tags: Apple , software

For Fring mobile VoIP app, a Last.fm add-on

Although Fring has long let you chat with friends over Skype, IM, Facebook, and Twitter, the recent introduction of a Last.fm add-on is the start-up's first foray into streaming content.

Starting this week, Symbian Series 60 users with the latest version of Fring (for Symbian 9.1 | 9.2) can sign on to their Last.fm accounts from the Fring add-on's screen.

From there, you can play custom- and public-streaming stations, with the familiar controls to stop, skip, save,... Read More »

Topics: Mobile Software , Audiomp3

Tags: VoIP , Fring

Opera Mini 4.2 shakes off its Android beta

The final release of Opera Mini 4.2 for Google Android adds regular features of the Java browser that were disabled in its November beta version. Think more of a mechanic tightening up loose nuts and bolts, rather than operating on engine guts, and you've got the premise.

Available starting Wednesday in the Android Market, Opera Mini 4.2 for Google Android now lets you upload and download files, save pages, and zoom in and out in response to a double tap.

You'll... Read More »

Topics: Browsers And Extensions , Mobile Software

Tags: Android , Opera Mini , G1

Internet Explorer 8 in pictures

As Microsoft counts down the final days to when it feels that Internet Explorer 8 is ready for public use, you can take a look at what's coming in this slideshow of IE 8's first Release Candidate.

Click on the image to your left to launch the gallery.

... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions

Tags: Internet Explorer , browsers , release candidate