App and Software News
Chat clients might be my favorite method for quick communication on my Mac at home or at work. Falling somewhere between the telephone and e-mail programs when it comes to communication, a good chat client offers advantages over both that make them unique and useful for anyone. They're especially helpful at work for sending links and files when the formality of an e-mail is too cumbersome for what you're trying to communicate.
I've used most popular chat clients for the Mac... Read More »
Topics: Mac Software
If anyone knows me, they know one thing: I love free PC shooters. The developers at Binary Zoo have made me very happy in recent years with their excellent releases Duo and Mono, and it seems like they've done it yet again. Their new game, Echoes, combines Asteroids and Geometry Wars to create another entertaining and addictive shoot-em-up.
The game menu is very similar to Duo and Mono, and easy for anyone to quickly understand and start playing. If you've never... Read More »
By now, most users know all about antispyware software, antivirus apps, firewalls, and other essential tools for keeping your Windows machine lean and mean. (If you don't, be sure to check out the Security section of our PC Starter Kit.)
However, when your PC slows down and the Windows Task Manager says that a process named lsass.exe or svchost.exe is using 99 percent of your system resources, how do you know whether it's a legitimate task or something more insidious? When in... Read More »
No, that's not a typo. The software is spelled Pitaschio, and it's not the only odd bit of English you'll find in the freeware utility. Initially developed in Japanese by a programmer known as ARA, Pitaschio was only recently released in English.
Pitaschio lets you tweak Windows XP or Windows 2000 in a variety of different ways to eliminate certain annoying functions, add keyboard or mouse shortcuts, customize your windows, and perform other similar system tricks.
Once you download the tiny 55K... Read More »
Although Power Downloader spends a considerable amount of time in the field chasing down bad guys, part of his job is not quite so glamorous. For all the time traveling around the globe, he still ends up putting more time into research on the Web, hoping he'll find the leads he needs to capture sneaky criminals. To make the job of Web research a little less tedious, Power listens to his favorite music.
To help him stay focused on the research... Read More »
One of the best choices for online telephony for Mac just got better. The latest Skype update pushes the program to version 2.6, adding a call transfer feature and some new chat options so you can stay in touch with friends and family around the world. Skype has always been one of my favorite apps for its familiar chat-like interface and the ability to talk to users around the world for free (provided they're also using Skype). For a little... Read More »
Topics: Mac Software
Do you want to be the next John Lasseter? Is Hayao Miyazaki your hero? iClone Studio Edition 2.0 updates the feature-heavy, template-based 3D animation studio aimed at the amateur animator. It's a must-see app if you're trying to break into the camera side of movies and animation, or if you just want to play around with 3D animation without having to draw everything from scratch.
The installation is a bit of a drag, with a mandatory registration that also scans your... Read More »
Ten percent of the 4.5 million URLs Google researchers analyzed for a malware expos? harbored malicious code. The code executes through widgets, ads, compromised downloads, server vulnerabilities, browser holes, phishing lures, and links, making infection possible for even ordinarily safe users.
CNET.com's Robert Vamosi has the full story, and CNET Download.com has programs to add muscle to your antivirus armor. Netcraft Toolbar (for Internet Explorer and Firefox), is an antiphishing browser extension that sniffs out suspicious hosting locations common in spoofed... Read More »
When we want children to grasp structures and shapes, we let them play with Legos. When we want them to understand programming, we'll let them play with Scratch, the latest child-oriented program to poke its beak from MIT's prolific Media Lab.
Scratch is a free animation-development program for kids that converts the main elements of programming--like objects, actions, rules, and conditions--into simple blocks you can drag from the menu list and drop into the scripting area. Snap a few of... Read More »
Topics: Mac Software
Last week, I had an opportunity to sit down with the developers of MXPlay, beta jukebox software that lets you mash up your music with streaming movies, letting you create your own virtual music videos.
More interesting than the mashup features, however, is MXPlay's unique playback interface. A graphical interface lets you control the location of the listening audience and the position and direction of your speakers. Letting you tweak your own "room" does create better-sounding tunes. The MXPlay folks were... Read More »