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Here’s a sentence you wouldn’t get in the 20th century:
iNewsCaster is an application that “audioizes” RSS feeds and then converts them into MP3s for your iPod.
Although it sounds like a pitch made by dot-commers who drunk-dialed an angel investor, it really, truly, actually works. iNewsCaster does indeed translate text into voice, then exports the text to your iPod via iTunes. You can choose your news from a list of pre-selected feeds like BBC, the New York Times, and Digg.com, but you can add any RSS feeds you choose (like MacLife: http://www.maclife.com/maclife_com_rss_feeds). You can configure iNewsCaster to check for new feeds in increments of five minutes, up to an hour.
The speaker’s voice, “Heather,” is mostly natural, with some metallic-sounding notes, but it’s easy enough on the ears. It also takes a while to convert the feeds to MP3s, depending on the size of the file.
iNewsCaster. It’s not just an application. It’s the tip of the 21st century.
In New York City, calculating a 15% tip is easy: just double the tax. But in other locales, doubling the tax could result in stiffing some poor server. Don’t be that guy. Be the one who tips well, or at least accurately.
But if you’re better at dim sums than adding sums, you can reach for TipKalk, which installs on the Photos section of your iPod. TipKalk is a series of static images of calculations, which you can scroll through at speed. You can get an accurate calculation of a 15% (on the left-hand side) or 20% tip (on the right) for a bill between $5 and $500.
If you’re dining with friends, TipKalk can divide the tip between up to five of you. Unfortunately, it divides evenly, so if your buddy ordered the prime rib while you got the salad, you have to do the math the hard way. Or just have more wine.
Picture this: you’re at a party, when a venture capitalist walks in. You sell him on the one-sentence pitch, and he’d like to know more. But your presentation is at home, on your laptop. What’s a budding entrepreneur to do? You hand him your iPod, of course.
iPresent It converts your PowerPoint, PDF, or Keynote presentations into a format readable by your iPod by creating an album in iPhoto or as a project in Aperture. (Make sure your iPod is set to synch photos.) Your presentation appears in full color, using all of the screen real estate, as a miniaturized version of the one you have at home.
If you have the right equipment, iPresent It is also formatted for the AppleTV, so you can dazzle the whole party with your business acumen.
You no longer have to slam down a mochaccino for a pick-me-up. Now you can reach for your iPod’s earbuds.
Pzizz is an application that downloads to your hard drive. When run, it generates a recording which you then export into iTunes. The recording plays at different wavelengths (a “binaural” recording) in the left and right side of your earbud/headphones. Your brainwave frequency adjusts to the tone frequency, the Web site tells it, making you either more relaxed or more alert.
The “soundtrack” of notes and tones comes with a voiceover of a guided meditation. After listening to it, we felt calmer, but we realize that the (male) speaker’s voice may become repetitive over time. Fortunately, you can select the voice preferences to play during the intro or wakeup only or eliminate it altogether. You can even adjust the amount of time spent in your meditative trance.
In fact, every time you run Pzizz, you can generate a new soundtrack; Pzizz uses an algorithm to ensure you’ll never get bored, even subconsciously.
Pzizz doesn’t taste as good as a mochaccino, but it’s much easier on the waistline.