Features

First Look: The Evolution of Spore

 Spore starts small. A simple life form--you, specifically--merrily swims around in primordial goo, absorbing nutrients. Nothing matters outside of this pool, not the rock basin that holds it, the continent that cradles the rock basin, the planet that holds the continent, the solar system that contains the planet, or the galaxy that surrounds the solar system. None of that matters--yet. Spore keeps its focus on the immediate goal, a race to survive and grow. Just like those scaling worlds, there’s always a hungry creature bigger than you.

New Stuff: SLR Happy

  When it’s time to get serious about photography, it’s time to get a new single-lens reflex camera.

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First Look: Hulu and You

 After a very public dissagreement concerning pricing, Apple and NBC Universal parted ways a few months back. NBC wanted to experiment with pricing, Apple didn't. In the wake of the break-up, NBC announced it was creating a video portal named, Hulu. Hulu would allow NBC to control its content and sell ads much the same way traditional television does. On the surface, Hulu seems like the knee-jerk reaction of a spoiled child who, when it couldn't get its way with Apple and the iTunes store, went off and created its own video site. In fact, Hulu is a good start at offering video on demand on the internet. Once you begin exploring the site you get sucked into watching television shows, film and TV clips and full length films. All for free.

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Broadcasting with Yahoo! Live

 Video sites that are full of user-generated content have made producers out of anyone with an internet connection -- but uploading a video of your dachshund barking the theme to Night Court is a far cry from broadcasting live. Up until very recently, live web video was more akin to a jittery slide show. Fortunately, the Advanced Products team at Yahoo! quietly launched Yahoo! Live, a free web app that allows you to use your Mac’s built in camera and microphone to broadcast your own live video and audio. Since its launch, Yahoo Live! has been streaming all sorts of content, from an Obama rally to a live episode of Diggnation (which proved to be a bit too popular, temporarily crashing the still-experimental service). Read on and we’ll show you how to get started broadcasting your own show.

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 Your iPod is your best musical friend. But, not unlike some of your college buddies, you can't take it everywhere. Below are ten places you should avoid iPod temptation and go white bud free.

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 Macs are expensive. Let’s just go ahead and admit that right away. Yes, they’re the best computers on the market, and each new Mac includes useful software like Mail, Safari, TextEdit, and the iLife suite for no extra charge. But many consider certain high-priced software packages—specifically, Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop, although the list doesn’t end there—to be so standard that they’re practically required purchases. Indeed, when people ask us about switching from a PC to the Mac, one of the first questions usually is, “I’ll have to rebuy Office, won’t I?” Not necessarily.

 Enjoy yourself. For most of the self-employed, a bad day of freelancing beats a good day in the cube farm.  The life cycle of a business idea can be a beautiful thing to behold. From the “Eureka!” moment when you discover what it is you want to create, to the moment you get a nice, big, fat paycheck for selling your creation, getting a home business up and running can be a wonderful, empowering experience. But if you think it’s just a matter of getting the right gear, you’re wrong. All the gear in the world won’t help you break the shackles of working for The Man if it’s used incorrectly (or costs too much). Indeed, the keys to success are the soft ingredients: the best Mac applications, the best online services, the best practices for making a go of it alone. We offer a six-page primer on establishing financial self-determination—with your trusty Mac by your side. 

Is the air getting thinner?

 Mac Book Air, 3.0 pounds, 0.16-0.76 inches thick, 13.3-inch display, 1.6GHz /1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 80GB hard drive, Backlit keyboard, Multi-touch trackpad, iSight camera,No optical drive, Must be caressed to be believed Steve Jobs’ opening bow at Mac Expo 2008 was uncharacteristically late by some 10 minutes, but the news he had to share was completely on time if one believes that keeping pace with the forward march of technology (and all its digital lifestyle overtones) is important. From the time-saving Time Capsule to the well-timed iPhone enhancements to the “Will they stand the test of time?” big-ticket items—iTunes movie rentals, Apple TV Take Two, and the impossibly thin MacBook Air—Expo ’08 marked Apple’s first year as a rightfully placed consumer electronics juggernaut, with multiple prongs of attack jutting from its ever-determined center.  

Font Management Made Simple(r)

 At some point, virtually everyone has experienced at least one maddening font-based misfortune. Sometimes a completely wrong font is substituted for the one you intended, seemingly randomly. Or a font that used to work fine is now coming up corrupted. Or you use the wrong version of a font, and now your document has silently become pages longer. (And of course, these problems seem to only pop up when you’re working on a huge project with a tight deadline.) We’ll explain some of the mysteries of font management, and give you steps to follow to get your fonts in order and stop the madness.  

 Whether you’re packing for a business trip thousands of miles away, or you just want to get out of the house for a few hours, sometimes you need to take your Mac on the road. While it’s debatable whether “getting there is half the fun,” keeping your MacBook (and your workflow) running smoothly, both in transit and when you arrive, is an absolute must. And we hate to break it to you, but with a more-mobile Mac comes increased responsibility—like making sure your precious ’Book doesn’t get stolen, broken, or disconnected from the world. We’ve got the latest tricks for keeping your precious cargo safe, secure, and connected—and some advice for coping with accidents you can’t avoid.