Even if you have a tried-and-true system for collecting contacts, problems can arise when people try to get around it. Someone includes their new phone number in an email or IM, or you’re handed a new spreadsheet of new clients, and all of a sudden you find yourself cutting and pasting like it’s arts-and-crafts time in kindergarten.
Since Apple bought Lala, the online music store that lets you upload and stream your computer’s music online, speculation has swirled about when Cupertino will bring the feature to iTunes. If you’re sick of waiting, mSpot lets you enjoy your Mac’s music from a browser on almost any computer. While the service has room for improvement, it also puts your music in the cloud with a minimum of fuss.
One of the best things about the App Store is the convenience of buying any iOS app with just your iTunes password. For better or worse, OS X lacks this simplicity, so we have to buy Mac applications from the internet or retail shelves while juggling an alphabet soup of license keys, the codes that developers exchange for our hard-earned cash to end trial periods or unlock all a program’s features. AppChest can organize all your license information in style, but unless you need to access your keys quickly and often, it’s overkill.
You’ve heard of cloud storage, but what about cloud gaming? OnLive lets you play 20-some games--including Windows-only titles--running on servers in data centers up to 1,000 miles away, streaming HD video to your Mac while you control the action with your mouse, keyboard, or Xbox 360 gamepad. Launched at this year’s E3, the long-awaited service is free for one year to the first wave of members, with an optional second year for $4.95/month (month-to-month, no commitment). OnLive is letting players into the service gradually, to make sure their data centers can handle the load, but you can sign up for the waiting list at onlive.com and you’ll get an invite when they’re ready for you.
A good dungeon crawler may drive you to the edge of insanity, but it’ll never get old and can always be reinvented. Case in point: Torchlight from Runic Games, available from Valve’s Steam for Mac digital storefront, combines the best elements of Blizzard’s classic Diablo titles with an accessible arcade style that makes it easy to create a character, upgrade their talents, and keep playing without interruptions.
Everybody knows they should practice safe surfing, but how do you know when a website might contain malicious code? LinkScanner attempts to give you a heads-up by scanning pages of search results and displaying a badge letting you know if a site is safe or not. Unfortunately, LinkScanner is marred by too many cryptic warnings, and too little useful information.
Since Flickr’s inception in 2004, shutterbugs have been posting their photos to flickr.com for the world to see--and comment on. And Flickery from Eternal Storms improves that experience by providing a portal that makes everything cleaner and faster.
As snug--and smug--as OS X’s security may make us feel, your data’s safety is up to you. Smart practices and strong passwords help, but thanks to ubiquitous USB flash drives, cloud file storage, and ever-shrinking MacBooks, it’s easier than ever to share sensitive documents or misplace the drives and computers where they’re kept. That means more opportunities for bad guys to snoop through your important stuff. Knox is a utility that gives you an extra layer of protection from prying eyes by encrypting specific files, folders, or external drives on your Mac. While it’s suited for users who need easy encryption on a daily basis, Knox deserves a look from anyone seeking more flexibility in their daily security regimen.
Tracking your work hours has evolved considerably since Fred Flintstone held a slab of rock in a bird’s mouth and bonked it on the head. Virtual TimeClock ’10, the latest product to tackle the job, has refined employee time tracking to the point where clocks, cards, and their attendant administrative tedium are handily tamed. As the name suggests, Virtual TimeClock replicates the functionality of the traditional employee time clock.