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Leslie Ayers's picture

First Look: Shiny, Happy 'Book Bag

 Our first thought when we unpacked thePakuma Choroka K3LT laptop bag in Chilli Red (62.99 pounds, about $124) was that we don't have enough tattoos, piercings, or clothing items made by Ben Davis to be schlepping our Macbook Pro in this retro tomato-colored vinyl messenger bag with white racing stripes. We do schlep a lot more than the 'Book, though, so we need a messenger bag that can hold various and sundry items, and protect the MB Pro from the hard knocks that sometimes accompany frequent patronage of a metropolitan public transit system (If you're the 6-foot-4-inch WSJ-reading businessman who stomped on this editor's toe on the train this morning, we're talking to YOU!) The 3K3LT is not as ridiculously oversized as some well-padded bags in its class, which we like, but it does offer enough extra room to fit necessary stuff like a wallet, glasses case, portable external hard drive, an iPod or iPhone, two paperback books, and a few not-too-stuffed manila envelopes. It's also got a passthrough slot for your earphone cable, although it we searched all of the bag's seams, pockets, and pouches tand never found it...we don't think.

SpaceNavigator for Notebooks

Perfect for flying through 3D apps like Google Earth  A mouse never feels quite right controlling 3D applications. Designers usually have to click many times—or enter elaborate multikey commands—to angle the perspective just right. The SpaceNavigator for Notebooks is a great 3D controller because it moves in all of the directions you might want to go in order to manipulate a digital object or scene. With this device, a quick twist or nudge feels more natural than using mouse-clicks and key commands.

Roberto Baldwin's picture

The isolation headset embodies form and function.  Like the iPod before it, the iPhone has created a cottage industry of cases, add-ons, and headsets. Maximo is hoping that its latest foray into the headset market will get you to drop Apple’s standard white headset. Right out of the box the iMetal headset came equipped with something all manufacturers should include: an extension cable. Too many times we’ve had to reconsider which pocket to stash our iPhone in because of too-short headset cables.

Leslie Ayers's picture

First Look: Can You Hear Me Now?

Choose Music > Pop-H when you're rocking out to Abba with headphones. Sure, it's easy enough to do, but we were too lazy to change Hear's preset to Hip Hop / Rap-H when the song switched to Akon's Smack That.  Even nonaudiophiles can appreciate an app like JoeSoft's Hear, which, for $49.95, boosts the sound quality of your entire digital music library - and any other audio you care to listen to on your Mac. After an admittedly quick look at the app, however, we found ourselves wishing JoeSoft could build in a few more features that cater to lazy mousers like us. To wit: With its dozens of music presets - from Alternative / Punk to Hip Hop/Rap to Techno, all for both speakers and headphones, choosing the one you want quickly is, well, a challenge.

Drop Point: Alaska

Bust a gnarly front flip, brah. Sweet  Above you are the spinning helicopter rotors and the blue sky. Below you, the pure white snow and your trusty snowboard. You drop out of the helicopter door, hit the slope, and pop off a trick. This is the starting point for MacSoft’s Drop Point: Alaska.Heli Fun

Susie Ochs's picture

 When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in his January 9, 2007, keynote address, he called it “a widescreen iPod, mobile phone, and Internet communicator.” And it was. Later in the speech, he explained that it ran a version of Mac OS X, designed for “desktop-class applications.” And it did—but the iPhone only used the applications that Apple chose to build into its firmware. Developers could only write apps to run in the Web browser, or be installed on hacked, or jailbroken, iPhones.

InterOffice Mac Envelope Sleeve

 You too can re-create Steve’s keynote stunt with your own Envelope Sleeve. If buying a MacBook Air didn’t empty your bank account, fear not. The stampede of related accessories is ravenously thundering toward you, ready to gobble up every spare dollar. Sure, that might seem cynical, especially since, as far as add-ons are concerned, a good laptop sleeve is usually considered money well spent.

Synium Software MacFamilyTree 5.1

The Virtual Globe is almost as fun to twirl as a real one.  Family rifts aside, it’s a nice idea to keep track of where you’re from and who your ancestors are. MacFamilyTree 5.1 makes it easy to organize the myriad limbs of your family’s tree—even those you wish you could lop off at times.

Roberto Baldwin's picture

OtterBox iPhone Armor

The Armor keeps your iPhone safe...and makes it look like it’s driving a Humvee.  If you lust for an iPhone, but your lifestyle is too extreme for an expensive, fragile überphone, the OtterBox Armor series will take some serious pounding.

HDRSoft Photomatic Pro 3.0

HDR and tone mapping bring out all the detail in this shot of Venice’s Grand Canal.  High dynamic range (HDR) photography is a technique designed to capture much more detail in color and contrast than traditional photography can. When taking a photograph, a camera can only capture a single exposure. A shaded subject with a bright sky behind it presents a classic conundrum. Capturing the details of the shaded subject requires an exposure that will wash out the sky. Yet an exposure optimized for the sky will underexpose the shaded area, swamping its details in inky darkness. HDR photography captures all those details by snapping three or more images at differing exposures and blending them together.