DSLRs are nice, but sometimes--okay, a lot of the time--we just can’t
be bothered to schlep around a giant camera. Enter the compact camera.
At 4.2 ounces and 3.8 x 2.1 x 0.8 inches, the Pentax Optio P80 is a
solid choice for nights on the town or other casual situations where
it’s more important to capture the moment than the most technically
Headphone choice is very personal. Some people opt for sophisticated,
audiophile-approved $300 earbuds, while others pick up the cheapest
pair possible so it doesn’t hurt so much when they’re lost or broken.
And some want their earbuds to have little blinking lights. Of course
There’s nothing like a bold statement to get our attention, and Chris
Graves, president of Mac-centric Internet host MacHighway, makes this
one: His company is “presenting [its] services as an alternative to
MobileMe, as opposed to a replacement.” We take his nuanced wording to
mean that MacHighway Easy lacks the full features of Apple’s option,
but could still serve the same purpose for some customers by providing
email accounts, website hosting, and file-server storage. The service
even includes a domain name and other features beyond MobileMe’s scope.
But since MacHighway is inviting the comparison, we’ll have to ding it
for the areas where it can’t match MobileMe: ease of use, and iCal and
Address Book syncing.
Flash drives are easy to use and lose, potentially making your personal
files anybody’s business. Verbatim tackles this problem with the Store
’n’ Go, a USB flash drive with password protection. But the drive’s
security may be too inflexible for some users, and its software has
The worst part about airplane travel is, well, the plane. Besides being
cramped, crowded, and short on any decent snack foods, they’re also
noisy. So noisy that it’s difficult to make the hours zip by more
quickly by revisiting your favorite albums on an iPod or watching a
movie on your MacBook. Bose’s new Quiet Comfort 15 headphones are made
for just these moments. The active noise cancellation helps block out
background noise, and Bose’s considerable audio experience brings you a
clean-sounding set of cans--with a couple of drawbacks, however.
Queen’s ubiquitous “We Will Rock You” is a tune that will always rock
the sixth-inning rally, but when it’s on repeat for 25 minutes because
of duplicate copies in your iTunes library, it’s time to do some spring
cleaning. iTunes Dupes Barrier helps you quickly seek out and destroy
duplicate tracks, and it’s a bit more flexible than iTunes’ built-in
If you’ve never experienced the sinking feeling in your stomach when
you realize your laptop has been snatched, we hope you never have to.
The best defense is still to never leave your ’Book unattended, but if
you absolutely have to, a theft-resistant bag like PacSafe’s InfoSafe
can help keep it out of the clutches of evil.
If you don’t mind a game that uses chest size as an indicator of
success and happiness (we certainly don’t), The Movies packs a
ridiculous amount of depth and replayability that’ll reel in gamers,
creative types, and machinima fans. (Ma-shin-a-wha? It’s animation
created by a 3D graphics engine, usually one from a videogame.)
Every day, we wish iCal could do something that our Palm IIIx did in
1997. There’s a Palm calendar app called DateBk, and it has a feature
called Floating Events. The idea is that incomplete to-do items would
“float” to the next day, so if you forgot to do something, it wouldn’t
get left behind on your calendar as the days marched on. The fact that
BusyMac’s BusyCal brings that crucial feature to our calendar makes us
do a little happy dance, and that’s only scratching the surface of this
In the year 1 B.iP. (Before iPhone), all a smartphone was expected to
deliver was the ability to email on the go, sort of browse the
Internet, and maybe have two or three simple games to help pass the
time. Smartphone OSs were updated with the same frequency as
presidential elections, and the idea of one of those devices playing
nice with your Mac was laughable. Of course, once the iPhone hit the
market, smartphone makers scrambled to catch up. The Motorola Droid is
a prime example of that scrambling attempt to dethrone the iPhone as
the king of smartphones.