iPods are great, and we’re rarely without one. But sometimes a pair of
earbuds just isn’t enough--especially when you want some tunes for a
backyard BBQ or basement dance party, or perhaps your favorite
Lemonheads record just doesn’t sound right unless you crank it up.
Either way, Ion Audio’s Tailgater can help you rock with friends,
indoors or out.
The wide open road. The windows down on a warm spring day. The wind
whips through your car and tosses your hair about. The lo-fi tunes
strain to be heard from your car speakers because you’re using a
tape-deck adapter to listen to your iPhone or iPod. If you’re looking
to upgrade your system from its roots in the 1990s, Sony’s CDX-GT730UI
Xplod GT Series CD Receiver (longest name ever) is a low-cost solution
for getting your car to play nice with your iPod or iPhone.
In the seminal 1989 Batman film directed by Tim Burton, the
Joker, played to smarmy perfection by Jack Nicholson, grouses about the
well-equipped Caped Crusader, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”
Ol’ Joker was talking about the batarang or something, but in this
game, the answer is clear: The toys are LEGO. The vehicles are LEGO.
The environments are LEGO. Even the characters are LEGO.
Judging by our desk, you’d never guess that we try to be highly
organized. And we’ve tried everything, from David Allen’s nerd-famous
Getting Things Done (GTD) dogma, to complex Mac apps, endless paper
notebooks, and iCal’s built in to-do features. We have yet to find the
perfect system for managing not only our work tasks, but also all the
other stuff we have to do in the course of our daily life. But Remember
The Milk, a Web service also accessible via iPhone, is helping us
become more organized than ever.
We’re all about convergence, but sometimes gadget makers are prone to
slapping iPod docks on products that don’t really need them, like
armchairs and toilet paper holders. iHome’s iP71 isn’t one of those
head-scratchers. It’s a set of stereo desktop speakers featuring an
iPod dock, so you can play music from your iPod, your Mac, or another
audio device, plus keep your iPod charged at the same time.
In-flight movies suck. They’re usually not the greatest films to begin
with, and then anything that could possibly offend anyone--otherwise
known as “the good parts”--gets edited out. Lucky for you, all you need
is a MacBook and some headphones to stage your own film festival at
35,000 feet. But spinning a DVD takes a serious toll on battery life,
which is where DVD ripping comes in.
Filling your own inkjet printer cartridges can slash inks costs by 60
to 85 percent, save oil that’s used to transport them, and cut down on
the hundreds of millions of plastic empties that clog U.S. landfills
each year. And no, Virginia, using refillables won’t actually void your
printer’s warranty--despite what store clerks might tell you.
Amazon is positioning the Kindle DX as Newspaper 2.0. With a larger
screen, it tries its best to mimic your favorite daily read without
getting your fingers all inky. Amazon has deals with many of the big
national and international papers, but it remains to be seen if
dead-tree versions can be supplanted by expensive electronics.
We’ve seen the “just plug it in” pitches on late-night TV, the cheesy
website, and the spotty instructions, none of which exactly inspire
confidence in the magicJack. But still, the allure of nearly free phone
calls all over the country (or to Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.
Virgin Islands) is strong. Plus since it’s VOIP, your number can travel
with you. Believe it or not, magicJack turns out to be pretty magical.
If BBEdit is bare bones, then Fat Albert is supermodel skinny. The
versatile text editor can do so many things, we think it may contain
some sort of alien technology. Bare Bones Software’s latest update,
BBEdit 9, may well be the ultimate toolbox for coding on a Mac.
we say text editor, of course, we are talking about a hugely different
category from the word processors that “normal people” use. You won’t
find fancy fonts, templates, or glitzy charts; instead, you will find
color-coding, line numbers, and pure, unadulterated, text (exciting
stuff, right?). Back in the olden days, programmers swore by vi or
Emacs, but GUI’d text editors have introduced so much functionality
that you wonder sometimes whether you’re writing the code or the app
is. BBEdit’s feature set is enormous, and some might call the app the
gold standard of text editing.