We have a confession to make: There are a few Palm fans among us. Back
in the day, you would have had to pry the grayscale Palm IIIx out of
our cold, dead, extremely well-organized hands. But Palm lost its
way--and we went back to our paper calendar for a while. With the Pre,
Palm is taking its flagging brand in a new direction. And while it has
adopted many of the multitouch gestures popularized by the iPhone, the
Pre also adds a fair amount of its own special sauce.
Who knew zombies were omnivores? Plants vs. Zombies presents a cuddlier
take on these murderous undead. They really want to eat your brains,
but they shamble in a straight path to your house, snacking on
landscaping that gets directly in their way. Thankfully, your garden
fights back, with pea-shooting plants, exploding peppers, giant
flytraps, and dozens more. You’ll plant these defenses to stop the
zombies in a sly, simple game with compelling strategy.
If an entire iTunes library was purchased from the iTunes Store, all
the tracks came with complete metadata. Those lucky (and wealthy) users
can scroll through iTunes without seeing any jarring blank spots in the
Artist, Album, and Genre columns, or songs named Track 01 and Track 02.
The rest of us? Our multi-gig libraries were patchworked together from
ripped CDs, mixes from friends, tracks digitized from analog sources,
and, um, “found” audio files that could’ve come from anywhere.
Painter has been around the computer graphics world almost as long as
Photoshop and has always been the absolute leader in the realm of
simulating natural media (paintbrushes, pencils, inks, and so on)—and
retains the title to this very day. While this latest version of
Painter continues to be the go-to app for painting on your Mac, this
update is possibly the least exciting in the program’s history and
doesn’t offer much in the way of upgrade incentive for existing users.
Even if it’s been a few decades since you wore a towel as a cape and
declared the family dachshund to be your loyal sidekick, who doesn’t
want to be a superhero? Four years after its initial release on the
Windows platform, the superhero MMORPG City of Heroes has landed on
The chances of your desk being thrown off course and landing in the
ocean are slim. But, if by chance your desk is tossed out to sea, and
you need immediate rescue from the Coast Guard, the 1TB LaCie Rugged XL
is the external hard drive you’ll want, to be more easily spotted by
the helicopter (although despite what its name might imply, its
ruggedness doesn’t extend to water-resistance, so your data might
suffer a bit).
The biggest complaint we hear about headphones is the lack of bass. And
it makes sense. Asking tiny speakers that go in your ears to recreate
the boom of 12-inch woofers is a tall order. Now that Apple’s iPhone
comes in a 32GB version, more users can forgo the iPod/cell phone combo
in favor of a single device that can make calls, run apps, and hold a
sizable chunk of your music collection. And bass-heads take note: The
Atomic Bass Earphones are as apt a name as we can think of, although
there are some drawbacks.
If you actually use your iPhone’s best features--the 3G network,
push notifications, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Location Services, all those
bells and whistles that make it so awesome--you’ve probably noticed your
battery needs recharging every day or two at least. We never leave home
without the cable and AC adapter that came with our iPhone, so we’re in
luck as long as we can find a power outlet or USB port to plug in to.
But wandering beyond walls and away from computers requires some extra
gadgetry to keep our iPhone charged, namely Belkin’s Dual Auto Charger
for the car and the iPWR SuperPack backup battery for everywhere else.
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. And now that multimedia
has taken over the Web, flat 2D images sometimes just aren’t enough
anymore. But going from a series of photos to an interactive 3D image
can take a bit of work. After stitching the photos together, additional
processing is required to turn them into interactive, virtual reality
files viewable in a Web browser. Some stitching programs have the
capacity to output QuickTime VR (QTVR) files. Flash developers,
meanwhile, have made huge strides in coding Flash to display
interactive virtual reality images, and a handful of dedicated programs
now create Flash-based VR files.
Earphones are a personal thing. Everyone has different criteria for
what makes a good set. Some might be looking for bass, others might be
more interested in noise reduction. Certain people might only be
interested in ’phones that come in standard-issue “iPod white,” while
someone else is looking for something a bit more interesting,