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Jacob Penderworth

Jacob is a freelance writer at his own blog and a few others across the Internet. In his free time, he listens to a lot of music, plays music, and takes photographs of amazing places. You can email him with inquiries, should you have any.

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Just two years ago today, Running with Crayons Ltd. released version 0.4 beta of their free productivity application for the Mac: Alfred. Alfred has made our lives easier by helping to speed up the things that we do throughout our day, be it launching an app, searching the web, controlling iTunes, looking up a word, or calculating a number.

And if that’s not enough for you, the Alfred Powerpack offers even more goodies like custom commands, file system navigation using only the keyboard, an iTunes mini player that allows you to find an album or rate songs in your library, an address book that will allow you to modify contact entries, clipboard history, and much more. The Powerpack costs £15, or about $24 for those of you outside the UK.

Today, we’d like to wish this wonderful app that keeps up our daily productivity a very happy birthday! Read on for a few additional details and a special sale that the developers are having on the Alfred Powerpack.

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This week’s news isn’t quite as populated as last week’s because, as you all know, Mountain Lion made its first developer preview debut last week. However, there was some special news during the week including the Growl developers’ response to Apple’s latest operating system. You see, Growl was once a great notification system on the Mac, but now it seems that Mountain Lion’s Notification Center — which was conveniently ported from iOS — has replaced the small app.

This may come as a disappointment to some since Growl worked so well and had lots of customization, but the developers have responded in a blog post from last weekend assuring that the service is not dead and that the developers are in the process of investigating other options for Growl’s purpose in Mountain Lion. This is great news for the many users out there who’ve been devoted to Growl. Hopefully they will be able to integrate Growl into Notification Center or something in a way.

Check after the break for the rest of this week’s news. (more…)

Just yesterday, the immensely popular iOS physics and puzzle game “Cut the Rope” arrived on Mac App Store. ZeptoLab, the developer of the game, hopes to attract many avid Mac and iOS gamers alike to this platform with the support of up to a 2560 x 1440 resolution, meaning that it will look great even on your largest display — that is, providing that you do not have an older Mac with a very outdated graphics card.

Now, you’re probably wondering how on earth you can control the game since Macs don’t really have a touchscreen like iOS devices do. Well, it’s actually quite simple really: you use a trackpad. This may sound scary if you own an iMac with a Magic Mouse, and it is, because the game wasn’t really designed to be played with a regular mouse. Read on for more details on this release and our first impressions.

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Edovia, the developer of popular Mac VNC client Screens, has updated their app to version 2.0. This major release adds many new features, refreshes the user interface, fixes a lot of bugs, improves the overall performance of the app, improves the security, improves the documentation, and more. Read on for more information on this release.

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I’m sure you’re familiar with the many download managers available for Mac, such as JDownloader, Leech (which we reviewed in 2010) and others. The purpose of most of these apps is to help folks who have multiple downloads keep things neatly organized and packed into one app.

JDownloader even offers a special multi-link capability that lets you paste as many links as you wish into a box and the app will automatically start downloading them in order. This stuff is great for power users, but today I’m going to show you a new app that offers the same capability in a more simple manner, it’s called SpeedTao.
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When you purchased your Mac, you probably wanted the best web browser offered, whether it be Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, or some other worthy candidate. After all, quality hardware should also contain quality software. There has been much controversy on what truly is the best browser available for a Mac. Some say that Chrome is, and always will be, the best ever.

Others believe that it’s easier to stay with the default browser because it offers more functionality to the OS. While this is true and I’m not going to attempt to change those believers’ opinions, there is more to the situation than just that. For instance, Chrome does offer more than plugins than Safari does extensions, but this doesn’t necessarily make the latter a weak and functionless application, it just makes it a bit less desirable.

If you’re interested in finding out what browser truly holds the best functionality, speed and other elements then please join in after the break for some information that should fulfill your desires.

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