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Steven Smith

Steven is a freelance writer hailing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. As well as writing for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac AppStorm sites, he also writes at his own site. He enjoys sports, reading and getting lost in science.

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Porting a physical board game to a digital platform is far from an easy task. The essence of the original game can sometimes be lost in translation as the very fabric the game lies with the board itself. Most major boardgames have been drawn in by the touchscreen revolution to largely tepid reviews. So, how do classic board games translate on traditional point and click devices? Conquist 2 has it nailed.

Strategy games, both digital and physical, have always been my favourite from childhood right through to adulthood. Risk, Command & Conquer, Age of Empires—you name it, I own it. Conquist 2 takes its inspiration directly from Risk whilst daring to best the classic at its own game. Adding its fair share of original content, Conquist has the potential to upstage its ancestor, but how does it fair on OS X?

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When Pocket hired the developer of Read Later — my favorite ‘save for later’ client for Mac — in October 2012, support for Michael Schneider’s brainchild was dropped in favour of developing Pocket’s own app. As a user of both Pocket and Instapaper this left me in quite the predicament as the latter is unsurprisingly not supported by Pocket. That was until I heard about ReadKit.

ReadKit provides the same offline reading function as the Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability mobile apps; however, if you use multiple services, it also allows you to combine all of your accounts right in one app. Join me after the break to find out how it sets itself apart from the crowd.

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In 2002, a book entitled Getting Things Done was published by author David Allen, to widespread critical acclaim and quickly began to amass an almost cult following. In it, the author set forth a method for improving the efficiency of work processes by employing time management techniques, task prioritisation, and concentration on the most important tasks. Ten years, and many improved work-flows later, Allen’s theory remains as prevalent as ever, but not necessarily in the state he first imagined.

Despite being the title of Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, or GTD, has since become the byword for any method of improving productivity, regardless of relevance to the author’s original. Allen’s paper-based method has become outdated in the ten years since its publication, and, largely in response to technological advance and the Internet, other more relevant GTD theories have emerged, such as David Sparks’ Paperless.

With the myriad of electronic devices that now dominate many work flows and work places, making distractions easier to come by—ahem, Twitter—new ways of boosting productivity have come about. However, not everybody has time to read, implement, and stick to a special system. So, how do we bridge this impasse? It’s simple: take away the Internet, or at least part of it. Intrigued? Find out more after the break.

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At school the only subjects to truly capture my attention were the sciences. I was always utterly enamoured with space, the not so final-final frontier. Today, many years later, I realise that space is far from a singular topic, but, rather, a subject in a constant state of flux further sub-divided into many schools of thought far beyond my level of comprehension. Such a vast topic can be understandably daunting—especially for young students—but everybody has to start somewhere; somewhere like the solar system.

Solar Walk utilises a fully-explorable 3D model of the solar system to make the subject interactive and informative helping to encourage seedling scientific minds. By introducing new found lovers of space to the fundamental make-up of our celestial home it can help build a solid platform of knowledge that can be used to undertake a deeper, more complex interest in the cosmos. Join me after the break to find out how Solar Walk stacks up!

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