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Over the past few years, RSS has become the de-facto way to remain connected to a website without re-visiting it every few days. News items and new posts are ‘pushed’ to you automatically, and can be easily collated into one application for quick viewing.

There are two primary ways to manage RSS subscriptions – either through a website such as Google Reader, or via a desktop application such as NetNewsWire or NewsFire. All of these are free solutions, but offer different advantages depending upon how you work.

Today I’ll be explaining a simple way to enjoy the speed of a desktop application, the convenience of web access, and portability of reading on your iPhone – all using NetNewsWire.

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Spam is a problem we all face, particularly if you use a desktop email solution rather than a service such as Gmail. I’m a big fan of Apple’s Mail software, and struggled hugely with spam a few years ago – I’d tried several server-side filtering solutions, but nothing had worked particularly well. I then discovered SpamSieve. After installing the software and spending 10 minutes training it, I found that the level of junk email I received reduced to almost none.

This walkthrough will explain how to download and install SpamSieve, train it with old messages, and hopefully enter the spam free state of nirvana. I’ll also touch on a few freeware alternatives for those without a spam filtering budget.

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If you’re someone who dips in and out of several web apps on a daily basis, you may be interested to know that an application for OSX can make your life easier. Fluid allows you to create ‘Site Specific Browsers’ (SSBs) – a separate desktop app for each website you use on a regular basis.

In essence, this allows you to have an standalone dock icon for a variety of websites, opening a specific browser for each website when clicked. I use this functionality for accessing Basecamp on a regular basis – it’s far quicker than navigating to the site through a browser bookmark, and keeps whatever you have going on in Safari completely separate.

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