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Looking for a new indie game to try out? Released this September, Subset Games’ FTL: Faster Than Light is an indie spaceship simulator/RPG that has garnered a lot of praise among the indie game community. FTL’s fresh take on old strategy games is finishing out the year at the top of several Best Of lists. Does the gameplay stand up to the hype? (more…)

“I didn’t think Macs got viruses.”

A friend told me that as I helped her clean off a spyware program from her Mac computer last year. While the Mac user has less to fear than a PC user when it comes to the dark side of the Internet, the days when a Mac user could just assume they had nothing to worry about from malware are over. It’s not just viruses causing damage and data loss to be concerned about, but also programs that want to steal your data or personal information. These applications send your info to someone with malicious intent, track what you do and where you go notifying you, and otherwise invade your privacy. Being careful about what you install can do a lot to protect you. Even then, security flaws in software can let software such as the Flashback Trojan that took advantage of a bug in Java to silently install and begin sending your personal information back to remote servers.

It’s just good to see for yourself what’s running on your computer and connecting out. Overall a program that shows you what your computer is doing will help you better understand what’s running and notice when something is amiss. Private Eye from Radio Silence is a free network monitor for the Mac that gives you a real time view into the network connections to and from your computer. Let’s see how well it works and if it can help keep you safe online. (more…)

Editing pictures can be such a hassle, especially if you rely on a professional image editing app. While applications like Photoshop are great, they can be overkill when I just want to share my weekend photos from the beach. Still, I want those pictures to look good, or better than they do now, so I need an image editor that’s just enough for social sharing.

Polarfox may be that app. With some great presets and fun filters, image editing is easy while still making some great pictures. Integrated sharing lets me put all those pictures on display, too. But is this tiny image editor enough or will I end up wanting more? (more…)

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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I work at home and can go days at a time only seeing my cats and my husband (occasionally confusing the two in my otherwise solitary existence), so social media lets me keep in touch with my friends and keep my sanity, such that it is. Besides being a fan of social media, I’m also a big fan of the Mac menubar, and I have lots of little apps up there that put me in contact with my friends. I’ve got Messages and an instant messaging app, I’ve got an email app, and I’ve got all my social network apps.

That’s a lot of apps, and only today my husband (or was it my cat?) asked what’s going to happen when I run out of room on my menubar. It’s time I consolidate, and SocialButterfly is going to help me do that. Four social networks in one, SocialButterfly is a menubar app that can replace at least a few of my icons up there. Does SocialButterfly have the features to replace the apps, though? (more…)

I’m just going to lay it out here: I’m a reformed PC-user. I had a lot of PCs for a long time, and though I’ve have my succession of Mac systems longer than I allowed PCs in my home, I do miss some of the customization I could do on a Windows machine. I could fiddle. Sure I got stuff wrong sometimes, but I could eventually fix anything I’d broken too badly.

A Mac doesn’t really give you that option. So many of the really cool settings are locked away from the lay user. Mountain Tweaks draws back the curtain, at last, and is giving all of us, not just Mountain Lion users, maybe the easiest way yet to get at some of the best OS X tweaks. (more…)

I try to automate as much as possible, both in the real world and on my computer, as I find myself staring at my screen for more that ten hours a day. My house lights turn themselves on and off, my outlets power down to save energy, and the files on my MacBook Pro are doing all sorts of things while I’m not looking.

Why, you ask? Because if not, my Downloads folder would take over my hard disk, all of my MP3s would be on my Desktop instead of in iTunes, and my MacBook Pro would be 73% cat gifs. I need something to automatically manage all of my files while I’m doing real work. Sorter is just such an application. It monitors folders for file changes and then takes the actions you want to keep your Mac fighting like a champ. (more…)

Think of a typical task on your to-do list, and I’m sure there’s an app that can help you accomplish it. You’ve got Mac apps designed for a plethora of purposes, each designed to solve or complete different kinds of tasks in a number of unique ways. In fact, there are apps that are made to bring different standalone apps and services together to easily manage and keep track of. Off the top of my head are Words for save-for-later articles, MarsEdit for publishing to different blogging platforms, and Favs for all your social favorites.

For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at Notesdeck for Mac, a relatively unique app that consolidates all of your iCloud, Dropbox, Simplenote, and Evernote notes into a single dashboard to view, edit, and sync in real time. Developed by Michael Petruzzo of Dark Heartfelt, it’s an app where notes—whichever service or note-taking app used—are editable and available at a click of a button.

With this concept in mind, can Notesdeck assist the everyday note-taking Mac user? How does Notesdeck fair in the productivity circle? Let’s find out.

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“This is proof of extra-Tennesseean life,” says Rochard’s main character John Rochard, Skyrig employee number 90210, after learning that aliens do indeed exist. His wise-cracks are a special highlight of what at first seems a fairly generic — if well-executed and humorous — side-scrolling shooter/platformer-hybrid game, which soon bends you to its will. Rochard doesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s silly from start to finish, making no attempt to dress its ridiculous plot in fancy clothes, and this filters through to the light-hearted, entertaining action set-pieces.

We’ve got free download codes to giveaway to two lucky readers. Check out the review, then see how you could win.
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Back when I worked in quality assurance, good screenshotting applications that did anything more than what you could already do with Command+Shift+3 were few and far between. I ended up pasting together a lot of screenshots, wishing I could just hit a button and capture the whole webpage at one time.

Those days days are over. Web Snapper, with its range of tagging features and ability to snap an entire webpage, is a pretty useful tool to have. Add to that it’s multiple export formats, and is there anything this app can’t do? We’ll find out! (more…)

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