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One area where I still prefer the old way of doing things over a computer is in scribbling and doodling to reach an idea. As much as some may argue, writing in a computer just isn’t quite up there with paper and pen in terms of creative freedom, and doodling freely to form an idea is a practice that many of us have.

The app that we are reviewing today sort of tries to bring this practice to your Mac. It’s called DoodleDesk, and it pretty much does what its name says. Let’s check it out!

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If you saw our post earlier, then you know that Apple dropped a bomb on us with a sneak preview of the upcoming Mountain Lion update to OS X. James touched briefly on the handful of new features that Apple announced, all of which are exciting and intend to bring an even more iOS-like experience to your Mac. However, because I’m particularly interested in communication, I’m going to go a little bit more in depth with one particular feature of OS X Mountain Lion: Messages.

Messages is the new Mac app that replaces iChat, and the beta is available for download today. I’ve been toying with it all morning, and I have to say that I’m very pleased with it. Hit the jump to see what it’s all about.

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There was a time when I read a lot more actual books than is possible for me to read these days. I work a full time job, I have a daily commute, I have a family, and I have to try to get some exercise in. It all adds up to make me a little short on “sit down and read” time. Thankfully, I have in the last couple of years discovered an alternative. Audiobooks have been a great way to satisfy my appetite for a good book and still fit into my schedule. I most often listen to books on my commute, or when exercising.

But obviously the best way for me to listen to Audiobooks is on my iPhone since that is always with me. Some of my audiobooks are on CD, and of course I could rip them like any CD and they would appear in my iTunes library, split up awkwardly into different tracks, and mixed in with the rest of my music. But there is a much better way.

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As smartphones have advanced over the last few years, their storage capacities have grown by leaps and bounds. All that space means more apps, music, and movies to use while on the go. However, transferring large amounts of media files can be a tedious and time-consuming task, (particularly if you sync over WiFi).

Fortunately, a simple solution exists that allow us to stream our media to phones, tablets and laptops, thus eliminating the need to sync to our various devices. But does the convenience of personal streaming outweigh the limitations inherent to such a solution?

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A lot of us are stuck in a world of multiple means of connecting with people, but one of the core methods that will remain for the foreseeable future is the telephone. Granted, this devices is a far cry from what it was even a few years ago, but nonetheless, it is something that will be around for a while. We’ll need to make phone calls. We’ll need to receive phone calls.

The underlying function has remained the same, but the technology surrounding hasn’t and has been changing so rapidly it’s almost impossible to keep up with. More intelligent management of you phones is a great area to explore if you’re juggling multiple phones. Phone Amego aims to be your friend and help you to better manage your calling and call receiving.

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The app market sure isn’t short on note-taking apps. From Notational Velocity to Evernote, you have pretty much any kind of note-taking that you would ever want or need. They all have different gimmicks or features, and some work better for some people than they do for others. However, none of them are really as simple to learn and use as the app that we are reviewing today.

It’s called Scrawl and it strips down all the shiny features of note-taking apps to leave only the necessary ones. Do you want to check it out?

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We live in a world where protecting our privacy isn’t just a matter of principle. Letting your personal information get exposed can harm you financially if your credit card information is obtained, and your credit rating can be damaged if someone steals your identity. Your emails and chat messages can contain sensitive information that you want to ensure only go to their intended recipients.

Our computers hold abundant amounts of personal data that most of us would rather not let get into the wrong hands. You might be surprised to see just how many applications are constantly sending data out of your computer, and it is important to be sure that all that stuff is going to places you trust. Fortunately, there are apps that help us monitor what our computers are sending out, and allow us to selectively block transmissions. Here we are going to look at two excellent apps called Little Snitch and Hands Off that aim to do just that.

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Flashcards have long been a great way to study – whether you’re preparing for an exam, learning a new language, or want to memorize the flags of the world. Mental Case is an application for Mac, iPad, and iPhone which takes the concept of flashcards and makes them far more useful than they could ever be on card.

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Mac version of Mental Case. Could it make a big difference to your study? Read on to find out.

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RSS and news apps make up one of the more crowded categories at the App Store, spanning the ranges of quality and price. Despite the abundance of RSS apps, they tend to all have similar feature sets, and differentiate themselves based on their interfaces (and often a few gimmicks). NewsBar enters this crowded market with a unique approach to displaying your news feeds, so let’s find out if it’s more than just another flashy fad RSS reader.

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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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