Have you ever wondered what applications are doing after you launched them. Are they collecting personal information or contacting an activation server? Do you worry that piece of freeware you just downloaded could cost you your privacy?

Little Snitch is here to solve this problem by acting as a intermediator between your applications and the internet. Little Snitch will alert you every time that an application tries to connect to the internet, giving you a brief overview of what server and port the application is using.

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Quick Look posts are paid submissions offering only a brief overview of an app. Vote in the polls below if you think this app is worth an in-depth AppStorm review!

In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting TaskCard. The developer describes TaskCard as a simple and visual way to organize your thoughts and tasks into to-do lists. Like sticky notes on the desk, TaskCards can be posted and organized in different sizes and colors around your desktop to help you remember important things or keep lists for projects.

TaskCard is also a to-do application which lets you set due dates for tasks so you can keep on track and on time. Read on for more information and screenshots!

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I think it’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this, you’re a Mac user (or very close to becoming one). But what does “Mac user” really mean? The beauty of today’s powerful desktop and notebook computers lies in how they can be used for almost anything.

People are using Macs for designing, writing, producing and editing video, creating films, post-processing their photos, astronomy, controlling their home, running a web server, and even as a replacement to the slew of boxes that used to sit underneath their TV.

A Mac “user” could mean almost anything. So today I’m going to give you an insight into what this means for me personally, and ask that you also share your own story. How do you use your Mac, and what does it enable you to do every day?

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OmniOutliner provides a flexible and powerful workspace for performing a wide range of information processing tasks – from organizing a complex project to planning a best-selling novel. Heck, you can even create a shopping list with the program!

Combining power options with ease of use, OmniOutliner may be the best true outliner available. On any operating system. In today’s review, we’re going to take an in-depth look at what you should expect from a fantastic outlining application, and how OmniOutliner stacks up against the competition.

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One of the best things about your Mac is that it comes pre-loaded with tons of software goodness, right out of the box. Apps like Mail, Preview, iCal, and the iLife suite are all very functional, but sometimes they lack a little piece of extra functionality that more in-depth users need. That’s where more “pro” apps like Aperture, Adobe Reader and Photoshop come in.

Mail.app is not excluded from this situation, as it has had it’s reported share of problems and limitations. Even though most are not very significant, over time they can become annoying and sometimes switching to another application is the best solution. If you’ve had any problems with Mail.app, or if you have just grown tired of it, you should check out our eight alternatives below!

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Much has been said about solid-state drives (SSD) being the next “big thing” in terms of computer performance. If you regularly find that your Mac is running slowly when opening apps and booting, it might be obvious to immediately think that the problem is down to insufficient RAM.

Although the amount of memory in your Mac does make a big difference, we’re starting to get to the point where we all have plenty of RAM for everyday tasks (4GB is more than enough for most Mac users). The main piece of old technology inside your MacBook or iMac is actually the hard drive, and that can contribute significantly to poor performance with certain tasks.

Not convinced that you’ll notice a performance benefit? Check out this video and come back in two minutes. I’ll wait!

So why hasn’t everyone jumped ship to this new performance-boosting miracle? The main problem with solid-state drives at present boils down to price. They’re still far more expensive than a standard Serial ATA drive, and out of the budget of many Mac users.

The question I’m asking today is whether you’re sporting a shiny new SSD (and reaping the performance benefits), or waiting for the price to drop over the next year or so. Have your say in the poll, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear what you all think!

In my search for the ideal money management application, I keep coming back to iBank. I reviewed Jumsoft Money here on Mac.AppStorm a few months back, and mentioned a few other options I’ve tried. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect – there are important features that I can’t use, and others that I don’t make use of – but on the whole it’s been stable and easy to work with, and I’ve not yet found an alternative that beats it.

We reviewed the last version here a while back, but now IGG Software has released a major update, so it’s time to revisit iBank and let you know how it works and what you get for your money.

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BuySellAds, a popular internet advertising service (and the company we use for advertising on AppStorm), has today announced a new venture into desktop advertising. They are launching a new service that allows developers to integrate advertisements into Mac applications, in the same way you would a website.

Although this isn’t a new idea – various Mac apps have been ad-supported for several years – it does represent another tipping point in the ongoing shift towards paying for apps with your attention rather than your wallet.

Today I’ll be exploring what this means, and asking for your opinion on whether we should be welcoming this shift with open arms, or becoming a little concerned!

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With the Mac being the go-to choice for many web developers and readers of this blog, I wanted to mention a gorgeous application for making sure no billable hour goes undocumented – TrackRecord. Sure, there are tons of applications for freelancers to track their time spent on different programs (RescueTime), time spent working (Billings/OnTheJob), but none of these apps offer the ability to sync your time recorded to the popular web app Basecamp.

TrackRecord does just that, and today we’ll be taking a closer look at what it has to offer users of 37signals’ Basecamp web application. Read on to find out more!

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Winners Announced

First of all, I’m pleased to let you know that SaneDesk have given us an extra three license keys to give away, bringing the total to eighteen. We’ve picked the lucky winners, and they are:

  1. AndyTheJoker
  2. Steve
  3. Erik Rasmussen
  4. Marius Stuparu
  5. Hiroshi
  6. Pieter
  7. Andrew Dilger
  8. Stephan
  9. The incredible Frank
  10. Niels K.
  11. Andrew S
  12. Dennis Nieling
  13. Selene
  14. Jaryre
  15. Animaster84
  16. Revell
  17. Cardiac7
  18. Andy Hutchins

Old Competition Details

We’re kicking off another competition today, this time to win a copy of SaneDesk. We’ll be writing a full review of SaneDesk in the next week or two, but I thought that you’d love a chance to get your hands on a copy for free!

SaneDesk gives you more power and control over your desktop, letting you set up different views and configurations so that your desktop appears differently depending upon your current task. It’s fairly powerful, and definitely worth giving a go if you often find yourself wading through a sea of cluttered desktop icons.

Entering is really easy. All you need to do is a post a comment below. The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick fifteen winning comments at random on Monday 4th October. Best of luck!

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