Reddit continues its march to domination of the link-sharing scene and as such is attracting the attention of developers. Reditr is a terrific looking client will make the famously bland Reddit website look like something Johnny Ive would be proud of. It sports a column based design that enables you to drill down through the Reddit architecture and slick comment threading.
Have to say I was rather taken with this Windows 7 theme by Jesse Mogensen and posted over at DeviantArt. It comes with the visual style itself, a tweaked task pane, start orb, navigation buttons and a couple of wallpapers. You can get it here.
As a former DJ, I’ve always been a fan of messenger bags as a way to safely transport stuff safely from A to B. Over the years they’ve evolved from bags used by bike couriers and co-opted by DJs to move records around. The VX Messenger Bag is a hard wearing but stylish looking bag that features a waterproof Cordura outer layer and a load of handy zip-up pockets. It’s available in two sizes and black or slate colours for $249.
There are some great panoramic tools out there that enable photographers to create images far larger than any lens is capable of capturing. However, Hugin is not only one of the most powerful panorama applications I’ve used, but it’s also completely free and cross platform. It can create everything from simple two image panos right up to hugely complicated mosaic blends of photos taken at widely differing angles and even on different cameras.
As someone who splits his time equally between the Mac and Windows worlds, I’m genuinely excited by this release. Download the Preview Setup file (5Mb) to see if your PC’s up to the task of running Windows 8.
Back in the early days of computers, programmers had to write incredibly efficient code in order to cram their programs into miniscule digital spaces. This, coupled with the fact that there was no Internet over which to distribute instant fixes, meant that programmers were, on the whole, a bloody sight better at their jobs than the current crop.
As the price of memory dropped and the humble PC’s RAM rose from single digits into gigabytes, so programmers made the most of the space. They no longer had to write space-efficient code because there was plenty of room to spare. This lead to coding bloat, best typified by operating systems like Windows which went from 4million lines of code in NT3.1 to 45 million in Windows XP. However while bloated inefficient coding is a pain, it can be mitigated by topping out your system’s memory. What can’t be mitigated is software that exhibits memory leaks.
Memory leaks happen when an application utilises some memory and fails to release it back to the operating system so that other applications or processes can use it. If this happens on a cyclical basis, with the same error repeating over and over, then you can get one application consuming all system memory and a huge number of processor cycles to boot. When this happens your computer will become incredibly sluggish and may even freeze up completely.
Recent versions of Firefox had a persistent memory leak that the developers didn’t seem to care too much about fixing. After only half an hour’s usage the memory footprint for Firefox on my Macbook Pro would go from 400Mb to 2Gb. I had similar problems with Skype where it would slowly consume all CPU cycles to the point where my Mac was practically frozen.
Apart from extreme sluggishness of your computer, a sure sign that an app’s running out of control is when your PC’s fans spin up to full speed and sound like a vacuum cleaner. The app that’s at fault is using so many CPU cycles that it causes your entire system to heat up and the fans need to run at full speed to keep the system from frying. It’s also worth bearing in mind that CPU intensive tasks place a greater drain on batteries, so if you’re using a laptop on the road you’ll need to be particularly mindful of rogue apps.
If you suspect that one of your applications has a memory leak then you need to check the active prosesses running. To do this on a Mac run the Activity Monitor (located in Utilities) and then click the column header for CPU% to see which app’s eating up all those CPU cycles or the real memory column to see how’s taking up all that space. Using this information you can either quit the app normally or, if it has become unresponsive, highlight the app in question and click the big red Quit Process button.
On a Windows system it’s a pretty similar process. Simply right click on the taskbar and select Start Task Manager from the context menu. Now click the column header for CPU to see which app’s monpolosing the CPU and click the column header for Memory to see who’s squatting in all that RAM. Highlight an application or process and click the End Process button to shut it down.
Damn if these Windows Mobile apps aren’t starting to look very tasty. MetroTalk is a fully featured Google Voice app designed to make the most of Metro. It has full Mango support and includes push notifications to let you know when you’ve received an SMS or voicemail.
It’s been a wee while since we did a nice round-up of minimalist wallpapers and so, in order to save you all from the pain of clicking endlessly through the main online wallpaper archives, I’ve done it for you. The signal to noise ratio in ‘minimalist’ walls is higher than ever, some people clearly believe the word is Greek for ‘Acid and Neon Nightmare’. Anywhere, here we go.
We took a brief look at Camerabag 2 back in February when the software was first announced. It’s now our go-to instant effects app, with considerably more flexibilty than Analog or Snapseed. It enables you to apply a variety of Hipstamatic or Instagram style effects to your photos using a cool layered interface that can fine-tune the effects to your pleasure.
To celebrate the on-going success of Camerabag 2, developers NeverCenter are giving away a Canon 5D Mark III and some free licences to their product. In order to be entered into the competition you merely have to post an image that has been altered in some way with their Camerabag 2 software and tweet the following phrase: ”Here’s my entry to win a free Canon 5D Mk III in the @Camerabag 2 #giveaway (http://bit.ly/cb2_5d)”. There are 30 day trial versions of the software available at the website so just download a PC or Mac copy and have a play with some of your images.
We also have five licences to the software to give away. In order to win one of these, simply tweet this story with the tag @geekosity and we’ll draw five names out of the hat in a couple of weeks time.
This is such an awesome concept that I can’t believe nobody’s thought of it before. Artemis is a networked game that simulates the flight deck of a spaceship by using networking PCs for the different roles. So for instance there’s a communications desk, a navigation desk, a flight desk, a battle desk etc. So if your LAN parties are getting a bit stale and you’re a Star Trek loving geek with a few friends, then set your phasers to kill and warp into the neutral zone. It’s available for Windows PC and retails at $40 – you only need one copy of the game as a main PC acts as the server and view screen display.
Let’s say you’re on holiday with friends or family, but you’re the only one with decent Internet access via a 3G stick, and you’d like to share with everyone else but not give anyone access to your PC? The solution is to set up your own personal wi-fi hot spot using software such as Virtual Router.
This open-source application is simplicity itself to use. Simply install, run, select your connection (it’ll work with Wi-fi, LAN, Cable, Dial-up, Cellular or any other form of connection) and click to start sharing. Everyone accesses your connection via your wi-fi using WPA2 meaning you and they are protected.
Internet Radio has been around for longer than you think. I can remember tuning into some American stations way back in 1995 courtesy of Real Audio’s player. I couldn’t stay online for long because I was on a metered ISDN line, but it was amazing listening to that station and its adverts and traffic reports.
More than 17 years later and now the vast majority of broadcasters transmit their shows online as well as over-the-air. There are also specialised Internet-only radio stations and you may even find that you can get some stations unmetered over your broadband connection. Sure you’ve got Spotify, Pandora, Last.FM and Google Music offering their services too, but proper managed radio shows remain the easiest way of listening to music you love and discovering new songs.
So the question is – what’s the best way of listening to these stations? Now it’s worth pointing out that iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp and Banshee can all play streaming radio stations, but we’re not interested in some bloated media centre behemoth hogging memory and CPU cycles – we’re after something specialised, lightweight and flexible. These are the three best Internet radio players for Mac, Windows and Linux.
Screamer Radio has two things going against it. Firstly, it has a stupid name and secondly it has an interface only a mother could love. Neither of these things detract from that fact that Screamer is far and away the best Internet Radio player for Windows and we shall just have to accept the name and the interface in the name of quality and flexibility.
Unlike some other radio player applications for Windows, Screamer comes fully equipped with one of the most comprehensive lists of stations I’ve ever seen. These have been divided into four sections – Categories (Dance, Rock, Hip-Hop, News etc.), Country, Foreign Language and Network. So for instance if you wanted to listen to the Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 (and why wouldn’t you!) you can find the station in Network > BBC and in Country > UK. If you listen to a particular station a lot, add it as a favourite for speedy access.
Amongst Screamer’s other tricks are recording (it’ll record individual tracks or blocks of time and can even be set up to record on a schedule), lossless audio encoding and basic audio effects. It’s incredibly easy to use, comes fully loaded with all the stations you’ve need from install and can be minimised to the System Tray for easy access. Yes, the interface is very plain, but that also makes it very simple to use. I’ll take Screamer over iTunes any day of the week.
If I’d been writing this article six months ago, then I’d have chosen RadioShift as the best Mac Internet radio player thanks to its massive TuneIn powered database of over 100,000 listings. Unfortunately Rogue Amoeba have ceased development of that app and so while it’ll continue to work for existing owners, everyone else will have to look elsewhere. That means that Radium is currently the best Mac radio player you can buy.
Radium lives in the menu bar for ready access to all your stations. It doesn’t come pre-loaded with stations – you need to search for them and then add them as favourites. This cuts down on clutter and listings for stations and shows you’ll never listen to, but it means you need to be a bit more pro-active at discovering listening sources. You can search for station names, country, city, language or genre and then click on a search result to listen or add it to your favourites.
Amongst Radium’s neater features are full AirPlay support, social network sharing, customisable shortcuts, Apple remote support and an equaliser. There’s also an awesome history feature which lists all the songs you’ve listened to online in the past and enables you to listen to them again or buy them on iTunes. Radium’s an awesome little radio player, always at hand thanks to its menu bar interface and surprisingly powerful once you start exploring it.
There isn’t a massive amount of variety for Linux users when it comes to listening to Internet radio (with the caveat that media players Banshee and Amarok will do this) but it only takes one good app and everything’s sorted. That’s definitely the case with Radio Tray, which takes its design cues from Radium and serves as a simple and reliable radio player for all Linux users.
I installed Radio Tray via Ubuntu Software Centre, but you can grab the tarball or Ubuntu distributable from the website if you want a direct download. It’s a tiny application that sits in the system tray and has to be configured manually with radio stations. Stations can be grouped in categories and are added directly via URL. It’s a bit of a pain in the arse adding all your stations manually, but you only need to do it once.
Radio Tray can play most streaming audio formats, including PLS, M3U, ASX, WAX and WVX formats. That selection encompasses pretty much every streaming broadcaster meaning it’s unlikely that you’ll find a station that the app can’t play. Audio quality was great, with swift connection to audio sources and a cool notifier on-screen showing station and song information.
If you don’t want to install an app to listen to your radio then it’s perfectly easy to do it directly within the browser. Most radio stations have their own feeds on their homepages, but if you want a comprehensive list of stations and shows then TuneIn is where you should look. You can search for stations worldwide at TuneIn and listen to shows directly in your browser using the site’s Flash/Sliverlight powered player.
Shoutcast have been serving up streaming audio for nearly as long as the format has existed and they’re still going strong. They offer 50,461 right in the browser and supply good listening to over half a million people daily. Finally, there’s RadioPaq provide access to radio station worldwide.
If you’re the sort of person that likes to record daily events, but doesn’t necessarily want the world to know that the Swedish meatballs you ate for dinner have given you explosive diarrhea so violent that you can’t sit down without a doughnut cushion, then private journalling apps are a good option. The exact opposite of blogs, journal apps like RedNoteBook enable you to record your life’s twists and turns in private, tag and format your text and insert images and files within a secure personal environment. Should you have a change of heart at some later date and decide that the world needs to learn about your collection of 1970s caravan catalogues, then you can export to PDF, HTML, Latex or plain text.
With ISPs in many countries cracking down on bandwidth and rolling back the generous packages they used to lure everyone onto broadband, it’s more important than ever to be able to track your usage. Networx is a great free utility that enables you to track and analyse every aspect of your network connections whether they’re LAN, WAN or off-plan. It can monitor your broadband usage and alert you when you’re getting close to your cap and, if you have an SNMP enabled router, will even monitor that directly giving you the full picture of all traffic on your household network. You can get it here.
HydraCoach; calculates your need for hydration (don't know if I need this but it's a nifty gadget).
This is a hybrid bike with not only exceptional performance but stunning aesthetics as well. The motor power and battery capacity is well over the industry standard and a truly futuristic look will sure attract some eyeballs around you. The Terminus is the ultimate trail-machine for the ones who appreciate the best availa
Camalien LED concept watch changes its colors depending on your surroundings - Designers Peter and Sam have come up with a concept watch they’ve dubbed the Camalien. It’s an LED watch with a sleek design that also comes with a camera built into it that will record your surroundings and will change the watch’s color accordingly. | #Design #Watches |