Tagged With Software & Design

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Windows 10 is set to mark a sea change in the way Microsoft's OS works, but even the modern-looking Windows 8.1 carries a bunch of legacy tools and apps that you may not know about. One of those is the Task Scheduler, a built-in utility enabling you to automate a multitude of tasks with no additional software required.

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The number of smart devices is skyrocketing, so it was really only a matter of time before the internet of things invaded our dining rooms. Enter the SmartPlate, which, if used diligently, will ensure you never eat another meal without first knowing its full nutritional breakdown.

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You probably think of Chrome as a web browser — and so you should — but it has a few more tricks up its sleeve than you might have realised. Here are three of our favourite alternative uses for the software, which to a large extent work the same in Mozilla Firefox too.

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Ars TechnicaIn the beginning, there was Netscape. Then came Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and the love-it-or-hate-it Chrome. Now, there's a new competitor in the war to capture your online attention, a stripped-back browser built from the ashes of Opera and designed for power users.

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The best way to get along in a foreign country is to know the local lingo. But if you don't, your smartphone can help you cheat your way through. The instant picture translation feature rolled into Google Translate last month is only a tap away, though you shouldn't take everything it says at face value.

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"Rational expectations" is a term commonly thrown around by economists trying to work out why people do stuff. It's based on the idea that individuals weigh up the pros and cons of a certain action, and use that to make a decision. It's one of the fundamental underpinnings of a free market economic model, but as this app proves in miniature, it's also bullshit.

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Google Earth Pro, the premium version of Google's popular Google Earth service, is now free. Google sliced the price from $US400 a year, so this is a pretty solid deal. If you like to make 3D measurements or create HD videos of virtual trips around the world, I'd jump on this. You can download the software key directly from Google and start an online global journey.

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How are you going to be spending your 2015? More work and less play? More time outdoors and less time on the couch? With such a broad range of time-tracking apps and services now on the market, you can monitor where all of your hours, minutes and seconds go like never before. Here's our pick for some of the leading options currently available for web, desktop and mobile.

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If you feel like you don't spend enough time stargazing and don't have the time to actually stargaze, you should check out "NASA's Eyes" an application created by the space-focused organisation to allow anyone to explore our galaxy and tap into the knowledge we've gathered so far thanks to missions including Kepler, Hubble and Spitzer.

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The CarPlay interface is undoubtedly better for using while driving than the regular 'ole screen. But unless you've got a shiny new car (or one of the expensive aftermarket dashes), chances are you don't have anything to pair your iPhone with. But this tweak gives you an idea of what CarPlay would look like running on just your handset.

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While there are still a number of competing multimedia formats, there are a few that you can always count on — H.264, AAC, FLAC and containers such as MKV. There's nothing more frustrating though than having software that doesn't want to play nice with these and Windows takes the cake for requiring either a codec pack or an alternative player after a fresh install. Fortunately, Microsoft is taking a more serious look at the supported audio and video formats in Windows 10.