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Calibre Is an All-Purpose, E-Book Swiss Army Knife

When it comes to managing your e-book collection, there aren't a whole lot of options out there. If you want to organize a large library of e-books, especially ones that you're not buying or downloading directly from your e-reader's manufacturer, then there's really only one viable choice: Calibre. Not only does it organize your collection and load it onto your e-reader, but it will do so...

Games on the Go: Zombies, Aliens and Monsters... Oh My!

It may not be Halloween yet, but that doesn't mean we can't spend some time haunting and hunting amongst the monsters and the freaks. This week, we'll find out why sandworms are the new zombies (and why zombies aren't quite played out yet), we'll try to survive on desert islands (without the aid of any soccer ball companions), we'll turn slack-jawed yokels into canned food, and we'll delve into...

The Week in Design: A Dumb Car and a Smart TV

The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money, or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless. We saw a lot...

Games on the Go: Final Fantasies for Flash

The fantasy genre has always held particular sway over various corners of geek culture. (In fact, some might say that J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy gave birth to what we consider fandom today.) Ancient lands populated by fearsome beasts, wizards, warriors and mystical objects have provided fertile landscapes of escapism for countless books, movies, and, of course, video games....

How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine

Who, besides vegans and the lactose intolerant, doesn't love ice cream? Nobody. (Even the dairy-averse have found alternatives for this universally adored frozen treat.) Although precursors to what we know as ice cream have existed for ages, Harold McGee -- food science master and author of the must-have 'On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen' -- notes in his book that "the...

How E Ink Makes E-Reading a Pleasurable Experience

What is E Ink? "E Ink," although often used to refer to any low-power, high-contrast display like that found on e-readers, is actually a specific brand of displays. The question you should be asking is: "What is e-paper?" Alright then, what is e-paper? Jerk. E-paper is a type of display designed to mimic the appearance of ink on paper. While there are exceptions to these rules, most e-paper...

The Week in Design: ECG Toasters and Disposable Printers

The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money, or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless. This week we...

Games on the Go: Jump Up and Get Down With Platformers

For many, the original 'Super Mario Bros.' is the quintessential video game. Not only did it help the NES to usher in a new era of home consoles, but it also popularized a genre that would come to dominate gaming for decades: the platformer. Platformers arguably originated with 'Donkey Kong,' which also starred the plumber-protagonist Mario, and challenged gamers to leap over hazards, climb...

Best Screen Capture Apps for OS X, Windows and Linux

There are a number of tools that we simply can't live without. For instance, we'd be lost without the ability to quickly take, manipulate and share screenshots with each other. A good screen capture app is essential for adding images to blog posts, sharing ideas and mocking the occasional typo. But you don't need to be a blogger to make good use of such a tool; they're great for capturing images...

The Week in Design: Paper-Shredding Coffee Tables and Bacteria-Spreading Soap

The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money, or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless. The simplest...

Games On the Go: Flash Titles for the Musically Inclined (or Inspired)

Music is all around us. It drifts in and out of our lives, piped into elevators, blasted through the stereo systems of passing cars, and idly played on our MP3 players as we go about our day. But how engaged are we with it? For something as remarkable as music, it can easily become another part of the auditory static of the everyday. While some people may take for granted the music in video...

This Week in Design: Pared-Down Flashlights and Zany Umbrella Dryers

The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money, or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless. We've decided...

Games on the Go: Text-Based Adventures, Past and Present

Built around the tenets of storytelling and puzzle-solving, the adventure-game genre has evolved quite a bit over time. Beginning with its origins in text-based, graphic-less interactive fiction, adventure games soon became a dominant force in PC gaming during the '80s and '90s. At the time, the games had the unique ability to convey stories in more detailed and expressive ways than other...

Games on the Go: Even More Pixelated Goodness

One 'Games on the Go' column was hardly enough to express our love for the pixel. Luckily for us, there's a bonanza of blockiness currently happening in gaming. United by a nostalgic affection for the simple (yet, oh so expressive) graphics of a bygone era, game developers have been producing a heap of gems that recall the video games of old. For those who painfully remember the clumsy controls...

Design Concepts: Advances in Textiles, From Bacteria Dresses to Acoustic Threads

The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money, or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless. In 1855,...