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I hate packing, don’t you? I usually end up putting it off until literally an hour or two before I’m due to leave, run around the house frantically dumping items into a suitcase, and spend the first part of my trip worrying that I have forgotten something.

This year, I am determined to be more organized, and have enlisted the help of Packing Pro to ensure that I do not forget my passport, toothbrush, or anything else for that matter. Hit the jump to read more.

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I love options. With access to the App Store with over 375,000 apps available, you’ll have plenty of them — and the category of news readers is no exception. The fairly new on the scene app, Thirst, claims to be “a personalized newspaper that really matters to you.” But I’ve heard similar promises from other apps and been disappointed.

My biggest question going into this review was, “Is this news reader really going to be that different in order to make it stand out?” So, in a cluttered category how does Thirst stack up? Read on to find out.

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I feel dumb. A constant diet of internet memes and cat videos has done nothing to expand my mind over the last couple of years, and my time in school, when my brain was really active, is seeming further and further in the past. I’m worried if I don’t give my brain a workout, it’s not going to be good for anything anymore.

Lumosity wants to fix that, with lots of exercises and metrics to show me what’s happening with my cognitive skills. Can my brain make a comeback or has the damage gone too far? (more…)

I’m on a lot of social networks, partially because I do a lot of work in the tech industry, and partially because I use my work in the tech industry as an excuse to be on a lot of social networks. When it comes down to it, though, I’m on the networks for two reasons. The first is so I can keep up with my friends and be jealous of their lives — especially thanks to Instagram, where I can see my one friend had a pulled pork sandwich for lunch at one of my favourite restaurants while I had peanut butter on toast and a banana. The other real reason I’m on social networks, at this point, is to keep up with the news.

Twitter and App.net are good at both, but both can be difficult to keep up with. That’s why I was really interested to see App.news, an aggregator of the links being shared on App.net. It skips all the chatter and just puts together a feed of articles — think of it as a sort-of RSS Reader for App.net. Is it worth your time? Read on to find out.

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I have been taking Spanish classes for almost a year now, but feel as if I need a helping hand in order to get a firm grasp of the Spanish language as sometimes I find that certain words and phrases just will not stick in my head no matter what I do. Enter Spanish For Dummies, an app version of the popular book that goes by the same name.

Spanish For Dummies can teach you basic Continental Spanish from the comfort of your own home, using text, audio, and even games to make the learning process as fun and pain-free as possible. Hit the jump to read more.

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It would seem to me that we are in an age of numbers. Data is heralded as the solution to virtually any problem, whether the task being tackled is website optimization with Google Analytics, or the effective tracking of personal finance using Mint. Thanks to Nike+, you can even chart your progress towards being an Olympic athlete…or not.

Along with the obvious shared subject of data, these leaders in their respective fields also share a particular attribute — a heavy bias towards data visualization. Numerous studies have shown that when figures are presented in a more graphical, comprehensible form, they become more engaging and instructive. The success of services like Visual.ly, and the ubiquitousness of the infographics created with them, is surely testament to this.

So why, then, isn’t there a service, a platform, or an app which provides visualizations of the measurable data we create every day? You know — stuff like work done and money spent. A new, $1.99 app called mem:o is hoping to fill this apparent gap in the data marketplace with a mixture of simplicity and beauty. Whether it is worth spending the time logging hours of sleep or grocery bill totals just to get some geeky graphics is a conundrum I’m hoping to solve….
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Aren’t you sometimes reluctant to go to the gym on a weekday after a long day at work? But of course, you’ll feel guilty if you don’t work out, because you won’t burn the calories from that desert your ate at lunch!

What if I told you there’s a way to work out at home with the help of your iPad? Thanks to Workout Trainer, you can turn your tablet into a personal coach and do the right exercises based on your needs.
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When you have millions of apps in the App Store, it takes a lot of market research and shrewdness from the developer’s part to find a successful niche. Figuring out professionals from a domain who are ready to ditch their diaries, legal pads and spiral bound notebooks for a sleek iPad is a great place to start.

Event planners have a lot of things to remember. Dates, invitations, seating arrangements, vendor contacts – there are a ton of details to stay on top of. Apps like Event Planner try to replace their event playing diary with an intuitive solution that’s far more practical than ink on paper. Time to plan an event and test the chops of Event Planner!
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How on earth have we become so addicted? To online video, I mean. According to comScore, Americans alone watched 41 billion videos in May 2013. This figure is remarkable on its own, but it seems even more so when you consider that the market-leader — or monopolizer, some may say – YouTube, is only eight years old.

Given the solidity of YouTube’s dominance, and the continuing growth of the online video market, it seems likely that Google‘s video goliath will continue to corner the market for some time to come. It is starting to show its age, though. We live in a world that is rapidly adopting online television as its favoured form of audiovisual entertainment, and although YouTube’s sprawling network provides diversity, it does not provide an ideal environment for the passive viewer. Equally, YouTube’s design has barely changed in years, with only a few Cosmic Panda-inspired tweaks providing some kind of refinement. Even the most hardcore YouTuber could hardly call the site, and its associated apps, pretty.

Rockpack, a new video-based iOS offering, is attempting to add a layer of its own polish on top of YouTube’s massive library of content. Within its stunning interface, Rockpack offers up YouTube’s content in a channel-focused way, as well as offering an independent, in-app video sharing network. Is a snazzy interface and a copycat network really enough to elevate Rockpack above its parent platform, though?

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I’m always looking for something new to watch, and I can usually get through most of a television series in a weekend, so my thirst for new content is not easily quenched. I tend to stalk my friends’ Facebook and Twitter feeds for clues to what they’re watching and tips on what I should try, because I like to think my friends have good taste.

That’s why I’m such a fan of GetGlue. I don’t have to skulk creepily through my friends’ posts if we’re all just checking into the things we like to watch together. There’s a lot more to GetGlue than that, though, and it turns out it’s a great way to get extras from my favorite shows while I watch, too. (more…)

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