If your federal or state taxes are easy to figure out, it hardly makes sense to pay someone else simply to file your returns. One option is Liberty Tax Service's eSmart Basic Service, which offers some advantages over other e-filing options we've tried, starting with the obvious one: It's free. The Basic online filing service has other things going for it, as well, including the ability to import data from competing tax software such as TurboTax, H&R Block at Home, and TaxAct; free technical support via Chat; and free CPA support if you're audited. … Read more
For every application installed on your Mac, OS X will scan its document-handling capabilities and store them in its Launch Services database, which it then uses to pair up document types with the applications that are built to handle them. Therefore, if you install a new image-handling tool on your system, when you right-click image files or get information on them you should see this program be available in the "Open With" section as an optional handling program.
This service is convenient for ensuring that documents can be opened directly from the Finder; however, it assumes you always … Read more
More likely than not, at some point in your ownership of an Apple device, you've wanted to load a file directly to it, either for storage or to access it in some capacity - a PDF, a video or a folder of tools. While you can load images through iPhoto, and music, videos and documents in iTunes, the interface is limited and you can't create folders or other storage tools to keep your files organized. USB & Wi-Fi Flash Drive Free solves that problem by turning your iOS device into an on-the-go flash drive alternative that you can … Read more
Google is on the cusp of fixing some initial shortcomings of its WebP, an image format it hopes will speed up browsing.
A new version of libwebp, the library that software can use to display and create WebP images, adds support several features, some of which were the subject of criticism when Google announced WebP in 2010:Metadata handling so people can see camera and exposure information stored in the file with the EXIF and XMP technologies.
ICC (International Color Consortium) color profiles for more accurate color rendering.
Animated WebP images, a new spin on a once-once obscure GIF technology … Read more
When you copy files from one location to another in OS X, the system should run a number of checks to validate the data and ensure that it was copied correctly; however, if you are using third-party utilities to copy a file, you might be concerned about potential corruption.
MacFixIt reader Douglas recently wrote in with such a concern.I was wondering if there is any way to verify a copy of files from one hard drive to another? I used SuperDuper to copy one of my RAIDs to another RAID; it was 7TB of stuff and took two days … Read more
Dropbox updated its desktop client for Macs and PCs yesterday, bring added functionality to the Dropbox window you access either via your Mac's menu bar or your PC's task bar.
The old desktop client was good for getting you quickly to your Dropbox folders or the Dropbox Web site, but it wasn't good for much else. With the Dropbox 2.0 desktop client, you get easy access to your folders and the Web site, along with the ability to initiate sharing a file and accept or decline invites without needing to visit the Dropbox interface. Meanwhile, the … Read more
We Dropbox users have gotten very accustomed to our boring yet reliable Dropbox desktop clients (download for Windows, Mac, Linux 32-bit, and Linux 64-bit) chugging along tirelessly, syncing files and folders between computers and devices with no muss or fuss, that it was with some trepidation yesterday that I updated to version 2.0, the brand-new release from the online-hosting service. The new update gives the system-tray-based app a slight cosmetic makeover--the utilitarian menu as been supplanted with a more modern UI that includes links to your Dropbox folder, the Dropbox Web site, three "recently changed" files, and … Read more
Some hacker or hackers has it out for a handful of celebrities, politicians, and law enforcement officials, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and pop singer Beyonce.
Collected onto one Web site -- called "The Secret Files" -- is a slew of financial and personal information on these public figures. The data is so sensitive that it has sparked investigations by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
Commercial MP3s and other digital music files provide a wealth of information about the songs in addition to the audio-playback itself. This metadata makes it easy to display the track name, artist, album, and other facts about the songs in your playback device or program.
When you use an application such as the free Audacity audio-editing utility to convert music from LPs, cassettes, or another analog source, the only metadata accompanying the tracks is whatever information you provide when you create the digital file. There's the rub.
In July 2011 I described how to use Audacity to convert LPs and audio cassettes to digital. … Read more
Advanced Mac users, including developers, often have to enter commands to display hidden files. Show Hidden Files for Mac allows this to be accomplished with the click of a button, although this may not be necessary for experienced developers.
Show Hidden Files for Mac is available as freeware with advertisements for other programs displayed initially, but these can be disabled or enabled easily from the main drop down menu. Easy to download, the application installs and runs quickly. Its interface is simple, with buttons to hide and show files, although some advanced features could be less intuitive to the average … Read more