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Google features heavily in TidBITS this week, thanks to Adam’s look at the release of offline access support for Gmail and Doug McLean’s article about the inclusion in Google Earth of ultra-high resolution versions of 14 masterpieces from the Prado Museum in Madrid. That’s right, you can fly around a painting and zoom in far enough to see cracks in the paint. But don’t let Google Earth distract you for too long – Doug anchors this issue with a far more practical article about programs you can use to get your work done while minimizing distractions. Adam also notes that Coinstar machines will turn loose coins into iTunes credit, and Joe Kissell relates how he managed to get one of his current email addresses mentioned in a song recorded 10 years ago. Notable software releases this week include PersonalBrain 5.0.2, Typinator 3.4, iPhone 2.2.1 Software Update, Apple’s iLife Media Browser Update, iDVD 7.0.3, HoudahSpot 2.4, and SpamSieve 2.7.3.

Adam Engst No comments

Gmail Gets Offline Access with Gears

Been avoiding Google's Gmail because of the requirement that you be online at all times when using it? That's no longer necessary, thanks to offline access provided by the just-released Google Gears support for Gmail.

Doug McLean No comments

Minimize Desktop Distractions

Ever find yourself distracted by your own Mac, with windows from your Web browser or sounds generated by incoming mail preventing you from getting down to your real work? Doug McLean set out to find some programs that can help you focus on what's important.

Jeff Carlson No comments

Hot Topics in TidBITS Talk for 02-Feb-09

Readers are busy trying out the new iLife '09 and configuring hard drives, based on this week's TidBITS Talk discussions. Also touched upon are opinions of Apple's best and worst Macs and related products, connecting devices using HDMI and DVI cables, online security following news of infected illegal downloads, and more.