Editor's Choice

Looking for software recommendations, apps, and generally useful stuff? These editors' selections highlight various technologies that merit our Editor's Choice seal of approval. We think you'll find this listing to be a valuable resource for discovering and vetting software, products, and apps. We've run these things through the paces and chosen only the best to highlight so you can get right to the good stuff.

Do you know a product, project, or vendor that could earn our Editor's Choice distinction? Please let us know at ljeditor@linuxjournal.com

It seems as though all the cool kids are addicted to Evernote. I'm not quite that cool, but I have been trying hard to convert to a paperless lifestyle. Evernote admittedly is a great tool for archiving information. When I bought my Nexus 7, I also bought a subscription to Evernote Premium.

I'm the sort of person who doesn't like to install Java. I actually don't like to install Flash either, but it's still tough to survive browsing the Internet without Flash installed. There is one program that makes me break my own rules, however, and that's Crashplan.

Plex

Anyone with an iPhone probably is familiar with the AirVideo application. Basically, it's the combination of a server app that runs on your Windows or OS X machine, and it serves video over the network to an AirVideo application on your phone. It's extremely popular, and for a good reason—it works amazingly well.

I have a new day job, and as part of the hiring package, I was issued a smartphone. I'm a little bitter that it doesn't include a tethering plan, but that doesn't upset me nearly as much as the lack of Wi-Fi analysis apps. See, my new job issued me an iPhone. I really like the iPhone (it's true, I can't lie), but in order to scan Wi-Fi, I'd have to jailbreak my phone!

Every year for our Readers' Choice survey, the venerable tool rsync gets votes for favorite backup tool. That never surprises us, because every time I need to copy a group of files and folders, rsync is the tool I use by default.

Last month, I showed you an awesome audiobook player app for Android, but I didn't share my frustration in getting the audio files on to my phone. When I plugged my phone in to the computer, I couldn't get the SD card to mount, no matter what settings I changed.

The Audible app for Android is a great way to consume audiobooks. You have access to all the books you've purchased on Audible, and you can download them at will. Plus, the app provides all the bookmarking features you'd expect from a professional application. Unfortunately, if your audiobooks are from somewhere other than Audible, you need something a little more flexible.

The concept of standalone Web apps isn't new. Anyone using Prism with Firefox or Fluid with OS X understands the concept: a browser that goes to a single Web site and acts like a standalone application—sorta.

In 2006, the family computer on which our digital photographs were stored had a hard drive failure. Because I'm obsessed with backups, it shouldn't have been a big deal, except that my backups had been silently failing for months. Although I certainly learned a lesson about verifying my backups, I also realized it would be nice to have an off-site storage location for our photos.

E-books are currently quite a hot topic in the publishing world. Heck, for the past few months, it's been quite a hot topic here as well! Thankfully, digital publication doesn't have to mean proprietary formats and DRM-laden files.

If you're interested in how much energy your electronics use, it's hard to find a device better than a Kill A Watt—except maybe the Kill A Watt EZ! P3 International now offers model P4600, which provides the same features as its predecessor, but it also automatically calculates device cost per day, week, month or year.

Calibre screenshot

I've mentioned before that I keep my entire e-book collection in my Dropbox folder, and I can access it anywhere I have a Web connection. I didn't come up with the idea myself; instead, I shamelessly stole the idea from Bill Childers. I suspect he stole it from someone else, so feel free to steal the idea from me.

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