Stay on top of the Web with read-later services

David Chartier Contributor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

David has been covering Apple and how to get the most out of its products since 2005. Now a freelance tech writer, he runs Finer Things in Tech, jots down thoughts at DavidChartier.com, occasionally starts outlining the great American tech novel, and might still get to snowboard Breckenridge one more time.
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Between new-product reviews, tutorials for a timesaving trick, posts from your favorite blogs, updates from the sites you have to follow for work, and—because everyone needs a break, right?—the latest YouTube meme, it can be hard to keep up with everything you want to read online. No wonder people clamor for a “TiVo for the Web.” Enter read-later services: When you see something important, click a browser button or email the link. Then, at the end or beginning of the day, open the read-later app on the device of your choice—typically a smartphone or a tablet—and download all the content you flagged earlier. Now you’re set to read on your commute, during a plane trip, or just about anywhere, even if you don’t have an Internet connection while you're on the go.

You can choose from a range of features with these services, which include Instapaper, Pocket, Readability, Quote.fm, Evernote Clearly, and Safari’s Reading List. Do you simply want to maintain a reading list, or could you use help from friends to find more interesting things to read? Do you want archival access to the items you’ve read in the past? How about tools for sharing your favorite articles with buddies or adding the stories to the other apps and services you use?

There are more questions to answer than you might think, so I’ll try to help you get started.

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Eight ways to connect to a server

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The iTunes Guy column and about Macs, music, and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ.
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When you have to copy files from one Mac to another, make big files available to others, or get files from your company’s shared volumes, you need to connect to a server. It may be a file server, a NAS (network-attached storage device), or just another Mac on your network. You probably already know a basic way to perform this everyday task, but is that method the quickest and most convenient? Here are eight ways you can connect to a server.

1. Connect from the Finder

Connecting to a server for the first time? You'll see this standard 'Connect to Server' dialog box.
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Essential accessories: Clutter busters and travel-bag basics

Dan Frakes Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Dan writes about OS X, iOS, troubleshooting, utilities, and cool apps; and he covers hardware, mobile and AV gear, input devices, and accessories. He's been writing about tech since 1994, and he's also published software, worked in IT, and been a policy analyst.
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Our increasingly wireless lives are still dependent on physical connections. And that means cables—lots of cables. As the editor who does most of Macworld's accessory coverage, my office is overrun with cables, connectors, and chargers. Few warrant a full review or an article of their own, but that doesn't mean they should go unnoticed. Whether you're looking for worthy candidates for your travel bag or you just want to clean up your desk, here are some of the best accessories I’ve come across recently for connecting, charging, and more.

Compact cable kits

Short cables are lightweight, take up less space in a bag, and are less likely to tangle. Thankfully, it's no longer necessary to hunt down short versions of essential cables on your own, as a number of companies sell handy kits.

Oodles of options for iPhones, iPads, and iPods

When Apple’s new Lightning connector debuted with the most recent iPhones and iPods, it meant that iPhone and iPod accessories originally designed for the older 30-pin dock-connector port would no longer work with the latest devices. And, of course, scads of devices out there still use the 30-pin port. If you don’t want to go out and buy new speakers and chargers for your new iPhone, hold on: We’re starting to see adapters for newer devices to work with older gear. And many vendors are still making new accessories for older devices.

Lightning adapters: Apple sells a $29 Lightning to 30-pin Adapter and a $39 Lightning to 30-pin Adapter (0.2 m), a 20cm cable version of the adapter. Both let you use older audio and charging accessories with the latest iPhones and iPods. But if you need something longer, CableJive’s $30, 20-inch DockBoss+ is designed to let you use your iPhone 5 or new iPod with 30-pin-dock speakers and chargers. You connect the DockBoss+’s 30-pin female connector to your speaker or charger, and then connect your iPhone’s Lightning-to-USB cable to the DockBoss+’s USB port—suddenly you have audio and power. (If your speaker dock is older and employs analog audio, use the included 3.5mm audio cable, which connects from your iPhone’s headphone jack to a separate audio plug on the DockBoss+.) It’s not elegant, but it works.

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Mountain Lion's Calendar: Your questions answered

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Today’s Calendar application is more than a simple date book. With it you can view your life’s doings in multiple ways, enter events in nearly natural language, receive alerts to events by unexpected means, and add multiple bits of information to your events. Not everything about OS X's Calendar app is obvious, however. Here are answers to some of the questions I hear the most.

Q: What's the quickest way to create events?

A: In Lion’s iCal and in Mountain Lion’s Calendar, one quick way to create an event is to press Command-N or click the plus-sign (+) button at the top of the window. In the resulting Create Quick Event field, enter something like Brunch w/ Claire March 17 11 AM and press Return. This instruction creates an event for that date at 11 a.m.

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Do more with Mountain Lion’s Contacts

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Among the many things your Mac is tasked to do is to help you stay in touch with other people. And the first step in doing so is to have some notion of how to contact them—through email, snail mail, phone, chat, FaceTime, and social networking services. The repository for this vital information is Mountain Lion’s Contacts application. Formerly known as Address Book, Contacts is often overlooked, since many people think that the job it handles is mundane. But Contacts has hidden depths, including the ability to pull in Twitter handles and Facebook friends automatically, sync Google contacts, display a map of a contact’s address, and help you put faces to names.

Get rid of the leather look

Those who feel that a computer’s address book need not be slathered with the look of a real-world address book may find Contact’s leather theme tiresome. Thankfully, you can dump that theme—and best of all, no Terminal is required. Just use Fredrik Wiker’s donationware Mountain Tweaks utility.

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How to share documents with iCloud

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The iTunes Guy column and about Macs, music, and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ.
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The new dream in computing is keeping all of your files in “the cloud,” on remote servers that you can access from anywhere at any time. Apple’s cloud-based syncing and storage service, iCloud, debuted in June 2011. Still, only since the release of OS X Mountain Lion that enough applications have started to support iCloud document syncing for this feature to be useful. Working with iCloud is fairly simple, but you need to know the ground rules if you plan to start storing your documents in the cloud.

Activate Documents & Data

If you don’t have a free iCloud account, or if you’re just starting out with it, this article will give you an overview of how to set up a new iCloud account. To store documents in the cloud—no matter which application puts its files there—you also need to activate the Documents & Data setting in the iCloud pane in System Preferences, as well as in the Settings of any iOS device you plan to use (to do so, select Settings > iCloud). Once you’ve done this, any iCloud-compatible app can store files in iCloud.

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Quick Look power tips: working with multiple files

Sharon Zardetto , Macworld

Find several of long-time Mac author Sharon Zardetto's current ebooks at Take Control Books.
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You’ve worked on a project that’s generated multiple versions of many files with next-to-useless names, and now you need to send the best ones to your colleagues. How can you efficiently rummage through the candidates, when even the apps that created them can’t give you a good overview of multiple files? All you need is the often-overlooked features of OS X’s Quick Look.

Start with selection techniques

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