The greatest library in the world means nothing without the card catalog to make sense of it all. And so it is with the Wayback Machine, a massive archive of millions of websites going back more than a decade. It's a valuable repository of information that show how sites have changed and evolved over the years; in the case of a great many sites that have since closed down, it's the only remaining public record available. But the only way into the archive is by searching for URLs, whereupon you're greeted with a list of dates corresponding to snapshots of the website.
Free Web archive browsing add-on for Windows/Mac/Linux (via Firefox) by andrea_fiore
Considering just how much is stored in the Wayback Machine, it's unfortunate that there isn't a better way to browse those archives - at least, not until now. WaybackFox is still listed by its author as a pre-alpha build, but even in this embryonic state the Firefox add-on is a much nicer way of browsing through the historical archive of a website. Once installed, a Wayback Machine icon appears in the status bar. Visit a site that's listed in the Wayback Machine archive, and a slider appears that lets you scan back and forth to any of the historical snapshots stored in the archive.
The concept is simple, but very effective in practice. Now it actually feels like you're controlling a Wayback Machine with a magical lever that turns back time. There are a few minor bugs to work out, of course-the date shown on the slider doesn't always match the snapshot that loads, and the Wayback Machine itself is full of broken images and busted layouts. But if you're a regular user of the massive web archive, or if you just want to scan the historical record for your favourite sites, WaybackFox might just be your new best friend.
Radio alarm clock ($1.99) by DreamSurface for iPhone/iPod Touch
Convergence was once a huge technology buzzword; it seemed like manufacturers and users alike couldn't wait to smush gadgets together into a Frankengadget that could toss out the garbage, record your favourite TV shows and cut your hair all at once. Today, no one really talks about convergence-it became a reality while no one was looking. For example, how many devices have smartphones replaced? Payphones seem like a quaint anachronism nowadays, and no one seems to carry around a watch any more. And do you still carry around a paper agenda, or do you keep all your appointments synced to your Blackberry?
One candidate for obsolescence that has somehow stuck around: the humble alarm clock. Electronic gadgets have had alarms built into them for years, and yet there are still plenty of cheap and cheerful alarm clocks out there. Maybe it's just that much easier to hit the snooze button, or maybe it's because the alarms built into most devices are a bit too fiddly to use. TimeTuner attempts to improve upon the iPhone's built-in alarm app, and might just convince you to toss out that other hunk of plastic and silicon you rely on to wake you up.
The first thing TimeTuner gets right is the look; chances are your alarm clock doesn't look nearly as sexy as TimeTuner. But the app is also highly functional; unlike the iPhone's built-in app, you can both fall asleep and wake up to TimeTuner. The sleep timer can be set to turn off your music up to two hours in the future, and the alarm can wake you up with a song from your music library or one of thousands of internet radio stations through RadioTime. Pair TimeTuner with a nice iPod speaker dock and you'll have an alarm clock you won't want to throw across the room at six in the morning.
Free Olympics-centric Twitter client by Cocoaminded for iPhone/iPod Touch
Have you been practicing your curling lingo? Do you already know when the Vancouver Olympics mascot figurines hit stores? Have you watched Cool Runnings in the past few weeks? And do you suddenly have a fondness for Donald Sutherland? Congratulations, you've caught Olympics fever. Whether you're in Whistler catching the alpine events or at home watching figure skating finals, chances are you want to know everything that's happening right now, even if it annoys your less enthusiastic and more cynical friends.
This is the first major Olympics where Twitter has been a major internet presence, and so it's fitting that these games should receive their own Twitter app. Tweety10 is designed to keep diehard sports fans and Olympics bandwagon jumpers alike informed on what the people on the street think of the Vancouver Olympics. In addition to the usual news feed, hooked into various Olympic-focused Twitter accounts, there's a medals leaderboard and a full schedule of events.
If you're lucky enough to be in Vancouver, you'll also want to take advantage of Tweety10's extra Twitter capabilities. Like most Twitter clients, Tweety10 has geolocation abilities that allow you to tag your post with your location, but you can also select your current venue and sport from dropdowns to mention in your post. The one feature that sadly had to be cut at the last moment is a location-aware Twitter map that showed posts from each Olympic venue. But even without the map, Tweety10 is a great Olympics companion.