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  • Star Apps: Chelsea Handler

    Comedian Chelsea Handler spent seven years questioning celebrities about their latest projects on "Chelsea Lately." Now the retired talk show host is partnering with Netflix to create four comedy specials -- starting with "Uganda Be Kidding Me Live" -- in which she gets answers to some of life's mysteries, such as where apps come from.

    Catch Chelsea Handler in Uganda Be Kidding Me Live on Netflix.

    (Credit: Netflix)

    What makes Uganda an untapped resource for good comedy material? Well, I always figure anywhere I travel is an untapped resource for material. I always end up having a good time, and I like to give America the reputation that I've given it. So I like to show up unexpected and be your typical American. But it's been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to go to Africa. So when I found the time, I thought I should do this. I planned the trip in about two weeks. I just grabbed some of my girlfriends -- I said, "We have to get out there; we have to go on safari." We did it, and it ended up making me write another book, which I didn't go there with the intention of doing. It was a great trip for a million different reasons, but it's a place I would go back to time and time again. I mean, Afric... [Read more]

  • Star Apps: Michael Franti

    Singer and musician Michael Franti's activism is a mainstay. What's changed over his almost 30-year career is his perspective on how best to effect change. "As I've grown, I want to be part of the solution, and I want to be not just pointing the finger at things that are wrong but saying how we can be part of fixing it," he says. I chatted with Franti about his tour, how he creates change at home, how we can be part of the solution, and the app that's become a positive force in his life.

    Michael Franti wants to empower people to create change in their own lives.

    On this tour, there are no veils. It's you onstage, playing acoustically and telling stories. That sounds like a very vulnerable place to be. I feel very vulnerable. I am used to having this big band behind me that kicks a--, and I know everybody's gonna dance and have a fun time. But when I go up there and it's just me and a microphone and a guitar, it's a little more nerve-racking. On this tour, I decided that I wanted to go through all the songs through various periods of my musical life and play songs that I haven't played in a long time and then go back to that place in my mind and tell stories about where I was in my life in those times. There are a lot of really funny stories, some growing pains stories, and some remembering bad times when I was doing stup... [Read more]

  • 6 browsers to change the way you surf the Web

    Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari are the most popular gateways to the Internet, but if you find these mainstream browsers lacking, we have six feature-rich alternatives worth checking out.

    Chrome alternative

    Opera (Windows, Mac)

    Opera is best known for innovating browser features that become essential, such as tabs and Speed Dial (a visual grid displaying bookmarks and favorite sites). Since Opera adopted WebKit and began taking code from the Chromium Project, it has become a great Google Chrome alternative. Opera runs Chrome extensions alongside its own add-ons, but what stands out most is Opera's touch-friendly interface -- now you can enjoy this familiar Chrome experience on touch-enabled PCs.

    Firefox alternative

    Pale Moon (Windows)

    Created for Mozilla enthusiasts, Pale Moon boasts the classic Mozilla browser interface -- pre-Australis update. But that doesn't mean that this Firefox spin-off is behind the times. On the contrary, Pale Moon drops support of older hardware in favor of reliability, adds support for 64-bit systems, and enabl... [Read more]

  • 7 holiday crafting apps

    Nothing's more thoughtful or personal than a handmade gift or message -- and often they're less expensive than store-bought goods, too. Create holiday cards, scrapbooks, and even stylish gift wrap with these seven creative crafting apps.

    Craft & Home Projects Magazine (iOS)

    With vivid photos and beginner-friendly directions, the Craft & Home Projects Magazine app is a great resource for crafting year-round. For the holidays, it offers dozens of ideas for easy-to-make decorations: wreaths, stockings, centerpieces, sweaters, and more.

    ScrapPad (iOS)

    Scrapbooks capture memories to last a lifetime, but making them shouldn't take as long. With ScrapPad, you can quickly touch, drag, and pinch your way to perfect photo layouts. The $4.99 price includes 20 themed kits, such as Christmas Cheer, with thousands of Retina HD elements, and you can buy more kits through an in-app store. Share your masterpieces via email or Facebook, or order printed books from the app.

    Snapguide (iOS)

    This streamlined discovery app offers recipes, crafts, fashion tips, life hacks, and more. Try Snapg... [Read more]

  • Star Apps: SoMo

    SoMo, aka Joseph Somers-Morales, became a YouTube sensation covering Chris Brown and Drake. Then he became a chart sensation (No. 1 on iTunes, No. 6 on Billboard) with the release of his self-penned, self-titled debut album. Now he wants to write hits for others. I chatted with SoMo about the baby makers, his dirty thoughts in the studio, and the app that makes him feel close to his writing partners.

    SoMo wants to write for the artists he used to cover.

    (Credit: Republic Records)

    When did you discover that you could sing? I knew my whole life. My dad's a musician, so I grew up around it. It wasn't really ever did I want to sing, or did I get pushed to sing? It's just what I did.

    Were you the kid that was always asked to sing at family events? Oh yeah, even when they wouldn't ask, I would still sing. I think I have some old videos of me just singing different songs like "Wheels on the Bus" when I was a baby. Ever since I can remember, I would just sing, and people would say, "Oh, you're a good singer." But I never thought of it as much more than a hobby -- and then it became a career.

    Who's your musical inspiratio... [Read more]

  • Star Apps: James Iha

    Guitarist James Iha has rarely had a free moment since leaving The Smashing Pumpkins in 2000. He has guested on Fountains of Wayne albums, joined A Perfect Circle, released solo material, and produced myriad artists, including Michael Stipe, Cat Power, and St. Lucia. Recently he scored Hulu original series "Deadbeat." James Iha talks about why mobile television is the wave of the future, working with Billy Corgan versus Maynard James Keenan versus Taylor Hanson, and his favorite app for rare moments of boredom.

    Don't let the pose fool you: James Iha has little time for leisure.

    (Credit: Aliya Naumoff)

    How would you compare solo work to playing in a band or scoring a TV show such as "Deadbeat"? They're all different things. As a working musician, you have to be creative in different ways. When you do a solo record, you're kind of doing everything. The big difference is singing and writing pretty much everything -- the lyrics and the music. In a band like The Smashing Pumpkins or A Perfect Circle, you want to be a team player. I play guitar in the Pumpkins and A Perfect Circle, and you just want to fit in. I sound like a sports player now. [Laughs] But your role is guitar player, and you just want to bring as much as you can, doing that. For "Deadbeat," scoring or writing cues for TV shows is like a different part of the brain. There are no lyrics, s... [Read more]

  • 10 unbeatable Black Friday shopping apps

    The mall is a combat zone on Black Friday, and you need a strategy for snatching the prime deals and getting out quickly. Put these 10 apps in your arsenal for a fighting chance at getting everything you need at the lowest possible prices. And for the top tech deals, check out CNET's Black Friday guide.

    Giftster Wish List Registry (iOS, Android)

    Don't play the guessing game about what friends and family want, or risk your selections ending up in the regifting pile. Instead, share holiday wish lists with Giftster. You can easily mark an item as reserved or purchased to avoid duplicates.

    RetailMeNot (iOS, Android)

    RetailMeNot collects discount codes and coupons from over 50,000 nationwide stores and restaurants. You can search by category, store, or location and get lots of offers that'll save you real money. Use your coupon at checkout or bookmark it for later. The app will even let you know when coupons are about to expire. If you can't find a deal for your item, set up an aler... [Read more]

  • Star Apps: 'The Imitation Game'

    Generally, victors win the spoils of war, but all Alan Turing got was a spoiled legacy. Winston Churchill called him the greatest contributor to Allied victory, and today's programmers call him the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, but Turing lived his post-World War II years disgraced by a homosexuality conviction. "The Imitation Game," starring Benedict Cumberbatch, aims to correct this wrong. I spoke with screenwriter Graham Moore ("The Sherlockian," "The Devil in the White City") and actor Allen Leech ("Rome," "The Tudors," "Downton Abbey"), who plays Soviet double agent John Cairncross in "The Imitation Game," about recasting Turing; deciphering cryptology, Turing puzzles, and Enigma machines; and their favorite apps.

    Benedict Cumberbatch plays computing pioneer Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, which opens November 28.

    (Credit: Miramax Films)

    What was your goal with this film? Graham Moore: To expose a new audience to Alan Turing's story. It had been told in biographies, a couple great novels, and onstage in Hugh Whitemore's "Breaking the Code." There have been documentaries, but never a full-on cinematic treatment of Turing's story. We felt that Alan Turing's legacy deserves to be so much better kno... [Read more]

  • Star Apps: Jena Malone

    Jena Malone ("Saved," "Pride & Prejudice," "Into the Wild," "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire") has been acting for almost 20 years and recording music for eight. She and Lem Jay Ignacio are The Shoe, which this year released its first full-length album, "I'm OK." You can see Jena Malone now in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1." We talked about The Shoe, shooting nude, and balancing her music and film careers.

    The other Shoe has dropped: I'm OK is out now.

    The band is called The Shoe because? The Shoe is whatever instrument I want to play. In this particular rendition of The Shoe, it's mostly vocal effects, looper, live percussion, and electronic drums. For our first record, there was a keyboard and mono synth and a few other things. But this is a more pared-down Shoe kind of vibe.

    Between naming the band The Shoe and your label, There Was an Old Woman Records, I'm assuming that the "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe" rhyme must have left a major impression on you. I just liked it because there's this innocent idea around it having been a children's story, and I wanted to build something I could live out of and tell stories out of. You can box it up and take it on the street and unveil it and have all these things come out ... [Read more]

  • 7 charitable apps for easy giving

    November is a time to give, whether you're growing a mustache to support men's health or donating food for Thanksgiving meals. With the seven apps we've found, you can be a do-gooder by simply doing what you usually do -- buying groceries, taking a walk, or playing a game.

    Charity Miles

    Don't wait for that 5K for charity: rack up dollars as you rack up miles on your regular walks, runs, or bike rides. Download Charity Miles (iOS, Android), choose from 28 established charities, and launch the app with each workout. Corporate sponsors will donate funds for every mile.


    Ever wish you could transfer pounds from your waist to someone else's? You nearly can with Foodtweeks (iOS, Android). Tell the app which foods you're about to buy, and it will recommend small, calorie-cutting tweaks. Follow Foodtweeks's guidelines, and it'll donate those calories to a local food bank.

    Donate a Photo

    If you're posting photos to your social media feeds all day, then why not donate one? With Donate a Photo (... [Read more]

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