Hold the phone: Skype WiFi free at 50 airports this holiday

Travelers are getting a welcome gift from Skype in the form of free Wi-Fi access at more than 50 U.S. airports to place voice or video calls over Skype’s service on PCs, Macs, or iOS devices. The year-end promotion runs from Dec. 21 through Dec. 27.

The Best Android Calendar App Is Free Today

Today’s free Amazon app for Android devices, Business Calendar, is so good, I’d actually pay for it if I had to. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing Google purchase the software and integrate into Android as the native Google Calendar client for smartphones and tablets!

Freeware Securely Takes Out the Trash on USB Drives

If you’re anything like me, you likely have a good number of USB drives on hand. They’re all over our house actually — these little digital storage cabinets seem to multiply faster than Tribbles. So when the kids need to use one, there’s no shortage of choices. I simply grab the nearest one and hand it over without a thought. I generally assume there’s nothing on them, but occasionally the kids tell me that there’s little or no free space — that’s because residual data is there even though I’ve deleted it from the drive.

Download Squad points out Curb, a free solution that cleans out the trash on removable drives with Mac OS X. I installed the small app this morning and it works as advertised. It couldn’t be easier to dump the extra trash bits from a USB drive either — simply drag the removable drive on to Curb and it takes care of the rest. The result is a squeaky-clean flash drive.

With Curb, you can be prompted for trash removal or have the software simply wipe data without asking. And the application supports three secure removal options as well — Single Pass, 7-pass and 35-pass — plus an option to zero out all blocks after overwriting. I’d love to see Apple (s aapl) build this type of functionality into the native Trash Bin. Instead of dragging a USB drive for ejection, the OS could securely wipe the drive. Until then, I’m using Curb which can be found on the MRR Software site.

ActiveHotkeys: Hotkey Help at Hand

One of the problems with having a lot of apps installed on your PC is that it’s hard to keep track of all the hotkeys that might be in use — testing them all manually would be a very laborious process. New freeware Windows utility ActiveHotkeys can quickly list all of the hotkeys that are currently active, helping you to figure out which are used and, importantly, which might still be available for apps that you might like to use.

activehotkeys1ActiveHotkeys is a standalone .EXE (no installation required, which is great as it’s not something you’re likely to want to use very frequently). Select which key groups (alphabetical, function, numeric keypad, etc.) and modifier keys (Win, Alt, Ctrl, Shift and combinations thereof) you’d like to test and hit “Test active hotkeys.” ActiveHotkeys will return a sortable list of the hotkeys currently in use.

Unfortunately, ActiveHotkeys doesn’t tell you which app each hotkey is reserved for, which would make it more useful. This comes down to a limitation of Windows, however, rather than a fault of ActiveHotkeys, so you’ll need to do some further investigation if you want to know what each hotkey actually does.

ActiveHotkeys is free to download and use and works with Windows 95 onwards.

Found any nifty freeware apps like ActiveHotkeys recently? Let us know in the comments!

(via Freewaregenius)

MS Paint for OS X: Your Life Is Now Complete

paintbrush_iconI was grabbing a beer last week with a friend and we somehow stumbled onto the topic of Photoshop and how a lot of the people we know only use it for the simplest tasks: cropping, re-saving images in different formats, etc. We then joked that those people could use MS Paint, but there’s no MS Paint for OS X. Why Apple (s aapl) failed to include an MS Paint equivalent in OS X I will never know…

I’ve looked on the Internet several times for an MS Paint for OS X and always came up empty-handed. I’ve seen programs like Seashore, but they weren’t slimmed down enough; I wanted something ridiculously simple. Well friends, I’ve finally found the holy grail of simple image editing/painting for OS X: Paintbrush. Read More about MS Paint for OS X: Your Life Is Now Complete

5 Free, Simple and Useful Windows Apps for Web Workers

The first thing I look at when looking at a new application is the feature list. Many of those feature lists tend to be really long, and most of the time I find myself using an app without taking advantage of its lesser-known features.

A program’s usefulness isn’t necessarily proportional to the size of its feature list. There are some apps out there which have only one function and a minimalist interface. This doesn’t mean that they’re less useful than their feature-rich brethren.

I’ve compiled a short list of free, single-function Windows apps that web workers can add to their toolbox. They’re worth looking at if you want some added useful functionality without putting too much strain on your computer’s resources.


pushpinWhat it does: PushPin gives you the option to have any window “always on top”. This means that you can have inactive windows on top of your active window.

Why it’s useful: It’s a helpful tool when you’re copy-pasting text or code from one window to another: you don’t have to go back to the taskbar to choose another window. This is especially useful if the source of the text can’t be copy-pasted and you have to retype it, such as text embedded in PDFs, image files, etc.

Details: You can learn more about PushPin here. According to the web site, it runs on Windows 95 to NT4, but I’ve used it on both Windows XP and 7 without any problems. Read More about 5 Free, Simple and Useful Windows Apps for Web Workers

FlexCal for Mac Adds Events to iCal Easily

Love it or hate it, iCal comes with the Mac OS X operating system, so I’m always on the lookout for how to use it better.

Once Google added synchronization support for iCal back in July, I did integrate the basic scheduler into my web work, but I always found it cumbersome to add events quickly. For a while, I actually found it easier to just create events in my Google Calendar since I already had my browser open. Then I stumbled onto FlexCal, a freeware utility that’s not glitzy, but does the trick.

Read More about FlexCal for Mac Adds Events to iCal Easily