Improve your posture with Nekoze

Everyday, many of us spend hours sitting on a chair staring at a screen, be it at work or at home. The average Briton now spends more than 20 hours a day sitting down. In fact, spending more than 6 hours a day sitting can increase your risk of heart attack by more than 50%.

Now I could list a bunch of statistics from surveys and experiments that may or may not be soundly executed, or scare you with how bad sitting posture can misallign bones and cause serious muscle ache, but I’m not going to do that. Why? Because I’m not a f*cking doctor and don’t know enough about the subject to question those claims, that’s why (and for those who do know what about the topic, please share your insights in the comments).

Regardless, evidence for good posture leading to a healthier lifestyle does exist, so for those of you who want to better themselves, you should get ergonomic chairs, or a standing desk perhaps. If you can’t afford that, you may as well give Nekoze a shot (it’s free!).

Nekoze

Nekoze is a lightweight menubar item of a f*cking cat, which may suck if you hate cats. Otherwise, you’re in luck, because you now have a cat that will piss you off everytime you f*ck up and start slouching, which is good.

By identifying a straight posture when setting up, Nekoze uses your webcam to monitor your posture. If you start to slouch, it will meow at you. What a nightmare. You want this cat to stop meowing at you, right? So sit the f*ck up and it will. What a great cat. Keep on slouching, and it will show an on-screen alert of it being pissed off at you.

Now for those of you who are thinking, this is bullsh*t, I don’t want a cat telling me what to do – too bad, suck it up, it’s for your own good. If you insist on being a wimp about it, you can adjust the settings of how harsh it is on you, and how often it gets pissy.

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You can also disable the sound if you have coworkers frowning at you every time your computer meows. Not such a bad cat after all.

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Download Nekoze for free here.

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Vecte: A more beautiful application switcher

Hitting command (⌘) + Tab brings up the native app switcher, allowing you to switch through your open applications by hitting tab.

Vecte is a lightweight application that beautifies the function, discretely displaying the application list from the corner of your screen, rather than from the native center overlay.

Just install and use, no setting up necessary!

Download Vecte here.

How to: Sync Messages on your Mac with your iOS device

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There are a surprising amount of people who have an iPhone as well as a Mac, and they don’t even know that Messages can be synced to your Mac. It’s probably one of the best features of Messages on Mac, it’s significantly easier to respond to messages from your computer, over touch typing on your device.

So, instead of having to type out messages on your phone, you can use your computer when you have it on you, and save yourself a nice amount of time by typing on a real keyboard.

Step 1: Go to your Applications folder, and launch Messages.

Step 2: You know the drill here, open the Messages preferences.

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Step 3: Check that your Apple ID is signed in and enabled for the application. Tick off the boxes for the contact points you want to be reached for (the phone number and/or email that is associated with your Apple ID. You can also specify where you want the messages to be sent from when starting a conversation from your computer (for instance, I use my email address as my sending point for my computer, as opposed to my phone number from my iPhone).

All done! Don’t forget, you can adjust your notification settings for Messages in System Preferences, if the pop up banners bother you.

Desktop Notifications for Facebook

Desktop Notifications is an experimental tool built by a Facebook engineer. It provides a discrete menubar icon that turns blue when you have a new notification, and allows you to see your past notifications, inbox, as well as providing direct links to updating your status, and reaching your news feed and profile.

The application integrates with Growl, allowing small notification bubbles to pop up when activity you’ve chosen to be notified for has occurred on your Facebook. Clean and lightweight, this application is handy if you want to always know what’s going on with your Facebook, not so much if you can’t afford to waste time on social networking.

Download Desktop Notifications here.

Alfred App

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My first post in a long time is bound to be a good one. For that reason, I decided to post about Alfred. This is by far my most used application. Simply put, it is a local and web search tool. For the basic user, it lets you launch your applications, or directly search on the search engine of your choice, including websites like IMDB, Amazon, and YouTube.

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It can also perform basic power functions of a Mac, e.g. you can log out or lock your computer by simply bringing up the Alfred window and typing in ‘log out‘ or ‘lock‘. Alfred is available for free, with a purchasable Powerpack, providing additional features including iTunes navigation and theme implementation.

If I had to pick one third party application for my Mac, this would be it.

More information here.
Download here.