Inspired by games from the 2016 Self-Care Jam (which Kotaku mined for favourites), MetaFilter users recently named their favourite calming video games. Some will be familiar, but others are deep cuts by independent developers. Most aren't for winning or losing, just exploring, interacting and existing. None of them force you to battle other players in a tense show-down. Try these out if you're too stressed out for Overwatch or Plague Inc.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
iTunes users all know the aggravating feeling every time you plug your phone into your car, or idly hit play: The first song in your library comes on, feeling less like music and more like an alarm clock, and you rush to turn it back off. And then you never again want to play Adele or Abbey Road or "Ain't No Sunshine". iTunes has poisoned your mind.
It seems like a lot of web pages are disappearing from the internet these days. If you feel like taking on archiving duties for yourself, there are a variety of tools for doing so.
Windows/Mac/Linux: When it comes to notes apps, you have a seemingly endless trail of options, but it's rare to find one that's cross-platform, supports the Evernote-style of rich notes, and works without needing an account somewhere. Collate is just that.
Using a password manager is basically internet security 101 these days, but that doesn't make them any less intimidating. If you've never used a password manager, they're annoying, cumbersome to use, and baffling at a glance. 1Password is one of the easiest to use options around, but that doesn't mean you don't need some help setting it up.
Mac: We've seen plenty of Pomodoro timers over the years, but Tomates might be the most full featured option around.
Last year, Opera, the little browser that everyone seems to forget about, rolled out a free VPN. While it immediately ran into a security problem by leaking IP addresses, it's now been patched up, and is easily the simplest, cheapest and reasonably private way to access a VPN right now. It does come with a slew of caveats though.
Mac: Apple might have pulled the battery life indicator out of the MacBook, but there are plenty of third-party ways to bring it back. If you're looking for something a little more fun than just a number, Juice let's you set your own customisable icons for different battery levels.
When it first launched, Bear was an intriguing alternative to bloated note-taking apps like Evernote and OneNote, but it was still a little too new to dive into. After a couple of minor iterations, I'm convinced it's a worthy alternative for those sick of the bloat of other notes apps and for those who like the take-home simplicity of plain text. Provided you're in the Apple ecosystem, anyway.
We've seen a few different tools for Windows-esque window management on Mac over the years, but none of those ever fit well with my workflow. Magnet is an app that's been around for a while, but a few recent updates have finally made it the app I need.
Mac: When Spark initially launched on Mac, it had enough features to get by, but it still needed to check off a few boxes to convince power users to give it a look. In an update today, they have added a few new tools for managing your email.
Mac: Since the influx of fancier notes apps like Evernote, OneNote or even Simplenote, the art of the disposable scratchpad has disappeared a little. The aptly named Scratchpad brings that idea back to the Mac.