10 cutting-edge apps you've never heard of

7. Trust and verify
On the internet, no-one knows you're a dog; but there are people who know if you're trustworthy. Security company Purewire's new Purewire Trust service aggregates reputation information from your social graph to show your online reputation. You can look up that person you're buying from on eBay, to see if they're who they say they are - and if you can trust them. The same goes for sites and services, so you can see if a web advert contains malware.

8. The great internet bargain hunt
Getting the best price for that shiny gadget can be tricky. You see the price now, but has it gone up since last week, or is there a better deal elsewhere? Not every internet shop is full of bargains. Gazaro tracks prices for technology products across the web, finding and rating current bargains. The higher the rating, the better the deal. You can set up a list of items you're looking for, and get an email or tweet when there's a really good deal.

9. IBM's slice of PIE
We're all working with more and more devices, from smartphones to netbooks, as well as desktop PCs. IBM's Personal Information Environments research uses familiar IM tools to share information between applications, like having the same to do list on every device, as well as moving and synchronising files. Based on the SameTime instant messaging platform, PIE is small enough to run on a phone, and flexible enough to build complex desktop applications.

10. The social network buffet
With so many social networks we just have to join, we need tools like Sobees. This desktop application for Windows (it uses WPF) brings in information from popular social networks like Twitter and Facebook, and at the same time gives you an RSS reader and search. Each customisable module loads in a separate frame so you can see all the latest updates in one place - letting you snack on information before going on elsewhere.


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Mary (Twitter, Google+, website) started her career at Future Publishing, saw the AOL meltdown first hand the first time around when she ran the AOL UK computing channel, and she's been a freelance tech writer for over a decade. She's used every version of Windows and Office released, and every smartphone too, but she's still looking for the perfect tablet. Yes, she really does have USB earrings.