Turn Web Pages into Desktop Gadgets

Opening a Web browser to check the news is for suckers. Wouldn't it be better if your very desktop housed live, constantly updated snippets of Web pages? That way you could keep all sorts of useful information at your fingertips. Ten years ago, something very much like that -- then called "Active Desktop" -- was actually a part of Windows. Now you can get it back. And it's pretty awesome.

Snippage is a free utility that lets you cut out part of a Web page and position it anywhere on the desktop. The snippet refreshes its content automatically (you set the schedule).

I love this program. The snips behave a lot like gadgets -- when you mouse over them, a title bar appears so you can reposition it or change settings like how frequently it refreshes. You can trim pages down to just the essential elements you care about, and clicking a link in one of these launches a new page in your browser. For example, my wife has adopted Snippage for the Bing photo-of-the-day; she now has a search box embedded on her desktop, and she enjoys exploring the new photo every morning when she gets to work.

My only complaint is that Snippage is not a true Windows gadget (it runs on Adobe Air). As a result, you can't use the Windows 7 Show Desktop button to peek at Snippage clips on the desktop; they hide along with all your other windows.