The Download Blog

Star Apps: Lumosity's Michael Scanlon

Star Apps: Lumosity's Michael Scanlon

Michael Scanlon is the science behind Lumosity. The co-founder and chief scientific officer is an expert in cognitive training and neuroplasticity. He created the Human Cognition Project, which enables large-scale study of cognitive training in humans and oversees research collaborations in over 150 labs at prestigious universities, including Stanford and Harvard. I chatted with the Princeton and Stanford alum and researcher about the family health crisis that inspired his work, the science behind the "gym for your brain," his favorite mental exercise, the long-awaited Android version of Lumosity, and his favorite apps.

Would you tell us about your … Read more

Opera releases Coast for iPhone

Opera releases Coast for iPhone

Opera has released its Coast Web browser for the iPhone. Originally available only on iPad, Coast for iPhone now brings content-centric Web browsing to your pocket.

According to Opera, Coast's features have been optimized for maximum reach on iPhone screens. You navigate via gestures and swipes, and additional features are tucked away in two menu buttons.

Similarly to Google, Coast makes quick suggestions as you type in your search words. The iPhone version also syncs with the iPad version, provided you have an account.

Download Coast for iPhone.

Modify Web image text with Project Naptha

Modify Web image text with Project Naptha

In what appears to be nothing short of JavaScript black magic, Project Naptha allows you to select and modify text from any Web image. Using character-recognition technology derived from several sources, such as Microsoft Research Lab and Google's Tesseract open-source OCR engine, the Project Naptha extension also enables you to remove, translate, and edit text in Web images. You simply move your cursor over text to highlight and start editing.

Project Naptha will help when you want to search terms or words inside an image. You can also translate directly onto pictures -- great for maps and travel planning … Read more

See what happens when you combine Flappy Bird and 2048

See what happens when you combine Flappy Bird and 2048

The recent success of easy-to-pick-up but hard-to-master games like Flappy Bird and 2048 has made mobile developers rethink their strategy for creating a hit game. Some developers have taken the easy way out, making clones like Flappy Plane, Flappy Bee, and Smarcle Flyer. But other developers have simply combined the two games.

Flappy48

Flappy48's ease of use may trick you into thinking it's elementary. Not only are you juggling the tapping rhythm of Flappy Bird and the mental math of 2048, but you're also having to keep up with the strategy of Snake. Grab number boxes as … Read more

Star Apps: Berlin's Terri Nunn

Star Apps: Berlin's Terri Nunn

Seminal new-wave band Berlin has returned to a more electronic sound on its latest release, "Animal," which the band is currently supporting on tour. Part '80s synthpop, part contemporary EDM, the record should appeal to nostalgia seekers and current club kids alike. The racy title track is as sultry as band classics "Sex (I'm a...)" and "Pleasure Victim." Vocalist Terri Nunn talks about the move back to electronica; the successes and failures of her platinum-selling, Oscar-winning band (for "Take My Breath Away" from "Top Gun"); her sex symbol status … Read more

Star Apps: Semi Precious Weapons

Star Apps: Semi Precious Weapons

It's been four long years since Semi Precious Weapons released "You Love You" (2010), the follow-up to its debut, "We Love You" (2008). The LA-based quartet is best known for supporting artists such as Lady Gaga and Kesha, and now it's back with "Aviation," whose kick-off single, "Aviation High," is in heavy rotation on alternative rock radio. The 12-track disc, produced by Grammy-winning, multiplatinum producer Tricky Stewart (Beyoncé, Rihanna, Frank Ocean) finds the band flying from its rock roots into more R&B and pop territory. Semi Precious … Read more

Star Apps: Linkin Park

Star Apps: Linkin Park

Linkin Park is always looking for innovative ways to deliver visuals to fans, whether through apps, online gaming, or Facebook Kinect video. The musicians -- who are also avid gamers -- met software developers Team Dakota at E3 and learned about Project Spark, a game-maker video game (for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows 8). Linkin Park saw the potential for a unique collaboration, and the result is the first fully interactive, remixable music video within a video game for the band's latest single, "Guilty All the Same."

Now the band is inviting fans to put their … Read more

Star Apps: Adult

Star Apps: Adult

Adult first exploded onto the electronic scene back in 2002 with the single "Contagious" from debut album "Resuscitation." Last year's "The Way Things Fall" demonstrates that the electro-punk duo has only improved with age. Adult will soon be mixing tracks from this latest LP into a career-spanning set at Moogfest 2014 (April 23-27).

What can you tell us about your upcoming Moogfest performance? We use the same principles for songwriting that we use for playing live. We try to write songs we would like to hear, and we try to put together a … Read more

6 security tips for using public Wi-Fi

6 security tips for using public Wi-Fi

Don't expose yourself in public. We all do it: switch on a phone, laptop, or tablet and hop on to a Wi-Fi hotspot in airports, coffee shops, trains, hotels, and other public places. The problem is, those networks are open -- even if they require a login and password, you may be sharing your files or leaving doors open to data thieves. You can't secure the network, but you can raise siege walls between your private information and the barbarians. Follow these six tips to network more safely.

1. Lock down your security settings.

Go to the security … Read more

Star Apps: Joe Satriani

Star Apps: Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani first gained attention as a six-string teacher in the late '70s, but that was only a stepping stone to platinum records and 15 Grammy nominations. "When I moved from New York to Berkeley, I was spending way too much time in this guitar store playing everything," Satriani says. "The owner said, 'You're not just going to sit here and play these guitars all day long. How about you give lessons?' I said, 'Oh, I don't want to do that again,' but he talked me into it. It was during that time when Kirk … Read more