The Download Blog

Star Apps: Zynga's Jonathan Knight

Star Apps: Zynga's Jonathan Knight

Jonathan Knight is not a new kid on the block or a New Kid on the Block. Zynga's VP of games is a 20-year veteran of the games business, leading development of CastleVille (iOS, Android) and recent release FarmVille 2: Country Escape, available on iOS, Android, and (as of May 13) the Kindle Fire. Besides offering a fresh setting, FarmVille 2 enables gamers to play on the go, with or without a connection, socially or solo. I chatted with Knight about his career, his first gaming experience, the enduring appeal of farming games, and his favorite non-Zynga apps.

What … Read more

Star Apps: Gia Coppola

Star Apps: Gia Coppola

With Gia Coppola, the grape doesn't fall far from the vine. Francis Ford Coppola's granddaughter, partially raised on the Coppola Family Vineyard in Napa Valley, is also in the other family business: moviemaking. Her directorial debut, "Palo Alto," is based on James Franco's first book, became a film-festival favorite, and opens nationwide on May 16. The movie, starring Franco and Emma Roberts, illuminates the underside of the high school experience -- sex, drugs, recklessness, and a desperate need for approval. I chatted with Gia Coppola about transforming the book to a film, which character she … Read more

Star Apps: Devo's Gerald Casale

Star Apps: Devo's Gerald Casale

Devo co-founder Gerald Casale dates his wine interest to 1978, after the band signed to Warner and moved to Los Angeles, during California's food and wine revolution. There the new-wave band member met and befriended many of the new-wave chefs -- Michael McCarty (Michael's), Bruce Marder (Brentwood Restaurant), Wolfgang Puck (Spago), Piero Selvaggio (Valentino), and Jeremiah Tower (Stars) -- as well as a new breed of sommeliers and winemakers. These soon-to-be culinary superstars often invited Casale to home dinners and encouraged him to try everything.

Devo went on to produce hits like "Freedom of Choice, "Whip … Read more

The software week in review

The software week in review

Welcome to our recap of recent software news, opinions, how-tos, new releases, and coming attractions. If you like these roundups, we'll do more. You can also subscribe to our newsletters to get the latest products and our editors' reviews in your inbox.

Threatdown

Heartbleed remains an open wound. Ars Technica reports that a month after the flaw's discovery, half of affected systems remain vulnerable to Heartbleed. Meanwhile, Pew Research finds that only 39% of Internet users changed their passwords because of Heartbleed.

Bitly accounts have been compromised -- go reset your passwords.

Symantec VP Brian Dye told the Wall Street JournalRead more

Star Apps: Todd Rundgren

Star Apps: Todd Rundgren

Seminal blue-eyed soul and prog-rock artist Todd Rundgren is best known for his enduring singles "I Saw the Light," "Hello It's Me," "Can We Still Be Friends," and "Bang the Drum," as well as his state-of-the-art production on Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, and Hall and Oates albums. Rundgren was also responsible for the first interactive TV concert, color graphics tablet, commercially available music downloads, and direct Internet music-subscription service.

Rundgren credits much of his success to music classes, and today, through his Spirit of Harmony foundation, he works to ensure that … Read more

Star Apps: Soleil Moon Frye

Star Apps: Soleil Moon Frye

"Punky Brewster" made actress Soleil Moon Frye an idol to millions of young children growing up in the 1980s, and now grown-up Frye has become a role model to moms. The mother of three opened the first eco-friendly baby store, The Little Seed, in 2007, then developed a successful kids' clothing line for Target and released children's book "Let's Get This Party Started." She offers mothers inspiration and information on her Moonfrye.com Web site, Facebook, and Twitter. Through Moonfrye, her tech startup, she and veteran tech entrepreneur Kara Nortman have developed the MoonfryeRead more

Star Apps: John Turturro

Star Apps: John Turturro

John Turturro has described his craft as a form of prostitution, since audiences pay actors to role-play as clients do with escorts. Now the actor enters the world's oldest profession in his latest film, "Fading Gigolo." Turturro also produced and directed the witty, well-acted comedy, co-starring Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, and Liev Schreiber. I chatted with John Turturro about directing his fifth film, how he prepared to play an escort, why capturing intimacy is more challenging than sex scenes, his three-way with Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara, and his favorite apps.

You've … Read more

Star Apps: Tribble Reese

Star Apps: Tribble Reese

Tribble Reese is used to admiration for his pretty-boy face and athletic physique, honed and toned as a college and arena-league football player. The model and athlete was voted Cosmopolitan's most eligible bachelor for South Carolina in 2008 and Jezebel's most beautiful in 2010. Since breaking out in reality TV shows "Sweet Home Alabama" and "The New Atlanta," Reese has returned to football, playing for the Elmshorn Fighting Pirates, a second-division team in Germany. I tossed some questions to Tribble Reese about his move abroad, the reality shows, dating, and mobile software.

How did … Read more

Australis goes stable in Firefox 29

Australis goes stable in Firefox 29

Today Mozilla released version 29 of Firefox. The biggest change is the introduction of the Australis theme, a visual upgrade that not only makes the browser look leaner and cleaner, but also brings major changes to developers and end users.

One major change is the toolbar overhaul. Mozilla has slimmed the toolbar area, which makes the content area more visible. New animations give users a visual indication of certain actions, like bookmarking pages. The main menu now displays large icons rather than line items, as in prior versions.

The new Mozilla Firefox is available for Windows, Mac, and Android. Download … Read more

Star Apps: Karmin

Star Apps: Karmin

A little bit of rap, a little bit of R&B, and a lot of rock 'n' roll attitude. These are the genres that platinum-selling duo Karmin is made of. Currently promoting their debut full-length, "Pulses," on tour, Karmin's Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan talked with me about their video (featuring George Takei) going viral, the ups and downs of fame, how they balance work with a relationship, and their favorite apps.

You had George Takei narrate your new video. How did that happen? Nick: We don't really know. He said yes, so we're … Read more