The Download Blog

Pownce invites and the rise of Adobe AIR

Adobe released the public beta of its Adobe AIR runtime environment (previously codenamed Apollo) about a month ago. The software is designed to allow the development of rich Internet applications that work on any operating system. I'm sure that there are technical differences, but it seems a lot like an amped-up widget engine to me.

Needless to say, AIR apps aren't nearly as ubiquitous as Adobe Flash apps (yet), but there have been a few interesting recent developments. The most-polished AIR application so far is Adobe Digital Editions, software for reading, downloading, and managing e-books. To learn more about it, check Seth Rosenblatt's First Look video for Adobe Digital Editions.

While Adobe Digital Editions might be the most powerful AIR app so far, the one with the most buzz is definitely the Pownce desktop client, a tool for sending content to your Pownce buddies and the Pownce Web site. (Pownce is currently in private alpha; jump down to the bottom of this post for info about how to request an invitation.)… Read more

CrossLoop beta adds file transfers to its screen sharing

I've been a big fan of the free screen-sharing software CrossLoop ever since I originally tried it back in November 2006. Basically, CrossLoop lets any two users share a desktop. One PC "hosts" the CrossLoop session and the other "joins." The computer joined to the host can see and control everything on the host PC's desktop. CrossLoop is still in beta release, but I think it's an excellent no-hassle solution for low-budget tech support.

I recently gained access to a new private beta of CrossLoop 1.1, the first major update to the software since its initial release. The past year has seen CrossLoop mostly expanding its localized language support, so it's refreshing to see some improvements to the program's feature set. There are only a few new features, but they are rather essential additions.… Read more

Azureus: First Look

From XML torrent options to IP filters, firewall tests to UPnP plug-ins, Azureus leads the way in making the torrent experience as customizable as possible. It's got enough flexibility to appeal to advanced users, but does it make it too hard for beginners to get in on the torrent action?

Watch this First Look at Azureus video to find out, and let us know your favorite torrent client in the comments below.

Work over the Web

If you're like me, you've got what feels like 60 bazillion things going on at the same time. Trying to sync text documents, digital photos, and bookmarked Web pages (as well as applications and their settings) for when I travel or work from home can be like catching water with a sieve.

Thankfully, there's a wide range of remote access programs out there. Some are free, most cost money, and choosing the right one can be a bit of a pain, so we're going to bring the world of remote access a bit closer to home, just in time for the season. Today we're looking at LogMeIn, GoToMyPC and Radmin.

Read more

Why, Wyzo?

A company named Wyzo recently released the first public version of its flagship product, the Wyzo browser. Built off the open-source Mozilla Firefox base, Wyzo is notable for incorporating the ability to download torrent files directly from the browser interface without a separate BitTorrent application.

Wyzo offers the ability to download torrent files only because of an extension named FireTorrent that comes pre-installed with the browser. The FireTorrent add-on uses technology such as iP2P, STUNT and unP2P to translate a torrent file into the actual download that the torrent represents. Unfortunately, one big problem I had with Wyzo was that I wasn't able to kill/remove any torrent downloads that stalled because of a lack of peers.… Read more