The Download Blog

Star Apps: 'Sixteen Candles'

Star Apps: 'Sixteen Candles'

"Sixteen Candles" has just turned 30. To mark this momentous event, actors Gedde Watanabe, Debbie Pollack, and Justin Henry are attending a special screening of the '80s cult classic today at San Francisco's Castro Theatre. I chatted with the trio about the film's legacy, working with director John Hughes, the scenes that you've never seen, and their favorite apps.

Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong)

Did growing up somewhat alienated as an Asian-American in Utah inform your portrayal of foreign exchange student Long Duk Dong? Absolutely not. [Laughs] There was some of the alienation where I … Read more

Apple's new iPhones, Watches, and apps

Apple's new iPhones, Watches, and apps

Today Apple announced a bushel of new products: not one but two iPhone 6s, three Apple Watches, iOS 8, Apple Pay, and assorted other apps. Here's what you need to know about the goods.

iPhone 6

What: iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen; iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch display.

When: September 19 (preorders begin Friday, September 12).

How much: iPhone 6: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 64GB, $399 for 128GB; iPhone 6 Plus: $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB, $499 for 128GB -- those are US prices, all with a two-year contract. (Bargain hunters can now … Read more

Star Apps: Julie Newmar

Star Apps: Julie Newmar

When you're an actress as inimitable as Julie Newmar, of course you have a rose, a day lily, and an orchid named in your honor. In 1995 she also inspired (and made a cameo appearance in) "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar." Best known for playing Catwoman on the "Batman" TV series, Newmar will appear as part of the California Independent Film Festival's screening of "To Wong Foo." I chatted with Julie Newmar about her most iconic roles, working with the late Robin Williams, her chemistry with Adam West, the … Read more

Star Apps: Five Finger Death Punch and Hellyeah

Star Apps: Five Finger Death Punch and Hellyeah

Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory and Hellyeah vocalist Chad Gray were outcasts before joining the metal scene. Today they're at the center of an ever-growing community of metal bands and fans. This fall they'll tour with Volbeat and Nothing More, starting September 16 in Salt Lake City.

What kind of statement are you making on this package tour? Zoltan Bathory: This is the thing about the heavy metal guys, that we're not going to go away. This is here to stay. And if things get difficult, we'll figure out how to do it anyway. … Read more

Star Apps: Circa Zero

Star Apps: Circa Zero

Rob Giles was once a Police fan, mystified by the "Ghost in the Machine" album cover. Andy Summers was once a member of The Police. Today the two play together in Circa Zero. I chatted with Rob Giles and Andy Summers about their new album, "Circus Hero," The Police, and their favorite apps.

How have people responded to a new, post-Police Andy Summers project? Andy Summers: Everybody loves us.

Rob Giles: I thought the response was going to be more polarizing, that people were going to really like it or not, but the response was overwhelmingly … Read more

Star Apps: Nervo

Star Apps: Nervo

For Mim and Liv Nervo, being the top-ranking women DJs takes a "work hard, play hard" attitude. I chatted with the first sisters of dance music, who next appear at New York's Electric Zoo Festival, about the shows, sharing DJ gigs with Paris Hilton, triumphing in a male-dominated industry, how music has healed their hearts, and their favorite apps.

What can you tell us about your Electric Zoo set? Mim: We've been playing lots of festivals this summer, so we're up to speed with our festival sets. They're short and high energy, and they … Read more

Friday Five

Friday Five

Thousands of apps and updates come out each week, but the five products that piqued our interest this week offer time-lapse videos, an iOS edition of a premium first-person shooter, 64-bit browsing, free photo editing, and 1TB of storage.

Instagram introduced another iOS app this week, Hyperlapse, a free and seriously easy way to shoot and share time-lapse videos. There's just one button, Record, and other than playback speed, there aren't lots of settings or filters to fuss with. Read our Hyperlapse review, and see CNET's simple how-to and some best practices for great videos.

If you'… Read more

5 labor-saving apps

5 labor-saving apps

On Labor Day most Americans enjoy a much-deserved day off. This work-free tribute to America's workers comes just once a year, but you can keep its spirit alive year-round with our five labor-saving apps. When you wrap up tasks quickly, you can get back to what really matters: R&R.

IFTTT ( Android, iOS, Webware)

IFTTT stands for "if this, then that," and that's exactly what the app does: build connections between apps to trigger automatic actions and save you steps. Just create a trigger, such as "Every time my boss' name is mentioned online,&… Read more

Star Apps: Retro Futura Tour 2014

Star Apps: Retro Futura Tour 2014

In the early '80s -- when the US charts were still dominated by '70s rock like Steve Miller Band, Chicago, and Foreigner -- a fresh crop of artists rose up with a revolutionary, synth-based sound that borrowed from Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder and would influence future electronic music. This second British Invasion included Howard Jones, Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey, Ultravox's Midge Ure, Katrina and the Waves' Katrina, and China Crisis. If you missed them the first time around, catch them on this summer's Retro Futura Tour. I chatted with these artists about the tour, the stories behind their … Read more

Star Apps: Armin van Buuren

Star Apps: Armin van Buuren

Grammy-nominated Armin van Buuren is more than trance music's most respected DJ/producer. Through his radio show, A State of Trance, and his "A State of Trance Classics" album series, he keeps the genre alive by highlighting what's fresh and preserving its illustrious past. US fans can taste his trance at New York's Electric Zoo Festival on August 30 or at Las Vegas' Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub on August 31.

Tell us about your Electric Zoo Festival set. It depends on the current releases, and it'll be a mix of what the people expect … Read more