The Download Blog

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

Major security flaw in Internet Explorer opens PCs to hijacking

Major security flaw in Internet Explorer opens PCs to hijacking

Update: On May 1, Microsoft released a fix for Internet Explorer -- all affected versions: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Surprisingly, that includes versions that run on Windows XP -- though Microsoft no longer supports XP, the severity of this security flaw prompted the company to patch XP-compatible versions. Your system should download the patch automatically; if it doesn't, enable automatic Windows Update.

This weekend Microsoft issued a security advisory for Internet Explorer, warning that hackers can exploit a vulnerability that lets them run commands on remote computers. In other words, hackers exploiting this flaw can hijack … Read more

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

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