The Download Blog

Adobe Lightroom 2.2 supports 5D Mark II

Adobe Systems released Lightroom 2.2 on Monday night, catching up the photography software's support for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and several other newer cameras, building in the camera profiles feature, and mashing a number of bugs.

The update (downloads available for Mac OS X and Windows) is the second half of Adobe's one-two punch for supporting the "raw" image files produced by several higher-end cameras. The first half came in late November when Adobe updated Photoshop's raw-conversion software.

Raw files provide more editing flexibility than camera-produced JPEGs, but they also require manual processing. Software such as Lightroom and Apple's Aperture can handle this processing, along with cataloging, labeling, and printing. With the constant parade of new cameras, the software must be frequently updated.

Another change in version 2.2 is built-in camera profiles, which give photographers various options for tone and color for their images. I've been strongly recommending them since their release on Adobe Labs; I apply the "camera faithful" profile when importing my images to give what I feel is a more natural look. However, Lightroom profiles aren't available for all cameras.

Since Canon started shipping the 5D Mark II in late November, photographers have been avidly blogging about the arrival of their new $2,700, 21-megapixel, full-frame SLRs--or not-so-avidly about them being backordered. One refrain notes the absence of Lightroom support; Adobe and Apple write their own raw conversion software, which must be updated for each new camera's proprietary raw file format. … Read more

CNET TV: 10 Firefox keyboard shortcuts

Which gives you faster browsing in Firefox, the keyboard or the mouse?

The keyboard, of course. Every time you lift your fingers to open a new page or switch tabs, you lose seconds of productivity time.

Commit some of CNET Executive Editor Tom Merritt's tips to memory, however, and that precious time can become yours again.

Control Tab is my favorite shortcut. Which is yours?

Ad-Aware gets an antivirus cousin

Updated December 17 at 9:00 a.m. PST with a comment from Lavasoft.

Lavasoft on Monday unveiled a new antivirus application it hopes will do as well as its runaway hit Ad-Aware.

The encore, Lavasoft Anti-Virus Helix, is Lavasoft's first full-fledged antivirus application. The problem is, it's nearly identical to one that already exists: Avira AntiVir.

A Lavasoft vice president told CNET in an e-mail:

Yes, we do have a technology partnership with Avira for the anti-virus engine technology, as our company expertise is in anti-spyware. We have customers who have been asking us for years to … Read more

Zannel brings media-rich microblogging to iPhone

Zannel, a media-rich microblogging service that launched in late 2007, has a new and free iPhone application that puts many of its features on to the popular portable device.

Called CityWatch, the app takes a similar approach to Loopt and Whrrl in allowing you to see and interact with what's going on in your general proximity. It does this by taking each item that's been posted to Zannel and overlaying it onto a map using its geo tag. This also includes items from other networks, like Twitter, Flickr, and eventually any other service that has an open API.… Read more

Gmail gets a proper PDF viewer

Gmail's integrated software-free PDF viewer has received a nice upgrade courtesy of Google Docs. Now opening up a PDF in Gmail won't fire up your native PDF viewer (like the slow-to-load Adobe Acrobat), and instead will send you to the document reader built into Google Docs.

There are two other benefits to this, the first being the updated page view which lets you hop around the document a whole lot faster. The other is the built-in zoom, which scales the text to fit your monitor with a higher degree of detail than the text resizer found in your … Read more

Featured Freeware: TipCam

Folks looking for free screen-recording applications may be well aware of Jing Project and CamStudio. TipCam is equally deserving, if not more so.

The freeware screen recorder loads a scosh more than the basics into an attractive and compact display, and throws in a few tricks all its own. We're talking about drawing on the screen with your mouse while you record, and recording remote desktops via a VNC server. Brilliantly, if you press the hot key to zoom in, the framing brackets will follow your mouse until or unless you lock them in place.

Unfortunately, the TipCam control … Read more

iPhone apps of the week

Before we get to this week's apps, I ran into a problem recently with my iPhone that I was able to quickly fix after a little online research. I had recently synced my iPhone only to find that most of my music was gone. When I got home and plugged in to my computer I saw that most of my storage space was taken up by "Other." Only about a third was music, about 900MB for apps (you better believe it!), and some smallish amount for photos. But more than half of the storage space out of … Read more

Google Chrome breaks out of beta

Google's browser, Chrome, is officially leaving beta today.

Yesterday at the Le Web 08 conference in Paris, Google VP Marissa Mayer told TechCrunch's Mike Arrington that the move would be happening, but she did not say when. Google representatives have confirmed the Thursday change of status for Chrome.

How to get it The first people to get the non-beta version will be new users who download the browser directly from Google. Also Thursday, a small proportion of existing Chrome users will automatically get the update. On Friday, all the remaining Chrome users (10 million, according to Google) will … Read more

The home stretch: Skype's third 4.0 beta

Those of you following the progress of Skype's beta series for version 4.0 already know that the seminal VoIP caller has been striving to get people interested in--and even aware of--Skype other features by rearranging its program's interface in time for version 4.0.

On Thursday, Skype released Skype 4.0 beta 3 for Windows, the third--and as far as we know, final--beta in the development series.

In addition to Internet telephony, Skype wants to make it easier to switch among IM and phone conversations, to place calls to non-Skype users' mobile phones and landlines, and to … Read more

A reason you'll want to scratch your iPhone

If you've been champing at the bit for a way to really scratch up your iPhone, this may be the application for you. No silly, I don't mean "scratching," but more like "scratchin'."

Hiroshi Okamura has released an iPhone application that lets you try out your mix-mastering skills by scratching on a virtual record. The application is called Re

If you've never tried scratching before, you have to start somewhere, right? And this way you don't run the risk of embarrassing your in front of a crowd or forcing you neighbors to … Read more