The Download Blog

Joost gets back on our radar with iPhone app

If ever there was a Web service that experienced a rapid fall from grace, it was online video start-up Joost. What started out as a much anticipated new service ultimately fell short of expectations and has recently struggled for attention. Friday, Joost released an iPhone app for its service that might be a game changer. Joost's iPhone app lets users stream and watch any of Joost's 46,000-plus videos for free.

Say what you will about Joost's library of content, the concept behind this app is fantastic. The ability to stream a movie, TV show, or other … Read more

Featured Freeware: SmartClose

It's deceptively simple, but this application quickly and cleanly closes all programs, and just as easily restores them. SmartClose's five-icon interface smartly uses tooltips to quickly and adequately explain program operation. Intermediate to advanced users should be able to install and use the program with no further instruction.

SmartClose's primary function leads the user through a wizard to close all programs except for critical Windows functions. Listed options are well-explained as the program advances. Before closing anything, the application takes a quick system snapshot; storing it to reset your computer to that same state at a later … Read more

Food Network launches mobile app

The Food Network announced Friday that it has launched a new mobile application through its Web site that will offer visitors a listing of seasonal recipes, videos from its hosts, and cooking tips.

Dubbed Food Network Mobile, the company's new mobile application attempts to offer speed and usability for busy supermarket shoppers. The page features three links that allow users to browse all holiday recipes, Alton Brown's recipes, and a slew of videos from the network. A search box above the links allows users to search for specific recipes they can't find elsewhere on the site.

"… Read more

Featured Freeware: Sage

Sage is a basic RSS feed and news aggregator for Firefox. Its no-nonsense approach and ease of use will appeal to all user levels.

The extension is meshed with Firefox's sidebar. It's very easy to navigate, with buttons for checking and searching feeds, and two view panels. The top panel displays each feed that you're subscribed to, and the bottom panel displays the specific feed headlines. The Options menu gives you display options, and lets you manage your feeds. Copying and pasting feed URLs to add them to our list of feeds is as easy as it … Read more

iPhone apps of the week

Before I get to this weeks apps, I found out about some bargain basement prices for a small selection of apps from Ambrosia Software. Aki Mahjong Mobile, Mondo Solitaire, and Mr. Sudoko are all on sale for 99-cents at the app store until November 30th (usually $9.99). If you have any interest in these games, now is the time to start downloading!

For this weeks apps, I'm including one free and one paid app.

The Weather Channel for iPhone and iPod touch offers a wealth of weather information beyond what you get from the free app that's … Read more

Featured Freeware: Secunia PSI

Not only does Secunia Personal Software Inspector provide extensive details on the software installed on your computer, it also gives you direct links to update programs that are older and potentially not secure.

The interface mixes professional layout with a text-heavy, spartan design. At the top right of the program window, users can choose a Simple or Advanced layout. Under Simple, Secunia provides basic information about the installed program statuses, with a chart to gauge their security over time and a simplified listing of any errors. Clicking on an error leads you through the proprietary Easy-to-Patch program update process, which … Read more

How to: Get multiple custom signatures in Gmail

If you've got several Gmail accounts and are frequently having to juggle signatures for each of them, worth downloading is Blank Canvas' Gmail Signatures. This experimental Firefox extension will drop in one of four custom HTML signatures based on whichever account you're sending the message from. If you're like me and have two or more accounts, setting this up is a big time saver.

Once installed, you get a new drop-down menu that lets you select one of your four custom signatures. These can be managed directly within Gmail, and come with an editor that shows you … Read more

First Look video: Picasa 3

Google's recent release of Picasa 3 (review) introduced a dozen changes to the already popular photo organizer.

A few are small, overdue bridges between the desktop app and Web Albums that greatly impact your work flow, and some are much more ambitious features that substantially extend Picasa's abilities. Almost all of them hit the mark (there is one exception.)

This First Look video takes you on a tour of some of the more salient features of this terrific desktop app for everyday storing, editing, and sharing.

FileMenu Tools focuses on function

This freeware utility is a boon for users looking to manager their file menus. FileMenu Tools's simple interface logically presents all functions and menus. Most users should have no problem quickly learning to operate this application. A detailed Help file is available for those novices new to the file menu.

Operating FileMenu Tools merely means manipulating select pull-downs and function icons. Users choose a menu and use the Actions function list to add commands, submenus, or separators. Deleting and moving menu items also takes only a click. Clicking a menu item displays basic function descriptions and properties when available.… Read more

Buzz Buddy for iPhone knows when it's safe to drive home

As the holiday season approaches, get-togethers have a tendency to grow...merry. After slurping up a couple spirited mugs full of glogg or 'nog, will you know when you're fit to drive home?

You might if you've tracked your drink intake with Buzz Buddy for iPhone and iPod Touch ($0.99). It can't guarantee you'd pass a breathalyzer test, but this blood alcohol calculator gets close.

After entering your gender, weight, and whether you've already consumed alcohol, you'll tap the drink type you're about to imbibe--standard measures of beer, wine, cocktail, and shots. … Read more