The Download Blog

Yahoo discontinues Vista-optimized IM program

One of the first applications designed to run only on Windows Vista has been discontinued.

Yahoo said on Friday that it has stopped development of Yahoo Messenger for Vista, a Vista-specific version of its instant-messaging program.

The custom implementation of Yahoo Messenger was one of the earliest, most mainstream, and highest profile programs to only run on Windows Vista.

"Yahoo has made the strategic decision to discontinue external releases of the stand-alone Yahoo Messenger for Vista client and focus on delivering one Windows experience that is optimized for Windows users today," Yahoo's Terrell Karlsten said in a … Read more

Featured Freeware: BIOS Agent

This is an efficient, easy-to-use tool to help you figure out the details that make your computer tick. BIOS Agent is a lightweight freeware application with a clean and well-designed interface that lets you get the information you need with only a few button presses.

The program can retrieve information on the type of BIOS your computer runs and chipset type, as well as information on CPU, ROM, and RAM. Once you've gathered the details you need, you can save the report in TXT format or print it. There's no installation required for BIOS Agent, and it should … Read more

Video playback on Google Android: Is that all?

Does it strike anyone else as odd that Google has left some basic capabilities to third-party Android developers? Video playback in the day where multimedia is king seems like such an obvious application to perfect and include on a platform with a lot to prove, yet the only video-related application the T-Mobile G1 sports is a YouTube application.

That makes perfect sense, YouTube having been bought by Google and all, but what if the videos you want to see plain haven't been uploaded yet?

Thankfully, the Android add-on Video Player reliably fills a basic role by playing MPEG4 or … Read more

Turn almost any app into a portable app

UPDATED: Clarified the end result of AppCompactor on a standard program.

When you gotta go, advanced users should strongly consider using AppCompactor to stay mobile. Just introduced by John T. Haller of PortableApps, this portable power user's right-hand man crushes program files, often shaving 50 percent off the size of a disk.

AppCompactor melds 7-Zip and UPX to compress and archive DLLs, EXEs, JARs, and other files essential for running any program into a package that doesn't need to be unarchived to run. Programs that have been compacted run smoothly from a flash drive or other on-the-go storage … Read more

Drag and DropZones adds amazing gesture-based Web search to Firefox

I've only recently become interested in gesture-based computing. In the past I think it's been an overly complicated affair with too much learning involved, but these days with special hardware like Apple's multitouch track pad and some really fantastic Firefox plug-ins, gesture-based navigation is slowly becoming mainstream.

One Firefox plug-in that's pushing this envelope is Drag and DropZones. It's a mix of keyboard shortcuts and search engines in one simple tool that puts both together in one giant, transparent grid that can be summoned with a single drag and drop. To make it work, you … Read more

Google launches Gmail for Mobile 2.0

Google on Thursday announced that it has launched Gmail for Mobile 2.0 for J2ME-supported devices such as the Nokia N95, as well as BlackBerry phones.

According to a Gmail engineer, the focus in the second iteration of the popular e-mail client was to produce a faster and more reliable experience for users. The online application now offers faster performance and smoother scrolling, with no freezing, Google said. Users with multiple Gmail accounts also can now switch between them without using different applications to access messages.

Gmail for Mobile 2.0 offers the option to save multiple e-mail drafts in … Read more

First Look video: Cram for iPhone and iPod touch

The iPhone and iPod touch offer plenty of distractions for students just killing time between classes or on a commute. But there are infinitely more games to lure you than there are study materials to help you pass that test.

Cram ($10) is one application that may be worth the investment for students looking to create endless study guides for themselves and friends.

See how it works in the First Look video above. If you like it (or even if you don't), tell us why in the comments. Even better, rate the app here.

Yahoo plug-in gives brains to browser search

Yahoo has released a plug-in called Inquisitor that gives some new horsepower to the search box in Internet Explorer (download), Firefox (download), and Safari (download).

Inquisitor is designed to help people get to information faster, according to a Yahoo Search Blog posting Wednesday. It suggests search terms as people start typing, showing an updated list of possible Web sites below the search box. The results are individualized too: it spotlights Web pages a person has already visited and customizes search results according to previous searches.

In addition, on Internet Explorer, Inquisitor can help retrieve sites a person has bookmarked.

Inquisitor got its start on Apple's Safari, … Read more

Streaming Google results are back

When I fired up my Mozilla Firefox browser this morning, I received an unpleasant surprise. I tried my first Give Me Back My Google search of the day, only to be confronted with a 10 search results and a "Next" button for more results. What the deuce?

I haven't seen a "Next" button for Google results in a few years, ever since I installed the CustomizeGoogle extension for Firefox way back when. Along with key features such as ad blocking, secure connections for Google Docs and Gmail, and alternative search-engine results, my favorite feature of … Read more

Moblyng slides into your iPhone

I'm not one for sharing or even creating photo slide shows, honestly. I have nothing against it, really, and I love looking at other people's slide shows. My biggest pet peeve, though, is that there are so many different services, and each one requires a log-in.

I may have registered at the Kodak slide-show site three years ago, but no one has sent me a Kodak slide show in that time. So now that someone finally is, I don't even remember my password for this site!

Anyway, there are many who are into slide shows, so they'… Read more