The Download Blog

CheckUp is your Mac's first-aid kit

Most of the time our Macs run smoothly due to the well-designed Mac OS X (choose your big cat) operating system. But over time, as you download more applications, visit more Web sites, and begin to use up space on your hard drive, your Mac won't run as quickly and smoothly as it did out of the box. Some users reason that it must be a RAM or hard-drive issue, but more often than not it's a question of maintenance rather than inadequate hardware.

I've talked about programs for uninstalling old or unused apps in an earlier post, … Read more

Timelope makes your browser history public, social

I had a funny moment earlier this week when I showed Google's Chrome to one of my friends. She was floored that one of the top nine most visited sites featured on the browser's start page was Woot.com. Given how much browsing I do as part of this job I suppose it was surprising even to me, but it's also a hint of how intriguing your browsing history can be to others.

A service called Timelope is banking on that idea, letting users share their browsing history (or at least selected parts of it) with the … Read more

See Chrome's inner workings--and an Easter egg

Google's Chrome browser has as Spartan a user interface as possible, but the browser's Omnibox also turns out to be a window into a much more elaborate view of the browser.

That's because Chrome users can type several commands into the browser's address box to uncovers a wealth of nitty-gritty detail and an amusing Easter egg.

Firefox can be fine-tuned by typing "about:config" into its address bar, and other about: commands shed light on many details. Google followed suit.

Most folks won't care a whit, but the feature is notable for programmers--both … Read more

New Microsoft Office competition from Zoho, Zooos

The third annual Office 2.0 conference, which starts Thursday, is where people talk about getting real work done on the Web.

There will be no robotic ice-cream machines at the San Francisco conference. Likewise, soft-core porn start-ups won't be showing up.

Once again, I'm looking forward to hearing what's new in the world of work 2.0. First up are two productivity suites, one coming out Thursday from the hyperactive Zoho and another from a company you've probably never heard of: Zooos.

Zoho Docs: This is a new integration app on top of the company'… Read more

Featured Freeware: PhotoScape

Add another name to the roster of feature-rich freeware image editors: PhotoScape. Although it eats and leaks about as much memory as Firefox--no, really!--this editor is just about perfect for those making the jump between JPEG and am-pro digital SLR work.

The program loads fast and possesses an interface completely different from those familiar with Adobe's industry-leading tools. Users are greeted by a circular navigator complemented by a tabbed nav. on the top of the main screen. PhotoScape supports RAW, as well as all other major image formats from JPEG and PNG to animated GIFs. It comes with … Read more

Google backtracks on Chrome license terms

Updated 2 p.m., with change in license terms.

Google said on Wednesday that it plans to alter contract terms that gave the search provider broad rights to use anything entered into its new Chrome browser.

"In order to keep things simple for our users, we try to use the same set of legal terms (our Universal Terms of Service) for many of our products," Google said in a statement provided to CNET News. "Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that don'… Read more

A video first look at Chrome

On Tuesday we shot a "first look" video of Google's new Chrome browser for CNET TV. In case you're on a Mac, running Linux, or if you're avoiding going through Google's entire list of feature videos, we've broken out some of the ones that set it apart from the competition.

What's demoed:

Tab dragging off the browser and back in The omnibar search box/address bar Customized start page Incognito/"porn" mode

If you want to see the widescreen, high-resolution version, click here to be taken to the CNET TV … Read more

Firefox counters Google's browser speed test

Mozilla fought back on Wednesday with some performance results to show a forthcoming version of Firefox outpacing Google's new Web browser, Chrome.

During a launch event Tuesday, Google was eager to toot its horn about Chrome's performance running JavaScript, a programming language used to power many sophisticated Web applications such as Google Docs, Yahoo's Zimbra e-mail site, and Zoho's online application suite. Google showed performance results using its own collection of five JavaScript benchmarks and V8, Chrome's JavaScript engine, but Mozilla countered with a different test called SunSpider.

"We're very much in the … Read more

Featured Freeware: SpywareBlaster

SpywareBlaster started out as a malicious-software blocker focused on ActiveX-based attacks. It has kept that component and expanded, and now can block all kinds of spyware that gets delivered through your Web browser, although its defenses are most useful for Internet Explorer users.

The dedicated IE tools are useful. Users can block all Flash content, create encrypted backups of the Hosts file, manage browser page settings, block cookies, and create customized ActiveX blocks. Firefox and Netscape-specific protection only offers cookie blocking, but you can create a customized blacklist that will function across multiple browsers. Users can also create a system … Read more

Chrome tops IE, Firefox in Acid3 test

Google's Chrome browser is outperforming the latest "stable" builds of both Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 7 in the popular Acid3 test. The Acid test, for those who do not know, tests how well a browser complies with a given set of Web standards. While all three browsers pass the Acid2 test, Chrome currently clocks in at 78 out of 100 on Acid3, while Firefox and IE7 stand at 71 and 14 respectively. The only release quality build to beat Chrome is Opera, which scores an 83.

Even though Google has the stable builds edged out, we … Read more