The Download Blog

Featured Freeware: DC++

Part community and mostly file sharing, DC++ occupies an unusual niche in the P2P game. Unlike torrents, which are direct peer connections, or centralized networks like LimeWire, DC++ manages connections to hubs. Most hubs are built around an interest, such as science fiction or movies. From there, you can chat and share files with other peers who are connected to the same hub.

However, many hubs place restrictions on connections to ensure that users are devoting their attention to the hub. The number of hubs you can connect to depends on how many Upload share slots you give, and you … Read more

Featured Freeware: WirelessKeyView

This utility is absolutely utilitarian, and may strike users accustomed to a bit of visual flash and bang or superfluous features as being sparse. However, WirelessKeyView does precisely what it promises, and every additional feature builds on the central purpose.

The main feature lets you view the passwords your Wi-Fi manager has stored, useful if you've forgotten what they are. The spreadsheet-style main window shows the properties on any stored network name. Users can view not just the ASCII password, but also the Hex key, the adapter type, and the adapter GUID. If you want to copy any of … Read more

iPhone apps of the week

Apple's iPhone App Store grows every day with new free and paid offerings. The lion's share of apps (and clearly the most popular) have been games, now with 626 digital time wasters at the time of this writing. I check the App Store almost every day for new stuff--mostly in the free category, but I've also bought my share of iPhone apps, too.

What do I look for? To be honest, I like it all--from the completely useless, but funny programs to the legitimately useful everyday apps. When I sift through the various lists of apps on … Read more

Earn your bandwidth black belt

Comcast has thrown down the bandwidth gauntlet. Starting in October, Comcast broadband users will be restricted to 250GB worth of downloads per month. When asked whether the cable company was planning on offering a bandwidth meter to customers, a Comcast representative stated that it hopes to, eventually, but until then Google would be a nice place to find one.

So, I've come up with a list of free bandwidth monitoring software for Windows and Mac that should tide you over until Verizon brings some Fios action to your hood.

First off, let's look at BitMeter. When running, it … Read more

More tidbits on the new Comcast cap (updated)

Thursday's news about the upcoming 250 GB monthly cap for Comcast data subscribers left some questions unanswered. I shot a few of my own, as well as some from readers over to Comcast to get them answered. These are mostly items that did not appear in both the post about the amendment, or the otherwise comprehensive FAQ page.

Update at 5:05 p.m. PDT: In a bizarre twist, the previous answers to my questions were answered by someone named Bill G., who Comcast says is not an authorized spokesperson for the company, despite answering my e-mail sent through … Read more

Featured Freeware: Download Accelerator Plus

This download manager brings much more to the table than fast file transfers, but it definitely delivers those, too. Upon installation, Download Accelerator Plus asks for your e-mail address in hopes of sending you special offers, but you don't actually need to submit any information.

Increased download speeds are the program's bread and butter, speeding up downloads by almost 200 percent in most cases. Besides splitting files into smaller pieces, it automatically seeks faster mirrors. It also can get a file simultaneously from several sites, which is useful if a particular site limits the download speed, it can … Read more

Comcast to cap monthly consumer broadband

Starting October 1 customers of Comcast's residential data services will have an invisible barrier on their monthly data usage. Under the new guidelines of Comcast's Acceptable Use Policy announced Thursday, that cap will be set at 250 gigabytes per month, per account.

Users who go over the limit will get a courtesy call from Comcast's customer service for the first instance. However, under the new policy a second-time offense means the service is immediately suspended for an entire calendar year.

Surprisingly the company is not providing any tools to help users monitor their current usage. An FAQ on Comcast's support siteRead more

Featured Freeware: WebMynd

This Firefox extension takes a stab at solving a common Web problem: finding again that which you had found before. WebMynd adds two very useful functions to your browsing: site-by-site recording of where you've been, and integrating your history and Delicious bookmarks into specific Google searches. It's the Back button with brains.

The site-by-site recording creates a timeline view of your browsing and a photo browser-like display. Want the site you found Friday after lunch? Rewind using the Reel view. Looking for the site with the purple logo thing? The Grid view is good for your visual memory. … Read more

Why can't they fix the Flash/Firefox bug?

Latest: Adobe's John Dowdell has a thoughtful critique of this post that also expands on the nature of the bug.

An annoying and long-lived bug is preventing some users from viewing Web videos. There's a workaround, but for many, the cure is as bad as the disease.

The bug is that Flash videos don't play for certain Firefox 3 users on Windows XP or Vista, when using the current Flash player version 9. On YouTube, CNET TV, and other sites, embedded videos will start, but they halt after two seconds. Both Mozilla and Adobe have been aware … Read more

Get remote file access, management on your iPhone with Sugarsync

Sugarsync, a pricey but excellent file-syncing and backup solution has a new iPhone application that's downright cool. It gives you access to all the files stored on computers linked up to your Sugarsync account. Better yet, it provides instant--and I do mean instant--updates when a file has been touched by you or another user by utilizing some spiffy push technology.

I got a demo of it in action a few weeks back, and it's one of the better looking applications I've seen. Like the desktop version each linked up machine has its own special icon, and all … Read more