The Download Blog

Power Downloader e-mails large files

Summer is fast approaching, and Power Downloader is fielding lots of vacation-related questions. Kitty Kilobyte wants to know what's the best way to send her friends and family photos and video of her upcoming trip to South America. Pando for Windows and Mac is the way to go, says Power D.

Power then explains that with Pando installed, Kitty can drag and drop her large folder of images and WMVs into the Pando interface, which lets her send Power D, Francois Foto, and virtually anybody else in her address book a message with a link. When Power clicks that … Read more

First Look video: Adobe Reader

While there are other PDF readers out there, the Adobe Reader for Windows and Mac is used the most. Adobe's mastery of the Portable Document Format has been nearly indisputable until recently, and even with stiff competition the Adobe Reader has the name recognition that most users trust. But is it really the best one out there? Get up close and personal with the Reader in this First Look video, judge for yourself, and let us know in the comments below.

Opera 9.5 to include antimalware protection

On Friday Opera announced that version 9.5 of the browser (download Opera 9.5 beta for Windows or Mac) will include built-in antimalware protection from Haute Secure (download for Windows 32-bit or Windows 64-bit).

This is, of course, to counter the antimalware protection built into Firefox 3, currently available as a final release candidate (download for Windows or Mac). Firefox uses data from Google and StopBadware to block a site before it loads on your browser.

Haute Secure counters that its offering is better because it relies upon a community of dedicated users to inform the product when to … Read more

Enhance OpenOffice.org with free extensions and templates

You could create every document, spreadsheet, and presentation you work on from scratch, but if you're like me, you'll likely spend more time futzing with the file's layout and design than entering the data that comprises it.

That's why I rely on the many free templates and extensions for my favorite productivity apps. I've written in the past about places to find add-ons for Microsoft Office, but there's also a wealth of free extensions and templates for OpenOffice.org's Writer word processor, Calc spreadsheet, and Impress presentation program.

Start at OpenOffice.org's … Read more

Featured Freeware: Session Manager

Session Manager can save, backup, restore, and manage multiple Firefox tab sessions. It comes with the option of loading the last saved session, not loading a previous session, loading a specific older session, or asking the user to choose. If it stopped there, it'd still be more powerful than the native Firefox session manager is but it has more to offer.

In addition, it can save more than 20 older sessions, and offers users several options for session management when closing Firefox. The plug-in automatically backs up sessions in the event of a crash. Users can also configure how … Read more

First Look video: ZoneAlarm

Every computer user needs security software to keep him or her safe on the Web. Along with antispyware and antivirus programs, a good software firewall is a must-have to keep hackers away from your data. Firewalls also are useful for determining which programs are making contact with outside sources. If you're looking for a solid software firewall, look no further than ZoneAlarm .

For a quick rundown of how the ZoneAlarm firewall protects your computer, check out this First Look with CNET Download.com's Jason Parker.

Fixes for the GIMP

Freeware image editor the GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP to its friends, gets a bucketload of small tweaks and bug-fixes.

The freeware Photoshop analogue includes improvements for a wide range of features, but doesn't include anything new. Many of the changes fix tool errors. Curves, antialiasing, the Healing brush, TIFF loading and others received retouching. Several plug-ins and how the program handles them also got a boost, including Unsharp Mask, JPEG saving, Gaussian blur, and others. The full list of changes can be read here.

Google Maps mobile gets updated in celebration of $5 gas

Google Maps updated with public transit information and routing back in mid-2007 (see story here), but missing was a way to access that same layer of information on your mobile phone. Today that's changed with the latest version of Google's mobile maps app.

The updated service now includes searchable transit maps and schedules from more than 40 cities in the U.S. and close to 20 others around the globe. It also takes advantage of the built-in location finder to help you find transportation hubs that are nearby, saving you time from having to ask directions while out … Read more

Spyware Horror Story: Confounded by hosts

Published by Mesila; San Francisco, CA

I recently had unknown malware that was causing Windows to keep rebooting at odd moments. Another thing it did was install a kazillion services and then have all of them running at once. It wasn't something that any scanner would pick up--and being big on file sharing, I've made it a point to keep a whole army of antimalware programs around. I'm assuming the culprit was either one that was new at the time, or a variant that had morphed itself from an older version. Eventually, after a lot of fussing … Read more

First Look video: WordWeb

This excellent freeware program will stop you from ever fretting over a definition or antonym again. WordWeb offers hot-key lookup and offline resources in a smart package.

In addition to displaying definitions, synonyms, and antonyms, WordWeb can find sets of related words. The database has more than 150,000 root words and 120,000 synonym sets, and plenty of proper nouns, pronunciations, and usage tags. It can't tell you when you've split your infinitives or garbled your gerunds, but it gives great word accuracy on the fly.