The Download Blog

Featured Freeware: Comodo Firewall Pro

Don't let the name fool you, Comodo Firewall Pro is one of the best freeware programs around that can also hold its own against other pay firewalls. Previous user complaints about resource hogging and a confusing interface have been addressed and this application has never been easier to use.

It still provides a smorgasbord of information and options for advanced users, but it's simple enough for beginners, and runs smoothly and silently in the background. When you first install it, the Comodo pop-ups come often as the program "learns" your online behavior, but those soon stop. … Read more

AT&T launches its own browser, Pogo. Surprise: It doesn't suck.

The obvious first question one asks the AT&T execs when beginning a discussion of Pogo, the company's new Web browser, is "What is AT&T doing getting into the browser market?" The answer you get is, at first, amusing. It's a chance to build "another relationship with the customer," they say. They also tell you it could be a great conduit for AT&T messages (e.g., brand or product advertising). Sounds like the makings for a truly awful product, does it not?

Video demo is embedded at the end … Read more

Collect iTunes cover art with CoverScout

When Cover Flow for iTunes was first introduced, I was initially pretty excited. After all, who wouldn't want to browse through their music and movies by flipping through covers? It's almost like flipping through records or CDs at a music store. But once I got Cover Flow up on screen with iTunes, I was faced with something I'm sure a lot of people experienced--there were so few album covers associated with my music library, Cover Flow was almost useless. I've been able to add many covers to my library since, but I still had gaping sections … Read more

All-in-one tune-up from Auslogics

For fans of Auslogics Disk Defrag--and who isn't?--Auslogics offers up BoostSpeed, a utility suite that'll set you back 30 clams in your quest for a computer that runs like a cheetah.

Disk Defrag is a massively popular piece of freeware, and with good reason. It runs faster and provides more information both during the defrag process and afterwards than the native Windows defragger, and it's free. Effective and providing an essential function, there's no question that your computer runs better for it.

BoostSpeed, while effective, isn't necessarily what every user needs. It bundles … Read more

Grooveshark's stunning music service goes on a software diet

Yesterday Grooveshark launched the newest iteration of its music service, Grooveshark Lite. It's a big step forward for the company, ditching the need to download anything and creating a cleaner, tighter version of its player that runs right in your browser.

The core of the service is still retained in the Lite version. You can track what's popular, get recommendations, and listen to your saved library of tracks. The big change is the interface. Built in Adobe Flex, it's snappy, beautiful, and incredibly intuitive. It definitely takes a hint from the iPod with simple hierarchical menus that … Read more

Patches for Firefox and Flock

The past 24 hours have seen Mozilla Firefox (download from CNET Download.com for Windows and Mac) getting another security hole plugged, while its social-networking derivative Flock (also at CNET Download.com for Windows and Mac) earns a minor behavioral bug fix.

Firefox's most recent safety snafu is another JavaScript engine security problem that was causing the browser to crash during JavaScript garbage collection. Although there was no indication that this error was exploitable, says Mozilla, other similar errors in the past were. Not to mention the benefit of not having your browser randomly going kablooey.

Flock's fixRead more

Featured Freeware: Simplify Media

Although it hasn't exactly exploded into the mainstream music-listening population, the music-sharing application Simplify Media has a growing network of fans--in no small part because it's available for Windows, Mac, and soon the iPhone. When you install it, you must choose to sync with either Winamp or iTunes playlists, although you can change your preferred program after installation. After setup and restarting your music player, you'll see a "Simplify Media" selection in your left-hand navigation. Expand it, and you can browse all of the music available from you and your friends.

Claims of resource hogging … Read more

Corel refreshes WinZip and WordPerfect

Safe and dependable software old-timers WordPerfect and WinZip have been bestowed with some upgrades. WordPerfect gets a major overhaul with Version X4, while WinZip's 11.2 adds some new features to the program, the first update in a year.

You can read the full CNET Reviews analysis of WordPerfect X4 here, but in short, it's a good, solid improvement on what has gone before in the suite even if it is cost-prohibitive and not quite as spiffy as one would hope. It's able to gracefully handle more than 60 document formats, including the nascent Open Document Format, … Read more

Killer Download: Share your photos with Web albums

I take a lot of pictures with my digital camera at birthdays, family gatherings, and other events, so I'm always on the lookout for new ways to share the photos. As new programs hit the scene and older programs evolve over time, my favorites change because of various factors like ease of use, number of features, and of course, the king of all reasons: price.

One of the best ways I've found to share pictures with friends and family is to make them as accessible as possible by creating Web albums. With the right software, you can lay … Read more

Apple plugs security holes in Safari on Mac, PC

Apple on Wednesday released an update to the Safari browser that plugs security holes on Macintosh and Windows machines.

Safari 3.1.1 fixes two Safari vulnerabilities that affect Windows XP or Vista and two WebKit vulnerabilities that affect Mac OS and Mac OS X Server versions 10.4.11 and 10.5.2, as well as Windows XP or Vista.

One of the two WebKit vulnerabilities could put computer users at risk of a cross-site scripting attack that can inject malicious code onto a victim's computer. The vulnerability was discovered during the PWN to OWN contest at CanSecWest last monthRead more