The Download Blog

Red Hat lives on the edge with Fedora 9

Red Hat on Tuesday released the ninth incarnation of its enthusiast version of Linux, making a move that rival Ubuntu couldn't: the inclusion of the KDE 4 user interface.

That's because Fedora and Ubuntu have different approaches to new projects such as KDE 4, which is new, significantly different from KDE 3.5, and not yet settled down.

Red Hat has two versions of Linux, the free Fedora that's designed as a proving ground that can get new projects into the hands of early adopters while helping those projects to mature, and the subscription-fee-based Red Hat Enterprise LinuxRead more

Mac Office sales soar on Apple's gains

While Apple's market share gains are cause for consternation for many in Redmond, one unit is clearly benefiting.

Microsoft's Mac unit is set to disclose on Tuesday that copies of the new Office for Mac 2008 are flying off the shelves at three times the rate of its predecessor. The company wouldn't disclose sales numbers, but said the sales are the highest in the 19-year history of the unit. That continues a trend that has been going on for some time.

Senior marketing manager Amanda Lefebvre declined to give all of the credit to Apple, but said … Read more

Featured Freeware: K9 Web Blocker

For a free Internet filter, K9 Web Blocker does its job well, providing a broad collection of options for customizing your remote Web supervision needs. The app comes with a handful or so of predesigned filters and an option to customize. With more than 50 categories for organizing Web sites, and the keyword-free proprietary K9 rating system, the Web monitoring and blocking aspects of the software functioned well. K9 also has categories for blocking sites that have been detected as potential malware threats. Equally impressive--and a little bit scary--was the log that detailed not just blocked Web sites but also … Read more

XP update throws some for a loop

This blog was updated at 9:30 a.m. PDT with information from Microsoft about the cause of the glitch.

Owners of some AMD-based computers are finding that the move to Windows XP Service Pack 3 has sent their systems into an endless reboot cycle.

"While the root cause of this issue is complex, it results from OEMs improperly placing a Windows XP image created for an for Intel-based computer onto machines with non-Intel chipsets," Microsoft said in a statement. "Microsoft issued guidance to OEMs advising them to only load Windows XP images onto like hardware in … Read more

ZoneAlarm virtualizes the desktop Internet browser

Recent attacks on legitimate Web sites may have left some end users vulnerable. But on Monday, Check Point Software Technologies released ZoneAlarm ForceField, which might provide some with the safe surfing protection they need.

ZoneAlarm ForceField sells for $29.95 (for a single user license) or $49.95 (for a three-user license) and currently works only with Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 2, and the Firebox 3 beta. In tests at CNET, ZoneAlarm ForceField did not work with Apple Safari for Windows or Opera 9. Installation doesn't require a reboot. When you open your Internet browser, the edges will be … Read more

Featured Freeware: GIMP

The volunteer developers of The GIMP have been working hard to develop a polished, user-friendly, and freely distributed image editor. Available for Windows and Mac users, and in a portable edition for the PC, the separated palette windows may disturb those users who are used to more traditional layouts. Still, your comfort level should grow exponentially as you discover how pain-free the program is.

One of the most powerful general-purpose image editors around, the GNU Image Manipulation Program is eminently comparable to Photoshop. Older features include channels, layers and masks, filters and effects, tabbed palettes, editable text tools, and color … Read more

Featured Freeware: Pando

Emailing large attachments has never been easy, but Pando for Windows and Mac combines P2P tech with a clean interface to make sharing files or folders as large as 1 GB a cinch--and free.

Circumventing FTP servers, online storage, and tertiary e-mail accounts, Pando either generates a link for instant messages and Web pages, or e-mails your recipient a tiny attachment. When you click that attachment or link, Pando connects to its server and downloads the "package," as the Pando people call the contents of your attachment. You even have 14 days to grab the "package" … Read more

First Look: AVG Anti-Virus Free 8

Seventy-five million downloads can't be wrong, right? Phenomenally popular security program AVG Free has upgraded to Version 8, and Editor Seth Rosenblatt takes a first look at the revamp.

New features include a blessing of a new interface that's clean and easy to use, LinkScanner to minimize the risk of clicking on dangerous links during searches, and more.

Featured Freeware: Gspace

This highly recommended Firefox extension takes the small pile of gigabytes that the Google folks throw at you for your Gmail account and turns them into a drive with storage and music-playing capabilities.

Accessible via a toolbar button or from the menu bar, Gspace opens a new tab with an FTP-style interface. You can transfer files by highlighting them and hitting the directional arrow. Drag-and-drop is not available, but the plug-in is still replete with goodies. Uploading a file sends an e-mail with it attached to your Gmail, so you can create Gmail's native filters and folders to keep … Read more