The Download Blog

Microsoft resumes XP, Vista updates

Microsoft on Tuesday said it is resuming two major Windows updates that had been halted because of a conflict with one of its own software products.

A week ago, Microsoft delayed the release of Windows XP Service Pack 3 because of a problem that could lead to data loss when running the XP update in conjunction with its Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System program. It also halted automatic updates to Windows Vista Service Pack 1 because of a similar issue.

The software maker on Tuesday said it is releasing XP Service Pack 3 for Web downloads, and resuming automatic updates … Read more

Iterasi goes live with personal Web-archiving tool

Web bookmarking tool Iterasi just launched the first version of its Firefox extension to people who have signed up for the beta. The service, which I wrote about in January, lets you capture a Web site in its entirety, complete with links, formatting, and a time stamp to help sort it out later.

The company was set to release the plug-in back in late February but has been busy for the past few months resolving some security issues, as well as tweaking usability with a small group of beta testers. One of the reasons for the delay was to ramp … Read more

Featured Freeware: Safari

As the Web-browsing world waits for Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 8, Apple makes its intentions known with a hard push of Safari for Windows and Mac. No, the sky has not fallen, and we have yet to see the spontaneous evolution of avian bacon.

Much like iTunes, the Windows version of the Mac application works fine but lacks a certain tightness. It feels unfinished because it is, but its browsing engine is solid and has been independently clocked at speeds faster than that of Firefox 2. Still, Safari lacks most customization features. Skins and other aesthetic options exist in … Read more

Times: The newspaper newsreader for Mac

There are several solid newsreaders for Mac OS X including the popular NewsFire and NetNewsWire which I've talked about here before. But I found an application today which puts a different sort of visual spin on the standard newsreader. It's called Times and it organizes feeds in an entirely different, though immediately familiar way. One quick note: this application only works on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Most newsreaders offer a three-paned interface with your feed list on the left, headlines with summaries on the upper right, and full stories (once clicked) in the lower right. What … Read more

Quick Tip: Closing pop-ups the safe way

Confronting a pop-up is one of those times when your gut reaction might lead you down the path of frustration and tears. If the "X" is spring-loaded with malware, anywhere you click on the pop-up could trigger that virus.

This is the path less traveled--the majority of pop-ups truly are the ads they appear to be--but when a pop-up does deliver malware, undoing the damage could be a tense, jittery journey. We get enough panicky Spyware Horror Story submissions to know that so-called button flips and booby-trapped Close buttons continue to deliver malicious payloads.

So what is the … Read more

First Look: WeFi hot-spot-finder

Not every social networking concept strikes gold, even when the coalescing factor is the common interest of finding a good Internet cafe. In the case of WeFi, a hot-spot-finding application with a social community tacked on, various CNET editors have raised a collective eyebrow at some of the more intense methods of attaining human connection, but largely agree that being able to chat with verified friends or nearby Internet surfers adds a useful dimension to the search for reliable Wi-Fi access in comfortable coffee shops.

This First Look at WeFi for Windows laptops and WeFi for Pocket PC tours WeFi'… Read more

Featured Freeware: CrossLoop

CrossLoop provides a quick, easy, and completely free way to give a colleague, a friend, or a relative access to your computer. Start the program, and your PC gets assigned a new 12-digit access code each time. Give that number to another user to virtually share your desktop. Once connected, that user will have full access to your machine.

The odd nature of sharing a desktop cursor and the inability to add multiple users makes CrossLoop not quite right for proper business presentations. However, the complete system access and 128-bit encrypted connection combine to create a great solution for low-budget, … Read more

Yoono now offering an elegant solution to social networking clutter

Note: Yoono is in private beta. We've got invites set aside for Webware readers. To get yours see the link at the end of the post.

Tonight Yoono, a browser add-on for discovering and sharing Web content is launching several new features designed to help you track what your friends are up to online.

The tool now integrates with several popular social networks and microblogging services including Twitter, letting you access and interact with the communities of all of them in one place. Previously users were limited to sending links to friends via e-mail, or interacting more easily with … Read more

Featured Freeware: Skype

Skype for Windows and Mac is well-regarded for offering stable, free VoIP to other Skype users and affordable computer-to-phone calls, to both landlines and cell phones. Call quality still varies depending on your Internet connection and what else you're doing with it while using Skype, although the latest version indicates some progress in ameliorating that through audio engine tweaks.

Since the introduction of free long distance to U.S. cell phones, Skype may have dropped a bit in popularity for domestic calls. For international purposes, though, it's still the standard and extremely popular. Newer features include conference calling … Read more

Featured Freeware: NoteTab Light

Once you explore the power of NoteTab Light, you may find this text editor beautiful despite its hectic interface. At its core, NoteTab Light is to Windows' Notepad as an iPhone is to a rotary phone. NoteTab Light incorporates top-level tabs similar to most Web browsers, so that you can manage several different projects at once. It can automatically replace Notepad so that Notepad's icons open NoteTab Light instead--although this helpful shortcut trick doesn't work in Windows Vista.

However, it's more than a mere replacement. The left column displays a list of commands, called Clips, that do … Read more