The Download Blog

Bluefire plans a new cell phone security app

Traditionally focused on securing mobile devices for corporations and even the U.S. Government, Bluefire Security plans to enter the consumer market with Mobile Defender.

Bluefire's bid joins them to the ranks of other security vendors who have created mobile versions of their desktop apps. I got a chance to preview Mobile Defender at CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas. The app, currently available in private beta for Windows Mobile phones, has a simple four-button interface, with each button corresponding to an element of protection--firewall, SMS and MMS spam-blocking, an application protection shield that guards against auto-installing malware, and a … Read more

Dashwire's new goodies make the most of your phone

Dashwire, a small Seattle start-up eleven employees strong, continues to impress with its growing service for managing and interacting with the contents of your cell phone online. To recap an earlier review, Dashwire synchronizes your cell phone to an online account, displaying on a flexible dashboard your call history, images, profile, texting history, photos, ring tones, videos, and contacts. You can roll up your sleeves and muck around with your phone from Dashwire, a much happier experience than crouching over your two-inch cell phone screen and tapping or clicking away through on-device management programs, particularly if you're not on … Read more

Opera Mini goes beta, gains speed

Opera, that plucky browser publisher that is neither Microsoft nor Mozilla, has released Opera Mini 4.1 beta with promises of 50 percent faster page loading, among other claimed improvements. The thing is, they might be right.

Mini 4.1b is definitely faster than Mini 4, although actual speeds depend on your wireless connection and the kind of phone you're using. The standard page view loads up what looks like a large thumbnail of the page with images small but discernible and strangely crisp for their size. The "mobile" view presents the URL's information in a … Read more

Hands-on: Yahoo oneSearch 2.0 with voice

Vioce technology is Yahoo's big news of the day. While vocal search is one aspect of an enhanced version of Yahoo's oneSearch tool for mobile phones, it's the only aspect of the service that has been made available as a preview today. And the implementation has only been rolled out for BlackBerry phones.

Luckily, I happen to have one of those here at the CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vegas, where I met with Yahoo's director of mobile product marketing, Adam Taggart to discuss oneSearch 2.0 (see video).

Like Yahoo Go 3.0, oneSearch 2.… Read more

Firefox 3 beta 5 released

Mozilla released its fifth beta version of Firefox 3 for Windows and the Mac on Wednesday, bringing a handful of improvements in ease of use to the open-source Web browser. A portable version is also available.

Overall, Firefox 3 beta 5 includes 750 changes from the previous beta, focusing on enhanced stability, Web site compatibility, and platform and user-interface improvements.

In the ease-of-use arena, Beta 5 is designed to offer improvements in integration with Windows, Mac, and Linux. The beta aims to show improvements to Windows icons, as well as native user interface widgets in Web forms and the browser. … Read more

WorldMate Live coming to Windows phones

Last November, MobiMate revealed WorldMate Live for BlackBerry. A large stride ahead of its traditional business-class travel software, WorldMate Live got some souped-up features, including online management tools and functionality to push flight status alerts and scheduling reminders to the phone.

In a few more weeks, WorldMate Live will come to Windows Mobile phones, the number two platform pick for businesses, and therefore frequent corporate jetsetters. I got a preview today at the CTIA Wireless conference, and it looks good. By "good" I mean nearly identical to the BlackBerry version of WorldMate Live, with perhaps one or two … Read more

Reclaim your RAM

Even in these days of cheap RAM, where you can get an extra gigabyte of the stuff for around $40 or so, there's not much you can do about must-have programs that leak memory short of seeking out an alternative. That doesn't mean you're tied to incessant program restarts and operating system reboots, though: a few useful programs such as RAM Idle LE, RAMBooster, and Instant Memory Cleaner make it their business to reclaim wasted bits.

RAMBooster is well-known to longtime Daily Download readers. We've featured it in our Windows Starter Kit and in a First … Read more

Simplify Media adds options

One of the most promising freeware programs of 2007 was Simplify Media, a plug-in for iTunes and Winamp on both Windows and Mac that lets users share their music collections with friends and themselves via the Internet. The application is expecting an official release in June, but until then you'll have to appease your appetite for music with these beta builds.

The program still eats a voluminous amount of virtual memory--near the 100MB range, on average--but if you're not using a lot of other system processes it makes for an attractive way to get your tunes across the … Read more

Vringo Facebook: Photo caller ID the easy way

I'm pretty excited about Vringo's new Facebook app for a number of reasons. First, I'm a big fan of Vringo's video caller ID service, which lets users choose a video ringtone (vringo) that plays on their friends' phone when they initiate a call to said friend. Second, this new app carries Vringo's concept of personalizing the moment of phone-to-phone contact by syncing your address book with your friends' Facebook profile photos.

It takes about 5 minutes and quite a few steps to set up the service, but the directions are clear and fairly straightforward. You … Read more

Six best new downloads of 2008

On the first day of the new quarter, it's a good time to take a look back at the first three months of 2008 and expose some of the coolest software downloads that you might not know about. From innovative new games for your PC or mobile devices to creative accounting tools and invaluable utilities for Windows Vista 64-bit users, there's something in this list for all of you friendly PC users.

Onto the six best new downloads of 2008 ...

Wait For It

Tired of multiplayer first-person shooter games that reward 14-year-old punks with itchy trigger fingers? Put … Read more