The Download Blog

Patches for Firefox and Flock

The past 24 hours have seen Mozilla Firefox (download from CNET for Windows and Mac) getting another security hole plugged, while its social-networking derivative Flock (also at CNET 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

Video and hands-on review: Digsby IM

The shouts of indignation from defenders of the two big multiprotocol IM apps, Pidgin or Trillian, are a bit more hushed these days. The newest chat client in town makes them both look passe.

Digsby is a free beta release of a supercharged communications client that gathers up major IM networks like Yahoo, AOL, MSN, Google Talk, Jabber, and ICQ with Web mail and social networks. From a single skinnable interface, people can chat, check e-mail, update Twitter, and view MySpace and Facebook activity feeds. Instant messaging, e-mailing, texting, file transfers, and voice and audio chat can all be launched … Read more

FindWhere: Your GPS gizmo is your phone

The other day my esteemed colleague Leslie Katz mentioned a lightweight gadget you can slip into a car's glove compartment or onto a pet's collar to locate the things you care about wherever they are. If the device doesn't provide enough stats for your detail-hungry brain or seem adequate to cover human cargo, FindWhere offers a similar tracking service using a gadget that your teen/workforce/elderly parent most likely already has--a mobile phone.

Like the Zoombak Universal GPS Locator, FindWhere offer worriers no-go zones whose border crossing sends text message or e-mail alerts to whoever's … Read more

Featured Freeware: WordWeb

WordWeb is a handy utility that gives you the definition, synonyms, and antonyms of any given word without requiring you to go online, though it can connect to the Internet for expanded functionality. The interface should feel familiar, since it resembles many office application dictionaries. Users can manually type words into the Lookup text field, but the real strength of the program lies in the hot key function that lets users find definitions with a single keystroke.

The bottom pane offers tabs for such items as synonyms, antonyms, and related words. There are tools for changing the database to one … Read more

Camtasia Studio 5.1 now supports iPhone, iPod Touch

For professional screen-recording software, it's hard to top Camtasia Studio, a popular--and pricey--application for capturing, editing, and producing screencasts, especially tutorials and presentations. One of Camtasia Studio's strengths is its well-rounded list of preset production values for multiple media formats, including Web-optimized Flash, DVD, and iPod. On Tuesday, TechSmith released Camtasia Studio 5.1, an update that officially packages your screen recordings as MV4 files for playback on the iPhone and iPod Touch. This is good news for owners of Apple's vanguard media players and great news for corporate Camtasia producers trying to reach them.

In addition … Read more

The new Google Earth has landed

Article updated at 8:05 p.m. PST.

Greetings, Earthlings. There's big, round news in the world of software, and its name is Google Earth. Hot on the heels of major improvements to Microsoft Virtual Earth, Google Earth has had a few big announcements of its own. On Monday, KML, the markup language behind Google Earth, was approved as the international standard by the Open Geospatial Consortium. The Google Earth Blog also announced a research project to simplify placing images into precise locations within Google Earth. Anyone who's tried this knows it requires some advanced photo-matching techniques, so … Read more