The Download Blog

Analyze your daily workload with RescueTime

If you've ever wondered how many minutes a day you spend using Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or Gmail; or how much of your day is "wasted" by community Web sites such as Digg, Slashdot, or MetaFilter, a free application called RescueTime (also available for Mac) can track that information for you, while providing several other valuable features to monitor your time.

Monitoring productivity in the Internet age has become more complicated than ever, especially if you work online. E-mail, instant messaging, and multitasking keep many of us switching constantly between projects or contacts. RescueTime combines a local applicationRead more

FindMe, an irritating GPS for Facebook friends

The new location-based service FindMe is a straightforward app that uses cell phone towers to broadcast your general whereabouts to Facebook friends, saving you from updating Facebook manually with places you frequently travel. In beta, FindMe installs on your cell phone and updates your Facebook status when it senses you've changed locations. For each new cell area FindMe detects, you'll be able to tag it "Work," "Home," and so on, and you'll only share addresses you manually enter yourself. As you change zones, FindMe updates your bearings, going "dark" when you … Read more

XP Service Pack 3 remains in testing

Microsoft on Tuesday released another version of Windows XP Service Pack 3, but the software remains in the testing phase.

Unlike Windows Vista Service Pack 1, which was finalized in February and made available broadly last week, Microsoft has yet to give the final go-ahead for XP SP3.

"Windows XP SP3 RC2 Refresh was made publicly available today via Microsoft Download Center," Microsoft said in a statement. "We've made this release candidate available in order to receive further user feedback prior to the release of Windows XP SP3."

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley states that … Read more

Gram Parsons, 'Long Black Limousine': Free MP3 of the Day

When Gram Parsons first started recording in the 1960s, country was anything but 'hip.' But this Georgia boy's love for the music was genuine, and his laid-back 'cosmic' take on old-school standards opened a new generation's eyes and ears (and gave inspiration to bands like the Stones, the Eagles, and Uncle Tupelo). This vault release showcases previously unreleased live recordings from Gram's band the Flying Burrito Brothers in '69.

Photoshop Elements for Mac arrives

Adobe has finally published an update to Photoshop Elements for Mac, but the 30-day trial version has yet to be released. The update includes all the features that were included in the Windows upgrade to version 6 back in September, including the dual panels for editing and organizing, the new Photomerge tool, and updates to most of the basic tool set.

There are two new price points as well. An upgrade edition will set you back $69.99, while the full program will run users another $20 extra. CNET's News.com and Download.com have reported on the Windows … Read more

Baron Zen, 'Burn Rubber': Free MP3 of the Day

The first response on listening to Baron Zen, a turn-of-the-'90s jack-of-all-synths who was helped by the young Peanut Butter Wolf, is that it couldn't possibly have been made then. The funky-but-melodic keyboard tones have the hooky electro style of Daft Punk but the taste of James Murphy.

Enough with 'boss buttons,' let them watch basketball in the office

Friday morning, I walked past a colleague's desk and--I swear--saw a basketball game on her computer screen. When I got closer, however, all I could see were a bunch of very official-looking bars and charts.

She was working hard. Real hard. Then she laughed, hit a key, and flipped back to the basketball game in a clear indication that I'm either a boss people can be honest with or a boss who doesn't exactly strike fear into the rank and file. Or both.

The "boss button" and silly office decorum strike again. For those of … Read more

The Explorer's Club, 'Do You Love Me?': Free MP3 of the Day

This jangle-pop bunch follows the Beach Boys in sentiment and style, but it has new ends in mind. Put differently, the group wishes they all could be South Carolina girls. Musically, this means plenty of tambourines and twee harmonies, but with orchestration that's more psychedelic than sandy.

Exercise your brain with this freeware game

There's little doubt that this new free Sudoku game sports an atrociously decorated interface, bedecked with smileys and butterflies. However, the game play itself in Free Sudoku 2008 is unimpaired, and the three levels of difficulty and timer actually make this a reasonable experience if you're looking to fret over number patterns for a while.

The game provides the timer, the difficulty level, a solution checker, and an "I-give-up" option on the right-hand side of the panel. The main panel is taken up by the game board, and has an interesting feature: players can enter up … Read more