The Download Blog

Video: Yahoo's new mobile services

At CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas, Yahoo unveiled three new cell phone apps that have been cooking in Yahoo's kitchen. We got a taste of all of them. There's Yahoo oneSearch 2.0 (hands-on review), which has debuted on selective BlackBerrys with a new feature to search for any term you speak or type.

Then there's a dynamic bookmarking feature, Yahoo onePlace, which focuses on managing your interests. In addition to bookmarking search results, like a flight number, it will also import sites you've previously starred on GoogleReader and Digg, and will develop a predictive search … Read more

Featured Freeware: Auslogics Disk Defrag

Hopefully, there aren't too many Windows users left who don't have Auslogics Disk Defrag. In case you don't, though, this is an excellent time to stop using the slow, native Microsoft defragger and upgrade--for free!--to an app that works better and faster: Auslogics Disk Defrag.

Even on older Windows XP systems, the program runs reasonably fast. Chose a hard drive from the drop-down menu to get a read on its stats such as free and used space and get a visual comparison in a pie chart. One click starts the defragging, and along with a visual … Read more

Control music from the Mac menu bar

Do you listen to music or streaming radio while you work? I find I'm much more efficient when there's some music in the background or maybe a podcast if I find something interesting online or at the iTunes store. But one thing that breaks my concentration is the need to continually go back to iTunes to make new selections. To keep the distractions at a minimum, I like to set up my music or podcasts beforehand and get to work.

As a software reviews writer, I spend a lot of time using a word processor with my hands … Read more

CellSpin posts multimedia tidbits online

Note: Article updated on 4/15/08 to correctly note where posts default.

CellSpin is the easiest multimedia blogging platform for smartphones I've seen to date. Similar to Utterz and Trutap, CellSpin lets people post photos, videos, text, and audio clips to various online profiles--in CellSpin's case, Picasa Web photos, Flickr, LiveJournal, Blogger, eBay, YouTube, and Windows Live Spaces. Of course, you can't post text to YouTube or video to Facebook, but CellSpin keeps it clear in a convenient chart.

Posting is fairly simple from the downloadable app. You click one of four large icons corresponding to … Read more

Featured freeware: IdleBackup

If you're like me, backing up your computer is an irregular affair at best. Burning DVDs, dusting off external drives, cleaning up and preparing all of the's a hassle. For lazy downloaders looking to duplicate their critical files on an internal/external drive or network folder with as little muss or fuss as possible, the freeware IdleBackup might be a positive step toward assuming the necessary mantle of their backup responsibilities.

IdleBackup doesn't look like much at first glance, and unfortunately, its interface is not hiding any tricks behind "advanced" buttons. It does … Read more

Weather Channel Desktop gets better maps

When it comes to your weather-knowing needs, The Weather Channel Desktop 6, which moved out of beta this past week, contains a wealth of meteorological and atmospheric information that goes far beyond three-day forecasts. Of course, it does that, too. The app can predict weather for as short a period as the next 12 hours or as extended a span as the next 12 days. There's a storm watch and pollen count for your physical well-being and reports on cloud behavior over local golf courses, lakes, and amusement parks to help plan your day.

The Weather Channel Desktop also … Read more

Featured Freeware: Miro

The age of video distribution over the Internet has just begun, and open-source and DRM-free Miro for both Mac and Windows is perfectly poised to take advantage of the still-growing, still-unsettled paradigm.

Along with standard multicodec video playback, Miro supports torrents and completed torrent playback, watches to manage both old and new content in user-defined folders, resumable playback, video sharing and hosting, and assistance in creating videos. One of Miro's most compelling features are the channels that organize video feeds by topic--integration with Google, Yahoo, YouTube, and other search engines and video Web sites makes discovering favorites and new … Read more

Make an uninstaller your antispyware sidekick

True story, happening now. It's 1:48 a.m. on a Saturday morning and I'm hand-picking through a mountain of spyware and adware on a friend's laptop. I've borrowed the laptop and Internet connection to "quickly" finish some work, then quickly realized this was actually going to take all night. After a 20 minute start-up churn, I had only just gotten VPN running and Firefox loaded. It wasn't the interminable start-up that had me worried so much as the two casino icons squatting on the desktop. There's no way they were legitimate … Read more

Featured Freeware: The Opera browser

Although Firefox and Internet Explorer have claimed the lion's share of the Web browser market, that doesn't mean there aren't other worthwhile browsers out there. At the top of my list for a reliable second to Firefox, and holding the overall number one spot in many user's hearts, is Opera.

Available for Windows, Macs, and cell phones, Opera is stable, loads fast, and comes fully equipped with robust features including widgets and built-in syncing capabilities. The mobile version can now upload and download files directly from a phone without switching over to the phone's native … Read more

Power Downloader becomes Power Uploader

Power Downloader always keeps his eye out for little tweaks and tricks that make using his computer simpler, easier, or faster, and today he's got a Firefox plug-in that does all three. When uploading a file to the Web, it's always annoying to have to navigate your files through the Web site's "Browse" option before locating the correct file path. Dragdropupload, while possessing a name bereft of certain punctuation complexities such as spaces, delivers the easiest way Power's ever seen for adding files to those pesky text fields.

With the extension installed, you can … Read more