The Download Blog

SplashMoney financial manager comes to Windows Mobile phones

Windows Mobile users looking for a way to manage their personal finance from their phones ought to take a look at SplashMoney for Windows Mobile smartphones and PocketPCs, which just became available this week. The two-way app synchronizes with a desktop companion (included in the mobile download) to keep information current between the phone and computer, though SplashMoney also works as a standalone app on the phone as well as the Mac or PC.

Similar to most mobile money managers, SplashMoney lets you store and track financial data such as credit card details, account balances, budgets, and expenses. You'll … Read more

The B-52s, 'Hot Corner': Free MP3 of the Day

For most bands, taking a decade off from recording can mean risking the permanent loss of the musical thread. Not so for the inimitable Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider, who will always sound just like themselves. Long-awaited new LP "Funplex" is electric, irreverent, and clever.

Digsby open to all, adds Twitter

Digsby, the application that lets you view your instant-message, e-mail, and social-network accounts through one interface, opened up to the public on Thursday. Download Digsby for Windows from CNET

The application also has support for popular micro-blogging application Twitter and allows real-time audio and video chat across IM networks through a partnership with TokBox. Oh, and it now offers inline spell check. WooHoo!

Digsby first hit the scene in early February. It's still in beta, but now you don't need an invitation to use it.

Other applications that enable you to manage multiple IM accounts include … Read more

Crystal Castles, 'AirWar': Free MP3 of the Day

The Canadian duo's electronic-pop-meets-Nintendo-core sends '80s babies into a nostalgic hyper state. They've have steadily amassed a cult following over the last several years, and considering that hipsters lean more toward electronica these days, we're sure it will only increase.

Extend your Office apps via Live Workspace

I spent Wednesday afternoon getting to know Microsoft's new Office Live Workspace, a free service that lets you store Office files online for easy access and sharing.

Once I got used to what the service isn't--it isn't a way to actually work on the files in a browser--I came to appreciate how easy the service makes it to save Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on the Web, and open them in their original app on any PC with an Internet link.

The biggest downside is how difficult it is to get the service working on a Vista machine running Office 2007. I was uploading and downloading Office 2003 documents on my XP machine in just a few minutes, but I had to jump through a series of hoops to do the same in their Office 2007 equivalents on my newer Vista PC.

I decided to start from scratch by creating a new Windows Live account rather than using my existing Hotmail account. Signing up for the account was a breeze, though I opted out of most of the options the installer presented. For example, I had no interest in downloading Messenger, the Windows Live Toolbar (my browser's cluttered enough already), or anything having to do with OneCare, which single-handedly destroyed my home network when I tried out the beta last summer. Be sure to uncheck the option to make MSN your home page, and you may want to avoid sending Microsoft any more data than the company already helps itself to.

Once the Windows Live installation completed, it took just a few more clicks to get started with Office Live Workspace. You're prompted to give the generic workspace a name and description, which you can change later simply by mousing over the name in the left pane and choosing one of the options that appears.

Of course, there's not much you can do with the service until you get some files uploaded. You can add files from inside the workspace one at a time or in batches, though the batch approach uses an ActiveX control, and thus requires Internet Explorer 6 or higher. Since I normally use Firefox (and had used that browser to create the workspace), switching to IE just to upload a bunch of files at once would have been a major inconvenience. Still, I never intended to use this method to add files to the workspace. Instead, I downloaded the Office Live Add-in, which lets you upload files to and download them from the workspace directly inside Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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Is Safari versus Firefox a fair fight?

Apple's Safari browser took a big step toward cross-platform competitiveness last year when it introduced a beta version for Windows, but there are legitimate questions as to whether it can really hold its own against Mozilla's Firefox. Safari dropped the beta from its name earlier this week, but is there anything more to it other than a developer's tool with a Mac interface?

If you're looking for features, the answer is a resounding no. Firefox's open source code and ever-growing army of extensions and themes make it the leader when it comes to customization. Also, … Read more

SugarSync: Most useful sync tool ever. But you'll pay for it.

Today, Sharpcast is launching the public beta of its new file synchronization product, SugarSync (download it from Like other sync tools (FolderShare [recently updated] and BeInSync), it performs the useful service of automatically keeping the data on one PC the same as on another. This is a great service for people who use more than one PC -- a laptop and a desktop, for example. It can also be used as a crude workgroup file system (see Groove). I got a tour of the product recently from Sharpcast CEO Gibu Thomas and took some time to experiment with … Read more

Spyware Horror Story: Antispyware bog-down

Published by Jack; Brisbane, Australia

I run Windows 2000 Professional and ran Ad-Aware SE with great success. Ad-Aware stopped updating this year, so had to then get Ad-Aware 2007. This did not work. It kept seizing up while scanning, so I got rid of it and then downloaded McAfee VirusScan from This is when my worries began.

My PC just virtually seized up. Every task took 10 times longer to do. If I wanted to open a window or go onto the Internet, I had to click on the icon and go away for 5 minutes before it … Read more

Opera Mini officially surfs Helio's Ocean

For mobile service Helio, it's a sure sign you're doing something wrong if the most popular app among your user community is a hack. For Opera Software, the fact that it's your app is a sure sign you're doing something right.

Since last August, users at the Helio community site Heliocity have been peddling a re-engineered version of the Opera Mini browser that was specially hacked with the Ocean smartphone in mind. Seven months later, Rod Hamlin, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Opera Software, got on the phone to confirm that starting Wednesday, … Read more