The Download Blog

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 Download.com). 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 Download.com. 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

Set Internet Explorer and Firefox to maximize your security

Modern browsers are much better than their predecessors at keeping your Web activity private and your data safe. Still, you may not have your browser configured to provide optimum security. Take a few minutes to give Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 a safety check.

Batten down IE7's hatches The version of IE7 for Vista adds the Protected Mode, which allows Web sites to access only the Temporary Internet Files folder on your PC. According to Microsoft, this feature is on by default for the Internet, Intranet, and Restricted zones, but disabled for the Trusted Sites and Local Machine … Read more

Download customizable NCAA tournament brackets

It's the big dilemma for the fantasy NCAA basketball tournament pool manager: paper brackets or digital? Whichever option you choose, I've got you covered.

When I was a kid, the announcement of the teams and seedings in the NCAA men's basketball tournament was always accompanied by furious scribbling as I tried to manually create an instant tournament bracket. I just couldn't wait until the newspaper arrived the next morning to start making my picks.

The advent of the VCR reduced the furious scribbling, and the Web eliminated the need to write down teams at all. Now … Read more

Get your hands on Vista SP1

Long gone are the days where Microsoft service pack releases such as Windows XP SP2 would deliver shocks measurable on the Richter scale. Redmond has returned to its old habits of including mostly security repairs and crash fixes, but nothing in the way of new features. That doesn't mean that Vista users should skip out on Vista Service Pack 1.

Downloading anything from Microsoft is never easy, in my experience, and Vista SP1 is no different. Microsoft has announced that it won't begin to roll out the service pack through its automatic updates until April, so you must … Read more

Security hole in VLC Player

Torrent-watching Web site TorrentFreak is reporting a major security hole in the popular open-source media player VideoLAN, also known as the VLC Player (download for Windows and Mac. "The reported vulnerability makes it possible for a malicious user to run arbitrary code, potentially taking remote control of the host machine," according to TorrentFreak.

The hole gets exploited from a subtitle file buffer overflow, and it's platform independent--meaning it could strike users of Mac and Linux operating systems, as well as Windows fans. VLC users who avoid subtitle files won't face any problems. Another solution is to … Read more

Safari 3.1 update fixes 13 security flaws

Apple on Tuesday released Safari 3.1 for users on Mac OS X and Windows. Along with new features are 13 security updates for the Safari browser, WebCore, and WebKit. Most of the vulnerabilities address cross-site scripting flaws. A cross-site scripting attack can inject malicious code onto a victim's computer usually via a script tag appended to a specially formed URL. The Security Update APPLE-SA-2008-03-18 can be downloaded and installed from Apple Downloads, or you can simply download the new version of Safari 3.1 directly.

Safari--certificate validation This patch only affects users of Safari on Windows XP or … Read more

Dirty secret: I love Safari on Windows

After bashing Safari for Windows when it first came out, I have to confess something: lately I've begun to rely on Apple's browser. Not for everything, mind you. But the more I use it, the more I like it.

The biggest reason: It's fast. It's faster to start up than Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Flock. And it's fast to load pages. Blindingly fast. Fast enough to make the Web feel more inviting.

I also like how it displays text. Sure it's using a non-standard font smoothing technology, but I think it looks great.

I … Read more