The Download Blog

Power Downloader surfs with confidence

Recently, Power Downloader received a instant message from his sister, Maggie Mouse. When he clicked on the blinking Pidgin icon, he found himself confronted by a distraught question: Firefox would crash on her in the middle of browsing her email. She had tried restarting the browser and restarting her computer, and she'd even reinstalled Firefox. Maggie Mouse had turned off all her extensions, and Mozilla's browser would still die on her. Although not a dastardly crime, this was definitely a job for Power Downloader.

For all situations, Power Downloader recommends keeping a second browser installed and ready to … Read more

Insider Secrets: Upgrade your Notepad

Upgrading Notepad on your PC isn't hard, and the added oomph you get for your efforts definitely makes them worthwhile. CNET Executive Editor Tom Merritt shows you how to switch to Notepad 2, and keep the old Windows Notepad from reversing the coup.

There are plenty more terrific Notepad alternatives out there, like these heavyweight hitters, and the lightweight Quicknote that's best suited for jotting--or doodling--fleeting thoughts.

>>See all Insider Secrets videos

Haute Secure blocks Web threats

New Web threats today come not necessarily from sites built to host malicious content, but also from legitimate sites that have been compromised. A new safe Web surfing product, Haute Secure, is out of beta and available for free home use with both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Founded in 2006 by former Microsoft security engineers, Haute Secure hopes to distinguish itself in a crowded field of products, including Grisoft Linkscanner and Finjan SecureBrowsing.

Haute Secure is a free 32-bit or 64-bit download when used for home use; businesses will be charged to have their Web pages checked for malicious code. … Read more

Salvador Santana Band, 'Summer's Day': Free MP3 of the Day

If Carlos Santana had come up in the hip-hop era instead of the blues-rock one, who's to say he wouldn't be making stuff just like his son Salvador? On "SSB," Carlos's kid grows up and steps out of pop's shadow with a driving mash of Latin and funk. The coup is some very familiar guitar work.

Killer Download: Sync up your systems with ease

One problem almost all laptop users have experienced is not having the "latest version." I'm not talking about a particular piece of software, a driver update, or even the laptop itself. I'm talking about that moment when you're on the road or at a conference and you smack yourself in the head because you forgot to get the "latest version" of that important file off your desktop PC. From there, it's a scramble to call your co-worker, roommate, or significant other to find a way to get the latest version to you.… Read more

Live blog from Apple's iPhone SDK announcement

CUPERTINO, Calif.--We're here at Apple's headquarters for the company's announcement of its iPhone software development kit. The event started just after 10 a.m. PT. What follows is a live blog of CEO Steve Jobs' speech, with updates as they come. (Editor's note: To make this blog more readable for posterity, we have since reordered this blog so that updates appear in the order in which they happened.)

10 a.m. PST: Apple's special event today in Cupertino is about to get started, as a couple hundred people are gathered inside Apple's Town … Read more

Cassettes Won't Listen, 'Paper Float': Free MP3 of the Day

Cassettes' indie-tronic sound features deft interplay between pianos, guitars, and synths--which is either more or less impressive when you find out it's all just one dude. Regardless, this is a distinctly modern thing, echoing in the freshness of its approach.

A quick look at IE8 beta

Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8 beta 1, but so far it doesn't seem to be the drastic overhaul that Internet Explorer underwent with version 7. That's not to say that there aren't any substantial new features, like the potential for Firefox extension importing, but this beta indicates that Microsoft is building on what they created in the last version, not reinventing their wheel.

Microsoft is promoting the Activities and Web Slices, a "web clips" feature that updates only selected parts of Web sites, such as front-page headlines or eBay auctions. What I found most … Read more

First Look: Skyfire mobile browser

It wasn't too long ago we editors--or anyone!--got acquainted with Skyfire (review), the newest mobile browser to challenge Opera Mini's dominance. Check out the fresh minimalist design and clever search options, plus one disappointing feature that's far from a thriller. (Go ahead and award yourself 10 points if you spot that reference in the video.)

>>See all First Look videos

How to use Spybot-Search & Destroy

Editor's note: This article, originally published by Brian Satterfield, was republished on 3/5/08.

These days, using only one antispyware program is like playing with fire: sooner or later, you're going to get burned. Since not all spyware-combat tools share identical databases, we recommend running as many tools as you can get your mitts on--and Spybot - Search & Destroy, a time-tested and free application, should be part of your arsenal. The program might not have as pretty a face as some of its competitors, but it's certainly adept at eradicating spyware. It also offers a wide variety of settings and tools for maintaining your security and privacy that might not be immediately obvious. Read on to get the lowdown on removing spyware with Spybot, and to get tips for using some of the program's most important features.

Step 1: Set it up Some antispyware programs aren't highly customizable, but Spybot caters to the user by offering a number of tweaks. The app's primary screen emphasizes scanning your machine for threats and updating spyware definitions. If you switch from the default to the advanced mode from the Mode menu, though, you open up a world of options. The unobtrusive Settings button, located way down in the lower-left corner of the advanced window, contains tons of ways to fine-tune Spybot's behavior. This screen may at first appear overwhelming, but the Settings window lets you customize the app so it works for you.… Read more