The Download Blog

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

Social browsing app Me.dium ready for IE 8

Social Web surfing tool Me.dium is one of the first apps ready for Internet Explorer 8 beta, which Microsoft unveiled at Mix '08 in Las Vegas Wednesday.

The browser add-on enables users to chat with each other and see which Web pages they're visiting. This release takes advantage of new WebSlices and Activities features within IE 8.

With WebSlices, users can subscribe to dynamic updates of specific parts of Web pages they visit, with new content displaying within the Me.dium sidebar.

Activities capabilities enable users to bring up maps or Web searches of highlighted text on a … Read more

Microsoft shows IE 8 at Mix

LAS VEGAS--Microsoft offered its first public demonstration of Internet Explorer 8 on Wednesday, a prospect that had general manager Dean Hachamovitch struggling to figure out what to cover.

"I'm so excited that I had to figure out how to focus," he told the crowd. The marketing folks naturally suggested he point to three major advances, but Hatchamovitch disagreed.

"These are developers," he said he told the marketers. "They can count higher than three."

So, instead he said he would talk about eight features: CSS 2.1 support, CSS Certification, performance, start of HTML … Read more

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, '100 Days, 100 Nights': Free MP3 of the Day

She shares a hometown (Augusta, Georgia) with no less than the Godfather of Soul, and there's a whole bucket of James Brown-style soul sauce in this Brooklyn songstress's bold numbers. A dynamic backing outfit drops deeply funky horns 'n' bass, and Jones's belting growl takes it all to town.

Google Gears heads for Windows Mobile phones

Google is bringing Google Gears to mobile phones so that people on the go can access Web-based applications even when they're not connected to the mobile Net.

Smartphones and 3G data services are changing the way some people work, allowing them to access documents and applications from anywhere. But when their wireless connection is interrupted or not available at all, they're cut off.

Google Gears for mobile helps solve this problem so mobile workaholics can even get stuff done on airplanes or when they're supposed to be on vacation in some far-off destination with no wireless access. (… Read more

Muscles, 'Ice Cream': Free MP3 of the Day

Water running down the drain backwards isn't necessarily a satanic omen, you could just be in the land of Muscles--the wacky Southern hemisphere where strange animals abound and gospel meets techno. Melbourne artist Muscles delights in fusing neo-soul-inspired techno with an eccentric taste for dance music.

Power up Skype with live remote access

Gogrok is a companion program that runs with Skype (download for Windows and Mac) to give people remote-access capabilities. More than a typical plug-in but not able to stand on its own, the Skype-Gogrok combo makes for a good voice- and remote-access tech-support duo that's not quite dynamic.

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