The Download Blog

Lock up your files and hide the key

It's said that everyone's got something to hide, but not everyone needs top-notch encryption to do it. My Lockbox is a free privacy app for Windows XP and Vista that password-protects any folder of your choosing and then, poof!, can make it disappear from view.

The fairly simple interface has you setting up a password, with a hint. Keep it strong and different from your other passwords, or you're leaving yourself vulnerable to a forced lock. Passwords protect both the control panel and the folder path you've decided to conceal from Window Explorer's sights, for … Read more

Jason Collett, "Out of Time": Free MP3 of the Day

Jason Collett seems to do no wrong. Not only is he a member of one of the breakout indie bands of 2004, Broken Social Scene, he also holds his own in the acoustic singer-songwriter camp, producing a fine collection of intimate, desolate acoustic songs. Some musicians make it seem so easy.

Send video mail without the hassles, or the cost

When e-mail was young (and dinosaurs ruled the earth), no doubt some IT managers swore that there was no way the people in their organization were ever going to have access to that time-waster. "Haven't we already provided them with telephones?" Same for Web browsers, which some workplaces still ban, or at least restrict severely.

I'm sure they have their reasons, but for most workers it would be difficult to deny the productivity boost these new technologies provide. Now the same restrictive IT mentality may be blocking the playback and recording of video. Yes, much corporate … Read more

Killer Download: Bring the news to you

Whenever I'm setting up on a new computer or test machine at work, or even after I've downloaded my must-have programs on a new home machine, one of the first things I do is grab an RSS newsreader. Though you can use Web browser favorites to hit and save your most visited sites, newsreaders have a few advantages that make getting all the latest updates even easier.

With a good newsreader on your machine, anytime you see an available RSS feed at a Web site (usually with an orange RSS or XML label), you can have all the … Read more

Security patch closes holes in Thunderbird

Following the early February Firefox update comes a Mozilla Foundation security patch for its popular Thunderbird e-mail client. Download it for Windows and Mac.

The fix addresses one critical flaw that could've potentially allowed an attacker to run arbitrary code, and closed up three other holes that only posed moderate risks, according to Mozilla. One of those included addressing persistent albeit minor crashes caused by memory corruption. More substantial fixes are expected when Mozilla releases Thunderbird 3.0, due later this year.

Mobile users, look forward to more free videos

Mobile users who haven't made the jump to watching videos on their cell phones and smartphones may see a juicy, dangling carrot on the horizon. A paper submitted by John Barrett of Parks Associates and David Wertheimer of USC's Entertainment Technology Center (PDF), summarizes that mobile phone users will watch more videos on their phones if they can get them for free. Well, duh. Who doesn't want free?

The study found that only a fraction of users with video-capable phones take advantage of them to watch movies and TV. Many of the reasons boil down to price, … Read more

Dilated Peoples, 'Back Again': Free MP3 of the Day

The Los Angeles hip-hop pioneers embody what every great hip-hop group should consist of: skilled lyricists, dope production, and a DJ with skills to match. Emcee Rakaa Iriscience and emcee/producer Evidence hold it down on the mic, while DJ Babu of the World Famous Beat Junkies not only provides funky cuts on the turntables, but also produces tracks as well. Incredibly, Dilated has managed to juggle the difficult task of expanding musically, yet still staying true to its original fan base.

AVG upgrades popular security suite

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is one of the most popular products on CNET, with 61 million downloads. On Thursday, publisher AVG Technologies, formerly known as Grisoft, plans to introduce the full version of AVG Anti-Virus 8.0. This upgrade will feature significant changes to the program, integrating the previously stand-alone tools of AVG Anti-Spyware, AVG Anti-Rootkit, and recent AVG purchase LinkScanner as well as showcasing an entirely new interface.

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Test-build your Lego masterpiece digitally

Do-it-yourself magazines like MAKE and basement-brewed steampunk anachronisms might be at the forefront of home engineering projects, but 50-year-old Lego is still the name builders know best. Now you can play with them on your computer in the official freeware program Lego Digital Designer, available for both Windows and Mac.

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First Look: Cellfire

If the spare contents of your wallet dictate your dining destination, you'll want to know of this reprieve. Cellfire (hands-on review), offers coupon deals with more than 10,000 local U.S. restaurants and services, and chains. With custom-built applications for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, the RAZR, and Nokia phones, Cellfire has rounded the smartphone bases. A WAP works with iPhone and other Internet-enabled devices brings the app home.

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