The Download Blog

MSN Direct now on Windows Mobile devices

At GSMA 2008 Mobile World Congress, Microsoft announced that its MSN Direct services is now available on Windows Mobile devices. A technology preview allows you to get instant, at-a-glance updates on weather, top news stories, stock updates, sports scores, and more. The service will also automatically refresh the content so you have the latest information. You can download the free technology preview in one of two ways: by pointing your mobile Web browser to or by downloading the MSN Direct client to your PC, then synchronizing it with your mobile device. Just be aware that using … Read more

"Sort" your Gmail messages with filters and labels

There are lots of things to like about Google's Gmail service: It's free (unless you count the text ads at the top of each window; it is available on any device with Internet access, and it's easy to use as a central repository for multiple e-mail accounts.

Unfortunately, there are also many useful features of Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and other standalone e-mail programs that Gmail lacks. One of the features I miss most is the ability to sort messages by sender. I used to have to page through old mail 50 messages at a time to … Read more

Apple releases latest Leopard, 10.5.2

The latest update to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard dropped Monday afternoon, with fixes for several different issues.

Apple posted a support document on its Web site and began informing Leopard users through the Software Update mechanism that Mac OS X 10.5.2 is now ready for public consumption. A combo update that includes some security patches is 343MB and can be downloaded immediately. The first update to Leopard, version 10.5.1, was released in November.

This time around, Apple has fixed some issues with Time Machine, the automatic backup software available in Leopard, as well as … Read more

PicLens, coolest Web photo viewer ever, gets updated

PicLens, which we've covered before, is a browser plug-in that replaces the typical photo viewer you use on sites like Flickr. It's recently been updated, and if you haven't checked it out lately, now's the time. It's stunning.

The plug-in, which works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Flock, and Safari (where it's a bit limited), lets you create a moving wall of images where you'd otherwise just see your Web app's more static display of pictures. Launching the viewer is just a matter of clicking a new "play" icon that appears … Read more

Exploits plague Adobe Reader and Acrobat

Over the weekend, security vendor iDefense reported three specific exploits affecting a fully patched version of Adobe Acrobat and Reader 8.1 running on Windows. In each of the cases, the attacker would need to have the users open a specially crafted PDF file delivered via an e-mail attachment or linked from a Web site. In response, Adobe has released a security update, Adobe Acrobat and Reader 8.1.2.

The Adobe Reader and Acrobat JavaScript insecure method exposure vulnerability affects users of Adobe Reader 8.1 on Windows XP SP2 and is to be further detailed in CVE-2007-5663. According … Read more

Google Android prototypes debut at MWC

BARCELONA, Spain--Prototypes of the first mobile handsets using Google's Android software debuted at the GSMA's Mobile World Congress here on Monday, and I got a sneak peek at a demonstration.

Google launched Android, an open development platform in November. Phones sporting the Android software are expected out later this year. Google also announced the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 34 handset manufacturers, carriers and chipmakers that have said they plan to support Android products and services.

I was one of several journalists to get a private demonstration of Android at the ARM Holdings booth here at the … Read more

Vista SP1 coming sooner for some

Often, when Microsoft finishes the code for a new product, it is available almost immediately. That's why it was a bit of a surprise when Microsoft said last week that it had finished Windows Vista Service Pack 1, but that customers would have to wait until March to get it.

On Monday, Microsoft reversed course and said it would make the code available to volume license customers on Friday, with Technet and MSDN developer program members having access to the software later this month. The masses will still have to wait until next month, Microsoft said.

"For general … Read more

Process Explorer, Part 2

This is a continuation of my previous posting (Using Process Explorer to tame svchost.exe - Advanced topics) which introduced the excellent Process Explorer program, a souped up version of Task Manager. According to the author, "Process Explorer works on Windows 9x/Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Server 2003, and 64-bit versions of Windows for x64 and IA64 processors, and Windows Vista." And, it's free.

When a computer is running slow, people sometimes guess at the underlying problem. An experienced Process Explorer user doesn't have to guess.

Below is the main Process ExplorerRead more