The Download Blog

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

Quick tip: Launch Web sites fast

What's faster than opening a new browser tab and typing in the URL? Opening a Web page with Launchy, of course.

Last week we showed you how to open all your media files, documents, and programs using the quick-start application (if you missed it, we've included it below). In this quick tip video, CNET editor Tom Merritt demonstrates, as only he can, how to open Web sites, start an online search, and create search commands with this must-have freeware.

Miss last week's quick tip? After the first video, stick around for a second to learn how to … Read more

IM photos and videos from phone to phone

If IMing friends from mobile to mobile is faster and cheaper than sending SMS messages, then IMing photos, videos, and music clips is even better.

Fring announced this week an update to its Symbian 9.1 and Symbian 9.2 offerings (sorry, Windows Mobile) that lets registered members swap files. This is the first I've heard of file-sharing from any mobile IM service, though saving the best perks for members is common to others, like EQO, that have far grander ambitions than simple all-in-one chat.

Much like file-sharing from desktop chat apps, fring (it really is lower-case) files ride … Read more

Power Downloader eliminates distractions with Dark Room

Power Downloader knows one of the most difficult things about studying and writing papers is staying focused. When he received a stressed out e-mail from Kitty Kilobyte recently saying she was trying to write a paper for school, but kept getting distracted, Power knew all too well what she was talking about. Even when Power Downloader needs to get to work, he will sometimes find himself surfing the Web or checking e-mail, so he knows how easy it is to get distracted. Over time, Power is sure Kitty will develop the skills necessary to focus on her work, but for … Read more

Read better with Better GReader

Better GReader is a young, but not exactly robust, Firefox extension. However, like its sibling Better Gmail, it has a lot of potential. Designed to improve the look, as well as the functionality, of Google Reader, GReader has four skins and four features to get your RSS going.

Read more

Get ready for Vista and XP updates

Microsoft has been quietly readying several Service Packs for its operating systems. Windows Vista SP1 has undergone several public release candidates, but CNET Reviews' Rob Vamosi got his hands on a copy of the real deal, not due out until March. The verdict? You'll have to click through to find out.

CNET News.com's Ina Fried got word of private beta testing of Windows XP SP3--that's right, I said Service Pack 3. Although it's nearly six months away from being ready, Microsoft promises that SP3 will contain the usual security fixes, but no word on … Read more

Give your overzealous security software the boot

About five years ago I installed the family version of Symantec's Norton Internet Security software on one of my PCs, rendering the machine unusable. Not only couldn't I get any access to the Internet, it was impossible to uninstall the program. I ended up having to reinstall the operating system and all my applications--except Norton Internet Security. At the time I said I would never again install a Symantec security program on any PC, but about a year ago I bought a PC that came with 90 days of Norton 360, and the program won me over. When … Read more

Firefox Mobile could be invisible

A few days ago, two prototypes of Firefox Mobile, the latest bun in Mozilla's oven, made it onto the Mozilla wiki. Today Firefox Mobile product manager Doug Turner released two more designs.

Turner's team didn't scrap the toolbar entirely, but based on user feedback, they did make it much less intrusive. Why look at the buttons when users really want the Web, they reasoned. Letting the toolbars dissolve away when they're at rest is one method for making the most of the screen. Tapping a translucent icon (shown solid here) could bring the command buttons back.… Read more

Firefox releases another security update

Mozilla has published a new version of Firefox to address lingering security concerns. The most noticeable problem that Version 2.0.0.12 (for Windows and Mac) hopes to fix are program crashes and corruption of stored passwords.

Other remedies include sealing up a variety of security holes, including browser history and navigation stealing, holes related to multiple file inputs, and URL token stealing.