The Download Blog

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

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.

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