The Download Blog

'Guitar Hero Mobile' rocks your cell phone hard

UPDATED! See below for additional comments after hours and hours of more playing time.

Addicts of Activision's Guitar Hero console game will no longer be confined to fretting their faux guitar in the living room, game room, or basement. Soon they'll be able to play from their mobile phone.

Thanks to Hands-On Mobile, a mobile games company from San Diego, I got to test my rhythm-matching mettle with Guitar Hero Mobile on a slick LG VX9400.

The first thing you'll notice about Guitar Hero Mobile is how familiar it feels; just like the console game's little cousin ought. Being able to seamlessly hop into the popular rock-star universe is no coincidence. Hands-On Mobile worked closely with Activision to import songs, graphics, characters, and gameplay from Guitar Hero editions II and III. Players of the mobile version choose from two characters, Axel Steel or Judy Nails, and at first have a nonchoice of a Les Paul guitar. Stellar guitar skills unlock three Gibsons, vetted by Gibson itself.… Read more

Hands-on: Two free video-to-iPhone converters

There's no shortage of video-to-iPhone converters on the market, but these two freeware contenders do a more-than-decent job of making individual files iPhone-ready. Don't expect much interface gloss or batch conversion with either. However, both apps quickly produce workable iPhone videos without much fuss.

Free Video to iPhone Converter tells it like it is. The rough 'n' ready app takes up minimal screen space and memory. Browsing for links and converting quickly is easy, since there aren't too many additional tabs or buttons where you can get lost. There is, however, a useful function for trimming videos … Read more

Why some cybercriminals get away

A few weeks ago I had the chance to ask Dave Merkel, vice president of products for Mandiant, a digital forensics company, if there was a point where investigators say "well, that's the best we can do." Apparently a lot of cybercrime cases do hit a brick wall. Merkel said it was a one-in-a-hundred or one-in-two-hundred chance that investigators get the kind of resolution that results in someone's arrest.

"The big challenge is--and this is still true today--there is no Internet equivalent to a local cop or local police agency. You work with actual local … Read more

Hello, world!

Here's the deal:

You (the beloved Download user, the reason we're here) are out there somewhere, while I (Greg Penhaligon, product manager of Download) am way up here, sequestered in the crystalline fortress that makes up the Download Control Center. My job is to make Download into the best site of it's kind for you, but what is that exactly? What do you want? I converse with some of you in the forums, read your occasionally expletive-laden emails to customer service, but we've never had a proper way to keep you up-to-date with what we're … Read more

Firefox churns to version 2.0.0.11

Mozilla on Friday released the third update to Firefox this month, version 2.0.0.11, to fix a stability problem in the previous version.

"We strongly recommend that all Firefox users upgrade to this latest release," a post on the Firefox developer blog said.

The open-source Web browser update arrived swiftly after version 2.0.0.8, released October 18, version 2.0.0.9 from November 1, and version 2.0.0.10 from November 26. Which explains why I'm getting a lot of software update messages from my Web browser.

Version 2.0.0.… Read more

Power Downloader converts images to thumbs quickly

Recently Power Downloader was sifting through his daily e-mails when he came across a message from Francois Foto, his photographer friend from France. In the e-mail, Francois asked about Thanksgiving and what else Power had planned for the holidays, but at the end of his message he had a special request for PD. Francois was attempting to build a Web site of his photos so people could see his work, but wondered if there was a way to convert all of his larger images into uniform thumbnails. His initial searches for thumbnail products turned up so many results that Francois … Read more

Spyware reroutes home-network plan

Julio knows enough about spyware to recognize it when he sees it. And he does. An afternoon of setting up his friend's wireless home network gets detoured as Julio pulls out every trick he remembers to rid his friend's PC of the offending adware.

However, splintering the Trojan is only half the battle. The other half resides in wireless network security. Will Julio remember all the tricks of making home networks secure?

Read up on it in this week's Spyware Horror Story.

>>See all Spyware Horror Stories

CandyBar for Mac adds style to your desktop

Part of the reason people buy Macs is because of Apple's attention to style. Whether it's bondi blue, smooth white, glossy black, or brushed metal, Mac hardware is as much about functionality as it is the overall aesthetic. Of course, attention to aesthetics doesn't stop at Apple hardware. Mac OS X and most Mac software shares the same smooth lines and beveled edges of the hardware surrounding it. The application icons in the Dock are bright and slick, and the open and close buttons on documents and applications are like pieces of candy. Anyone who has turned … Read more