The Download Blog

Two useful Facebook apps for the socially promiscuous

I wanted to touch on two Facebook apps this afternoon that are highly useful for people with a lot of friends. One is to keep an eye on them, while the other is simply a means of extending your presence on multiple networks at the same time.

The first is called Unfriender, and it's been kicking around since last month. Once installed and given access to your data, it'll keep an eye on people you've added as friends and let you know if they've removed you as a friend later down the line. As a reason … Read more

Green light for Yahoo Go 3.0

As part of the Consumer Electronics Show extravaganza in Las Vegas this week, Yahoo has opted to announce the next iteration of its mobile offering, Yahoo Go. The new beta product arrives at a time when just about every other huge name in tech--Google, Apple, you name it--is making a bigger push for the handset market, and (slightly) smaller brands like Facebook and MTV have been tweaking their mobile products.

Yahoo, however, isn't about to put out a Yahoo Phone. The new Yahoo Go 3.0, rather, is a free downloadable application compatible with about 30 different handsets so … Read more

Sony: Skype coming to PSP this month

The rumors were true: Skype is coming to the PSP. The leading voice-over-IP phone service will be made available to PSP users worldwide in a free firmware update scheduled for later this month. The catch? The service will only work on the new Slim PSP model, not the original bulkier " PSP 1000" (which, as of fall 2007, is no longer produced). The press release lists the other obvious caveats: you'll need to have access to Wi-Fi; have a Skype account (it's free, with paid upgrades for calling to and from non-Skype numbers); and a Skype-compatible "… Read more

Power Downloader finds a new online photo browser

With 2008 under way, Power Downloader knew it was time to get back to work. His first order of business would be to sift through e-mails that had piled up over the holidays. After scanning through the messages from various contacts around the world, Power came upon an e-mail from Francois Foto, one of Power's most trusted contacts from France.

After wishing Power Downloader a happy new year, Francois Foto mentioned that one of his new year's resolutions was to use his vast photo library in a some sort of project. One idea he thought of was to … Read more

Make your Firefox SnapBack

One of the niftier functions of Apple's Safari browser is the SnapBack function. Now a Firefox extension with the same name of SnapBack introduces this feature to Mozilla users and comes with some helpful options beyond the base function of providing a quick way to return to an impermanent bookmark.

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Find It! for BlackBerry tells you where to go

Google and Microsoft haven't quite cornered the market on mobile search and directions apps, at least not yet. Infospace Find It!, built with the BlackBerry in mind, gives users multiple entry points to search businesses, people, and directions while squeezing in features not yet stocked by competitors.

To satisfy variant search methods, Find It! sorts searches by name, by category, and by maps and directions. When choosing to search by name, you can look up a business or person in or near a location. This wasn't always successful during my tests, nor was the reverse phone number lookup, a feature unique to Find It! among its better-known and more prosperous rivals. However, when Find It! did strike gold, it didn't skimp in doling it out. Upon locating an individual or business, users can click-to-call, view a map, get directions, save the entry to the address book, and see what else is nearby.

I should mention that both Microsoft's Windows Live Search for Windows Mobile and Google Maps for Mobile had their fair share of data holes--one didn't even register CNET after a search, the brute--so Find It!'s defaults are common to still-youthful mobile search.… Read more

Cursor*10 scores the first big Flash hit of 2008

It might not have much competition yet, but the most entertaining Flash game of 2008 so far is the inventive puzzler/platformer Cursor*10. At first, the gameplay looks extremely basic. Simply click on the "up" staircases to make your way through 16 levels that contain only stairs, pyramids, and buttons. Exploding pyramids give you 1 point apiece, whereas reaching the 16th level provides 100 points.

I won't ruin the game by explaining how to play, but the basic innovation of Cursor*10 is that you'll most likely need to use each of your 10 allotted cursors wisely and efficiently in order to even reach the finish, let alone collect pyramids along the way. Each of your cursors exists within the same time frame, so that by the time you reach your seventh or eighth cursor, you'll see numerous arrows scattering about the levels, blasting pyramids, pressing buttons, and scampering up stairs.… Read more

SlingPlayer for BlackBerry coming in 2008

It's been hinted at for months, but Sling Media has finally officially confirmed that a BlackBerry version of the company's SlingPlayer software is on deck. The software--which allows live TV to be streamed from any Slingbox model--is designed for broadband-enabled (3G wireless or Wi-Fi) BlackBerry smartphones. The software will cost the same one-time $30 fee as the similar versions already available for Windows Mobile, Palm, and Symbian phones. Sling will be demoing an early version of the software on the Pearl 8120 at CES next week, and the company hopes to have it ready for public release by … Read more

MacHeist II uncovers more great Mac deals

Last year about this time, several independent Mac software developers teamed up to put together a bundle of nine award-winning Mac apps for the vastly reduced price of $49--with 25 percent of the purchase price donated to the charity of your choice (chosen from a list). The whole thing took place at a very well-designed site called MacHeist.com and more than 16,000 users snapped up the limited time offer--it was really a great deal! The fun part about the offer was that the developers of MacHeist made it into a kind of scavenger hunt by letting users search … Read more

Your spyware may just be dust bunnies

I'll be the first to admit that the appearance of an ominously blue, ominously blank screen followed by an instant shut-down smacks of malware. Well, it smacks of something, and file-eating, process-disrupting intruders are the most likely cause.

They're also the most convenient excuse for explaining away perplexing computer abnormality. As Sara from Southend, U.K., reminds us, however, that might not be exactly the case.

Complete your scans, by all means, but if nothing suspicious turns up, start looking at your hardware, particularly if it's a few years old. Dust, crumbs, and other crud pile up, … Read more