Build

Flashy PDF converter

Solid Converter promises users one of the easiest programs for PDF conversion on the market. With its flashy design and basic flow, the designers have found a good balance with this excellent program.

The program has an interface that is a little crowded, but still manages to function well. Icons are large and cartoonish across the blue-and-white display, and are broken into four sections. The Getting Started section provides four icons for converting and modifying PDFs. There is a News box next to it. At the bottom of the screen is the Learning Center, with step-by-step tutorials for all processes. … Read more

The 404 365: Where Andrew WK gives us bloody noses

Artist and newly crowned TV show host ANDREW WK joins The 404 today in what might be the crowning moment of our careers. We run the gamut in our extra-long show--we chat about his music career, an upcoming album, his new show "Destroy Build Destroy," and Jeff and I actually reveal our two chance encounters with the man. IT'S TIME TO PARTY!

After pimping out his appearance on the show for the past two weeks, we're very, very excited to welcome Andrew WK to our humble studio. Unsurprisingly, Andrew's super posi vibe gels well with the group and we get right into the interview, beginning with a story about how Andrew got into the piano as a kid and how it shaped his music today.

If you haven't had a chance to see Andrew play live, do yourself a favor and check it out with The 404's highest recommendation for a guaranteed good time. Also be sure to listen for a very special clip from Andrew's newest sold-out record, "DAMN! The Mixtape Vol. 1", currently only available for download on iTunes or Amazon. We also pick Andrew's brain for his opinions on the current state of music, including the overuse of auto-tune and his newfound appreciation for Dave Matthews Band.

After the break, we launch right into a conversation about Andrew's newest endeavor, a brand new show debuting on the Cartoon Network this Saturday, 8:30 p.m. EDT called "Destroy Build Destroy." The premise is simple: two teams of teenagers (with plenty of guidance and safety measures) compete to destroy a large structure, build the remnants up into something else. The winner of the competition gets to obliterate the loser's! You had us at "destroy," Andrew, the premise sounds like a mix between Double Dare and Battle Bots.

AWK's all over the place! In addition to Santos Party House, his successful bar in downtown Manhattan, Andrew also talks about his next solo album entitled "55 Cadillac" that's a pretty wide departure from his normal rock and roll. Listen to a few clips on his MySpace, give him a call, and let him know how much you love it!

Click on the slideshow above for candid shots from our interview with Andrew WK, courtesy of Sara the Woah-mantern, and a big thanks goes out to Anna David for introducing us to AWK! Wait, is it time to party yet? Yeah, it's time...LET'S GET A PARTY STARTED!

EPISODE 365 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Instant messaging tool

MSC Messenger attempts to be an alternative instant messaging system with some added bonuses. While it piles on the additional choices, most users will need to let their head stop spinning before using this program.

The interface will look somewhat familiar to anyone who has sent instant messages in the past. The rectangular screen is perfectly sized for keeping track of buddies and monitoring conversations. However, MSC provides an almost overwhelming number of added icons and commands that will probably lead most users to the online Help menu for some direction. Once users familiarize themselves with the layout, adding buddies … Read more

Mozilla goes enterprise with Build a Browser program

Despite its 22.51 percent global market share, Mozilla's Firefox browser has yet to crack the enterprise IT barrier. While Firefox is undoubtedly used widely in the enterprise, Internet Explorer is still the default choice for enterprise IT, in part because Mozilla has never made any particular market, including enterprise IT, a focus.

No more. Perhaps responding to criticism that Firefox lacked the tools to help enterprise IT departments manage its deployment, Mozilla is now rolling out a Build Your Own Browser program. The program aims to provide "a good fit for enterprises that want to create a … Read more

Easy photo alteration

Photo editing can be a long and painful process, especially for people inexperienced with the complex software and processes involved. PhotoPerfect Express provides users with the ability to make quick changes to their images without a lot of hassle.

This free program has an incredibly simple interface. Using traditional file search methods for selecting a picture, your images quickly dominate the screen. Along the top are a few options for editing, saving, and making batches. Along the right-hand side are five different thumbnails of the main photo. Clicking on each thumbnail shows how PhotoPerfect applies a different finish to your … Read more

Prefab green home builder to close shop

Michelle Kaufmann Designs, a company formed to sell pre-built green homes, is shutting down, a victim of deflated housing prices and the credit industry meltdown.

The Oakland, California-based company installed about 40 energy-efficient single-family homes that were prefabricated in a factory near Seattle. The company had hundreds more that were in the planning stages but it was unable to deliver them, in part because of the difficulty of financing new construction.

"We have always known that to pull off our mission, it requires scale. We always believed it would be our company to do the scaling. We were well … Read more

Something in the air kills flu virus

A British company continues to offer a portable decontamination device that should come as breath of fresh air to a flu-weary public.

In fact the unit duplicates the ability of "outdoor fresh air" to destroy a wide range of airborne viruses and bacteria including the H5N1, influenza, and SARS, all within minutes of contact, according to Tri--Air Developments. "It's almost so good that nobody is going to believe it," admits Martin Wyatt, of the Buildings Research Establishment, a quasi-government agency that has been involved with the development.

The London based company claims it has already … Read more

Transparent plastic solar cells fitted into windows

Solar company Konarka has developed a transparent solar cell that it hopes will be built onto electricity-generating windows.

The Lowell, Mass.-based company on Tuesday said it has reached an agreement with Arch Aluminum & Glass to use Konarka's plastic solar cells in building materials, including windows.

Under its Arch Active Solar Glass development, the company has built prototypes of windows with the solar cells between two panes of glass. The photovoltaic cells can be tinted different colors.

"It is energy-efficient and transparent with superior vertical performance and a subtle red, blue or green aesthetic. With these features, … Read more

Organize chat options

With so many ways to network and socialize online, you may find it difficult to keep track of everything. Digsby promises to help keep chat, e-mail, and social networking conversations in one convenient place, but it didn't work exactly as we expected.

This freeware program looks a great deal like popular chat programs, such as AIM. With a skinny rectangular box running along the side of your computer you can simply click the prompt to add accounts to get started. From here you will find a menu of seven different IM programs to choose from, six different e-mail programs, … Read more

Quick desktop notes

Ever had to write yourself a quick message? NotesHolder is a program designed to let you scribble down thoughts and quickly return to the business at hand. With a sleek design and simple commands, this could replace those little yellow paper stickies littering your desk.

This program embeds itself in your desktop's tray for easy access. Its interface is very simple and should be a breeze for all note writers. This rectangular display has a box at the top prompting users to double click and enter their note. This brings up a new box that can easily be filled … Read more