The 404 565: Where we get drunk off Ben & Jerry's (podcast)

We've arrived at another Del Conte Thursday and we're all getting Buzzed to celebrate, which could mean one of three possible scenarios:

1. We use Google Buzz to see what our West Coast friends are up to at 8 a.m. on a Thursday morning.

2. We log on to AT&T's new Buzz.com to find the closest bodega that carries Yerba Mate, aka "weed tea."

3. We plan to get sloshed on Bonnaroo Buzz, a new coffee-flavored ice cream with English toffee pieces and whiskey caramel swirls.

Which one is it? I'm not just going to tell you; you have to listen to find out, dummy.

Speaking of food, there's plenty to complain about as we run down the 10 most irritating types of restaurant patrons, even though I've been known to pilfer a few free saltine crackers in my time. Natali also confesses that she's constantly asking waiters to help her make a decision only to go with the dish that they don't recommend, and Jeff can't seem to understand the difference between fake Mexican and authentic Puerto Rican food.

Hulu just announced plans to roll out its new subscription-based service starting as soon as May 24. For $9.95 a month, you'll gain access to premium content called Hulu Plus that could include the entire back catalog of popular shows like "Lost," "Glee," and "Saturday Night Live," to name a few.

The room agrees that we'd all happily pay $10 for the extra episodes, especially considering it costs that much for a monthly unlimited text messaging plan. The only visible downside to consider is the gross amount of time I already spend in Hulu's capable hands, so I'll take this opportunity to say a fond farewell to my co-workers, friends, and family. If you need me, I'll be in my room.

We're getting a lot of quality Calls From the Public, but we still need more callbacks! That's when you give us a ring at 1-866-404-CNET and say, "This is (your location) from (your name) and you're listening to The 404, the show where (insert random comment here)." It's quick, easy to do, and if it's good we'll definitely play it on the air!

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Juicing your files

If you're a graphic designer or you otherwise work a lot with images, File Juicer can be an extremely useful (if narrow in purpose) utility. Like a kitchen juicer extracts juice from fruits and vegetables, this application "juices" a wide variety of image formats and even audio and video out of almost any kind of file, from browser caches to Microsoft Office docs--so for example, you can drop a PowerPoint onto File Juicer, and the app will extract any images, text, and even Flash and ZIP files from the presentation.

File Juicer excels at its core purpose, … Read more

Have a microphone? You could win Monster Turbine headphones

OK, maybe the name of the contest, "The Audiophillie Music Awards for Excellence in Recorded Sound" is a little intimidating. If that's what's holding you back, rest easy; record some tunes from an unsigned band, or your uncle playing Grateful Dead tunes on a banjo and you could win. A recording of a tuba playing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" might be a contender.

Lo-fi entries are welcome, so if you sing or play any instrument, you have a shot at winning a set of either Monster Turbine Pro Gold ($299) or Pro Copper ($399) … Read more

It's all in the Numbers

Numbers for iPad works well for creating spreadsheets and organizing data while away from your desktop, with a multitude of useful tools and a smart interface design to make your spreadsheet work easier. The app comes with a Getting Started file that walks you through everything from basic spreadsheet use to more complicated features using an intuitive tabbed interface. As you learn the various features, the Getting Started file directs you to try them on your own as you go--an excellent way to learn the ins and outs of Numbers.

The touch interface makes interacting with spreadsheets easy. Add rows … Read more

Inside CNET Labs 80: The excellence of character (podcast)

So Southwest airlines had a good old, fun time with director Kevin Smith this week. Hilarity ensued to be certain, but Eric feels the need to step onto his very worn soapbox about something that, at the end of the day, isn't really important. Entertaining though!

Then, an epic battle ensues between Dong's left and right brains. No matter who wins, we lose.

Finally, hackers get banned. Dong blames Apple and I sit back, relax, and rake in the cash. Just another day for Mr. B Natural.

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Pointless tax prep

Tax Assistant for Excel is a set of Excel worksheets that assist users in completing their income taxes using forms 1040 or 1040A. We're not sure why a user would want to use Excel for taxes when there are so many programs and Web sites that are better-suited to the job, and functional problems in Tax Assistant for Excel make it even less attractive.

The workbook presents users with Excel versions of IRS forms and workbooks with an introductory page that's supposed to provide instructions. Unfortunately, we kept receiving error messages about macros (although we had enabled macros … Read more

Give it Pivot

Microsoft Excel's PivotTable reports feature is a handy way to view and study large amounts of data quickly from several perspectives. It lets you rotate rows and columns of data to see different summaries, filter the data in various ways, or display the details for any area of your choice. Its chief drawback is an inability to edit data when using it. Excel4U's Pivot4U 2.0 is a handy Excel add-in that lets you enter and edit data directly in PivotTables. You can change the value of data in cells, subtotal rows, or Grand Totals columns. When you'… Read more

Restaurant rate reducer

It's hard enough to make a go of a restaurant by emphasizing things like food, service, and sanitation. Where too many good restaurants fail is not in the kitchen or the dining room but in the office, where costs, inventory, and profit and loss are often left to fend for themselves. Restaurateurs who want to succeed need to pay as close attention to their bottom line as they do their menus. Spreadsheet123's Restaurant Monthly Profit and Loss Statement Template for Excel RPLT 1 isn't too long a title for such a helpful tool. It contains five Excel … Read more


AsdGraph3D Pro Excel Addin gives you the capability to create three-dimensional graphs with data from Excel spreadsheets. These 3D graphs can also plot ActiveX controls that can be used in programs such as Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer.

The 3D graphs this add-in produces aren't flashy and would be best used for programming purposes rather than for design or illustrations. Graphic design experience left us unimpressed with the look of the graphs that the program produces; however, from a programming perspective, they're quite sufficient. There's a good built-in Help file that explains the program's controls and … Read more

Office to-go

If you work with Microsoft Office documents, you'll never achieve the status of true mobile employee without an office viewing-and-editing suite like Documents To Go. The premium build goes beyond the free, standard version to let you edit and create Office documents, like Word files and Excel spreadsheets. Documents To Go Premium Edition 2.0 adds four new features since the previous version. There's a file browser to delete, rename, and copy and paste all the Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF files across the Documents To Go sub-apps. There's also an enriched PDF To Go … Read more