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Capture, record the screen with Jing 2.1: First Look

Its emphasis on getting screen captures and screencasts shot and shared makes the freemium application Jing extremely quick and easy to use for Mac and Windows users. I use its big brother, the professional capture app Snagit, at work (we take a lot of screenshots in these parts,) but I've often installed Jing on laptops and on other peoples' computers when I need something light and free.

The one irony for Windows users is that if you don't have the .NET framework installed, it adds a few more minutes of set-up time and a heftier footprint. The benefit … Read more

Corel Home Office 1.0: Netbook-friendly

Try it | Full review

This week, Corel came out with a brand-new suite of office applications for XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users. Corel Home Office ($69.99) bundles in three applications: Write, the word processor, Calculate, the spreadsheet maker, and Show, the presentations builder.

Corel Home Office differs from other Corel office suites in two ways. First, it's been written with a new code base, so it's not a perfect continuation of Corel WordPerfect Office. It doesn't hurt that the suite is the near-spitting image of Microsoft Office 2007 in layout and design.

Second, it has … Read more

Safari 4's fast, but not perfect: First Look video

Apple is touting Safari 4 as the fastest browser on the Web for both Windows and Mac. Depending on your computer's specs, that may indeed be true. However, if you need more than speed, Safari may not be the best choice. It's zippy with the JavaScript, but on Windows machines it still consumes a huge amount of RAM and still doesn't support extensions--something the Mac version can do.

What it does offer, though, is a uniquely visual browser right out of the box. Top Sites and Cover Flow for History and Bookmark browsing will either entice or … Read more

Screen sharing in Skype 4.1 beta: First Look

Last week, Skype rolled out a beta update to version 4.0 of its Windows VoIP application. Its pinnacle is the screen-sharing functionality that's new to Skype 4.1 beta.

Screen sharing in Skype is by no means a finished product, but it is an interesting addition that gives the desktop communications software extra dimension and definition today. In future releases, it could even help Skype compete against the other mobile communicators in the market that have incorporated voice calling of their own. Watch how it works in this First Look video.

Also check out Roundup: Screen-sharing is caring.Read more

Social network in Outlook, but no stability

This free Outlook plug-in introduces many useful features to the e-mail client, but it lacks that essential intangible: stability. iLook Social installs as a sidebar pane and brings souped-up searching and filtering, robust Skype integration, nonfunctioning e-mail controls, e-mail content and attachment exporting, and somewhat mediocre Facebook support.

The search and Skype features are the strongest, but could be better. Boolean searches are not supported, nor are cross-folder queries, and the nature of Outlook requires you to manually create a new search results folder that iLook doesn't address. The Skype support is strong, with decent chat quality, contact list … Read more

iLook struggles to make Outlook more social

Improving Outlook is no easy feat given that it's notoriously anti-social when it comes to social networking. The free Outlook plug-in iLook Social and Outlook tries to make Microsoft's ubiquitous e-mail client a bit more sociable by including souped-up searching and filtering, Skype integration, e-mail controls, content and attachment exporting, and Facebook support.

For a sidebar pane, it's a good list of features with an interface that integrates smoothly into Outlook 2007. Desktop e-mail clients are going to have to adapt to social networking far better than they have to survive, especially if the future of e-mail … Read more

Give Windows Mobile looks and brains--video

Few could claim that Windows Mobile phones are known for their captivating interfaces. In fact, some designs seem cramped and downright austere. A snappy and slick-looking user-interface replacement like the recently updated Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 can not only make your phone look like a million bucks, but it can also do it two ways while making the phone's other features easier to access and control. The built-in app launcher helps you get to settings, frequently used apps, and the task manager, while a very visual contact launcher lets friends' photos take center stage. That includes letting you … Read more

How you doin'?: Monitors that bring out the Joey Tribbiani

Let me get something out of the way before you read on. CNET considers the performance of LCD computer monitors to be the most important consideration when reviewing a model; that's the reason performance accounts for a full 50 percent of the CNET review score a monitor receives.

In the last couple of weeks, I've posted a few LCD computer monitor comparisons, mostly based on performance, with one based on price and value.

Having said that, design accounts for 20 percent of the review score, so it's important, too.

Read on to see my picks for the best-looking LCD computer monitors.… Read more

Screensharing is more than an echo

Oneeko re-interprets screen sharing as a shared, collaborative space that lacks polish and grace, but is robust nonetheless. Pronounced "one echo," Oneeko shares can be initiated only from PCs, but Mac and Linux users can share their screens, too. You can initiate a share via Skype, e-mail, or through the Oneeko Web site. The sharing process sends out a link, and from there the user can see your computer. Skype integration streamlines voice communication during the share process.

Oneeko's most striking feature is its interface, which is based on a looking-glass concept. The UI is topped by … Read more

Watch Windows 7 RC in action

Microsoft impressed many with its Windows 7 beta, and the new Windows 7 Release Candidate looks even better. More than mere bug fixes, the Windows 7 Release Candidate improves on device management and search-term highlighting, and includes support for a virtual XP mode to run older programs. Preview what's new in this First Look video, and don't miss the hand's on review.