Utilities and drivers

Top 10 Windows downloads of 2010

CNET Download.com served up more than a billion software downloads in 2010, and the 10 products listed below made a huge contribution to that delivery load. To recognize those software programs that have dominated the Most Popular list for this year, we've compiled the total download counts for the products in the Download.com catalog in the year 2010, and we've ranked the top-10 biggest, for both Windows and Mac.

One notable program not on the list deserves mention. The popular file-sharing program LimeWire has been a staple of the Most Popular list for several years, but … Read more

New scam tactic: Fake disk defraggers

We've all heard about fake antivirus programs, also known as scareware. These programs falsely claim that your computer is infected with malware and prompt you to buy a product that will do nothing for you, except put your credit card number into the hands of criminals.

Well now there are fake disk defraggers that masquerade as applications that fix disk errors on a computer. In a post today the GFI Labs (formerly Sunbelt Software) blog Dubbed the programs FakeAV-Defrag rogues and said they had names like HDDDiagnostic, HDDRepair, HDDRescue, and HDDPlus.

It would appear that the scammers are trying … Read more

A unique GPS app and an arcade golf game: iPhone apps of the week

A news item this week over at AppleInsider uncovered a troubling practice by a developer at the iTunes App Store. Apparently, users who downloaded a free massive multiplayer online game from a Chinese developer complained of unauthorized in-app purchases, running up the bills on their iTunes accounts. One user reported the situation to Apple resulting in him getting a refund for the fraudulent purchases and Apple promising to investigate the claims.

Even with a closed system like iTunes, apparently it is still possible for dishonest people to find a way to steal our money. Let's hope that Apple gets to the bottom of this case and finds a way to prevent these unauthorized purchases in the future. Until there's more news about this problem, be sure to regularly check your iTunes receipts (sent to the e-mail address attached to your iTunes account) for strange charges and report the issue to Apple if you have any problems.

This week's apps include a unique location-based social network app and an arcade golf game where you flick to win.… Read more

New site Fitango brokers self-improvement plans

Just in time for New Year's resolution season, a site called Fitango has launched, intending to provide a marketplace where people can buy "plans" from experts who can offer online tutorials in anything from training for a marathon to transitioning to a vegan diet to learning as much Italian as possible one month before traveling to Florence.

It's structured like an app store. Pick an "Actionplan," pay for it (though some are free), and you'll receive instructions, including video and audio, where applicable, over a given span of time. You're invited to … Read more

ClearContext attacks Outlook with an organizational bent

Editors' note: This article originally stated in error that ClearContext Professional was released this week. The content below has been updated to correct this mistake.

As evidenced by this article on NudgeMail, e-mail organization is of personal interest to me--and I know I'm not the only inbox control freak structured individual in existence. Certainly, ClearContext was counting on that when it developed ClearContext Professional, a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook.

The goal of ClearContext Professional is to help you stay in control of your inbox by providing organizational tools and rules for e-mails, tasks, appointments, and projects. Adding it to … Read more

Camtasia 7.1 offers useful new features

Anyone interested in producing professional-looking movies and demos from the computer screen needs some quality screencasting software, and TechSmith's Camtasia definitely fits the bill. This app strikes the perfect balance between powerful tools and ease of use.

Considering the relatively minor boost in version number, Camtasia offers quite a few feature updates. The program now includes the capability to record system audio, as well as automatically resize windows during recording. Plus, you get the option to "smartfocus" on key frames and add closed captions to your presentation. Additonally, the app offers speech-to-text with a voice training feature; … Read more

Get better screen captures with Snagit for Mac

Arguably one of the best screen capture programs for Windows is now available on the Mac. TechSmith's Snagit has a long history with Windows fans as a highly flexible and feature-rich tool for quickly grabbing visual info on your screen. The software's main strength is that it offers a number of tools for adding graphics--like arrows, boxes, and thought and speech balloons--to call out specific areas on the screen. When you're finished with a capture, you can quickly add the project to a presentation, just about any document, or send the screen capture through e-mail. One of … Read more

Evernote for Android revs to version 2.0

The ever-functional and increasingly popular note-taking application Evernote has been available on desktop and mobile devices for a few years, though the app for the Android OS became available only at the beginning of this year. Today, the company made some noticeable improvements to the interface and functionality of the app with version 2.0.

The first thing Evernote addressed on its Android app was the home screen, which is now cleaner and simpler to navigate. Here, you're greeted with six main options: new note, snapshot, all notes, tags, notebooks, and search. This screen also displays sync status, when … Read more

Take a video tour of CCleaner 3

CCleaner doesn't get major updates often, but this one's definitely worth upgrading to. The popular freeware now offers a drive wiper and "intelligent" browser cookie control, along with a faster scan and improvement tweaks to pre-existing features. Watch what's new in CCleaner 3 in this First Look video.

Skype 5 beta for Mac adds group video calls

Skype's VoIP calling is by now well known to most Mac users, and the ability to make computer-to-computer calls anywhere in the world for free is already extremely popular to international users. Skype's official version on the Mac is 2.8 and is still a bit behind its Windows counterpart (Skype 5 for Windows). But a beta release today brings the software to version 5.0 on the Mac, and the Skype team has added some great new features to get excited about.

Sporting a familiar, more iTunes-like interface, Skype makes it easy to search through contacts and … Read more