Tools, utilities, and drivers

9 apps for the 4th of July

We celebrate the Fourth of July with backyard BBQ and "Independence Day" reruns. But the holiday's about honoring America's fiercely independent spirit and the patriots who fought for our enduring political freedoms. Nothing symbolizes the spirit of independence better than fireworks, which have been part of Fourth of July festivities since 1777. To find, photograph, or even play with fireworks, check out our picks for the best fireworks-themed apps.

Eventful

Not sure where to go for the best view of the fireworks? Eventful (iOS) is like Yelp for local activities. Get alerts and search for nearby … Read more

Google I/O recap: Major Android news; Chrome OS update

Today Google kicked off its annual I/O conference with announcements about Android, Chrome OS, its answer to Apple's HealthKit, and the next generation of developer tools.

Introducing Android L: Android OS's KitKat successor doesn't have a name yet, but it'll begin with L. The platform update will attempt to unite Web and app user experiences through the Material Design interface. Developers will be able to use Google's new Polymer toolkit to design Web apps that look like their Android counterparts, including 3D rendering. Android L also promises notifications on the lock screen (like iOS … Read more

Mix it up with DJ Music Mixer for 60 percent off

A full-featured DJ and beatmatching system, DJ Music Mixer is a regular favorite with our users for having a beginner-friendly interface combined with a feature-rich toolset. It's a great entry-level software for learning and DJing small get-togethers. DJ Music Mixer helps you quickly grasp the basics without paying a premium price. For one week only, you can get it for only $11.98 -- 60 percent off the regular $29.95 price. Check out the trial before you buy.

Key Features

Mixes music and songs professionally with crossfade. Powerful equalizers with predefined settings. Complete mixing control with cue and … Read more

TrueCrypt's cryptic warning is downright alarming

Popular encryption program TrueCrypt released a peculiar statement on its SourceForge page, warning users about a potential vulnerability and recommending they abandon TrueCrypt.

"WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues," says the red text atop the page. The warning further states that the app ceased development in May, after Microsoft ended support of Windows XP. The developers recommend migrating any True Crypt-encrypted data to encrypted disks supported by users' OS.

The use of TrueCrypt had increased in recent months, thanks to Edward Snowden's endorsement. The latest build is still offered on … Read more

Name your own price coding bundle at Udemy

We're doing something a little different this week. Instead of the usual software deal, we've partnered with StackSocial to bring you some of the best coding classes on popular online learning platform Udemy. The price? You decide. The best part is that 10 percent of your purchase will go to the charity of your choice. This deal is available through StackSocial.

Learn how to be a Web developer, design your own Web site, or just improve your coding skills with these lectures, videos, and tutorials. Beat the average price (currently $14.66), and you'll get all eight … Read more

Techsmith takes $30 off Camtasia Studio 8, introduces new Snagit 12

Camtasia Studio is an all-in-one professional screen capturing tool and video editor. With tons of features, a friendly UI, and easy-to-follow instructions, Camtasia is the first choice for many Windows users looking to make stunning videos. For this week only, you can get the rarely discounted, feature-rich suite at 10 percent off the regular price.

Features Capture what you're seeing and doing right on your desktop. Create videos, and add professional polish with its powerful video editor. Engage and keep your audience's attention with interactive pop-ups and quizzes. Save and share with your audience on YouTube, Facebook, or … Read more

18 apps for Mom on Mother's Day

Your mother loves you, but she probably counted the days 'til you turned 18. So, in honor of Mother's Day -- coming up May 11 -- we have 18 iOS and Android apps. Treat yourself and your mama to some handy, affordable tools that every mother should have. And for gifts with power buttons, check out CNET's Mother's Day Tech Gift Guide for cameras, wearable tech, home theater, and more.

For new moms:

Baby Monitor App

Concerned about the tyke being safe in the crib? Worry no more with this app, which turns a second smartphone into … Read more

Modify Web image text with Project Naptha

In what appears to be nothing short of JavaScript black magic, Project Naptha allows you to select and modify text from any Web image. Using character-recognition technology derived from several sources, such as Microsoft Research Lab and Google's Tesseract open-source OCR engine, the Project Naptha extension also enables you to remove, translate, and edit text in Web images. You simply move your cursor over text to highlight and start editing.

Project Naptha will help when you want to search terms or words inside an image. You can also translate directly onto pictures -- great for maps and travel planning … Read more

Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed is a security flaw that's plaguing as much as two-thirds of the Internet, including many popular sites like Yahoo and GitHub. On sites affected by Heartbleed, user accounts are vulnerable -- your username, password, credit card number, and other private information may be exposed. Companies are scrambling to patch their sites.

But don't sit around waiting for a fix. Take these two defensive steps (and one more if you have an Android device):

1. Check whether your most-visited sites are vulnerable

CNET has already checked the top 100 sites to see if they have Heartbleed patches, so … Read more

5 tips for running Windows XP relatively safely

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, an OS still used by approximately 20-25% of Windows customers. That means one in four PC users must upgrade to a more secure, supported version of Windows or risk their un-updated, un-patched version of Windows XP catching a virus or other Internet bug. As a rule of thumb, we always recommend upgrading your OS and then updating it as often as possible to protect your system. If you're switching to a new OS, read how to migrate easily from Windows XP. However, if you're a die-hard who wants to keep a Windows … Read more