Build

Sothink Video Converter Pro review

Sothink Video Converter Pro offers a comprehensive range of format and resolution options through an accessible interface. The encoding profiles are categorized to serve the needs of computers, streaming applications, smartphones, tablets, and game consoles, proving to be easy to use.

Pros

Very intuitive: We liked the Sothink Video Converter Pro interface because it's clean, ergonomic, and straightforward for novices. Everything is easily attainable: actions at the top, conversion options concentrated in five drop-down menus at the left, and file management in the main pane.

Batch processing: This is a lifesaver that boosts productivity, but we would like to … Read more

Vegas Pro (32-bit) review

Vegas Pro is Sony Creative Software's professional HD video editing and production suite. It's pro-class in capabilities and it isn't cheap. But it's hardly the most expensive, making Vegas Pro a viable option for sophisticated amateurs, too. Vegas Pro 11 (Build 7) adds GPU acceleration for OpenCL-supported devices and some bug fixes. Vegas Pro comes in separate versions for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows; we tried the 32-bit version.

Pros

For pros: From its busy but efficient interface to features like stereoscopic 3D, integrated audio management, scripting, and multicamera support, Vegas Pro is squarely aimed at production … Read more

MoviEZ HD review

MoviEZ HD makes it easy for you to create memorable videos in high definition and personalize them with music, voiceover, titles, and captions. In addition, this program allows you to easily share your creations online on YouTube and Facebook, as well as upload to mobile devices. Editing videos can be a complicated and frustrating process, but not with this app, which does most of the work for you.

Pros

Fast and to the point: MoviEZ HD makes the video editing process as easy as possible for you. You'll appreciate its smooth and well-designed interface and the ease with which … Read more

Internet Download Manager review

Internet Download Manager gives you the tools to download many types of files from the Internet and organize them as you see fit. You can categorize each file as you download it, and then access all downloads right from the app's main interface.

Pros

Speedy: Most short video files are downloaded almost instantly. As soon as you click "Download," a message pops up telling you the process is complete. You can then play the video immediately, or return to your browser to find more clips.

Browser integration: Since this app integrates with your browser, it can automatically … Read more

Windows 8.1 announcements at Build 2014

Today Microsoft officially announced upcoming features for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 at the Build developer conference in San Francisco.

The Windows Phone 8.1 update introduces the Action Center, a slide-down panel for notifications and phone activity similar to what's available for iOS and Android. The update brings customizable notification settings for developers, including app-specific triggers for vibration and sound.

Another big update is the introduction of Cortana, Microsoft's personal assistant powered by the Bing search engine. Though the keynote demo had some hiccups, Cortana's voice recognition shows a lot of progress and … Read more

Office for iPad rumors give Microsoft's stock a boost

Microsoft's share price hit levels Tuesday not seen since the dot-com boom days, with analysts attributing the rise to a report on Monday of Office finally landing on the iPad.

Microsoft's shares rose as much as 5 percent to $39.90 on Tuesday, adding $15 billion to the company's value, Reuters reported. The last time the software giant's shares flirted with $40 was in July 2000.

ZDNet, Reuters, and others reported on Monday that Microsoft has scheduled a March 27 press briefing in San Francisco where Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella will introduce the Microsoft … Read more

Build with Chrome is a virtual Lego time-suck, but worth it

You really, really want to build something out of little plastic bricks, but you're stuck in your office, far away from your Lego stash. Lucky for you, Google has just unveiled Build with Chrome, a virtual Lego playground that gives you access to all sorts of pieces for building online.

You can jump right in, or take some lessons first. The Build Academy sets you against a series of challenges to train you to be a master builder. You're guided along by a virtual hippy-wizard Lego minifig, a character that ties in marketing-wise with the upcoming Lego movie. It starts off basic with learning how to rotate your baseplate and gets increasingly more complex as you hone your skills.… Read more

Is 3D printing the future of home building?

Building a 2,500-square-foot house in less than 20 hours? It sounds like a tall tale, but a professor at the University of Southern California says it is absolutely possible. He would toss out traditional building practices and replace them with a single 3D printer.

It's called contour crafting, creator Behrokh Khoshnevis, the director of the manufacturing engineering graduate program USC, tells CBS News.

"Construction the way it's done today is very wasteful," he explained in a presentation at TEDxOjai. "Our solution benefits from advanced technology...It is essentially a way of streamlining the process … Read more

Review: Photo Go lets you import, edit, organize, and share your photos

Photo Go is a powerful photo editing program with many convenient features and an intuitive interface. The app lets you import photos from a digital camera or directly from your computer. Once they've been imported, you can edit, organize, and share them with ease. Add effects and filters to make pictures more special or reduce red-eye to make your photos look more professional.

Installing Photo Go takes a bit longer than some other apps, but it is a straightforward process. You do have to register the software online before using it, but this takes only a minute or two. … Read more

Review: Mellel is a powerful word processor for Mac

Mellel looks no different from other word processors on Mac OS X at first glance, but offers a robust array of tools designed specifically for its target audience. Buried beneath the surface are numerous tools for crafting live bibliographies, formatting documents actively, and managing an outline of your document as you develop it -- all perfect for scholars, technical writers, and others with heavy citation and annotation needs.

Mellel is a big file so it takes some time to download, install, and open for the first time. Once it does, however, it runs smoothly. Everything looks sleek and modern, and … Read more