Real Racing 3 brings the horsepower, but the freemium model prevents perfection

Real Racing 3 (iOS | Android) is the best in the popular auto racing series so far, with real-world cars, tight controls, and amazing graphics, but some people still may be turned off by the game's somewhat intrusive freemium model. In fact, this game would have been a CNET Editors' Choice if EA had stuck with the one-time purchase model of the first two games in the series.

Real Racing 3 delivers the most realistic racing experience available on a touch-screen device. Everything from the car models and textures to the lifelike physics as you speed around real-world tracks fully … Read more

Eye drops for images

The red-eye phenomenon caused by camera flashes can ruin a good photo, but often the so-called correction offered by photo-editing tools isn't much of an improvement. We can't tell you how many times we've tried these tools and ended up with big, fake-looking black splotches where our subject's pupils are supposed to be. If you've had similar experiences, try S10 RedEyes. This simple program makes it easy to fix the dreaded red-eye and produce natural-looking results.

The program's interface is plain and easy to navigate. We checked out the program's online Help file … Read more

Eliminate's 3G multiplayer: How'd they do that?

Ngmoco's Eliminate for the iPhone was a groundbreaking game in two ways. One was its pay-to-score business model, which offered the game for free, but required users to have virtual energy units (which could be bought) to gain rank and equipment bonuses. The second, and more important one, was the back-end server technology that let players hop onto online matches over 3G.

This feature was not so simple to implement, as Ngmoco's director of engineering Stephen Detwiler and lead engineer James Marr mapped out during a talk at Tuesday's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. As Marr … Read more

Clean your computer's clock

This program, like many others, promises to clean your Registry, make your computer run faster, and, if you're lucky, do your dishes, too. At least when it comes to cleaning your Registry, Advanced Registry Optimizer seems to do a pretty good job.

The scan process was easy to initiate and was done in about 3 minutes, although don't forget that the scan time depends on the computer system. A smart-looking row of five tabs and their labels makes navigating the program options stress-free, and the lack of lag on the system was much appreciated. The user interface has … Read more

Playing Eliminate Pro can eliminate your money

Popular iPhone gaming developer Ngmoco released Eliminate Pro yesterday, its much-anticipated, online, first-person shooter. This well-polished "free" game features smooth looking graphics, onscreen controls that are fairly effective (no match for a controller or keyboard/mouse setup, but that's to be expected), a number of power ups to improve your weapons and armor, and five playable maps. In-game kills and winning matches earn you credits you can use to buy new weapons and armor. There are eight armor types, five weapon types, and items to buy like armor designs (skins) to give you a new look. The … Read more

Simple Taskbar hider

Taskbar Eliminator is a very basic program that allows users to quickly hide and unhide their Taskbar. The program works fine, but it's made to do only one thing, and it's not very intuitive the first time out.

The program's interface is sparse, and even worse, there's no way to know how to access it without reading the publisher's description. We find this a pretty major failing; a program should at least be able to explain for itself how it should be accessed. Instead, the program hid our Taskbar immediately upon extraction, leaving us scrambling … Read more

Duplicate file finder

Space Hound 4 provides users with a simple method for tracking down wasted space. By seeking out duplicate files, this simple, professional-quality program is certain to win fans looking to improve computer quality.

The program's interface is colorful and professional, with excellent graphics and colors. The intuitive controls allow even novice users to work their way through the program without consulting the Help file, which we thought was a certain benefit. Users can choose to seek out identically named files, exact duplicates, files with identical content, and nonspecific file types. Once chosen, the computer can take up to several … Read more

Shine a light on this germ killing knife block

Germs. Those nasty little pests that seems to crawl up into anything and everything. To make matters worse, we can't even see them, lurking there in the dark. Well, now we can fear them no longer. Shine a light (literally) into those dark corners and 99.99 percent of the little bugs will be gone. At least gone from your knife set if you use The Germ Eliminating Knife Block from Hammacher Schlemmer.

The knife block uses UV-C light to disrupt the nasty goings-ons of microscopic critters like salmonella, listeria, and staphylococcus. This is the same method that hospitals … Read more

Never let balloons stick to you again

Every once in awhile, along comes a gadget that's most useful for what it doesn't produce. A perfect example is the "Static Electricity Eliminator."

All that's needed to work this simple little device is to press its rubber end against any grounded (metal) object until its light flashes, indicating that you're no longer a walking piece of Velcro for laundry just out of the dryer. As Coolest-Gadgets notes, it's particularly handy this time of year when a conspiracy of heaters, carpets, and loved ones threatens to turn you into a victim of spontaneous … Read more