source

Mozilla Thunderbird review

Mozilla Thunderbird offers a range of options for PC users without access to robust paid software like Microsoft Outlook. Allowing you to integrate multiple mailboxes with SMTP or POP protocols, Thunderbird is a lightweight, responsive piece of software that works well.

Pros

Open source and customizable: Because Thunderbird is developed by Mozilla, the group behind Firefox, it is more customizable than Outlook, a closed tool developed by Microsoft. At the same time, it offers all of the basics you need right out of the box, so you don't have to worry about highly complicated technical setup if you're … Read more

Feedly review

A lightweight and elegant RSS news reader, Feedly does a good job at aggregating content from your favorite Web sites and presenting it in a mobile-optimized format, saving you the trouble of having to switch between browser tabs. You'll love its good looks and intuitive controls, but expect to run into problems when trying to watch videos.

Pros

Streamlined interface: Feedly provides a scrollable feed view, which displays article headlines and previews -- tap on a headline and you enter an ad-free article view mode where you can read the content without the distraction of a sidebar. You'll … Read more

Notepad++ review

Notepad++ is a powerful, feature-packed text editor that more or less has everything Notepad needs but lacks (it can replace Notepad in Windows). It supports 27 programming languages, searches regular expressions, and supports syntax highlighting and folding, synchronized edits and views, and much more.

Pros

Loads of options: Behind a clean face and busy but efficient toolbar, Notepad++ is a wonder of features and options. One favorite: Default Directory has two choices, Follow current document and Remember last directory. Another: The "old, obsolete" desktop icon is a setup option.

Options to load: We could set Notepad++ not to … Read more

The 404 1,447: Where we put on our party hats (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Seven people around the world collectively possess a set of keys that can dismantle the Web.

- Turn your Instagram pics into real photos with the Lifeprint.

- Skirmos system levels up laser tag with open-source Arduino microcomputer.

- Almost time to panic: 95 percent of the ATMs in the world run on Windows XP.… Read more

Klocwork: Our source code analyzer caught Apple's 'gotofail' bug

It was a single repeated line of code -- "goto fail" -- that left millions of Apple users vulnerable to Internet attacks until the company finally fixed it Tuesday.

That OS X security vulnerability, which also affected iOS users, arose out of Apple's custom implementation of a security standard known as SSL/TLS. By including the "goto fail" line twice in a row, the normal error check for some types of encryption signatures fails.

Now Klocwork, a company that makes source code analysis tools, is demonstrating that its product would have caught the errant second &… Read more

Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Open-source apps must maintain accountability when it comes to security. They have an active community of developers and users who help discover vulnerabilities, peer-review code, and perform routine audits on a mass scale. Security holes are patched at a rate that discourages programmers from placing back-door malicious codes. Though not every open-source app is secure, the ones that are benefit from the community in a way that closed-source programs and applications can rarely duplicate.

Many of the apps listed here have been so widely distributed and scrutinized that even RSA Conference attendees trust and recommend them.

Gpg4Win

Gpg4Win is a … Read more

Yandex suite of free Android tools sidesteps Google

Russian search and software company Yandex is offering a collection of free tools to turn the Android open-source foundation into a usable phone operating system.

The software, called Yandex.Kit, gives a Yandex-flavored experience by linking to the company's own services -- e-mail, maps, contacts, online storage, and app store -- rather than Google's alternatives. It's also got lower-level components like a browser and home screen.

Two phone makers who've signed up for the approach, Huawei and Explay, will show the technology next week at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Yandex announced Wednesday.

There … Read more

What Google really means when it calls Android 'open'

The gooey center of Google's pitch to developers to make apps and services for Android is a series of terms easily misunderstood, but central to Android's flexibility and success.

Every once in a while, Android terminology discussions flare up like a stomach ulcer for Google. They center on Android's nature as a development platform, which in turn affects the variety and breadth of Android apps -- from Minecraft to Pandora to the latest Flappy Bird copycats -- that you can download, and how up-to-date they are. Is Android truly open-source? Can you "fork" Android? What … Read more

UK government may draw down reliance on Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office might soon lose its position as the go-to platform for the UK government.

Speaking at an event on Wednesday centered on online services, the UK's Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said that the 200 million British pounds the government spent on Office since 2010 could be cut substantially if it moves to the open document format employed by services like Google Docs.

"I want to see a greater range of software used, so civil servants have access to the information they need and can get their work done without having to buy a particular brand of … Read more

VLC for iOS is almost on par with desktop versions of the software

VLC for iOS brings the popular open-source media player to your iOS device, letting you watch videos from almost any format directly, and connect with streaming and cloud services to access your video library. This latest update gives the app a facelift to better fit with the iOS 7 aesthetic, and also adds several features for easier video watching.

Don't be alarmed, but when you first launch VLC for iOS, there is nothing to watch or listen to, nor is there any way to explore video content. VLC is a player, not a browser, so you'll need to … Read more