Yahoo's Blueprint yields a Buzz

Updated at 11:50 am on 9/16/08 to clarify the role of Blueprint.

Yahoo isn't wasting time advertising Blueprint, the seasoned mobile development platform that received renewed attentions in San Francisco last week at CTIA 2008. On Tuesday, the company released the most recent fruit of Blueprint's labor, a widget for the mobile application Yahoo Go (review) that peddles Yahoo Buzz, its Digg-like social news service.

From the Yahoo Buzz widget, social newshounds can access a summary of top stories voted on... Read More »

Topics: Mobile Software

Tags: Yahoo

Featured Freeware: Spyware Terminator

This spyware scanner and removal tool does the job, but enabling some functions may cause slight slowdowns and last I looked, it still had some bugs in Vista.

Spyware Terminator's crisp, clean interface uses simple buttons and tabs to operate and set options. The latest spyware signatures are automatically downloaded, and the real-time protection keeps baby-sitting to a minimum. Real-time protection monitors key spyware types and Windows objects, though slight system slowdowns depend on your machine. Those features and the... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Security And Spyware

Tags: freeware , anti-malware

Quickoffice updates BlackBerry document editor

Article updated 11/4/08.

There's much to admire in RIM's native software set for BlackBerry phones, but for many, the built-in document viewer isn't one of them. Word documents on most models open in a plain text monotone; serviceable, but without the benefit of formatting or the capability to edit the text.

On Monday, Quickoffice released an updated solution for business users and prosumers angling for a more familiar desktop read and the capability to edit attached documents. In addition to... Read More »

Topics: Mobile Software

Tags: BlackBerry , Word , Excel , PowerPoint

VLC adds last.fm, better codec support

There are several excellent freeware video playback programs out there, and VLC media player is one of the best. Made by "those VLC folks," or VideoLAN as they prefer to be called, the wildly popular open-source player now offers a slightly better experience than before for both Windows and Mac.

VLC will now cooperate with Last.fm, there's direct playback of video URLs, and, unexpectedly, a lot of attention has been given to how VLC interacts with the Internet.... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Audiomp3

Tags: freeware , open-source

How to remove Antivirus XP 2008

Update: Revised instructions to include folder deletion.

Antivirus XP 2008 is back, unfortunately. It's not an antivirus app, but a cleverly disguised rogue security application that tries to get you to buy the non-existent "security" it's selling. Advertised using the common tricks of Trojans and faux security alerts, this nasty piece of malware can take over your desktop settings to mimic safe mode, display fake virus detections, and opens a faux Internet Explorer window stating that Google has detected a malware... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Security And Spyware

Tags: malware , virus , howto-security , Trojan

Featured Freeware: dragdropupload

Think that every conceivable useful feature not included in Firefox has been created? Not likely. At least now, though, we can take attachment drag-and-drop off the list with dragdropupload.

The add-on works with most major Web mail services and message board systems. Once installed, simply go to your Gmail, for example, and "compose" a new message. Hit the "add attachment" button, and instead of browsing through your complex file tree from there, you can grab the file from Windows Explorer... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Browsers And Extensions , Mac Software

Tags: freeware , Firefox , add-on , extension , plug-in

Featured Freeware: Tab Mix Plus

This is one of the best Firefox extensions around and makes tabbed browsing even better than it already is. Tab Mix Plus can change the close button on each tab feature, control the rows of tabs when you exceed the width of the browser window, and almost everything else associated with tabs. Use your scrollwheel to browse tabs, or control tab switching via mouse gestures. You can specify where Web pages will open--in the background or the foreground, in... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Browsers And Extensions , Mac Software

Tags: freeware , Firefox , add-on , extension , plug-in

Featured Freeware: Jarte

The first thing users of this freeware WordPad/Notepad replacement will notice is the unusual interface. Jarte actually uses a simple layout, with a default brushed-metal skin and mouse-over icons that reveal standard Menu bar drop-down menus, but this isn't your basic 1990s user interface. Just the mere fact of having something different to look at is appealing, and generally, it works well. The icons are a bit small, and there's a fair bit of empty space around them so... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Office Software

Tags: freeware , editor

Firefox 3.1 to gain modicum of privacy

Of the two big browsing features of 2008, one seems to run counter to where developers are driving their browsers. The melding of the location bar to the search bar was expected in Firefox and Opera, thanks to beta versions. Chrome has it, too, calling it the Omnibar. What seems to have caught developers off-guard has been the clamor for a universal switch to stop the cache and browsing history from recording anything at all.

Microsoft's InPrivate... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions , Mac Software

Tags: freeware , Firefox , Chrome , privacy

Flash 10 beta update means you should, too

The ongoing problems with Flash freezing in Firefox 3 after two seconds of playback resemble nothing less than a game of hot potato. Or perhaps watching two parents have a screaming match, with us regular ol' users playing the part of the sobbing kid that cries, "Why can't you two just get along?"

Adobe has just updated the Flash 10 beta for Windows and Mac, and with it comes the resurgence of the bug that installing the... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions , Mac Software

Tags: freeware , Firefox , Flash