The Download Blog

Star Apps: Cabaret Voltaire

Star Apps: Cabaret Voltaire

When electropunk trio Cabaret Voltaire performed its first show in Sheffield in 1975, Richard H. Kirk, Stephen Mallinder, and Chris Watson were assaulted by the mostly antagonistic crowd. The band fared better between 1978 and 1985, when they signed a deal with Virgin and developed a more commercial, club-friendly "pop" sound. Now down to single member, Richard H. Kirk, Cabaret Voltaire pays tribute to its golden, major-label era with the new 18-track compilation "#7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985)," featuring boundary-pushing electronic gems "Nag Nag Nag," "Do the Mussolini (Headkick)," "Sensoria," &… Read more

8 apps for streaming foreign TV and movies

8 apps for streaming foreign TV and movies

You prefer subtitles to big Hollywood titles, Japanese anime to American animation, and Gérard Depardieu to Gerard Butler. If you hunger for more international programming but don't want to rely on pricey cable add-ons or out-of-the-way art-house theaters, then check out our software picks for streaming the best foreign cinema and TV.

1. Netflix ( iOS/ Android)

Video-streaming giant Netflix boasts an extensive catalog of foreign shows and movies. Netflix sections off its library by region, but with an easy-to-configure VPN like Hola (Android), you can check out programming that might not be available in the US.

Price: $… Read more

Star Apps: Chicago and REO Speedwagon

Star Apps: Chicago and REO Speedwagon

Before iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Songza, Pandora, and Rdio, there was FM radio. Chicago and REO Speedwagon were two of the rock bands dominating FM airwaves in the '70s and '80s. With 34 top 20 hits and numerous gold and platinum records between them, these Illinois icons are hitting the road for a 27-date tour this summer. I chatted with Chicago vocalist/keyboardist Robert Lamm and trumpeter Lee Loughnane and REO Speedwagon singer Kevin Cronin about the tour, making music in the digital age, their advice to new artists, and their favorite apps.

Why has it taken so long for both … Read more

Software week in review, July 25

Software week in review, July 25

This week we're hoping to recruit William Shatner, who decided to boldly go into software reviews, evaluating Facebook Pages on his new Tumblr. In other news, Apple's next OS is now in public beta, Microsoft wants one Windows to rule them all, and everyone's talking Tor. To get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Security and privacy

Black Hat and Def Con are a little over a week away, so it's not surprising that Tor is on the minds of many. This week a Black Hat talkRead more

Star Apps: Michael Pitt

Star Apps: Michael Pitt

Actor Michael Pitt is best known for playing a gangster on "Boardwalk Empire," a murderous psychopath in "Funny Games," and a drugged-out grunge rocker in "Last Days." With "I Origins," he demonstrates range with his credible portrayal of Dr. Ian Gray, a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye, who makes a discovery that challenges all his deep-held scientific theories and spiritual beliefs.

This role seems like a definite departure from your previous work. What drew you to playing a scientist? Maybe that. One of the things I was really interested … Read more

Star Apps: Michel Gondry

Star Apps: Michel Gondry

French director Michel Gondry has been repeatedly praised for his visually sophisticated but playful cinematic style, from Bjork's "Human Behavior" video to Oscar-winning "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." But until now, Gondry never directed features in French."For a long time, I was too shy to write or direct a movie in my native language," he says. "The English put some layers on top of it, so I wouldn't feel so shy and so naked." Gondry's French-language debut, "Mood Indigo," stars Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris … Read more

Star Apps: Wiz Khalifa

Star Apps: Wiz Khalifa

From Ice-T and Chuck D in the '80s to Tupac and Nas in the '90s, every decade has its hip-hop prophets and beloved lyricists who interpret the signs of their time in inspired verses. The '00s belonged to Wiz Khalifa. I chatted with the rapper about his new album, "Blacc Hollywood," and lead single "We Dem Boyz," as well as his Under the Influence of Music tour, thoughts on Kanye West fans, and favorite apps.

You've released multiple mixtapes since 2005's "Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania," including 2014's "… Read more

6 comics and manga apps for superfans

6 comics and manga apps for superfans

Comics aren't just for kids, and they're not just for print, either -- comics are on your TV and movie screens, in your games, and in apps as well. This week 130,000 comics fans are heading to San Diego for Comic-Con, which sold out in less than 90 minutes. If you're not one of the lucky badge holders, you can still connect to Marvel and DC's latest and greatest -- and manga, too -- with these top comics apps for your phone or tablet.

Comics by ComiXology ( Android, iOS)

ComiXology's app is hands down … Read more

Star Apps: Richard Linklater

Star Apps: Richard Linklater

Nothing dates a film like technology. However, the iMacs, Game Boys, PlayStations, social media, and video games in Richard Linklater's groundbreaking new movie, "Boyhood," are a welcome way to contextualize 12 years of action. I chatted with Richard Linklater about "Boyhood," which stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, and its use of tech as a structural device.

You typically make movies that span 12 to 24 hours, yet this film spans 12 years. Why mess with your signature style? It blows my average out of the water, if you adjust the baseline. With each film, … Read more

Software week in review, July 18

Software week in review, July 18

Microsoft's layoffs are bad news for Nokia, Xbox Entertainment, and Windows phones that run Android. Google is going after zero-day threats and is fixing Chrome's security and power-hogging. And vulnerabilities have been found in everything from Teslas to the stock market to hotels. Read on for more updates, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Microsoft

Last week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella published a 3,100-word memo about "bold ambition" (or "turgid drivel," per linguist Geoff Pullum). This week another memo (also … Read more