The Download Blog

Windows XP security

Windows XP security

Though Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April, the popular OS refuses to die. Roughly 25 percent of desktop users are clinging to the OS, meaning XP still has four times as many users as Windows 8 or 8.1, according to NetMarketShare. Recently, independent security lab AV-Test investigated whether the outdated XP can be adequately protected.

Is Windows XP still safe?

The answer is a resounding yes. AV-Test found that the majority of security vendors have been able to defend against most of the known or recently discovered exploits. Vulnerabilities and other issues no longer being fixed by … Read more

Build your own dream game console with SteamOS

Build your own dream game console with SteamOS

With the flood of Steam machines introduced at CES, both casual and hardcore gamers have plenty of console options. But gamers with maxed-out hardware -- or those who just don't want to shell out for a Linux system in a pretty case -- can build their very own Steam box using the beta build of SteamOS. Here's how to set up your Steam machine.

What You Need

Processor: Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor Memory: 4GB or more RAM Hard drive: 500GB or larger disk Video card: Nvidia graphics card (Sorry, AMD and Intel graphics folks AMD and … Read more

Upload PDF and EPUB files to Google Books on Android

Upload PDF and EPUB files to Google Books on Android

Originally, Google Books was only good at doing one thing: reading content from the Google Play Store. This meant you could read free books, or the ones you purchased -- and that was it. When the update allowing your personal files to be uploaded to Google Books came along, the app made a giant leap forward. Now Android devices could be even more competitive with traditional e-readers that allow side-loading.

Unfortunately, the upload feature was limited to your Web browser. This meant navigating to the Play Books Web site on a computer, or within the mobile browser, to upload your … Read more

Use Annotary for efficient online research

Use Annotary for efficient online research

The Internet is a valuable tool in today's research for papers and other projects. However, bookmarking endless Web pages is not the most efficient way to keep track of the information you need. Sure, it points you to the source where you found useful information, but you still have to go digging through the Web page to find it again.

Instead of adding to your endless bookmark collection, you should try using a service like Annotary. This service is dedicated to helping you do online research more efficiently, and it's free for individual users. If you want to … Read more

Preorder e-books from Google Play

Preorder e-books from Google Play

Popular Web sites that sell e-books like Amazon and Barnes & Noble allow you to preorder titles with your credit card. Google Play Books now offers the ability to do the same, from the Web or your Android device.

To allow preordering of titles, you'll need to make sure you have a payment option available in Google Play, like Google Wallet or carrier billing.

Step 1: Open Google Play Books in your Web browser or on your Android device. When using an Android device, just open the Google Play Store and tap on Books.

Step 2: Search for the … Read more

Top travel apps for iOS

Top travel apps for iOS

Between crowded airports, winter delays, and luggage loaded with gifts, holiday travel can be stressful. But with a little planning, you can make your trip a little easier from start to finish. So rather than gathering up a collection of apps that help you book flights, we decided to make a different kind of travel collection.… Read more

Great local search apps for iOS

Great local search apps for iOS

I was going through the app listings the other day and came across LocalScope, a unique local search tool that helps you find things near your current location. Obviously, many people already use Google Maps (no current version for iOS) for this purpose, and the Yelp-powered Apple Maps gets better every day, but after looking at LocalScope (reviewed below), I went on a search for other apps that tailor their results just for what is right around your area.

This week's collection of apps is all about searching for services around your location. The first gives you tons of listings and a surprising bonus feature for finding your destination. The second offers a slick radial interface and tons of categories to pick from. The third is LocalScope, and uses social data to find places, videos, and images from people around your location.… Read more

Google Search vs. Siri: Voice search speed test (video)

Google Search vs. Siri: Voice search speed test (video)

Google Search (free) has been on iOS for some time, with well-known search capabilities, access to Google apps, Google Goggles for identifying products, and Voice Search. But an update to the app yesterday enhanced Voice Search with spoken answers, and it quickly became clear Google Search had an edge on Siri -- especially when it comes to speed.

Siri has a distinct advantage in most cases because it's integrated with the iOS. This means you can have Siri "Call Rebecca," for example, and Siri accesses your contact list along with your phone app to make the call. … Read more