The Download Blog

Google I/O recap: Major Android news; Chrome OS update

Google I/O recap: Major Android news; Chrome OS update

Today Google kicked off its annual I/O conference with announcements about Android, Chrome OS, its answer to Apple's HealthKit, and the next generation of developer tools.

Introducing Android L: Android OS's KitKat successor doesn't have a name yet, but it'll begin with L. The platform update will attempt to unite Web and app user experiences through the Material Design interface. Developers will be able to use Google's new Polymer toolkit to design Web apps that look like their Android counterparts, including 3D rendering. Android L also promises notifications on the lock screen (like iOS … Read more

World Cup 2014 viewing guide

World Cup 2014 viewing guide

World Cup 2014 kicks off today, and to help you watch, we've collected the top match-streaming apps. Now, whether you're in the US or elsewhere, you won't miss a single play. Just make sure you have Internet access.

US streaming

Topping the list of options is ESPN. From June 12 to July 13, ESPN will cover and stream every World Cup game to US audiences via WatchESPN and ESPN 3. PC and Mac users can view the games on WatchESPN.com, while mobile users can watch the games on the WatchESPN apps for both Android and iOS. … Read more

Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed is a security flaw that's plaguing as much as two-thirds of the Internet, including many popular sites like Yahoo and GitHub. On sites affected by Heartbleed, user accounts are vulnerable -- your username, password, credit card number, and other private information may be exposed. Companies are scrambling to patch their sites.

But don't sit around waiting for a fix. Take these two defensive steps (and one more if you have an Android device):

1. Check whether your most-visited sites are vulnerable

CNET has already checked the top 100 sites to see if they have Heartbleed patches, so … Read more

Microsoft Office for iPad unveiled

Microsoft Office for iPad unveiled

Today Microsoft released Office for the iPad. New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella held a press conference in San Francisco to reveal the long-awaited -- some would say overdue -- suite of apps for the tablet.

The Office apps are standalone -- you download Word, Excel, and PowerPoint separately, and each has an icon on your iPad. The apps are also free, but you can only view documents. To edit, you must have an Office 365 subscription ($9.99 per month for home, $5-$15 per month for business). With Office 365, you can also sync your files across the cloud. … Read more

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

On Tuesday Facebook announced that it has completed an agreement to acquire the immersive virtual-reality tech company Oculus VR for $2 billion. Oculus VR is known for the Oculus Rift, a high-definition headset with motion-tracking capabilities and 3D display, which has been reaching record popularity in the game-development scene. The company recently came to GDC 2014 to showcase the second iteration of its Oculus development kit.

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Oculus has the chance to create … Read more

Security lessons from RSA

Security lessons from RSA

The RSA Conference, the flagship meetup for cryptography, information security, and IT experts from around the world, just wrapped on February 28. While RSA is largely for IT professionals and businesses rather than consumers, I learned a couple of new lessons about personal protection in the age of big data. Read on for lessons learned and tips for taking control of your online security and digital privacy.

1. Beware of hackers and protect your passwords

Hackers are no more evil than the average netizens, nor are they loners: They build social communities around their illicit activities. Whether they're cyber-criminals … Read more

Firefox 27 deepens its social integration

Firefox 27 deepens its social integration

On Tuesday Mozilla announced the public release of Firefox 27 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. For this release, Mozilla adds more stacks to its social APIs, bringing new partners like Delicious onboard.

Delicious is a built-in tool that lets users save and organize content from the Web. Now users can access Delicious via the Firefox sidebar.

Web developers can use the new specification "all: unset" in style tags. Prior to the addition of the unset keyword, many developers popularized the use of reset style sheets that individually set all properties to a default value. The CSS keyword &… Read more

Google subtracts MathML from Chrome, and anger multiplies

Google subtracts MathML from Chrome, and anger multiplies

MathML, a years-old technology for displaying mathematical equations and formulas on the Web that has strong advocates at scholars and researchers, stands at a crossroads.

Firefox and Safari support it, but Internet Explorer does not. Google could help tip the balance in favor of MathML, but it's concluded the technology isn't justified. It's supporting a workaround called MathJax that instead uses JavaScript, the Web's programming language, but the company's position has displeased some who want mathematics to be a native citizen of the Web, not a slower-performing outsider.

Google -- a company with a research cultureRead more

Tab overload slowing you down? Speed up your browsing with TGS for Chrome

Tab overload slowing you down? Speed up your browsing with TGS for Chrome

Tab browsing is an amazing tool for multitaskers and ADHD-prone Web surfers everywhere. But one of the most annoying things about using Google Chrome's tab feature is the massive amount of resources it sucks up. Even though we love the idea of multiple tabs, chances are we aren't looking at every one of them at the same time. And because Chrome opens every new tab as a separate process, your system is left with very little memory for anything else. The Great Suspender, a Chrome extension, aims to solve this problem by putting on hold the tabs you … Read more

5 Tips for surviving Def Con 21

5 Tips for surviving Def Con 21

As with previous years, attending Def Con 21 means assuming the worst and accepting the risks that come with setting foot in Vegas the moment you get off the plane. Roaming among the largest gathering of hackers in the world means no one is safe. CNET's Seth Rosenblatt summed it up nicely: "The best way to avoid getting hacked at Def Con is to not show up."

That said, here are some key suggestions for those attending:

1. Wi-Fi? Bluetooth? Keepin' it (un)real like its 1995.

Translation: Turn them off and pretend like they don't … Read more