The Download Blog

Star Apps: Amy Acker

Star Apps: Amy Acker

On CBS series "Person of Interest," Amy Acker plays Root, a hacker and assassin. In real life, the actress -- who has also played Fred/Illyria on "Angel" and Kelly Peyton on "Alias" -- jokes that her grade-school-age son is more tech savvy than she is. I chatted with Amy Acker about Season 4 of "Person of Interest," her most memorable fan encounters, and her favorite mobile apps.

What's Root's defining characteristic? Probably loyalty. She looks out for all the team and does anything the machine asks and never questions … Read more

Star Apps: Dan Stevens

Star Apps: Dan Stevens

War is hell, and so are ungracious houseguests. That's what one unsuspecting family discovers when David, a soldier just back from combat (played by Dan Stevens), crashes at their home in "The Guest." I chatted with Dan Stevens, the British actor best known for playing attorney and would-be heir Matthew Crawley on "Downton Abbey," about his latest role, becoming an American heartthrob, and his favorite apps.

What was the appeal of playing this particular character? When I came here to the States, I was looking for different challenges and didn't quite know what form … Read more

Star Apps: 'Sixteen Candles'

Star Apps: 'Sixteen Candles'

"Sixteen Candles" has just turned 30. To mark this momentous event, actors Gedde Watanabe, Debbie Pollack, and Justin Henry are attending a special screening of the '80s cult classic today at San Francisco's Castro Theatre. I chatted with the trio about the film's legacy, working with director John Hughes, the scenes that you've never seen, and their favorite apps.

Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong)

Did growing up somewhat alienated as an Asian-American in Utah inform your portrayal of foreign exchange student Long Duk Dong? Absolutely not. [Laughs] There was some of the alienation where I … Read more

Apple's new iPhones, Watches, and apps

Apple's new iPhones, Watches, and apps

Today Apple announced a bushel of new products: not one but two iPhone 6s, three Apple Watches, iOS 8, Apple Pay, and assorted other apps. Here's what you need to know about the goods.

iPhone 6

What: iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen; iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch display.

When: September 19 (preorders begin Friday, September 12).

How much: iPhone 6: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 64GB, $399 for 128GB; iPhone 6 Plus: $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB, $499 for 128GB -- those are US prices, all with a two-year contract. (Bargain hunters can now … Read more

Star Apps: Julie Newmar

Star Apps: Julie Newmar

When you're an actress as inimitable as Julie Newmar, of course you have a rose, a day lily, and an orchid named in your honor. In 1995 she also inspired (and made a cameo appearance in) "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar." Best known for playing Catwoman on the "Batman" TV series, Newmar will appear as part of the California Independent Film Festival's screening of "To Wong Foo." I chatted with Julie Newmar about her most iconic roles, working with the late Robin Williams, her chemistry with Adam West, the … Read more

Star Apps: Five Finger Death Punch and Hellyeah

Star Apps: Five Finger Death Punch and Hellyeah

Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory and Hellyeah vocalist Chad Gray were outcasts before joining the metal scene. Today they're at the center of an ever-growing community of metal bands and fans. This fall they'll tour with Volbeat and Nothing More, starting September 16 in Salt Lake City.

What kind of statement are you making on this package tour? Zoltan Bathory: This is the thing about the heavy metal guys, that we're not going to go away. This is here to stay. And if things get difficult, we'll figure out how to do it anyway. … Read more

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

Star Apps: Circa Zero

Star Apps: Circa Zero

Rob Giles was once a Police fan, mystified by the "Ghost in the Machine" album cover. Andy Summers was once a member of The Police. Today the two play together in Circa Zero. I chatted with Rob Giles and Andy Summers about their new album, "Circus Hero," The Police, and their favorite apps.

How have people responded to a new, post-Police Andy Summers project? Andy Summers: Everybody loves us.

Rob Giles: I thought the response was going to be more polarizing, that people were going to really like it or not, but the response was overwhelmingly … Read more

Star Apps: Nervo

Star Apps: Nervo

For Mim and Liv Nervo, being the top-ranking women DJs takes a "work hard, play hard" attitude. I chatted with the first sisters of dance music, who next appear at New York's Electric Zoo Festival, about the shows, sharing DJ gigs with Paris Hilton, triumphing in a male-dominated industry, how music has healed their hearts, and their favorite apps.

What can you tell us about your Electric Zoo set? Mim: We've been playing lots of festivals this summer, so we're up to speed with our festival sets. They're short and high energy, and they … Read more

Friday Five

Friday Five

Thousands of apps and updates come out each week, but the five products that piqued our interest this week offer time-lapse videos, an iOS edition of a premium first-person shooter, 64-bit browsing, free photo editing, and 1TB of storage.

Instagram introduced another iOS app this week, Hyperlapse, a free and seriously easy way to shoot and share time-lapse videos. There's just one button, Record, and other than playback speed, there aren't lots of settings or filters to fuss with. Read our Hyperlapse review, and see CNET's simple how-to and some best practices for great videos.

If you'… Read more