App and Software News

Top 5 worst downloads of 2007 (so far)

We get thousands of fantastic software programs submitted to CNET Download.com, but there are always a few that don't live up to their billing. Tom Merritt walks you through a horror show of the worst new software released on CNET Download.com this year.

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Tags: Windows software

Power Downloader's software standbys

Power Downloader's software standbys

In the rapidly changing world of computer technology, the laptop Power Downloader purchased only a couple of years ago has quickly become obsolete. In order to keep up with the most advanced Internet criminals, Power decided that it was time to upgrade his trusty laptop. Once he found the right one with the fastest processor, extra RAM, and the latest features, he brought it back to the Power Lair for the most important part of the process: downloading software!

While it... Read More »

Tags: Windows software , AVG , Trillian , Mozilla Firefox , Ad-aware , Google Earth , ZoneAlarm , Power Downloader

Talk to everybody on your Mac

Talk to everybody on your Mac

Chat clients might be my favorite method for quick communication on my Mac at home or at work. Falling somewhere between the telephone and e-mail programs when it comes to communication, a good chat client offers advantages over both that make them unique and useful for anyone. They're especially helpful at work for sending links and files when the formality of an e-mail is too cumbersome for what you're trying to communicate.

I've used most popular chat clients for the Mac... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Mac , Chat

Echoes of 'Geometry Wars'

Echoes of 'Geometry Wars'

If anyone knows me, they know one thing: I love free PC shooters. The developers at Binary Zoo have made me very happy in recent years with their excellent releases Duo and Mono, and it seems like they've done it yet again. Their new game, Echoes, combines Asteroids and Geometry Wars to create another entertaining and addictive shoot-em-up.

The game menu is very similar to Duo and Mono, and easy for anyone to quickly understand and start playing. If you've never... Read More »

Tags: Windows software

Master your Windows processes

Master your Windows processes

By now, most users know all about antispyware software, antivirus apps, firewalls, and other essential tools for keeping your Windows machine lean and mean. (If you don't, be sure to check out the Security section of our PC Starter Kit.)

However, when your PC slows down and the Windows Task Manager says that a process named lsass.exe or svchost.exe is using 99 percent of your system resources, how do you know whether it's a legitimate task or something more insidious? When in... Read More »

Tags: Windows , Windows software

Tweak Windows XP with Pitaschio

Tweak Windows XP with Pitaschio

No, that's not a typo. The software is spelled Pitaschio, and it's not the only odd bit of English you'll find in the freeware utility. Initially developed in Japanese by a programmer known as ARA, Pitaschio was only recently released in English.

Pitaschio lets you tweak Windows XP or Windows 2000 in a variety of different ways to eliminate certain annoying functions, add keyboard or mouse shortcuts, customize your windows, and perform other similar system tricks.

Once you download the tiny 55K... Read More »

Tags: Windows , Windows software , XP

Give your surfing a soundtrack

Give your surfing a soundtrack

Although Power Downloader spends a considerable amount of time in the field chasing down bad guys, part of his job is not quite so glamorous. For all the time traveling around the globe, he still ends up putting more time into research on the Web, hoping he'll find the leads he needs to capture sneaky criminals. To make the job of Web research a little less tedious, Power listens to his favorite music.

To help him stay focused on the research... Read More »

Tags: Firefox , iTunes , extensions , Windows software , Power Downloader

New Skype for Mac

New Skype for Mac

One of the best choices for online telephony for Mac just got better. The latest Skype update pushes the program to version 2.6, adding a call transfer feature and some new chat options so you can stay in touch with friends and family around the world. Skype has always been one of my favorite apps for its familiar chat-like interface and the ability to talk to users around the world for free (provided they're also using Skype). For a little... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Apple , Chat

Nothing faked in iClone's animation

Do you want to be the next John Lasseter? Is Hayao Miyazaki your hero? iClone Studio Edition 2.0 updates the feature-heavy, template-based 3D animation studio aimed at the amateur animator. It's a must-see app if you're trying to break into the camera side of movies and animation, or if you just want to play around with 3D animation without having to draw everything from scratch.

The installation is a bit of a drag, with a mandatory registration that also scans your... Read More »

Tags: Windows software , movies , design

Google's malware witch hunt

Ten percent of the 4.5 million URLs Google researchers analyzed for a malware expos? harbored malicious code. The code executes through widgets, ads, compromised downloads, server vulnerabilities, browser holes, phishing lures, and links, making infection possible for even ordinarily safe users.

CNET.com's Robert Vamosi has the full story, and CNET Download.com has programs to add muscle to your antivirus armor. Netcraft Toolbar (for Internet Explorer and Firefox), is an antiphishing browser extension that sniffs out suspicious hosting locations common in spoofed... Read More »

Tags: Google , malware , spyware , Windows software , McAfee