App and Software News

Extend the wings of Mozilla Thunderbird

Extend the wings of Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is chock full of potential. Though it's as extensible as Mozilla's more famous browser, Firefox, Thunderbird lacks the same fanatical user support. A year from now, Thunderbird could be the emerging standard for e-mail software or just another fringe e-mail client.

Part of Thunderbird's eventual success will depend on the quality of third-party add-ons that enhance features and allow users more functionality and customization options. Though there's not nearly as many add-ons for Thunderbird as there are for Firefox,... Read More »

Tags: Thunderbird , Lightning , plug-ins

iTunes eye candy, anyone?

iTunes eye candy, anyone?

I just discovered this little golden nugget of visualization goodness recently. From a little outfit known as Barbarian Software comes a very cool add-on for iTunes (download for Windows or Mac) that mesmerizes you as you listen to your favorite songs.

Magnetosphere (download it for Windows or Mac) can simulate gravitylike effects that interact with cool, exploding, brightly colored orbs during one song, then switch to swirling green and red ribbons of color for the next.

I like that the visualizer... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: iTunes , Windows software , plug-ins

Microsoft Silverlight takes aim at Adobe Flash

Microsoft Silverlight takes aim at Adobe Flash

Today, Microsoft announced the first public versions of its Silverlight application for creating and experiencing rich, interactive applications online. There are two different versions of the cross-browser plug-in: Silverlight 1.0 beta (download for Windows or Mac) and Silverlight 1.1 alpha (download for Windows or Mac).

The big difference between 1.0 beta and 1.1 alpha versions is that the 1.1 alpha allows developers to create Silverlight applications using .NET technologies such as C#. If you don't care much about that new advancement,... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Microsoft , Windows software , Adobe , Flash , plug-ins

Overcoming traffic trauma

There are two major lessons to be learned from this weekend's fiery freeway collapse in Oakland, California.

The first lesson is that, despite all that concrete and steel, when faced with intense heats close to 3,000°F, freeways built to withstand earthquakes crumble like toys.

The second is that we generally take even heavily congested commutes for granted. San Francisco Bay Area commuters are now looking at months of overcrowded and out-of-the-way alternative routes while contractors and engineers clean up the mess of... Read More »

Tags: Firefox , Google , extensions , Yahoo

CCleaner keeps Power Downloader running lean

CCleaner keeps Power Downloader running lean

Like anyone who spends a lot of time in front of his computer screen, Power Downloader knows that over time, computers can start to get sluggish. There are a variety of reasons for this phenomenon, including the more dangerous issues of spyware and viruses. However, even the most protected computers suffer slowdown from lack of regular system maintenance. Power knows regular tune-ups are crucial to keeping his system in tip-top shape, so in addition to checking for spyware and viruses... Read More »

Tags: Windows software , CCleaner

Put Thunderbird to work

Put Thunderbird to work

The most recent update to the Mozilla Thunderbird (download for Windows or Mac OS X ) mail client shoves the former fledgling out of Mozilla's nest. The goal, if unstated, is clear: get as many people as possible to try the app, and hope that the appeal of a lighter client with similar power to Outlook and Outlook Express will pull some users away from Microsoft's ubiquitous software.

For home use, Thunderbird 2 should be a no-brainer. Many of the newer... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Mozilla , Thunderbird , Windows software , e-mail , Outlook , Lightning

One-stop Web design shop for Mac

One-stop Web design shop for Mac

Coding a Web site once you get past the idea phase is a complicated process. You have to manage several files for each page of your site, you need a solid text editor for actual coding, you may need a CSS editor, an Internet browser for previewing your work, and an FTP client once you're ready to transfer your files. Though I've done little in the way of actual Web design, my efforts have always required running several programs at once... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Mac , Web

PKWare offers SecureZip for free

Computer users may not be hitting any piñatas or streamers to celebrate security software publisher PKWare's 20th birthday, but the software-publisher is hoping that a free full-version giveaway of its security program SecureZip for Windows will make users grin all the same.

The Register reports that "the release of a free version of the product marks the 20th anniversary of the firm and comes at the start of the Infosec conference in London this week."

Best known by CNET Download.com users for... Read More »

Tags: freeware , Windows software , Encryption

Put Google on steroids

Put Google on steroids

With dominating Web search and the increasingly popular Gmail service, Google's dominion grows larger each day. The company makes powerful search and e-mail apps, but it's never been known for front-end interfaces.

Luckily for you, free downloads for Google Web search and Gmail can help you customize Google services to look and work they way you want.

You likely already know about the major Google software--Google Toolbar (for Mozilla Firefox or IE), Google Desktop, Google Earth, and Google Talk--but the lesser-known utilities... Read More »

Tags: Firefox , Google , extensions , add-ons , Gmail

Coop for Firefox imagines browser-based social networking

Coop for Firefox imagines browser-based social networking

Earlier this week, Mozilla Labs made news with its announcement of a social networking add-on called The Coop. According to the official post on the Mozilla Labs blog, The Coop is "a Mozilla Labs project to experiment with adding social tools to the Web browser." For those of us who know about Flock (download for Windows)--a Firefox-based browser with added "Web 2.0" features--that sounds like a very familiar concept. So what does it all mean for the future of Firefox... Read More »

Tags: Firefox , extensions , social