You've heard of summer movie flops, but sometimes software can fall just as flat. With the thousands of software programs we see every month on CNET Download.com, there are bound to be a few duds. CNET's Tom Merritt runs through the five worst downloads of summer 2007.
Like their real-world counterpart, a quickly jotted digital sticky note placed prominently on the desktop can be just the reminder or inspirational message you need. And it won't bulk up the landfill when you trash it.
Software sticky notes are simply movable widgets that contain text, and even the simplest possess some font, color, and formatting customization. Most of the apps I looked at let you add alarms, sounds, and hot key shortcuts. The more advanced programs are surprisingly powerful, adding sophisticated synchronizing features and management platforms to track notes and reduce desktop clutter.
There are already a lot of useful plug-ins for downloading or uploading from online sites such as Flickr, Picasa Web, Snapfish, Webshots (disclaimer: owned by CNET Networks), and the rest, but most applications only work with one specific service.
If you want to move all of your images from one site to another (if you're one of those unhappy Flickr users, for example), and you're not looking forward to manually downloading and uploading hundreds of pictures, Migratr might be able to help. A home-brewed tool from independent developer Alexander Lucas, Migratr automatically downloads all of your photos from one site, and uploads them to the other.
It sounds great, so what's the catch? Well, Migratr only currently includes support for Flickr, Picasa Web, 23HQ, SmugMug, and Zooomr (which shouldn't even be counted because it has temporarily disabled bulk uploaders). However, downloading and uploading among the four available online photo services worked wonderfully for me. I must admit, however, that I was transferring tens of files, not thousands.… Read more
Earlier this week, security company Secunia released a beta version of a new, free tool that scans all of your installed applications and analyzes their security patch statuses. The Secunia Personal Software Inspector evaluates all of the installed programs on your computer and compares them to a list of over 4,200 software programs.
After the scan is complete, Secunia PSI will categorize each program as "Up-To-Date" (everything is OK), "Insecure" (you've got an outdated version), or "End-of-Life" (your version is no longer supported). The results table presents the name and version number of your install app; each--when clicked--takes you to a page that gives more information about that program.… Read more
When Power Downloader gets a download request in an e-mail from a friend, he always searches for the perfect software for his friend's quandary. Recently, when a friend who lived in a hurricane-prone area asked if there was a way to track storms, Power Downloader knew exactly what type of program she needed.
Nobody likes to hear there is a storm brewing if they live in a place where hurricanes ravage the coast frequently. That's why Power Downloader knows that a simple storm-tracking program can put a person's mind at ease, or in a worst-case scenario, give them more time to plan for a possible evacuation.… Read more
Every computer user needs a basic text editor for Readme files and simple note-taking capabilities. That's why Windows comes with Notepad and Mac OS X comes with TextEdit. However, if you want a program that is useful for more than just looking at Readme files, you need to look elsewhere. The best type of text editors come with numerous features and work great for writing quick notes, keeping a journal, coding Web sites, and pasting excerpts from the Web when aggregating research for a project.
While Notepad and TextEdit are useful in their own right, if I want added … Read more
Today, MXPlay--the digital-music player that focuses on customizing and enhancing your playback sound, while also letting you mash up streaming audio with Web videos (covered previously)--launched a Windows-only add-on for the Mozilla Firefox browser. Called MXPlay Web, the Firefox add-on part is a simple orange MXPlay button that sits in your toolbar. Whenever you navigate to a Web page that includes MP3 files, the button transforms into a musical note. Click that note, and you can "play" that Web page in a pop-up music player.
After you select "Play this page," MXPlay Web will list all of the available MP3 songs on that Web page. You can then mark any of your favorites and save them to a personal playlist. Unfortunately, once you create that playlist, MXPlay Web somewhat randomly puts them into an order that you cannot change manually.
Just like the full app, MXPlay Web lets you customize the sound of the music using the same unique graphic interface. Drag and drop the head icon (the listener) and each of your available speakers to a specific location on the screen, which affects sound levels and direction. A blue circle in the upper left lets you control the size of your virtual room, and the bars in the upper right offer three levels of reverb.… Read more
Inspiration for a blog can come from anywhere--at any time--so you'd best be prepared. Lighter than your Wi-Fi-enabled laptop and more immediate than jotting journal notes is TypePad Mobile (for Symbian, Palm, and Windows Mobile,) a blog-updating app offered by TypePad for its paid subscribers.
I evaluated TypePad Mobile on a gleaming HTC Vox S710 (watch Bonnie Cha's video review) running Windows Mobile 6. The smart phone's nice slider QWERTY keyboard and motion-sensitive vertical-to-horizontal display made for favorable testing conditions.… Read more
I'm not sure how you people can watch movies and TV shows on those little screens, but you sure are doing it! Every time I turn around on the bus or in the airport, somebody is watching video on her iPod. (If she's supercool, she's watching it on her new iPhone.)
It's easy to buy videos designed to view on those little screens, of course, but if you want to get your own DVDs and Web movies onto your iPod or iPhone, you'll have to dive into the wide world of video converters.… Read more
If eBay's 50 percent growth this last fiscal quarter is any indication, online auctions are still a favorite way to shuffle goods and pocket extra change. Power sellers--those eBay auctioneers who sell and gross high volumes--have gained the edge by applying their business savvy and possibly using one of the many auction software options from CNET Download.com. One popular program is AlienFiles, a listings creator and editor that supports multimedia files and helps manage your sale items.