App and Software News

An equal-opportunity player for Web 2.0

There's the temptation to start talking about the Democracy Player with a Lord of the Rings-esque, "One Player to Rule Them All" joke, but that wouldn't be very democratic, would it?

The latest version of the open-source Democracy Player contains some serious upgrades that make it worth a second look, if you haven't liked it in the past. The most important improvement is that the publisher, the Participatory Culture Foundation, seems to have worked through most of program's early stability... Read More »

Tags: video , Windows software , RSS

Colin McRae gets DiRTy

Colin McRae gets DiRTy

While the Colin McRae off-road racing series has been popular in Europe, the game hasn't gained much traction here in the U.S. In an attempt to dig up some excitement, Codemasters has decided to rename the latest game DiRT.

Fans of the previous games shouldn't be overly concerned, as Colin McRae is still around in DiRT. In fact, you can race against him on the German Avelsbachring course, as just one of the three events provided in the new game demo,... Read More »

Tags: Windows software , racing

Instant recall with CallRec for Palm OS

Editor's note: CallRec was tested on a Treo 650.

Pros: Records independently of app, tracks remaining storage, two recording input options, multiple ways to share Cons: No trigger hot key, two-second lapse with phone call recording

At a baseball game last summer, my friend recorded the incessant howls of a boisterous seatmate with his smart phone, replaying it in my ear with tinny imperfection. Too bad he didn't have a Palm device with CallRec tucked onto his memory card to forever capture... Read More »

Tags: mobile

One IM to rule them all--wherever you are

Editor's note: This is Part Two of a two-part series on multinetwork IM clients. Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about all-in-one desktop chatting.

All-in-one IM clients have much to offer the instant messaging butterfly. They organize your contacts from multiple networks while enabling customizations, plug-in support, and familiar emoticons. However, desktop chatting isn't always the best solution for the jet-set crowd.

Users who work off multiple computers and tire of downloading déjà vu could opt for browser-based chat, while the handheld-dependent might... Read More »

Tags: IM , Windows software , Trillian , instant messenger

Power Downloader takes out the trash

Power Downloader takes out the trash

As a software superhero, Power Downloader knows that not all software is the perfect fit. In fact, some programs can be downright disappointments, unworthy of his hard drive. Though he's made his name downloading and installing programs, Power Downloader sometimes needs to get rid of software just like every other user.

Windows comes with an Add/Remove control panel, but anyone who has used it can tell you that it's not always the most efficient tool for removing software. It's often slow... Read More »

Tags: Windows software

Mac users get a better work experience with NeoOffice

Mac users get a better work experience with NeoOffice

Whether they are "switchers" or longtime Mac users, one of the first downloads many people look for when firing up a new Mac are office programs. With Microsoft Office as the most commonly used office program in the workplace, people understandably want their home computers to be able to work with the same types of documents. The problem is, the retail version of Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac is $399 (from Microsoft's Web site).

Fortunately, a group of developers started... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Speed up Windows XP and Vista startup time

Nothing is more annoying that waiting and watching your PC struggle as your operating system slowly loads. Tom Merritt offers some new tips on how to speed up startup in both Windows XP and Windows Vista. {clear: both;} ... Read More »

Tags: Windows , Windows software , Vista , XP

iTunes updates for DRM-free music

iTunes updates for DRM-free music

After Steve Jobs' open letter to record executives back in February, it was clear that DRM-free music (music without digital rights management technology) wasn't far away for Apple users. Today, the concept became a reality with the release of iTunes 7.2 (download it for Windows or Mac OS X).

As of today, all of the songs from music label EMI on Apple's iTunes Store will be free of DRM via a new service called iTunes Plus. (Note: that link will open... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Apple , iTunes , Windows software

Windows and Linux converge

Windows and Linux converge

The alternative, open-source operating system Linux has been making news recently. Last week, Dell began shipping PCs with the Linux distribution Ubuntu pre-installed, and on Friday I took a look at Wubi, free Windows software that lets you install and run Ubuntu on your Windows machine without creating a boot CD or partitioning your hard drive.

According to recent stats from W3Counter, Linux still holds only a tiny fraction of the personal-computing market share (slightly... Read More »

Tags: Windows , Windows software , Linux

10 years of Lara Croft

10 years of Lara Croft

Back in 1996, Eidos Interactive released the ground-breaking adventure game Tomb Raider from Core Design. Not only did Lara Croft quickly become the most famous female video game character ever, the quiet, exploratory nature of the adventure game was a refreshing change from the other major console titles of the day.

After some successful and not-so-successful sequels, the franchise bounced from one development house to another and finally landed with Crystal Dynamics, which was able to reinvigorate the series with... Read More »

Tags: games , Windows software