Part of the reason people buy Macs is because of Apple's attention to style. Whether it's bondi blue, smooth white, glossy black, or brushed metal, Mac hardware is as much about functionality as it is the overall aesthetic. Of course, attention to aesthetics doesn't stop at Apple hardware. Mac OS X and most Mac software shares the same smooth lines and beveled edges of the hardware surrounding it. The application icons in the Dock are bright and slick, and the open and close buttons on documents and applications are like pieces of candy. Anyone who has turned … Read more
Well-built software that can inspire projects and streamline productivity is powerful indeed, but ill-conceived programs, too, can haunt your dreams. In this week's, CNET Top 5 video (also see below), editor Tom Merritt shares five terrifically bad apps you'd most likely encounter in a dark alley of your computer's recycle bin. This Chuck Norris Facts Widget is particularly chilling.
Plenty more ghoulish and gleeful downloads are standing by to ease you into the Halloween spirit. Three skeletons in pointed hats boogie down by moonlight (and UV lamplight) in Halloween Dance 3D Screensaver, a personal favorite. Your browser … Read more
When Digg first came out with its labs section, almost immediately people threw together unofficial screensavers for each of the visualizations. Since the visualizations run in Adobe Flash, the user creations often just loaded up the pages in a full-screen Flash viewer. Today, Digg has launched official versions of the screensavers for all four of their labs visualizations, which were originally put together by Stamen Design.
Just like the Web versions, you can sit back and watch the current activity on Digg as it's happening, and interact with any of the content. The screensavers are cross platform, and run … Read more
There are countless blogs across the world, but you can't read them all, of course. With the screensaver application Twingly, however, you can at least see every new blog post as it gets published...sort of. While Twingly appears to be a fascinating application, you may soon be overwhelmed by the random collection of nonsense and trivia--the "Um ... what?" post referenced in my title is a good example.
Twingly, which runs as a Windows screensaver or a standalone application, displays a never-ending string of new blog posts mapped around the world on an interactive globe. Click on any of the scrolling posts on the left side, and a precis of the post and its geographical location (if mapped) are displayed in the main interface. Click on the link in the blog excerpt, and you'll be transported to that page in your default browser.… Read more
When you need to paste text--and just plain text--without any fonts, pictures, or style markers, what do you do? Microsoft Word users might employ the Paste Special feature in the Edit menu. And if you're not using Word? Then you might copy the source text and paste it into Notepad, TextPad, or another top-rated text editor. Then you would copy that unformatted text and paste it to the destination document.
What bother. PureText is a scrappy clipboard app that cuts out the busy work. It assigns a hot key combination to facilitate format-free pasting from the source to the destination without you ever needing to launch an additional app or detour to Word's Edit menu. Holding down the Windows key while pressing "V" is the default setup, but users can choose from a number of other hot key options. Note though, the ALT key isn't one of them.… Read more
While Power Downloader was sifting through criminal case files recently, he received an e-mail from Kitty Kilobyte who had gone back to school. After telling him of her latest "impossible" assignments and new "amazing" friends she had made, Kitty had an interesting software request. Kitty wanted some way to make her computer stand out from the rest of her classmates. She figured, if she's the niece of a famous software superhero, it should show--perhaps even if it's just in her computer's interface.… Read more
If you've been dying to give your Windows XP machine a Windows Vista makeover without the pain of upgrading, WindowBlinds' latest offering will probably seem like a gift from the interface fashion gods. Or, if you're into pain and you'd like to cover up that snazzy Vista interface with an XP look, you can do that, too.
Heck, you can even add a flaming-spewing, animated dragon if your desktop skin is crying out for some orc-love.
OK, this is a stretch, but we know that CNET Download.com users like to post their work to Facebook too.
That's why, even though Widgetbox's new online tool to publish widgets to Facebook isn't strictly the stuff of downloads, we're bringing you this hands-on review.
Widgetbox's (blandly named) App Accelerator is a step-by-step guide and tool for creating Facebook applications from Widgetbox widgets. Yet it shrewdly connects the community developers of Widgetbox's widget marketplace (this could be you) with Facebook's burgeoning user community. Talk about viral marketing.
Among the many criticisms of Windows Vista, one that even Microsoft's own engineers should agree upon, is that it's not easy to access essential system information. Stardock's TweakVista unifies all the bits and pieces that you might want to change under one circus tent, but TweakVista's interface is no chaotic circus.