What's the most popular Instant Messaging client? That depends on what you mean by "popular," but did you think Tencent's QQ International was one of them? If popularity means number of users or size of the network, few of the well-known IM clients can approach Tencent's claims of more than 710 million users. As you might have guessed, QQ is one of the most popular IM and video chat tools in China, which means it's got a user base that's difficult to match. QQi gives international users access to QQi's immense Chinese … Read more
Digital Multi Soft's Dj ProMixer Free is a basic but capable digital music mixing suite, and it's free. It's based on a premium tool, Dj ProMixer Pro, only with fewer features. It offers a lot -- enough to overcome some confusing steps at setup, not to mention one of the most cluttered interfaces we've seen, though that's actually part of the design. But it offers flexible two-track recording and mixing, automatic beat detection, tracklists, and effects like echo and looping. It has some limitations, such as only six samples per load. You'll still need … Read more
Free antivirus solutions are common these days, and why not? They offer similar levels of protection because they're either based on the same antivirus engine and definitions or comparable ones. User scans and cloud-based reporting make for slim apps, fast scans, frequent updates, and early detection of new threats. With all that, antivirus freeware needs an angle to connect with users. For Cellframe, that means social media. Cellframe Antivirus Free Global Community Edition is a long tweet of a name for a free full-system antivirus and anti-spyware solution focused on social media and specifically on Facebook and Twitter. Cloud-based … Read more
Vizio's new ultrabook-style laptops have a kink or two to iron out before they can take on the MacBook.
Last week, I wrote about my experience with Vizio's new ultrathin laptops -- which are just beginning to become widely available -- at the Microsoft store in Los Angeles. After sitting down and using the 14- and 15-inch "Thin+Light" laptops, I was wowed by their displays.
And that's what I focused on, since that's a crucial feature to get right if you take on the MacBook -- particularly now with the Retina MacBook Pro. … Read more
The market for media players is a crowded one, with options ranging from the bare-bones to the extravagant. Hiro Player falls somewhere in the middle, with some useful features -- it comes with the K-Lite Codec Pack, for example -- and some areas that leave room for improvement.
Hiro Player has an easy-to-navigate interface split into three connected modules: a playlist, a control panel, and a viewer that displays videos or, for audio tracks, visualizations. You can add media to the playlist either by individual file or by folder. The fact that Hiro Player supports so many different formats and … Read more
Vizio is the latest to make a run at Apple's MacBook. So far, I like what I see.
The Irvine, Calif.-based company's "Thin + Light" laptops are front and center at the Los Angeles Microsoft store these days.
I counted six Vizio ultrabooks. That's more -- a lot more in most cases -- than any other single vendor in the store.
And the Vizio ultrabook display setup screams Apple. Walk into any Apple store and you'll see display tables full of the newest MacBooks. For instance, the MacBook Pro Retina is currently displayed six … Read more
For months, the Web teemed with rumors that Microsoft would launch Office for the iPad, making it the first touch-focused platform for the cash cow productivity suite.
But when Microsoft unveiled the next version of Office this week, it was clear the iPad would have to wait.
In an interview with CNET, Office division President Kurt DelBene said Microsoft's own Windows is the priority for the newest version of Office. The new touch-friendly productivity suite will debut on Windows 8, which launches in October, in large part because the operating system is the best showcase for Microsoft's application … Read more
To borrow an old expression, planning a golf tournament is just like planning any other event, only more so. While event organizers only have so much power over the weather, things like registration and keeping score usually come off better with a bit of planning and foresight. That's actually not a problem, thanks to SweetSpot's Sandbagger Golf Event Tournament Organizer. This free tool can help you organize and hold a golf tournament for a company or social event. While it's totally free, you must register the program to keep using it beyond its demo period. But registration … Read more
Editors' note: This post was updated June 12, 2013, with the new 2013 MacBook Airs.
For the first time in 2013, Apple has introduced new MacBooks -- but for now, they're just Airs.
Both the 13- and 11-inch MacBook Air are refreshed with new fourth-generation Intel "Haswell" Core i5 and i7 processors and faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The chassis and features of the Airs remain unchanged from the past few generations, but the improvement in battery life is significant -- having tested them, we can now verify Apple's claim of all-day battery life.
However, Apple's … Read more
So, why does the world obsess about the newest MacBook Pro and not competing laptops from Hewlett-Packard or Dell?
Let's just say that Apple has an innate sense about good design.
And you can bet Microsoft has uttered this sentiment behind closed doors more than a few times -- thus, the Microsoft-designed Surface tablet announcement this week.
But let's focus on the Retina MacBook Pro for now. That's a design that any PC maker could have feasibly done.