R Michael Norman | MegaMike

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Giveaway of the Day!
  • CintaNotes is a small but very handy application for taking and managing notes.

    CintaNotes is a small but very handy application for taking and managing notes. It is ergonomic, unobtrusive, and feels like part of the system. Just select some text, press the hot key, and it is already in CintaNotes.

    It has a lighting fast as-you-type search and can synchronize notes with Simplenote for mobile access. Powerful hierarchic tagging system will help in organizing notes. A must-have tool for overcoming information overload!

cnet's Download.com
  • Windows 10: Microsoft aims for Windows everywhere

    Windows Insiders have been trying the Windows 10 Technical Preview for a few months, but today Microsoft announced what everyone can look forward to in 2015. This ambitious OS overhaul wants to make all your Windows devices -- PC, phone, tablet, Xbox -- work better together via universal apps, Continuum, the Spartan browser, and Xbox apps. Here's what you need to know about today's announcements.

    Windows 10 is coming in 2015, and it will be free

    That's right, Microsoft has shifted its strategy and will offer Windows 10 absolutely free for current Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 users for the first year after release. Windows 10 is slated for consumer release later this year -- Microsoft has offered no pricing or a firm date, but fall is likely. In the meantime, Windows Insiders should see a new preview build of Windows 10 in the coming week and Windows Phone 10 in February.

    Continuum will bridge tablet and desktop experiences

    Microsoft promises you'll switch seamlessly from PC to tablet, mouse to touchscreen, with Windows 10's Continuum. Continuum will even support touch gestures for old-school Win32 applications. Noti... [Read more]






  • Star Apps: Tears for Fears

    Tears for Fears' chart-topping, career-defining "Songs From the Big Chair" turns 30 this year. To mark the pearl anniversary of the album that spawned "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," "Shout," and "Head Over Heels " the band is releasing a rebooted super deluxe version, as well as a six-disc box set featuring remixes, B-sides, and nine previously unreleased tracks. Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal, who are currently working on a new album due later this year, talked to me about "Songs From the Big Chair," their breakup and makeup, the importance of social media, and their favorite apps.

    Tears for Fears circa 1985.

    What are your thoughts on "Songs From the Big Chair" today? Curt Smith: I guess the first thing I'm thankful for is that it still holds up. If "Songs From the Big Chair" was recorded now, it would sound much the same. The production stands up in a big way that's gratifying all these years later. I don't think there's anything I would change about it.

    What's the story behind "Shout"? Roland Orzabal: The record company saw the potential there. I was just trying to write songs. "Shout" was just a chorus when I wrote it. Only when I sang it they thought it was a hit. They made it sound so big. It just went on like that.

    Psychology was always a part of your work. Orzabal: We ... [Read more]






  • 9 moviemaking apps

    Do you picture yourself as an iPhone filmmaker, an Android auteur? In awards season, we sit back and critique other people's films, and if those Golden Globes and Oscar nominees have inspired or irritated you -- or if you simply want to level up from shooting home videos -- take a shot at making your own movie. We've scouted nine affordable, time-saving, feature-rich apps to help you script, storyboard, shoot, and edit.

    Writing

    A good movie starts with a good script. Celtx Script (iOS, Android) is a great alternative to pricier Final Draft. The app enables you to produce and mark up formatted scripts, collaborate with partners, and back up all your work, so you can focus on what's truly important: action and dialogue.

    Word processing and scriptwriting apps are marvelously flexible and functional, but manual typewriters offer a lack of Internet distraction and a rhythmic clatter that some believe increase energy levels and productivity. Get the best of both worlds with Hanx Writer, a typewriter app developed by actor Tom Hanks, which also lets you email, print, and share your magnum opus.

    Storyb... [Read more]






  • Windows 7 mainstream support ends

    On January 13, Microsoft officially ends mainstream support for Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

    What end of mainstream support means

    For corporate users, it's business as usual.

    For home users, free online and phone support are disappearing. Microsoft stopped distributing new licenses to manufacturers and vendors in October 2014, so don't expect to see many more new PCs preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, or Ultimate.

    Windows 7 Service Pack 1 now enters its extended support phase. Microsoft will continue to release security patches until January 14, 2020. Business PCs with Windows 7 Pro will still be available for sale, and so will OEM keys of the Pro version. Paid support will still be available. Downgrades will be honored for the business edition of Windows. For example, if you purchase a PC with Windows 8.1 Pro, you can still downgrade to Windows 7 Pro.

    How the end of support affects you

    Regular users will still get security fixes. You can still get Windows 7 Pro licenses if you're planning on purchasing a new system or if you're finally upgrading from Windows XP.

    Ther... [Read more]






  • Star Apps: Tommy Savas

    Tommy Savas costars on NBC series "State of Affairs," which follows a CIA briefing team that analyzes the most vital security issues facing the nation. I chatted with Savas about working opposite Katherine Heigl, his time on "The Sopranos," and his favorite apps.

    Tommy Savas can currently be seen on NBC's State of Affairs Mondays.

    (Credit: Bjoern Kommerell)

    You're working with an amazing cast on "State of Affairs." How would you describe Katherine Heigl? Katherine is an unbelievable person. She's amazing. I've never worked on a new show before where one of your costars is also an executive producer. It is an awesome dynamic, actually, because she's in your corner as far as being an actor with you. And the whole cast has become really good friends and hang out almost every weekend. We go to Katherine's for dinner a lot, and she's just an amazing person and a pleasure to work with.

    So Katherine Heigl is also your boss? Yeah, in a sense, since she's also an executive producer on this show. But that line is never drawn.

    Why should audiences tune in? As opposed to other network TV shows of this genre, where you get the ordinary procedural, what's interesting about this show is that it dives into the personal lives of the characters... [Read more]






  • 7 apps to beat your bad habits

    Each new year brings new opportunities to quit vices like smoking and binge drinking and to cut back on indulgences like excessive carb intake, online shopping sprees, and food deliveries. Begin a journey toward better health and wealth in 2015 with these seven apps.

    Quit smoking

    QuitNow (iOS, Android) Smoking causes one in five US deaths, according to the American Heart Association. The good news is that quitting is possible. Ease withdrawal with QuitNow, a highly personalized app that tracks the minutes since your last smoke, the number of cigarettes you've avoided, and the amount of money and time you've saved. Share support with your fellow quitters in 44 different languages.

    Stop drinking

    People often drink to relax, but excessive drinking increases your anxiety and stresses your liver, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. If you're trying to cut back or dry out, Stop Drinking With Andrew Johnson (iOS, Android) will help you with relaxation, hypnotherapy, positive suggestions, and visualization exercises.

    Save on t... [Read more]






  • Downloads of the Year 2014

    You, Download.com nation, got more than 630 million apps from our site in 2014. To put the number in perspective, that's more than dollars spent seeing "Guardians of the Galaxy" ($332 million gross), Netflix subscribers (53 million), World Series game 7 watchers (23.5 million), Apparently Kid viewers (18 million), and US buyers of Taylor Swift's "1989" (3.3 million).

    So, what had you downloading in droves? In a word, security -- and no surprise, since this year brought Heartbleed and Shellshock; credit card and personal info stolen from Home Depot, Target, and JPMorgan; celebrity iCloud photo hacks; and much more. If you haven't updated your protection yet, read our take on the best security options for your needs. Many of you found utilities on our site to clean up your computers -- another way to sweep for unwanted programs, as well as to free up hard drive space and improve system performance.

    Read on to see the year's most-downloaded apps for Windows and Mac, as well as 2014's most popular newcomers. To keep current with new software in 2015, sign up for one of our weekly newsletters.

    Top Windows downloads for 2014

    1. ... [Read more]






    2. Star Apps: Dee Snider

      In the eyes of Tipper Gore and her Parents Music Resource Center, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider made offensive music that needed a warning label. To fans, he was a rock 'n' roll icon who made it OK for teens to rat their hair, wear makeup, and rock out. Now the singer is pushing his cuddlier side, narrating the self-penned musical "Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale." I chatted with Snider about the show, getting on the wrong side of the Gores and Howard Stern, keeping his family together, and the app that helps him escape his most-dreaded super fans.

      A toned-down but no less rocking Snider fronts Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale.

      What can you tell us about your show? I've written a holiday musical called "Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale," which is playing on Broadway in Chicago through January 4. It's a Christmas musical about a struggling rock 'n' roll band that, in a last-ditch effort to find fame and fortune, try to sell their souls to the devil but find the magic of Christmas instead. There's a lot of Twisted music, some new stuff, and it's a comedy. I play the narrator of the story of Daisy Cutter and their struggle to sell their souls. It's got a conjuring and an exorcism, but you actually walk away feeling Christmasy. It's a great family show. We hope it'll come to Broadway in 2015.

      I... [Read more]






    3. 10 apps to swap

      After the holidays, you may spend Boxing Day exchanging gifts you don't want for ones you do. Consider trading in some mobile apps, too. If you've downloaded an app that left you cold, you can delete it, request a refund (iOS, Android), and find a more suitable option. Here are 10 apps that I decided to exchange.

      Photos

      Camera+ (iOS) → VSCO Cam (iOS, Android)

      Camera+ is an award-winning app with plenty of shooting and editing options to create the crispest of photos. But if you long for more manual controls, an inspiring photo feed from your fellow shutterbugs, or an in-app publishing platform to share photos (instead of sharing over Facebook and Twitter) -- all for free -- then VSCO Cam is the perfect choice.

      Messaging

      WhatsApp Messenger (iOS, Android) → Snapchat (iOS, ... [Read more]






    4. Best security options

      This year has given us plenty of reasons to question the efficacy of our Internet security: Heartbleed vulnerabilities, Target and Home Depot customer data leaks, celebrity iCloud photo hacks, attacks on Sony. While companies batten down their Web servers, you can protect your computer and phone with a security app -- but with so many options, how do you choose? We've reviewed all of this year's major antivirus and security updates, and now here are our recommendations for the apps that will work best for you, whether you're running an old version of Windows or need remote control of all your devices.

      If you want the best all-around protection: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

      (Windows, see also Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac)

      The good: With unrivaled test results from independent security labs, Bitdefender Antivirus offers the best protection on the market. The app also includes a variety of optimization tools, such as a Registry cleaner and a disk defragmenter. Bitdefender Safepay provides extra security for online shoppers to store sensitive payment information.

      The bad: First-time setup can be a drag, as the ini... [Read more]







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