Stories by Steve Horton

  • Video player's DVD-copying feature may run afoul of MPAA

    The latest release of the VLC media player is a huge hit, racking up nearly 8.6 million downloads since the 1.0 release last week, according to the makers of the software VideoLAN. But some observers - including movie studio lawyers - may feel the new software is just a little too good. In researching a review of the software, I was surprised to learn that it easily allowed me to copy encrypted DVDs directly onto my hard drive. That's something that has landed firms such as RealNetworks in court.

  • Open-source media player VLC hits the big time

    For several years, the free, third-party media player of choice for many video connoisseurs was the open-source VLC media player. It worked on multiple operating systems, it worked on a bare install of Windows without any special codecs, and it was light and fast. All that is still true. Now, VLC finally hits an important milestone: version 1.0.0 (given the James Bond-referencing nickname of Goldeneye), and with this version comes a pile of useful new features.

  • EasyGPS helps your PC and GPS device plan trips together

    Ah, trip planning. If you'd like to set your itinerary of points of interest, landmarks, and destinations on your PC rather than struggling with a GPS's touchscreen, then EasyGPS is a nice, free solution. It works with numerous models of Eagle, Garmin, Magellan and Lowrance GPS receivers. It doesn't work with TomTom, nor does it work with the GPS receivers embedded in many popular mobile phones.