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The 12 best apps for your new Android device

So, you found a brand-new Android device under the tree a few days ago. Congratulations! Now what? In this post I'm going to recommend the very best apps to get off on the right foot with Android. If you've been using Android for a while, chances are you know most of these. Still, you might find a hidden gem or two. These are all based on my own use, so while the list is subjective in nature,...

The top Download Squad stories of 2010

As yet another year slips quietly into the annual abyss, it's customary to take a retrospective glance at all that has happened. While history is surely nowhere near as exciting as the future -- especially as far as technology is concerned -- we can still learn a lot by looking back at the events of a year and analyzing, with perfect hindsight, what actually happened. After all, it is one thing...

5 ways to recycle or revitalize your old computer

Christmas is coming, and you're about to have a ton of time off. Some of that time will be spent energetically tearing apart beautifully-wrapped gifts, and eating food is certainly next on the list of priorities. Obviously you have to play with your new gifts (or put on your new socks), but after that... after the postprandial sofa-surfing grunts and burps and farts... well, there isn't a whole...

Free games for your new Windows computer

Right now, Steam is running all kinds of crazy year-end deals and there are loads of games you can buy at crazy low prices. But maybe you're all tapped out right now -- and you'd like to get your hands on some fun games without having to shell out your remaining hard-earned cash? No worries! We just pointed out 20 great free programs to install on your new system, and it's just as easy to find...

Google Maps' little orange guy will receive a Santa hat tomorrow

Have you ever wondered if that little orange guy that you can drag around in Google Maps to enter Street View has a name? Well, he does, and it's Pegman. This modern-day Clippy is getting ready for some Christmas-themed dressing up. As of tomorrow, he'll be wearing a Santa hat -- as seen in the image above. Pegman has slowly, but surely, turned into the de facto mascot for Google Maps. On...

20+ essential programs for your new Windows computer

Our regular readers can probably rattle off a list of their 20 favorite apps without breaking a sweat -- as the comments on this post will no doubt prove. But for our less in-the-know friends, family, and co-workers, it can be challenging to figure out where to download high quality programs that actually do what they need them to do. We've put together an assortment that will help you hit the...

Essential iPhone apps: Guide to the best iOS gifts for the holidays

Santa's just hand-delivered you a brand-spanking new iPhone or iPod touch. You've ripped the wrapping paper off, charged it, and have been playing with it non-stop, but your home screen looks a bit bare. Well look no further: DLS has your back! We love all kinds of apps, but here are our essential, must-download apps for your new and shiny iDevice....

Google teams up with Coca-Cola for a festive Android treat

Adding to the magical wonder of Coke's 'Snow Globe Santa' Christmas commercial, Google's AdMob team has collaborated with the One True Soda Master to create a truly festive Android experience: a snow globe live wallpaper (QR code after the break). The live wallpaper -- which basically turns your Android phone into a very cute snow globe -- will be promoted via the AdMob network, which many...

10 last-minute gift ideas for geeks

You've gone and waited until the last minute to buy the gang at the office their annual holiday gifts. Trouble is, it's too late to order something online -- and who wants to fight with holiday crowds at the mall? Wouldn't you rather just do some nice, relaxing shopping from the comfort of your cubicle? There's plenty of great stuff you can give digitally via email, Facebook, or even printed...

Microsoft nerd reverse engineers Christmas lights, uses them as IM indicators

Apparently, even domestic Christmas lights are controlled by computers nowadays, and hopefully, as you all know, that means they're hackable. Andrej Kyselica, a Microsoft employee, took some GE-35 Christmas lights, hooked them into a .NET Micro Framework embedded controller, took another developer's work, developed a driver -- and voila! PC-controlled Christmas lights (video after the break). ...

The Humble Indie Bundle is back, with Braid, Machinarium, and a real-time counter

The most excellent Humble Indie Bundle is back, and yet again five excellent games are available at any price you choose. This year, Braid, Machinarium, Cortex Command, Osmos and Revenge of the Titans are part of the bundle -- and again, a percentage of every donation goes to the EFF and Child's Play charities. All five games work on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The site itself has been...

5 perfect computery Christmas gifts for your mother, father or family elder

Let's be honest: if you're reading Download Squad, you're in the 99th percentile when it comes to computer technology. You probably know how to touch type, or send a file across the world at the speed of light, and in all likelihood you own one of the big three video game consoles. Like all things that you've grown up with and come to rely on, though, you don't realize just how lucky you are to...

5 Steam games under $15 that make perfect Christmas gifts

It's that time again, folks: Christmas! 'tis the season to be jolly -- and how better to jollify than to give the gift of game? Steam, as always, is obscenely overloaded with fantastic indie games that are just gagging to be gifted to your nearest and dearest. At these prices, you'd be forgiven for buying a copy of each game for yourself, too! It's also worth noting that Steam usually has a...

Send hilarious, personalized Santa messages with Google Voice

Ho ho ho! I remember, when I was 8, Santa called my father's mobile phone. He had a message for me, and it blew my mind. A few years later, my dad told me it was his best friend, and he had bought a new SIM card just so I couldn't trace the number! Ah, the lengths adults go to preserve the magic of Santa Claus. Today, things just got a whole lot easier. If you want to create a personalized...

Track Santa on Google Maps and Earth as he delivers gifts around the world

NORAD, the military wing in charge of defending North America from maritime and aerospace attacks, seems to have a lot of spare time on its hands. Since 1955 NORAD has tracked Santa Claus as he travels around the world delivering presents -- and since 2007, Google has also been part of the project, integrating NORAD's data with Google Maps and Earth. Basically, once Santa gets on the move --...