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Trend Micro releases free Heartbleed scanners for Android, Chrome
April 18, 2014 – 06:27 | No Comment

Trend Micro has announced the availability of two free scanners for the Heartbleed bug.
The first, a Chrome add-on, allows users to enter and check any specific URL.

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Troubleshoot application launch issues with WinPrefetchView
April 21, 2014 – 09:10 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Prefetching is an excellent Windows technology which records the files loaded when an application starts, helping the system to optimise its launch time in future.

Normally this all happens entirely in the background. But if you’re having launch problems with a particular application, or you just want to better understand how your PC works, then NirSoft’s WinPrefetchView (32-bit version here) might be able to help. (As long as you’re not using an SSD, anyway – prefetching is unnecessary and probably disabled.)

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Compress your JPEGs by up to 20% with wxPackJPG
April 20, 2014 – 06:44 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

JPEG compression is amazingly efficient, but while this is normally good news, it’s a little disappointing when you’re archiving. Store your JPEG library in a zip file and you’ll barely cut their size at all.

Choose a more specialist compression format, though, and the results can be very different. WxPackJPG is a graphical front end for the open source PackJPG, and it claims to compress JPEGs by up to 20%.

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Explore hidden Windows icons and bitmaps with NirSoft’s ResourcesExtract
April 19, 2014 – 16:58 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

The software you run on a PC may be packaged in several different formats: EXE, DLL, CPL and so on.

These file types aren’t just for executable code, though. They can also contain resources for the program can call on, as required: icons, bitmaps, cursors, videos and more.

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Rain Alarm: a handy weather alert app that works almost anywhere
April 17, 2014 – 12:01 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

RainAlarm200-175As you might guess from its name, Rain Alarm is a smart app which can warn you about imminent snow or rain. That doesn’t sound too special – there are a host of tools promising to do the same thing – but this one has what it takes to stand out from the crowd.

It’s about as cross-platform as you can get, for example: there are apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Windows 8; add-ons for Firefox and Chrome, or you can just visit the Rain Alarm website from almost anything with a browser.

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WordPress 3.9 brings faster, easier media editing
April 17, 2014 – 08:13 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

WordPress.org has announced the release of WordPress 3.9, a significant update which brings a host of worthwhile improvements.

Uploading your images is now as easy as dragging and dropping them into the editor. Once there, quicker access to crop and rotation tools, as well as the ability to resize them “in place”, makes for a smoother editing experience.

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Emsisoft, Kaspersky top AV-Comparatives March Real-World Protection test
April 16, 2014 – 16:50 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Independent security testing lab AV-Comparatives has revealed a summary of its March 2014 Real-World Protection Test, where top antivirus products are exposed to a test set of 1,264 current threats.

Topping the chart this time were Emsisoft Anti-Malware 8.1 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2014, both blocking 99.7% of threats with no false positives at all.

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Bluhell Firewall: a simple but effective ad-blocker for Firefox
April 16, 2014 – 14:47 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Building the perfect ad-blocker is a complex business, not least because your users can have very different ideas on how it should work.

Some developers try to address this with layer after layer of features. You’ll be able to whitelist this, blacklist that, and add custom filters for just about everything else. Sounds great, until you have to spend an age learning how everything works, and start to notice how all these layers are slowing you down.

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EssentialPIM 5.8 adds support for cloud sync, Pro users gain PGP encryption
April 16, 2014 – 11:24 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

EssentialPIM 5.8Astonsoft Ltd has released EssentialPIM Free 5.8 and EssentialPIM Pro 5.8, major new versions of its personal information manager tool for Windows.

Also available in portable form as well as on Android and iOS, version 5.8’s headline feature is integration with the new EPIM Cloud feature, allowing data to be synced using the cloud.

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FilExile deletes files or folders that Explorer won’t touch
April 16, 2014 – 10:29 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Deleting files from Windows Explorer is usually very easy. Select your target, tap “Del”, click the “Yes, I really mean it” button and the object disappears forever. (Or is sent to the Recycle Bin, anyway.)

Sometimes you’ll get an “in use” error, though, usually because the file is locked by Windows or the system. It’s best to find out why – the file could be important – but if all else fails, a specialist tool like Unlocker can help you to delete it anyway.

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Defraggler 2.18 adds Quick Optimize feature for SSD drives, disk performance graphs
April 16, 2014 – 09:28 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

defraggler-logoPiriform has released Defraggler 2.18 and Defraggler Portable 2.18, minor updates to its Windows freeware defrag tool.

Version 2.18 builds on the previous release by adding additional functionality to the recently introduced Statistics tab as well as implementing a new Quick Optimize feature for sold-state storage drives.

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Freeplane: a versatile brainstorming tool
April 15, 2014 – 14:18 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Whether you need to understand a problem, complete a task, or just generally get organised, mind mapping can probably help. Not least because it’s so easy.

Start with the central issue; note down any related ideas, and begin to arrange and order them. You’ll quickly come up with a structure which helps you better understand the issue.

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