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TunnelBear 3.0 brings faster, more secure VPN connections
September 23, 2016 – 10:15 | No Comment

Canadian VPN provider TunnelBear has updated its Windows and Mac clients to version 3.0.
The Windows release features a simplified, stripped-back interface and connects and reconnects up to 60% faster than before.

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ripgrep is a fast, powerful cross-platform grep
September 28, 2016 – 08:33 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

ripgrepOnce you’re used to the power of grep, regular Windows text-searching tools can seem a little, well, basic.

Fortunately there some quality alternatives around, and ripgrep is an excellent open-source project with builds available for Windows, Linux and OS X.

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Block unwanted hotkeys with Simple Disable Key
September 27, 2016 – 07:01 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Simple Disable KeyWell-chosen hotkeys make a program much easier to use, but there can be problems: you might keep hitting one by mistake, or maybe it gives users quick access to a feature you’d rather restrict.

Simple Disable Key is a free Windows tool which can disable individual hotkeys globally, by program or using a custom schedule.

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Navigate the galaxy with Gaia Sky
September 26, 2016 – 16:31 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Gaia SkyGaia Sky is what the developer calls a “real-time, 3D, astronomy visualisation” package, which normally means you get to fly around like you’re in Star Trek, but with real-world deep-space images to make it more “educational”.

The project is based around the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission to chart around one billion stars of our galaxy.

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Protect your web privacy with ScriptSafe for Chrome
September 24, 2016 – 08:19 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

ScriptSafeScriptSafe is a free Chrome extension which has been helping users manage their web privacy for years, building up a huge list of features along the way.

The add-on can help block various content types, fingerprinting technologies, cookies, web bugs, Google analytics, cross media requests, social media buttons and a whole lot more.

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MathMagic Lite is a versatile equation editor
September 23, 2016 – 07:51 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

MathMagicMath is hard to avoid, even if you’re a total mathphobe, and anyone might find they occasionally need to use an equation in a document.

High-end packages like Microsoft Word have equation editors built-in, but if you’re not so lucky then MathMagic Lite is a convenient free-for-personal-use alternative.

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mutool is a command-line PDF toolkit
September 20, 2016 – 07:43 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

MuPDFOpen-source PDF toolkit MuPDF has been under development in one form or another since 2002, and over the years it’s built up a host of document viewing, conversion and extraction features.

The package doesn’t get the attention it deserves on Windows – probably because the key tools are console-based – but if you don’t mind spending time at the command line, it’s certainly worth a look.

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Flico identifies landmarks in YouTube videos
September 20, 2016 – 04:22 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

FlicoFlico is a clever Chrome extension which can identify landmarks in YouTube videos and tell you more about them.

It’s easy to use. If you spot a landmark you don’t recognise, pause playback, click the Flico icon, then “Scan Landmarks”, and the add-on goes to work.

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Delayed Firefox 49 FINAL finally makes its bow, decommissions Firefox Hello
September 20, 2016 – 03:21 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

FirefoxMozilla has finally released Firefox 49 FINAL for Windows, Mac and Linux. The release has been held back a week due to the need to fix two ‘blocker’ bugs. The bugs – which concerned loading Giphly embeds in Twitter, and slow scripts and unresponsive script dialogs when resuming Firefox – have now been resolved.

Firefox 49 sees the new ‘e10’ multi-process architecture roll out to more users, plus improves Reader Mode with a new Narrate feature. Fans of the Firefox Hello chat tool will, however, be disappointed to learn that the feature has been decommissioned.

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Boost speeds on busy PCs with Project Mercury
September 19, 2016 – 06:26 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Project MercuryModern CPUs are powerful devices which can run most applications without difficulty, but run enough processes at the same time and your performance will soon fall away.

Project Mercury (64-bit version) is a freeware tool which automatically optimises process priorities and RAM usage to ensure your active application always has the maximum system resources.

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Easily switch between 20+ DNS servers with Change DNS Helper
September 18, 2016 – 14:36 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Change DNS HelperSwitching your DNS servers can improve web performance, enhance security and help you reach some sites you can’t normally access.

It’s awkward to do this manually, but Change DNS Helper is a free tool which makes the process much easier.

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ACDSee Ultimate 10 adds Smart Brushes and GPU support
September 17, 2016 – 03:37 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

ACDSeeACD Systems has unveiled ACDSee Ultimate 10 ($149.99), the latest edition of its powerful image editor.

A new Smart Brush enable users to brush on image adjustments simply by painting over the image area.

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