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Is LibreOffice 4.4 FINAL the “most beautiful” ever?
January 30, 2015 – 09:58 | No Comment

The Document Foundation has unveiled LibreOffice 4.4, describing it as “the most beautiful LibreOffice ever”.
But while there are plenty of visual tweaks (an enhanced Sifr monochrome icon theme is now the default on OS X), …

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Monitor HTTP and HTTPS traffic with FiddlerCap
January 29, 2015 – 06:59 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

FiddlerCapIf you’re trying to diagnose web problems, or you’re concerned about security, then it can sometimes be useful to watch your PC’s HTTP and HTTPS traffic.

Fiddler is one possible solution, an industrial-strength web debugging proxy with a lengthy feature list and enough monitoring power to satisfy the most demanding of developers.

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Ra is a Chrome text editor/ file manager for your local storage
January 27, 2015 – 05:22 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

RaChrome apps are sometimes criticised as being strictly internet-only, virtually useless if you need to work offline.

There’s some truth in that, but it’s not always the case. Ra is a Chrome-based text editor which not only works with local text files, but can double as a simple file manager.

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Build the perfect portable toolkit with SyMenu
January 26, 2015 – 09:08 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

SyMenuIf you regularly work on other people’s PCs then it can be wise to bring along some software of your own.

Add portable Firefox and GIMP to a USB stick, say, and you won’t need to rely on the host PC’s browser or graphics editor any more. Your favourite applications will be available wherever you are, with your own settings, and a relatively private history (it won’t be as easy for the PC owner to see the sites you’ve accessed).

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Inside “Easy Disk Drive Repair” malware with VB Decompiler
January 23, 2015 – 11:32 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

VB Decompiler LiteIf you regularly download brand new programs from unknown developers then there’s an above-average chance you’ll find some malware. Antivirus software won’t necessarily pick up on the very latest threats, and so you’ll need further tools and strategies to identify potential dangers.

We recently wrote about “Easy Disk Drive Repair”, and explained how we realised this promising-looking program was actually a trojan which turned off UAC and modified browser files. We used fairly simple and straightforward techniques, but if you want to get really technical, there’s a way to find out much more about how the program works.

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Get more from your CPU with ParkControl
January 22, 2015 – 17:42 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

ParkControlWindows power plans seem simple, at least in theory. Launch the “Power Options” applet, then select “High performance” on desktops for maximum CPU speed, “Power saver” on mobile systems to optimise for energy use, or “Balanced” for somewhere in between.

That’s most how it works, too, but Windows also has a hidden setting which can fine tune the results, maybe saving more energy or further improving system speeds.

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Labrys is an alternative Start Menu for Windows 7+
January 22, 2015 – 07:55 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

LabrysMicrosoft’s decision to drop the Start Menu in Windows 8 persuaded many developers to produce their own alternatives, and there’s no shortage of free options to explore (Classic Shell is probably still the best)

Finding yet another example in the new Labrys didn’t exactly fill us with excitement, then, but despite several flaws it’s different enough to be interesting.

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LastPass for OS X puts password manager directly on the Mac desktop
January 21, 2015 – 11:54 by Nick Peers in Featured, News | No Comment

LastPass for MacLastPass has released LastPass for Mac 3.2.0, a desktop version of its popular password-management tool. The app, also available as a series of browser extensions for Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera, now sits at the heart of the user desktop.

Once installed and launched, LastPass for Mac places an icon into the menu bar. It also creates a new Quick Search tool for speedily accessing, viewing and editing stored passwords and other notes.

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Quickly transcribe audio files with pmTrans
January 21, 2015 – 09:18 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

pmTransWhether you’re typing up an entire interview, or just trying to note a few song lyrics, the endless clicking of Play/ Pause/ Rewind means it’s usually a very tedious process.

PmTrans is an easy-to-use Java-based application which can help in various ways. There’s no installation, the program is a single JAR file which you can download and run right away.

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Chrome 40 for iOS brings browser Handoff support, Material Design UI
January 20, 2015 – 17:30 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Google Chrome for iOSGoogle has today announced the release of Chrome 40 for iOS.

The big addition to version 40.0.2214.61 is Handoff support, which enables mobile users to continue from Chrome to their default browser on OS X.

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IObit Malware Fighter 3 Free extends browsing protection
January 20, 2015 – 14:21 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

IObit Malware FighterIObit Malware Fighter Free has been updated to version 3 with a range of new features and enhancements.

The “Browser Protect” module provides real-time protection for your home and search pages, blocks some malicious sites, eliminates malicious toolbars, and prevents malware modifying your system DNS settings.

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Screen Reader reads on-screen text as you point at it
January 20, 2015 – 09:21 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Screen ReaderScreen Reader is a compact free tool which reads on-screen text out loud, as you point at it.

If you’re thinking this sounds a lot like Windows’ built-in Narrator, then you’re right – Screen Reader even uses the same core Microsoft speech engine to do its work. But the program also has a few advantages which might justify its download.

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