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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Trend Micro releases free Heartbleed scanners for Android, Chrome
April 18, 2014 – 06:27 by Mike Williams in News | 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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MediaPortal 1.7.0 FINAL adds Wake On LAN support, boosts stability
April 18, 2014 – 05:30 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

MediaPortalTeam MediaPortal has released a major update of its open-source media center for Windows. MediaPortal 1.7.0 FINAL comes with a number of beneath-the-hood changes that will affect the program going forward, including future plans for a home screen editor within MediaPortal itself.

The new build also promises enhancements to the TV and video On Screen Displays, a new Wake On LAN feature and support for accessing information about video files automatically.

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Pinnacle Studio 5 launched on iPhone, updated for iPad
April 17, 2014 – 12:08 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

Pinnacle Studio iOSCorel subsidiary Pinnacle System has launched Pinnacle Studio for iPhone 5.0 alongside an updated Pinnacle Studio for iPad 5.0, which has been rebuilt with an iOS 7-themed interface and 64-bit support.

Pinnacle Studio for iPhone contains an identical feature-set to its bigger iPad brethren, explaining why its first release is version 5. Features include support for mixing video, audio and photos with Storyboard and Timeline editing features plus a wide range of tracks, effects and titles, plus 1080p HD video quality.

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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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Sketch 3 for Mac adds reusable Symbols and Presentation Mode, improves Export tool
April 17, 2014 – 06:08 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

Sketch 3 for MacBohemian Coding has released Sketch 3.0, a major new version of its Mac vector-based design tool. Version 3.0 adds a brand new feature called Symbols, which lets users combine multi-layered objects into a reusable group.

Other changes include major improvements to the Export Tool, redesigned Text and Layer Styles, a revamped inspector and a new Presentation Mode for showing off designs in full screen.

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FileOptimizer 6.50 adds HTML optimisation support
April 17, 2014 – 05:56 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Lossless compression tool FileOptimizer has been updated to version 6.50.302 with new HTML optimisation support.

If you’re wondering how any HTML optimisation can be guaranteed to be “lossless”, then you might have a point. Currently “tidy” is turned off by default, and if you try to enable it (Options > HTML) the program warns you that your files “may not be editable any more”.

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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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