EasyBrake is a new open source video converter based on the excellent video conversion engine of HandBrake, one of the best video converters available on the Windows platform, but with a simpler interface. EasyBrake is a simplified version of HandBrake. While HandBrake has many dozens of parameters and settings to customize the video conversion job, EasyBrake has just a handful. The idea is to make EasyBrake as easy as possible to use while utilizing the best features of HandBrake and without compromising on quality.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Google Plus doesn’t provide users a way to automatically publish content from an RSS feed to their Google Plus Page. The idea is to keep Google Plus spam free as anything that you want to share on Google Plus has to be done manually. While this has been a success in keeping spammers at bay but it also discourages business and bloggers, in particular, from using Google Plus as a medium to share content with their followers and readers. Now the social media management tool called Hootsuite is providing this service through their web based dashboard.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Backup4all Professional is a powerful backup software for Windows with a large number of features that will appeal to users who want more out of their backup programs. At the same time, the program is simple enough for the average user to reliably create backup of their data, thanks to the intuitive interface and the short streamlined backup creation process. Backup4all Professional has everything you would expect from backup software such as support for wide range of backup media, different backup modes (full, incremental, differential), file versioning, filters and scheduler.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
The browser market is completely dominated by only three browsers (Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer), and even major ones (Opera) have to struggle to make an impression. In such a lopsided market it is easy to forget the smaller players. QupZilla is one such ambitious browser that hopes to make a dent on the impenetrable browser market.
“Bounce rate” in Google Analytics is one of the key metrics that helps webmasters to evaluate the quality of their website traffic. Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and "bounce" or leave instantly rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site. This is a great indication on how relevant the content was for the user and how engaged they were with your website.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Last week we organized a giveaway for KeyLemon, a biometrics security software that offer a simple and convenient solution for users to login to their Windows computer and other web services using their face instead of a password. We have the names of 5 winners, and as promised, each of them have won a $40 license key of KeyLemon Gold.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Every Windows computer should have an antivirus program capable of providing real-time protection against worms, viruses and other kinds of malware, and at least one on-demand malware scanner. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Spybot - Search & Destroy are two of the most popular anti-malware scanners available today. Another program that I’m going to recommend is Comodo Cleaning Essentials.
IORAD is a web services that lets software developers, bloggers or just about anybody to easily create interactive tutorials or instruction manuals of software products. Unlike traditional desktop based screen casting tools or screenshot capture programs, IORAD works from within the browser. Even though browser based, IORAD is capable of taking screenshots of any programs window running on the computer. Once a recording session begins, IORAD automatically captures screenshots of every mouse and keyboard movements such as typing, scrolling and clicking. These are then arranged in a slideshow and appropriate captions automatically added. The end result, which is fully editable, resembles a PowerPoint like slideshow with step-by-step instructions which can be embedded on any website.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
A hand-picked selection of articles published between July 8 and July 21 of previous years.
1 Year Ago
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Sony is not only keeping the once revolutionary Walkman brand alive, but this summer it intends to infuse a new life to this once popular product. The Japanese electronics manufacturer has just announced a slew of new music players to compete with the likes of iPod, that carries the Walkman brand. But unlike the Walkmans of yesteryears that could play no more than 90 minutes of music the new Walkman will play 32 GB worth of music and they will be powered by Android 4.0.
Antivirus software maker Avira today released the Technical Preview of Avira Protection Cloud, a new cloud based antivirus solution from the company. Development and testing of Avira Protection Cloud was going on for quite sometime, but this is the first public download made available.
Avira Protection Cloud consist of a client program that connects to Avira’s servers where the actual malware scanner is located. The client program doesn’t have malware detection capabilities of its own when disconnected from the Internet. When a scan is initiated, the program prepares a list of file locations that are known to be frequently targeted by malware. This includes running processes, programs that run at start-up and services. A hash of each file is then generated and sent to the Avira Protection Cloud.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Facial recognition software has been around for quite some time. Google's Picasa image organizer has a built in face recognition system that can associate faces with persons. Apple’s photo organizer iPhoto has a similar feature. Facebook also included face recognition technology and the latest version of Windows Live Photo Gallery also included one. So far facial recognition has been used only for convenience purposes, as a mean to automate jobs such as image sorting and identification, but never as a security solution.
Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled the latest edition of Microsoft Office – Office 2013, also known as Office 15. The version out is the Technical Preview which comes completely free of charge and is intended to get people familiar with the new version until the final version goes on sale.
The initial announcement directed users who wished to download and test Office 2013 to an online installer. But now you can grab the offline installer from Microsoft Technet.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Although I don’t write about Linux much, this is a news that is worth reporting – the game distribution platform/software Steam is coming to Linux. This is probably one of the biggest news in the history of Linux, and without exaggerating, because lack of games is one of the primary reasons that keep people away from this open source operating system. For more than a decade, we have been hearing about the imminent arrival of the “year of Linux on the desktop”. Seems like the year has finally arrived.
Popular security software developer Comodo has developed a Firefox re-mix with focus on improving the default security features offered on Mozilla’s creation. Called Comodo IceDragon, the new browser is named similar to Comodo Dragon, their implementation of the Chromium browser with potentially privacy-compromising features removed. Comodo IceDragon is built on the Mozilla browser core and combines the basic functionalities of the original code with Comodo’s security features.
Monday, July 16, 2012
There are many services that offer online space for file storage and image sharing, yet surprisingly few people use them to secure their important files and precious memories. Often the reason for not utilizing these services is not because they don’t want to, but because they don't have the right tools and the time to take care of this. Take image sharing sites for example. How many of them offer a desktop application that allows easy uploading of files from the computer? How many of them offer synchronizing solutions? Aside from Google Picasa, I don’t believe there is any service that offer such a feature.
One of the best media center application for Windows is now available on Android, the XBMC team broke the news last weekend. This is phenomenal development for those who use their Android devices primarily for media consumption because a full-fledged media center will allow them to enjoy their movies and music in a way that wasn’t possible on Android before. “And as Android-based set-top-boxes are becoming more and more ubiquitous, it couldn’t be a better time”, the announcement read.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
A hand-picked selection of articles published between June 24 and July 7 of previous years.
1 Year Ago
Friday, July 13, 2012
Recently, the Dev, Canary and Beta channels of Google Chrome started blocking installation of extensions originating from outside the official repository, that is, the Chrome Web Store. Attempting to install extensions from third party website produces a notification message that says “Extensions, apps and user scripts can only be added from the Chrome Web Store”. As noted in the message, Chrome also disallows installation of user scripts, which are almost always third-party. This is not a good thing for users wanting to install Greasemonkey scripts or Stylish scripts or any other type of scripts.
When Google+ was launched in June last year, initially businesses and non-human entities were not allowed on the social network. They even terminated any business accounts that it spotted on Google+. But businesses wanted to be a part of Google+ from the start and so many businesses and brands started using regular Google+ accounts. A few months later when Google introduced Google+ Pages for business, many businesses found themselves with two Google+ accounts, and some were forced to abandoned their old accounts. On Thursday, Google launched a new tool that allows these businesses or any individual to migrate data from one Google+ account to another.
Rovio’s phenomenal success, the Angry Birds, now has a new brother - Amazing Alex. Released today on the Android and iOS platform, Amazing Alex is a physics based puzzle game that includes 100 levels, but unlike its sibling this time you have to cough up $0.99 cents to own it. However, a trial game with 16 levels is available for Android.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
According to a research conducted last year in UK, music videos drive nearly one-third of the total traffic to video sharing sites including YouTube, which because of it’s familiarity, is a popular place on the web to listen to and discover new music. Despite this there is no jukebox-like functionality on the website. You can setup playlist and channels but those aren’t easily created, requires registration and is such a hassle that it takes the fun out of music surfing. If you are among those who frequent YouTube solely to listen to music, here are two elegant solutions.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Removing vocals from songs is generally a simple process, but results can vary widely depending on the instruments used and whether or not the voice is center-panned. Usually vocals are placed in the “center” of the stereo, meaning, they are equally distributed in both the left and right channels. The vocal on the left channel is the exact replica of the vocal on the right channel. Instruments, however, are distributed unevenly. When that happens, it’s simply a matter of subtracting one channel from the other, and the vocal is almost completely removed.
Firefox has an option to set a Master password to protect sensitive information in your Firefox profile. However, this is limited to only protecting unauthorized users from viewing your saved passwords on websites. The master password doesn’t prevent users from launching Firefox or opening pages or accessing your bookmarks. It also doesn’t prevent users from accessing sites the browser is already logged in to. If you are looking to protect your entire Firefox profile or the browser itself and not just your passwords, we have two add-ons for the purpose.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
After a long hiatus, I’m back with yet another collection of themes for Windows 7 released during the last couple of months. All the themes have been hand picked, but not tested. Please refer to the theme author’s instruction on how to install the themes. To see previous collection of themes, visit the Customization section.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Windows has several built in power plans or schemes intended to maximize the computer’s performance or conserve power or both at the same time. A typical power plan monitors the power usage by the computer’s different hardware and automatically turns them on or off depending on whether they are being actively used or lying idle. Windows will also automatically change these settings if the laptop is running off battery power. The default plans meet most people's computing needs but if you have special requirements, you will find Windows’ power plans inadequate.
If you use Microsoft Outlook as your primary email program, you know there is no way of installing it on a USB drive and making it portable. However, you can synchronize your Outlook profile data to a folder on a USB Flash drive and access them from the USB drive on any computer. This is possible through a software called Syncsi for Outlook.
There are lot of online resources that lets you change, resize, crop and enhance images without having to learn to use heavy weights like Adobe Photoshop. Judging by the sheer number of such tools available, and the interest in acquiring them by the likes of Google it can be assumed that they are immensely popular. If you happen to use them often and have these sites tucked away in your bookmarks, and if you also use Firefox, you’ll find PictuTools pretty useful.
Friday, July 6, 2012
I have tried more than a handful of system cleaning tools in the past, and all of them are more or less the same. So I didn’t pay much attention when I heard about PrivaZer. But after using the program for a few minutes I was impressed by the program’s deep cleaning abilities. PrivaZer is not just a temporary files cleaner or browser history remover; it’s a privacy cleaner that focuses on removing every bit of trace from your computer irreversibly, by wiping the data multiple times.
Tethering is the ability to share your mobile phone’s Internet connection with other devices such as laptops via the USB cable. When tethering is done over Wi-Fi, it’s called a wireless hotspot, a term I’m sure you are all familiar with. Since a typical household has more than one Internet capable device, sharing of Internet connectivity is a great way to reduce cost incurred by the ownership of multiple Internet connection. But as it happens, mobile data plans are usually expensive compared to broadband/ADSL plans. So you stand a better chance at saving if the sharing is made the other way round – that is, from the PC to the mobile device. If you have a wireless router at home and your mobile device supports Wi-Fi connectivity you are already set. But if any one of these key components is missing you will be unable to share your PC’s internet connection with your mobile. This is where reverse tethering comes in.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Firefox stores a user's preferences and data such as installed add-ons, saved passwords, history, bookmarks and others in a unique profile. The first time you start Firefox, it automatically creates a default profile and stores all settings associated with the profile within a special profile folder on your computer. Your profile folder is kept in a separate place from the Firefox program so that if something ever goes wrong with Firefox your information will still be there. It also means you can uninstall Firefox without losing your settings and you don't have to reinstall Firefox to clear your information or troubleshoot a problem.
Passkey Lite is a free version of Passkey, which is a Windows-based driver that works on-the-fly to decrypt encrypted movie DVDs and Blu-ray discs. With the help of Passkey Lite you can remove copy protection and region code from DVDs and Blu-rays which can then be accessed by any media player such as VLC Media Player, WinDVD and PowerDVD. It also allows third-party tools like Imgburn and Nero Recode to burn/recode the copy protected DVDs into non-copy protected discs that can be played back in DVD or Blu-ray players.
Stoffi Music Player is a new, free and open source music player for Windows that is “aimed at being simple but powerful at the same time”. Stoffi Music Player looks almost like Windows Explorer. The GUI uses the same Explorer scrollbars, buttons, menus and menu highlights. This gives the program a native Windows look that almost makes me believe that it’s a part of the operating system.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Microsoft’s upcoming word processing suite Office 2013 is about to get a big upgrade. According to Liveside, Microsoft Word 2013 will be able to open PDF files and even edit them.
Until now, editing PDF documents wasn’t easy or cheap. Free PDF editors are few and far between and their PDF editing abilities are limited. The only true PDF editor in existence today is Adobe Acrobat. It’s still unclear up to what extent Microsoft Word 2013 will allow PDF editing though.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Did you know Greenland is approximately 14 times smaller than the great continent of Africa, even though both appears to takes the same amount of area on the map? That’s because maps are intrinsically inaccurate. It is impossible to accurately represent the surface of the earth on a piece of paper because the earth is spherical while a map is flat. Imagine peeling an orange and pressing the orange peel flat on a table - the peel would crack and break as it was flattened because it can't easily transform from a sphere to a plane. The same is true for the surface of the earth and that's why we use map projections.
The Windows Run dialog box is one of the most useful tools to be included with the operating system. I use it all the time to launch programs like regedit, msconfig and services. However, the trouble with Run commands is that you have to type the exact filename of the program you wish to open. You can’t type “device manager” and expect the Device Manager utility to launch. You have to type “devmgmt.msc”. Some of these names are too difficult to memorize, for example, the Programs and Features Control Panel applet is called “appwiz.cpl” but the Computer Management applet is called “compmgmt.msc”. To open Microsoft Word you have to type “winword” not “msword” or “word” like you may do in the Start Menu.
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