Mike Williams

DarkAudacity gives Audacity’s classic audio editor a UI update

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DarkAudacity, a mildly redesigned branch of the classic open-source audio editor Audacity, has been released for Windows.

The package has no big technical changes or enhancements, and instead focuses on revamping the interface to simplify operations and give it a more modern look.

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OpenStreetView is a crowd-sourced Google Street View

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OpenStreetMap has launched OpenStreetView, an open-source alternative to Google Street View.

The service offers free Android and iOS apps to record images while you’re driving. Upload the results to the OpenStreetView servers and they’ll be shared with the world.

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JixiPix's Sprektrel Art is free until 29 August

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Spektrel Art is a smart Windows and Mac app/ Photoshop plugin which transforms images into digital works of art -- and it’s available for free until August 29th.

What does it do? The developer attempts to explain, saying it’s "an extravagant otherworldly display of undulating movement that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light". Umm, great.

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Why can't you open that EPUB?

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You’ve found an ebook you need, downloaded the EPUB, tried to open it, but your viewer won’t display it properly. Or maybe at all.

You might assume it’s the viewer, and try something else, but the problem could also be the file. A converter or publishing program might save something with an EPUB extension, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be a valid EPUB file.

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Track your AdSense earnings with Auburn

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Are you earning so much with Google AdSense that you’re always online checking your balance? OK, probably not, but if you’re earning something then tiny Windows freebie Auburn could save you time by displaying your earnings in a system tray icon.

If you’re doing implausibly well, it’s possible to have the program check your balance on a regular basis, display a tooltip and play an audio alert when new money arrives.

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Acronis True Image 2017 adds Facebook backup

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Acronis True Image 2017 has shipped with some welcome additions and enhancements. Incremental Facebook backup automatically archives your Facebook photos, videos, contacts, comments, and likes.

Expanded mobile support now allows wirelessly backing up iOS and Android devices to your desktop.

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OpenOffice gets an unofficial iPad port

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He’s already ported OpenOffice to Android, and now Akikazu Yoshikawa has announced the release of Office 700, "the world’s first port of OpenOffice for iOS".

The package includes all the key functions: text editing, spreadsheets, presentation, drawing and just about everything apart from databases.

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How to instantly fill web forms with dummy data

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Filling web forms is dull. It’s bad enough when you have to fill a page of boxes just to sign up for something. It’s much worse if you’re testing a website and have to do it over, and over, and over again.

Fake Data is a very simple Chrome extension which can automatically fill those annoying text boxes with dummy data.

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My Family Tree 6 improves GEDCOM support, date handling

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The free genealogy tool My Family Tree has hit version 6.0 with a host of small but welcome enhancements. Smarter GEDCOM handling includes a new import log to help diagnose any problems, and options to choose who to export when you’re saving a file.

Dates may now be input and displayed in multiple calendar formats: Gregorian, Julian, Hebrew, French Republican, lunar Hijri (Islamic), and solar Hijiri (Persian).

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Restore access to your PC with Trend Micro Ransomware Screen Unlocker

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With so much attention focused on the file encrypting-type ransomware it's easy to forget the simpler variety, which pops up when your PC boots and won’t allow access to your system until you pay up.

Even these basic infections can sometimes be tricky to remove, but Trend Micro offers a couple of tools which may be able to help.

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ImBatch 5 adds multithreading for 400% speed increase

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High Motion Software has updated its powerhouse image processor ImBatch with multithreading support for even greater performance. The new feature is only available in the $29.95 licensed edition, but is it worth the money? We took a look.

We used a test set of 345 PNG images, 918 megapixels in total, and set up only two processing tasks: just a "Sharpen" and a "Save as JPG".

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Stress-test your PC with HeavyLoad

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Jam Software’s quick and easy PC stress-tester HeavyLoad has just been updated to version 3.4, its first release in more than two years. The package is as easy to use as ever, maxing out your CPU, allocating RAM and drive space and stressing your GPU with a click.

This release is mostly about compatibility, in particular improving results with the latest OpenGL drivers and handling individual cores in Windows 10.

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Watch and analyze chess games with Kvetka

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If you’re looking to improve your chess skills then watching the best players at work will usually teach you a lot. There are plenty of chess sites to help you do just that, but they mostly offer only a very basic view of the game with few tools or options.

Kvetka is a free Windows package which can display games from chess.com, chessbase.com, chessgames.com, chessok.com and many other sites, as well as opening PGN, FEN and other formats, and importing games from the clipboard.

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IObit Uninstaller 6 adds Edge support

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IObit has shipped IObit Uninstaller 6 with new support for removing Microsoft Edge plug-ins and extensions.

That’s the only significant new feature in this release, although IObit also says it now removes more programs and browser plug-ins, does a better job of uninstalling Windows Apps and troublesome Windows updates, and has enhanced real-time monitoring to help you strip out everything else.

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Corel PaintShop Pro X9 adds project templates, interactive gradients

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Corel has shipped Corel PaintShop Pro X9, the latest edition of its veteran image editor. New features include Project Templates, prebuilt desktop publishing-type layouts to help you create greetings cards, brochures, photo collages and more.

An Interactive Gradient Fill tool allows fine-tuning a gradient by dragging across the image and watching a live preview.

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