Mike Williams

Bitdefender unveils portable Adware Removal Tool

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Bitdefender has announced the availability of Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool for PC, the first public beta of its portable program to detect and remove unwanted software.

The Removal Tool arrives as a single 41.8MB executable file. There are no supporting files, and it doesn’t download anything else: just run it and go.

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Avast 2015 gains Home Network Security check, HTTPS scanning, hardware-based virtualization

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Avast Software has announced the release of its 2015 product lineup, including Avast Free and Pro Antivirus 2015Avast Internet Security 2015, and Avast Premier 2015.

All editions now include a Home Network Security option which scans your local network for vulnerabilities: Wi-Fi status, router settings, passwords still set to common defaults, more.

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Check downloads and websites for malware with Metascan Online for Firefox

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OPSWAT has announced the availability of Metascan Online for Firefox, an addon which allows the browser to scan downloads, websites and web connections for threats.

Checking a link is as easy as right-clicking it and selecting "Scan with Metascan Online". If the link is a file, then it is uploaded to VirusTotal competitor Metascan Online and checked with 40+ commercial antivirus engines. A detailed report will tell you which -- if any -- are detected as a threat.

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Avira 2015 offers optional Dropbox install, online product management

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Avira has announced the arrival of its 2015 product line, including Avira Free AntivirusAvira Antivirus Pro and Avira Internet Security.

The main highlight is a "superior" engine to improve PC protection, along with enhanced Android and iOS apps.

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Paragon Hard Disk Manager Suite 15 now available

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Paragon Software Group has announced the release of Paragon Hard Disk Manager Suite 15, the latest edition of its all-in-one drive management package.

The new Embedded Recovery Media Builder 3.0 creates Windows PE and Linux-based recovery discs from within the suite, and if you’re running Windows 7 or later then there are no further downloads required. (XP/ Vista users will still need Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit or Automated Installation Kit.)

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FlightGear 3.2 enhances graphics, flight dynamics, plane models

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The free, open-source flight simulator FlightGear 3.2 has been updated to version 3.2 with a stack of new and enhanced features.

A more realistic JSBSim flight dynamics model now includes support for ground effects, including bumpiness, solid-ground detection and adjusting of friction factors. (The official release notes point out that you can’t ride on water any more, either.)

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View, process and sort RAW images with FastRawViewer

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It's no secret that working with a camera's RAW images can improve photo quality, as you’re accessing all the information from the original shot.

But as RAW files are also huge, and often slow to render (if your preferred software supports them at all), it's no surprise that most photographers stick to JPEG.

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Review: Acronis True Image 2015

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Acronis’s True Image has always been one of the more feature-packed backup tools around. Imaging, file and folder backups, syncing, online backup, continuous data protection: it’s all here.

Over the years True Image has piled on the extras, too: Try and Decide, disk editing, a secure file shredder, and more.

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Driver Booster 2 updates more drivers, adds rollback support

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IObit has released Driver Booster 2.0, a major update for its free driver updater.

An expanded driver database, now held online, and the ability to scan for unplugged devices should ensure the program finds even more updates.

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EssentialPIM 6 for Windows, and EssentialPIM 3.5 for Android arrive

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AstonSoft has announced the release of EssentialPIM Pro 6.0 and EssentialPIM Free 6.0 for Windows, and EssentialPIM 3.5 for Android, the latest editions of its popular information manager.

The Android build sees significant improvements, including Contacts support and the ability to set start and due times, as well as dates, for to dos.

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O&O DiskImage 9 brings redesigned interface, Windows 10 support

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Berlin-based developer O&O Software has announced the release of O&O DiskImage 9, its one-stop drive imaging and file/ folder backup tool.

The most obvious change this time is the completely redesigned Start screen, where the program’s core backup and recovery functions are accessed via six chunky icons.

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Open General and OpenPanzer are classic turn-based strategy games

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If you’re a fan of turn-based strategy games -- or just very old -- you might remember Panzer General 2, the 1997 classic which tested your tactics across a range of brutal World War II battles.

Its varied campaigns, scenarios and engrossing gameplay ensured that Panzer General 2 is still remembered fondly today, but it’s not just about memories. The game has also been remade and reimagined in various forms, and old fans and newcomers can try them out for free.

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Yovo: Snapchat plus screenshot protection

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If you’d like to share personal photos, but only briefly, then a service like SnapShot can help. Images are visible for only a set period of time before they disappear forever. (In theory, anyway.)

Yovo for iOS is based around the same idea. Take an image, add a caption or blur, set an expiry time and select your recipients. But it also includes "D-fence", a clever technology which prevents users taking clear screenshots.

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SyncBack 7 adds cloud backup support

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2BrightSparks has unveiled SyncBackSE 7 ($39.95) and SyncBackPro 7 ($54.95), a major update for its powerful backup and file sync application.

The Pro build now supports cloud backup to Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, and Glacier via S3.

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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware improves multitasking, adds keyboard navigation support

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Malwarebytes Corporation has released Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.03, a significant update for its anti-malware tool.

A new option to run scans at a lower priority (Settings > Advanced Settings > "Reduce priority…") may reduce their impact on other applications. This is a good idea in principle, although we noticed it had no effect whatsoever on our test system, with both process and I/O priorities remained stubbornly unchanged.

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