Mike Williams

Hain is a search tool, launcher and desktop assistant for x64 Windows

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Hain is an open-source keyboard-oriented launcher, desktop search and productivity tool for 64-bit Windows.

The program is convenient to use. Unzip the download, run Hain.exe, it adds an icon to your system tray and pressing Alt+Space (customizable) launches the interface when required.

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Block unauthorized webcam usage with Who Stalks My Cam

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Who Stalks My Cam is a free Windows application which alerts you to dubious software attempting to access your webcam.

The download unzips to a regular installer, but there’s also a portable version if you just want to take a quick look. Once it’s running, Who Stalks My Cam displays an audio alert and a popup whenever a program tries to access your webcam.

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Identify, monitor and overclock your GPU with NVIDIA Inspector

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NVIDIA Inspector is a versatile tool for checking, monitoring and overclocking NVIDIA graphics cards.

This can be a complex area, but smart design ensures the program has something to offer every level of user.

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Identify the ransomware that's encrypted your data

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It’s no secret that the best way to deal with ransomware is to avoid getting infected in the first place, and tools like BDAntiRansomware, Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware and WinAntiRansom can do a lot to keep you safe.

If your defenses are bypassed and some data lost, there may still be hope, as companies and individual researchers are producing recovery tools all the time.

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Xara Web Designer 365 launches

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Xara Group has shipped Xara Web Designer 365, the first release under its new "365 Update Guarantee".

Buying a 365 product not only gets you a perpetual license, you’ll also get new features as they’re developed over the 365 days after purchase (no more waiting for the next version), and supporting services such as online hosting are also free over the same period.

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Video Thumbnails Maker 9.0 adds animated video contact sheets

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SUU Design’s Video Thumbnails Maker 9.0 has shipped with new support for creating animated video thumbnail sheets. You’re able to choose which thumbnail is animated, and the duration of the animation (2-10 seconds).

The finished results may be saved as WebM or APNG, and a scaled-down version should be embedded here.

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ORPALIS PDF Reducer cuts document sizes by up to 80 percent

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ORPALIS PDF Reducer is an effective tool for optimizing PDF documents, reducing their size by up to 80 percent.

Unlike some of the competition, the program doesn’t just cut your document DPI: it applies multiple techniques to deliver the best results. This starts by checking individual PDF objects. Any which aren’t used are stripped out of the file, and you can optionally remove other items you may not need: annotations, bookmarks, embedded files and more.

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CyberLink PowerDVD 16 debuts TV Mode, media casting

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CyberLink has released PowerDVD 16, the latest edition of its do-everything media player.

New media casting support for ChromeCast, Roku and Apple TV enables streaming audio, video and pictures around your home, with PowerDVD automatically converting files to a format each device can understand.

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Take a low-level look at your PC desktop with Window Inspector

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Binary Fortress Software has released Window Inspector, a free tool for examining the low-level details of any application window.

Move your mouse cursor over any window and a detailed display lists its class, text, icons, owning process, command line, Style and StyleEX flags, and more.

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Record everything launched on a PC with Process Logger Service

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Process Logger Service is a Windows service which logs every process launched on your PC. It’s a useful tool that can help answer a range of questions. Like, did the email you open launched something? What did that installer do? When was a particular program last run? And more.

The service must be set up manually. It’s not a difficult process, but does involve a little more work than we expected.

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Stream torrents before they’re fully downloaded with WebTorrent Desktop

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There’s nothing new about the idea of streaming torrents before they’ve finished downloading, but WebTorrent Desktop does a better job than most of making that happen.

It’s open source, and installs on Windows, Linux or Mac with minimal hassle. No adware, no browser extensions, no complicated options to consider: just run the installer and it’s finished within seconds.

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Eagle Mode: not your average file manager

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Tired of Windows Explorer? There are alternatives around, but most use a very similar core interface with a few extras bolted on.

Eagle Mode is more imaginative. There’s no folder tree, no file pane, in fact it doesn’t look much like a file manager at all. Until you begin to explore…

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IObit ships Smart Defrag 5

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IObit has shipped Smart Defrag 5, a major update of its freeware disk optimizer. A new defrag engine supports multi-threading for maximum performance.

New defrag types allow users to focus on large files only, or to consolidate free disk space. If you’re unsure which defrag type to use, IOBit’s Smart Defrag/Optimize Technology will intelligently select if for you.

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Add style to your photos with ON1 Effects Free

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ON1 Effects Free 10 is a collection of professional photo filters and effects which can be used stand-alone, and as Photoshop or Lightroom plugins.

Beginners can use the package much like other apps. Open an image, choose a preset -- Cinematic, Color Grading, Haze Reduction, more -- and just click a thumbnail to apply that effect.

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Ashampoo releases Photo Optimizer 2016, Backup 2016

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Berlin-based developer Ashampoo has released two free programs: Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 2016, and Ashampoo Backup 2016.

Photo Optimizer 2016 is a stripped down version of the company’s commercial photo fixing tool, Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 6. The program can automatically optimize a folder of photos with a click, or you can use manual tools to crop, resize, rotate, sharpen, blur or straighten an image, tweak brightness, contrast or colors, add watermarks and more.

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