Mike Williams

Lock down Windows 10's privacy settings with O&O ShutUp10

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Berlin-based developer O&O Software has released O&O ShutUp10, a tiny portable tool for controlling Windows 10′s many privacy-related settings.

Amongst its near 50 tweaks are options to disable telemetry, Wi-Fi Sense, key app permissions, peer-to-peer updates, automatic Windows updates and more.

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Protect your digital images with Easy Watermark Studio Lite

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Easy Watermark Studio Lite is a well-designed Windows application for applying text and image watermarks to your digital pictures.

Point the program at your source images and it’s ready to go. Well, probably -- the Lite version only imports JPGs, BMPs and TIFFs, and it’ll process a maximum of 30 images in one batch -- but if the restrictions aren’t an issue then it works very well.

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PeStudio gains VirusTotal URL checking

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Popular malware investigator PeStudio has been updated to version 8.51 with extended VirusTotal support.

Drag and drop an executable onto the new build, and after checking the file with VirusTotal to see if it’s a known threat, a new Network Watchdog will update the VirusTotal score automatically.

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Acronis True Image Cloud 2016 gets mobile backup

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Acronis has unveiled its 2016 consumer range, with Acronis True Image 2016 handling all your local backup needs, and the new Acronis True Image Cloud 2016 adding much-improved cloud tools.

Strong mobile supports means the Cloud edition can back up pictures, videos, contacts and events from iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets, and Windows tablets, and transfer them to other devices.

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Explore mystery files with Detect It Easy

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You’ve been emailed a strange attachment, downloaded something dubious, or maybe just found a file that’s lost its extension. You need to find out more, and Detect It Easy is the ideal tool to help.

It’s portable, cross-platform, and -- initially, at least -- very easy to use. Just drag and drop your target file onto the program and it’ll tell you more about it.

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AdwCleaner 5.0 ships with new engine, Windows repair tools

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Popular adware hunter AdwCleaner has hit version 5 with the addition of a new and improved generic detections engine.

The program can optionally reset a range of Windows settings -- proxies, winsock, TCP/IP, firewall, IPsec, the BITS queue -- as well as IE and Chrome policies.

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Troubleshoot your hard drives with DHE Drive Info

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Modern hard drives are generally very reliable, and may survive the entire lifetime of your PC without any problems at all. There are no guarantees, though, so it’s wise to have one or two diagnostic programs to hand, and DHE Drive Info makes a feature-packed first choice.

The program is portable, just unzip and run, and a list of drives and partitions covers all the basics: drive model, type, temperature, health score, capacity, free space, read/ write indicators and more.

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Panda Security releases 2016 range

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Panda Security has unveiled its 2016 consumer range, including Panda Free Antivirus 2016, Panda Antivirus Pro 2016 ($43.99),Panda Internet Security 2016 ($54.99), Panda Global Protection 2016 ($76.99) and Panda Gold Security 2016 ($98.99)

All editions come with a new engine and make better use of Panda’s Collective Intelligence, which the company says now provides greater protection with less impact on performance.

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LaunchBox 5 brings home theater-style game management

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Portable game manager LaunchBox has been updated to version 5.0 with Big Box Mode, a home theater-style view which allows you to browse your massive game database in all its full-screen glory (there’s a video here).

Big Box Mode is only available in the $20 LaunchBox Premium, sadly, but the free build also gets new features, including the power to automatically find images, videos, music and manuals and associate them with your games.

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Edit huge files faster with PilotEdit Lite

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Windows Notepad is an easy way to create scripts, lists and other small files, but it’s not optimized for larger files. Open anything really big and many operations are reduced to a crawl.

PilotEdit ($30) is a Windows editor with a free edition which is designed for larger files, both text and binary. It has no file size limits, loads them at speed, and won’t leave you staring at an hourglass cursor just because you dared to turn on Word Wrap.

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Tor 5 brings auto-update, better fingerprint blocking

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The Tor Browser Team has announced the first stable release of Tor Browser 5.0.

The new release features a host of updates, including Firefox 38.2.0esr (which gives you much-improved support for HTML5 video on YouTube, as well as the privacy benefits), OpenSSL 1.0.1p, HTTPS-Everywhere 5.0.7 and NoScript 2.6.9.34.

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IObit Uninstaller 5 adds even more PC cleanup power

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IObit has shipped IObit Uninstaller 5 with a pile of new PC cleanup and maintenance tools.

A "Win Manager" module allows you to control your Windows startup programs, close running processes, and view or batch uninstall Windows updates, as well as uninstalling Windows 8/10 apps.

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Translate PDFs, DocX and more with Free Language Translator

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Online translation services are quick, capable and easy to use, but many people think there’s still a place for desktop equivalents.

Free Language Translator is an open source tool which uses Google Translate to process text and documents on Windows XP and later.

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VPaint is a clever vector editor and animator

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Vector editors are commonplace, but vector animation is a little more unusual -- and VPaint combines both technologies in an open source package for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Right now the program is very much a beta (or "experimental" according to the developer), distinctly short on features, but don’t let that put you off -- there’s more than enough here to give you a feel for how VPaint is going to work.

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Decode malicious scripts with Converter

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Analyzing malicious scripts requires skill, experience, background knowledge. But it also helps if you’re able to view them, first, which can be a problem if they’ve been obfuscated or encoded in some way.

Converter is a tiny free tool which is designed to help by converting text or binary values into something you might be able to read.

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