Mike Williams

Dropbox 2.10 FINAL kick-starts large file syncs

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Cloud backup provider Dropbox has released a new stable build for desktop with the launch of Dropbox 2.10.1 FINAL for Windows and Mac.

The highlight is the introduction of streaming sync. Large files now start to be synced with your clients while they’re still being uploaded, keeping any initial delays to an absolute minimum and notably improving performance.

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View all your Firefox tabs at once with Tile Tabs

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Firefox’s tabs are normally an easy and convenient way to work online, neatly organising your open sites into separate, isolated views.

There may still be times when you need to view two or more tabs at the same time, though -- and that’s where Tile Tabs can help, instantly organizing your chosen Firefox tabs into a single tiled window.

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Numculator is a fast and configurable desktop calculator

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It used to be very basic, but Windows 7 saw Calculator evolve into a capable tool, with the addition of statistics, programmer, unit conversion and date calculation modes, amongst others.

The Calculator interface isn’t always the easiest to navigate, though, and if you’re more interested in speed and convenience then you might prefer Numculator.

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Send emails from the command line with ShellSend

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Binary Fortress Software has announced the release of ShellSend 2.0, the latest edition of its free tool for sending emails from the command line.

The new build adds an extra parameter which specifies the email body text, rather than pointing the program at a separate text file.

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Design fully working model railways with 3D Train Studio

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Model railways have been around for a very long time, and enthusiasts will sometimes build huge layouts stretching across hundreds, even thousands of feet.

If you don’t have the space or the money, though, you might prefer 3D Train Studio, which enables you to build complex virtual model railways, with moving trains, working signals, even cockpit cameras to help you monitor what’s happening in your custom world.

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Bitdefender 2015 release focuses on ease of use

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Bitdefender has announced the release of its 2015 range, including Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2015, Bitdefender Internet Security 2015, and the do-everything Bitdefender Total Security 2015.

The new builds add little to Bitdefender’s core security abilities, instead introducing what the company calls "OneClick Security", a strong focus on simplicity and ease of use.

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Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 extends ransomware, webcam, Wi-Fi protection

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Kaspersky Labs has announced its updated product range for home users, including Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 ($59.95) and Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 (also $59.95, 3 PCs, 1 year: offer expires 25th August 2014).

Both products now include an extra layer of protection from Cryptolocker-type ransomware. Kaspersky’s System Watcher now looks out for suspect processes trying to modify user files, and immediately backs up the originals. If the package finds the process was malicious then not only will the malware be removed, but you’ll get your documents back, too (or any tampered with in this session, anyway – backups are deleted when the program closes down).

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Save frames from any video with Batch Video to Image Extractor

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If you’ve taken a video which you’d like to share with others, it can often be useful to include a few frames as well. They’ll give your recipients an immediate idea of the contents, and might help them find the movie again later.

Batch Video to Image Extractor is a free tool which can help by extracting image frames from one or more videos. At its simplest, just drag and drop your source videos, decide how many frames you need, and you’re ready to go.

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Translate text from the Windows desktop with QTranslate

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Web tools like Google Translate or Bing Translator have done a great job of bringing speedy translations to the masses, but they’re not always ideal for regular use: you’ll be forever copying, task switching, pasting, setting options and maybe a whole lot more.

QTranslate is a free Windows tool which gives much easier access to a range of web translation tools, including Google Translate, Bing Translator, Promt, Babylon, SDL FreeTranslation.com, Yandex.Translate, youdao and Baidu.

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Customize and configure your PC with Windows Tweaker 5.0

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Windows is a highly configurable operating system, with hundreds of settings and options available. But taking full advantage of this can be a challenge, as many settings are buried deep in the Registry, while others are scattered around a host of programs and applets.

Windows Tweaker aims to help by giving easy access to 100-plus system tweaks (on Windows Vista and later) from a single interface. It’s portable, open source and entirely free of adware and other annoyances, so we downloaded the latest version 5.0 to take a look.

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Tour de Yorkshire brings the Tour de France spirit to your iPhone and iPad

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The Tour de France 2014 has just kicked off in Yorkshire, England, where 198 top riders will spend the next two days battling through 120 miles of beautiful countryside.

If you’re a cycling fan then you really should be there. But if that’s not possible -- or you’re just inspired by what you see -- then you can get into the spirit of the event with Tour de Yorkshire, a fun free iPhone and iPad game.

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Quickly remap your PC drives with Drive Letter Changer

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Utilities developer Sordum has released Drive Letter Changer, a portable tool which allows you to reassign PC drive letters in two or three clicks.

The program is small (a single executable under 400KB) and has a very basic interface: mostly just a table with a list of your current drive letters, their labels and names.

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Capture, record, annotate and share your desktop with Grabilla

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When it comes to capturing the Windows desktop, you’ve no shortage of options, and we’ve covered many of them here: SnagIt, QIP Shot, HotShots and more.

Of course there’s always room for another, and Grabilla is an especially interesting example, as the program comes packed with unusual extras to help it stand out from the crowd.

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Three ways to improve your chess-playing skills

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Mastering chess can be difficult. Very difficult. Even if you have time, patience and a gift for strategic thinking, you’ll still need to find plenty of challenging opponents to develop your skills.

Still, if you’re running short of real-life candidates then you could always turn to your computer, where there’s plenty of help for players of every level.

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SecurityXploded releases Browser Password Remover

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Utilities developer SecurityXploded has released Browser Password Remover, a free tool for managing stored passwords across a range of browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer [v7.x -- v10.x], Google Chrome, Google Chrome Canary/SXS, CoolNovo, Opera, Comodo Dragon, SeaMonkey, SRWare Iron, Flock).

The program can be used as a simple password viewer. Launch it, click Show Passwords, and you’ll see all stored credentials for every supported browser.

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