Mike Williams

Protect your web privacy with ScriptSafe for Chrome


ScriptSafe is a free Chrome extension which has been helping users manage their web privacy for years, building up a huge list of features along the way.

The add-on can help block various content types, fingerprinting technologies, cookies, web bugs, Google analytics, cross media requests, social media buttons and a whole lot more.

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TunnelBear 3.0 brings faster, more secure VPN connections


Canadian VPN provider TunnelBear has updated its Windows and Mac clients to version 3.0. The Windows release features a simplified, stripped-back interface and connects and reconnects up to 60 percent faster than before.

There’s a new option to mark networks as "Trusted". TunnelBear then connects to trusted networks rather than others, whenever there’s a choice.

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MathMagic Lite is a versatile equation editor


Math is hard to avoid, even if you’re a total mathphobe, and anyone might find they occasionally need to use an equation in a document.

High-end packages like Microsoft Word have equation editors built-in, but if you’re not so lucky then MathMagic Lite is a convenient free-for-personal-use alternative.

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Hands-on with Allo, Google's sort-of smart messaging app


Does the world need another messaging app? We’re not sure, but Google is giving us another one anyway, launching Google Allo for Android and iOS.

Key features include "Smart Reply", which analyses incoming messages and suggests appropriate responses you can send with a tap.

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Bitdefender 2017 brings anti-ransomware, Wi-Fi vulnerability checker


Bitdefender has unveiled its 2017 consumer security range, including Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017 ($39.99-), Bitdefender Internet Security 2017 ($59.99-) and Bitdefender Total Security Multi-Device 2017 ($89.99-).

New features include the Wi-Fi Security Scanner, a one-click tool which lists local wireless networks and quickly highlights any vulnerabilities.

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mutool is a command-line PDF toolkit


Open-source PDF toolkit MuPDF has been under development in one form or another since 2002, and over the years it’s built up a host of document viewing, conversion and extraction features.

The package doesn’t get the attention it deserves on Windows -- probably because the key tools are console-based -- but if you don’t mind spending time at the command line, it’s certainly worth a look.

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Flico identifies landmarks in YouTube videos


Flico is a clever Chrome extension which can identify landmarks in YouTube videos and tell you more about them.

It’s easy to use. If you spot a landmark you don’t recognize, pause playback, click the Flico icon, then "Scan Landmarks", and the add-on goes to work.

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Boost speeds on busy PCs with Project Mercury


Modern CPUs are powerful devices which can run most applications without difficulty, but run enough processes at the same time and your performance will soon fall away.

Project Mercury (64-bit version) is a freeware tool which automatically optimizes process priorities and RAM usage to ensure your active application always has the maximum system resources.

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Easily switch between 20+ DNS servers with Change DNS Helper


Switching your DNS servers can improve web performance, enhance security and help you reach some sites you can’t normally access.

It’s awkward to do this manually, but Change DNS Helper is a free tool which makes the process much easier.

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ACDSee Ultimate 10 adds Smart Brushes and GPU support


ACD Systems has unveiled ACDSee Ultimate 10 ($149.99), the latest edition of its powerful image editor.

A new Smart Brush enable users to brush on image adjustments simply by painting over the image area.

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Simulate color vision deficiency with Colour Simulations


Get involved in any graphic design project and you’ll probably spend an age choosing the color scheme -- but this shouldn’t just be about personal taste.

Around 5 percent of the population have some form of color vision deficiency, so it’s important to consider how they might see your finished design.

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NeuralStyler: Prisma for the desktop?


The popular mobile app Prisma has been making headlines recently with its ability to transform images into works of art using the styles of various artists. Now the open-source NeuralStyler is claiming to deliver similar results on the desktop, for both pictures and videos.

This isn’t just ordinary pixel-based filtering, according to the developer. Instead NeuralStyler uses "artificial intelligence" to convert your source media using styles of artists like Van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky and Georges Seurat.

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CyberLink unveils PowerDirector 15, PhotoDirector 8


CyberLink Corp has launched the latest versions of its Director multimedia software. Video editor PowerDirector 15 (from $69.99) gets end-to-end support for 360-degree videos: importing, adding titles, effects and transitions, and producing the finished movie.

The new TRUE360 Viewpoint Designer imports 360-degree footage and allows it to be reused, with your choice of views, in standard videos.

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Ancile is a script-based Windows 7/8 telemetry-blocker


Increasing concern over Windows "spying" technologies has brought a host of free tools claiming to disable them, but are they safe to use? It’s often hard to tell, as developers don’t clearly explain what they’re doing.

Ancile is easier to evaluate, at least for experienced users, because it’s just a Windows script -- open the files in your text editor of choice and it’s all there.

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Find edited and hi-res versions of an image with TinEye


You’ve found what looks like a great image online, but there’s a problem: it’s so lo-res that it’s almost unusable. Google’s image search may be able to help. In Chrome, right-click the picture, select Search Google for Image and click Large, if available, to see higher resolution versions of the same shot.

Google’s tools are useful, but TinEye takes it to the next level, locating more images, more precisely, even if they’re cropped or edited.

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