Mike Williams

Terminals: A remote desktop client for (almost) anyone

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Windows remote desktop, VNC, telnet, SSH -- there are many ways to access a remote computer, and using them all can require a whole library of networking tools.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. The open source Terminals not only handles a lengthy list of protocols -- RDP, VNC, ISA, SSH, Telnet, RAS, HTTP, HTTPS -- but a tabbed interface means you’re able to open and manage multiple connections simultaneously.

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CCleaner's free edition gains Active System Monitoring

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Piriform Ltd has released CCleaner 4.18 and CCleaner Portable 4.18, the latest versions of its popular Windows cleanup tool.

This time the big addition is a limited version of Active System Monitoring, a smart feature previously reserved for the commercial CCleaner Professional. Turn it on and CCleaner monitors your system, checking for junk, and lets you know when it’s time to clean up.

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ACDSee 18 and Pro 8 deliver smarter, easier photo editing

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ACD Systems has unveiled the latest versions of its flagship photo editors, ACDSee 18 ($79.99, $39.99 upgrade) and ACDSee Pro 8 ($199.99, $59.99 upgrade).

Both editions include a new Explorer extension, PicaView, which previews an image from its context menu and launches ACDSee with a click.

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ocenaudio is an outstanding audio editor

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There are hundreds of free audio editors around, and if your needs are basic -- trimming an MP3 here, maybe adjusting volume there -- then just about any of them will do.

Finding more capable editors can be a real problem, but there are a few around, and ocenaudio is a very interesting example.

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Cyotek Gif Animator adds sprite sheet creator, WebP support

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Cyotek has announced the release of Gif Animator 0.0.3.0, an updated beta of its ultra-configurable GIF creator.

The program can now export any or all of your animation frames as a sprite sheet, with your choice of columns, rows, margins, spacing and more (there’s WebP format support, too).

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CyberLink PowerDirector 13 Ultimate: The best consumer video editor around [Review]

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CyberLink PowerDirector has long been one of the most powerful consumer video editors around, packed with functionality, yet still remaining very usable for just about every level of user.

PowerDirector 13 doesn’t bring any radical changes, and the core of the package remains much as before. Import your source files -- images, audio or video, even PowerPoint presentations -- and arrange them on the 100 track timeline. Apply effects and transitions by dragging and dropping, then preview and tweak each one as required.

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Norton Security 2015 now available

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Symantec has announced the first full release of Norton Security ($79.99) and Norton Security with Backup ($89.99), its one-stop replacement for Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security and Norton 360.

The most obvious change is the revamped interface. It’s recognizably Norton -- if greener than usual -- with its many functions neatly organized under Security, Identity, Backup and Performance tabs.

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TEncoder 4.4 adds DVD ripper

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Versatile video converter/ downloader/ editor TEncoder has expanded its range even further with the addition of a DVD ripper.

Point the program at your disc video folder (\VIDEO_TS, probably), and you’re able to choose the title, start and end chapters, audio and subtitle track you’d like to rip.

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Plane9 is a fun music visualizer and screensaver

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Most big-name audio players come with a few visualizations to liven up playback. Right-click inside Windows Media Player, click Visualizations, and you can have it display swirling clouds, spectrum-type bars, psychedelic ripples and space flight effects, amongst others.

These aren’t always great quality, though. There may not be much choice, and smaller audio players often don’t have a visualizer at all. But if you like the core idea, you can always improve the situation by installing the free Plane9.

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Grabilla 1.23 adds scrolling window captures

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All-in-one free screengrab tool Grabilla has been updated to version 1.23 with the ability to capture scrolling windows.

This is ideal if you need to capture a long web page or other document. There’s no need to take and edit multiple grabs, as the program should handle everything for you.

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epCheck: track your favourite TV shows from the Windows desktop

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The easiest way to track your favorite TV shows is usually to download a suitable app, or maybe sign up at a website. There are a huge number of options, and the only real challenge is finding out which one is best for you.

But what if you’d like a solution that works offline? One that doesn’t involve opening yet another account somewhere, and runs happily on the Windows desktop? Then you need to check out epCheck.

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Nero 2015: it’s all about the iOS/ Android extras

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Nero has announced the launch of Nero 2015 Classic and Nero 2015 Platinum, a very mobile device-oriented update for its flagship digital media suites.

Nero MediaHome now streams files directly to all Android and ("coming soon") iOS devices (as well as TVs and media players) over wifi, automatically transcoding media along the way for immediate compatibility.

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B1 File Manager adds streaming support

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Popular Android app B1 File Manager has been upgraded to 0.8.7 with the addition of cloud streaming support.

As previously, the app can access Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box and 4Shared accounts, as well as connecting via FTP, SFTP or SMB.

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F-Secure SAFE 2015 protects desktops, tablets and phones

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F-Secure has released F-Secure SAFE 2015, a multi-platform security suite which protects Windows and Mac desktops, and Windows 8, Android and iOS mobile devices.

Desktop protection concentrates on the core essentials, with antivirus, browsing and banking protection, simple parental controls and a spam filter. As previously, the Windows client uses Windows’ own firewall.

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CyberLink unveils Director Suite 3, including PowerDirector 13 and PhotoDirector 6

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CyberLink has announced the release of PowerDirector 13 (from $79.99), PhotoDirector 6ColorDirector 3 and AudioDirector 5($129.99), all available individually or as a part of the new Director Suite 3 ($299.99).

PowerDirector 13 highlights include a new Transition Designer, which enables you to create your own custom transition from any image.

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