Mike Williams

Restore access to your PC with Trend Micro Ransomware Screen Unlocker

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With so much attention focused on the file encrypting-type ransomware it's easy to forget the simpler variety, which pops up when your PC boots and won’t allow access to your system until you pay up.

Even these basic infections can sometimes be tricky to remove, but Trend Micro offers a couple of tools which may be able to help.

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ImBatch 5 adds multithreading for 400% speed increase

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High Motion Software has updated its powerhouse image processor ImBatch with multithreading support for even greater performance. The new feature is only available in the $29.95 licensed edition, but is it worth the money? We took a look.

We used a test set of 345 PNG images, 918 megapixels in total, and set up only two processing tasks: just a "Sharpen" and a "Save as JPG".

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Stress-test your PC with HeavyLoad

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Jam Software’s quick and easy PC stress-tester HeavyLoad has just been updated to version 3.4, its first release in more than two years. The package is as easy to use as ever, maxing out your CPU, allocating RAM and drive space and stressing your GPU with a click.

This release is mostly about compatibility, in particular improving results with the latest OpenGL drivers and handling individual cores in Windows 10.

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Watch and analyze chess games with Kvetka

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If you’re looking to improve your chess skills then watching the best players at work will usually teach you a lot. There are plenty of chess sites to help you do just that, but they mostly offer only a very basic view of the game with few tools or options.

Kvetka is a free Windows package which can display games from chess.com, chessbase.com, chessgames.com, chessok.com and many other sites, as well as opening PGN, FEN and other formats, and importing games from the clipboard.

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IObit Uninstaller 6 adds Edge support

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IObit has shipped IObit Uninstaller 6 with new support for removing Microsoft Edge plug-ins and extensions.

That’s the only significant new feature in this release, although IObit also says it now removes more programs and browser plug-ins, does a better job of uninstalling Windows Apps and troublesome Windows updates, and has enhanced real-time monitoring to help you strip out everything else.

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Corel PaintShop Pro X9 adds project templates, interactive gradients

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Corel has shipped Corel PaintShop Pro X9, the latest edition of its veteran image editor. New features include Project Templates, prebuilt desktop publishing-type layouts to help you create greetings cards, brochures, photo collages and more.

An Interactive Gradient Fill tool allows fine-tuning a gradient by dragging across the image and watching a live preview.

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Audio editor Wavosaur gets first update since 2013

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Windows audio editor Wavosaur (and 64-bit edition) has just been updated to version 1.2, its first release for almost three years. One handy new feature is real-time spectrum analysis. Click Tools > Spectrum Analysis, Display > Autorefresh and you can watch your waveforms update as the music plays.

A new Keyboard Shortcuts editor allows any of the program’s 46 hotkeys to be replaced.

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Wmail is a cross-platform desktop client for Gmail

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Wmail is an open-source Chromium-based Gmail client for Windows, OS X and Linux. The program supports both Gmail and Google Inbox accounts, and you can add and manage as many as you need.

You could do this with a browser, of course, but Wmail gives you much improved support for drag and drop and keyboard shortcuts, as well as providing native desktop notifications when a new message arrives.

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Encrypt and secure your DNS traffic with Simple DNSCrypt

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Protecting your web traffic can be very easy: use HTTPS where you can, maybe install HTTPS everywhere to enforce that, use a VPN for an extra layer of security. Meanwhile DNS gets so little attention that many people don’t even realize there’s an issue, even though DNS eavesdropping and spoofing are very real security concerns.

DNSCrypt is an open-source technology from the OpenDNS team which encrypts your DNS traffic, making it much more difficult for others to snoop on your activities or hijack your browsing with man-in-the-middle attacks.

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DisplayFusion 8.0 improves Anniversary Update compatibility, unveils new Triggers function

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Binary Fortress Software has released DisplayFusion 8.0, a major update of its multi-monitor management tool for Windows. Available in both free and Pro versions, version 8.0 focuses on fixing numerous bugs for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but does introduce some new features.

Chief among these is a new Triggers feature, which replaces the previous Windows Location feature, promising to be more robust and flexible. There are also updates to the program’s wallpaper tools as well as changes and other bug fixes.

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Organize cmd, PowerShell and bash sessions with ConEmu

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Managing your Windows command prompts has been getting more complicated recently. A regular command window here; PowerShell there; maybe another, only elevated; update to Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and you could get bash, too.

Fortunately the open-source console emulator ConEmu can make life easier and save you time, whether you’re a console expert or only head to the command line when it’s really, really necessary.

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Duplicacy is a professional cloud backup tool

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Duplicacy is a free-for-personal-use cross-platform backup tool with a stack of professional features. There’s support for backing up to Dropbox, Amazon S3, Backblaze, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Storage, as well as any SFTP server or your own local disk.

Backups are optimized for extreme efficiency. File and block-level deduplication means Duplicacy doesn’t waste time storing multiple copies of the same data, and the incremental backup scheme ensures the program only backs up what’s changed.

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Two ways to batch-correct file Created and Modified times

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It’s often useful to know when a file was created or modified, but as it’s copied, moved, processed, maybe imported from one PC to another, there’s a chance this vital information may be lost.

Even worse, Windows has no standard way to fix this situation. You can view your file dates and times, but there’s no easy way to modify them.

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Revo Uninstaller Free 2.0 gets full 64-bit support

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Powerful PC cleanup tool Revo Uninstaller Free has been updated to version 2.0 with full 64-bit support. Launch the program and you’re now able to view all your installed programs, both 32 or 64-bit, run their standard uninstallers and clear up any remnants afterwards.

The Icons view has gained a Details panel. Clicking any program displays its install date, drive space used, company, website and more.

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Open huge text files instantly with LogViewer

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You’re trying to troubleshoot some PC issue, the answer could be in a log file, so you open it using Notepad… And often wait, and wait, and wait, because the program takes so very long to parse larger files.

As an example, we pointed Notepad at a relatively small 46MB log file, and even this took 23 seconds to appear.

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