Mike Williams

Book wakeup calls from strangers with Wakie

Wakie

There are a vast number of alarm clock apps available for every platform, most of which are tired variations on the same thing: choose a skin, set a wakeup sound/ method, and that’s about it.

Wakie is an iOS and Android alarm clock app with a difference. Forget custom audio files or complicated snooze functions, instead you’re called by another Wakie user, who chats, sings songs, ask you questions, or otherwise gets your day off to a much more interesting start.

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PyCmd: a smarter command line?

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The Windows command line console is extremely basic, thanks mostly to a horrible interface which hasn't changed significantly in years.

Windows 10 will bring some improvements, but if you don’t plan on upgrading for a while -- or you just can’t wait -- then the open source PyCmd delivers a smarter command prompt right now.

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Create instant Christmas mosaics with PhotoSpills

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It’s no secret that Christmas is best when it’s spent with friends and family. That’s not always possible, of course, but at least you can take photos of your favorite moments and share them with others.

You could post your pictures on Facebook, maybe Twitter, or perhaps send them via email. But if they’re really special then you could use PhotoSpills to present them in a professional photo collage.

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HoneyView adds BPG support

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Bandisoft has updated its free image viewer HoneyView with support for Fabrice Bellard’s new BPG image format.

BPG (Better Portable Graphics) is an efficient compressed graphics format which can deliver much smaller file sizes than JPG, while also supporting extra features like transparency.

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Icecream PDF Converter extracts text to DOC, ODT, RTF

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Utilities developer Icecream Apps has released Icecream PDF Converter 1.3, extending the program with new text extraction tools.

The program can now extract the text from one or more PDFs, saving it in DOC, ODT, RTF and TXT formats.

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Explore file system mysteries with NTFSLinksView

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If you’ve configured Windows Explorer to display hidden and system folders then you’ve probably noticed various drive-related oddities scattered around your PC.

Like the mysterious C:\ProgramData folder, for instance. It’s packed with vital files and folders for most of your installed programs, yet is also hidden, and most people never notice its existence. What’s going on?

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Detect and remove unknown malware with Ultimate Virus Sniffer

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If you run, download or otherwise access malware, then your regular antivirus software should normally detect the threat, step in and remove it for you, entirely automatically.

Brand new threats might bypass this layer of protection, though, infecting your system. Getting rid of them will then be extremely difficult, but if you’re a Windows expert, and armed with a copy of Ultimate Virus Sniffer, there just might be a chance.

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Clean up your inbox with Automatic Outlook Duplicate Remover

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Outlook provides various ways to manage the size of your mailbox (see Mailbox Cleanup in Outlook 2013), but nothing to help you deal with the duplicates that could be cluttering your system.

Automatic Outlook Duplicate Remover is a free tool which does exactly what you'd expect, finding and removing duplicates from your Outlook email folders, contacts, calendar, notes and tasks.

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Discover useful USB device details with Temple

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Copying files to a USB storage device is generally very easy. Plug it in, the drive appears in Explorer, drag/ drop, go do something else until the transfer is complete. Simple.

If you’re moving a lot of files, though, you might want to know more. Like, does your device support USB 3.0? And if so, have you connected it to a USB 3.0 hub, to ensure you’ll get the best possible performance?

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Install, update and manage your software with NeoSetup

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Keeping Windows software up-to-date can be complicated. There are settings to be configured, maybe several update processes to be left running, troubleshooting rules to follow if they don’t work. And of course if an application can’t check for updates itself, you’ll have to do it manually.

NeoSetup is an application manager which simplifies this process by installing and updating many applications for you.

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Control your PC remotely with DisplayFusion 7

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Binary Fortress Software has released DisplayFusion 7.0, a major update for its comprehensive multi-monitor management tool for Windows.

The commercial editions now support remote controlling your system from iOS or Android devices. You can move windows around, change wallpapers, enable/ disable monitors or use hundreds of other options, and if that’s not enough it’s also possible to call your own custom C# or VB.net functions from the program.

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Bitdefender releases free CryptoWall Immunizer

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Bitdefender Labs has announced the availability of Bitdefender CryptoWall Immunizer, a free Windows tool which offers some protection against versions 1 and 2 of the file-encrypting malware.

The program appears to work by setting Windows policies to block programs from running when they’re in the %appdata% or %startup% folders.

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First look: Veeam EndPoint Backup BETA

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Back in October, enterprise virtualization specialists Veeam Software announced Veeam EndPoint Backup FREE, a free file and image-based backup tool for Windows.

The package is currently only available as a private beta -- you must sign up at their website and wait to receive a download link -- but we added our name to the list, and waited for our invitation.

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Grab every link on a web page with Copy All Links (Firefox)

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You’re at a web page, maybe reading a forum post, looking at a list of links. You’d like to copy them somewhere, maybe share them with someone else. But your browser has no way to work with every link on a page, so you must copy them individually, select all the text and edit it later, maybe just bookmark the site and come back when you’ve more time.

It’s annoying. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Not if you’ve equipped yourself with the Firefox addon, Copy All Links.

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Compress CBR/CBZ comic files by 50 percent or more

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Digital comics often come in the form of comic book archives, typically JPGs stored in a single archive file (cbz = zip, cbr = rar, and so on).

You might think these simple compressed formats would already produce the smallest possible files, but no -- the free CbxConverter can resample images and convert them to WebP, shrinking the archives even further.

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