Mike Williams

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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FileOptimizer 7.0 beta adds lossless FLAC compression

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Javier Gutiérrez Chamorro has released the first public beta of his one-stop lossless compression tool, FileOptimizer 7.0.

The major new feature is support for optimizing FLAC files. Our first tests suggest this is going to take a long time (minutes per file) and achieve maybe 2 or 3 percent savings, but it’s still a welcome addition to the package.

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ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy adds more proxies, improves speeds

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ChrisPC has released the latest edition of its free-for-personal-use online privacy tool, ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy 5.50.

The upgrade seems to have concentrated on the fundamentals, now extending the anonymous proxy list to 1,000+ from more than 50 countries.

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Andy runs Android on your Mac, Windows 7 and 8 desktop

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Almost three years on from its first release, BlueStacks is probably still the easiest way to run Android apps on your Windows desktop. But it also has issues: performance can be a problem, and you don’t get full control over your virtual device.

Andy is a new contender which takes a different approach, running an Android image with VirtualBox. It can be much more awkward to configure, but performance is great, and every aspect of the system can be tweaked to suit your needs.

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RichEdit is a surprising WordPad replacement

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If you need a free editor for Windows then checking out a few Notepad replacements is a good place to start: EverEditTotalEdit ProfessionalFXiTE are just a few we’ve covered in the past.

But if plain text editing isn’t enough then you might be interested in RichEdit, a portable WordPad replacement which supports both plain and rich text files.

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Auslogics unveils Driver Updater

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Australian utilities developer Auslogics has released Driver Updater, a commercial tool which can update all your PC drivers with a click.

If you’ve tried anything similar, the program’s core abilities won’t surprise you. Launch a scan and any outdated drivers are quickly listed, along with the dates and times of the latest version. You’re then able to update all your drivers, or just a select few.

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View, edit and manage RAW images with Photo Browser

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RAW image formats may have been around for a very long time (Adobe’s DNG is 10 years old this month), but they’re still not widely supported. Most graphics software handles one or two file types at best, or ignores them entirely.

Photo Browser is a little more ambitious. Once a commercial product, now freeware, this capable image viewer supports the popular RAW file types DNG, CRW, CR2, RAW, NEF, PEF, RAF, SRF, SR2 and ARW files, as well as the usual JPG/ GIF/ PNG/ TIFF and others.

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Open Broadcaster Software shares your desktop with the world

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You’ve taken some great new photos, finished your best-ever presentation, achieved total mastery of some major game -- whatever the reason, it’s now time to share your talents with the world.

If your needs are simple then you could take a few screenshots. Run a screen capture tool. Send a few emails. And maybe that’ll be enough.

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OutlookStatView delivers detailed reports on your Outlook accounts

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Use Outlook for a while and it’s all too easy to let the messages pile up. Soon your inbox is a bloated mess, too large to tackle easily, and so you just try to ignore everything older than the last week or so.

NirSoft’s OutlookStatView helps out by drilling down into your accounts and producing some detailed reports. Who’s sending you the most emails? The bulkiest attachments? How many messages are you handling each hour, day, week, month, year? It’s all just a click or two away.

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System Mechanic 14: An excellent PC maintenance suite, packed with capable features [Review]

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Keeping your PC running smoothly can be a complicated, time-consuming business. There are so many important issues to consider that even expert users can struggle to monitor them all.

Iolo’s System Mechanic 14 claims it can help by cleaning up your system, optimizing settings, and then running in the background, fixing problems as soon as they appear. This isn’t just marketing spin, either, as over the years the suite has built up a very impressive feature list. There are tools to clean and defragment your hard drive, repair the Registry, find and fix system problems, tune your internet connection, even optimize running processes in real time.

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Run and test batch files with Shell Runner

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Running a batch file in Windows can be as easy as a double-click, and if the script is simple then the command window might open, run your file and disappear again in a fraction of a second.

Of course, if your script has a problem then this might be an issue, as error messages will pop up and vanish before you have time to notice anything at all.

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