Malwarebytes has unveiled its new Secure Backup product, an online service created in conjunction with SOS Online Backup, which automatically scans your files before they’re uploaded to the cloud. This ensures that, if you’re ever hit by a virus, you’ll know you can restore a backup without any danger of reinfection. And if you want to share a file with others, then, again, you can all be confident that it’s clean.
The current Secure Backup download is a beta offering 5GB of online storage, which will expire after 14 days. If you like the idea and decide to upgrade, though, there are 100GB ($59.95 per year), 200GB ($119.95) or 500GB ($299.95) packages available.
NirSoft’s prolific Nir Sofer has announced his latest release,NetConnectChoose. And it’s a tiny tool which displays all your active internet connections, and allows you to choose one that Windows should use by default.
But if that doesn’t sound relevant to you, don’t worry: despite the program being as compact as ever (a 60.6KB download, including the Help file), Softer has still managed to cram in some useful extra functionality, and NetConnectChoose will also display a host of statistics on every connection it finds.
If you like to keep your backups simple then image-based solutions have an obvious attraction. There’s no need to spend an age figuring out what to protect, and then change your settings regularly to suit some new application: you just back up everything, and so can always be sure you’re fully protected.
Don’t rule out file-based backups just yet, though. Genie Timeline Professional 2013 can be set up in just a few clicks; runs regularly to protect even your most recent files; keeps multiple versions of a document, allowing you to restore whatever you need; and that’s just the start.
CyberLink has unveiled PowerDVD 13, the latest edition of its popular media player. And it’s an interesting upgrade with new features wherever you look.
New support for APE and AVCHD 2.0 1080p/3D extends your playback support, for instance, while everyone will benefit from a new focus on performance. The media player has been optimized to deliver an “instant start”, while new BD-Live Bypass technology means Blu-ray playback is 58 percent faster than PowerDVD 12.
Avast! 8 is the latest generation of avast!’s security range, and as usual it’s available in several different packages, from the basic avast! Free 8 to the do-everything Premier build.
If you just want solid, standard all-round protection, though, avast! Internet Security 8 could be the best option. It takes all the core security suite basics -- antivirus, browsing protection, firewall, spam filter -- and extends them further with some useful new tools, making for what seems to be an appealing mix.
Manually shutting down your PC when you’ve finished a task is easy enough, but Windows isn’t quite so straightforward when it comes to automating the process. Playing around with the power options and the task scheduler may deliver what you need, but for real flexibility you’ll be much better off turning to the free Airytec Switch Off.
The program is a surprisingly tiny download (191KB), which once installed adds an icon to your system tray. And right-clicking this displays a menu showing the various actions it can carry out: shutdown, restart, log off, sleep, lock, and more.
The Autoruns tweaks are the most significant. In particular, all reports now include a timestamp for executable files, folders or Registry keys. And so if you browse to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run in the Everything view, say, you’ll now see a timestamp which tells you when that Registry key was last modified.
Genie9 has released Genie Timeline 2013, the latest edition of its easy-to-use backup tool. As previously, the program is available in three editions -- Genie Timeline Free 2013, Genie Timeline Home 2013 ($39.95) and Genie Timeline Professional 2013 ($59.95) -- and all of these gain plenty of features in the new release.
This starts with the new protection level, for instance. This will immediately highlight any problems -- lots of file changes which haven’t been backed up, say, or you’ve run out of free space on the destination drive -- giving you a quick and easy view of your backup status.
We’re a little skeptical of “free” WYSIWYG HTML editors. Most are either outdated, too basic or packed with adware (and some manage to be all three). OpenElement claims to be different, though: ” a powerful next-gen HTML editor” with “no ads, no restrictions, no experience necessary”, meaning that a “professional and dynamic website is within reach to anyone with zero coding”. Sounds great, so we decided to take a closer look.
Installation is easy, and the program really doesn’t have any adware or other hassles. There is no commercial version, you don’t have to register, there are no nag screens or anything else. The “worst” we see is a tiny “Contribute” icon on the many window, so small and unobtrusive that you may not notice it for a week, and a suggestion on the “Publish” dialog that you use their partner for your hosting (but that’s easy to ignore, if you like).
There are plenty of web services around which can try to help you find a stolen computer. Usually this involves equipping your system with a small agent of some kind, which then uses the system IP address, wifi connections and more to determine its current location, before communicating this to a central server.
If you’d like something more lightweight, though, there are a few simple free tools around which you might like to try. IPFetcher, for instance, won’t grab images from your webcam, and can’t lock down your system remotely. But it can retrieve a system’s IP address, then email or upload it to an FTP server, and that’s more than enough to be useful.
If you’re looking to give your Windows desktop a radical makeover, then Rainmeter 2.5 is one tool worth looking at. This open-source desktop customization tool goes beyond Windows’ own rather limited tools by provide alternative “skins” that can be downloaded or created from scratch.
Version 2.5 offers a number of new features – many aimed at skin developers – including a new FileView plugin, support for the scroll wheel and macro mouse variables. The update also promises dozens of other improvements and bug fixes.
Copying files in Windows is normally as easy as a quick drag and drop -- but if they’re locked, it’s a different story. An error message will warn you that the file is in use, and you’re left to resolve the situation yourself, or just try again later.
One alternative is to run a backup program, as most can use Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Service to copy locked files. But this could seem like overkill, especially for only occasional ad-hoc copies, which is why you might prefer the simpler and more lightweight ShadowCopy.
Ricardo Villalba has updated SMPlayer, his open source media player and front end for MPlayer, to 0.8.4.
And if you’re a fan of the program then the good news is that you’ll no longer have to manually check for updates: this build now does so automatically, and alerts you whenever a new version is available.
In theory, every time you import MP3 files to a PC you should rename them to follow consistent rules, then save them in an appropriate folder where they’ll be easy to find, later. In practice, of course, life’s too short -- so it’s just as well that MusicZen can handle all this for you.
The program is available as a tiny (627KB) executable, and it really couldn’t be much easier to use. At a minimum all you have to do is download and run it, choose the folder where your MP3s are right now, and a destination folder where the finished results will be stored. Then click “Organize”, and watch as the program goes to work.
Debenu PDF Tools Pro is a powerful set of PDF tools which can help you to merge and split PDFs, convert them to text or images, edit properties, add or remove passwords and a whole lot more.
Normally $59, the package available for free -- but Debenu says this is only for "a few more days", and the offer could expire at any time, so if you’re interested then we’d grab a copy now.