While it’s unlikely that the fate of your nation depends on it, there may be times when being able to pass on sensitive files to other people is a necessity. The obvious example is to encrypt those files in some way, either by storing them in a password-protected location or by encrypting them on the fly before passing them on.
The problem with this approach is that it’s rather visible. Your encrypted files by their very nature advertise the fact they contain some form of sensitive data, attracting unwanted attention. So what can you do about it? The answer lies with steganography, and a free tool for Windows called SteganPEG 1.0.
Microsoft has launched Skype for Mac 6.4, a major update of its Skype chat platform for OS X users. Version 6.4 is focused on improving Skype’s instant messaging features for better usability, while also introducing support for Simplified Chinese.
Version 6.4 adds infinite chat scrolling, a feature already present in the Windows build. This allows users to load historical conversations simply by scrolling upwards. This action simply loads messages from the chat history stored on the user’s computer.
Hot on the heels of the release of Firefox 21 FINAL, Mozilla has released Firefox 22.0 Beta 1, giving adventurous users a glimpse into possible new features and improvements that may land in the next stable release just six weeks from now. Version 21 includes a number of minor new features and improvements, including better protection against unauthorized third-party cookies.
There are also platform-specific improvements for both Windows and Mac builds, plus the usual round of tweaks and performance enhancements to round off the update.
Tennessee software developer Bitsum has released Process Lasso 6.5 and Process Lasso 6.5 (64-bit), a major update of its performance tool for keeping PCs running smoothly by intelligently managing system processes.
Version 6.5 represents a major overhaul for the software, with Bitsum promising that it’s been "considerably optimized, profiled, tested and polished". The latest build also features a smattering of new features and improvements.
Not everyone is a web-coding whizz, or wants to learn the intricacies of HTML, CSS, PHP or other web-based programming languages. Xara Web Designer 9 is aimed squarely at those who prefer to design websites using desktop publishing tools, where what you see on-screen is what you expect to see with the finished design. Over recent years, Web Designer has built into a powerful, user-friendly tool that -- a few quirks aside -- makes designing websites as simple as putting together magazines, newsletters or brochures.
At first glance it looks beginner-friendly: pick a template, import your text and graphics, and build your site page-by-page at a time. But that does Web Designer a disservice, because if you delve deeper, you’ll find it has all the tools you need to design more complex sites that are attractive to look at, easy to navigate and bursting with support for all the latest technologies, from Flash-based animations to interactive widgets.
Mozilla has released Firefox 21.0 FINAL, a major new version of its cross-platform, open-source web browser for Windows, Mac and Linux. Version 21 gives users more control over their tracking cookie preferences, extends the social API to support four new providers and implements support for tools to help with troubleshooting and performance issues.
Although Firefox 21 doesn’t have quite the impact version 20 did with its new panel-based downloader, per-window private browsing and ability to close hanging plugins without crashing the entire browser, it still throws in some useful features, all of which have smoothly migrated from the Beta version.
Azureus Software has released Vuze 5.0, a major update of its open-source, cross-platform BitTorrent client. Version 5.0’s improvements and changes have been focused on its "core functionality", making the locating, adding and downloading of torrents much easier with this release.
This has been achieved by tweaking the user interface, Sidebar and Library views to make these features more visible, and are joined by other changes, including better tools for accessing Vuze remotely and a new tagging system for managing torrents.
Open-source FTP client FileZilla 3.7.0 and FileZilla Portable 3.7.0 have both been released. The new build now allows users to view the total transfer speed as a tooltip over the transfer indicators, and replaces the depreciated term SSL with TLS. The update also promises better performance over secure FTP connections and subtle tweaks to the user interface to make the program easier to use.
Users can now view the total transfer speed by hovering the mouse over the transfer indicators in the bottom right-hand corner of the FileZilla window. Similarly, hovering the mouse over the Host box in the Quickconnect bar now reveals a list of supported protocols: FTP, FTP over SSH, FTP over TLS (implicit), and FTP over TLS (explicit).
Acronis International has added a new, cut-down backup tool to its roster with the release of True Image Lite 2013 by Acronis. Roughly six months after debuting the beta version, True Image Lite 2013 gets a final release, providing users with a simple tool for protecting specified folders through regular “non-stop” backups.
True Image Lite 2013 offers users two locations for backing up: a local storage device, such as external or network hard drive, and online through the Acronis Cloud, an optional add-on providing 250GB of internet storage for an additional outlay.
Google Translate for Android 2.7, a major update, is available. There’s one new feature -- support for the website’s Phrasebook feature -- and an extension of the app’s camera-input feature to support an additional 16 languages.
The app is basically an extension of the Google Translate website, allowing users to translate both text and speech between more than 70 different languages.
Mobile VoIP provider Viber has broken new ground by releasingViber for Desktop 3.0 for Windows and Mac, extending its existing mobile service beyond the mobile-only Viber 3.0 app to desktops and laptops.
The new desktop build provides all the functionality currently enjoyed on the mobile app, including free voice calls, photo messaging, text chat and location-sharing with other Viber users, but also adds support for desktop-to-desktop video conferencing too.
Swiss cloud-storage browser tool Cyberduck 4.3.1 has been released for Mac and Windows. This open-source tool provides users with a user-friendly means of browsing FTP/SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage and Rackspace Cloud Files servers.
Version 4.3.1 builds on the recent 4.3 major update – the program’s first in around 18 months, which improved support for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, plus expanded support for various services, including S3 and Google Storage. However, support for Dropbox and Google Drive have been dropped alongside Microsoft’s Azure Blob Storage connections.
There are many ways to share files between the computers on your network -- simple folder sharing, or cloud-based file syncing are just two ideas that come to mind. But when Apple introduced AirDrop in OS X Lion, it added another way – an elegant, simple means of simply dragging and dropping files to quickly distribute them to other Macs on your network.
The only problem with AirDrop is that you require other Macs, running OS X Lion or later no less, for it to work. Thankfully, third parties have finally come around to developing cross-platform alternatives to AirDrop, and another promising example has just poked its head above the parapet in the form of Filedrop.
Avast Software has released avast! Free Antivirus 8.0.1488 and avast! Internet Security 8.0.1488 for PCs running Windows XP or later. Version 8.0.1488 is the first notable update since version 8 was released at the end of February.
Version 8.0.1488 adds one major new feature to the security tool’s roster: a SecureLine component, which provides protection for users browsing over Wi-Fi via VPN. The feature isn’t provided free, but comes with a free 24-hour trial that can be activated at any time. Thereafter, access costs from $7.99 a month.
Twitter has released Twitter for iOS 5.6 and Twitter for Android 4.0.2, minor updates to its official apps for iPhone/iPad and Android mobile users. Both apps extend support for trend filtering by location to the mobile platform, the feature is already present in the web-based app.
Other changes to the iOS build include improved playback of Vine video, and the addition of an option to invite other people to join Twitter from within the app. Android users also gain enhancements to the menu button.