Mike Williams

Bitdefender reveals first public beta of Bitdefender Total Security 2018

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Bitdefender has announced the availability of Bitdefender Total Security 2018, the first public beta of its next generation security suite.

New features include a Webcam Protection module which notifies you when apps try to access your webcam, and blocks unauthorized usage.

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Find out who shut down your PC and when, with Shutdown Logger

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Security developer NoVirusThanks has released Shutdown Logger, a free Windows service-based application which records details about every shutdown event.

The package logs the time and date of each shutdown, the system uptime to that point, and the names of any logged-in user accounts.

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FreeDriveC is a simpler, safer drive cleanup app

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As you’ll guess from the name, FreeDriveC is yet another Windows application for freeing up space on your system drive. We’ve seen more than enough of these already, and we’ll bet you have, too.

But wait -- FreeDriveC isn’t all about emptying your TEMP folders or wiping browser history. Instead it’s more like a simple Control Panel applet, providing easy access to relevant Windows tools.

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Jarte 6.0 Plus adds Autohotkey scripting and automation

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Carolina Read Software has unveiled Jarte 6.0, a major update for its Windows WordPad-based word processor.

The $19.95 Jarte Plus 6.0 build now supports running custom AutoHotkey scripts when you open a document, hit a hotkey or click a custom toolbar button. The system allows automatically entering text, replacing existing text, changing highlighting, colors and more, and you’re able to work with files, run programs, open websites, or do anything else AutoHotkey can normally do.

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Two ways to check your PC is patched against EternalBlue

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Exploits linked to leaked NSA hacking tools have been causing havoc recently, with the WannaCry ransomware infecting more than 300,000 systems.

WannaCry made use of the previously unknown SMB exploit EternalBlue, but the leak included details of several others. Microsoft has released patches, but are they in place on all your PCs?

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Stop users copying PDF text with PDF Anti-Copy

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PDF Anti-Copy is a free tool which protects PDF content by preventing users selecting or copying its text. There are similar programs available, but they typically work by applying the standard PDF security restrictions. This can easily removed with the right software.

PDF Anti-Copy takes a more unusual approach, using GhostScript and its -dNoOutputFonts switch to essentially replace the text with vector graphics. The page looks the same, but the text selection options stop working because the text has gone.

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Find website accessibility issues with Koa11y

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Koa11y is a cross-platform tool for detecting accessibility issues in any web page you specify. Problems detected include missing image Alt attributes, color contrast issues, missing titles, lengthy ALTs, poorly designed forms, and anything else that doesn’t play nicely with accessibility software and APIs.

We downloaded a copy of the Windows version. It’s a portable program, no installation required, we just unzipped the download and launched Koa11y.exe.

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Webcamoid is a one-stop webcam capture and recording suite

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Webcamoid is a surprisingly versatile open-source webcam suite for Windows, Linux and Mac. Launch the program and it looks very simple. The image from the default webcam is displayed, there’s a small transparent toolbar at the bottom of the screen, and nothing else at all.

The toolbar seems basic, at least initially. There’s a Camera icon, clicking it takes a snapshot of the current screen and offers to save it as a PNG. Useful, but nothing special.

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Manage Windows 10 privacy settings with Privacy Repairer

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Privacy Repairer is a portable tool for viewing and managing Windows 10 telemetry and privacy settings.

There’s now almost a whole sub-genre of software doing more or less the same thing, but Privacy Repairer has more than enough extra power and detail to justify its tiny download.

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Easily explore Windows’ hidden emojis with winMoji

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Windows has come with its own set of emojis for years, but they’re so well hidden that many users don’t realize they exist. WinMoji is a tiny open-source tool which makes it easier to find and use the built-in emojis.

Install and run the program and it displays the full smiley set in a scrolling box. No need to mess around with other Windows tools, they all on view and ready to use.

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LanguageTool is an open-source proof reader for 25+ languages

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LanguageTool is an open-source spelling and grammar checker for Chrome, Firefox, the desktop (via Java) and more.

The browser extensions enable checking the text you’re entering a web text box, or any other selectable text on a web page. The system works much like other spell checks. Enter text, click the LanguageTool icon and it instantly displays a report listing any issues. Browse the list, click any corrections you’d like to accept and it’s updated in the source text.

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Convert JPEGs to ASCII art with ASCII Art Studio

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ASCII art is one of the oldest computer graphics techniques, and can create surprisingly realistic pictures from the 95 printable ASCII characters (letters, numbers and symbols).

The idea was originally used in the 1960s to produce images on the line printers of the day, but the stark and high-contrast results can still deliver interesting designs today.

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Easily trim and cut your movies with VidCutter

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VidCutter is an open-source Windows, Linux and Mac tool for trimming your videos.

The program’s use of FFMPEG enables opening just about any video type, and you’re then able to cut as many scenes as you need.

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Quickly check a bootable USB key or ISO with Bootable USB Test

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You’ve downloaded an ISO recovery disc, maybe used it to create a bootable USB key -- but does it work? Finding out can be a hassle as you close down applications, reboot, maybe tweak your BIOS, boot into the key and reboot again back to Windows.

Bootable USB Test is a portable tool which provides a quick and easy alternative.

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Instantly enable and disable Chrome extensions with Extensity

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Chrome extensions can be incredibly useful, but they also grab resources and clutter your toolbar, annoying if you only use them occasionally.

Extensity is a free Chrome extension which allows all, individual or groups of extensions to be turned on and off with a couple of clicks.

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