Nick Peers

Spybot -- Search & Destroy 2.7 adds new Start Center screen, improves malware search

Irish security developer Safer Networking has released Spybot -- Search & Destroy 2.7, a new version of its Windows free and paid-for anti-malware tool.

The major new feature in this release is the addition of an additional Start Center screen giving users access to frequently used functions. It also promises a number of improvements -- including Secure Boot support -- and better reliability.

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Opera launches (another) mobile app -- Opera Touch 1.0 links in with Opera desktop browser

Opera Software has launched Opera Touch 1.0 a mobile app for Android (with iOS due to follow shortly). It joins existing mobile apps Opera and Opera Mini.

The new app is designed to work in tandem with Opera’s desktop browser using Flow, a means of instantly sharing tabs between desktop and mobile. It’s also been optimized to facilitate fast web searches and for one-handed use.

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Mailstore Home 11 offers more robust protection for your email, speeds up archive searches

German email back-up company MailStore Software GmbH has released MailStore Home 11.0 for PCs running Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. The tool makes it easy to create archives and backups of POP3, IMAP and internet mailboxes, including Gmail and Yahoo!

The program, which also works with Outlook, Thunderbird and the now-depreciated Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail, gains a faster archive search tool with this new release. It also introduces a more robust recovery tool.

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Handbrake 1.1.0 revamps user interface, adds Vimeo, YouTube and 4K presets

Handbrake 110

Popular cross-platform, open-source video transcoder Handbrake 1.1.0 has been released, and despite the version number increment is actually a major update. Handbrake allows users to convert video from a wide variety of formats -- including DVD and Blu-ray -- into MP4 or MKV files with support for a wide range of codecs, including x264, x265, VP8/9 and both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.

Handbrake 1.1.0 provides a major update to its user interface to provide a more logical and easy to follow workflow. It also adds new presets, filters and improves 4K and x265 support.

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1Password 7 Beta for Mac and Windows reveals major facelift, lots of new and improved features

OPM7 beta

AgileBits has released beta versions of its upcoming 1Password 7.0 Beta for Mac and 1Password 7.0 Beta for Windows clients. 1Password offers secure form-filling and password management tools and is also available on iOS and Android.

The beta showcases several major new features, with Windows gaining a handy new sidebar view to ape the Mac version, which sees its own sidebar improved along with a host of other new additions and feature improvements.

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Universal Media Server 7 adds Movies and TV Show library options, improves scanning performance

The Universal Media Server Project has released Universal Media Server 7.0.0, a major new release of its open-source, cross-platform media server for Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

The server, which works with a wide range of UPNP/DLNA-compatible devices from mobiles to smart TVs, adds support for filtering content into movie and TV show libraries. It also promises massively improved folder-scanning times along with quicker browsing of Media Folders.

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Opera 52 launches faster ad-blocking tool, adds support for multiple tab selection

Opera Software has released Opera 52.0, the latest version of its Chromium-based browser for Windows, Mac and Linux.

The main highlight in this new release is the unveiling of a faster ad-blocker tool. In addition, users gain the ability to select multiple tabs with a variety of related actions, including a brand new option for copying Web URLs. There are also new animations to accompany error and warning messages.

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Google Web Designer 3.0 makes HTML 5 web content easy to build across multiple devices and platforms

Google web designer

Google has released Google Web Designer 3.0 Beta, its HTML5 content-producing tool for Windows, Mac and Linux. Although targeted primarily at advertisers, the tool can be adapted for other content too, and also supports JavaScript, CSS and XML.

Version 3.0 introduces several new features. First, users are now able to change the ad environment via the File > Ad environment menu. When supported, users can switch between DoubleClick, AdMob, AdWords and Non-Google Ad easily.

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Firefox Quantum 59 boosts page loading times, adds options for blocking intrusive website requests

Mozilla has released Firefox Quantum 59.0 for desktop, along with Firefox for Android 59.0 rolling out imminently.

The new version continues to refine performance with the promise of faster page-loading times, while the Home page gains one new customizable feature. Other highlights include improvements to the built-in screenshots tool and the ability to block website requests for advanced access or notifications.

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PDF Shaper 8.2 improves text detection and extraction, supports system fonts and more

Burnaware Technologies has released PDF Shaper Free 8.2, a major update to its freeware PDF toolkit for Windows users. PDF Shaper provides a series of tools for managing and optimizing PDF files, and is also available in Premium and Professional editions.

It’s the paid-for editions that get the most love in this new release, with the non-free Watermark tool gaining three new features. All versions gain support for system TrueType fonts, codepages and styles as well as an option to select specific pages when converting a PDF to an image file.

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BleachBit 2.0 adds drag-and-drop file shredding to open-source disk cleaning tool

Open-source cleaning tool BleachBit 2.0 has been released for Windows and Linux, along with BleachBit 2.0 Portable for Windows.

The update -- the first in over two years -- introduces support for dragging and dropping files on to the program window in order to shred them using BleachBit’s disk-wiping tools.

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FireAlpaca 2.0 improves layer support, adds 64-bit Windows build

Japanese developer PGN Inc has released FireAlpaca 2.0, a major new release of its free paint app for Windows and Mac users. The app is aimed at wannabe painters with a variety of drawing tools coupled with advanced features such as layer support.

Version 2.0’s headline new feature is the addition of a separate 64-bit build for Windows PCs, but it also improves its layer support along with some minor tweaks and adjustments.

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TunnelBear 3.2 improves and refines its VPN service, rebuilds VigilantBear component

Canadian VPN provider TunnelBear Inc has released TunnelBear 3.2 for Windows. TunnelBear, also available on Mac, provides users with both free (500MB/month) and paid-for VPN plans.

Version 3.2 features a completely rebuilt VigilantBear component and comes with the promise of improved reliability when switching networks as well as some other tweaks and bug fixes.

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Opera 51 unveils better Windows performance, host of functional tweaks

Just one month after its previous update, Opera Software has unveiled Opera 51.0, the latest version of its Chromium-based browser for Windows, Mac and Linux.

There’s no let up in new features and improvements in Opera 51. Chief among these is the promise of faster browsing on Windows, with Opera claiming it’s 38 percent faster than Firefox 58. This is down to the fact the program code is now compiled using Clang.

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BurnAware 11 Free unveils ISO unpacker tool, HD audio support

Burnaware Technologies has released BurnAware 11.0 Free, BurnAware 11.0 Premium and BurnAware 11.0 Professional, the latest builds of its free and paid-for disc burning products for Windows.

Version 11’s new headline feature is the addition of a tool to view and extract files from ISO images. It’s accompanied by an option to associate ISO files with BurnAware as well as support for incorporating HD audio tracks into compact disc compilations.

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