Nick Peers

Pick up Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office 2023 Advanced and 250 GB of cloud data for just $29.99

Everyone needs a backup -- but those backups require protecting too. Thankfully Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office 2023 Advanced has both bases covered: comprehensive backup for everything from individual files and folders to entire hard drives on the one hand, and protection against data-stealing malware on the other.

Not only does Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office 2023 Advanced -- available for under £25/$30 thanks to our great deal -- allow you to back up your files to another drive plugged directly into your PC or Mac or some form of network attached storage, but your subscription also entitles you to hundreds of gigabytes of online storage space, ensuring at least one copy of your data is stored offsite according to backup best-practice.

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Website X5 2023.1 unveils design facelift, plus image gallery and site preview improvements

Italian developer Incomedia has released Website X5 Evo 2023.1 Evo and Website X5 Pro 2023.1, a major new release of its wizard-driven, user-friendly website building product line for Windows.

Version 2023 debuts with a major facelift, but also unveils several new features including image list thumbnails and SEO properties for galleries, plus refreshed templates and updated compatibility and security.

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Geekbench 6 introduces new tests and data sets so benchmarks more accurately reflect 2023 usage patterns

Primate Labs has unveiled a major new version of its cross-platform free benchmarking tool with the release of Geekbench 6.0.0 for desktop and mobile. The release comes more than three years after the last major update came out in September 2019.

Geekbench 6 has been engineered around how Primate Labs envisages computers and mobiles are being used in 2023. Its tests now include several new workloads, including the effects of blurring backgrounds in video conferencing streams, removing unwanted objects automatically from photos, and the use of scripting languages to analyze, process and convert text.

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Transmission 4.0 promises more efficient performance, support for BitTorrent v2 and hybrid torrents

Open-source BitTorrent client Transmission 4.0 has landed after over a year in development. Sporting over one thousands commits, the new release focuses on no fewer than four areas: resource efficiency, better community, code modernization and new features.

In terms of more efficient use of resources, Transmission 4.0’s code has been streamlined to fix poorly performing code and memory usage, with developers claiming 50 percent fewer CPU cycles and 70 percent fewer memory allocations are now used based on stress test benchmarking. In addition, payloads are smaller and bandwidth usage reduced.

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LibreOffice 7.5 unveils new icons, plus improved PDF export and Bookmarks in Writer

On schedule, The Document Foundation’s open-source, cross-platform office suite gains its first major point release of the year with LibreOffice 7.5. Version 7.5 unveils various design tweaks -- including a new application -- along with another long list of new and improved features right across the suite.

LibreOffice 7.5 opens with some design tweaks -- including "major improvements" to its dark mode support, which basically consist of over 40 bug fixes. There’s also new application and MIME-type icons, described as "more colorful and vibrant".

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PDFsam Basic 5.0 released, makes it easy to split, merge and extract pages from PDFs

Sober Lemur SRL has just released a major new version of its free and open-source PDF toolkit with the launch of PDFsam Basic 5.0 for Windows, macOS and Linux.

The application, which allows users to quickly and easily extract pages from PDFs as well as offering split, merge and rotate tools, gains a major facelift with the version 5 release, along with a brand new tool and several additions to existing features.

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UTM 4.1 lets you install Windows 11 on any M1, M2 or Intel Mac -- for free!

Running Windows on Macs is nothing new, but with the loss of BootCamp support for the newer Silicon-based Macs (those running M1 and M2 chips), your only option for installing Windows is through virtualization software. You’ll find plenty of free and paid-for options available, so what makes UTM 4.1 stand out from a crowded field of virtualization tools?

When it comes to running Windows, UTM offers nothing you can’t find elsewhere in the form of Parallels Desktop, but there’s one crucial difference: UTM is open source and -- if you’re willing to update it manually -- completely free. If you want automatic updates, or you simply want to support the project, a one-time fee of $9.99 can be paid by purchasing UTM through the Mac App Store.

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OBS Studio 29 extends AV1 encoding support, adds new audio filters

Open source video broadcasting, recording and streaming tool OBS Studio 29.0 has been released for Windows, macOS and Linux.

With this release, the Windows build now supports AV1 encoding on both AMD (Radeon RX 7000 upwards) and Intel  (Arc Graphics) chipsets in addition to prior support for NVIDIA. Support on Linux is expected to follow in a future release.

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Universal Media Server 13.0 unveils 2D-to-3D video conversion for use with VR headsets

Universal Media Server 13.0 has received its first minor update since its initial release during the busy holiday season. Universal Media Server 13.0.1 is largely a bug-fix release, but builds on the landmark 13.0 release, which unveiled an on-the-fly 2D-to-3D converter for standard videos.

Aimed primarily at those viewing video through a VR headset and associated VR media player, the 2D-to-3D converter works during playback to convert standard 2D videos to 3D. The feature requires a PC with a suitably powerful GPU acting as the server along with a suitably fast Wi-Fi connection (AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 was used during testing).

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System Mechanic 23 unveils major UI update alongside improved network scanning tool

California-based software developer iolo has unveiled a major new release of its flagship product family: iolo System Mechanic 23. The Windows PC system optimization app, available with additional tools in Pro and Ultimate Defense editions, opens with a completely revamped user interface.

The streamlined new look isn’t simple a case of redesigning existing elements; System Mechanic 23 unveils a more streamlined look designed to be easier to navigate.

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Tor Browser 12 released, adds native Apple Silicon support and improves Android build's privacy and security

US nonprofit the Tor Project has announced the release of Tor Browser 12.0 for Windows (both 32-bit and 64-bit), Mac, Linux, and Android. The major change in version 12.0 is that its underlying code has now been updated to Firefox Extended Support Release 102.5.

Tor Browser is a Firefox variant, designed for accessing the internet through the open Tor network, which makes users harder to track online through a combination of multi-layer encryption and the use of relays to boost anonymity. In addition, the browser is configured with maximum privacy in mind through the use of private browsing by default alongside other anti-tracking tools.

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PhraseExpress 16 unveils new look and trigger system to celebrate its 20th anniversary

Bartels Media GmbH has unveiled a major new version of its freemium cross-platform text expander tool with the launch of PhraseExpress 16 for Windows. The new release, which coincides with the software’s 20th anniversary, boasts a fresh new look, new trigger system, improved Edit History feature as well as a new unified phrase file format for using with Mac and iOS builds -- both of which are currently in beta.

The first major change sees the user interface updated with new high-resolution icons to match Windows 11’s more modernized look. Bartels is keen to highlight that the UI has been 'carefully updated' to ensure existing users aren’t left floundering looking for their favorite tools.

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First alpha of Paint.NET 5.0 released, packed with new features and performance improvements

Rick Brewster has announced the release of Paint.NET 5.0 (alpha). This early pre-release, which is also available as a portable build for existing users keen to try out the new features without affecting their current, stable release, promises significant performance increases, resurrected support for pressure-sensitive pens and tablets, plus a brand-new plugin system.

In addition, there are several new adjustments and effects, and a raft of improvements across existing tools. The new build does, however, jettison support for 32-bit systems and older versions of Windows.

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O&O DiskImage 18 Pro rebuilds core engine to deliver major performance improvements

O&O Software’s imaging and file backup tool gets another new upgrade with the release of O&O DiskImage 18 Pro. Version 18 promises a complete rebuild of the underlying O&O DiskImage engine, plus adds further refinements to its support for backing up virtualized machines.

O&O DiskImage 18 Pro provides a comprehensive suite of backup tools, with support for incremental and differential drive imaging for updating backups as efficiently as possible.

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Auslogics BoostSpeed 13 promises full Windows 11 support, fully customizable dashboard


Auslogics has released a major update to its Windows optimization suite with the arrival of Auslogics BoostSpeed 13.0. The latest version is the first to fully support Windows 11, but also ships with several improved features.

Implementing full support for Windows 11 PCs means that BoostSpeed 13 can target specific parts of the new OS -- for example, users are able to delete documents from the 'Recommended' section of Windows 11's Start menu, while other new tools include a multi-uninstall manager and add-ons manager for removing unwanted browser and shell extensions.

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