Wayne Williams

Make Windows 10's Timeline feature actually useful by adding support for Chrome and Firefox

Timeline is an excellent addition to Windows 10, introduced as part of the April 2018 Update. It remembers what documents and web pages you’ve been working on recently, allowing you to quickly pick up where you left off.

As good as it is, however, it has one major flaw and that’s it only remembers web pages you’ve opened in Microsoft Edge. If you don’t use that browser -- and let’s be honest, that’s most people -- then Timeline’s usefulness is greatly reduced. Thankfully, there’s a way to get it to remember pages you’ve visited in Chrome or Firefox.

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EdgeDeflector for Windows 10 forces all links to open in the default browser, not Microsoft Edge

It’s no secret that Microsoft wants you to use its Edge browser in Windows 10. It’s tried a lot of ways to persuade users to switch from Chrome, Firefox or other browsers, including advertising Edge in Windows and even recently made a change to a Redstone 5 Insider preview so that links clicked in Windows Mail opened directly in the browser.

Windows 10 users will be aware that Edge is already the default browser for certain links and actions. If you run a web search using the Cortana search box, for example, the results -- provided by Bing -- will open in Edge. But a handy program can redirect these links to whatever browser you have set up as the default.

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Malwarebytes arrives on iOS to keep your iPhone safe from snoopers and scammers

Malwarebytes already offers a decent security app for Android, but the company has never had a version for iOS -- until now.

While iPhone and iPad users are less at risk from malware than their Android counterparts, thanks to Apple’s walled-garden, they aren’t necessarily completely safe -- the threat of spam calls, scam websites, fraudulent texts and bad ads remains.

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Apple updates MacBook Pro to deliver faster performance and new pro features

Apple today announces that it has refreshed its MacBook Pro with the latest Intel processors for faster performance, True Tone displays, and quieter keyboards.

The switch to newer processors brings a big improvement to performance. How big a boost? According to Apple, the 8th-generation quad-core Intel Core processors in the 13-inch MacBook Pro will make it twice as fast, while the 8th-generation 6-core Intel Core processors in the 15-inch model will deliver 70 percent better performance.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17713, adds Fast Sign-in and Notepad improvements

Having rolled out a new Windows 10 Insider build at the end of last week, Microsoft returns with another new build for those on the Fast ring.

The software giant is doing a reset of the Skip Ahead ring starting from this build. It's focusing now on stabilizing Redstone 5 ahead of its launch in the Fall, and so Skip Ahead insiders will be automatically switched to the Fast ring for now.

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Classic Shell returns as Classic Start -- giving Windows 10 users a proper Start menu

When Microsoft scrapped the Start menu in Windows 8, users were up in arms. Most refused to upgrade to the new OS, which ultimately led to its failure and demise, and of those who did switch, large numbers sought out third-party Start menus.

The best of these options was unquestionably Classic Shell. A great free tool it offered users a choice of three different menu styles -- Classic, Two Columns and Windows 7 -- as well as other options for customizing various elements of the OS, including Explorer.

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New Kodi tool lets you configure new devices and download add-ons directly from developers on the fly

The XBMC/Kodi Foundation is still working hard on the next big update to its popular home theater software, Kodi 18 "Leia", but whether you’re running the alpha, or are still on Kodi 17, we’ve some great news for you.

Unofficial add-on repository TVAddons has released a new tool for Kodi called Batch Installer which allows users to create their own custom "templates" for configuring Kodi to new devices in seconds.

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Microsoft hints new Surface will be announced tomorrow -- is it Andromeda?

It’s been a little while since we had a new Surface product from Microsoft, but the wait appears to be (almost) at an end.

In a new tweet posted today, Microsoft asked 'Where will Surface go next?' above a picture of the current range of Surface devices, with a shadow from an un-shown model on the far right. The picture also includes tomorrow’s date, so it’s pretty clear that’s when the new product will be revealed.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17711

It looks as if Microsoft is back on its weekly release schedule for Windows 10 Redstone 5 preview builds. Build 17711, for Insiders on the Fast and Skip Ahead rings, offers a number of improvements and changes.

These include Fluent Design tweaks, the usual raft of Edge additions, and improvements to display settings and the registry editor.

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Get 'Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd Edition' ($16 value) FREE for a limited time

Need a PC problem fixed in a pinch? Troubleshooting & Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies offers 5 books in 1 and takes the pain out of wading through those incomprehensible manuals, or waiting for a high-priced geek to show up days or weeks after you need them.

There's nothing worse than firing up your PC only to discover it's inexplicably unresponsive. With this guide, you'll gain all the skills and insight you need to need to bring it back to life -- and to prevent it from ever leaving you in the lurch again.

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NetMarketShare's audited figures show Windows 10 closing in on Windows 7

NetMarketShare reports on the state of the desktop operating system market on the first day of each month, and it has long shown Windows 10 to be lagging behind Windows 7. This is in stark contrast to the figures from rival analyst firm StatCounter which famously had Windows 10 overtaking its predecessor way back in January.

This time around NetMarketShare took a few days extra to present its numbers for June, but after an audit, in which the figures changed considerably, they are finally available and make for interesting reading.

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How to stop your private Gmail messages being read by third parties

Gmail on smartphone

When Gmail first launched back in 2004, people were concerned about it because Google was scanning incoming messages in order to be able to present users with relevant, personalized adverts based on the email content.

The feature was finally dropped a year ago, in a move welcomed by privacy advocates, but it turns out employees of third-party app developers may well have been reading your private messages.

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SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD: Excellent performance at a good price point [Review]

The easiest and best way to speed up a slow computer is to replace its HDD with an SSD. This will deliver a huge performance boost, and can make an old PC feel brand new. If you’re after the best speeds and your computer has a compatible PCIe-based M.2 slot, then a NVMe solid state drive is what you should you be looking for as they are significantly faster than SATA models.

That said, SATA remains the dominant interface for connecting a SSD to your PC, and for most consumers the performance improvement it provides will be perfectly acceptable -- certainly much quicker than you’d get from a mechanical drive. We took SanDisk’s Ultra 3D SATA SSD for a spin to see how it fared.

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Win a 2TB diskAshur PRO2 hardware encrypted hard drive #BetaNews20

Throughout June, to celebrate BetaNews’ 20th birthday, we have been giving away some incredible prizes and while the month is drawing to a close now, we still have more giveaways for you enter.

The diskAshur Pro 2 range of portable USB hard drives from iStorage makes it easy to keep your personal files and folders private thanks to the integrated PIN authenticated XTS-AES 256-bit hardware encryption. Unlocking the drive is just a matter of tapping your PIN into the keypad and pressing the unlock button. To secure it again, just press the lock button, or eject the drive.

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Avast is ruining CCleaner -- malware, bundled software, popup ads... what's next?

Security software firm Avast acquired Piriform -- the maker of several popular system utilities, including CCleaner -- last year. Things didn’t go too well from the off however, as shortly afterwards, it was revealed that CCleaner had been hacked and a dangerously modified version had been available to download for a number of weeks.

Avast was quick to point out Piriform’s IT systems were breached before it acquired the company, but it was still in charge when the infected build was released. That sort of thing is very unfortunate -- and even more embarrassing given the business Avast is in -- but it could be forgiven. Unfortunately, since then Avast seems to be working hard to alienate CCleaner’s devoted userbase.

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