Monthly Archives: February 2010

Watch Videos and Internet TV in HD Full Screen with Miro HD Video Player

There’s been lots of talk in the Blogosphere lately, on getting rid of expensive Cable TV, where prices seem to be skyrocketing, and focusing instead on the multiple alternatives which the Internet now provides.

From a personal perspective, I’m a long way from getting rid of Cable TV. But that’s more an issue surrounding the medieval government broadcast regulations consumers are forced to deal with here in Canada, which allow Geo-blocking technologies that prevent Canadians from accessing television programming on U.S. websites, than any commitment I have to the boob tube, which I rarely watch.

I suspect in many other countries, consumers would be taking to the streets demanding access to the increasing number of broadcast options available online. The Canadian government needs to get its head around a concept called, “freedom of choice”. OK, I’ll stop ranting now!

For those of you who don’t face this restriction, Miro (last updated December 05, 2009), is a free (open source), internet TV platform and video player that can play virtually any video including, QuickTime, WMV, MPEG, AVI, and XVID. After iTunes, Miro is the second most popular video RSS player in the world.

The real strength of this application lies in the ability you now have, with Miro installed, to subscribe to any video RSS feed, pod cast, or Video Site/Blog such as YouTube, Google Video, and Yahoo Video, through channels.

When a channel is created in Miro, the program checks for updates periodically and will retrieve content for you through a HTTP download, or the included BitTorrent client.

You could, for example, subscribe to Comodo’s Internet video series, Really Simple Security, published on a dedicated YouTube channel, and with Miro’s automatic update function always be in the loop for new content.

Given that your computer screen is, in reality, a high-definition display, you can watch these videos in HD full screen. Pretty neat – especially if you have a wide screen LCD display.

To make it easier for you to find content for viewing, the included channel guide service is comprised of more than 1,800+ channels which are searchable by category, keyword, popularity, or language.

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Fast facts:

Built-in Channel Guide – explore hundreds of free Internet television channels.

Bit torrent download

Manageable Hard Drive folders

Resume playback

Channel surfing

Organizing video feeds by topic

Video sharing and hosting

Creating videos

This program continues to receive high praise from video geeks, and it’s worth adding to your entertainment applications.

Note: There is a learning curve associated with using Miro, but the developers video tutorial, takes the hassle out of it.

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System requirements: Windows 7, Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows NT, Windows XP (I’m not aware of any x64 support) – Mac, Linux.

Download at: Miro

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, High Definition Video Players, Interconnectivity, Internet TV, Media Player Replacement, Multimedia Tools, Software, Video, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free License – O&O DriveLED 3 Hard Drive Monitor

Regular reader Kingpin, pointed out this morning that O&O Software is offering a free license (regularly $29.99), for their Hard Drive monitoring application, DriveLED 3.

As we’ve pointed out here in the past, in articles such as “Check, Maintain, and Clean Your Hard Drive With Free Tools”, there’s no question that Hard Drives fail – I’ve had to deal with three failures, personally, in the past two years.

All modern Hard Drives are equipped with a feature known as S.M.A.R.T. that provides real-time analysis and the reporting of any developing problems and potential issues. The big question is: can you read the warnings?

An application like DriveLED 3 can take the guesswork out of the equation, and make it easier for you to diagnose what’s really happening inside the complex environment of your Hard Drive.

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Since this offer is available only through the developer’s site, I have no way of knowing how long this offer will last. If you’re interested in this application, now is the time to download.

From the developer’s site:

Although O&O DriveLED won’t let you avoid a system crash entirely, it can let you know early enough whenever there’s trouble on the horizon. O&O DriveLED 3 is a reliable partner that accurately tells you when it is time to backup your important data with O&O DiskImage, or even to replace the hard disk.

Quietly running in the background, the new O&O DriveLED 3 permanently monitors the status of your hard disks With the help of S.M.A.R.T. (Self Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology), O&O DriveLED 3 analyses the health state of your hard disks and warns you in the event of potential malfunctions.

Immediately after installation O&O DriveLED 3 provides you with the ability to make an intensive analysis of all of your hard disks. Every hard disk that supports S.M.A.R.T. is able to run self tests.

Using O&O DriveLED 3 you can start a self-test of your hard disk with only one click of your mouse. During the tests several parameters and functions are systematically checked, including the interface, the surface and the mechanics, including every read head. In addition, the error log will be analyzed and the S.M.A.R.T. system itself will be tested.

If there were no failures found, the corresponding indicator will be lit up green. If some failures occurred, O&O DriveLED 3 will notify you. In this case, it is recommended to backup your data.

While O&O DriveLED 3 makes it possible for you to see your hard drive‘s built-in LEDs on your computer screen, this is just the beginning. In addition, you now have the possibility of monitoring all of your virtual drives, such as network drives, being able to clearly distinguish between read-access and write-access.

Note: Registration is required.

System requirements: Windows 2K,  XP, 2003, Vista, XP, 2008, Win 7 (64 bit support on Vista and Win 7)

Download at: O&O Software

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Filed under Diagnostic Software, downloads, Free Full Versions, Hard Drive Problems, Hard Drive Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 28, 2010

Top 10 Windows 7 Booster Apps – Windows 7 is a big improvement over Vista, and a pretty convenient OS in general – but it’s by no means perfect. These 10 downloads improve Windows 7’s looks, functions, and make it easier, safer, and more convenient to upgrade to.

Top 10 Downloads for a Road Warrior Laptop – If you take your laptop to destinations beyond your couch, you expose it to intermittent connectivity, greater risk of theft, always-depleting batteries, and many other variables. Prepare your laptop for productivity on the go with these apps and utilities.

No Lie! Your Facebook Profile Is the Real You – The internet is notorious for its digital dens of deception. But on Facebook, what you see tends to be what you get — at least in one study of tailless, two-legged young adults.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Graphics Card Prices Could Rise by 10% Due to Shortage – Shortages obviously feed on the demand to raise prices and as we saw for the first two months of the 5000-series availability, prices were higher than the estimated pricing originally fed from AMD’s marketing team.

Sunday Last Day for Windows 7 RC, But Upgrading Is Easy – This Sunday is the last day users still running Windows 7 RC will be able to go about their everyday computing before Windows starts with the nagging and auto-rebooting. The annoying part is less that the Windows 7 RC period is ending (it was a great run!), but more that there’s no upgrade path for going from Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 proper. Luckily we’ve already highlighted a simple step-by-step method that will allow you to upgrade from Windows 7 RC to the official Windows 7 release with minimal complications—so if you haven’t upgraded already, this weekend is the time to do it.

What I learned about you through 4 redesigns – I have been blogging on Quick Sprout for around 3 years now and the blog has been through 4 different designs. At first I redesigned the blog to have a better aesthetic look, but then I started to redesign it based on user feedback. Over the course of 4 different designs, here are some things that I learned.

School administrator boasts to PBS about his laptop spying – A few weeks ago, Frontline premiered a documentary called “Digital Nation”. In one segment, the vice-principle of Intermediate School 339, Bronx, NY, Dan Ackerman, demonstrates how he “remotely monitors” the students’ laptops for “inappropriate use”. He says “They don’t even realize we are watching,” “I always like to mess with them and take a picture,” and “9 times out of 10, THEY DUCK OUT OF THE WAY.”

Off Topic:

Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ – Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds.

A Tipping Point For Homeopathy? – A landmark paper on homeopathy and cancer has appeared in the February 2010 issue of the International Journal of Oncology. (submitted by Dar).

‘Bye’ to Braille, ‘Hi’ to a postliterate generation: Listening to Braille – Each morning, Laura J. Sloate begins her daily reading. She calls a phone service that reads newspapers aloud in a synthetic voice, and she listens to The Wall Street Journal at 300 words a minute, which is nearly twice the average pace of speech. (submitted by Dar).

Pentagon OKs social media access – The Defense Department has made its peace with social media. Long skittish about forums such as Facebook and Twitter, the U.S. Department of Defense says that it is now OK with social networking services and other interactive Web 2.0 applications.

Toyota’s enablers: An underfunded, lax NHTSA and a climate of deregulation helped the automaker avoid scrutiny (By Ralph Nader) – As the fatality and injury toll climbs — and Toyota sales plummet — it’s time to ask why the sleepy Washington safety sentinels at the Department of Transportation aren’t doing the job the people expect of them. (submitted by Dar)

Today’s Quote:

“One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us”.

-    Kurt Vonnegut

Today’s Free Downloads:

Skype - Skype is software that enables you to make free calls anywhere in the world. Skype uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect you with other users. It offers several features, including SkypeOut calling from Skype to regular and mobile phones worldwide, conference calling, and secure file transferring. You can also now share your screen with other users. Skype calls focus on video and audio quality, and secure the calls with end-to-end encryption.

WinStart Manager – WinStart Manager provides a helpful organizer designed to improve a computer’s start-up time. With a clean layout, simple commands, and useful results, this program is a real winner.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Free – One Year License for Trend Micro Internet Security 2010

image Regular reader John M. W, (thank you John), has brought to my attention that Trend Micro is offering a one year license for their Trend Micro Internet Security Suite. I haven’t personally tested this application, but CNET rates it 4.5 Stars out of a possible 5. My experience has been that CNET reviews can generally be relied on.

Since this offer is available only through the developer’s site, I have no way of knowing how long this offer will last. If you’re interested in this application, now is the time to download.

Fast facts:

From the developer’s site.

Protects against current and future viruses
An award-winning anti-virus engine protects against computer viruses, worms, Trojan horse programs, and related security threats. Automatic updates immunize you against new computer virus outbreaks for the full duration of your subscription.

Defends your personal information with anti-spyware technology
Powerful anti-spyware technology guards your personal information and privacy against spyware, rootkits, and other malicious software.

Safeguards against attacks with a personal firewall
Prevent your computer from exchanging data without your approval and defend against attacks from the Internet.

Prevents unauthorized changes
Improved security policies find and stop unwanted attempts to change your operating system and critical software.

Offers customizable security warnings
Decide how often you want to receive warnings about security threats.

Safeguards multiple computers
Install Trend Micro Internet Security on up to three PCs per household.

Surf the Web Safely

Protects against web threats
Steer clear of online phishing scams that try to steal your credit card or bank account numbers. Continuous updates identify the newest risky websites.

Secure Web surfing
Block malicious or untrustworthy hyperlinks in email, websites, or instant messages.

Blocks image spam
Stop seeing spam that tries to evade filters by delivering images instead of just text.

Device Access Control
Automatically prevent suspicious software on USB devices from opening.

Protect Your Children Online

Enhanced Parental Controls
Take charge of when and where your children go on the Internet. Block websites with inappropriate content, prevent access at specific times, and even stop kids from entering personal information onto webpages.

Smart Features for Your Online Activities

Home Network Map
See the computers and other devices connected to your network at a glance, manage the security of other computers remotely, and block wireless home network intruders from accessing yours.

Security Activity Dashboard
Get a comprehensive and customizable snapshot of all the security activities on your computer through easy-to-use charts and graphs.

State Aware
Work on your presentations, watch movies, or play games without security updates or scans getting in the way.

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System requirements : Windows 7 /Windows Vista (all versions), Windows XP (32-bit version (SP2 or SP3) only).

Download at: Trend Micro

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Firewalls, Free Full Versions, Software, Software Giveaways, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Need a Portable Application? – Take Your Pick

I’m old enough to still be amazed by technological advances – I’m like a small child when it comes to this. I doubt if I’ll ever lose this “starry eyed” view of technology. I certainly hope not.

I often think back to my first Hard Drive; which cost me $800 – 10 Megabytes with a seek time of 96 seconds. Yep, 10 Megabytes, not 10 Gigabytes. Today, a huge HD (two Terabytes), might set you back $150.

The USB Flash Drive has seen the same progression – massive increases in storage capabilities, coupled with giveaway prices. Not so long ago, my first flash drive ( 128 MB), cost me $50. Today, it’s easy to find a 4 GB flash drive for $5. I find that amazing!

The low cost of a flash drive gives us opportunities, in computing, that would have seemed like science fiction not long ago. Portable Apps Suite is a perfect example of these new opportunities.

With Portable Apps Suite, (free to use, free to copy, and free to share), you can carry your favorite portable computer programs with you on your USB flash drive, iPod, or portable hard drive, to school, work, or your hotel while you’re taking that much deserved vacation!

Portable Apps Suite allows you to play your media files, browse the net, compose documents, or check your email on the road. The applications can be used on any Windows computer, and on shut down, to insure your privacy, will not leave any traces on the host computer.

PAS is a collection of portable applications which includes, ClamWin Portable (antivirus), Mozilla Firefox Portable Edition (web browser), Gaim Portable (instant messaging), OpenOffice.org Portable (office suite) compatible with Microsoft Word files,

Sudoku Portable (puzzle game), Mozilla Sunbird Portable Edition (calendar/task manager) and Mozilla Thunderbird Portable Edition (email client), all preconfigured to work portably.

portable-apps

You can install any of three variations of Portable Apps Suite based on your preferences, or your USB drive’s capacity.

Standard Suite – All applications as noted above

Lite Suite – AbiWord Portable substituted for Open Office

Base Suite – Basic Menu Program – add only the applications you choose

All versions of the Portable Apps Suite include the integrated Portable Apps Menu and the Portable Apps Backup utility, along with a set of custom icons, auto play configuration, folders, and a quick start shortcut.

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Wine under Linux/UNIX/BSD/Mac OS X

Download at: PortableApps.com


Additional free portable applications, at PortableApps.com.

clip_image001Accessibility

clip_image005Development

clip_image012Education

clip_image016Games

clip_image030Graphics & Pictures

clip_image038Internet

clip_image055Music & Video

clip_image064Office

clip_image075Operating Systems

clip_image077Utilities

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Filed under downloads, flash drive, Free Office Suites, Free Word Processors, Freeware, Open Source, Portable Applications, Productivity Software, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 27, 2010

Twitter Phishing Scam: Blame Browsers and Users – Is your browser doing its job identifying malware? And are you?

Security and the City – ComodoTV’s clever parody of Sex and the City, with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda discussing what women really want and how to get it.

Download Over 5000 National Geographic Wallpapers with One Click – NatGeo Wallpaper Downloader is a FREE and PORTABLE app that will automatically download (in a batch) images that have been featured in the magazine and on the website of National Geographic.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Master Multiple Firefox Profiles for More Productive Browsing – One of the most powerful features in Firefox is also one too few people know about: the ability to create and use more than one profile at the same time. Here’s how to streamline and reap the benefits of multiple browsing profiles.

Windows 7 memory usage: What’s the best way to measure? – Windows memory management is rocket science. And don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

Work Smart: Stop Multitasking and Start Doing One Thing Really Well – A human’s ability to do several things at once is a wonder of biology: it means we can eat a burrito while we walk down the street and listen to music and daydream about the weekend all at the same time. But some kinds of multitasking costs you more time than you save.

Slashdot Adds Ads to its RSS – Imagine our surprise today when, while checking out Slashdot’s RSS feeds (or, as those in the biz like to call it, /. ) we noted a full-colour advertisement exhorting us to check our credit score, and another for Tek Systems. (submitted by Dar).

How to Buy a Bluetooth Headset – Isn’t it time you went hands-free with a Bluetooth headset? Here’s what you need to look for when choosing the perfect companion for your mobile phone.

Off Topic:

The Wonder Drug Myth – Many of the stories we expect from drugs are partly fictions, hiding in a gauze of ambiguous results, placebo effects, and messy side effects. (submitted by Dar).

Four ways the recent recession made consumers savvier – By all accounts, the economic crisis of 2008-2009 sent consumers scurrying for cover, victims of falling home values, tight credit, and generally fearful conditions. Right?

Alice In Wonderland Madness! – OK!!!! So, after having it brought to my attention how many sites have stolen my photo of Lake’s Alice In Wonderland tattoo, I decided it was time for me to post something on my own blog about it! (submitted by Dar).

Hawks in the city: Webcam tracks an urban bird family – Why all the commotion? The birds’ time in the City of Brotherly Love was not without drama. One young bird, apparently not yet ready to fly, flew out of the nest and was unable to return. As the city watched, the bird was rescued and rehabilitated.

Today’s Quote:

“Class” is not determined by how we treat our friends, and those in power … it is determined by how we treat the people who have no consequence in our lives”.

-     Anonymous

Today’s Free Downloads:

USB Drive Guard – USB Drive Guard is an application that runs silently on any Windows PC and, when someone inserts any type of storage device, it will check its unique serial number against a network database to see if it has been authorized.

Tizer Rootkit Razor – Tizer Rootkit Razor is a powerful tool that will allow you to remove malicious objects from your computer.

MSD Organizer Portable Freeware – MSD Organizer Portable is a personal and professional information manager to be installed in pen drives, with the following modules: calendar, contacts, alarms, tasks, cards, diary, property, budget, health and music.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

WordWeb Thesaurus and Dictionary – Helps You Say What You Mean

It would be hard to argue, that a picture is not worth a thousand words. On the other hand, there are times when the appropriate word will convey the intended message far better than a picture. I can think of a few words that have the power to do just that, and I’m sure you can as well. Even words that mean the same thing, can covey very different messages.

If  you’re a writer, a student, or you just want to find the right word to get the right message across, then the free WordWeb Thesaurus and Dictionary for Windows application will be invaluable.

WordWeb is a one-click English Thesaurus and Dictionary for Windows that can be used to instantly find definitions, synonyms, and pronunciations for words in virtually any Windows program.

It works off-line, but it can connect to the Internet enabling you to look up words in any web reference encyclopedia. The data base in WordWeb includes over 150,000 root words and 120,000 synonym sets.

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Features of the free version include:

Definitions and synonyms

Proper nouns

Related words

Pronunciations

150,000 root words

120,000 synonym sets

Look up words in almost any program

There are tools within the program for changing the database to one of nine different variations of English: British, Irish, American, Canadian, Australian, Indian, and global English.

I have used this neat little application for many years, and I find it invaluable. If you’re serious about improving your communication skills, installing this free application will be a positive step in that direction.

I was quite surprised to see that this small application averages over 33,000 weekly downloads at Download.com. It looks as if proper word usage might be coming back into style after all. Now that would be a pleasant and positive step.

Note: The author is a concerned environmentalist, so this free version of WordWeb comes with some very interesting ecological restrictions; read the license agreement for details.

System requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7

Download at: Download.com

Alternatively you may go to WordWeb’s online international dictionary and word finder, which can handle more than 300 000 possible lookup words, and phrases.

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Filed under dictionary, downloads, Freeware, Productivity Software, Software, Student Help, thesaurus, Utilities, Writing Aids

Security Process Explorer – Checks Security Risk

Security Process Explorer, from the developer’s of the powerful, free system tool Glary Utilities, operates as an security tool, and provides advanced risk information on processes, running on your computer.

The program displays specific task manager information, (this application is not a replacement for Windows task manager), including file name, directory path, description, CPU usage, and so on. What sets the application apart, is the unique security risk rating that is applied to running processes.

Security process explorer new 1

The major caveat here however is, the user must make the decision whether a particular process, or program, should be terminated, or removed. Thankfully, you can get help in making that decision by clicking on the More Info Tab. Doing so, opens GlarySoft’s web based database where additional information about the specific program/process can be obtained, along with a risk factor for that inquiry, as the following graphic illustrates.

Security process explorer new 2

Note: As an added bonus you can even Google the process from within the application.

Using Security Process Explorer you can easily find and remove unnecessary background processes. As well, you can assign more resources to demanding processes like games, real-time multimedia applications and CD writing software, where necessary.

Quick facts:

Provides detailed information about all running processes

Specifies whether a process is safe or not

Single click process termination

Block unneeded processes or malware

Simple user interface

If you are an experienced/advanced computer user, and you’re looking for a program to strengthen your anti-malware resources, then Security Process Explorer is one that’s worth taking a look at.

I should point out however, that I found Windows 7 process information to be less than I expected.

System requirements: Windows 7, 2000, XP and Vista (32bit and 64bit).

Download at: GlarySoft

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 26, 2010

Here’s what Microsoft will reveal to police about you – I’ve got my hands on a copy of the leaked, confidential Microsoft “Global Criminal Compliance Handbook,” which details for police and intelligence services exactly what information Microsoft collects about users of its online services, and how they can be accessed. What is gathered and available about you is quite comprehensive, including your emai

The Best Way To Customize Your Desktop: 3 Top Apps Compared – Just as you have one heart, and one brain, your Windows installation comes with but one desktop. Sure, you can change the look of this digital meeting space by applying new wallpapers, or adding sidebars and widgets, or letting Windows 7 do all that automatic stuff that it does every ten minutes or so. But that’s not really changing the desktop!

45+ Free Open-Source Software For Windows – List of some best and free open source software for windows. This software is licensed under Free Software Licenses and Open Source Licenses.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Microsoft Takes Down Whistleblower Site, Read the Secret Doc Here – Microsoft has managed to do what a roomful of secretive, three-letter government agencies have wanted to do for years: get the whistleblowing, government-document sharing site Cryptome shut down. (submitted by Dar).

11 Characteristics of Highly Influential Blogs: Copy the industry leaders and watch your follower base grow – According to Tamar Weinberg at Techipedia, there are 11 characteristics of all highly influential blogs that will build your blog and its followers if you adopt them.

Microsoft shuts down spam network – Microsoft wins court approval to shut down a network of PCs which it says is responsible for billions of spam messages.

One of the Largest eBay Scams Finally Comes to an End – After a three year investigation and countless complaints, a south Florida man will spend 5 1/2 years behind bars for running one of the largest eBay scams in the history of eBay. The details of the massive operation include, hundreds of auction accounts, multiple identities and constantly changing PO Boxes.

New Windows software turns one PC into many – Windows Multipoint Server allows multiple students to work off a single PC, each running their own applications and using their own keyboard, mouse and display.

60 million Americans don’t use the interwebs – A new study from the US Federal Communications Commission says that 93 million Americans don’t have broadband internet access at home. Most non-adopters cite “affordability and lack of digital skills” as the reasons for not steering themselves into the fast lane of the information superhighway, but many fear or are disgusted by the web.

Many unaware of email keyword scanning – The majority of people are unaware some free email providers scan their personal messages to aid advert placement, a study has discovered. Over two-thirds (65 per cent) of surfers don’t realise many free email providers scan messages for keywords in a bid to place more user-targeted adverts.

Off Topic:

Google Street View Funny Video – Thought everyone would get a kick out of this Google Street View video. They are obviously trying to show the invasiveness of street view and they do a great job of doing it. (submitted by Dar).

Bloom Energy: What We Know, What We Don’t – The announcement of the Bloom Energy Server has caught the world’s attention, but there are many questions that remain to be answered, and some will take time.

Indoor/Outdoor Sightings gallery – Think of Poorly Dressed as a public service, here to point out these fashion faux pas so that you don’t make the same mistakes. (submitted by Dar).

Learn How Canceling Credit Cards Affects Your Credit Score – Adam Baker, blogger at Man vs. Debt, canceled all his credit cards 15 months ago. His credit score dropped just 10 points, but he learned a lot about that score, and what financial reviewers are looking for, by taking the plunge.

Today’s Quote:

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use”.

-    Soren Kierkegaard

Today’s Free Downloads:

Easy Poster Printer – Easy Photo Printer lets you adjust and print any high-resolution digital photo as a poster (which can be up to 21 by 21 yards). You print your poster in sections and then assemble the final product.

Poster Forge – Have you ever wanted to create your own movie poster? Or a motivational poster for your sales team? Poster Forge is an easy-to-use app that creates movie, motivational, and Old West “wanted” posters.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

Trim Your PC for Maximum Performance with Free SmartClose

SmartClose, (updated February 3, 2010), can close all running programs which can interrupt high-end tasks, such as playing processor intensive games where frames per second is a critical issue, burning CD/DVDs, defragmenting a Hard Drive, recovering files, shredding free disk space, and so on.

If you like to test drive new software applications, then you know that virtually all application installers recommend closing all running applications to minimize conflicts, and to avoid replacing in-use files.

Closing running applications manually can often be time consuming, particularly if you are a power user with 5 or 6 programs running at the same time. To raise the frustration quotient further, once you have closed all these programs, you then have to re-launch each closed application just to recover where you were.

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SmartClose has been developed to eliminate this frustration, by automatically closing all running programs, disabling the screen saver, and shutting down running processes that can disrupt your new task.

Running SmartClose, with its five-icon interface, tool-tips, and wizards, is dead simple. When your task has been completed, restoring the applications you closed is straightforward, since SmartClose saves a system snapshot which can easily restore the machine’s previous condition.

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Power users especially, will be glad they have this neat little application in their utility toolbox.

Fast facts:

Two wizards: the Close Programs wizard, for closing all the programs, and the Restore wizard, to restore a system snapshot.

With SmartClose-technology, most programs can be properly closed, so that the program can save its settings, and return memory and resources, to the system.

In the rare cases where a program can’t be properly closed, SmartClose can use SmartKill to kill the program.

Protected Programs option.

Closes Explorer and Internet Explorer windows, and saves their current location for restoration.

Disables and restores the screen saver.

It’s important to understand, that this application will not close antivirus and firewall software, since these programs are hardened against “unauthorized” shut down. This is standard antimalware protection built into firewalls and  antimalware applications.

System requirements: Windows 7, Windows 2003, Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows NT, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008 (minimum x64 support).

Download at: Download.com

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP