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NewsBot

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  1. Earlier today, Microsoft released the next version of their web browser. Numerous improvements come with this release, along with a redesigned UI, support for HTML5, a new "Do Not track" feature and much more. After having used it since the release, I can say one thing for sure. You will definitely notice the pages loading faster and performing better. It's great to see that they have improved the browser overall. Another nice addition is the ability to import Tracking Protection lists. A recommended list is the EasyPrivacy from the people who continue to maintain the EasyList. There are a lot of improvements to Internet Explorer 9, including pinned websites that integrate with the Windows 7 taskbar, jumplist support, a new tab layout page, a redesigned notification system to alert users of downloads and add-ons, a SmartScreen filter and more. With all these great fixes, updates and features, we strongly urge everyone on Windows Vista and Windows 7 to update to Internet Explorer 9. To help, we'll have the download links below. Windows 7: x86 version | x64 version Windows Vista: x86 version | x64 version View the full article
  2. Pidgin is a multi-protocol instant messaging (IM) client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, and Zephyr networks. Gaim users can log in to multiple accounts on multiple IM networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on AOL Instant Messenger, talking to a friend on Yahoo Messenger, and sitting in an IRC channel all at the same time. Pidgin supports many features of the various networks, such as file transfer, away messages, and typing notification. It also goes beyond that and provides many unique features. A few popular features are Buddy Pounces, which give the ability to notify you, send a message, play a sound, or run a program when a specific buddy goes away, signs online, or returns from idle; and plugins, consisting of text replacement, a buddy ticker, extended message notification, iconify on away, spell checking, tabbed conversations, and more. Pidgin runs on a number of platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Qtopia (Sharp Zaurus and iPaq). Download: Pidgin 2.7.11 Changes: Changelog Homepage: Pidgin.im View the full article
  3. Valve is set to release a new account protection feature called Steam Guard. This adds an additional layer of security to your Steam account. When enabled, it will prevent unauthorized access to your Steam account. When anyone attempts to login as you from an unrecognized computer, they will be required to enter a one-time authorization code. A special authorization code is e-mailed to the contact address that you have verified with on Steam. The code must then be entered into Steam before your first login on an unfamiliar computer is complete. If a user attempts to login to your account from a computer that is not authorized you will receive a notification e-mail. Even if they have your password entered correctly, the Steam Guard prompt will appear and you will receive an e-mail. Screenshots are enclosed below. There is no limit to the number of computers you can authorize with your Steam account. You can access your Steam account and library from as many machines as you'd like. So you would easily be able to continue using Steam on your desktop, along with your laptop and any other computer you may use. But it doesn't stop there because you can still login on your PlayStation 3. This will make gaming safer and more enjoyable for Steam users. View the full article
  4. As of February 2011 - that's right, just last month - the usage of Internet Explorer 6 has dropped to 12%. A majority of Internet Explorer 6's usage is in China with a whopping 34.5%, followed by South Korea with 24.8% and India with 12.3%. The US comes in with 2.9%, Canada at 3.3%, the UK with 3.5% and Australia's around 3.2%. These numbers may represent users who are unable to upgrade to a more secure Windows OS such as Windows 7. Less than 1% of users surfing the web are on a legacy Windows OS such as Windows 9x/ME or Windows 2000. Approximately 90% of people surfing the web are using a modern Windows OS such as XP, Vista or Windows 7. What does this mean? That thankfully people are using more modern browsers such as Firefox, Opera, Chrome and even an updated Internet Explorer. This is great news for all of us. It shows that users are keeping their systems up to date and trying alternative browsers. In the end that means a safer, more secure browsing experience for web surfing. Microsoft wants to get Internet Explorer 6 usage to less than 1% worldwide. This will not just help users but web developers as well. A modern, up to date web browser means web pages will display with correct standards. Pages will load faster and more efficiently and this will reduce the workload for web developers. On March 24th, Internet Explorer 9 will be available for download. However, only users of Windows Vista and Windows 7 will be able to install and use the newest web browser. For those of you still on Windows XP it is highly recommended to upgrade to a more up-to-date Windows. Want to track Internet Explorer 6's decline for yourself? You can do so at the IE6Countdown page. View the full article
  5. Thunderbird is a fast, flexible e-mail client. You can quickly search through your e-mails, worry less about spam thanks to the spam filters, and even customize how you view Thunderbird. Thunderbird works with most Firefox add-ons as well, adding more content to your e-mail client. Thunderbird makes the e-mail experience fun again. Download: Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.9 | Other Systems and Languages Changes: Release Notes Homepage: Mozilla Thunderbird View the full article
  6. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C,) the standards body responsible for HTML5, accepted and published Microsoft's member submission for standardized privacy features on Thursday. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission endorsed a framework for consumer privacy which suggested a persistent browser setting to protect users from services that collect and harvest browser data without users knowing about it. Subsequently, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Google all responded to the proposal, saying they planned to add "do not track" functionality to their respective browsers. Microsoft was the first out of the gate with the feature active in Internet Explorer 9, and it submitted its technologies for user privacy to the W3C for standardization. The W3C said Microsoft's submission was "both timely and well-aligned with the consortium's objectives and priorities," given the interest in privacy expressed by the FTC, EU, and public at large. View the full article
  7. A new trojan has appeared by the name of BlackHole RAT and it surprisingly is in beta. While this may sound strange or like a joke, security researchers assure it's the real deal. Turns out that BlackHole RAT is a variant of the free "remote administration tool" darkComet RAT for Windows. Despite being a new trojan that calls itself beta; the tool itself seems very comprehensive at this point in time. At this time there is no known fix or way to catch this trojan. The best advice is Mac users, be careful what you run and when your OS prompts you for your password, known what the prompt is coming from. If you're still concerned there are anti-virus solutions for the Mac. Earlier this month Comodo released a free Mac antivirus alongside Sophos, who has long been known for its anti-malware solutions for the platform. View the full article
  8. Firefox (referred to as Fx) is a web browser descended from the Mozilla Application Suite, managed by the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox is a highly customizable browser that allows you to enhance it using Add-ons. Some examples of Add-ons that you can use to customize Firefox are AdBlock Plus, DownThemAll!, TabMixPlus and many more. Tabbed browsing is one of the many features that helps to make Firefox an enjoyable browser. Firefox does not use ActiveX which helps make it a more secure browser. Firefox does make use of many plugins to enhance your web experience. From Shockwave, Flash, Quicktime and more; your browsing experience reaches new levels with the Firefox browser. Downloads: Firefox 3.6.14 | All builds View: Release Notes Homepage: Mozilla Firefox View the full article
  9. Thunderbird is a fast, flexible e-mail client. You can quickly search through your e-mails, worry less about spam thanks to the spam filters, and even customize how you view Thunderbird. Thunderbird works with most Firefox add-ons as well, adding more content to your e-mail client. Thunderbird makes the e-mail experience fun again. Download: Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.8 | Other Systems and Languages Changes: Release Notes Homepage: Mozilla Thunderbird View the full article
  10. foobar2000 is a comprehensive, easy to use audio player for Windows. Featuring full Unicode support, advanced tagging capabilities, customizable hotkeys, ReplayGain to help correct your audio and many more useful utilities to assist your media library. There are multiple ways to configure and customize your user interface. foobar's developer also includes an open component architecture allowing third-party developers to extend functionality of the player. foobar2000 allows you to easily use multiple playlists and utilize features to remove both duplicates and dead items. foobar handles multiple popular audio formats, including: MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, MPC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Ogg FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU, SND, and CDDA without the need for plugins to play all of those formats.There are also features to support viewing album art, browing your media library, having visualizations and configuring the equalizer. Download: foobar2000 1.1.5 (3.10MB, *.exe) Information: Changes | Release Notes Homepage: foobar2000 View the full article
  11. CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. CCleaner can also clean very quickly, usually taking about ten seconds to run. Download: CCleaner 3.04.1389 (Slim install, 32 and 64 bit) Screenshot: Image Previews View: Version History Homepage: CCleaner View the full article
  12. avast! 6 is a full-featured antivirus package designed exclusively for home users and non-commercial use. The latest version of avast! antivirus kernel features outstanding detection abilities, together with high performance. You can expect 100% detection of In-the-Wild viruses (viruses already spreading between users) and excellent detection of Trojan horses. The kernel is certified by ICSA; and frequently takes part in the tests of Virus Bulletin magazine, often yielding the VB100 award. This new version adds a way to sandbox suspicious applications. Virtualization technology enables people to create a "virtual" computer inside their physical machine. If they encounter malware while browsing the internet or running an infected application, the virtual computer will shut down, leaving their real computer unharmed and running. The avast! engine also features outstanding unpacking support. It can scan inside the following archives: ARJ, ZIP, MIME (+ all associated formats), MAPI (Outlook pst files), DBX (Outlook Express archives), RAR, TAR, GZIP, CAB, BZIP2, ZOO, ACE, ARC, LHA/LHX, TNEF (winmail.dat), CPIO, CHM, RPM, ISO, 7ZIP and SIS. It also supports a number of executable packers (such as PKLite, Diet, UPX, ASPack, PeShield, FSG, MEW etc.). Last, but not least, it can also scan for viruses hidden in Alternate data streams on NTFS volumes. Download: avast! 6 Homepage: avast! antivirus software View the full article
  13. foobar2000 is a comprehensive, easy to use audio player for Windows. Featuring full Unicode support, advanced tagging capabilities, customizable hotkeys, ReplayGain to help correct your audio and many more useful utilities to assist your media library. There are multiple ways to configure and customize your user interface. foobar's developer also includes an open component architecture allowing third-party developers to extend functionality of the player. foobar2000 allows you to easily use multiple playlists and utilize features to remove both duplicates and dead items. foobar handles multiple popular audio formats, including: MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, MPC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Ogg FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU, SND, and CDDA without the need for plugins to play all of those formats.There are also features to support viewing album art, browing your media library, having visualizations and configuring the equalizer. Download: foobar2000 1.1.4 (3.10MB, *.exe) Information: Changes | Release Notes Homepage: foobar2000 View the full article
  14. Today the long awaited service pack for Windows 7 has been released to the world. This is the very first service pack for the Windows 7 OS. As we have previously reported, there will be only a few new features that many users may not notice. One of those features is RemoteFx, which provides rich 3-D graphical experience for remote users. Ready to download SP1 for Windows 7? As of this news post, only the ISO which contains the service pack installers for x86, x64 and ia64 is available. As the others become available, we'll be sure to update this post with the links. Until such time, the ISO is available and we'll provide the link. It's highly recommended to get the service pack update from Windows Update. Simply access your Control Panel and click on Windows Update. If no updates are showing up, click Check for Updates. If your Windows Update is not working then we recommend running the Microsoft Fixit for Windows Update. Downloads: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) ISO (contains both x86/32 bit and x64/64 bit) Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) x86/32 bit EXE (537.8 MB) Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) x64/64 bit EXE (903.2 MB) Windows 7 SP1 download page View the full article
  15. foobar2000 is a comprehensive, easy to use audio player for Windows. Featuring full Unicode support, advanced tagging capabilities, customizable hotkeys, ReplayGain to help correct your audio and many more useful utilities to assist your media library. There are multiple ways to configure and customize your user interface. foobar's developer also includes an open component architecture allowing third-party developers to extend functionality of the player. foobar2000 allows you to easily use multiple playlists and utilize features to remove both duplicates and dead items. foobar handles multiple popular audio formats, including: MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, MPC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Ogg FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU, SND, and CDDA without the need for plugins to play all of those formats.There are also features to support viewing album art, browing your media library, having visualizations and configuring the equalizer. Download: foobar2000 1.1.3 (3.10MB, *.exe) Information: Changes | Release Notes Homepage: foobar2000 View the full article
  16. Raw first-week sales numbers are often used to indicate the efficacy of a product's launch. But really, the thing these numbers best represent is the level of user excitement. Today, Microsoft revealed that users were very excited about Internet Explorer 9 RC, which launched last week. According to Microsoft, IE9 RC was downloaded 2 million times in the six days following its launch. While a big number, it's doubly significant because these were users who actively downloaded the software without a Windows Update auto update, or a system alert telling them an update was available. These users knew the update was there and went out and got it. View the full article
  17. Raw first-week sales numbers are often used to indicate the efficacy of a product's launch. But really, the thing these numbers best represent is the level of user excitement. Today, Microsoft revealed that users were very excited about Internet Explorer 9 RC, which launched last week. According to Microsoft, IE9 RC was downloaded 2 million times in the six days following its launch. While a big number, it's doubly significant because these were users who actively downloaded the software without a Windows Update auto update, or a system alert telling them an update was available. These users knew the update was there and went out and got it. View the full article
  18. Windows 7 SP1 RTM is now available to MSDN and TechNet customers. Microsoft posted its final build of Windows 7 SP1 to MSDN and TechNet customers on Wednesday. Copies of Microsoft’s Windows 7 SP1 RTM update leaked last month to file sharing websites ahead of its release. Microsoft has confirmed 7601.17514.101119-1850 is the final RTM. The software giant will offer the build to the public on February 22 and it is expected to be released to Windows Update shortly afterwards. Work on Windows 7 SP2 has already begun as early as fall 2010. Microsoft is reportedly planning 132 updates for x86 Windows 7 SP2 and 171 updates for x64 Windows 7 SP2 at the time of writing. Microsoft hasn’t officially started talking about SP2 but expect it to land in the 2012 timeframe. SP1 will include RemoteFX which provides rich 3-D graphical experience for remote users. The service pack also will include a series of incremental updates, previously released on Windows Update for both Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. View the full article
  19. Windows 7 SP1 RTM is now available to MSDN and TechNet customers. Microsoft posted its final build of Windows 7 SP1 to MSDN and TechNet customers on Wednesday. Copies of Microsoft’s Windows 7 SP1 RTM update leaked last month to file sharing websites ahead of its release. Microsoft has confirmed 7601.17514.101119-1850 is the final RTM. The software giant will offer the build to the public on February 22 and it is expected to be released to Windows Update shortly afterwards. Work on Windows 7 SP2 has already begun as early as fall 2010. Microsoft is reportedly planning 132 updates for x86 Windows 7 SP2 and 171 updates for x64 Windows 7 SP2 at the time of writing. Microsoft hasn’t officially started talking about SP2 but expect it to land in the 2012 timeframe. SP1 will include RemoteFX which provides rich 3-D graphical experience for remote users. The service pack also will include a series of incremental updates, previously released on Windows Update for both Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. View the full article
  20. Google today announced 2-step verification for account holders. The new security feature is rolling out gradually; I haven't received the update and so couldn't test the new feature. I like the concept but wonder how many people will bother to set it up or will cringe at the steps required to use it. Like so many other cloud services, Google requires a username and password to login @gmail.com. The new mechanism adds a verification code received by cell phone. Additionally, there are 16-digit app-specific codes for e-mail clients and other applications. The extra layer of security is compelling, but is in some ways daunting. In a blog post, Nis*** Shah, Google security product manager, said 2-step verification could take as long as 15 minutes to set up. "Once you enable 2-step verification, you'll see an extra page that prompts you for a code when you sign in to your account. After entering your password, Google will call you with the code, send you an SMS message or give you the choice to generate the code for yourself using a mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. The choice is up to you. When you enter this code after correctly submitting your password we'll have a pretty good idea that the person signing in is actually you." View the full article
  21. Google today announced 2-step verification for account holders. The new security feature is rolling out gradually; I haven't received the update and so couldn't test the new feature. I like the concept but wonder how many people will bother to set it up or will cringe at the steps required to use it. Like so many other cloud services, Google requires a username and password to login @gmail.com. The new mechanism adds a verification code received by cell phone. Additionally, there are 16-digit app-specific codes for e-mail clients and other applications. The extra layer of security is compelling, but is in some ways daunting. In a blog post, Nis*** Shah, Google security product manager, said 2-step verification could take as long as 15 minutes to set up. "Once you enable 2-step verification, you'll see an extra page that prompts you for a code when you sign in to your account. After entering your password, Google will call you with the code, send you an SMS message or give you the choice to generate the code for yourself using a mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. The choice is up to you. When you enter this code after correctly submitting your password we'll have a pretty good idea that the person signing in is actually you." View the full article
  22. I gave up on Internet Explorer way back at IE7. As a user interface developer, the CSS and JavaScript workarounds created way too much unnecessary work. So I turned my attention to the next best thing at that time, which was Firefox. It was the most standards-compliant browser on the market at that time. Its plugins (e.g., FireBug) made my work easier and much more enjoyable. So as I spent more time with it as a developer guess what happened? I also became a regular user. The IE9 Release Candidate, which Microsoft posted today, may change all that again. IE9 is the first Microsoft browser in years that has me excited about UI development. Finally, I can see a future void of the many CSS hacks necessary to get a page to play nice with IE. There are five features in this release candidate I am excited about as a UI developer. View the full article
  23. I gave up on Internet Explorer way back at IE7. As a user interface developer, the CSS and JavaScript workarounds created way too much unnecessary work. So I turned my attention to the next best thing at that time, which was Firefox. It was the most standards-compliant browser on the market at that time. Its plugins (e.g., FireBug) made my work easier and much more enjoyable. So as I spent more time with it as a developer guess what happened? I also became a regular user. The IE9 Release Candidate, which Microsoft posted today, may change all that again. IE9 is the first Microsoft browser in years that has me excited about UI development. Finally, I can see a future void of the many CSS hacks necessary to get a page to play nice with IE. There are five features in this release candidate I am excited about as a UI developer. View the full article
  24. Agnitum has released version 7.1 of its flagship product, Outpost Security Suite FREE. It's a maintenance upgrade for the most part, with under-the-hood bug fixes and minor tweaks, but there are some notable exceptions. Top of the list is the inclusion of a second anti-malware engine. The suite now includes one antivirus engine, and a second focused on spyware, adware and trojans. The company claimed in a blog post that this offers "double the protection" and "more targeted security for Windows users"; there are no related controls or options exposed in the interface, though, so you can continue to use Outpost Security Suite as you always have. View the full article
  25. Agnitum has released version 7.1 of its flagship product, Outpost Security Suite FREE. It's a maintenance upgrade for the most part, with under-the-hood bug fixes and minor tweaks, but there are some notable exceptions. Top of the list is the inclusion of a second anti-malware engine. The suite now includes one antivirus engine, and a second focused on spyware, adware and trojans. The company claimed in a blog post that this offers "double the protection" and "more targeted security for Windows users"; there are no related controls or options exposed in the interface, though, so you can continue to use Outpost Security Suite as you always have. View the full article
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