Showing posts from June, 2016

New this week: Bux

If you're anything like us you probably find the idea of trading on the stock market slightly intimidating, but Bux eases you in and alleviates that fear by turning the whole thing into a game, literally.
Rather than trading real money you can start out by using 'FunBux' - an in-game currency which you start with 1000 of and can use in place of real money to trade and invest in real stocks, currencies, commodities and indices.
This is the real stock market, so however many FunBux you make or lose is exactly the amount of real money you'd have made or lost.
Bux isn't the only stocks app to offer virtual currency, but it also simplifies the whole process, with a slick interface and explanations for every screen, so you can easily learn the basics, along with articles written for the app which highlight the latest happenings in the stock market.
It's fun just to play as a game, but if you're feeling brave you can graduate to using real currency…

Best Android apps 2016: download these now

Best Android apps - introductionThe Google Play store has exploded in recent years, with a proliferation of apps that can cater to your every need. The problem is: there are just too many of them, even with Editor's Picks, Featured and Best Selling, Top Paid and Top Free categories there to help
What's the best phone of 2016? And that's why we made this list. Like you we want the best apps for our Android phones. The apps that are going to revolutionise functionality or, at the very least, offer something so great that it becomes one of the must-have apps that has to be downloaded whenever you get a new handset.
The following apps will be constantly updated and are a mixture of paid and free ones and have been chosen by our Android experts. So, even if you do dip into actual cash for one of these apps, you are safe in the knowledge that it is a worthwhile purchase.

Oops! Windows 10 Anniversary Update release date accidentally revealed

A slip up at Microsoft means the release date for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update was accidentally revealed. Microsoft promised to release the update by late summer, and the leaked August 2 date makes good on that promise, assuming the update will be ready by that time. We've reached out to Microsoft for comment about the release date.
So why should you care about the Windows 10 Anniversary update? Well, it's going to be a huge package of upgrades that Microsoft created after listening to feedback from users. For example, the Start menu will have an improved all apps list and tablets will finally have a full-screen apps list again.
Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant will also get an upgrade and will proactively make your life easier. For example, Cortana will offer to hail an Uber or order you dinner if you're staying late at the office.
Microsoft's Edge browser is also getting a huge upgrade in the form of extension support. The browser is sp…

The US Navy is pushing ahead with its electromagnetic cannon

For several years, the US Navy has been working on a new kind of cannon called a 'railgun'. Powered not by explosives but by electromagnetic forces, it would represent a massive shift in artillery technology.
The railgun was invented in 1918 by French scientist Louis Octave Fauchon-Villeplee, based on previous work on a somewhat-similar coilgun. He showed that a projectile could be propelled by the magnetic field induced by a current passing along two rails.
The problem was the energy requirements. During WW2, Germany's Ordnance Office put together proposals for such a weapon, but after the war a US report into those designs found that firing it would require enough power to illuminate half of Chicago.
Slowly, though, as power generation technology has improved, a railgun has become more and more viable. In 2008, the US Navy tested an early prototype - sending a three-kilogram bullet through the air at seven times the speed of sound.
Further and Faster As long …

The best free file recovery software 2016

Restore lost or deleted files Data recovery can be an expensive business, which is why it's no substitute for backing up your key documents, photos and other data on a regular basis. But that's of little comfort to anyone – even those with good backup regimens – who suddenly find themselves confronted by the stomach-churning feeling of data loss.
As soon as you've become aware of data loss, it's critical you stop using the drive affected immediately. Whether the drive itself is failing or you've simply deleted a file accidentally, this is the golden moment when you may be able to get your data back without an expensive purchase or trip to a data recovery specialist.
We've cherry-picked five of the best free data recovery tools in the business. Just pick the one closest to your requirements and with a bit of luck (and no small measure of help from the app involved), you could yet save your files.
DMDE Free Edition can recover lost data from a huge n…

Best app launcher: Launchy

The Start menu has been much-maligned since the transition to Windows 8 and 10. Perhaps this is an issue of personal taste or nostalgia, or perhaps Microsoft's renovations really were that poor – we'll leave that up to you to decide.
While Launchy doesn't directly replace said menu (try the excellent Classic Shell for a Windows 7-style experience) it does show that there's a better way of doing things. A quicker way to get your apps launched, without using the mouse at all.
Just hit Alt+Spacebar to pop Launchy up, and start typing to find your chosen app. But it doesn't just run programs – Launchy knows where your files are so you can type part of a filename to start it, or even start typing a directory name to automatically open an Explorer window at that location. Windows' own search facility replicates many of these features, but we reckon Launchy does it a lot better and far less intrusively.

Best PC cleaning software: PC Decrapifier

Just about every new PC, if you don't set it up yourself, comes complete with a whole raft of software you neither want or need. But that second part of the equation can be a little difficult to fathom sometimes – who knows if removing a particular application will cripple your machine? Well, PC Decrapifier knows.
Run it on a fresh machine and PCD will skim through everything your PC's manufacturer has snuck in there, matching apps against its database to give you information about what the software does and whether it's safe to remove. You'll usually be able to wipe the offending software clean quickly and easily, often in an unattended manner.
So if you're picking up a new laptop, make sure you have this on hand – and PCD is even useful for cleaning up well-used Windows installations.

Best media player: PotPlayer

Continuing the leftfield choices, we've plumped for PotPlayer over VLC for those times when you just want to play some media without going through the rigmarole of adding it to Plex's library. Why? Well, we've found it to be slightly more stable than recent versions of VLC, and it comes with numerous codecs as well as OpenCodec support for those more obscure files.
PotPlayer is overflowing with cool features to make your viewing experience absolutely perfect, too – we're impressed with its wide range of filters, which can clean up murky video rips (or compensate for dodgy monitors) rather nicely. PotPlayer is also clever enough to analyse filenames and automatically pick up the next episode if you're watching a TV series. Just make sure you name your files appropriately.

Best media centre: Plex

This is a bit of an unusual pick, perhaps, but we've found no media front-end we like more than the browser-based Plex. Providing you have a machine powerful enough to handle its transcoding features, it's the absolute best way to stream your entire media library to all of the devices around your home – tablets, computers, games consoles – regardless of screen size.
You can even use Plex to stream your media library over the web, giving you access on mobile devices wherever you are – transcoded down appropriately, you can watch and listen over 4G without hammering your data cap too severely.
Perhaps Plex's best feature is the ability to appropriately present your (legitimately obtained) media utilising a number of sources around the web, with episode guides, artwork and more automatically imported. If you're looking for a one-machine media centre, it's worth considering Kodi, which can run on the cheap-as-chips Raspberry Pi – but if you have processing…

Best audio editor: Audacity

Audacity isn't the most advanced editor around, but it's absolutely perfect for tweaking audio levels, reducing hiss and noise, and performing basic equalisation thanks to its wide range of built-in effects. You can use it to convert audio between formats, and record directly into it – with a live waveform display which is handy for keeping an eye on your levels.
Audacity's key selling point – as if it needed one, being free – is its multi-track editing interface, which is perfect for cutting and splicing together podcasts and such. Do be warned, however, that this app requires negotiating a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

Best photo editor: Gimp

Every time we write about this package we have to apologise for its name. It's actually short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, a hint to its open source origins, and it's a free photo editor that can do (almost) everything Photoshop can without the price tag.
Gimp isn't just for photos, of course – if you're looking to create a logo, resize images for the web, or do any kind of image manipulation it's precisely the sort of tool you'll want to have on hand. It handles layers, masks, paths and numerous gilders with aplomb.
One recommendation, though: the default multi-window mode can be a bit jarring, so switching to single-window (pictured) is well worth your time and gives a much more Photoshop-esque feel.

Best antimalware: Spybot Free

Spybot is dedicated to seeking out and eradicating the little things your antivirus won't catch: tracking cookies, spyware, browser hijacks and the like. Unlike antivirus, it's not an app you absolutely need to leave running all the time – an occasional blast is all it takes to clean up the mess and potentially leave your PC running faster.
For deeper protection, Spybot can assist you with switching off startup items, and immunise your machine against known malware sites and malicious cookies.
Once upon a time we might have put Malwarebytes Antimalware in this spot, but it's now available only as a free trial – if you have a problem that Spybot can't seem to fix, it's one to consider, though.

Best antivirus: Avira Free Antivirus

Our always-connected computers are, by the same token, always vulnerable. So it would be foolish not to take the negligible performance hit and run decent antivirus software. Our favourite freebie, ignoring its frequent pleas to upgrade to the paid version, is Avira.
It uses a cloud-based network to ensure all of its users are protected against the latest nasties as soon as a new one crops up in the wild, it can discover trojans and other malware hidden in legitimate apps, and has a straightforward, easy-to-use interface. And, most importantly, it hit a 100% detection rate on AV-Test's latest round of antivirus punishment, so you can rest relatively easy.

Best office suite: LibreOffice

Creating documents might seem like the sort of thing you'd only trust to a paid package like Microsoft Office. But LibreOffice – the forked, superior successor to OpenOffice – lacks little compared to its venerable competitor.
It's fully compatible with opening and saving files in all of Microsoft's standard formats as well as the widely supported Open Document Format, and you'll find all of the formatting and formula tools you'd expect in a high-end office package.
With a word processor (Writer), a spreadsheet (Calc), Powerpoint-style presentation software (Impress), a database (Base) and more, this package is ready for just about anything. LibreOffice is, admittedly, not highly polished – we've learned to cope with the occasional crash – but it's by far the best free office suite around.

Best web browser: Google Chrome

While Microsoft is putting up a heck of a fight with Edge – the rejuvenated, rebranded Internet Explorer – and Mozilla's Firefox is a competent, memory-friendly browser, we still find ourselves recommending Google's Chrome browser over any other.
It's super-stable, highly compatible, and comes with a huge catalogue of free extensions to fully customise your web experience or intercept security threats. Signing in to it with your Google account means your bookmarks, browsing history and personal configuration will move with you to whichever machine you're on.
Chrome's key feature is one you won't necessarily see: it runs each of its tabs in a distinct memory space, meaning a crash in one won't take down your whole browser. This isn't necessarily friendly to machines with small amounts of RAM, then, but Chrome is still the best browser around.


1. Microsoft Games for Windows - LIVE Full version of Games for Windows - LIVE v3.5. 1257775 2. Sonic Games 1.0 A nice collection of Sonic games. 1037375 3. Stress Relief 2.0Pick Virtually pound your computer into submission with multiple weapons. 916563 4. CheatBook-DataBase 2009 v1.0Pick Cheat-code tracker for games on the PC and 17 different Consoles. 700286 5. CheatBook-DataBase 2012Pick Compilation of Cheats for over 21,000 Games for PC and Console. 589501 6. Danys Virtual Drum 2.0 Beta 4Pick A realistic drum simulator with a host of features and recording option. 523585 7. Knight Online MMO v2047Pick Knight Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. 509651 8. Continuum 0.40 Massively Multiplayer Spaceship Game. 483985 9. Little Fighter 2Pick A fighting game which features adolescents fighting on the street. 459397 10. CheatBook-DataBase 2010Pick A freeware cheat-code tracker with hints for several popular PC and 18 console gaming systems.