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Software Article (17)

PCMark 8 Review

PCMark 8 Review

» June 12, 2013 05:00PM

Removing and Wiping Drivers Guide

Removing and Wiping Drivers Guide

» May 20, 2013 05:00PM

Free Anti-Virus Comparison Review

Free Anti-Virus Comparison Review

» April 8, 2013 05:00PM

Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark Tool Walk Through

Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark Tool Walk Through

» March 19, 2013 05:00PM

Unigine Heaven 4.0 Benchmark Tool Walk Through

Unigine Heaven 4.0 Benchmark Tool Walk Through

» March 11, 2013 05:00PM


Software News (408)

Skype TX Announced by Microsoft

Category: Software
Posted: April 7, 2014 11:55AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Skype is used by various radio stations and video channels to bring callers into broadcasts. While it has been decent at doing so, Microsoft has decided to launch a revised version of Skype that is specifically aimed at audio and video broadcasters. The new version, dubbed Skype TX, offers higher quality audio and video while also supporting the HD-SDI interface. Skype TX also handles multiple calls through a single interface and eliminates advertisements as well as call notifications.

Availability and pricing have not yet been announced for Skype TX.

Source: Engadget



AIDA64 Benchmark Receives an Update

Category: Software
Posted: March 26, 2014 03:35PM
Author: Nick Harezga

FinalWire has updated the AIDA64 benchmark software to version 4.30, offering a number of improvements over the previous release, version 4.0. Some of the highlights of the new version include a new OpenCL GPGPU benchmark suite, CUDA 6.0 support, optimized benchmarks for a number of newer Intel and AMD platforms, and support for Windows 8.1 Update 1. With the new GPGPU suite users will be able to measure performance of the SHA-1 hash algorithm, which can then be compared to results obtained from CPUs. The software will be available at multiple pricing tiers for the AIDA64 Business, Network Audit, Engineer, and Extreme editions.

Source: FinalWire



Apple Releases GarageBand Update

Category: Software
Posted: March 21, 2014 02:13AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Apple has released a new update for GarageBand for Mac that brings the music application up to version 10.0.2. The newest version brings back the ability to export music to MP3 format, which was originally removed from GarageBand in the initial release of version 10. Apple has made improvements to the music recording and editing program by implementing multiple enhancements to Accessibility while improving stability and addressing software bugs. GarageBand 10.0.2 also includes three new Drummers and drum kits from the rock, songwriter, and R&B genres.

The latest update for GarageBand is the second update for version 10, with the first being pushed out to users last November.

Source: 9to5Mac



Comcast Adds More Channels to Xfinity TV Go Application

Category: Software
Posted: March 19, 2014 08:35AM
Author: Brentt Moore

While the Comcast Xfinity TV Go application has been available for Android and iOS devices as of November of last year, it initially only offered viewers on-demand content. Live shows are available now, and Comcast has announced that the application is improving on its channel lineup availability, by adding 18 more channels. Users of the Xfinity TV Go application will notice additional channels available for viewing, such as A&E, History, Starz, Syfy, TBS, TNT, and USA. Other channels are available as well due to the announcement, which puts the total count over 50 for the Comcast Xfinity TV Go application.

Source: The Verge



Additional Applications Available for PlayStation Vita

Category: Software
Posted: March 19, 2014 08:10AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Sony has brought more applications to its ever popular handheld gaming unit, the PlayStation Vita. Now available for immediate download from the PlayStation Store are applications such as Crunchyroll, NHL GameCenter LIVE, and Qello Concerts. Sony also announced that media applications, including Hulu Plus and Redbox Instant, will be available for download on March 25, 2014. Fitness application Gaiam TV will be available later this spring, with a more specific release timeframe unavailable. All of these applications should cater to the wide audience of users that own and operate the PlayStation Vita for gaming and multimedia needs.

Source: PlayStation Blog



Unity 5 Officially Announced, with Plenty of New Features and Improvements

Category: Software
Posted: March 18, 2014 03:29PM
Author: ClayMeow


Unity Technologies has officially announced Unity 5 at GDC today, to be released later this year. Unity 5 will contain a slew of new features, along with upgrades and optimizations to existing ones. Some of the major changes include the move to a 64-bit editor, a new multi-threaded job system, real-time global illumination via Enlighten, physically based shading, an upgrade to NVIDIA PhysX 3.3, a complete audio overhaul, early access to a WebGL add-on, and a new GUI system. Unity 5 will also bring with it the launch Unity Cloud, which allows mobile developers to utilize ads, cross-promotions, and more without the need for third-party SDK. All these features and many more are shown in the Unity 5 Feature Preview video below:

Unity 5 is currently available for pre-order from the Unity store, with varying prices depending on whether you have a current Unity Pro license. As per the norm, there will be a free version of Unity 5, but obviously there's no pre-ordering for it. The new GUI system will also be included in Unity 4.6, which has officially been announced as the last major update for the Unity 4 cycle, arriving this Spring. If you happen to be attending GDC this week, you can stop at the Unity booth to see a demo of Madfinger Games' Dead Trigger 2 running on WebGL, the JavaScript API that doesn't require plug-ins in most modern browsers.

Source: Press Release and Unity Blog
 




Plex Now Available To All Chromecast Users

Category: Software
Posted: March 14, 2014 01:07PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Previously, Plex video playback support was only available on Chromecast to subscribers of the media management service. Plex premium account holders were able to cast their video collection onto their television from a smartphone by using Google’s latest HDMI streaming media player. Now, all Plex users will be able to do the same, as Plex has released an application update that expands the feature set and availability of the media management application. Besides the wider audience that Plex is sure to reach now due to the update, the company has added content mirroring which allows users to cast details onto a television while browsing available media. Content filtering is now present as well, providing users of Plex the ability to filter media dependent on various factors.

Users can access the new features found within the Plex update, to include Chromecast steaming, by simply updating their Android or iOS application.

Source PC Magazine



New Office 365 Subscription Announced

Category: Software
Posted: March 14, 2014 12:11PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Microsoft has announced a new, cheaper, Office 365 subscription that is tailored to smaller homes and individuals. Office 365 Personal will offer access to Microsoft Office applications on one PC or Mac machine and one tablet. Users of the newly announced Office 365 version will still receive 60 minutes of Skype calling per month, 20GB of additional OneDrive storage, and the latest versions of Microsoft Office applications. Office 365 Personal will be available for customers to subscribe to during spring of this year, costing $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.

With the addition of the new Office 365 Personal subscription, Office 365 Home Premium will change its name to Office 365 Home, while still providing access on up to five PC or Mac computers.

Source: NDTV Gadgets



Skype for Xbox One Receives First Update

Category: Software
Posted: March 14, 2014 11:34AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Although Skype has been available on the Xbox One since November of last year, the instant messaging, voice calling, and video chatting application has just received its first update. A first time tutorial is now available upon initially starting the chatting application which walks users through the ins and outs of communicating with their contacts. The Skype team has improved the chat portion of the application, incorporating push notifications, synchronized messages across multiple devices, and increased chat history storage. Xbox One users will notice that the application now supports the filtering of contacts, making it easy to find who is online. Various bugs have also been fixed in the first update to Skype for Xbox One, which makes the program more stable overall.

Source: Skype Blog



Google Updates Chrome Before Hacking Competitions

Category: Software
Posted: March 13, 2014 05:46AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Just one day before the annual hacking competitions sponsored by Google go underway, known as Pwnium and Pwn2Own, an update has been released for Google Chrome to patch seven vulnerabilities. The latest update to Google Chrome, released as version 33.0.1750.149 under the Stable Channel, is applicable to Windows, Mac, and Linux builds. Four vulnerabilities that were fixed by Google were labeled as high, which is one step under the highest classification of critical. Three flaws in the Google Chrome rendering engine, known as V8, were also remedied. Flash Player was updated as well to version 12.0.0.77.

Those who use Google Chrome should receive the latest update automatically, though users can manually check for the update through the about page within the Internet browser.

Source: CNET and Google Chrome Releases Blog



Instagram Releases Updated Android Application

Category: Software
Posted: March 11, 2014 04:38PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Instagram has released a new update to its Android application, which not only improves performance of the image application but also improves overall device compatibility. The new update, known as version 5.1, uses a new design that makes the application look more refined. The new design also offers performance benefits, with profiles loading around twice as fast as before and the overall application size reduced by half. Users of larger phones will notice that buttons are rearranged for ease of use, while users of smaller devices will benefit from an efficient use of  screen space. The latest Instagram for Android update supports devices of all types, with its quicker and sleeker user interface.

Users of Instagram can download the latest Android client from Google Play.

Source: Instagram Blog



Firelight's FMOD Studio Now Free for Indie Developers

Category: Software
Posted: March 11, 2014 08:02AM
Author: ClayMeow

While Firelight Technologies' audio tool suite FMOD Studio has always been free for non-commercial projects, starting today it will now also be free for commercial, low-budget indie projects. In a statement released by Firelight CEO Brett Paterson, he explained: "We started out as an indie company so we've always felt an affinity with the indie community. They're risk takers, innovators and explorers. We wanted to give back to that community and we can't wait to see what they do with FMOD Studio."

For titles with a budget of $100,000 USD or less, FMOD Studio used to require a $500 USD licensing fee, but is now completely free. Compared to $3,000 USD for budgets between $100,000-$500,000 USD, and $15,000 USD for budgets at or above $500,000 USD, this is quite the deal. There is also no restriction on platforms, nor do you have to sign any license agreement. The only requirement is that "FMOD must be credited in game or in documentation for your title."

The recently released FMOD Studio 1.3 also added some nice new functionality that should help indie developers, including a Unity integration plug-in and a "Plugin SDK for creating sound generators and effects with examples on GitHub." If you question FMOD Studio's abilities, know that it's been used in several big AAA titles, "including Forza Motorsport 5, which recently won an IGN award for best audio on Xbox One." FMOD also states that the program has been popular with iOS and Android developers.

Source: Press Release and Sales Page



BlackBerry Reassures BBM Users of Advertisements

Category: Software
Posted: March 5, 2014 11:07AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Although BlackBerry will be implementing advertisements within the BlackBerry Messenger service, it is reassuring users that the advertisements will not be located within actual chats. Jeff Gadway, BBM product and brand marketing chief, revealed that creators of BBM channels will be able to push sponsored posts and invites to subscribers. Gadway also announced that users of the BBM service will likely see three different types of advertisements, which differ slightly from each other. Featured placements will appear within the landing page for featured channels, and will be used by channels to gain new subscribers. Sponsored invites will target individuals based on age, interests, location, and other data and will allow channels to invite individuals based on this information. Sponsored posts will appear within updates from BBM Contacts and BBM Channels, offering updates from other channels.

While the advertisements will not be found within actual chats, users can only disable sponsored posts by filtering updates and will have no choice on being targeted by featured placements and sponsored invites.

Source: CNET



Valve Unleashes Steam Family Library Sharing

Category: Software
Posted: March 1, 2014 04:54AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Valve has announced that the Steam feature that allows the sharing of game libraries, known as Family Library Sharing, is now out of beta and available to all members of Steam. The feature enables gamers that utilize the Steam service to share their library of games with other users on a specific computer. Steam users must be online while games are accessed and shared, and up to 10 devices may be authorized at one time. The feature can only share entire libraries however, and not individual games, and there are some limitations. For example, games that require a subscription or an additional third-party key are unavailable to share with others.

Steam users that have Steam Guard enabled can access the newly available feature through the settings menu of the software

Source: Steam



Google Adds Voice Capabilities to Chrome

Category: Software
Posted: February 27, 2014 02:12PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Within the latest beta release for Google Chrome, the search engine giant has added voice recognition capbitlities. The introduction of the feature follows the same style of voice recognition that has been present within Android devices for some time now. The voice recognition feature allows users to speak various commands that Google recognizes, simply by starting off their request by voicing "Ok Google." Some examples of possible voice recognition abilities include searching the Internet, setting a timer, and even setting a reminder for Google Now.

Users of the latest Google Chrome beta can enable this new feature by going to the Google website, clicking on the mic icon within the search box, and selecting the button that reads "Enable Ok Google."

Source: Google Chrome Blog



Facebook to Shut Down Messenger for Windows

Category: Software
Posted: February 27, 2014 11:05AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Facebook has revealed to users that its Facebook Messenger application for Windows will cease to function come March 3, 2014. The service, which was originally introduced in March, 2012, allowed Facebook users to communicate with other Facebook contacts without having to go to the website through their Internet browser. The social networking site has stated that it is shutting down the standalone Messenger application for Windows because it is more focused around building the best mobile experience possible for its users.

While Facebook Messenger will no longer work for Windows starting early next week, it can still be installed and utilized on Android and iOS devices.

Source: Neowin



Skype Reveals Full Support for Microsoft Accounts

Category: Software
Posted: February 26, 2014 05:27PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Skype, which is a Microsoft owned company, has revealed that it now fully supports Microsoft accounts. Users who do not currently have access to Skype can register for the service by using their credentials associated with a Microsoft account. This allows users to simplify their login process, as it is one less username and password to remember, while also providing users with notable features. Not only does signing in into Skype with a Microsoft account provide users with a seamless transfer of their personal settings and contacts, the account offers two-step verification for security as well as enhanced password recovery.

Users who do not have a Microsoft account can still register for Skype by using a Facebook account.

Source: Skype Blog



Microsoft Releases First Service Pack for Office 2013

Category: Software
Posted: February 25, 2014 01:45PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Available for immediate download from the Microsoft website, as well as through Windows Update, the first service pack for Office 2013 has been released. The first service pack for the latest office suite offered by Microsoft is a milestone for the company, as it marks the period where most users will consider upgrading from previous versions of Microsoft Office. As with other service packs offered by Microsoft, all of the updates previously pushed out to Office 2013 have been rolled into the one download. The update is available for both 32 and 64-bit variants of the software, and ranges in size from 643MB to 774MB, dependent solely on installation options.

Source: Neowin



GPU-Z 0.7.7 Now Available

Category: Software
Posted: February 15, 2014 10:36PM
Author: Brentt Moore

In a recent update to the popular graphics monitoring and diagnostic software from TechPowerUp, GPU-Z 0.7.7 is now available for download. The latest update fixes bugs that were previously present within the utility, adds support for more architectures and graphics cards, and incorporates an adjustable Sensor refresh rate. TechPowerUp has noted that NVIDIA Maxwell support has been improved, along with GM107 TMU and shader count being fixed. Support has been introduced for the NVIDIA Tesla K20Xm, NVIDIA GTX 860M, and AMD Radeon HD 8210. CHiL8214 voltage monitoring for Pitcairn/Curacao cards has been added too, rounding out the changes introduced within the latest update to GPU-Z.

Source: TechPowerUp



Skype Update Brings Important Fixes

Category: Software
Posted: February 13, 2014 04:51PM
Author: Brentt Moore

In the latest update released for Skype, the development team for the service has reported that many improvements have been brought to the software. Before the update, users were reporting synchronization problems, where messages read on one device would still show as unread on other devices connected to the same account. The update promises to resolve this issue, making sure that messages are properly synched across all devices to include tablets, smartphones, computers, televisions, and more. The update also features improved loading times for Skype across various devices, along with an improvement in regards to how much battery the application uses. Elaine Ansell, the senior product marketing manager at Skype, also noted that Skype will now correctly deliver messages sent to contacts, even if the contact is offline at the time of the message being transmitted.

Source: Skype Blog



Xbox Music Application Update Coming for Windows 8.1

Category: Software
Posted: February 10, 2014 08:34PM
Author: Brentt Moore

In a recent announcement made by a Microsoft Most Valuable Partner, Marques Lyons, the Xbox Music application for Windows 8.1 will be receiving an update. For the most part, the update will bring various bug fixes and improvements, but will also add other features that are worth noting. These additional features include the ability to view which albums contain an explicit rating, as well as an integrated view in the now playing screen that shows information about the song that played prior as well as the song that is slated to play next.

The update is expected to be pushed immediately to Windows 8.1 machines that contain the Xbox Music application.

Source: PCWorld


Adobe Flash Receives Critical Security Update

Category: Software
Posted: February 5, 2014 05:25PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Adobe released new versions of its Flash player software for Internet browsers today, due to vulnerabilities that were recently discovered by the software developer. The various vulnerabilities could possibly allow a hacker exploit an individual system and take control of the computer remotely, according to the Adobe Product Security Incident Response Team. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems are affected, though the priority rating assigned for Linux is lower than the both Windows and Macintosh, which received the highest rating possible for vulnerability exploitation. Additionally, users of Google Chrome and Internet Explorer are most at risk, with the version updates being pushed heavily to the two Internet browsers.

Source: CNET



Steam Music Announced

Category: Software
Posted: February 4, 2014 05:53AM
Author: Tobias Thydal

Steam is ever expanding, and now the company has announced yet another feature, the Steam Music. This feature will integrate a music player into the Steam client, so users can more easily control their music, while playing a game on Steam.

The way it will work is that users move MP3 files, which is currently the only supported format, into a music library, and they will then be able to sort the files by directory, album, artist, or track. They will also be able to create playlists, which I am sure will become shareable through Steam community. What makes this smart is that users can manage the music they want to hear without having to alt+tab out of the game every time they want to change artist or have to stop the music to hear a specific dialogue or whatever other problem might arise. 

To gain beta acces to the Steam Music feature, users can join the Steam Music community group, which Steam uses to select beta testers from, and it is also a place to share thoughts and ideas for the new feature. Some of the requested features already requested are more supported file formats, such as lossless FLAC and OGG, and integration of Spotify, last.fm and Google Music.

Source: Ars Technica



Google Offers Cast SDK for Chromecast

Category: Software
Posted: February 3, 2014 04:59PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google is making the Cast Software Development Kit (SDK) available to developers to allow integration with the streaming device in more software applications. Google is hoping that this will help to expand the pool of apps that currently work with the device to bring more of your favorite media to your television. Chromecast Product Manager Ambarish Kenghe said, "Just be on the lookout for the cast button in your favorite apps and websites across Android, iOS and Chrome."

Source: Google



LibreOffice Improves Calc Performance

Category: Software
Posted: January 30, 2014 10:43AM
Author: Brentt Moore

In its largest code refactoring ever, LibreOffice has overhauled its spreadsheet program known as Calc. The new update for Calc, which comes with LibreOffice 4.2, improves performance when handling large sets of data. LibreOffice has introduced a formula interpreter that enables the calculation of formula cells, by making use of both the central processing unit and graphics processing unit. OpenCL is efficiently used, which allows applications like Calc to make use of the computing power of a GPU. The company specifically stated that the new formula interpreter works best with Heterogeneous System Architecture systems.

Italo Vignoli, the spokesman for LibreOffice, stated that due to LibreOffice being created during the nineties, the architecture of the suite needed updated since it was not modern. Vignoli also noted that the new version of Calc not only improves performance for users that manage large spreadsheets, but that it also sees the addition of improved charting features.

LibreOffice 4.2 includes many other improvements for the suite besides the refactoring of Calc, and is available for immediate download.

Source: PCWorld



Razer Synapse 2.0 Incorporates Warranty Support

Category: Software
Posted: January 28, 2014 04:58PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Announced earlier today, warranty support has been implemented into the hardware configuration platform by Razer known as Razer Synapse 2.0. The platform by Razer allows gamers to upload their personalized hardware settings to a centralized repository in the cloud, and now allows gamers to do the same with warranty information for their Razer devices. This important addition to the Razer Synapse 2.0 software removes the need for customers to provide proof-of-purchase for product returns. Serial numbers provided in the newly added opt-in warranty function can be verified by Razer and make the return process less cumbersome, should customers need to initiate the return of a product. It is worth noting that other Razer gear can be registered as well, such as mouse mats and analog headsets. Min-Liang Tan, the co-founder, CEO, and creative director at Razer, stated that warranty implementation into Razer Synapse 2.0 is the most easily accessible and most functional warranty system of its kind.

Source: Press Release



ADATA Releases New SSD Utilities Software

Category: Software
Posted: January 28, 2014 03:29PM
Author: Brentt Moore

ADATA Technology has released its new software aimed at ADATA SSD customers, the SSD Toolbox. The newly released ADATA SSD Toolbox software provides a suite of configuration, monitoring, and optimization tools. The functionality built into the new software will provide users with diagnostic, informational, management tools to ensure current and future performance of select ADATA SSDs. Two diagnostic options, quick and full, are built into the SSD Toolbox software that allows users to choose the level of problem detection that they desire. In terms of information provided, the new tools package by ADATA provides drive health as well as remaining life through S.M.A.R.T. attributes. Management wise, users are able to securely wipe their drives to a factory default setting and run a firmware update, ensure optimal performance from their ADATA SSD.

Supported on the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, ATADA SSD Toolbox is available for immediate download.

Source: Press Release



VLC Updated for iOS Devices

Category: Software
Posted: January 20, 2014 05:51PM
Author: Brentt Moore

VLC, an open source media player and framework, has been updated for iOS devices. Available for immediate download from the Apple App Store, VLC 2.2.0 is the latest offering from VLC developers for iOS. Although the new version incorporates a plethora of new features available for Apple iOS devices, only iOS7 devices will notice the redesigned VLC user interface. Some of the new features found within VLC 2.2.0 for iOS include, but are not limited to, a new startup tutorial, Dropbox streaming support, Google Drive integration, improved decoders, improved library handling, improved privacy, improved UPnP support, new multi-touch gestures, rewritten WiFi Upload, and support for additional streaming formats.

Source: The Next Web



Google Chrome Loses Two Extensions

Category: Software
Posted: January 20, 2014 04:51PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Two extensions that reportedly violated the Terms of Service set by Google, Add to Feedly and Tweet This Page, have been removed from the Chrome Web Store. Both extensions were reportedly updated so that users of the Google Chrome Internet browser would see more advertisements. It has also been reported that the developers of Add to Feedly and Tweet This Page were paid to change the code of their respective extensions. Amit Agrawal, the developer of Add to Feedly, noted within a blog post that after the extension was sold, the code was changed by the buyer in order to alter Internet links to benefit affiliate programs.

Google favors an open system where applications are featured based on user reviews more so than the search engine giant approving the software. However, with this move Google explicitly shows that it still sets out to enforce its policies and protect users of the Chrome browser.

Source: CNET



IObit Releases Smart Defrag 3

Category: Software
Posted: January 13, 2014 03:00PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Trusted by over 25 million users, Smart Defrag by IObit is one of the most trusted defragmenting programs available. IObit has now announced that they have released a new version of the software, known as Smart Defrag 3. Within the new revision of Smart Defrag, IObit claims that the software is now 50 percent faster while also providing more choices in terms of analysis, defragmentation, and optimization. The increase in performance can be attributed to the PNG sequence technology that the redesigned user interface makes use of. Additionally, Smart Defrag 3 features the ability to enhance the accessing of Windows 8 metro apps, a first for free disk defragmenting software. Users of Smart Defrag 3 will notice an improvement in speed when accessing their Windows 8 metro apps due to the software defragmenting log files created from everyday use.

IObit Smart Defrag 3 is available immediately for download from many software websites.

Source: Press Release



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