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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 (409)

AIDA64 4.60 Released by FinalWire

Category: Software
Posted: July 30, 2014 12:50PM
Author: Brentt Moore

FinalWire, a Hungary-based software development company, has just released version 4.60 of AIDA64, a popular PC diagnostic utility that provides detailed information about hardware and software of individual or networked computers. The main focal point of the latest version is enhanced support for LCD and VFD screens, including alphanumeric, monochrome, and color panels. Some of the other enhancements found in AIDA64 4.60 include SMTP SSL support, OpenGL ES 3.1 support, improved handling of XSL files, and revamped Direct3D Compute Shader devices enumeration. Support and details have also been added for various solid state drives and graphics processing units.

Source: Press Release



Microsoft Makes Skype Group Calls Free for Tablets

Category: Software
Posted: July 15, 2014 04:29PM
Author: Brentt Moore

While Skype group calls have been free for the majority of the service’s users since April of this year, tablet owners have had to continue paying a premium in order to get multiple people to participate in voice and video calls. That is no more however, as Microsoft has announced that owners of Windows tablets, such as the Surface, are now able to make group calls for free via Skype. Users of Windows tablets and Windows 2 in 1 devices will now be able to be in a group call with up to 10 people, with the three most talkative individuals being visible at the same time.

Since Microsoft made group calling a free feature for existing platforms capable of running Skype back in April, the company has revealed that it has seen group video calling increase fourfold. Popularity of the feature will likely continue to grow due to this announcement.

Source: Skype Blog


Apple Blocks Older Versions of Adobe Flash Player

Category: Software
Posted: July 11, 2014 04:08PM
Author: Brentt Moore

A high-priority update for Flash Player was released by Adobe earlier this week, which addressed an exploit revealed by Google engineer Michele Spagnuolo. Apple is making sure that users of its operating system upgrade their Flash Player web plug-in to the latest version that contains this update, as the company is now blocking older versions from functioning properly. In order to make use of Adobe Flash Player once again, users must upgrade their Flash Player web plug-in to version 14.0.0.145. For individuals running systems that are incompatible with Flash Player 14, Apple is requiring that Flash Player 13.0.0.231 be installed, which also contains the update that addresses the critical vulnerability.

Source: Mac Rumors



ASUSTOR Releases Surveillance Center 2.1 Beta

Category: Software
Posted: June 25, 2014 11:41AM
Author: Brentt Moore

ASUSTOR, a leading provider of network attached storage solutions, has just launched Surveillance Center 2.1 beta for all of its NAS devices. Surveillance Center is the first of its kind to offer output of surveillance feeds via HDMI, allowing users to view feeds on televisions without using a computer. This latest version provides enhanced support for Internet browsers used within Windows and Mac environments, as well as a mobile application that allows users to view their surveillance feeds from any location. Also included are many new features, such as Intelligent Video Analytics playback, user defined cameras via Generic RTSP, camera patrol functions, and new compatible camera models from Grandstream, TRENDnet and Lilin.

Using Surveillance Center 2.1 beta, ASUSTOR 2 and 3 series NAS devices are able to support up to eight camera channels while ASUSTOR 6 series NAS devices can support up to 12.

Source: Press Release



Internet Explorer Developer Channel Announced

Category: Software
Posted: June 16, 2014 12:07PM
Author: Brentt Moore

The Internet Explorer team at Microsoft has just announced the release of Internet Explorer Developer Channel, a web browser that provides developers and early adopters with a preview of new features currently being worked on.  Containing all of the features of the Microsoft browser along with the latest platform features, the newly released Internet Explorer Developer Channel can be run alongside and independently of Internet Explorer 11. Some of the latest platform features that have been included in Internet Explorer Developer Channel include enhancements to the F12 Developer Tools, automatic testing of websites with WebDriver, and the ability to use an Xbox controller for Internet applications and games.

As more features and standards are worked on by the Internet Explorer team, Internet Explorer Developer Channel users can expect to see many updated releases in the future.

Source: IEBlog



Futuremark Adds Sky Diver Benchmark to 3DMark

Category: Software
Posted: June 11, 2014 04:50PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Futuremark first announced the "Sky Diver" benchmark for the 3DMark benchmark suite late last month. As of today, it has been added to 3DMark and is available for immediate download. The new benchmark is designed for testing DirectX 11 on gaming laptops and mid-range PCs that struggle with the Fire Strike benchmark. Futuremark recommends that users unable to score above 2800 in Fire Strike use Sky Diver, and users that score above 12000 in Sky Diver use Fire Strike. As part of the new release, 3DMark Advance Edition is available for 60% off, or $10, on Steam.

Source: Press Release



TrueCrypt Development Abandoned

Category: Software
Posted: May 30, 2014 02:48PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Development has been halted on the popular open-source encryption software known as TrueCrypt. According to developers who have been working on the program for roughly a decade, security flaws have been found within the software that caused the somewhat sudden abandonment of development. The official website for TrueCrypt is even suggesting that users find another program to solve their encryption needs. This announcement of developer abandonment comes at a time when the code for TrueCrypt is under audit by independent parties in order find out if any vulnerabilities do in fact exist. Depending upon the results of the audit, a team of security experts may attempt to restore work on TrueCrypt and dramatically improve the software going forward.

Source: Reuters



FinalWire Releases Update for AIDA64 Benchmark

Category: Software
Posted: May 29, 2014 03:04PM
Author: Nick Harezga

FinalWire has announced an update to its AIDA64 benchmark software, bringing it to version 4.50. A new benchmark has been added to measure cryptographic performance of OpenCL GPGPU AES-256 on graphics cards and APUs. The update also adds support for AMD Mantle graphics accelerator diagnostics, Intel H97 and Z97 chipsets, and improved support for numerous APUs, CPUs, and SoCs. CEO and lead developer Tamas Miklos said, "With AIDA64, you can get accurate data from even thousands of computers in a few seconds, and then you can easily identify machines running outdated or unsupported software, which greatly helps the IT staff estimate upgrade volume and costs." AIDA64 is available in four different versions with a range of support at prices from $39.95 to $2999.

Source: Press Release



Microsoft Demos Skype Translator

Category: Software
Posted: May 28, 2014 12:15PM
Author: Brentt Moore

With Microsoft being a key player in the real-time translation research business for over a decade and realizing that language poses a major barrier between people worldwide, it comes to no surprise that the company is attempting to expand its translation technology into Skype. Known as Skype Translator, the new language translating tool was recently demoed by Microsoft in order to show how the tool can be used to help people understand each other better. Within the demo, a Skype call was set up normally between a German speaking individual and an English speaking individual. As one party spoke, the speech was translated into text that was not only displayed at the bottom of the other user’s screen, but was also read aloud in the native language of the other individual. The demo was able to show how Skype Translator could successfully facilitate a conversation, using technology developed by Microsoft that focuses on speech recognition, automatic translation, and machine learning.

Although it is not known whether Skype Translator will be a part of Skype or will be a dedicated application upon final release, Microsoft is planning to release a beta version of Skype Translator for Windows 8 before the end of 2014.



Futuremark to Add New DirectX 11 Benchmark Test "Sky Diver" to 3DMark

Category: Software
Posted: May 28, 2014 09:41AM
Author: ClayMeow

Futuremark has announced today that it will be adding a new DirectX 11 benchmark test aimed at "gaming laptops and mid-range PCs" to all versions of 3DMark for free. Entitled "Sky Diver", the benchmark features "a wingsuited woman skydiving into a mysterious, uncharted location [and] is brought to life with tessellation, particles and advanced post-processing effects." While the existing "Fire Strike" benchmark is like gaming on "ultra high settings," Futuremark says that "Sky Diver" will emulate an experience more closely related to a "DirectX 11 game played on normal settings," making it ideal for entry level to mid-range system benching.

The preview trailer above and screenshots below show a rather breathtaking scene, but they're only a snippet; the benchmark will be shown in full at Computex next week. A release date will also be unveiled at Computex, with the benchmark currently in the final stages of testing.

Source: Press Release




Update Available for SiSoftware Sandra 2014

Category: Software
Posted: May 26, 2014 07:18AM
Author: Nick Harezga

The latest update to the SiSoftware Sandra 2014 benchmark software suite has arrived in the form of SP2. The update targets the tool itself, the SDK, and related libraries. As part of the update the software no longer supports Windows XP or Server 2003 as a result of changing the platform and development environment. The CUDA SDK has been updated to version 6.0 to take advantage of the latest WHQL video drivers with Maxwell support. Improved support for AMD Kabini with a dedicated GPU has also been added.

Source: Press Release



Firefox Announces Testing of New Tab Advertisements

Category: Software
Posted: May 12, 2014 05:59PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Johnathan Nightingale, the Vice President of Firefox, has revealed that Mozilla will be experimenting with offering advertisements within tiles that are featured when new tabs are opened. According to Nightingale, the advertisements will be a mix of Firefox websites and other useful websites across the Internet. The intent is for new users of the Firefox Internet browser to receive recommendations of websites on fresh installs of the web browser, since Firefox would have no traffic history to build from. At this time, the experimentation of advertisements that are to be displayed within new tabs is only being applied to Firefox builds that are a part of the pre-release channel.

The testing does not provide any additional revenue for Mozilla, and sponsorship would be the next stage of the new tab offerings if the venture proves valuable for users.

Source: Mozilla Blog


Facebook Messenger Provides Quicker Media Sharing

Category: Software
Posted: April 28, 2014 05:52PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Users of Facebook Messenger, which is now up to version 5.0 for iOS devices, can now send media even quicker than before. Through the standalone messaging application for Facebook contacts, users can find below the text box the ability to snap a quick photo, record a voice message, choose a sticker, or select an image or video from the Camera Roll. What is interesting about this newer and quicker media sharing capability is that some of the options, such as recording a voice message and tacking a picture, happen immediately. If a user takes a picture of themselves, it is automatically sent to the recipient without any option to preview the photo. Images and videos that are selected from the Camera Roll do have the ability to be previewed before sending however.

While the latest update is only available for iOS devices at this time, Facebook Messenger 5.0 is expected to be released on Android this week.

Source: Engadget



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



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