Capture, burn, convert, copy and share digital media with Toast Titanium

Having a Mac usually means having a lot of multimedia on your PC. Having a lot of multimedia on your PC usually means you’re going to need a tool to help you capture and preserve it. That’s one of the reasons why I really like Toast Titanium. It’s one of the premier multimedia tools available for your Mac.

Toast is the fastest way to capture video from your AVCHD camcorder, with no lengthy imports. You can use just about any HD video source. With it, you can create stunning Blu-ray video or HD DVD discs for playback on compatible set top players as well as your PC.

Toast allows you to edit video clips. You can trim start and end points, remove unwanted segments in the middle of video clips before export, or even apply audio effects. You can capture any streaming Internet audio on your Mac, without interference from other apps or system sounds. Toast’s MusicID automatically adds artist and title tags to captured music for easy syncing to your iTunes library.

Capturing streaming web video is just as easy with Toast. You can save streaming video from your favorite web sites and then burn the content to DVD for viewing on your big-screen TV. Toast can even send it automatically to iTunes for syncing with your favorite iDevice.

You can digitize and restore your LP’s and tapes, without the pops, clicks and hisses. Toast’s audio filters and tools help you clean up your audio and then burn it to CD or DVD, or send to iTunes for syncing with your iDevice. Ripping audiobook CDs to iTunes, with chapters, pause/resume support and variable playback speeds is also easy with Toast. You can convert for enjoyment on iPad, iPhone, or your favorite on-the-go-device with just a few clicks.

Toast Titanium is THE audio and video editing and capture application for your PC or Mac. There are very few apps out there, in my opinion that are better at these tasks than Toast. It’s that good. The biggest problem, however with this app, is its price. At $79.99 as of this writing, it’s a bit on the pricey side unless you do a lot of audio-video editing on a regular basis or have a large project ahead of you, like converting your VHS-based home movies to DVD.

Download Toast Titanium for Mac

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Keep in touch with all of your Facebook friends with fTalk

Let’s face it. You use Facebook to keep up with your friends and family. You share pictures, stories, and stuff, and it’s a lot of fun. When it comes to connecting with friends, sometimes, getting the cute fluff out of the way so you can chat with yo’ peeps is just what is needed. This is the reason why I really like fTalk. It’s a multiplatform chat client, specifically designed to work with Facebook.

fTalk enhances your social media experience by taking Facebook to the next level. With fTalk, you can chat with your Facebook friends directly from your desktop, without having to run a browser and surf to Facebook. fTalk enables you to chat with your friends even when you’re at work or in a public environment where you don’t necessarily want to; or can’t open Facebook.  You can see which of your friends have logged in, you can change your status, use emoticons and even video chat! fTalk offers a fun and light Facebook chat experience; and its free.

fTalk is a decent app. It allows you to chat with your FB friends even without having an active FB session going in your browser. It’s very much like Skype for Facebook; or something similar. The app is great. I like it. However its only real value is that it automatically integrates with your FB account and pulls in all your FB Friends.  You could manually do that with Skype Windows Live Messenger, AIM or any other chat client that also supported video. While this doesn’t kill the application’s usefulness, it does limit you to just chatting or video calling to only your FB friends, and if someone does want to chat or video chat with you, they have to be your Facebook friend first.

download fTalk

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Keep hackers and data thieves out of your computer with ZoneAlarm Free

While more people use antivirus and antispyware software now than they used to, that software may not offer you the full level of protection you need. A firewall is the third point to your security triangle that will protect you while you surf the web.

A firewall acts as a bouncer to your computer. Every time someone tries to come in or leave, the firewall checks whether you want it to or not. Settings can be saved obviously, so you won’t need to tell them that your email client is safe every time you switch it on.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is, in our eyes, one of the best free firewalls. It has been around for over a decade and as a result, ZoneAlarm has gotten pretty good at blocking bad data. ZoneAlarm offers paid-for versions of the firewall as well, and while most of the additional features aren’t necessary (support for example), the ‘download protection’ is something worthwhile missing from the freeware.

ZoneAlarm Free is definitely better than having no firewall at all, but it still misses some security features that would be worthwhile having. ZoneAlarm isn’t the best looking software package and can seem a little intimidating to configure for a beginner, yet these are minor flaws for an application that could potentially save you from a hacker or software intrusion.

Download ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

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Instantly install and run all of today’s games with Steam

A few years ago, gaming wasn’t a big deal. Most computer users were focused on productivity and well, we thought that gaming PC’s were expensive toys for over indulged children.  I mean, wasn’t that what gaming consoles were for? It’s totally different today.  Gaming is now driving much of the PC innovation seen today, and game development is a multibillion dollar industry. That’s one of the reasons why I really like Steam. It’s one of the best ways to get today’s most popular games on a PC near you.

Steam gives you the ability to purchase, download, and play over 1,100 games from any computer. You can easily check out new releases, indie hits, casual favorites and everything in between.  If you’re bored and need a playing partner, it’s easy to find someone to play with, meet up with friends, connect with groups of similar interests, or host and join chats, matches, and tournaments.

Communication is key during gaming campaigns, and Steam allows you to chat with your friends while you’re gaming.  You can see when your friends come online or are playing games.  You can  and easily join the same games together. During play, you can chat with your buddies, or use your microphone to communicate in any game.

One of the biggest problems with gaming is keeping up with patches and updates. With Steam, that’s all taken care of for you.  With automatic game updates, hunting for patches and downloading from unorganized web sites is a thing of the past. On Steam, your games stay up-to-date by themselves.

If you’re a Mac and want to play your favorite games, don’t worry.  Steam brings PC’s biggest gaming platform and games to the Mac.  You can download your games to your Mac and play against your PC friends in multiplayer games.  If you’ve got an Android or iOS device, you can also play games on the go. Steam Mobile gives you access on your tablet or smartphone.

read full review | download Steam

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Keep your data and your family safe with K7 TotalSecurity

Cybercrime is everywhere. No one is immune, you just haven’t been victimized yet. Millions of computer users suffer due to fraudulent online activities. Every time you connect to the internet without the right protection, you risk being attacked by cyber criminals. Be it swindling money from your bank account, misusing your credit card, crashing your computer or even splashing your children’s pictures all over internet, they can attack without reason, rhyme or warning; and the results, depending on their success, can be devastating. This is one of the reasons why Alike tools like K7 Total Security. It’s a security package for Windows systems.

K7 Total Security is one of the most comprehensive PC security suites available today. Its abilities are recognized by industry insiders all over the world, it provides complete security against hackers and other evolving cyber threats. With it, you have comprehensive device control. You can set read/write/execute access to external devices (USB drives, and other storage devices, for example). It can scan USB disks as soon as they are plugged in and prevents malicious auto runs when any external device is plugged in, effectively vaccinating your USB drive before it gets infected.

K7 Total Security has one of the best scanning engines on the market today. Its Vulnerability Scanner detects vulnerable applications and informs the user about exploits that can be used through them to infect their computer. Its Enhanced Scan Engine scans for Flash and PDF based malware. Its enhanced Real Time Scanner algorithm is designed to provide zero impact on your system; and is capable of detecting exploits in any file type on your PC.

Read full review | Download K7 TotalSecurity

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Empower your development team with WampServer

If there’s one thing that I know well, its software development and the web.  While its not as easy as some people might think, its tools like WampServer that make things a heck of a lot easier than they could be. WampServer is a web based development environment for Windows, and its easy to use and admin.

Having a reliable development environment for your web apps isn’t just about a decent XML/HTML editor.  You need a web server to help you view your pages and see how they would react in the wild.  WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache2, PHP and a MySQL databases and then test them to insure they function correctly.

The functionality of a web server is to allow for the surfing or browsing of web pages. In order for that to happen, they have to be served up, or made available to the file browser.  This is WampServer’s main function. I’m not going to go into additional details here.  However, from an administration point, which is where Devs and Dev Managers will be concerned, WampServer’s easy to use.

With a left click on WampServer’s tray icon, you will be able to manage your Apache and MySQL services.  This gives your applications access to both web and database services so that specific pages can be displayed and database elements called and written to from them.  You can switch services online or offline, giving access to a broader audience or only to the localhost, or I should say, to yourself.

read full review | download WampServer

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Optimize your websites backlinks with Ksnipe Submitter

Getting your website or blog noticed isn’t always easy. Building a successful site takes time, effort and usually a lot of work. This is why I like tools like Ksnipe Submitter. It’s a backlink website profile building application for Windows.

Ksnipe is a fully automatic, keyword backlink building system. It adds backlinks to your websites through a number of different processes. Ksnipe supports auto Forum Profile Submitting, auto Bookmark Submitting, auto Directory Submitting, auto RSS Submitting and auto Article Submitting them to any number of different sites and services.

Ksnipe makes use of an internal user and site based profile. It can auto generate much of this information, and contains an email account automatic generation module, including email confirmation and validation, an original article automatic generation module, an article content auto-spin module, a captcha code auto-recognition module, a network resources automatic detection module, and an auto site submit module. All of these are carried out automatically so the software is very convenient to use and to manage your backlink resources with.

Ksnipe covers almost all aspects of generating high quality backlinks. It submits forum profiles, RSS, kinds of directories, articles, and socialization to target web sites simultaneously. You can also submit each individually, if you wish.

The software is highly customizable and supports scripting. With its simple yet powerful script commands, Ksnipe will complete all of your backlink related tasks automatically. If you’re not the scripting type, Ksnipe also includes a point and click automation module, allowing you to build scripts visually. Based on the keywords you provide, Ksnipe can automatically grab the tens of thousands of sites you want to backlink to, and generate the scripts to be submitted.

Read full review | Download Ksnipe Submitter

 

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Get access to all of your files on all of your computing devices with Dropbox

The Cloud.  If you don’t have a piece of it, you’re behind the times and you may be in a serious predicament.  Getting your own private piece of the cloud is so important that I co-wrote and edited an important piece on it for Information Week last summer. The gist of the article was alternatives for what I consider to be one of the absolute BEST online backup and file access tool on the internet today, and really the application and service to copy or beat – Dropbox. It’s a multiplatform tool; and again, it’s a must have.

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, documents, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all of your connected computers, phones as well as the Dropbox website. You’ll never be without the data you need, as long as you have an internet connection.

Dropbox makes sharing files easy.  You can invite your friends, family and teammates to any folder in your Dropbox, and it’ll be as if the data was saved right to their computers. You can send people links to specific files in your Dropbox if sharing an entire folder isn’t appropriate. This makes Dropbox perfect for team projects, sharing party photos with friends, or any number of file sharing needs.

If your computer has any kind of meltdown, and you lose EVERYTHING, don’t worry. Dropbox has you covered.  You can use Dropbox to restore all the data from your backup folders in a snap. It’s perfect for hard drive upgrades and computer rebuilds.

read full review | download Dropbox

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