Bring Windows 8 Metro Style in Windows XP, Vista or 7

If you are looking to turn Windows XP, Vista or 7 into a multifunctional interactive  information center that’s easy to use and attractive – such as Windows 8 Start Menu – then all of your dreams ‘should’ be brought true with Omnimo for Rainmeter.

So what is it, exactly? Well, what Omnimo for Rainmeter essentially does is to let people with older operating systems to give their computer the look and feel of the new Windows 8 operating system, even if it is void of certain new features.

It can be used to totally change the way that a computer looks (in terms of operating system, and considering it is completely free, this is a fairly cool trick. Using Omnimo for Rainmeter skin it is easy to make a few tweaks here and there and hey presto, you have the Windows 8 operating system, along with its Metro interface. Pretty neat, huh?

And this is a skin that goes beyond simply changing the color of your desktop, because it serves to enhance the usability of your desktop, also. The various tiles that it creates can all be compartmentalised so that each one gives you a segment of information that is available, as and when you need it, whether it’s stuff to do with emergency appointments, to-do list type info or simply updates on what the weather is going to be like when you go play golf on Sunday. In addition, these tiles can be used to quicken access to files and programmes, which serves to further the efficiency of the system even more.

Considering that all’s needed to take full advantage of this free skin is a free copy of Rainmeter, it is hard to come up with any negativities. If you are one of these people who’s easily awaiting the new Windows operating system, or can’t see yourself being able to afford it, then this costless alternative should serve you as a more than adequate alternative.

Download Omnimo UI for Rainmeter | Download Rainmeter

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Play Star Wars The Old Republic all the way to level 50 for free

Just in case you ever wanted to play Star Wars: The Old Republic, but didn’t want to pay for it, you can experience now the complete storylines of all eight, Star Wars classes – all the way to level 50 for free.

Until now, its been subscription-only – but it goes now free-to-play, probably because of the simple fact that the game has been struggling lately, with dwindling subscriber numbers since its release. The new option complements the existing subscription offering, so you can choose either to pay a subscription fee or play for free. Of course, if you choose the free-to-play option, you’ll have to face some in-game restrictions.

We want to give our players the freedom to enjoy Star Wars: The Old Republic when and how they want,” said Matthew Bromberg, General Manager of BioWare Austin. “There has never been a better time to start playing with us.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is a story-driven, MMORPG with a Free-to-Play option from BioWare and LucasArts. Set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars movies, players team up with friends online to fight in heroic battles, explore a galaxy of vibrant planets, and experience visceral Star Wars combat, all set to a sweeping musical score.

Players are asked to join forces with either the Galactic Republic or Sith Empire and choose one of eight iconic Star Wars characters, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent.

Download Star Wars: The Old Republic Game Client | Find out more on the official website.

 

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Find out which browser is the fastest on your device with Browsermark

Meet Browsermark, a free benchmark that measure and compare the performance of any browser on any internet enabled device, including: desktops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones and more. The benchmark runs test like the page loading and page resizing, and conformance testing for HTML5 and network speed so you can easily pick the right browser for your device.

We are all frustrated with the performance of our browser based on the device we are web browsing on, to the point that we continue to ask ‘Am I expecting too much from my tablet?‘” said Tero Sarkkinen, CEO of Rightware. Browsermark answers that question for you. This simple to run test will help you decide which browser gives the best web experience for your device.

Browsermark was designed to measure the browser performance in the context of JavaScript, HTML5, WebGL, CSS and many more. Browsermark provides the de facto benchmark approach to measure variety of different performance aspects of device’s browsing capabilities, functionality and speed, and provides well-understood results for easy comparison of different device capabilities.

All of the data will be uploaded to Rightware’s Power Board online database. Power Board gathers and maintains all of the official benchmarking data from all of the company’s benchmarking tools. Power Board allows access to benchmarking data of graphics, system, multicore, browser and user interface performance of various different devices, running different operating systems and hardware.

Run Browsermark

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Run your favorite Android Apps and Games on a Windows PC or Mac

Android has thousands of useful apps to socialise, entertain and help with just about anything you can think off. Until now, they have been exclusively available on an Android phone or tablet.

BlueStacks App Player brings together your Android apps on your desktop with the rest of your software onto your Windows or Mac.

Apps launch on your screen quickly, filling the full screen of your computer or laptop. They often also run faster and smoother than on your phone when run on your more powerful Windows or Mac device.

Most apps are easy to control with your mouse and laptop, but some games designed specifically for touch screen devices become more difficult to control on your Windows or Mac.

All your Apps are organised in an attractive and easy to use interface, similar to that of Apple’s popular iOS software. It’s simple to organize your apps into folders and launch the app you’re looking for quickly.
If you don’t own an Android device, the App Player allows you to try out all the features available before you buy a new phone or tablet.

Whilst the software is one of the first on the market to allow you to run Android apps on your Windows or Mac, it doesn’t replace an Android device. There are a few bugs in the software, most notably one that recognised upward scrolls of the mouse as a tap, which will hopefully be improved over time.

Download BlueStacks App Player for Windows | Download BlueStacks App Player for Mac

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Get hold of the best defence in the war against online surveillance

Tor is free software that works to defend a user’s personal system against privacy-invading network surveillance measures, which criminally limit online freedom, reveal confidential matters and monitor private business relationships. It works in an intelligently crafted way – “bouncing” your activities around a network relay which is operated by a number of online volunteers.

Installing this software makes it impossible for Internet “invaders” to monitor which sites you like to visit, and prevents sites that you frequent from uncovering your specific location. It doesn’t really matter what you do; whether you’re a journalist, a blogger, a soldier, a human rights worker or just another citizen, Tor becomes a valuable tool.


The really fun bit about Tor is that the more the user base expands, the more the user’s level of security grows. Though the software doesn’t just automatically encode all Internet activities, the user’s security will continue to increase based on the number of volunteers that decide to help operate these relays.

This piece of software is Open Source, meaning it is completely free of any political involvement, a great way to hide your IP address, overall great proxy to achieve personal privacy on the Internet.

When it comes to achieving the basic right to personal privacy online, this software is certainly the way to go. Once you get the hang of Tor — used alongside additional tools – it becomes the best way to achieve ultimate anonymity and data sharing freedom.

Download Tor

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Completely remove sensitive data from HDD with Eraser

Security and privacy on your computer are everything. Sometimes you take it for granted but you can never be too safe when protecting sensitive information. That’s why it’s always best to permanently delete any information on your system that you may be concerned about, and that’s not as easy as right clicking and deleting, unfortunately. Deleting a file only removes the reference for it; you need to overwrite the file to ensure that it is gone forever.

Eraser 6.0.10 is a secure data removal program that allows you to permanently erase information with just a few clicks of the mouse. With a simple drag and drop function, you can completely eradicate a file. Eraser will overwrite the file and delete it permanently in a matter of seconds.

At the same time, you can schedule files to be overwritten, which is really the only part of Eraser 6.0.10 that could be considered difficult as getting familiar with the schedule function takes a little time to get around initially. However, once you have this down you can easily set up the program to delete from particular folders at appropriate intervals.

Eraser 6.0.10 is the latest version of the software so a few bugs have been seen to and the program runs extremely smooth now. For information security and peace of mind, Eraser 6.0.10 is highly recommended.

Download Eraser

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Have fun creating graphics with Livebrush

Livebrush is a delightfully unique drawing program, which can be downloaded for free and will operate on pretty much any computer system. The software does require Adobe AIR for launch, but both packages can be downloaded and installed in a matter of moments.

On launch the Livebrush interface opens the six main elements of the program on the workspace. Centrally is the main drawing area, or “paper,” at the top of the screen you will find the traditional Tool Bar with the Project Bar set in a subsection just below. On the right are the main control panels for organizing Styles, Tool Settings and Layers.

This is a highly practical application and to learn how it works it is best to just dive straight in. In the styles menu you can select from a vast range of brush types and then you can begin your creation on the paper. The brushes will respond to the pace and motion of the strokes made with the mouse. For the keen artist the package is probably best used with a drawing pad like a Bamboo, but it will work equally well with a standard mouse or laptop mousepad.

When a drawing is created each stroke of the brush generates a new layer and these can be locked, turned on/off, or deleted. The colour of each panel can be adapted through the swatch panel in the toolbox. The effect of the strokes can be further adapted in the tool settings panel which will allow you to adjust the velocity and friction of the strokes.

The software comes with a range of useful drawing tools like the Deco Tool, which adds flourishes to lines as they are drawn. The Pen Tool can be used to create or modify different lines within the drawing. There is also a transform tool which can be used to scale or rotate elements with an image.

Download Livebrush

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iPhone fought the Galaxy and the Samsung Won

As the two heavyweights in the smartphone market go toe-to-toe, trading blows from the courthouse to the high street, the question on most people’s minds is how do we know which is the best?

Unfortunately there is no magic formula for giving a precise conclusion as the devices outweigh each other in different areas. There are, however, some key points on which we can focus to judge the phones against each other.

In terms of design the Samsung Galaxy S3 is slightly bigger in all respects and has gone with a traditional removable battery and plastic casing. The finish does not really do justice to its substantial price tag and in this respect the iPhone 5’s metallic finish with bevelled edge makes for a much better looking device. The debate over which design is better has truly separated the warring factions. Basically, if you prefer a bigger phone the Samsung wins, if you prefer something that looks more sophisticated then the iPhone is a better choice.

When it comes to screen size the Samsung is superior, although the iPhone 5 has upped its game to offer a 4 inch 1,136 x 640 widescreen display, it lags some distance behind the Galaxy with its whopping 4.8 inch 1,280 x 720 Super AMOLED screen. The preference in screen also comes down to a question of taste. The vivid colours produced by the AMOLED are counterbalanced by the natural look produced by the iPhone’s IPS technology. In strong sunlight the IPS resolution produces a much more effective display, whereas in a dark environment the Samsung screen produces stunning results.

The comparison between the software on offer in these devices has also been a major focus for discussion. It has been argued that the Samsung’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich offers a wider range of integrated features and a greater level of flexibility than the iPhone’s iOS 6 operating system. The Android system allows you to set up your screen and alter the way the phone responds to basic functions with far more control that you will find on the restrictive system provided by iOS 6. The intuitive performance of the Apple system is still very effective and pleasurable to work with.

Measuring the power is generally a straightforward process and one which usually provides a clear winner. In this respect Samsung’s bigger device seems to have the upper hand and boasts a mightily impressive 1GB RAM, with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor. Perhaps in an effort not to be outdone Apple have not revealed any in-depth tech information on their processor making it impossible to give a definitive answer on which one is the best.

The issue of connectivity offers some clear points of comparison and the Galaxy S3 is head and shoulders ahead on this point. The device has ports for microUSB, microSD, and microSIM connections. It does not require a system sync for file transfer and you can simply drag and drop files onto your computer when plugged in by USB. The iPhone 5 is the first version of the device to move away from the standard Apple 30 pin connector, favouring instead a smaller 8 pin model. That is it as far as connectors are concerned however, and all transfer of files or media is tied in to iTunes.

In conclusion, it would seem that for the first time the untouchable Apple iPhone has been matched and exceeded by a competitor. Of course, there are a number of elements in the competition that do come down to a matter of taste, but in a straight head-to-head scorecard the iPhone has been delivered some serious body blows, and has suffered a points defeat to a bigger, and better opponent.

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