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Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.2 gets smarter, faster

auslogics defrag
Auslogics Disk Defrag has been part of my system maintenance toolkit for quite some time. With the release of version 3.2, it's now even better at tidying up and optimizing your system's hard disk drives. In addition to a cleaner, easier-to-use interface, Disk Defrag 3.2 offers improved single file and folder defragging, better processing of multiple disks, a simplified scheduling screen, and more informative tool tips. Auslogics has also fine-tuned the program's defragmentation and file consolidation algorithms.

For laptop users, there's a new option to lock the program if your system is running on battery power -- so scheduled operations don't kick in and drain your power source at an inopportune moment. If you happen to have an SSD installed in your PC, you can head to the Disk Defrag options and exclude it from scanning (many think that defragmenting an SSD is a very bad idea).

Auslogics Disk Defrag is a free download and works with most versions of Windows.

Windows 8 App Store images leaked?

windows 8 app store
Windows 8 images continue to leak onto the Internet, despite Microsoft's wallpaper-based pleas to those with access to the early releases. Today's installment courtesy CNBeta shows the upcoming Windows App Store, which will likely feature prominently in Windows 8.

We've got our doubts about the authenticity of the image. In addition to showing several of the built-in games which already ship with Windows, Opera is listed -- and a competing browser seems like an odd inclusion this early on. Of course, with the browser ballot still in place in the EU for quite some time, Microsoft would probably need to include rivals like Opera and Firefox to stay out of trouble. We're also not sure why Clickgamer is shown beneath Angry Birds instead of Rovio -- the game's actual publisher.

It's still early, of course, so it's entirely possible that the Windows App Store image is genuine but merely using placeholder images and text for now. Anyone else thinking Windows Marketplace might be a more logical name? You know, to keep things consistent with Windows Phone and keep Apple's legal eagles at bay.

YouTube Live now streaming select partners in real time

Not content with limiting its dominance in streaming uploaded videos, YouTube is now ready to take on competitors like Justin.TV and Ustream. The new YouTube Live service is being rolled out to select YouTube partners and will enable real-time broadcasting. In its official announcement, Google states that "The goal is to provide thousands of partners with the capability to live stream from their channels in the months ahead."

You can check out live broadcasts at http://www.youtube.com/live, where you'll also find a schedule of upcoming episodes from beta partners like Revision3 and Destructoid. You're also able to subscribe to YouTube Live broadcasts -- which will ensure you're notified when a new episode is coming up.

Google Latitude check-in deals now available across the US

Recently, Google has been busy beefing up Latitude to make it more competitive with other location apps -- and more fun to use. Location history was added recently, iOS users can post check-ins via Latitude, and now Google has begun rolling out location-based deals which are tied to the service.

If you're in the U.S., you can now score local savings at participating merchants by checking in with Latitude. Google will also be offering "status deals," which users can unlock by visiting a particular merchant on a regular basis. Mashable notes three status levels: regular, VIP, and guru -- though partners can apparently customize those titles if they choose.

Right now deals are available from merchants like American Eagle Outfitters, Arby's, Finish Line, Macy's, Quiznos, and RadioShack.

Microsoft releases sexy Bing app for iPad

It's still a bit odd seeing Microsoft deliver apps for Apple's mobile platform. And it's even stranger still to see one as sexy as the new Bing app for iPad, which brings a slick, immersive search experience to Apple's tablet.

Just as a regular search on bing.com will, the Bing app for iPad tailors the results it displays based on what you're searching for. There are loads of custom views, covering everything from movies and maps to weather and shopping. The app also offers a heads-up display of currently trending searches, complete with related images, which is an iPad-exclusive feature.

Navigation is a breeze thanks to multitouch controls, allowing users to flick or swipe through results. And while the development team refers to the app as "touch and decide," Bing Voice Search is also built in -- making it easy to start a query without using the iPad's on-screen keyboard.

The Bing app for iPad is available for download now from the App Store.

New software uses facial recognition to defend against prying eyes

Having the right programs and hardware to keep the information on your display safe from prying eyes is never a bad idea, and new software from Oculis Labs offers a very interesting take on how to do just that. It's called PrivateEye, and it utilizes facial recognition to automatically pixelate the contents of your display when you look away.

If you step away from your system and someone else decides to sit down and poke around, PrivateEye will present a confusing jumble of garbled text. It'll even notify you if someone tries to peek over your shoulder -- and display a picture of your peeping Tom, throw up an alert, or sound an alarm.

Check out the video embed after the break, and share your thoughts in the comments!

Read more »

AVG launches LiveKive cloud sync and backup tool

avg livekive dropbox
A while back, we told you about AVG's new LiveKive service, a new cloud synchronization and backup tool which appears to have been named after a vat in which mash is made during the brewing process. But enough about AVG's odd choice of monikers -- LiveKive has launched and is now ready to accept your files into the AVG cloud.

LiveKive takes aim at services like Dropbox and SugarSync, though at the moment it's lagging behind in terms of features. As it stands, LiveKive is only compatible with Windows and OS X. There are no mobile clients yet, though with AVG's strong presence on Android we wouldn't be surprised to see an app arrive in the near future.

The company is offering a heck of a deal right now, however. If you sign up for a paid account during the launch phase, you can score unlimited storage for $80 for a whole year. You can't even score 50GB per year at that price from Dropbox, so if cost and space are more important to you than cross-platform availability, LiveKive might be worth checking out.

If you're not interested in ponying up any cash at the moment, you can still get a 5GB account free of charge. Just head on over, and create a LiveKive account.

Opera 11.10 includes improved power saving features

opera 11.10 battery power
Just recently, the Opera 11.10 release candidate was made available for download. It brought a handful of important feature additions -- like HTML5 File API support and IMAP enhancements -- and loads of bugfixes. Nestled in amongst the other details in the Opera team's announcement is one more interesting tidbit: Opera 11.10 offers improved battery optimizations.

The timing here is certainly interesting, what with Microsoft's recent report on how much power the top five Web browsers consume. In its findings, Opera 11 was fairly low in the standings. While we've not seen any new benchmarks yet, we're curious to know whether the Opera 11.10 RC offers any significant gains.

If you're running Opera 11.10 on a laptop, let us know if you're seeing an improvement in your battery life while browsing!

Windows 8 to feature adaptive Aero colorization, get it now on Windows 7

windows 8 aero colorization aura
While we've still yet to see anything truly Earth-shattering, the tandem of Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott continues to churn out insight about interesting new features they've discovered in Windows 8 milestone 3. The latest discovery is that Aero in Windows 8 will be able to automatically adapt itself to match your current wallpaper image. It's a bit like what Windows 7 already does with your taskbar icons: if a program alert needs your attention, the icon will glow using the predominant color (e.g. Firefox should glow orange).

And yes, you can already make Windows 7 behave this way if you like. Over at CodePlex, there's a little program called Aura that parks itself in your system tray and automatically adjusts your window borders to compliment your wallpaper images. The effect is quite nice, and you can try it out by minimizing your windows and cycling through your theme's wallpapers (right click on your desktop and choose next desktop background).

Zoho Docs 2.0 adds iPad support

zoho docs ipad
Zoho has offered an iOS app for a while now -- at least for the iPhone and iPod touch. Those of you who have been wanting to use the Zoho app on your iPad were out of luck, but that's no longer the case.

Zoho Docs 2.0 has landed in the App Store, and the most notable change is that it's now a universal app. Now you're able to take advantage of the app's mobile productivity powers on your larger iOS device. Retina display support has also been added, as have document sharing options -- which you can utilize in both the viewer and collaboration modes.

Just like the basic Zoho service, the app is available totally free of charge. Paid subscriptions get you additional storage space and start at $3 per month for professional use.

TweetDeck to launch as HTML5 Web app, now accepting beta testers

When TweetDeck landed in the Chrome Web Store, it seemed like an indication that it might eventually evolve into a pure HTML5 Web app. Now it looks as though that's exactly what's going to happen, with TweetDeck announcing that a new, not-just-for-Chrome Web client is ready for beta testing. It's a natural progression for TweetDeck, especially since its originally Adobe Air app is... Read more »

Add a Windows 8 user tile to your Windows 7 taskbar

Now that Windows 8 images have begun leaking out, it's only a matter of time until developers start releasing mods for Windows 7 which mimic upcoming features. Over at Into Windows, they've spotted one such mod already. In the earliest Windows 8 images, we saw Windows Live integration on the taskbar. In the far right corner, there's a user tile displayed. If you'd like to do the same on... Read more »

Opera 11.10 gets HTML5 File API support, IMAP improvements

The crew in Oslo keeps plugging away at Opera 11.10, and the latest snapshot build includes a number of improvements to Opera's built-in email client -- as well as HTML5-related additions. On the IMAP front, Opera now supports special folders like sent items, spam, and trash. It also better handles duplicate items in Gmail -- such as those which appear in all mail and under your custom... Read more »

BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 screenshots leak

A leaked early version of RIM's upcoming BlackBerry Messenger 6 has been making the rounds since late February, but images of the new app are just now beginning to appear. Over at CrackBerry, the crew has shared a handful of images of BBM 6 in action. Unfortunately, you won't get a glimpse at a chat or file transfer -- only the profile screens (after the break) and what you see above. All... Read more »

Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads

Google Chrome already sports a number of security-minded features, from Incognito mode to a software sandbox which makes exploiting the browser a Herculean task. Now, Google has announced additional protection for Chromium and Chrome users. Built upon the Safe Browsing API, the new feature introduces protection against malicious downloads. If a download link appears in the Safe Browsing... Read more »