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Diogo Costa

Diogo is a Biologist with a grip on computers and technology. Running Windows systems all his life, has a big interest in discovering new apps that increase productivity or simply make things more interesting. He lives in Portugal and has photography and music as main hobbies.

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We all know that surfing the Web might be a dangerous thing for our machines. The Internet is swarming with infections that can provoke serious damage for the system, for the user itself or even for other computers utilized by that same user. We also know that there are ways to have a more secure web browsing, but often that implies buying expensive pieces of software.

Now let me present 3 absolutely free security solutions from Comodo, a trusted and world-renowned company willing to make Internet a safer place to interact and conduct business.

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Most of the Windows regular users like to have antivirus and firewalls suites installed and running on their systems, but most of the time they don’t really care or realize what they are dealing with. If the security software finds a threat, they just put it to work and take care of that issue. Now, do you even know where most of the threats come from? Do you know which of the Microsoft’s latest operative systems is safer?

In this article I will explore some of our time’s security issues, getting to grips with the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (Volume 13: January – June 2012), going into further detail about the top 3 Windows 7 infections.

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Saving the world one tree at a time. In an age where, more than ever, mankind is on alert and educated about environmental issues, this could be the ideal motto of any environmental NGO, or the slogan of a campaign aiming to stop the deforestation in Amazon’s rainforest. But it isn’t.

In fact, that is the motto of iPrint, a free app for Windows developed by Inzone Software. It is designed to give you an improved and more intuitive control over the printing process, which many printers, specially the older ones, do not allow. If you want to reduce your paper and ink consumption, both saving the planet and a few extra bucks, iPrint is just the app to have.

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Taking advantage of the rise of portable devices, an ever-growing number of viruses designed to affect them are being found. By default, whenever you plug in a storage device in your computer, Windows automatically enables a auto-play function, which runs the a file called “autorun.ini”. Such malware uses “autorun.ini” as a vector of transmission and, through that auto-play, infect your computer.

Most paid antivirus suites scan USB devices for viruses as they are plugged into the computer, which does not happen with most free ones. If your antivirus does not provide such feature, USB Immunizer, developed by BitDefender Labs, might be the perfect solution to improve your security, as it automatically disables the auto-play function and injects a vaccine into your device, leaving it perfectly immunized against such infections.

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The availability of 64-bit systems to the regular user is fairly recent, even though they started to be developed in the 60′s, based on UNIX architecture. Microsoft released their first 64-bit operative system with Windows XP in 2001, but the true landmark came with Windows Vista. Not only was the OS itself more 64-bit oriented, but computers were also sold with improved components, more oriented to run 64-bit software. Windows 7 also boosted the usage of this computer architecture.

When I got through all the advantages of having a 64-bit operating system, I tried to improve the piece of software I use the most on my PC: my web browser. I’ve been a Firefox lover since my first contact with it, so it was a bit disappointing when I found there is not any 64-bit release of it. However, I found the (almost) perfect solution: Pale Moon, a Firefox clone which offers an improved and optimized version oriented for 64-bit systems.

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One of the greatest features presented by Windows 7 (and maintained in Windows 8) is the way the taskbar has been improved upon. Until 7, the main section of the taskbar was divided in two parts: the “quick-launch bar” and the “open programs bar”, but with Windows 7 they were merged in a way that allows the user to lock some programs in the taskbar and to have the opened programs by their side. The ability to lock programs in the taskbar is called “pinning”.

While this really is a great innovation, it has also an important flaw: it does not allow the pinning of folders directly as it happens with programs. If a user tries to pin a folder, Windows will pin the Windows Explorer instance, instead of that specific folder. To solve this, a few independent apps were released, approaching this problem in different fashions. Today I’ll bring you TaskbarPinner, a small, portable and good-looking application which has proved to be an important ally to pin almost anything you want.

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Much of my life revolves around music. Whenever I use my computer, I have music on, and when outside I usually use a portable media player. Unlike most people, I listen to whole albums instead of random songs, and my music collection is organized by bands and their albums.

With Jaangle, formerly named Teen Spirit, I found a free, light and fast piece of software, which satisfies all my needs. Don’t let the simple looks of this player fool you, because Jaangle is an incredible and reliable music player.

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