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If you have moved out from that home under a rock then you probably heard that the next iteration of Windows, code named Blue, leaked out to the web recently. Windows “Blue” is a code name only for now, but it is also the next Windows 8 update. The new version is not exactly the next Windows (that would be Windows #, rumored to be released in late 2014), which will apparently be actually called Windows 9, but Blue is also much more than a service pack.

Service packs generally bring a roll up of Windows updates, many of them for security patches, but Blue adds a number of new features, which we will get to in part two of this mini-series.

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In today’s world of internet and downloadable content we all have some need for file conversion, be it music or video or even documents. We also all love free when we can possibly get it. There are a number of free video converters available and even some web apps that can handle the task, though for file sizes equal to TV shows and movies those services become useless.

FreeMake has what I consider perhaps one of the best and most comprehensive solutions on the market, plus it has that wonderful price tag of zero.

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USB drives. Few people predicted that they would become as popular and as successful as they did. These portable storage devices can be used not only to move files between computers, but also act a security tools and can even house your entire software library.

We have covered various portable apps in the past, but you may well be wondering just what the point of USB-based software is. I thought I’d take the time to explain why I think portable apps are not only so useful, but also very important.

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There are a number of ways in which you can secure your computer. To help protect against online threats you’ll probably want to ensure that you have a firewall in place and anti-virus and anti-malware software installed.

But not all threats are external. If you share your computer with other people – such as your children – there is potential for settings to get changed without your consent. Many settings can be locked down by editing the registry, but you can also turn to the Group Policy Editor to put restrictions in place far more easily.

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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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Have you ever wanted to get yourself back into shape but don’t know where to start? If so, I’ve decided to help you along, because I’ve been in such similar situation. As we get big or too lean, we want to change the way we look and feel. Most of the time you feel very uncomfortable with yourself.

Technology has changed everything and now it can also help you change physically and get in shape. There are many applications that help you monitor your health and track your performances. Now lets look at some of the best apps in the Windows 8 store to get you started with.

Are you ready?

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A while back we took a look at some of the ways that Google’s Chrome web browser could be tweaked by the user to make it more personal, by looking and doing exactly as you want. Now it is time to do the same with Mozilla’s Firefox. This browser is also infinitely customizable, both in looks and functions.

While Firefox has recently faced stiff competition from Chrome, the browser has remained a favorite among techies. Thanks to its themes, tabs and endless list of add-ons, there is really nothing you can not do here and this post could go on to fill a book. However, we don’t have that much space, but we can hit some of the highlights.

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Web browsers are inherently dangerous pieces of software. They fall victim to drive-by malware installations, expose numerous flaws in Flash and Java, allow cookies to track you around the web and generally get victimized by every single malicious person who has access to the web.

Much of what you are exposed to in surfing the internet results from behavioral conduct — be safe by being smart in your habits. Do not download questionable files and avoid sites that you are unsure of. However, there are also flaws in the very programs you use to surf that can wreak just as much havoc. For that, however, there are fixes. None are the perfect solution, but all can help you rest a bit easier when instituted.

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Looking for an easy way to control two or more computers with a single mouse and keyboard? A little while ago we looked at look at Multiplicity which enables you to do just this, but Microsoft’s Mouse Without Borders adds handy extra options.

The app is free of charge and can be used to control up to four computers that are on the same network with a single set of peripherals. But the clincher? There’s also a shared clipboard so you can copy and paste text and files between machines.

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Microsoft made some bold changes to Windows with its latest release. The latest version of the operating system had garnered a lot of attention and emotions from users tend to run on both the love and hate side with very few middle-of-the-road feelings. But Microsoft is always careful about a couple of things — one is backwards compatibility and the other is user customization.

Windows 8, in those ways, is no different from its predecessors. Programs that ran under Windows 7, Vista and even XP will, for the most part, run in Windows 8. Users can also make the operating system look the way they want, just as they have been able to do in the past. Things that can not be changed under the native OS can be handled by the plethora of -third-party apps that have been pouring into the market.

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