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Steam is about to update (and probably has for some) and includes some very nice tweaks which results in downloads being sped up considerably. The new tricks involve caching at the ISP level, more firewall-friendly protocols (downloads will be coming through HTTP) and probably the best feature; a system that gives incremental patch downloads instead of having to re-download big parts of the game if they become corrupt, etc.
Let's say an individual file on your hard drive was to be modified by a game update, your client would require to download the entire file. The new system supports delivering only the differences between the old and new files, meaning game updates are considerably smaller and much, much quicker. The new content system will also allow Valve to build several new features that users have asked to be included.
Our Download of the Day today is VLC Media Player 1.1.11.
VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols without external codec or program.
It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.
VLC can play:
MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 / DivX files from a hard disk, a CD-ROM drive, and so on
DVDs, VCDs, and Audio CDs
From satellite cards (DVB-S)
Several types of network streams: UDP/RTP Unicast, UDP/RTP Multicast, HTTP, RTSP, MMS, etc.
From acquisition or encoding cards (on GNU/Linux and Windows only)
The team behind uTorrent is currently working on releasing a paid version of their BitTorrent client that enables users to convert videos and transfer files to external devices. Dubbed 'uTorrent Plus', the extended uTorrent client will be released to the public this coming fall. uTorrent's parent company BitTorrent Inc. hopes the Plus version will bring in some extra revenue, but considering the target audience, it is expected to 'suffer' from piracy too.
uTorrent has close to 100 million active users each and every month, making them the most-used BitTorrent client. The paid version of uTorrent will extend the functionality of the current program, one of the key features being the ability to convert videos and transfer files to external devices such as iPods and PSPs. Jordy Berson, Director of Product Management for uTorrent has said that no price has been set for uTorrent Plus right now.
Our Download of the Day today is Spybot Search & Destroy 2.0 Beta 2.
Spybot - Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies.
If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you haven't intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been "hijacked" (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware.
Even if you don't see the symptoms, your computer may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging. Spybot-S&D is free, so there's no harm giving it a try to see if something has invaded your computer.
Spybot-S&D can also clean usage tracks, an interesting function if you share your computer with other users and don't want them to see what you have been working on. And for professional users, Spybot-S&D allows you to fix some registry inconsistencies and extended reports.
Adobe has released a beta version of Flash 11 for Windows, Mac and Linux. Adobe have also announced the availability of the Adobe AIR 3 beta which is available for Windows and Mac, but has been killed on Linux in favour for Adobe to focus on mobile instead. Adobe says this is this first beta is a desktop release with mobile on it's way soon. 64-bit support is now included which is a pretty big step since the preview of it back in September of 2010.
Adobe have also listed a bunch of features and performance enhancements included in both the Flash Player 11 and AIR 3:
Our Download of the Day today is SpeedFan 4.44.
SpeedFan is a program that monitors voltages, fan speeds and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips. SpeedFan can even access S.M.A.R.T. info and show hard disk temperatures.
SpeedFan supports SCSI disks too. SpeedFan can even change the FSB on some hardware (but this should be considered a bonus feature).
SpeedFan can access digital temperature sensors and can change fan speeds accordingly, thus reducing noise.
SpeedFan can find almost any hardware monitor chip connected to the 2-wire SMBus (System Management Bus (trademark belonging to SMIF, Inc.), a subset of the I2C protocol) and works fine with Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, 2003, XP and Windows Vista. It works with Windows 64 bit too.
SpeedFan can handle:
almost any number of South Bridges
almost any number of hardware monitor chips
almost any number of hard disks
almost any number of temperature readings
almost any number of voltage readings
almost any number of fan speed readings
almost any number of PWMs
Microsoft have outlined their vision for a single ecosystem of Windows, the vision will include phones and PCs and was outlined by Microsoft's president of the Windows Phone Division, Andy Lees who spoke at a keynote address during Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Lees explains that there are key trends that are fundamentally changing the world of devices and form factors.
Lees, talking about Microsoft's first Windows 8 demo at CES said:
It starts right at the core of the devices themselves, the core technology. You can put all of the key things required to run a computer into a single chip." The system-on-a-chip transformation will assist in the form factors of PCs explained Lees.
Our Download of the Day today is Google Chrome 14.0.814.0 Beta.
Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.
One box for everything
Type in the address bar and get suggestions for both search and web pages.
Thumbnails of your top sites
Access your favorite pages instantly with lightning speed from any new tab.
Don't want pages you visit to show up in your web history? Choose incognito mode for private browsing.
Google Chrome warns you if you're about to visit a suspected phishing, malware or otherwise unsafe website.
For information about alpha and developer builds, check out the Chrome dev channel here.
The latest version includes the following changes:
Changes in Version 14.0.814.0 Beta
* Updated V8 - 188.8.131.52
Our Download of the Day today is Foobar2000 1.1.8 beta 1.
foobar2000 is an advanced freeware audio player for the Windows platform. Some of the basic features include full unicode support, ReplayGain support and native support for several popular audio formats.
Supported audio formats: MP3, MP4, AAC, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack, Speex, AU, SND... and more with additional components.
Full unicode support.
Easily customizable user interface layout.
Advanced tagging capabilities.
Support for ripping Audio CDs as well as transcoding all supported audio formats using the Converter component.
Full ReplayGain support.
Customizable keyboard shortcuts.
Open component architecture allowing third-party developers to extend functionality of the player.
Microsoft have reached nearly half a billion Windows 7 licenses sold since release by hitting the 400 million licenses sold mark. In June of 2010 they had sold 150 million, a few months later they hit 240 million. At this years Worldwide Partner Conference, Steve Ballmer took the stage and announced that the 240 million had expanded into a whopping 400 million and achieved that in under 2 years.
This makes Windows 7 the fastest-selling operating system in history. Tami Reller, corporate vice president and chief financial officer of Windows and Windows Live has made it clear that it's "the path to Windows 8." Another announcement is that 100 million copies of Office 2010 have made their way to customers since launch.