Microsoft are set to show off their replacement of its Zune service during E3 in June, according to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, reports The Verge. The new music service is codenamed Woodstock, and will continue the Redmond-based company's move away from the Zune brand, and into the arms of the Xbox brand.
Insiders have revealed to The Verge that Woodstock is poised to be a cross-platform play, available to Windows 8, Android, iOS, and Xbox users, all playable from a browser. It has previous been described as "Spotify-like", where it won't require any browser plugins and is said to integrate deeply with social networking site, Facebook.
This will allow friends to build group playlists and share tracks. On top of this, it will feature a "scan and match" function, which is similar to iTunes Match, where it's being tested as part of Woodstock to allow users to identify their existing music collection in the service. Microsoft are set to tease the new service at E3, if no last-minute plans take place. It would then launch later this year with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.
Our Download of the Day is CCleaner 3.18.
We're a third of the way through the year already! But it's that time of the month and CCleaner v3.18 is released and ready to download. This new version adds features to keep pace with the ever changing browser market, along with improved App support and the usual array of minor improvements to keep CCleaner your number one cleaning tool. :)
- Added support for Firefox 12 final release.
- Added support for Google Chrome 20.0 beta.
- Added multi-select to detailed results view.
- Improved support for Internet Explorer 64-bit Add-ons.
- Improved folder detection algorithm for cleaning items.
- Improved scrolling interface for Include/Excluding dialogs.
- Improved compatibility with Windows 7 alt-tab functionality.
- Improved user interface for Drive Wiper Tool.
- Added cleaning for Corel VideoStudio Pro X5, MS Security Client and GIMP 2.8.
- Improved cleaning for OpenOffice 3, AIMP 3.
- Minor GUI improvements.
- Minor bug fixes.
Download now from http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
AMD has released the new AMD Catalyst 12.4 driver today for download. With it comes several performance increases along with the promised Windows XP support for the full line of HD 7000 series GPUs. Along with performance increases, several bugs have been fixed:
- Elder Scolls: Skyrim : flickering square corruption is no longer observed on certain AMD Graphics cards.
- Rage : Vsync is no longer disabled after task switching.
- Tearing is no longer observed on the third screen in 3x1 and 1x3 Eyefinity configurations.
Our Download of the Day is K-Lite Codec Pack 8.7.0 (Full).
K-Lite Codec Pack has been updated from version 8.6.0 to 8.7.0 and has the following changes built-in:
Changelog 8.6.0 to 8.7.0 ~ 2012-04-23
Updated Media Player Classic Home Cinema to version 126.96.36.19985
Updated ffdshow to version 1.2.4436
Updated LAV Filters to version 0.50.1 build 2012-04-22
Removed obsolete WavPack, Musepack, and AMR decoders. These formats are now decoded using LAV Filters.
Updated Codec Tweak Tool to version 5.3.2
Updated MediaInfo Lite to version 0.7.56
Updated GraphStudioNext to verion 0.4.9.1
Updated Icaros to version 2.0.0
You can download K-Lite Codec Pack 8.7.0 here.
Quite honestly, I had completely forgotten about Norton. I mean, who still uses their anti-virus software when there are free alternatives such as AVG or Avast? Perhaps this new cloud-based password manager will help bring users back. Identity Safe is the new password manager and is compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android.
A startling statistic says that 70% of web surfers have forgotten a password in the last month. Wow. Norton hopes to gain users to the service by putting an end to it. By doing so, they are going head-to-head with LastPast and others who are already in the market place for this type of software.
Identity Safe can manage and generate new passwords for the user as well as use its pedigree of anti-virus software to warn you of malicious sites. The service will remember your passwords and other login credentials and automatically fill them in when you visit a site you have saved them for. It will additionally act like RoboForm and remember non-login data like addresses, credit card numbers, frequent flyer numbers and more.
The service will be free for lifetime if you download it by October 1, 2012. Afterwards, there is no mention of the cost, so make sure to download it before then. There has been a Mac version advertised, but nothing has materialized of it yet. So go ahead, go download it, just don't forget the password you use!
Our Deal of the Day is Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security for 3 PCs for FREE after Rebate!
Newegg.com has the Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security software for 3 PCs for $60 with FREE shipping, but there's a $60 mail in rebate to make it totally free.
Buy it for $60 shipped: TREND MICRO TITANIUM MAXIMUM SECURITY SOFTWARE DEAL
Send in the $60 rebate, expiring 4/25/12: $60 REBATE
Our Download of the Day is CPU-Z 1.60.1.
It allows to get some information on your system, including:
- Processor name and vendor
- Core stepping and process
- Processor package
- Processor current core voltage
- Internal and external clocks, clock multiplier
- Partial overclock detection
- Processor features, including supported instructions sets.
- L1 to L3 cache information : location, size, speed, technology.
- Motherboard information : name, vendor, BIOS, chipset, memory, AGP.
- Memory information : size, type, timings, specifications.
AMD are planning on dropping support for a bunch of their older GPUs when they release their Catalyst 12.7 drivers, which will be a considerable amount of GPUs no longer supported.
AMD plan to conclude driver updates for pre-Evergreen, and even pre-Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000 and HD 5000 series GPUs, starting this summer. The change should go into effect with the Catalyst 12.7 drivers which should pop up sometime in July.
Owners of these older GPUs would then have to use the latest driver made available to them, Catalyst 12.6, to run their older DirectX 10/10.1 GPUs. The culling of these pre-Evergreen GPUs from AMD's Catalyst driver package is a bit strange, but most likely a push for users to upgrade their ageing GPUs.
Our Download of the Day is Geeks3D's FurMark 1.10.
Version 1.10 adds formal support for real-time monitoring of frequencies and power figures for NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680. It also includes an improved interface, relocation of some key settings, support for new resolutions, and support for GPU-Z 0.6.0 API.
A complete change-log from the developer:
- New: added list of detected GPUs in the main interface.
- New: stress test options are now in the settings box.
- New: support of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (clock speeds and power monitoring).
- New: support of latest AMD Radeon (HD 7900, HD 7800 and HD 7700) cards.
- New: added resolutions 4096×1152 and 6144×1152 for 2048×1152 monitors.
- New: display of the true clock of the GPU when available (NVIDIA only).
- Update: GPU monitoring moved in a separate system thread.
- Update: GPU data monitoring report updated (Log GPU data in Settings box).
- Update: minor changes in the way GPU monitoring information is displayed.
- Update: ZoomGPU 1.8.2 (GPU monitoring library).
- Update: GPU-Z 0.6.0 and GPU Shark 0.6.1
You can download FurMark 1.10 here.
Our Download of the Day is Foobar2000 1.1.12 beta 3.
Foobar2000 has hit version 1.1.12 beta 3 and with it brings a bunch of fixes and more:
- Fixed Musepack HTTP streaming bugs.
- Fixed incorrect MP3 decoder behavior on certain rare files.
- Fixed crash reporter dialog crash (duh).
- Detection of proxy server settings from Internet Explorer.
- Fixed multi-channel FLAC encoding (channel mask now gets preserved).
- Fixed multi-channel WavPack decoding (channel mask now gets preserved).
- Now possible to use HDCD & DTS decoder components with ALAC.
- Changed MP3 tag reading behaviors when multiple tags are present.
- ID3v2 content now takes priority over APE and then ID3v1.
- Various time-consuming operations such as conversion or ReplayGain-scanning now prevent the computer from automatically going to sleep (opt-out).
You can download Foobar2000 1.1.12 beta 3 here.
Autodesk have been tinkering with their video editing and post-shot visual effects tool, Smoke, and will release it later in the fall. Smoke 2013 brings a bunch of new features, such as a unified interface that mixes the traditional, editorial track-based editing with Autodesk's own interface elements.
A node-based compositing tool, ConnectFX, allows editors to insert advanced effects without having to jump to a separate interface. New specific tools make the jump to the 2013 edition of Smoke, including a Color Warper for pro color adjustment, a Master Keyer for faster chromakey editing for green screens and stereoscopic 3D editing, and a 3D visual effects workflow with real 3D effects for elements like logos and titles.
All media is also put into a central area, called the MediaHub. Hardware requirements have been actually lowered, and not increased for Smoke 2013, where users can also now take advantage of Thunderbolt-based external drives and video peripherals to get the same kind of editing one would receive from the high-end Mac Pro.
Our Download of the Day is EVGA Precision X 3.0.2.
Introducing the next generation of GPU overclocking software: EVGA Precision X
Designed from the ground up to support the latest GPU technologies, EVGA Precision X redefines what overclocking software should be. This program allows you to fine tune your EVGA graphics card, including GPU Clock speed, GPU Voltage, Memory Clock speed and Fan speed.
Want to watch what your graphics card is doing in your favorite game? Load up the integrated monitoring and see all your graphics card vitals from right inside your game.
Want to setup a custom Fan Curve? Hit the Fan Curve button and set up a custom Fan Slope. Compatible with nearly every EVGA graphics card.
The EVGA Precision X Android App connects to the host PC via Bluetooth.
- GPU and Memory Frequency/Clock Offset
- Power Target Control (GeForce GTX 680)
- Frame Rate Target Control
- GPU Voltage Adjustment
- Fan Control/Fan Curve
- Profiling system allowing up to 10 profiles with optional hotkey
- Robust monitoring allowing ingame, system tray, and/or Logitech LCD monitoring
- In game screenshot hotkey, supports BMP, PNG and JPG formats
- Multi-language support: English, Dutch, French, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian
We all know its coming, but according to 9to5Mac sources, Apple are recently began internally seeding the next major release of iTunes, iTunes 11. Work on iTunes 11 reportedly began before the release of iTunes 10.6, and the development of the new version 11 product is said to focus on under-the-hood changes, rather than cosmetic changes - a good sign.
But, Apple does develop different portions of products in separate groups or at separate times, which means the final version we will see, could be different, and thus, could sport a refreshed UI. Apple is working on iTunes 11 for it to support iOS 6-based devices, as well as future Apple devices. Apple usually releases new versions of iTunes to coincide with new OS's and mobile devices.
One of 9to5Mac's sources does note that we could expect another 10.x release, with support for iOS 6, and then iTunes 11 would arrive later on in the year. iTunes 11 is said to include more iCloud integration.
If you haven't already heard, Mac-based users have been hit by quite the virus scandal over the last few days in the form of "Flashback". In case you're wondering if you're infected, F-Secure are now offering an AppleScript that you can download, and run.
The tiny bit of software checks your Mac for Flashback, and if it finds it, removes it. Apple reportedly has a tool on its way too, but that's not here yet and F-Secure's is. If you want to check your system and feel a bit more secure, you can grab it here.
I just ran it on my MacBook Pro, and I'm clean. I didn't think I'd be infected, I was pretty confident, but I'm the kind of person who would rather be safe than sorry. Run it even if you don't think you're infected, and pass this news onto any of your Mac-based friends and family. Your enemies, well, I'll leave that devious decision to you.
Many Instagram users enjoyed mass tears over the popular app heading to Android, where they no longer felt an exclusive app was on their beloved iPhone. But, another brick wall was met when Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion. This was another punch in the face for Instagram for iPhone users, and now the company is enjoying something quite different. Instagram announced through Twitter (funnily enough) that they have reached the top slot in free apps on Apple's App Store.
The replies to Instagram's Tweet were mixed, with a few loving it, and a few showing their disappointment, and anger:
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter, Facebook and Instagram have business to do, and they both know their users will still use their wares. Instagram has enjoyed success on the Android front, too, with over 5 million downloads in just 6 days time. Quite the silent achievement from Instagram there. Now I'm off to take my #aprilphotoaday which is #whereyouatebreakfast
It was only a few days ago we talked about the HBO Go app from Comcast hitting the Xbox 360, and now, it's here. As promised, Comcast flicked the switch on its HBO Go support for Microsoft's entertainment (its no longer just a gaming) console.
Viewers who have a Comcast cable subscription, and the Xbox 360, can now sign-in and watch virtually all of HBO's catalog on-demand. Viewing counts toward the 250GB data transfer cap, unfortunately. Comcast was excluded from the initial access for reasons that even now, haven't been explained.
Most believe that the answer is more of a matter of slightly longer negotiations between the three companies in question: Microsoft, HBO and Comcast. At the moment, Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable-based customers are excluded, but the reasons above are most likely at play.
Google have just updated the Music subsection of their Google Play store, and now incudes some "experimental" controls that include a toggle for using HTML5 rather than Flash for desktops, as well as a replacement of the "thumbs up/down" rating system with a five-star rating.
For Chrome users, the service can now provide desktop notifications. Google's new HTML5 feature for streaming audio works in all browsers that have support for MP3 file playing over HTML5, which include Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. Firefox and Opera don't make the cut, as they do not support HTML5 MP3 audio.
Right now, there are some limitations: an unpublished limit on the amount of daily streaming allowed per user, even if users are listening to their own music that they manually uploaded to Google. Google still imply that the service offers unlimited streaming.
Tumblr have updated their Android app and with it included an overhaul to their interface, including live notifications for multiple blogs in one place. The company says that the tweaks bring a better photo browsing experience, where users can now take advantage of the Tumblr Radar for quick access to popular images.
Tumblr didn't just dab a fresh splash of paint on the UI, they also included under-the-hood improvements for faster-loading dashboard and enhanced responsiveness. The new Tumblr update is available on Google Play, for free. Tumblr have yet to put a tablet-optimized variant on the market, or made the same changes to their iOS-based app.
The release includes:
- More responsive, faster-loading dashboard and blogs
- Better photo browsing
- Notifications for multiple blogs live in one place
- Tumblr Radar
Our Download of the Day is Wireshark 1.6.7.
Wireshark is the world's most popular network protocol analyzer. It is used for troubleshooting, analysis, development and education.
The following bugs have been fixed:
Wireshark could crash while reading SSL decryption keys on 64-bit Windows.
Malformed Packets H263-1996 (RFC2190). (Bug 6996)
Wireshark could crash while trying to open an rpcap: URL. (Bug 6922)
New and Updated Features
There are no new features in this release.
New Protocol Support
There are no new protocols in this release.
Updated Protocol Support
New and Updated Capture File Support
There are no updates in this release.
NVIDIA have posted some new 300-series GeForce drivers, with the release of GeForce 301.24 beta. These new drivers are actually compatible with "all GeForce 8-series and later GPUs". Previous 300-series drivers only worked on the new GEFORCE GTX 680 GPU. These new drivers add support for features with the GEFORCE GTX 680, including Adaptive Vsync, NVIDIA's Frame Rate Target scheme, and an option to enable FXAA through the control panel.
The new GeForce 301.24 beta driver also offers performance improvements for single- and multi-GPU setups. Also on offer are new features for NVIDIA Surround Vision setups:
- Add a fourth accessory display for access to email, web, or other applications while you game.
- Maximize an application to a single physical display when in Surround mode.
- Confine the Windows Taskbar to the center display.
- Enable bezel peeking to temporarily peek behind the monitor bezels when using bezel-corrected resolutions.
- Add or remove resolution settings from the list of Surround resolutions.
- Full center display acceleration for single-wide display modes.
The 301.24 beta also adds a bunch of new SLI and 3D Vision profiles. SLI support has been baked in for Alan Wake, and Valve's upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
You can grab the GeForce 301.24 beta drivers here.
Our Mobile App of the Day is Instagram for Android.
Instagram - A beautiful way to share your world. It's fast, free and fun!
Pick from one of several gorgeous filtered effects to breathe a new life into your mobile photos. Transform everyday moments into works of art you'll want to share with friends and family.
Share your photos in a simple photo stream with friends to see - and follow your friends' photos with the click of a single button. Every day you open up Instagram, you'll see new photos from your closest friends, and creative people from around the world.
☆ 100% free custom designed filters and borders
☆ Lux works its magic by making your photos more vibrant and brings out details in your photos you couldn't see before
☆ Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare (Flickr coming very soon)
☆ Interact with friends through giving & receiving likes and comments
☆ Works with Android versions 2.2 and above that support OpenGL ES 2
☆ Full front & back camera support
☆ And much much more...