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August 2014

Popular photo editing app Pixlr now available for desktop

Pixlr has been available as a web version and application for Android and iOS for quite some time. It is a popular application judging by the ratings that it has received by users that can be used to manipulate photos in several ways directly on the phone or web.

This includes among other things options to add effects to the photos or to create collages with just a few clicks.

Pixlr for desktop has been released a couple of days ago bringing the functionality to Windows and Mac desktop systems.

Convert Windows XP to a virtual machine with VirtualXP

Microsoft abandoned Windows XP some months ago and while some users moved on to other operating systems, others are still running windows XP.

The main issue here is that Microsoft won't release official security patches for the operating system anymore which leaves it vulnerable to exploits discovered after end of support.

Tweak Windows 8 specific settings with ModernUI Tuner

The integration of the Start Screen interface in Windows 8 introduced several new features that were not present in previous versions of Windows.

While it appears that Microsoft will remove some of the options in desktop versions of the upcoming Windows 9 operating system, it is likely that they will remain more or less the same for touch-based systems.

ModernUI Tuner is a free program for Windows by WinAero that gives you options to tweak those settings to your liking.

Mozilla has a fix for Flash causing Firefox’s window to lose focus

A bug was discovered back in mid 2012 that caused the Firefox browser window to lose focus under certain circumstances when Flash contents were played in it.

What this meant is that Firefox users had to click on the browser window to make it the active window on the system again even if it was the active window before.

The system the bug was encountered on was a x86 Windows 7 operating system with Flash 11.3 initially but other systems such as Windows 8.1 are also affected by it according to user reports.

Get a quick overview of all USB devices

The Windows Device Manager may have its uses but it is certainly not the best tool when it comes to displaying a quick overview of installed hardware devices or in this case USB devices.

While you can find some information there, especially if you click a lot to look at detailed information, it is simply not suitable when it comes to a quick assessment of connected or installed hardware.

USB Device Tree Viewer has been designed to provide Windows users with such an overview for all USB-related devices on the system.

All-In-One Toolbox is a powerful Android cleaner and tools collection

My Android device, a Moto G, has been running slower than usual lately and one of the reasons why that has been the case is that it was about to run out of space.

Back then I purchased the 8 Gigabyte model and while sufficient in many ways, it became apparent quickly that free storage was running out quickly.

All-In-One-Toolbox is a free app for Android devices that brings along with it more than two dozen tools that you can run on it. One of its core tools can recover free space and RAM on the device.

Manage and monitor games with Game Assistant 2 for Windows

Keeping track of all games that you play can be quite the burden. It is not if you only use a single platform to play games on, say Steam or Origin, but if you use several, install games on their own, play Flash games and maybe also emulates games, then you may be forced to use multiple means to manage them.

While you can add third-party games to some clients, Steam supports this for instance, it is not possible to add Flash games for example as you can only add executable files to these clients usually.

Control external device access rights on Windows PCs

It is easy to connect external devices such as mobile phones, USB Flash drives or external DVD drives to a PC.

The devices get picked up automatically usually and are available for use afterwards.

All devices allow read and write operations by default which may not always be in the best interest of the owner of the system or a network administrator.

Considering that malicious software could spread through the use of these devices, it may be a good idea to limit access rights to read operations only or disable connections of specific device types altogether.

Public Key Pinning in Firefox 32 to protect against MITM attacks

Public Key Pinning (PKP) is an extension to the HTTP protocol that is in draft status currently over at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

It allows web services to reduce the number of authorities that can authenticate the domain by instructing clients to only use a specific subset of authorities instead of accepting any root certificate that ships with the browser.

Fix Latest Chrome looking zoomed in and blurry

Google has released Chrome Stable 37 yesterday and with it came a new feature to improve font rendering on Windows. The text rendering was switched from Graphics Device Interface (GDI) to DirectWrite in Chrome 37 and while the majority of users did not report any issues, some users noticed that contents looked zoomed in and kinda blurry in the browser.

Most users who experience the issue on Windows seem to have set the DPI scaling to 125% instead of the default 100% value.

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