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News

  • Keep an eye on kids' Facebook shenanigans with MinorMonitor

    If you have kids of a certain age, chances are, they're on Facebook. A lot. Connecting with friends you may--or may not--know. Talking about things you may--or may not--understand. Keeping them safe can seem like a daunting task, but it's one that's a lot easier with the help of MinorMonitor. This free, Web-based app competes with pricier solutions such as SocialShield and ZoneAlarm's SocialGuard, and does an admirable job of alerting parents to potential threats.

  • Ubuntu's next Unity begins to take shape

    With the possible exception of GNOME 3, few recent innovations in the Linux world have proven as controversial as the Unity desktop included in Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal."

  • WebFilter Chrome extension

    WebFilter is a free Chrome extension designed to block access to objectionable or dangerous sites, including those that are pornographic, harbor malware, show drug use, or are heavy bandwidth users. It's a generally useful tool, although it is somewhat marred by its surprising inability to block at least one very obvious problematic site.

  • TrackMeNot add-on keeps search engine profilers confused

    The free TrackMeNot Firefox add-on takes a unique and creative approach to protecting your privacy from search engines that can create profiles of you based on terms you search for. Rather than hiding your searches from them in some way, it takes the exact opposite tack: It inundates search engines with a blizzard of background searches from you, so that no practical profile can be built because there are too many random searches. It generates those search terms from a group of RSS feeds from sites including the New York Times, CNN, and others.

  • 10 must-have free Firefox 4 add-ons

    The recently released Firefox 4 is a big improvement over previous versions of the popular Web browser, but you can still teach it plenty of tricks.

  • Opera browser: Can it sing the big boys off the stage?

    Coke or Pepsi? Kirk or Picard? Betty or Veronica? The great battles of the marketplace tend to be duels, and few people gripe if you leave out RC, Sisko, or Cheryl Blossom. The "Browser Wars" are no different, with "IE vs. Firefox" having replaced "Netscape vs. IE" long ago, and other options are often forgotten. Opera has been one of the strongest alternate browsers for a long time, and it was my browser of choice prior to Firefox. Opera 11 (free) continues the Opera tradition of doing something different instead of a minor reskin of someone else's codebase, and delivers a plethora of features that are actually designed to be usable, not to pad out a checklist.

  • TestDisk, PhotoRec fix disks, recover files

    If you're a fan of character-based interfaces -- such as DOS -- and free data recovery, you're going to love TestDisk and its companion utility, PhotoRec (a brother program included in the TestDisk download). Both free programs run in a DOS box or from a command line and test, report on, fix common disk boot problems, and recover files from damaged hard drives. All this is done at low level, below the operating system.

  • 10 Must-Have Free Downloads

    Some downloadable software is so good that you just have to grab it. Unfortunately, often you have to pay for it after you try it out. But every once in a while, a must-have program is totally free. Such indispensable, no-cost programs are the hardest kind to find.

  • 10 utilities to secure your data

    Very few people (certainly not the smart, savvy, people who read PCWorld articles) run their computers without up-to-date firewall and antivirus software. Most users know better than to click a message from "Bank of Amerika" that tells them "Your account is much suspect of risk, please input number for verify." Regardless, there's always a new security hole, exploit, or social-engineering trick that can catch even the intelligent and cautious in a moment of weakness. Another threat is the possibility that someone might gain physical access to your computer -- whether it's a laptop thief, a sneaky coworker with dubious intent, or an aggressive lawyer for the RIAA. This feature discusses several ways to keep your digital valuables safe, even if someone is prowling around your house.

  • Latest VoxOx Beta

    It's no secret that managing your contacts and communications has become a full-time job in itself. But the latest version of VoxOx, a free service that works in conjunction with a free application, certainly can make the job easier. VoxOx unifies most of your contacts and your communications services, allowing you to stay in touch with (almost) everyone, almost all of the time.

  • 10 must-have Google Chrome extensions

    With every passing month, Google Chrome is becoming increasingly popular. Fans laud its lean, stripped-down interface, and its fast browsing. They also appreciate the free extensions that give Chrome the ability to do all kinds of nifty things.

  • Chrome to phone

    Android phones are remarkable devices, and essentially are full-blown computers that fit in your hand. In lots of ways, they work well with your PC -- but not in all ways. One of the biggest issues is Android's handling of bookmarks and browser information. Your Android browser doesn't talk to your PC browser, and vice versa. If you find a Web page on your PC that you want to save as a bookmark, it won't be saved to your Android browser. Chrome to Phone is a nifty, free workaround.

  • Google helpers: 9 downloads to tweak Chrome, Gmail, and more

    Like everyone else on the Internet, you likely use one or more of Google's many services, from search to Gmail to Google Calendar to Google Docs. And like plenty of other people, you probably have wished that these services could do even more, or that you could make them run exactly the way you wanted.

  • New Notepads: Better, stronger, faster

    Much as coelacanths have changed only slightly despite millions of years of evolution, some bundled Windows apps have scarcely progressed since the dawn of Microsoft's operating system. Today's Notepad text editor, for one, barely differs from the 1985 version.