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  1. YouTube is home to thousands of videos that would make perfect audio files for offline listening. You could use a standard downloader to save the videos and then use a separate tool to extract the audio, but why go to such lengths when a free YouTube to MP3 converter can perform both tasks with a single click? There are lots of websites that can strip the audio from YouTube videos and send you the audio file to download, but here we've chosen to focus mainly on desktop software. These programs have several advantages: they're faster than browser-based tools, they don't require you to submit your email address (and therefore leave yourself open to spam), and they often allows you to rip the audio from multiple videos at once. Here, we've rounded up the very best tools for extracting audio from YouTube videos and downloading it as an MP3 – or any other audio format you prefer. You should only download content when you have the copyright owner's permission. YouTube's terms of service explicitly prohibit unauthorized downloading. Any Video Converter Free can save videos from YouTube in any popular format, including MP3 You would be forgiven for judging Any Video Converter Free by its name and believing it to be a tool for converting from one video format to another. While this is part of what it can do, it can also be used to download videos from YouTube and save them as MP3s – exactly what we’re looking for! As downloading as MP3s is not the sole purpose of the program, it is rather larger than you might expect, but this should not put you off (but take care not to install the optional adware during setup). It seems almost overkill to use what is a powerful and versatile piece of software for just one task, but downloading MP3s is as simple as pasting in the URL of a YouTube video and waiting for the download to complete. You can then select MP3 as the output format, and hit the Convert Now button. It's a shame there's no one-click option, but it's hardly a major hardship. Any Video Converter Free review Download Any Video Converter Free aTube Catcher is wonderfully simple to use – just paste in an URL, pick a format and go aTube Catcher is another superb tool for ripping the audio from YouTube videos and converting it to MP3 format. The first time you install the software you'll be presented with a Windows 8-style menu showing you all the options available. There's a video to MP3 converter icon on the left, but this only works with files already on your PC. To download and convert a video to MP3 format in one step, select the YouTube downloader and paste its URL into the box labelled 'URL del video'. Next, take your pick from the dozens of possible output profiles. There are three MP3 quality options, so you can choose the right balance of file size and fidelity. Your video will then be downloaded to your chosen folder and encoded, ready to watch on your desktop or mobile device, or burn to disc. aTube Catcher review Download aTube Catcher As its name suggests, Free YouTube to MP3 Converter is designed for just one task – and it performs it brilliantly Free YouTube to MP3 Converter does exactly what you'd expect, and it's perfectly safe to judge it by its name. Unfortunately, like Any Video Converter Free, there is bundled adware from ByteFence to avoid, so be watchful during the installation and uncheck any additional bits and pieces you don't want. Once installed, however, you're in for a treat. There's no need to fiddle about with options, you can just get on with downloading the music you're interested in immediately. Use a simple drop-down menu to choose the quality and format you would like to save your audio file, paste the URL, and click Download. Files are saved and converted in one fell swoop. The beauty of Free YouTube to MP3 Converter is that there's no messing about, nothing superfluous, and nothing confusing. It has one purpose in mind, and it has been designed to do it as efficiently as possible. Definitely worth a try – we're sure you'll love it! Free YouTube to MP3 Converter review Download Free YouTube to MP3 Converter 4K Video Downloader might not look flashy, but it's extremely capable It might not be the most stylish software around, but 4K Video Downloader is brilliant. Just copy the URL of a video from your web browser (it supports YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Flickr and DailyMotion) or the address of a whole YouTube playlist and click 'Paste URL'. Select 'Extract audio' and pick MP3, OGG or M4A, then click 'Extract' and the audio will be converted and saved to the destination of your choice. The free version of 4K Video Downloader lets you download up to 24 videos in a playlists, which is particularly useful for grabbing several songs by a particular artist. You can download and convert longer playlists to MP3 format if you buy a license key, but the software's free features are very impressive. 4K Video Downloader review Download 4K Video Downloader Converting YouTube videos with ClipGrab is effortless. Just copy the URL and the software will handle the rest An utter delight of a program, ClipGrab keeps things nice and simple – aside from the bundling of the Opera browser, which is easy to skip if you'd rather avoid it. The wonderfully simple interface gives you a pleasing hint of just how easy things are going to be, right from the word go. Copy a YouTube URL to the clipboard and ClipGrab will spring into action, offering to download the related video for you. Even if this doesn’t happen – you might not yet have the program running, for instance – a quick paste into the relevant field is all it takes. You can then indicate that you are interested in downloading the audio as an MP3 before you click the 'Grab this clip!' button to do just that. The MP3 you seek will be yours in next to no time. ClipGrab review Download ClipGrab Edit your clips with the best free video editing software View the full article
  2. We all know the importance of making regular backups, but that's of little comfort to anyone – even those with good backup regimens – who suddenly find themselves confronted by the stomach-churning feeling of data loss. That's why it's always a good idea to have a reliable free file recovery program on hand for emergencies. Whether it's a virus infection, a hardware failure, or just human error, it's all too easy to lose vital files. As soon as you've become aware of data loss, it's critical you stop using the drive affected immediately. Whether the drive itself is failing or you've simply deleted a file accidentally, this is the golden moment when you may be able to get your data back before it's gone for good. We've picked five of the best free file recovery tools in the business. Just pick the one closest to your requirements and with a bit of luck (and no small measure of help from the app involved), you could yet save your files. Recuva makes recovering your lost files as simple as possible Piriform Recuva makes things as easy and stress-free as possible. It opens by default to a file recovery wizard, which advanced users can subsequently skip. From here, choose the type of file you're trying to recover (picture, documents, compressed, emails and all files are among those on offer) and it'll focus its search accordingly. You can target your search to a specific location or search all your drives, and you can opt to choose a quick or deep scan. The latter takes much longer, but flushes out more results. Then click 'Start' and wait for the scan to complete. Once done, your results are presented, with each recovered file given a rating depending on its condition. You can recover files direct from here or switch to Advanced Mode for a frankly better view, offering file preview, information and a peek at the file's header. Piriform Recuva review Download Piriform Recuva With IObit Undelete, file recovery takes just a couple of clicks If you’ve ever used IObit Uninstaller or Advanced SystemCare, it’ll be no surprise that IObit Undelete is refreshingly easy to use, with an intuitive interface that makes file recovery as painless as possible. Select either the types of file you’re looking for (including documents, videos. Music and pictures) and the drive where they were stored, then click ‘Scan’. There’s no ‘deep’ option, but scans are fast and turned up the files we were looking for. IObit Undelete gives you an estimate of recoverability (excellent or poor) to indicate whether restoration is likely to be successful. Hovering your mouse pointer over the eye icon on the right lets you preview the file if possible, and restoring it is as simple as checking the appropriate box, clicking ‘Recover’ and choosing where to save it. IObit Undelete might not offer as much granular control as Recuva, but it’s quick, effective and easy to use – ideal if you’ve lost something important and panic is setting in. Highly recommended. Download IObit Undelete DMDE Free Edition can recover lost data from a huge number of drives Our third favorite free file recovery tool is often overlooked. DMDE Free Edition scores major points because it's capable of recovering data from a wide array of drives, including 2TB+ drives rescued from a fried external drive enclosure with proprietary formatting (it's a long story). DMDE may not be the simplest tool to use, but it's one of the most effective, and our step-by-step file recovery guide will help you with the basics. DMDE works by letting you select a drive and then identifies all mountable partitions, with the most obvious choices highlighted. If successful, you're then shown a File Explorer-like view to browse the drive and recover what data you need from it. There are restrictions on the way you can recover data from the free version, but there's no limit to how much you recover. If you want a simpler and faster recovery process, just upgrade to the Express or Standard edition. DMDE Free Edition review Download DMDE Free Edition PhotoRec is a capable file recovery tool, as long as you don't mind the text-based interface TestDisk and PhotoRec are a handy pair of file recover tools that come as a set. Don't be fooled by the name – PhotoRec recovers far more than just photos. It works with a wide range of file systems and media, from hard drives to CD/DVD, USB flash drives and memory cards, and there are builds for Mac and Linux, giving you flexibility to recover data from a different computer if necessary. It also has deep knowledge of over 200 file formats, which helps with reconstructing lost files, and comes packaged with TestDisk, which can be used to recover partitions. The main complication is the user interface – it's a command line affair, with no mouse support. At first glance this appears complicated, but the program steps you through the process via a series of menu screens, and because it mounts the target drive in read-only mode, there's no danger of data being lost if you take a wrong turn – you can't write data to the drive you're recovering from, for example. TestDisk and PhotoRec review Download TestDisk and PhotoRec Restore a whole lost partition with MiniTool Partition Recovery Free One of the most frightening data loss experiences is when an entire drive or partition goes missing. Often this can be traced to an accidentally deleted partition or one where the partition header has corrupted. If the issue is this simple, getting the partition back can be done quickly and easily without leaving Windows using MiniTool Partition Recovery Free. Just fire it up, select the drive containing your lost partition, then choose whether to scan the entire disk or just a portion of it (say the part where your missing partition should be). Choose between full and quick scans, then sit back and let the program do its work. Don't panic if it appears to become non-responsive, just be patient and eventually it'll list all detected partitions on the drive. Select all of them – including your missing partition – and click 'Finish' to restore it. You can also double-click a partition to view its file contents – perfect for verifying it's the one you're after. Download MiniTool Partition Recovery FreeView the full article
  3. Most of us tend to choose a web browser and stick with it for years. It can be hard to break away from your comfort zone – especially when you've become used to its quirks – but trying a different browser can greatly improve your experience on the web. Whether it's enhanced security, improved speed, or greater flexibility through customizable options and plugins, the right browser can have a huge effect on your online life. Here we've put the biggest browsers through their paces (plus one that you might not be familiar with) to identify the one that does the best job of ticking all those boxes, but if you have a particular concern then read on to see if there's an alternative that might be better suited to your needs. After several years dropping behind the competition in terms of speed, Firefox is back in the game with a fully updated code base Firefox recently received its biggest update in 13 years, and it's so impressive, it's propelled the browser to the top of our list. Firefox has always been known for its flexibility and support for extensions, but in recent years it had started to lag behind the competition in terms of speed. Firefox Quantum, first released last year, represented a total overhaul of the browser's code base, with speeds now comparable with Google Chrome. That's not just on top-end computers, either – the new Firefox makes frugal use of RAM, even with masses of tabs open. Firefox also scores serious points when it comes to privacy. Mozilla is non-profit, which means it doesn't have the same impetus to sell your data as some other browser developers. The organization also makes regular updates to help protect its users' privacy as internet companies come under increasing scrutiny over the way they treat people's data. Quantum also introduced a new system for extensions that prevents rogue developers making malicious changes to the browser's internal code. It's not always the absolute fastest – for some pages Chrome still has the edge, as Mozilla's own video demonstrates – but the new Firefox has come out swinging and is our pick for the best web browser of 2018 so far. Mozilla Firefox review Download Mozilla Firefox Chrome is a superb browser - fast and adaptable - if you aren't bothered by letting Google handle all your online activity With Chrome, Google has built an extendable, efficient browser that deserves its place at the top of the browser rankings. According to w3schools' browser trend analysis its user base is only rising, even as Microsoft Edge's install numbers are presumably growing. Why? Well, it's cross-platform, incredibly stable, brilliantly presented to take up the minimum of screen space, and just about the nicest browser there is to use. Its wide range of easily obtained and installed extensions mean you can really make it your own, and there's support for parental controls and a huge range of tweaks and settings to ensure maximum efficiency. But there are downsides, and potentially big ones. It's among the heaviest browsers in terms of resource use, so it's not brilliant on machines with limited RAM, and its performance doesn't quite match up to others in benchmarking terms. And with Google's tentacles running through it, you might be uncomfortable with the ways in which your browsing data may be used. Google Chrome review Download Google Chrome Opera is a superb browser with a clean interface and built-in ad-blocker, plus a Turbo mode that makes slow connections more useable It's sad that Opera makes up only around 1% of the browser market, because it really is a quality browser. It launches fast, the UI is brilliantly clean, and it does everything its rivals can do with a couple of extras thrown in for good measure. The key reason we'd at least recommend having Opera installed alongside your main browser is its Opera Turbo feature. This compresses your web traffic, routing it through Opera's servers, which makes a huge difference to browsing speed if you're stuck on rural dial-up or your broadband connection is having a moment. It reduces the amount of data transferred too, handy if you're using a mobile connection, and this re-routing also dodges any content restrictions your ISP might place on your browsing, which can be mighty handy. Opera automatically ducks out of the way if you're using secure sites like banks so your traffic is free and clear of any potential privacy violation. There's also an integrated ad-blocker – which can be switched off if you're morally inclined in that direction – and a battery-saving mode which promises to keep your laptop going for longer. Opera review Download Opera Edge works on all your Windows 10 devices, with sandboxing for security and a special reading mode to isolate the important content on pages The default 'browsing experience' on Windows 10, and unavailable for older operating systems, Edge is an odd one. Quite why Microsoft needs to be running a pair of browser products in tandem rather than making Edge backwards compatible is beyond us. The company's reason, it seems, is that Edge represents the more user-friendly end of Redmond's offering while Internet Explorer scales a little better for enterprise. Integration with Windows 10's core gimmicks seems to be Edge's main strong point. It happily runs as a modern-skinned app on Windows 10's tablet mode, and works with Cortana. It's also highly streamlined for the current web age, doing away with insecure protocols like ActiveX and forcing you into Internet Explorer if you want to use them. We're more used to browsers failing to render newer pages than we are to being told off for visiting older corners of the web. Curmudgeonly grumbles aside, actually using Edge is a perfectly pleasant experience. It's super-quick, hammers through benchmarks, its integrated reading mode makes complex sites more palatable, and by sandboxing it away from the rest of the operating system Microsoft has ensured that Edge won't suffer the security breaches of its older brother. It's just a shame that Microsoft is quite so insistent on forcing Edge upon Windows 10 users, making it the default browser for links opened in the Mail app, adding shortcuts to your desktop after major OS updates, and presenting it as a potential result if you start typing 'Firefox' in the Cortana search box. Windows 10 (including Edge) review Get Windows 10 (including Edge) Microsoft Internet Explorer is a fast and powerful browser, and makes modest use of your system resources, though it lacks the flexibility of Firefox and Chrome Microsoft Internet Explorer has seen some ups and downs in its long tenure, from dominating the browser charts to languishing behind its main two competitors. This is partly an issue of choice – particularly the browser choice that Microsoft was forced to give customers after a court ruling – and partially because older versions fell behind the rendering and compatibility curve. There are no such issues with Internet Explorer 11. It's clean, powerful, highly compatible, and it demands less of your RAM and CPU than equivalent pages would on Chrome or Firefox. Plus it one-ups both of them on WebKit's Sunspider benchmark. That's not to say this browser is perfect. Google's V8 benchmark sees it struggling, and IE isn't quite as able to handle add-ons and extensions as many of its competitors. So while there's no reason to avoid IE like there might once have been, if you're looking for a more customised browsing experience you're out of luck. Download Microsoft Internet Explorer Vivaldi is a relatively new browser that's bound to see more development soon. Its interface is fully customizable, though it doesn't officially support extensions yet Here's something a bit different. We all spend probably far too much time sitting in front of our web browsers, and up-and-comer Vivaldi wants to make that as pleasant and personal an experience as possible. The whole style and structure of its interface is entirely up to you. There's a built-in note-taking system, you can dock websites as side panels while using the main window to do your main browsing, and we love its innovative tab stacking tech, which allows you to group up tabs and move them around to avoid the crowding that so often plagues other browsers. Vivaldi is built on Chromium, which means you can expand it even further with extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Just pick your preferred plugin and click 'Add to Chrome'. Some extensions might behave slightly differently in Vivaldi, but most work perfectly. Vivaldi is a refreshing and creative take on web browsing, and one to watch in the next couple of years as more features are added. Vivaldi review Download Vivaldi Tor Browser is a heavily modified version of Firefox that re-routed web traffic via random nodes worldwide Tor Browser is, perhaps unjustly, most regularly associated with the seedy underworld of the dark web. While it's true that you can use this web browser to access otherwise unlisted sites, Tor's privacy aspects – where your traffic is routed through random nodes the world over, making it very hard to track - are its real asset. Tor Browser is really a package of tools; Tor itself, a heavily modified version of the Firefox Extended Support release, and a number of other privacy packages that combine to make it the most secure browsing experience you're likely to find. Nothing is tracked, nothing is stored, and you can forget about bookmarks and cookies. You'll need to alter your browsing habits to ensure that you don't perform actions online that reveal your identity – Tor Browser is just a tool, after all – but for a secondary browser useful for those private moments it's a great choice. Run it from a USB stick and nobody need even know you have it at all. Tor Browser review Download Tor Browser Make emails easier to manage with the best free email client.View the full article
  4. Earlier this week the existence of Windows 10 Lean was discovered, and after a bit of digging more details have been found about this lightweight OS, as well as hints as to what Microsoft plans to do with the software. We knew that Windows 10 Lean would have an installation size that was 2GB smaller than the standard version of Windows 10, and that this would necessitate cuts to features and apps to keep the size down. However, Twitter user Lucan, who first brought attention to the existence of Windows 10 Lean, has done some digging and discovered where these cuts are coming from, and found that over 50,000 files that are present in Windows 10 Pro are not in Lean. That’s quite a hefty cut, and the missing files include common tools such as PowerShell, regedit, Internet Explorer and various other Windows 10 apps such as Mail and Windows Media Player. For people who never use those tools, having a version of Windows 10 that ditches them in favor of a smaller installation size will seem like a pretty decent trade off. Meanwhile, Inside Windows has got a full list of missing files, giving you an idea of what is missing. Mobile ambitions However, with Microsoft pushing Windows 10 S and 10 S mode as more secure and trimmed down versions of Windows 10, where does that leave Windows 10 Lean? The clue to Microsoft’s plans for the operating system can be found in the files that have been left intact – or added. For example, it looks like support for telephony APIs have been included, which usually aren’t in standard versions of Windows 10. Could this hint at Windows 10 Lean coming to smartphones, after the failure of Windows 10 Mobile? As Lucan points out, there’s also a build of Windows 10 Lean for ARM devices, with ARM hardware usually found in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, which could be another hint. Cutting 2GB from the installation size would certainly make it a more viable operating system on tablets with limited storage space. So, while we may not see a new wave of Windows 10 Lean-toting smartphones, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the operating system crop up on future Windows tablets. Here’s our list of the best tablets you can buy in 2018 Via MSPoweruser View the full article
  5. Opera – an underrated gem of a browser – is now available for your smartphone. Whereas most mobile browsers require either two hands or some awkward thumb-stretching, Opera Touch, available now for Android and iOS, is built specifically for one-handed use. That’s super convenient for getting online while hanging onto everyday essentials like your bag, sandwich or child. "We have moved the browser’s key functions within your thumb’s reach," explained Maciej Kocemba, product manager at Opera. ”This means that, unlike in most other browsers, you can more easily browse and search the web when on the move." Opera Touch opens automatically in search mode, with a blinking cursor and keyboard ready for you to type your first query. It’s a small difference from other mobile browsers, but it’s a thoughtful touch that can save you a few valuable seconds every day. You can also search via voice or by scanning barcodes to find product reviews (or, somewhat cheekily, better prices on products you’ve found on the highstreet). Go with the Flow Opera has worked many of the desktop browser's best features into Opera Touch, including a built-in ad blocker and protection from cryptojacking, but its most exciting new feature is a syncing tool called Opera Flow. Opera’s research found that 69% of smartphone users don’t use their mobile browser’s syncing tools, preferring the messy hack of emailing links to themselves. As a result, it’s created a system that lets you share links, pictures, videos and notes between devices using QR codes. Opera Flow lets you move links, snippets of text, videos and pictures between desktop and mobile devices without logging into an account "Today, we are introducing a new type of web experience," said Krystian Kolondra, executive vice president and head of Opera browsers, "one where you can have a continuous flow of your content across all your devices." Opera Flow is designed for transferring content between desktop and mobile devices – and there's a new version of the Opera desktop browser that lets you do just that. As well as Flow, the new Opera for desktop also includes Instant Search. You can start searching any time by hitting Alt+Tab. You can download the new version of Opera for desktop now, and Opera Touch is available from the App Store and Google Play. Get more from the web with the best web browser View the full article
  6. The new Gmail for web is here, and it's designed to take the stress out of managing email overload. It's a ground-up rewrite with an eye towards making it safer and more productive for workers – not just businesses who pay for it, but also for everyone who uses the free version to manage their work. One of the biggest changes to Gmail is a new Confidential mode, which is designed to make Gmail more secure and prevent loss of sensitive information through hijacking of accounts. Confidential mode Until now, the permanence of email has been problem; once you've sent a message to someone, it's in their inbox forever unless they decide to delete it. Confidential mode will send a link to the content, rather than the content itself. Confidential mode lets you set time limits so sensitive emails can only be accessed for a certain period As the sender, the content will remain in your inbox, securely encrypted, and you can revoke access at any time. Alternatively, you can set the link to expire after a certain period. You can send a confidential email to anyone – not just people who use Gmail – and enable two-factor authentication to make sure only the intended recipient can open the link. Confidential mode will also prevent accidental or semi-malicious leaks by disabling the ability to copy text and save pages, working on the basis that if committing a crime is even slightly more difficult, people are much less likely to do it. Anti-phishing There's also added protection against phishing. Gmail made a name for itself as the email provider with the best spam filter, but although it represents a far smaller proportion of nuisance emails, phishing is a far bigger threat. Gmail's phishing warnings are now much clearer Gmail uses machine learning to help identify threats, and now flags them up much more clearly. Previously, potential phishing emails were identified with a small bar warning readers that they should be careful clicking any links. Now, the interface will present a huge red warning, explaining the danger in plain language so people understand the risk. Push and nudge Google has also taken steps to relieve the email overload problem. It's introduced a feature called Nudging, which bumps potentially important messages back to the top of your inbox after a few days as a reminder to deal with them. Not many messages are bumped, but during in-house tests, Google employees have found them helpful. If Gmail detects that an email might be important, it will bump it to the top of your inbox after a few days if you haven't dealt with it Push notifications have also have a revamp. At the moment, most people who use the Gmail mobile app get a push notification every time they receive a message, which can be a huge distraction. Now there's a high priority option, which only alerts you when an important email arrives. It does this using the same technology as Smart Reply, which was introduced last year and suggests automatic responses to emails to save you typing them out. Google doesn't scan your emails to target ads, and its employees never read the content of your messages. Gmail also includes new features that can avoid the need to open some emails at all, including one-click unsubscribe for mailing lists whose messages you don't usually read. You can now choose to only receive push notifications for important emails, and unsubscribe from mailing lists straight from your inbox There are also new attachment chips – small icons that appear below email subject lines in your inbox and let you download email attachments without opening the whole email chain. There are also options to archive, delete or snooze messages with a single click. Easy app access Perhaps most noticeable new feature is the new collapsible Side Panel, which makes other Google apps like your calendar and notes accessible without switching between tabs. Gmail's new side panel lets you access other G-Suite apps, including Calendar These are enormously helpful, enabling you to drag emails straight into other apps, and manage your appointments without leaving your inbox. You can opt into the new Gmail today, and it will become an opt-out change in the coming months. Eventually it will become mandatory for all Gmail users. Using a different email provider? Check out our guide to free email clients View the full article
  7. Today’s modern CIOs face a set of expectations, opportunities, and challenges that have grown tremendously over the last decade. This fundamentally revolves around one question “How can IT provide value for the business?” In conjunction with emerging technologies are the challenges of managing people, process and compliance. Wrapped around all of this is the concept of security. What “security” means for an organisation has changed dramatically over the last several years. Check out our list of the best internet security suites 2018 Historically, security was viewed as an operational task. Companies had a firewall, anti-virus software, and maybe an IPS (Intrusion Prevention System). Things have changed tremendously since then. The role of the CSO (Chief Security Officer) or CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) has been created specifically to tackle these challenges. This role was responsible for protecting the organisation from the ever-increasing cyber threats and/or data breaches. In addition to the many other responsibilities of CIOs, they also need to be part CSO. In the same way the CIO is responsible for their budget to the CFO, they must also learn and embrace mature security postures. While the CSO and security team are the experts in emerging threats, CIOs must now structure a general degree of awareness and competence across the organisation. The threats businesses face today are unique in that they are fluid and ever-changing. Every week there is a new story of a data breach or compromise, and we know what is publicly disclosed is just the tip of the iceberg. Every business vertical has data that would be financially damaging if made public. Whether this is intellectual property for chemical manufacturing, to patient person information in healthcare, to client financial information in banking, to stolen credit card information in retail, security has become a board room conversation because of how it impacts the bottom line. Enforcing the basics Modern CIOs have an important role in ensuring the private business data remains private. This happens in conjunction with the CSO/CISO and audit/compliance. Too many of today’s compromises happen opportunistically because basics are not enforced. Ensure systems are patched in a timely manner. Too much malware exists for known and patched exploits. Proper identity management, no shared accounts, use good passwords. Ensure firewalls are truly least privilege. Don’t have Windows systems with RDP open from the Internet and lock down outgoing connections. Encrypt all endpoints, its free, use it. Too many data breaches have come from lost hard drives or devices. While these seem like fundamentals, they can go a long way towards improving your organisation’s security posture. The next level is generally driven more from the security team’s guidance, but requires a significant amount of operational support and integration. This is where things get much more interesting strictly from a technologist perspective. How do we deploy IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), WAF (Web Application Firewall), and other layer 7 type security in a way that is effective? How do I do this in a world where most traffic is encrypted? How do we put in place a SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) solution that will aggregate logs from every point of technology and be able to run real time threat intelligence and machine learning on this data? How do I enable two-factor authentications on every piece of my environment? I must assume that I am either already breached, or will be in the future. How do I lower my mean time to detection of a breach? If a malware was sending out stolen data hidden in DNS queries, would I know? The challenge is two-fold. First, while technology exists to solve all the problems above, it also comes with a significant price tag. Second, if you have the resources to procure this technology, the operational human time to both deploy and manage all this technology can be overwhelming. Today’s modern CIO have a plethora of new challenges to face around security, while still advancing business capabilities to generate revenue. Modern agile development cycles in conjunction with best of breed security. CIOs can make a big impact driving and enforcing security basics around patching, good firewall management, and training. Today’s security expectations require a strong relationship between CSOs and CIOs. In many cases, a professional service provider adds a significant amount of value in an organisation’s ability to deploy and get value from new technology that is continuously developed and released. In summary, focus on the basics and do not be afraid to leverage experts for utilising emerging technologies. Sean Donaldson is CTO at Secure-24. He has a strong technological background from over 15 years of developing world-class infrastructure solutions and critical application management. Check out our list of the best antivirus software of 2018 View the full article
  8. If you’re worried about getting a new PC that runs Windows 10 in its locked-down 10 S mode, which doesn’t allow you to install applications outside of the Microsoft Store, then the good news is it appears the process of switching to a full version of Windows 10 will be pretty simple. We found out earlier this year that Microsoft was planning to change Windows 10 S, which was a separate version of Windows 10 with a number of restrictions in place, to Windows 10 S mode, which as the name suggests will be a mode that can be used with any version of Windows 10 to turn it into Windows 10 S. While Microsoft believes that Windows 10 S mode will be popular with users who want the security – and performance – improvements that come with only using Microsoft Store apps, many users won’t appreciate being limited to what they can and can’t install. Thankfully, Microsoft revealed that switching back to a version of Windows 10 without those restrictions will be free, and we’ve now seen that the process could be as simple as visiting the Microsoft Store. Credit: Richard Hay Flick of a switch The process of switching from Windows 10 S Mode to normal Windows 10 was spotted by Richard Hay on Twitter, who posted a screenshot showing how people can switch out of S mode using the Microsoft Store. All you need to do is find the option in the Microsoft Store (which can be accessed from the icon in the taskbar), then click ‘Get’. The option is available in an early version of Windows 10, Build 17134. We have our reservations about Windows 10 S mode and how useful it will actually be, so it’s good to see that Microsoft is sticking to its promise of making the switching process free, as well as making it pretty straightforward. It should also be noted that Microsoft warns that the switch is one-way, so once you’ve turned off Windows 10 S mode you won’t be able to turn it back on, unless you completely reinstall Windows 10. Check out our list of the best laptops of 2018 Via MSPoweruser View the full article
  9. Best email client of 2018

    Email remains an important form of communication, more formal than a text, tweet or instant message, while obviously being much faster than ‘snail mail’, which may explain why email volume continues to increase. Indeed, a recent estimate claimed that something like 269 billion emails are sent daily. Most of us likely have multiple email accounts with online providers such as Gmail, Outlook.com or Yahoo, which can be used online via their corresponding websites (also known as webmail), or by using mobile apps. Managing and coordinating multiple accounts can quickly become a chore, and that is where an email client becomes a useful solution to sync all your messaging in one place. An email client can also offer additional features, such as enhanced security, or the ability to back up messages. We’ve picked out six of the best email clients in this article. We’ve also chosen the best free email client if you don’t want to pay anything Microsoft’s Outlook is the de facto email client for most businesses and enterprises, and has been around for decades, with its origins dating back to MS-DOS. Obviously it has tight integration with other Microsoft services, and that takes email beyond the simple exchange of messages. Outlook has the advantage of being fully integrated with the Outlook Calendar, making it a snap to share calendars to coordinate meetings. This integration also extends to Outlook Contacts. Outlook is supported for the Windows platform, but also across the mobile platforms of iOS and Android as well. Microsoft Outlook is available as part of the Microsoft Office suite, which can be purchased as the standalone Office 2016, or the subscription-based Office 365. A single user subscription to Office 365 Personal can be purchased for $6.99 (around £5, AU$9) per month or $69.99 (around £50, AU$90) for a full year. You can buy Microsoft Office here While Outlook is a stalwart of the business world, Microsoft has long realized that it is overkill for many home users, so there’s a lightweight email client built into Windows. Way back when, this client was Outlook Express, but it has since evolved and in the latest version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system, it’s known as Mail for Windows 10. For any Windows user, the Mail for Windows 10 client is an obvious choice, as when you log into Windows 10 with a Hotmail, Live, or Outlook.com address, the account is already added to the email client. It can also work with other popular accounts, including Yahoo, Gmail, and iCloud. Mail for Windows 10 has a useful feature known as Quick Actions, which, for example, allows the user to easily flag or archive a message. It’s also integrated with the Windows Calendar app. Mail is included with versions of Windows 10 This alternative email client is trusted and used by Fortune 500 companies which include Avis, McDonald’s and Toyota. It offers a wide array of features, including a calendar, contacts and chat. Support is provided for all the major email services including Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud and Outlook.com. The latest version of eM Client (7.1) also offers PGP encryption, live backup, and auto-replies for Gmail. There is a free tier, but you need the Pro version for commercial use, and that also gives you VIP support and unlimited accounts (the free product is limited to two email accounts). The Pro version will set you back $49.95 (or £29.95 in the UK, which is around AU$55). You can buy eM Client here Mailbird Pro is an email client that promises to “save time managing multiple accounts,” and to make your email “easy and beautiful”. While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, as they say, it’s undeniable that Mailbird Pro offers many free themes to make email a more enjoyable and customizable experience. Unlike some more Microsoft-centric email clients, Mailbird Pro supports a diverse range of integrated apps, including WhatsApp, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and Slack, all making for a better streamlined workflow. However, one downside to bear in mind here is that there’s no support for filters or rules to organize your inbox. The annual cost of Mailbird Pro is $9 (around £6, AU$12) for an individual, and $20 (around £14, AU$26) for a business user. You can buy Mailbird Pro here Inky is an email client that focuses on security, using “sophisticated AI, machine learning and computer vision algorithms” to block all manner of phishing attacks which might otherwise get through. This client uses an ‘Inky Phish Fence’ that scans both internal and external emails to flag phishing attempts. The proprietary machine learning technology can literally read an email to determine if it has phishing content, and then is able to quarantine the email, or deliver it with the malicious links disabled. It also takes things a step further and offers an analytics dashboard, which allows an administrator to see patterns of attacks based on dates, or targeted users. The Inky email client does offer a free trial, but sadly, pricing details aren’t made available on the Inky website. However, the site does note that pricing is per mailbox per month on a subscription, with volume discounts available. You can sign up for Inky here TouchMail is an email client that simplifies email by making it more visual. This also makes it easier to use on a touch-based mobile device. The goal of TouchMail is to aggregate multiple email accounts together, in a single visually attractive interface which is user-friendly. It lets you see all of the day’s emails in one place, with messages color-coded by sender for easy identification. Emails from top senders can be easily sorted and managed, too. This client is available for the Windows 10 platform, but not for iOS or Android, sadly. TouchMail can be grabbed from the Microsoft Store, and normally retails at $29.99 (around £22, AU$39), although at the time of writing there is a sale on that gives you a third off the asking price. You can buy TouchMail hereView the full article
  10. While we’re still waiting for the next major version of Windows 10 to be released, which now will apparently be called Windows 10 April Update, we’ve also seen evidence of new features that will come in later updates, including a new cut-down version of the operating system known as Windows 10 Lean. According to a Twitter user named Lucas, Windows 10 Lean will be a new installation option when you install Windows 10 from scratch. The new edition is available in an early version of Windows 10, build (17650), which can be downloaded by Windows Insiders who have chosen the ‘Skip Ahead’ feature. It looks like Windows 10 Lean will be a 64-bit version of Windows 10 that is 2GB smaller than Windows 10 Pro, with a number of features cut to save disc space. This means wallpapers, drivers for CD and DVD drives, and a number of apps have been cut. In this early version, Lucas also found that Microsoft’s Edge browser doesn't show download prompts, which means you can't get files from the internet, making it even more restricted than Windows 10 S. So it looks like Windows 10 Lean will be aimed at devices which have limited resources, and where security is a priority. It’s good to see Microsoft targeting hardware like that, but the ever-growing list of Windows 10 varieties is quickly becoming confusing. None more black Another upcoming feature was also unveiled on Twitter, this time by Rafael Rivera, a software engineer, who found that a dark theme is coming for File Explorer. This makes the windows you use for browsing the files on your computer a better match for any theme you have that uses dark colors. While it’s not a particularly groundbreaking feature, it is one that quite a few people have asked for in the past. Again, this is an early version of the feature, but if you fancy trying it out Rivera has creating a hacking tool known as Mach2 that will allow you to enable it. Of course, you should take care when using such tool. How to use Windows 10Via MSPoweruser View the full article
  11. Following a leak last week where a Microsoft promo video called the next big (imminent) update for Windows 10 the ‘April 2018 Update’, the name has now been spotted on an official Edge browser landing page, seemingly confirming this is the moniker Microsoft is planning to use. This page now appears in the browser when you update Windows 10 to preview build 17134, which hit the Release Preview ring at the end of last week, explaining all the features of the update such as Timeline. It’s headed up with the title: “Welcome to the April update”. So this is much more substantial than a passing mention from a Microsoft exec in a video, and it would indeed seem that the name we are looking at for the next major upgrade is the Windows 10 April Update, as per the previous rumor (albeit with the ‘2018’ bit dropped). Previously, the update was thought to be called the Spring Creators Update, so it seems Microsoft has thought better of this name, which admittedly was rather unimaginative given that the last two updates have been ‘Creators’ themed. Although April Update is hardly any more imaginative… And, when Microsoft came up with its new naming scheme for Windows 10 updates, the whole idea was that these upgrades would be themed, so suddenly dropping this concept seems rather odd. Vanishing act That said, we don’t know for sure that it will be called the April Update just yet, but it certainly seems that any references to the Spring Creators Update have completely vanished, so this definitely won’t be the name. As ever, only time will tell. And speaking of time, if Microsoft is going to call this the Windows 10 April Update, then really, it’s going to have to start rolling out this week, or next Monday. As if it kicks off any later than that, it will, of course, be the May Update. Given that a major bug has been discovered, which is evidently somewhat problematic, it’s uncertain whether the rollout really is imminent. Even if Microsoft does begin the rollout this week, the fact that the update is dated ‘April’ may still confuse folks who receive it in May or June, and possibly make them believe it’s an older or out-of-date update. Because of course, not everybody gets the update in the first week or indeed month – far from it. In fact, the whole process usually takes a few months to reach most Windows 10 PCs (and possibly even longer for a small minority of outlier systems). We’ve highlighted the best laptops of 2018Via Neowin View the full article
  12. TV shows, movies, and games are often distributed online, and a great download manager will slash the amount of time you spend waiting for them to appear on your hard drive. The best managers can speed up downloads by breaking files into manageable blocks, let you pause and resume whenever you want, and even compensate for flaky internet connections by picking up where they left off after it breaks unexpectedly. Some download managers will even convert media file formats automatically, saving you the hassle of re-encoding them yourself, and others will let you begin playing an audio or video file before it's finished downloading. Here's our pick of the very best free download managers for Windows. Once you've tried one, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it. With Ninja Download Manager, you can begin listening to an audio file while it's still downloading Ninja Download Manager is a relative newcomer to the downloading party, and it looks considerably more contemporary than its, er, contemporaries. Its interface is simple and modern (if a little dark), and its accelerator can help you get your files 10 times faster. It does this by splitting each file into chunks, then downloading each one using a different server connection, making downloads not only faster, but also more reliable. If you're into music and movies you'll be delighted by its sequential setting, which lets you begin playing a file while it's still downloading. There's also a built-in video downloader with support for YouTube and Vimeo, and a video converter that changes the file format automatically once it's finished downloading. There are lots of fantastic options around, but if you love music, films and TV then Ninja Download Manager is the tool for you. Note that the link to download the free version of Ninja Download Manager is at the very bottom of the developer's homepage. Ninja Download Manager review Download Ninja Download Manager Free Download Manager gives you full control over your downloads, including the ability to select which parts of a compressed ZIP archive you want to save Free Download Manager aims to be all things to all people – and succeeds. It's a download accelerator, a BitTorrent client, an audio and video previewer and a traffic management tool, and because it's open source, it's completely free and receives regular updates from its community of developers. It includes powerful scheduling features and a very handy remote control that means you can leave your downloads running and check on their progress from any internet-connected device. It can spider sites to download specific kinds of files, and you can choose to download only the bits of a ZIP file you actually want. It's an exceptional program, and it was tough to choose between this and Ninja Internet Download Manager for the top spot. Free Download Manager Review Download Free Download Manager With Download Accelerator Plus, you can preview videos while they're being downloaded The free version of Download Accelerator Plus is a pared-back version of the premium edition, but it's much more than just a demo and contains all the essential features you need for quick, reliable downloads. The free version lacks the DAP Premium's privacy protection, but it does include a link checker, video previewing, file conversion, safe downloading and multiple connections to boost the speed of your downloads. Download Accelerator Plus is clearly designed for media fans, and can help you avoid irritations such as slow servers and internet congestion. Download Download Accelerator Plus JDownloader is a powerful tool that's available for all platformsJDownloader is a free, open source download manager with a massive developer community, and it's available for Windows, Linux and Mac. It's really one for power users, with support for over 300 decryption plugins, automatic RAR extraction, password list searching and OCR to complete some of the captcha 'I'm not a robot' checks you encounter on download sites. You'll need the Java Runtime Environment to run it, and you'll have to be careful when installing it: the installer contains adware, which will be bundled in with the download manager if you don't specifically deselect it. JDownloader review Download JDownloader EagleGet is feature-packed, but so well designed you'll master it in seconds EagleGet is a smart, modern download manager that makes downloading all kinds of media files a piece of cake. It boasts accelerated downloads, automatic malware checking, automatic and batch downloads, and lots more features besides. EagleGet's browser extension works with Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer, identifying downloadable content on pages and letting you grab it with a couple of clicks. Any open browser windows will be closed when you install EagleGet, so make sure you've saved any works in progress before you begin. EagleGet review Download EagleGet View the full article
  13. Best Linux apps of 2018

    While everyone knows that most Linux distributions (distros) are free to download, not everybody is aware that you also have access to thousands of cost-free applications through your operating system’s package manager. Many of the more user-friendly distros will come with a selection of software preinstalled to help you get started, but there are many more apps out in the wild, under continuous development. Install Linux on the best-in-class Dell XPS 13 In this guide we'll highlight 10 of the best desktop applications for Linux. All of these programs can be installed either via the command line or by using a graphical frontend to your package manager – such as Synaptic, which we’ll cover in the very next slide. 10 of the best Linux distros for privacy fiends and security buffs 10 best Linux distros: which one is right for you? What's the best Linux distro for beginners? How to choose the best Linux distro for laptops 10 of the most popular lightweight Linux distros 1. Synaptic While some Linux distros like Ubuntu come with their own flashy app stores, none are as quick and easy to use as Synaptic, which simply serves as a graphical frontend for the 'apt-get' command line utility. You can install it on any Debian-based Linux distro such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Browse categories of apps such as 'Games and Amusement' using the pane on the left-hand side. Click the box next to an app name to mark it for installation (or uninstallation) then click the Apply button at the top to affect your changes. All the programs covered in this feature can be installed via Synaptic. Website: http://www.nongnu.org/synaptic 2. VLC Media Player VLC is most commonly known for being a media player, although it does much more. When installed, it downloads codecs for virtually every kind of audio or video file, meaning you're unlikely to ever have playback issues again. The software can also play DVDs. You can use VLC to clip video files and even convert them from one format to another – from AVI to MP4, for example. See our guide on this here. The media player client can also act as a server, allowing you to stream media from one device to another (handily, we’ve also got a guide on how to do this). Website: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.en-GB.html 3. Mozilla Firefox Firefox is the default web browser for a number of Linux distros such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. The browser’s simple and fluid interface is one of its many attractions. Firefox will play YouTube videos right off the bat, and can download plugins to play other formats for you. The browser also updates itself from the get-go, meaning you always have the latest version. Firefox supports a number of extensions to enhance your web experience, and you can customise the browser further via the Mozilla add-ons page, where it is possible to install a colourful theme. Website: https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/new 4. GIMP GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free image editor. It can be used to edit and retouch images by resizing, adding layers and other special effects. You can access these via the handy toolbox or dropdown menus. See our guide on how to use GIMP here. The GIMP website itself also has a great selection of tutorials. If you're accustomed to Adobe Photoshop, it may take some time for you to adjust to GIMP's interface, but it can do almost everything professional image editors are capable of. You can even add certain Photoshop plugins to GIMP. By default the program takes up less than 100MB of space, which is another considerable benefit, particularly for those short on storage. Website: https://www.gimp.org 5. Deluge While many Linux distributions already come with a BitTorrent client, Deluge stands out as a lightweight yet fully-featured app for downloading your files. The interface is extremely easy to master and can be enhanced by a number of excellent community supported plugins which do things such as shut down your machine when a download completes. You can even set up Deluge so that it can be accessed via a web interface from other devices, allowing you to download files to your home computer when you're away. Website: http://deluge-torrent.org 6. Thunderbird Thunderbird is a free and powerful email client. The setup wizard guides you gently through the process of either creating a new email address or setting up your existing one. Thunderbird's database contains email settings for all common providers, and you can add as many email accounts as you wish. Like Firefox, Thunderbird can be enhanced by add-ons, such as themes to make it more colourful, or better ways to sort your Mail folders. The most useful of these is undoubtedly the Lightning extension which adds a fully functioning Calendar to the email client. We’ve got an in-depth review of Thunderbird right here. Website: https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/thunderbird 7. LibreOffice LibreOffice is nothing less than a full-blown office suite, on a par with commercial alternatives like Microsoft Office. While the interface may look rather basic, this product has some extremely advanced features. The LibreOffice word processor Writer, spreadsheet software Calc and presentation app Impress are preinstalled in Ubuntu and most of its derivatives. The suite also includes three less well-known apps – Draw, Math and Base – which are used for editing vector graphics, composing mathematical formulae and managing databases respectively. While LibreOffice uses the ODF (Open Document Format) by default it can open and save Microsoft Office compatible files too. Read our full review of LibreOffice here. Website: https://www.libreoffice.org 8. Pidgin Pidgin is an instant messaging program which allows you to connect to multiple chat networks at once. At the time of writing these include AIM, Bonjour, IRC and Google Talk to name but a few. Sadly Facebook chat is no longer available since the social network dropped support for the open XMPP messaging protocol. Pidgin can be enhanced by installing third-party plugins. Some of these allow you to connect to other chat networks such as Skype, while others can be used to protect your conversations, for example the OTR (Off the Record) messaging plugin. Website: https://pidgin.im 9. ClamAV/ClamTk Although Linux machines can't be affected by viruses designed to infect Windows, your PC can accidentally forward harmful files to other computers, for example in an email attachment. And these days, there are even some incidences of malware aimed at Linux systems. The antivirus scanner ClamAV provides some peace of mind, as it can detect many types of malware. It's often used on mail servers but will run happily on your desktop system if you want to scan files or folders. By default ClamAV can only be used from the command line, but you can use Synaptic to install 'clamtk' and 'clamtk-nautilus' to allow you to scan your system and individual files with a few clicks of your mouse. Website: https://www.clamav.net Website: http://clamtk.sourceforge.net/faq.html 10. Audacity Audacity is an editing program which allows you to record and tinker with audio. Not only can Audacity record audio simultaneously from various inputs (for example, a USB microphone or an electric guitar), it can also trim and edit clips. Furthermore, it supports multiple tracks, allowing you, for instance, to record lyrics and backing music separately. The software also supports a number of audio effects such as noise reduction, as detailed in its extremely comprehensive manual which is both bundled with Audacity and available online. Audacity also supports VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins. Tracks can be exported in a number of popular sound formats such as WAV, OGG and MP3. If you want to know more about Audacity, then have a read of our full review here. Website: http://www.audacityteam.orgView the full article
  14. Regardless of your profession or industry, having to deal with multiple deadlines is commonplace in working life. It’s easy to feel under pressure and fall behind with your work when you have so much to do, but task management software can help keep things under control. These apps allow for the planning, tracking and reporting of tasks over a certain period of time. Using these programs, individuals and teams can collaborate on complex workloads, share knowledge and ensure the delivery of work within a set deadline. To ensure that task management procedures are effective, project managers must consider the priority, deadlines, recurrence, aims and resources of projects. Without these considerations, teams may find themselves confused and tasks could end up being delayed. In the past, companies have had to rely on largely paper-based mechanisms to oversee the delegation and completion of projects and tasks. However, through technology, firms are able to simplify the task management process and cut through red tape and time-consuming bureaucracy. There’s a great range of workflow and project management applications available to companies of all sizes, which share the common aim of improving productivity for managers and employees. We’ve picked out some of the very best here. Also take a look at the best productivity apps for mobile If you’ve got lots of things happening in your work and personal life at the same time, you should definitely check out Centrallo. Described as a simple and elegant organization app, its main aim is to ‘catch everything life throws at you’. That may sound like an ambitious goal, but the software certainly has a good crack at achieving this. With Centrallo, you can create as many notes and checklists as you want, and share these private or publicly. You can also add photos, videos links and voice notes to the lists you create and store in the app, as well as due dates so you never miss a deadline. There’s also the ability to collaborate with team members on tasks within the app. What’s more, you can edit lists from a smartphone or tablet while on-the-go. That way, you should never fall behind with your work (hopefully). Centrallo offers a free version of the app, but it comes with restrictions: you’re limited to a maximum of 100 notes, small attachments, and only a relatively small amount of cloud storage. That said, you may find 1GB of storage is enough – at least for personal usage. However, if you plan on using this throughout your company, it’s likely you’ll need the premium option. It costs $4.99 (£3.50) monthly or $44.99 (£32) annually. You can sign up for Centrallo here Easynote is another easy-to-use task management tool which is nicely affordable. It provides you with the tools to create, assign and track tasks. Targeted at both everyday users and businesses, the app can be used to organize everything from shopping lists to multi-platform projects. In terms of features, the software allows you to collaborate on tasks, and share files. You can also set deadlines, task dependencies, alarms and reminders, as well as providing feedback to colleagues, and asking for amendments on tasks. What’s more, if you plan on using the software in your business, you don’t need any training. It works straight out-of-the-box. Easynote claims that the app is used by tens of thousands of people and companies across the globe, including the likes of Samsung, Yamaha, Siemens, Barclays, Unicef and Pfizer. Just like Centrallo, there’s a free option of the app available, but you only get 1GB of storage and a limit of 10MB when it comes to file uploads. To expand both of these limits, and get better customer support, you can upgrade to the Business plan which offers 5GB of storage and 50MB of file upload for $5 (£3.50) per month, or the Extended product which gives you 10GB/100MB for $10 (£7) monthly. You can sign up for Easynote here When it comes to business productivity software, Trello is no doubt one of the most popular and widely known offerings on the market. Available on both desktop and mobile devices, the app lets you organize personal and professional tasks. The company lists homework, shopping lists and work projects as a few examples. The user interface is very friendly and based largely on boards that you create to organize the things you’re working on. You can categorize these based on different topics and tasks, and invite co-workers, friends and family members to collaborate on tasks. Similarly to Centrallo, the app makes use of checklists and to-do cards. Once you’ve created a board, you can create tasks and assign them to different people. From here, you can comment or receive feedback to ensure you’re on-track with everything. You also have the option to add photos, videos and files to cards, and to look at your lists in a calendar view to monitor deadlines. Trello is a cloud-based platform that works across a range of platforms and devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. The app is free to use, and you can create as many boards and lists as you’d like with the free version. However, there are premium products with more features and the ability to attach bigger files, with a Business Class plan costing $9.99 (£7) per month and an Enterprise offering running to $20.83 (£15) monthly. You can sign up for Trello here Should you want a task management tool that’s geared more towards business teams, Monday.com is vying for your attention. It’s a more visually-oriented piece of productivity software that lets project managers delegate tasks and keep an eye on the steps their team members are taking to complete tasks successfully. Using the app, you can generate comprehensive task and to-do lists, share files and communicate with colleagues. The software provides a great deal of insight into projects, letting you add details such as owner status, prioritization and timelines. What’s more, there’s a built-in chat function which allows you to discuss tasks and updates with individual team members and groups. Taking design cues from Trello, this tool comes with a calendar function as well. This puts all your tasks and deadlines into one place. And to ensure crucial business information doesn’t get into the wrong hands, all data stored in the app is encrypted. Other security features include two-factor authentication, single sign-on and audit logs. For a five-member team and 5GB of storage, you’ll need to pay £22 ($31) monthly. You can sign up for Monday.com here Marketed as an automation system for businesses, Accelo is a cloud-based platform that lets you manage all your client work from one place. It combines all aspects of a business – such as sales and project management – within a single piece of software. You can make use of drag-and-drop charts to manage projects, and there’s a project tracking feature that considers outcomes, resources and budgets. You also get a team scheduling tool to delegate tasks among appropriately skilled employees, along with mobile timers and automated timesheets. Other goodies include an invoicing function that automatically syncs to Xero and QuickBooks, and automated notifications. Accelo offers a free trial so you can test out the service, and the base plan starts from $34 (£24) per month billed annually. You can sign up for Accelo hereView the full article
  15. Apple CEO Tim Cook wants to politely squash any rumors that Apple’s iOS and macOS operating systems will merge into one at some point in the future. Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald during Apple's Chicago New iPad for education event, Cook said he doesn’t think users want the two OSes to merge. “So this merger thing that some folks are fixated on, I don't think that's what users want,” Cook said. He also alluded to the fact that while merging would make the company more efficient, it would be at the cost of lost features uniquely built to the hardware involved. Earlier in the interview, Cook revealed that he continues to use a Mac for work in the Apple offices, but uses and iPad at home and on the go. Based on further comments, Cook appears firm in his stance, one that runs counter to recent rumors that iOS apps will find their way onto macOS devices. "We don't believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible,” Cook said. “One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two ... you begin to make trade-offs and compromises.” Don’t hold your breath for iOS apps on Mac Apple seems pretty clearly set against the idea of bringing too many elements from either of its major operating systems to the other, focusing instead on how they connect via services and tools. Again, this is directly contradictory to rumors of anonymous sources spilling the beans on plans to brings iOS apps into a working capacity on macOS through an initiative called ‘Project Marzipan.’ A move like this would be unprecedented for Apple, hence the palpable excitement around the prospect. It would bring the firm closer in line with its rivals’ philosophies regarding their OSes, with Windows 10 being a multi-device OS by design and Chrome OS taking on the Google Play Android app store wholesale, with touchscreen Chromebooks fully supporting it. However, Apple is always the one most likely to go against the grain, and it now seems to have dismissed any notion that iOS apps or macOS apps will appear on their respective sister OSes. However, as The Sydney Morning Herald notes, this doesn't necessarily mean the earlier Bloomberg reports of Marzipan are entirely inaccurate. Seeing iOS apps on macOS is a huge leap from iOS and macOS sharing development tools. At any rate, it seems that Cook wants to make Apple's position crystal clear. No matter what happens, Apple isn't interested in either of its operating system merging with the other or working like the other: Macs will remain Macs, and iPhones will remain iPhones. Here’s what we want to see from macOS 10.14 … including iOS appsView the full article