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New and updated hints and tips for Windows PCs, technology news plus the best shareware and freeware around

 


Tip of the Week -

New Movie Maker and Photo Gallery for W7 and 8

Two old favourites have been given a makeover for W7 and 8 and new versions of Windows Movie Maker and Photo Gallery are now available for download. Movie Maker has several handy new features, including H.264 compatibility by default, and a de-shaker or stabilisation mode. There’s also easier ways to find music to accompany your videos, from three on-line services (Audio Micro, Free Music Archive and Vimeo). This helps avoid the embarrassing problem of your soundtrack being stripped when it is uploaded to YouTube because you do not have the rights to use it. Another new audio feature is waveform visualisation, which superimposes a level display on the video, making it easier to match the sound to the images. You’ll also find it easier to add narration, and it now has a text outline option, to make titles easier to read against different types of background. New in Photo Gallery is Auto Collage, for making eye-catching picture collections – great for desktops, greetings cards and movie stills, and it now has built-in on-line sharing for stills and video using Vimeo.

13/08/12

 

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News Briefs

Windows 8 On The Cheap

Some welcome news for those wondering if it's going to be worth the bother and expense upgrading to Windows 8 when it goes on sale on October 26th. Reports coming from US insiders suggest that it will available as a low-cost upgrade until the end of January 2013. The as yet to be confirmed price could be as low as $40.00 (around £25.00), though if true the UK price is likely to be closer to a straightforward dollar-to-pound conversion. This is for a download version, if you want it on disc that's going to cost you the thick end of $70.00 (£45.00). The upgrade should run on any reasonably well specified PC running XP or above, but you might want to pop along to the W8 Compatability Centre check site first.

1308



It Is Rocket Science

Google Earth’s Streetview continues to poke its cameras into unusual and unexpected places and one of the latest locations you can visit from the comfort of your armchair is the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. You can drive around the facility, gawp at the installations where the tour busses don’t go and even pop inside buildings that are normally strictly off limits to the public. See rocket engines, Shuttles and the mysterious machines used to propel men and satellites into space. You are free to roam and peek into the more mundane corners of the site, take a trip around the complex’s nether regions, nose around the car parks and even spot some real rocket scientists strolling around the site.

0607

 

Apple Takes The Stand

Court exhibits and documents used in the ongoing Apple vs Samsung patent tiff obtained by The Verge have included some interesting images of prototype iPhones and iPads. Apple’s legendary obsession with secrecy means that these are rarely, if ever seen, outside of the company and they provide an intriguing insight into the company’s design process. The design of both i-devices went through many changes and several features, like a hinged kickstand on the back of the iPad, appear to have come and gone quite quickly. One of the more unusual concepts was this octagonal shaped case, and in a somewhat bizarre twist, there are suggestions in the Samsung defence team’s evidence that some iPhone design elements were inspired by Sony and Nokia products from the mid-noughties.

3007

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