Speed up your Windows PC, Mac or Phone with Ccleaner

Cleaning up your PC can give you more storage space back, and give you a speed boost as your computer is not bogged down processing unnecessary files or instructions.

Actually cleaning up this space is rather more challenging though. You need to first of all figure out where the files are that can be removed (without damaging anything in the process) and then you have to actually delete them which is rather tedious.

Enter Ccleaner an application for PC, Mac & Phones with both free and paid for versions (see here for more details). Once you’ve downloaded and installed Ccleaner it will safely clean up space by removing unnecessary files left on your disk by Windows (or OSX) and applications that you’ve installed, on top of this on Windows PCs it will analyse your registry to pick up problems (such as dangling references to dlls, etc) that could be slowing down your machine.

When cleaning files you get a nice interface which allows you to select which files to look at – if there are some applications that you don’t want Ccleaner to touch (we left Chrome alone for example) then you can untick this. The application first analyses what can be done – our analysis found roughly 23gb of space that could be restored – if you are happy to go ahead then the application will remove these files. Note, it permentanly removes the files! No going back.

Speed up your PC

On the registry side of things a similar process is followed. Ccleaner will first analyse your registry for problems. However, given the sensitivity of the registry and the potential for damage, it gives you the option to backup the registry to file first. We strongly recommend doing this. As it happens, there were no problems when we ran Ccleaner on our registry.

Speed up your PC

Ccleaner doesn’t just work on a Windows PC, it will run on your Mac and your Android smartphone too.

Ccleaner is highly recommended and comes in free and paid for versions (see here for more details).

HELLO The Most Advanced Video Communication Device aims for Skype, Facebook, Google Hangouts and Webex support

“Affordable voice-controlled smart-device for video conferencing, wireless screen sharing, live broadcasting, and security surveillance.”

HELLO is taking Kickstarter by storm.  Originally setting out to raise just $30k, at the time of writing it has currently raised $216,721 from over 400 backers.

So, what is it?  Well, it’s a video conferencing system which is actually affordable and good at the same time.  It is a physical device that hooks into your TV and lets you carry out video conferencing, wireless screen sharing, live broadcasting and security surveillance with motion detection and more.  It is an extension of the Solaborate platform.

It is pitched on ease of use, differentiating from the current clunky conferencing systems.  With the overwhelming support they have received on Kickstarter they are now gunning for more money to add support for Microsoft Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts and Cisco Webex.  Supporting these with their huge user bases will be game changing.

Check out the video and details here on kickstarter… we’re going to fund this one too!

Nope 2.0 means you can stop sticking tape over your webcam

Even though I am (or perhaps, because I am) a technologist I still stick a bit of tape over the webcam on my laptop.  It’s not just that I think I may get hacked, it’s because I think I may be using some conference calling software incorrectly and my face will suddenly be broadcast to some corporate meeting.

And I’m not alone in my solution, I see co-workers regularly sticking tape on their computers, or slotting a business card in there.  Even Mark Zuckerberg does.

So, this is why Note 2.0 caught my attention.  It’s a purpose built little device that is only $5 on kickstarter.  It’s looks great, it permanent and doesn’t leave any mess on the laptop.  It can also work with most devices including iPads and iPhones.

It’s not on all the time, it has a flick mechanism which enables you to easily flick it open and shut.  When it’s shut over your webcam you can be safe in the knowledge that your webcam is really blocked.

On kickstarter they only aimed to raise $964, but at the time of writing have raised over $84k which puts them 8789% funded!

See the project and check out the video here.

Shut-App gives you the words to deal with racist, sexist, xenophonic, homophobic, fact-repellent & logic-resistant people

Shut-App, a kickstarter project, is lead by a high school & university teacher whose project gives you the words you need to win a debate.  The debates topics include Gay Marriage, Trump, Black Lives and, strangely, Games of Thrones.

The premise is this, you’re confronted by some ridiculous comment… you’d love to respond with something factual but don’t have the words.  Whip out Shut-App on your phone and it will give you the right response there and then.

Check it out on kickstarter here.

Levitating (and rotating) Wireless Phone Charger.. Yes, you read that right

We love gadgets here at IGB Reviews and this Kickstarter project rocks.  You have to watch the videos (link below), really it’s crazy.  Forget those silly mats that you have to put your phone on for ‘wireless’ charging, this thing actually levitates and rotates your phone whilst charging it… in mid air!

Click here to see it on Kickstarter.

It’s called the OvRchargeand uses a combination of wireless induction charging and magnetic levitation (yes, like a maglev train).

Here’s how it works, you stick this pad on the back of your phone (apparently most phones are supported but iPhones seem to appear a lot in the videos) or your iPad. It’ll keep track of how charged your phone is and stops charging once the battery is full – of course it keeps levitating and rotating, which is the cool bit to this.

It’s clearly causing a stir too – of the $40k CAD target it is already at $55,768 CAD with 3 days to go.

Go check it out on kickstarter!

Essential iPhone accessories that won’t break the bank

In this short article we’ll review and recommend the essential accessories that you need for your iPhone that won’t break the bank.  Each recommendation has a direct purchase link so that you don’t need to go and search for them (note: UK readers if you don’t see GBP prices in this article follow this link).  We’ve recommended products that fit the iPhone 6/6S, however with most of them they are either compatible with other iPhones or will have variants that are – just follow the links through and you can pick the right version for you.

iPhone Case

A phone case is essential to protect your expensive new gadget.  There are literally hundreds out there to chose from, so any recommendation needs something a little different.  We like this case from Dockem which looks cool, protects your phone but also enables you to slide your credit cards in the back.  This value add is great and removes the need to carry a bulky wallet around with you.  It costs only $14.99 on Amazon here.

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iPhone Storage Expansion

Storage expansion for your iPhone enables you to add to the internal storage capability of your phone, but also move files back and forth between your iPhone and your PC.  To do this you need the equivalent of a USB stick with the Apple Lightning connector.  We recommend the SanDisk iXpand which has both a USB and lightning connector and comes in storage sizes from 16GB all the way up to a whopping 128GB.  The device starts at just $38.50 here on Amazon.71h-NlEZRnL._SL1500_

iPhone Battery Pack

It’s a killer when your phone runs out of power.  You can get around this by taking a portable battery pack with you.  As you’ll be carrying this around, portability is key here.  We’re recommending the Anker Powercore+ mini as it has enough juice to top you up, but won’t be a pain to carry around.  It also comes in a range of colours (check out the Amazon link to see them).  It starts at only $12.99.

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An alternative route to go is to get an iPhone battery case which combines protecting your phone with extra battery power.  The cases are, inevitably, a bit bigger but they are a good solution.  Check out the Anker battery case here as a good option.

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iPhone Screen Protector

If there is one thing you must add to your iPhone it is a screen protector.  Without one you will inevitably scratch the screen on your keys (or some other sharp thing) in your pocket or bag.  Luckily they are really cheap.  As they are rather fiddly to put on we’d recommend getting a pack with more than one protector in (so you can muck up putting the first one on!).  Check out the Tech Armour protectors which are just $6.95 with free shipping for a pack of three (click here).

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iPhone Travel Charger

If you travel internationally with your iPhone then you need a travel charger.  These nifty little devices come with a range of plugs which you just snap on for the relevant country.  We’d recommend one with multiple USB ports so that you can charge your other devices too.  The aLLreLi is a good device with 4 USB ports and plugs for US, AU, UK and EU.  It’s only $15.99 with free shipping on Amazon.

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iPhone Headphones

An iPhone isn’t much good without headphones!  There are many on the market, but finding a pair with good sound production, a microphone, remote controls and that is comfortable is hard.  After much hunting around we came back to the beginning and strongly recommend Apple’s own headphones.  They look great and function really well.  You can pick up a pair for only $19.99 on Amazon here.

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Answered: Do I need anti-virus software for Windows 10? [Updated for Windows 10 Anniversary Edition]

Updated for Windows 10 Anniversary Edition (12th August 2016)

Back in January of this year we wrote about the anti-virus capabilities of Windows 10 (available to download at this link if you don’t yet have a copy).  Since then Microsoft has released the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition which updates Windows Defender so that:

  1. If you chose to run your own antivirus (such as McAfee for $9.99) then Windows Defender will no longer be disabled.  It will periodically check your PC and also perform all its other security functions.
  2. Windows Defender is tied into the better notification system in Windows 10 so that, if a problem is found, you will be notified immediately.

If you want to read more about Windows Defender’s own capabilities without additional antivirus then carry on reading below…

Original Post (also at this link)

Those that have been Windows users for a long time will be familiar with buying antivirus software. For a long time it has been essential, and potentially considered irresponsible to not use it (you can distribute viruses to others without knowing about it, for example). Apple Mac users used to look on smugly as their Windows using counterparts suffered attack after attack.

Windows users regularly installed software such as Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky etc. However, Windows 10 has is now here and stable. Windows 10 is a free upgrade for most, however if this isn’t the case for you or you are installing it onto a new computer you can buy a copy of Windows 10 Home on a USB stick from Amazon (click here for a direct link). Does it get rid of the need for anti-virus software? No, of course not. There are still plenty of viruses, malware and other nasties kicking around the web. However, Windows 10 comes with a comprehensive set of built in security tools that will more than address your needs. These all come under the umbrella of Windows Defender.

Windows Defender is a robust set of tools that automatically scan your computer for viruses, malware, spyware and more. It does not get in the way of your everyday use of the computer, letting you get on with your tasks at hand, but it does keep running in the background keeping everything secure.


A major point is that, whilst you can have the best antivirus software in the world, if its knowledge of current viruses is out of date then its performance will suffer. It needs up to date definitions to know what to look for, so you have to keep your software update date. This is where Windows 10 with Windows Defender really wins. Windows 10 is now an operating system as a service, which means it is updated in the background without you having to do anything (especially if you are on Windows 10 Home… Pro users have more responsibility to manage updates). New virus definitions are updated along with all the usual Windows updates, which you don’t need to take control of. The upshot is that your system will be as up to date with the latest virus definitions as it can be, without you needing to take any action.

With Windows 10 there is little need for additional security software (unless, of course, you are the type of person who prepares for doomsday) given what Microsoft have made available for free. Of course, you have to trust Microsoft to get it right, but that’s another story. 🙂

Is this malware? Chromium browser update needed…

I can’t work this one out.  I’ve Googled around the web, but not found anything.  Periodically, I get the following image pop up on my Windows 10 PC:

Update Required

It reads:

Update Required

Your version of Yahoo search is out of date.

There is a newer and improved version available with the fresh and intuitive Chromium browser.  By clicking “OK” you agree to Install Chromium browser as your default browser, install our Desktop search bar, set Yahoo provided search as your default search, homepage and new tab on all of your compatible browsers.

I don’t want any of that! I also don’t use Yahoo search (so I don’t really think this is from Yahoo), which is why I wonder if it is malware.  Windows Defender does not seem to pick anything up.




The World’s Most Secure Phone

Blackberry is not over, and security is a big thing.  These are the critical messages that are coming with Blackberry’s latest phone, the Blackberry DTEK50 which they are marketing as The World’s Most Secure Phone.

It will not appeal to all users, it’s not flashy and it’s not bling.  What it is though is a solid and secure device for those that want things to work, and work is a secure fashion.

Unlike Blackberry’s long history of phones, the DTEK50 runs on a modified version of Android 6.0, loaded up with Blackberry’s secure apps and software.  This means that you can access all the usual Android apps through the Google Play store, but you can also use all of Blackberry’s secure services.  This is a clear play to Enterprise users here.

The DTEK50 won’t break the bank either, you can pick it up on Amazon for just $333.27 (direct link here).

The hardware is good, although inline with other Android phones:

  • 16gb Storage with Micro SD Slot
  • 3GB RAM
  • Snapdragon 617 Octa-Core, 64 bit
  • 5.2 inch/ 1080p screen

If you are buying this phone, you won’t be buying it for the flashy specs – there are others out there such as the OnePlus 3 (see it here) that would be a better deal – you’d be buying it because you believe that Blackberry has the history of, and capability to deliver, a secure mobile environment that others can’t.



How to: Touchscreen pen annotation in Microsoft Windows 10

It is ridiculous that we still print out documents and scrawl all over them with a biro.  Not only is this terrible for the environment, but it’s expensive and wasteful for print resources.

Windows 10 has some built in features that enable you to annotate documents and websites.  Paired with the right hardware this can be a slick process which removes the need to print.  If you don’t have a copy of Windows 10 you can pick up a copy here.

Hardware wise we’re using a Dell XPS 13 which has a built in touchscreen (see more details of the Dell here).  For pen like annotation we’re using the Adonit Jot Pro – this is not expensive it retails at $22.49 on Amazon (see here).

Once you’ve got your PDF that you want to annotate, open up Microsoft’s OneNote desktop application.  You need to go to ‘Insert’ then ‘File Printout’ which will import the PDF:

Annotate PDF with pen in Windows 10

Once the PDF has loaded, click on Draw and select the Pen.  You can then annotate your PDF as you would do a normal document by touching the pen to the touchscreen:

Annotate a pdf with pen in Windows 10

 

A helpful tip when writing is to zoom in on the document to get finer granularity.

If you want to annotate a web page fire up Microsoft Edge (Windows 10’s new browser). Tap the icon with a pen on the right of the address bar.  You can save your notes (and the original webpage) to Microsoft’s OneNote service as was used above to annotate the pdf.