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March 2016

Opera 37 desktop ships with built-in ad blocker

Opera Software announced today that it has added native ad-blocking to the latest developer version of the Opera desktop browser.

While Opera Software is not the first company that integrated an ad-blocker in a desktop browser, it is the first with a sizable market share that did so.

KeePass 2.32 brings regular expression search

KeePass 2.32 is a new version of the popular password manager that introduces among other things regular expression search capabilities to the program.

While that may sound intimidating or not useful at all to users who never came into contact with regular expressions before, it introduces new options to the program's search function that are not difficult to use but provide new useful options.

Regular expression searches are enclosed in //, and one useful search option is to have KeePass return results for multiple search terms.

Microsoft DiskSpd Storage Performance Tool

DiskSpd is a free open source performance benchmarking tool by Microsoft for systems running Windows.

The program has been designed for professional use to analyze and diagnose storage performance issues without having to run a full end-to-end workload.

At its core, it can be used to test files, partitions or physical disks on devices running supported client or server versions of the Windows operating system.

Security Update MS16-023 installs new “Get Windows 10” functionality

Mixing security updates with non-security content is never a good idea, but it is particularly worrisome when Microsoft pushes new "get Windows 10" functionality on Windows 7 and 8.1 systems that one cannot get rid of without removing the security update itself as well.

Security update MS16-023, released as part of the March 2016 Microsoft Patch Day, looks on first flance like any other security update Microsoft released for one of its operating systems.

The age of the toolbar is over

When was the last time you received an offer to install a toolbar in a browser on your system, or noticed that a toolbar was suddenly displayed in it?

I install lots of programs every day, and I cannot really remember the last time an installer tried to push a toolbar on to my system.

Frankly, I think that the age of the toolbar is over, and with it all the annoyances that came with it such as not knowing how it landed on the system in first place or how to remove it without breaking the whole damn browser or system.

Microsoft Security Bulletins For March 2016

The Security Bulletins overview for March 2016 provides you with information about security and non-security patches that Microsoft released for supported versions of the Windows operating system and other company products such as Office on the March 2016 Patch Day and after February 2016's Patch Day.

It starts with an executive summary listing the most important information on a glance. What follows is the distribution of updates by operating system and other Microsoft products.

Don’t open local PDFs in Edge, you will lose all tabs

For some time now I have experienced a strange issue when using Microsoft's Edge web browser on a Windows 10 machine.

The browser, configured to reload all tabs from the last browsing session on start, would lose all open tabs occasionally.

I first thought that this was my doing, that I somehow, without realizing it, hit the wrong button or something which made Edge forget about the previous browsing session, but after being very careful about it, I was sure that this was not my doing.

How to remove bad software from Windows devices

If you are a Windows user you have probably had your fair share of bad or troublesome software installed on the system.

Examples include software that refuses to run, that crashes, has an effect on other programs or the operating system, cannot be uninstalled, or shows other signs of unwanted behavior.

Getting rid of bad software can be quite the challenge regardless of whether it is a browser add-on or plugin, a software you installed, a program that was suddenly there without your doing, or something that is outright malicious.

Firefox 45: Find out what is new

Firefox 45 has been released on March 8, 2016 to the stable channel. The release overview lists all major changes of the release for Firefox desktop and mobile versions.

All Firefox channels get updated at the same time which means that Beta, Developer Edition, Nightly and Firefox ESR releases are also updated on the same day.

This moves Firefox Beta to version 46, the Developer Edition to version 47, Nightly to version 48, and Firefox ESR to 45.0 (with 38.7 offered as well).

Narrate: Firefox Reader Mode gets Text to Speech

Narrate is a new feature of the Firefox web browser that adds text to speech capabilities to the web browser's Reader Mode.

Please note that Narrate just landed in Firefox Nightly, and that it will take a while before it becomes available in other versions of the web browser.

Reader Mode is not available on all pages by default. The feature parses the page to determine whether it is suitable for Reader Mode, and will display its icon if the result of the parsing is positive.

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