5 New Animated Rivers Mountains and Woods Screensavers

monitor-colors-ico [Windows] Get ready to be chilled out when you let these 5 new screensavers kick in. The NewFreeScreensaver website has recently released 5 new screensavers that offer a relaxing view of animated rivers flowing through different settings. Here are some screenshots:







All of these screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Download Page

Techie Buzz Verdict:

The only thing I found missing in this set of screensavers was a way to turn off the sound. Each of the above five has a running water background sound that starts out soft but gradually became too loud for me. Therefore, I recommend that you mute the PC before allowing them to start. Otherwise, these are all very lovely and mesmerizing.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Top 5 Favorite Chrome Extensions

chrome-extesions-ico I’ve seen lots of other people do this. Now it’s my turn. Below are my top 5 favorite extensions for the Google Chrome web browser, in no particular order.

after-the-deadline 1. After the Deadline

With a name like that, it’s surprising that anyone uses it. It doesn’t give you any clue as to what it really does. Here’s a quote from the gallery:

After the Deadline uses artificial intelligence to check spelling, style, and grammar. Use it to check your tweets, find mistakes in your email, and socialize with confidence. Click the ABC icon in the lower-right corner of an editable area to proofread your writing.


2. Chromed Bird

Ok, another unusual name. If you use Twitter, this is very handy. I haven’t used many of the features, but you might. Quote from the gallery:

Chromed Bird is an awesome Twitter client extension for Google Chrome with lots of features.

Some of the most important features are:
* Add and remove timeline tabs “on the fly” using the new right-click context menu
* Create custom search queries that will update automatically
* Preview image links by hovering them
* See all your tweets in an unified timeline
* Follow your timelines, @mentions, lists, DMs and favorites
* Compose, reply, RT, share, favorite and delete tweets
* Create short URLs within the extension
* Preview shortened URLs before clicking them
* Track read / unread tweets
* Notify user whenever new tweets arrive


3. Cooliris

Another name that doesn’t mean much, but has to be seen to be believed. This awesome extension brings 3D image browsing into your browser. Here’s a quote and a video to follow:

Meet Cooliris, the 3D Wall that speeds up search on Google Images, YouTube, Flickr, and more. Enjoy the richest way to view photos from Facebook, Picasa, and even your own computer. On our infinite 3D Wall, you can effortlessly scroll though thousands of images and videos in seconds without having to click from page to page.

Click here if you can’t see the video.


4. Facebook for Google Chrome

Finally a clearly named extension. Yes, it’s an extension that lets you very quickly view, post and comment on your Facebook pages. I have come to depend on it. Here’s a quote from the gallery:

This unofficial extension lets you check your Facebook news feed, wall, inbox and notifications.

Version 2.0 will now indicate when you have new notifications or unread messages. Additionally, the extension now uses Facebook Connect as a more reliable way to retrieve your information. Also, the extension now supports English, Spanish and French.


5. Google Talk Gadget

If you have Gmail, you are very likely also using the G-Chat that’s built in. This extension allows you to pop it out into it’s own little window. It simply works great. Here’s a quote:

This is a very simple extension that allows to use Google Talk Gadget with Google Apps.
Please note that the chat session will not run in the background unless you click the ‘pop out’ link in the top left corner.

That’s all for now. I hope you see something here that you haven’t seen before. Be sure to comment below and tell us about your favorite Chrome extensions.

Jolicloud as a Second Netbook OS – It Plays Well With Windows

jolicloud-ico [Linux] Back in March, we broke the news that Jolicloud had released their Pre-Final build. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Jolicloud is a customized version of Linux Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE). It’s designed to be an easy and trouble-free operating system for almost all netbooks. It’s taken me awhile, but I’ve finally had time to install Jolicloud and try it out on my HP Mini netbook. I’ll give you some details and screenshots from my brief time exploring Jolicloud.

If your netbook has Windows installed on it, you have the option to use Jolicloud Express to install Jolicloud alongside Windows, leaving all of your Windows files and programs untouched. The alternative is to download the ISO image file and create a bootable flash card or USB stick. I have made several bootable live Linux sticks in the past, and it’s not hard to do, but I found that Jolicloud Express is far easier to use. You’ll find both options on the Jolicloud download page.


I used the express method. I downloaded a 15mb installer file and launched it. It’s as easy as installing any other program in Windows. You’ll be prompted to tell the installer how much room to allow it on your C: drive. The default is 50Gb, and that’s what I chose.

Once it begins, it will set up a Jolicloud folder on your C: drive and begin downloading the rest of Jolicloud. This step took about 25 minutes on my broadband service. Your download time may vary.


After it is done with this download, you’ll be asked a few more questions, such as the login and password you want to log in with. Finally you’ll be asked to reboot the netbook and it will restart when you select the new entry in your Windows boot selection screen. From this time on, whenever you reboot your netbook, you will always have a choice to boot into Windows or Jolicloud. Here’s what I saw the first time I booted Jolicloud. This is the Launcheror home page.


The program categories are on the left in a sidebar, and as you click on each category, you’ll see the available applications appear in the center of the desktop. As you can see, they offer you easy navigation of the file system on the right sidebar. Even your Windows files are easily accessible at the bottom of that sidebar.

At the top of the home page, you’ll see the home icon on the left. When you launch applications, you’ll see icons for them appear beside the home icon. Whenever you want to switch back to the launcher menus, click the home icon.

At the top right, you’ll see the status bar with icons for updates, Jolicloud services, network connections, system settings, and time/date/weather. Connecting to my home wireless network was as simple as clicking once on the network icon and selecting from a list of available networks.

Clicking on the little blue heart icon in the status bar opens up a tabbed page with your Jolicloud friends (Social Stream) and the Applications Directory, with over 700 ready to install apps.


You’ll find almost everything you need for a rich user experience on your netbook, such as music, video, email, Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

If you decide that you don’t like Jolicloud, and you used the express install method, you can uninstall Jolicloud as easily as any other Windows app.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If you need a simple, fast, secure and visually pleasing OS on your netbook, this one will be hard to beat. The express install option is a big winner, making it one of the easiest Linux OS’s to install. For those with more Linux experience, you might want to stick with Ubuntu Netbook Edition. It’s much more flexible but definitely more difficult for newbies. I believe that Jolicloud will continue to bring good news to netbook users who may not want to be chained to Microsoft Windows.


Techie Buzz Verdict: 4/5 (Excellent)

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools Of the Week #14

freeware-signIn case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our  Freewarecategory. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.


Alien Swarm: New Free Shooter From Valve

Alien Swarm is a free a top-down shoot-em-up with supports up to 4-player co-op mode from Valve.  Read More |  Tweet This


Alien Swarm Mini Review

Alien Swarm is a freeware game brought to you by Valve. This fully polished cooperative multiplayer game is something like Left 4 Dead – with aliens instead of zombies. Alien Swarm can be downloaded by anyone after registering on Steam. Play this great game today!  Read More |  Tweet This

Winamp now supports WebM Playback

Winamp has a strong user’s base and has evolved with time continuously. Keeping up with this, Winamp has introduced a VP8 decoder in its latest build of version 5.581.  Read More |  Tweet This

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials New Beta Download Now Available

Download Microsoft Security Essentials Beta for Free. MSE Beta include Firewall integration, web-based protection, network inspection and more.  Read More |  Tweet This

Barnes and Noble Apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, PC, Mac

If you like to read and you like Barnes and Noble stores, the Nook and the free BN Reader apps are going to be good tools for you.  Read More |  Tweet This


Type the Indian Rupee Symbol with Foradian Rupee Font

A new font makes it possible to easily type and view the Indian Rupee symbol on any system.  Read More |  Tweet This

Free 3D Modelling Software Blender 2.53 Beta, Released

The Blender Foundation has just announced the release of Blender 2.53 Beta. Blender is an open-source and free 3D modelling software. It is available for Linux,  Windows, Mac OS X and  Solaris. Blender was used in the creation of a number Open Movies.  Read More |  Tweet This


Adobe Planning to Introduce Sandboxing Technologies in Reader

Adobe has announced that it will release its next Reader software as a sandboxed application. Sandboxing prevents an application from accessing the data.  Read More |Tweet This


Mozilla Fixes 14 Security Issues with Firefox 3.6.7

Firefox 3.6.7 is a security and stability update, which fixes 14 security vulnerabilities including 8 critical ones.  Read More |  Tweet This


Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome Leak Sensitive User Information to Websites

Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari are vulnerable to exploits that can gain access to stored personal information including name, address, email id and password.Read More |  Tweet This

Lightspark, an Open Source Flash Alternative gets more Browser Friendly

Lightspark is an excellent Open Source Flash video player with support for the latest technologies in Flash. It supports ActionScript 3.0 and hardware accelerated graphics rendering based on OpenGL.Read More |  Tweet This

Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

Online Home Tech Support with Comodo Cloud Scanner

[Windows all] Have you ever heard of a software company named Comodo? I first spotted them a few years ago, when they offered a free Firewall program. Even then, I knew it was a company worth watching. Each year, Comodo seems to be offering bigger and better security apps, and many of them are free for home users.

Here’s a peek at their free protection page:


As you can see, there isn’t much in the PC security field that they don’t cover. I’m sure that I could run a safe PC using only their free offerings.

The freebie I tried most recently is called Comodo Cloud Scanner. The description for this piece of software fooled me. Quote: Scan your PC to identify malware, junk files, registry errors and hidden processes. I assumed that it was simply a scanner that advised you about security risks and offered advice. I’ll show you what I ran into and why I was so surprised.

First I downloaded and installed the 10mb exe file. Here’s what the first screen looked like:


I clicked the Scan Now button and waited while it cranked away. Here are the results I saw when it finished.


Holy Cow! Over 3000 errors?

I was surprised and a bit aggravated. The last time I saw results like this was when I was testing out some suspected scamware at MyCleanPC. Any time I see extreme results like this, I always suspect that someone is trying very hard to sell me a solution I don’t need.

At the bottom of the scan results, was this little button.


I thought about this for a few minutes. I was still angry about the results. I looked through the details of the results and they really weren’t security problems as I’d define them. Most of it was browser cache files, junk registry entries and cookies. That really pissed me off, and I decided that I had to see what kind of help they’d offer.

I clicked on the Help Me button and waited for a live connection to one of the Comodo people. A pretty basic looking chat window finally popped up and I was connected to Chris in New Jersey. Below is the dialog (I’m the subscriber):



Well, that explained it all to me. The scan is simply a ploy to get you into their online help service. I’m kind of wondering what results I’d get if I had used the Comodo System Cleaner before I had scanned. That test will have to wait on another day.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

The scan that Comodo Cloud Scanner performs on your system is very likely quite good. However, I hate the way they label the findings as Errors and Problems. The so called errors and problems they found are the stuff that happens on your PC as a simple result of using it every day.

I will give them credit for this much; the LivePCSupport service that Comodo provided to me was professional and very timely. If you need a good remote help service, I don’t think you will find many others that are priced this low. Since Comodo offers all of those free security applications, I’m sure they know how to use them to help people. I can’t praise the online service because I haven’t really used it, however, I wouldn’t be afraid to recommend it to a newbie who could really benefit from it. Fifty bucks isn’t too much for most people. Especially if it saves them hours of frustration.

Techie Buzz Rating: Scanner: 2/5 (Poor) / Online Service: 3/5 (Good)

Barnes and Noble Apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, PC, Mac

This isn’t newnews, but I’ve covered a few other eReader apps lately. I decided to try out the eReader apps that Barnes and Noble is offering.

I’m sure you’ve heard of BN. They’ve been in the book business for years. Currently they have a bookstore online at barnesandnoble.com. Here’s a screenshot:


They also have a portable eReader device called the Nook similar to the Amazon Kindle and the Borders Kobo. Here’s what the Nook looks like:


If you already have one of the following; iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, PC or Mac, then you can download and run one of the free BN eReader apps. I recently tried out the PC version of the BN Reader. Here are two screenshots for you.



The BN eReader app for the PC doesn’t seem to have built in access to the online store. Instead, when you click on the store, it launches your default web browser to visit there. I don’t know if it works that way on other devices such as the iPad. ‘

Other than that, it seems to be just as easy to use as all of the other eReader applications I’ve tried.

If you like to read and you like Barnes and Noble stores, the Nook and the free BN Reader apps are going to be good tools for you.

See also:

Nook: Barnes & Noble Launches The Coolest eBook Reader

Borders Has a New eBook Store, eReader and Apps

Read e-Books on Your PC, iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac or BlackBerry with Kindle Apps

Find and Read Free E-books with FBReader

How to Update Windows XP to Service Pack 3

Just as my fellow author, Amit, had warned you, Microsoft has ended support for PCs running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). According to figures I’ve seen at InformationWeek, as many as 45% of Windows XP machines will need to update to SP3 in order to stay secure.

If you are running a PC that has not been updated yet, there’s no need to panic. Computers running SP2 will continue to work as usual. The end of support for SP2 simply means that those computers will not receive the most current security fixes from Microsoft’s update website or the automated updates.

Since it’s very important to keep your Windows up to date, how can you find out if your machine needs to update to SP3?

The quickest and easiest way to find out is a keyboard shortcut: [Windows key] [Pause/Break]


Another way to view your current Windows version is to right click on a My Computermenu entry or desktop icon and choose the Propertiesitem in the list.


As a result of either of these actions, you should see your computer’s properties as shown below.


If it says Service Pack 2, then you should use one of the links below to update your PC to SP3. I’ve included four ways to update and a brief description of each method.

A. Windows Update Website
Yes, it’s as easy as visiting Microsoft, however, you will need to use Internet Explorer because Microsoft hates to see you use any other type of web browser.

B. Service Pack 3 Network Install
Despite what the title implies, you can download this single executable file and it will install SP3 easily on any XP machine that needs it. The file is a bit over 300mb in size.

C. Service Pack 3 Add-on for Multi-Lingual Users
If you use languages other than English, you may need this file in addition to the download Babove. It’s only about 9mb in size.

D. Service Pack 3 ISO / CD Image
You can download this ISO file (CD image) and burn it to a CD. This makes it possible for you to have a backup copy and to use it on any XP machine that needs it. The file is over 500mb in size.

E. You can also order a CD from Microsoft by using one of the location links below:
Asia / Europe and Africa / North America / South America

Now, I’m feeling better after writing this important public service announcement. I hope you feel better too, after you’ve updated your old Windows XP machines.

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools Of the Week #13

freeware-signIn case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.

Epic-HomeEpic: A Web Browser Made For India, By India

Epic is a customized version of Mozilla Firefox, which includes content and features targeted at Indians.

borders-ebook-storeBorders Has a New eBook Store, eReader and Apps

Borders has entered the eBook eReader wars. Can they compete with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Books-a-Million and maybe Google?

activehotkeysDisplay Registered and Non Registered Hotkeys in Windows With ActiveHotKeys

ActiveHotKeys is a nice little program for Windows which can be used to display all the active and available keyboards shortcuts for a specific key combination.

windows_live_writer_4_crash_recoveryRecover Unsaved Posts In Windows Live Writer After a Crash

How To Recover Unsaved Post after Windows Live Writer Crash or Improper Shut Down. Recover Unsaved posts after Windows Live Writer Crash.

Use MDownloader to Quickly Download Files From File Hosting Services

MDownloader is a free utility for Windows which lets you download files from a wide range of file hosting services.

moonbase1Moonbase Alpha Goes Online on Steam

Ever wanted to be an astronaut on the moon? You can do the closest thing to it –simulation gaming! With Moonbase Alpha players can experience the trials that one faces on the dark side of the moon (I totally made that up). The best part is that this great game is completely free!

sound4-ico Set your Frets on Fire!
Frets on Fire is an open source guitar hero clone. Pick up your keyboard and play along some great rock songs!

soluto-iconSpeed Up Your Boot Time with Soluto

If your PC is slow to start, and you don’t know what to do about it, Soluto could save you plenty of frustration.

internet-tools-icoHow to Find Offline Installers for Windows Applications

If you have computers that aren’t connected to the net, you will need offline installers to install your favorite software on these machines. How can you find the offline installers?

A Web Browser for Your TV Kylo

Do you have a computer hooked up to your TV? Do you have to squint to read the text while surfing? Kylo TV Browser may be what you need.

notepad-icoOrganize Simple Text Notes with QeepIt

If all you need are simple text notes, portability and compatibility with other software, QeepIt may be just what you need to keep yourself organized.

Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

Borders Has a New eBook Store, eReader and Apps

Recently, I told you how to grab plenty of eBooks from Amazon and read them in the free Kindle apps. I had also told you previously how to access thousands of free eBooks using FBReader. I’m not lying when I tell you that I have plenty of stuff to read. Despite that, I was pleased to see that the well known Borders book store was opening an online Borders eBook store. Can they compete with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Books-a-Million and maybe (in the future) Google?


Borders has a little eBook reader named the Kobo, for about $150. It will let you shop, order and read the eBooks over any Wifi connection. It’s very cute and weighs less than 8 ounces. It’s size makes it easy to bring along anywhere you go. The 6-inch display should make reading fairly comfortable.


This last Christmas, my daughter gave me a Borders gift card. At the time, I had no idea if I would ever use it. As soon as I found out that Borders went online, I went out and bought my Christmas present and started reading it in the free Kobo eReader app.

The eReader app isn’t complicated, it’s easy to use and it’s also available on several platforms: PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry and Android.

It’s not so cute, but it does allow you to shop, order and read all the eBooks in the Borders eBook store. Here you can see what it looks like on my Windows netbook (screen rotated by iRotate).


Will the Borders eBook store be a big hit? I can’t say for sure, but I’m enjoying it until my gift card runs out of money. I love to read :)

FamilyShield Blocks Phishing, Malware and Adult Websites

family-shield-icon A few weeks ago, a good friend of our family posted a question to me in Facebook.

How can I block adult content on my kid’s computer?

Fortunately, I already knew about several methods, but I wanted to give them something free and easy to use. I pointed them to the free OpenDNS service.

Why OpenDNS?

There’s no software to download and it’s always up to date with the latest information on what websites need to be blocked. It also works on Windows, Mac, Linux or almost any operating system.

To use the free OpenDNS Basic service, you will have to register an email address to be able to change the settings that control what types of web content you wish to block. However, OpenDNS is now offering   a new service, called FamilyShield, which doesn’t require registration and is even easier to set up.

What does FamilyShield block?

• Adult websites that are unsuitable for kids
• Proxy and anonymizer sites commonly used by savvy kids to bypass traditional Web filters
• Phishing sites that aim to trick you into handing over personal or financial information
• Some virus-spreading malware websites

How does FamilyShield work?

To tell you how it works, I’m going to use one of the 650+ free wallpapers from VladStudio.

Image: How the Internet Works by VladStudio:


When you are using FamilyShield or any other OpenDNS service, you are telling your PC to use OpenDNS as your default DNS server. Do you see the owl in the third frame of the picture? The DNS server (the owl) tells your computer the real address (IP address) of all the websites that your computer tries to access.

OpenDNS is a smart owl. If you ask it for the IP address of a website that contains something bad, OpenDNS won’t give you the address and you won’t be able to access the bad website. If you set up FamilyShield on your home network router, all the devices in your home are protected from the bad stuff out there.

Below, I’ll show you the typical FamilyShield setup for protecting your home.

1. Sign in with an email address or skip it by clicking the link labeled continue. They don’t require your email address.


2. Choose to set up FamilyShield on a single PC or on your home network (router).


3. If you choose router, you can find specific instructions for the most popular router models.


4. Below you can see the instructions for a Linksys router.


5. Once you have the router set up, you can test to see if FamilyShield is working by using the Test your new settingslink at the top of the instruction page.


That’s it. No software needed and your PC or your home network is protected. Your kids and you will be much safer using the FamilyShield from OpenDNS.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I can’t tell enough people about this awesome free service. If you are reading this, you should tell all of your friends. It’s not a replacement for knowing what your kids are doing on the PC, but it’s an easy way to help protect them.