Fly On Desktop – Great Joke or Great Pet?

flyHave you ever had a fly land on your computer monitor or notebook screen? Yes, and you are tempted to swat the little beastie, but you sure don’t want to break the screen, do you? Now you can bring this dilemma to life with a simple program that puts life-like flies all over your desktop.

flyondesktop2

FlyOnDesktop is a 673kb download and installs on WinXP, Vista and 7. Once installed it can be set to run automatically when Windows starts. You’ll find a fly icon in the system tray and right clicking on it lets you set the number of flies spawned at startup.

I found the best setting was one fly. When you see one of these flies on the screen, they look very real. They even walk around the same way real flies do.

Tip: Double-clicking a fly will remove it from the desktop.

Be sure to check out some of the jokes and pranks we’ve written about over the last few years.

Disclaimer: No real flies were harmed during the production of this post.

arrow-down-double-3 Download FlyOnDesktop

This software is highly recommended and safe for all ages.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Comodo Program Manager – Maximum Control of Your Programs

[Windows Only]

Many years ago, I ran into some software from Comodo and I was impressed with its quality. To this day, Comodo continues to offer free system and security software that competes quite well with software you’d have to pay for. Recently, I saw something called Comodo Program Managerand I decided to give it a try.

Windows 8 Cloud Features Detailed [Screenshots]

Last year, a bunch of presentations detailing planned Windows 8 enhancements were leaked. Those documents gave us a glimpse of what Microsoft was planning for the next iteration of Windows. It was obvious that one of the key differentiators for Windows 8 is going to be cloud integration. Back then, I wrote:

With Windows 8, user accounts will finally become user centric. Your cloud based user account will follow you, from machine to machine.

Now, some leaked screenshots and some sleuthing from MDL forum members, have thrown up a fair amount of concrete information on Window 8’s cloud integration. According to Microsoft, more than 52% PC users work on multiple computers on a regular basis. In order to make switching between workstations effortless, Windows 8 will be introducing ‘Roaming Profiles’. When you logon to different devices using your ‘connected password’, your settings will be automatically transferred to the device. The ‘Roaming Options’ Control Panel item will allow you to add or remove the following from your roaming profile:

  • Desktop Wallpaper
  • Aero Glass Color
  • Ease of access control panel
  • Magnifier
  • On screen keyboard
  • Narrator
  • Speech recognition settings
  • Language profile
  • Text prediction preferences
  • IME dictionary
  • Application settings and search history
  • Windows Taskbar settings
  • Windows Explorer settings
  • Windows Search settings
  • Windows Mouse settings
  • Wireless network profiles
  • Saved website credentials

Windows-8-Roaming-Profile

Interestingly enough, as pointed out by Long Zheng, Windows 8 seems to have the ability to detect if you are using a metered internet connection, or a connection with low bandwidth cap.

Windows-8-Roaming-Profile

Furthermore, another MDL forum member has posted a screenshot that shows the cloud authentication feature in action. Windows 8 will provide the option of either logging in as a local user, or logging in using cloud identification. Quite obviously, Microsoft will be tapping into the Windows Live network for the cloud oriented features.

Windows-8-Cloud-Logon

The public beta of Windows 8 is still several months away. In the meantime, if you want to get a taste of Windows 8, go ahead and download the leaked Windows 8 M2 (pre-M3) release.

More Windows 8 Tidbits Revealed – History Vault, TouchScreen Gestures, Immersive Browser, and Black Screen of Death

Windows 8, the successor to the largely well-received Windows 7, is slated to be released next year. Public beta testing should commence later this year; however, you don’t have to wait that long to get a taste of Windows 8. Just a few hours back, an M2 (Milestone 2) build of Windows 7 was leaked, and it’s already available on popular torrent trackers. However, using a leaked build has its own caveats and risks, and is not for the faint hearted. If you don’t want to subject yourself to the trouble of frequently installing and re-installing leaked Windows 8 releases, we suggest that you do the next best thing – subscribe to Techie Buzz! We will be continuously bringing you the latest scoops about Microsoft’s next big operating system.

We already know that Windows 8 will feature a Ribbon interface for Explorer, have an improved task manager, support pattern logon, include webcam and PDF reader apps out of the box, and include an app store. Windows 8 will also introduce a new packaged application model called AppX. Another new feature, which is aimed squarely at tablet users, is Immersive browser. We mentioned it briefly in a previous article. However, thanks to the M2 build leaked yesterday, we now have a better look at the Immersive browser, which is similar in appearence to Internet Explorer for Windows Phone 7, but features the desktop Trident engine.

Immersive Browser Screenshots
Immersive-Browser-Tabs
Immersive-Browser-Address-Bar
Source: Neowin

Neowin also spotted an YouTube video demonstrating some pretty nifty new touchscreen gestures and effects.

TouchScreen Gestures and Effects

Another major new feature in Windows 8 is “History Vault”. In simple terms it’s a front-end for the “Shadow Copy” feature that was introduced in Windows Vista (Windows XP had a rudimentary implementation of this feature). The “History Vault” will provide quick access to previous versions of documents and files backed up automatically by Shadow Copy. This will finally make Shadow Copy accessible to even non-technical Windows users. Apple’s TimeMachine interface still makes this look like a hack job, but as they say, something is better than nothing.

History Vault Screenshot
Windows-8-History-Vault
Source: WinRumors

The final bit of news from WinRumors isn’t exactly a feature, but is interesting nonetheless. The leaked builds of Windows 8 feature a black screen of death instead of the infamous blue screen of death (BSoD) for stop errors. No one likes to see a BSod; however, it’s one of the most well known (and ridiculed) aspect of a Windows system. It has become a pop-culture legend on its own right. Black screen might conserve power, appear more slick, or whatever; but, I know that I will feel a tinge of sadness if Microsoft finally decides to ditch the BSoD. The BSoD has secured it’s own place in the pop-culture, and is one of the things we love to hate about Windows. Hopefully, this is only a temporary move, and the BSoD will be back by the time we are ready for the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) build.

Windows 8 Black Screen of Death Video

Source: WinRumors

Windows 8 M2 (Build 7955) Leaked

WindowsAlthough Microsoft has been sharing Windows 8 test builds with trusted partners for several months, us mere mortals had to wait until early April to get a taste of Windows 8. However, the flood gates seem to have opened, and we have another leak on our hands.

BetaArchive, the forum responsible for leaking Windows 8 M1, has done it once again. This time, they have managed to get hold of Windows 8 Build 7955 (6.2.7955.0). This build is a lot newer than the earlier build. If I am not mistaken, it is the final build of the Milestone 2 (M2) tree. According to the notes provided by the releaser,

  • You can unlock the following:
    • Ribbon UI
    • Application Folder (now working, in 7850 it was broken)
    • Full DWM (hideblur)
  • The following requires the ”red pill”:
  • Webcam
  • Login (that ugly guy with ctrl+alt+del, the fishy wallpaper, pattern login)
  • TaskUI (new taskmanager)
  • PDF Reader
  • Immersive Browser

At the moment Windows 8 M2 is available for download only on the private BetaArchive FTP server; however, it should begin popping up in various torrent websites in an hour or so. As always, keep in mind that installing a leaked build is fraught with danger. Besides the risk that it might have been tampered with, you might experience severe performance and stability issues. The file released by BA has the MD5 hash 40861A02CB14B0D2D7930910DB6CC6E4 and is a 2.47GB (2,657,079,296 bytes) download.

Windows 8 to Feature a Pattern Logon Screen for TouchScreen Users [Video]

The folks at MyDigitalLife have done it again. A user has managed to uncover a pattern logon screen in Windows 8 that is similar to the authentication system found in Android. Previously, MDL forum members had managed to unlock several hidden features like Ribbon UI (user interface) for Windows Explorer, Advanced Task Manager, native PDF viewer, and native WebCam application.

The pattern logon screen is obviously targeted at touchscreen users, although it can also be operated using a mouse. Windows 8 is being designed from the ground-up keeping multiple form factors in mind. It will be the first version of Windows to support ARM chipsets, which power majority of the handheld devices (including tablets). Other tablet oriented features we have seen includes a more touchscreen friendly task manager, and an immersive version of Internet Explorer. Immersive Internet Explorer uses the desktop Trident rendering engine, but has a tile-based user interface similar to IE for Windows Phone 7.

Windows-8-Pattern-Logon-Screen

The undesirability of Windows 7 as a tablet operating system has already left Microsoft playing catchup in, what Apple terms as, the “post-PC” segment. Once again, Android seems to be the only operating system that can mount a serious challenge to the iOS. Microsoft will need to do a lot more than just integrate bits and pieces of Metro and Ribbon, if it hopes to catchup. Windows M3 was released to trusted partners on March 29. If and when that build gets leaked, we should get a better idea about the direction Microsoft intends to take with Windows 8. In the meanwhile, check out this video to watch the new logon interface in action.

uTorrent 3.0 Beta Introduces Streaming, Comments, and Ratings

After a pretty long alpha phase, uTorrent 3.0 has finally moved onto the beta stage. In what is possibly the biggest update since the popular torrent client was released, BitTorrent Inc. has tried to make the process of downloading a torrent as simple as possible for novice users, while satisfying the needs of an advanced user.

uTorrent 3.0 features a host of new features. The most significant changes are:

uTorrent-3-Beta

i) Streaming: Unlike standard http files, torrents aren’t downloaded sequentially, which makes it pretty much impossible to start watching a movie while it is being downloaded. However, when streaming mode is enabled, uTorrent will prioritize downloading of chunks towards the beginning of the file to enable the user to view the content as it is being downloaded. This is quite similar to BitComet’s “Preview Download Mode”.

ii) Comments and Ratings: Now, it is possible to rate and comment on torrent files you have downloaded. The idea is that this will help users in avoiding fake and malicious torrents.

iii) uTorrent Remote: uTorrent remote makes it possible to add, delete, and control your downloads from anywhere using the Android app. uTorrent had earlier released an iPhone app too; however, it was banned from the app store by Apple.

iv) Send: With this new feature, you can send a torrent to your friend directly from uTorrent. uTorrent will create a web link for the torrent, and also package the uTorrent client, so that your friend can download the file even if he isn’t familiar with torrents. You can also send files in a similar fashion.

v) Extensions: The new version allows the installation of third-party uTorrent apps, which are nothing but extensions. These apps can do anything from providing access to content like lectures from the Khan Academy, to plotting peers on an interactive map.

uTorrent 3.0 beta boasts of several other improvements including a portable mode, and speed, performance, and stability improvements. You can download the beta from here. However, keep in mind that beta software can be prone to problems. BitTorrent Inc. warns that the 64bit version is a lot more unstable than the 32 bit version.

Unlock Ribbon UI for Windows Explorer, and Other Hidden Features in Windows 8 with Windows 8 Tweaker

After a long wait, a Windows 8 build was finally leaked a few days back. The leaked build was a pretty old M1 build, but that didn’t stop thousands of Windows enthusiasts from taking it for a spin. At first glance, it appeared to be, by and large, identical to Windows 7.However, NaiveUser from MyDigitalLife forums managed to unlock quite a few interesting features including Ribbon UI (user interface) for Windows Explorer.

NaiveUser succeeded in enabling several locked features through simple registry tweaks. However, if registry editing is not your cup of tea, then fear not, as the folks at Windows8Beta have released the first Windows 8 tweaking utility.

Windows-8-Tweaker

Windows 8 Tweaker is a straightforward application that enables the following hidden Windows 8 features:

1. Ribbon UI for Windows Explorer: Windows 7 saw Microsoft adding the popular Ribbon UI, which was first seen in Office 2007, to applications like Paint and WordPad. With Windows 8, Microsoft is going a step further, and incorporating the Ribbon interface in the Windows Explorer itself.

2. PDF Reader: PDF (Portable Document Format) is now an open standard, and a virtually universal file format. Microsoft has finally decided to stop messing around with its own document formats, and has added a native PDF reader to Windows 8. However, like the Ribbon UI, this feature is also locked down in Windows 8 build 7850.

3. Advanced Task Manager: Windows 8 will feature a significantly improved and touch-screen friendly task manager. The advanced task manager, seen in the screenshot below, sports a new “dashboard” that will provide a quick overview of various resource usages (CPU, memory, disk, and network). Also present in the new task manager is a new section for startup processes, and a revamped process and application manager.

Windows-8-Task-Manager

4. Webcam Application: The final feature that the Windows8 Tweaker unlocks is a native webcam app. The app itself is pretty bare bones, but it gets the job done.

If you have installed the leaked Windows 8 build, then go ahead and grab the Windows 8 Tweaker from here. Don’t forget to chime in with your opinion about the new Windows 8 features in the comments section.

Windows 8 Build 7850 Leaked, Available for Download

It has finally happened! Someone has leaked an internal build of Windows 8. A short while back, Windows 8 Build 7850 was published by Betaarchive, and should appear soon on torrent and other file sharing services.

The build that has been leaked is actually pretty old – older than the build demoed by Microsoft at CES. According to multiple sources, Windows 8 has already reached Milestone III, whereas the leaked release is from the Milestone I days. Officially, the build bears the version number Windows 6.1, and behaves more or less like Windows 7. Even if any major new features are present, they will probably be locked down.

Windows-8-M1-Leaked

Nevertheless, if you are really desperate to get a taste of Windows 8, keep an eye on your favorite torrent website. The file name of the release is 6.1.7850.0.winmain_win8m1.100922-1508_x86fre_client-enterprise_en-us.iso, and the file size is 2.45 GB (2,637,101,056 bytes). Of course, keep in mind that toying with leaked releases is always fraught with danger. Besides being unstable and unfit for daily usage, there is always the possibility that they might have been tampered with. Don’t install this build unless you know what you are doing, and even then, don’t use it as your primary operating system.

Windows 8 App Store Revealed by Leaked Screenshots

A Chinese website has leaked a couple of screenshots, which allegedly show the Windows App Store in action. While it is prudent to take any leaked information with a pinch of salt, it’s pretty safe to bet that Windows 8 will include an app store. Back in June 2010, we had stated as much, based on leaked confidential information. The new screenshots are also consistent with the ones leaked (and ridiculed) on the Neowin forums. Moreover, almost every other desktop operating systems of note (Mac and Ubuntu) already has an inbuilt application repository.

Windows-8-App-Store-Home-Chinese

To be honest, the Windows 8 app store appears to be a mash up of Windows Media Player and the Mac App Store. It will include free and paid content from a large number of third party developers. What is unclear at this moment is whether automatic update for all applications, which has been a long standing demand of Windows users and developers, will also be included.

Windows-8-App-Store-Apps-Chineese

The other point of interest is the name of the app store. In the screenshots leaked by Neowin, the software center is titled as “Windows App Store”. If that is indeed that actual name, one can bet that Apple won’t be too pleased about it. Apple believes that it owns the trademark for “App Store”, and is already suing Amazon.

Windows-8-App-Store-Home

As we get closer and closer to the public beta of Windows 8, expect the volume of leaks to steadily increase. In fact, the Chinese website believes that the app store is almost ready, and will be made available to beta testers soon.

Windows-8-App-Store-Apps

Update: Bad news folks. The leaked screenshots have been confirmed to be fake.