As freeware system cleaners go, Magix PC Check & Tuning Free offers a good balance. Some such tools are designed to be as easy to use as possible and give you few options and not enough information about what they're doing to your system. Others overwhelm beginners with options and detailed scan reports, and they often make it too easy to delete the wrong things. The freeware version of PC Check is designed to be easy to use yet useful to people with widely varying skills, yet it also lets you perform cleaning and tune-up operations separately as well … Read more
Glary Utilities is one of the most consistently recommended freeware system maintenance suites, and our experience with it suggests such confidence isn't misplaced. It combines a Registry Cleaner, Shortcuts Fixer, Startup Manager, Temporary Files Cleaner, Tracks Eraser, Spyware Remover, and much more in one compact interface. Glary Utilities Portable is a full-featured portable freeware version of Glary Utilities. It can run for portable drives on any compatible Windows PC, making it a great addition to portable PC toolkits.
We extracted Glary Utilities Portable and clicked the executable file, which ran the program without requiring an installation process. A simple … Read more
Ahead of releasing iOS 5 to users today, Apple released two new universal iOS apps: one for keeping track of other friends with iOS devices, and another for setting up and managing the company's wireless networking equipment.
The first of those is Find My Friends (iTunes), an app Apple debuted at last week's "Let's talk iPhone" event. Like the company's "Find My iPhone" app, it lets you see where one or more iOS devices are on a map, though in Find My Friends' case, these are people who do not share your … Read more
Having a full-system backup is highly recommended for any computer, and for most people Apple's Time Machine backup utility is a great way to make hourly backups that each can be restored as a full and bootable image of your system. Unfortunately, despite its benefits Time Machine does have a number of glitches that a small number of people continually experience, with one of them being slow and hanging backups.
When slow backups occur in Time Machine, the system may sit constantly in its preparing mode, or it may crawl through a few kilobytes of data and seem to … Read more
The U.S. Department of Energy today finalized financing for four utility-scale solar projects, capping a week of intense activity amid heightened political scrutiny on the loan guarantee program.
The solar projects are: Project Amp, for the installation of 752 megawatts' worth of solar power on about 750 commercial rooftops; a partial loan guarantee for the 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight project in California; the 230-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Ranch 1 Project in California; and the 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch project.
Among the four projects, the Department of Energy will guarantee financing worth more than $4.7 billion. Earlier this week, … Read more
Every couple months, some software vendor I've never heard of pings me about a new DVD ripper or video converter that they're giving away. I always think there's going to be some kind of catch, like the program's in German or doesn't support Adam Sandler movies. (Actually, that wouldn't be a catch at all.)
Instead, it usually turns out to be a decent piece of software with no strings to speak of. And here's a fine example: From now until September 30, you can get uRexsoft DVD Ripper Platinum (Windows) absolutely free. … Read more
It's been said that utilities see electric vehicles as batteries on wheels. A university project to use electric cars to stabilize the grid has brought utility NRG to put that idea to the test.
NRG Energy said today that it will partner with eV2g, a project developed at the University of Delaware to earn EV drivers money by providing services to grid operators. The technology behind the system is being developed by University of Delaware professor Willett Kempton.
The system treats a network of electric or hybrid electric vehicle batteries as a distributed energy source. Plugged-in vehicles provide a … Read more
WASHINGTON D.C.--The smart grid was hyped and then deflated. Now, it's looking to rebound, this time with consumers along for the ride.
Consumer "engagement" is a persistent theme at the GridWeek conference here, where people said new grid technologies need to be made relevant to consumers.
Smart-grid technology is already bringing more information about energy usage, shortening power outages, or generating tips to improve home efficiency. The problem is that many advanced services are only offered to small groups of people as part of pilot programs.
So what will it take to speed up the … Read more
The laws of supply and demand are actively at work in the solar industry with two direct effects: the death of some solar panel providers and a boost in the number of solar panels installed in the U.S.
Research company Solarbuzz today reported that rapidly falling solar panel prices this year contributed to a sharp increase in planned non-residential solar projects. Two months ago, the pipeline of projects was 17 gigawatts' worth of solar capacity; it now stands at 24 gigawatts.
Commercial-scale solar projects can be solar arrays at businesses or other organizations, such as utilities. Much of the … Read more
Utility National Grid has withdrawn and is resubmitting its smart-grid proposal, a sign of how poor understanding of the smart grid among consumers is working against the country's efforts to modernize the electricity grid.
National Grid had worked two years on a smart-grid pilot program (PDF) to install many technologies both on the transmission grid and in people's homes in Worcester, Mass. But after making its proposal to regulators, it pulled back in February this year and will try to submit a revamped proposal by the end of the year.
Rather than presenting a menu of utility-conceived technology … Read more