Opera 10.5 Beta Adds Private Browsing and Excellent Windows 7 Integration [Downloads]

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Windows only: The latest beta version of the Opera browser adds total Windows 7 integration, with Jump Lists, Aero Peek, and a beautiful Aero Glass interface—and we’ve got a quick tour of all the new features.

The first thing you’ll notice after installing the 10.5 beta is that the interface has been completely re-done with Aero Glass for Windows 7 or Vista users. The menu bar has been rolled up into a single button similar to the way Office 2007 works, with easy access to all common functions all from one place.

Windows 7 users can now hover their mouse over the taskbar button and see previews of each of the open tabs, and moving your mouse over a specific tab will enable the Aero Peek effect and show the Opera window with the contents of that particular tab—just the way Internet Explorer 8 does. You can even middle-click on the thumbnail preview to close a tab.




The Jump List menu shows the items from your Speed Dial, lets you open a new tab, or start a new private browsing session in a separate tab. Once you’ve opened a new private tab—which you can also do by right-clicking on the new tab button on the right of the tab bar—the icon in the tab will change to indicate that you are in a private browsing session.

You can choose to open a separate window for private browsing, but being able to include that private tab without requiring a new window is a nice feature that you can’t currently do in any of the other mainstream browsers.

Opera 10.5 beta is a free download for Windows only; Unix and Mac builds will be available later this week.







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Avast Free Antivirus 5.0 Adds Behavior Monitor, Heuristics Engine, and Improved Performance [Downloads]

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Windows only: The newest version of the popular Avast Antivirus is finally available for download. It’s lighter, faster, and more feature-filled than ever, bringing a new behavior shield, heuristics engine, and code emulator to keep you protected at all times.

Apart from its far easier-to-navigate interface, Avast has a few new features that make it hard to turn down. Its new code emulator can emulate a suspicious executable’s code, isolated, for use in its new heuristics engine, designed to detect malware that would otherwise be undetectable with normal definitions—in other words, spotting malware by learning what the code does. If you use the pro version, you also get their new sandboxing feature for even further protection.

Apart from the new features, Avast has also lowered scanning times as well as the resources necessary to scan and update—a common issue with antivirus programs that are always running in the background. If you’re already an Avast lover (and many of you are), you can either wait for the program to update itself in the near future or go download 5.0 straight from Avast. If you’ve tried Avast and turned it down before, it may be worth another look—you may find that its former cons (such as the difficult-to-use GUI and resource use) are now more up to your standards.

Avast Antivirus is a free download, Windows only.







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