How to unlock a secure PDF file

PDFs are useful for many reasons, but one is the ability to password protect a file so that only those with the password can view what it contains.

That’s called a user password.

It’s also possible to prevent people from copying, editing and printing a PDF. No password is required to view the file, but you’ll find those functions are locked out if the owner has chosen to protect the document.

That’s called an owner password.

The simple fact is that you need to know the user password to unlock a PDF that’s secured, but it is possible to get around owner password restrictions so that you can edit, copy text and images and print a protected PDF.

How can I view a password-protected PDF?

As we just said, unless you can find out the password from the person who set it, or you manage to remember a password you forget, there aren’t really many options.

You could try and use one of the many utilities available to download online which claim to be able to unlock secure PDFs, but most do so using a brute-force method. That can take hours or days, so if you’re in a hurry this may not be suitable anyway. One such free tool is PDFCrack.

However, let’s say you do know the password and want to create a version of the PDF that isn’t password protected. In this case, you can upload the file to PDF Unlocker.

How to unlock a secure PDF

Then, when prompted, enter the password. The site will generate a copy of the file which isn’t password protected which you can download and share.

How do I print or copy from a secure PDF?

If your document restricts you from printing, copying of content on the page or editing that content, it may be possible to lift those restrictions using the tools we mentioned above.

Again, drag and drop your file onto the area shown on the site and if it can remove the restrictions it will allow you to do so.

Bear in mind that some tools which run in Windows will delete your PDF if you do not have permission to print or copy it, so uploading the file to an online tool is recommended as your local copy is safe.

There are other sites which offer to remove the owner password from a PDF including:

How to unlock a secure PDF

You might also be interested in knowing how to extract certain pages from a PDF.


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MiVue C330 dashcam review

While Mio was once only known for manufacturing satnavs, the company expanded into the world of dashcams and now offer a range to suit your budget. The MiVue C330 dashcam is a modest sub-£100 offering from the company, providing [email protected] capture in an impressively small form factor. But does the price tag reflect the video quality? Here’s our MiVue C330 dashcam review.

Pricing and availability

Those interested in buying the MiVue C330 dashcam can do so from the likes of Amazon (£84.99) and Very (£74.99) in the UK, though those in the US are out of luck. It’s relatively cheap, especially when you consider that the C330 features built-in GPS and speed camera warnings updated on a monthly basis for life.

It’s also cheaper than the likes of the Asus Reco Classic and Nextbase 312GW. Those that want to splash out on something with all the bells and whistles should take a look at our list of the best dashcams of 2018.

Features and design

Building on the design of previous dashcams, Mio has figured out exactly what a dashcam should be: compact and discreet. It’s incredibly small at 51.2 x 62.6 x 37.4mm and only 59.5g, and when coupled with an all-black design, it makes the MiVue C330 pretty hard to spot from outside the car. The display is small at 2in, providing a less intrusive experience than those with larger displays.

But it’s not just the small dimensions of the dashcam that make it great; the windscreen mount features a ball-joint that attaches directly to the body of the dashcam, making it more compact and able to sit higher on the windscreen. This should help keep the dashcam out of the way when driving.

A complaint about the MiVue 618 was a poorly placed USB port – it was found on the top of the device, and it would often interfere with the windscreen mount. Mio listened to the feedback, and the USB port on the C330 is found on the left-hand side, making cable management a breeze.

You’ll find four buttons along the right-hand side with on-screen labels, making it easier to navigate than other dashcam UIs we’ve seen. The UI, in general, is easy to use, tidy and provides access to a variety of options. You can tweak the camera settings, enable and disable a parking mode, change speed measurements, adjust the sensitivity of the G-Sensor and more.

That G-Sensor, like with other dashcams, will detect collisions and will lock the recording, avoiding it from being accidentally overwritten. You can also push a physical button to lock the current recording if, for whatever reason, you want to disable the G-Sensor.

The MiVue C330 sports built-in GPS and will provide navigational data on videos, but that’s not all. Using your location and a database of speed cameras in the UK, the C330 can alert you to upcoming speed cameras and the local speed limit. It’ll even provide a countdown on-screen until you reach the speed camera, allowing you to gently adjust your speed if necessary.

It’s a handy feature to have, and thanks to free monthly database updates, it should always know the location of cameras. On the off chance that it doesn’t, you can manually log the location of speed cameras by pushing a physical button on the camera.  

Our only complaint? The announcement is a spoken voice, and it’s pretty quiet. We’d prefer a quick chime, something that is much easier to notice – especially if you’re listening to the radio and concentrating on driving.

There’s a small built-in battery in the C330, allowing you to use it wirelessly for a short amount of time. This is ideal for collisions; you can quickly remove the camera from the mount and use the dashcam’s photo mode to get photos, complete with location data, time and date, for insurance purposes.

Oh, and like many other dashcams, the C330 offers auto power-on technology that’ll automatically begin recording when you turn the ignition on, and will turn itself off once you turn off the engine.

Performance

The MiVue C330 defaults to a Full HD (1920×1080) resolution at 30fps, with no high frame rates on offer. It’s coupled with a 130-degree wide-angle lens that captures a lot of the scene in front of the car, though this also means that registration plates can appear quite small unless you’re directly behind another car.

And while older MiVue cameras had issues with colour reproduction, we’re happy to say that it isn’t the case with the C330. In daylight, colours are fairly accurate and the image is clear enough to pick out small details like road signs and registration plates of passing cars. Admittedly, there are cameras that offer better detail, but not at this sub-£100 price range. You can see a full resolution screenshot below.

The only issue we’ve noticed is an occasional ‘flicker’ during the day. The sky blows out temporarily before re-adjusting, leading us to believe that bright light may confuse the camera’s sensor. It only lasts a couple of frames, but it’s certainly noticeable in video playback.

As expected, nighttime performance isn’t as good. Despite the C330’s F2.0 lens, the videos are quite dark and, like most other dashcams on the market, it’s hard to make out registration plates. It’s either too dark, or the headlights of your car make it too bright to be read. It should be enough to get an overall picture of an event, but you may struggle to make out the finer details.

Files, by default, are recorded in .MP4 format and, for some reason, won’t play with audio using the default video player featured in Windows 10. For us, this was easily remedied by using VLC player to view the footage captured on the dashcam, but you can also opt to use MiVue Manager.

MiVue Manager is the accompanying software for the C330, and is available to download for Windows and Mac. It provides an easy way to review footage along with information like speed, GPS coordinates and G-Sensor data. And, if you’re using the dashcam to capture your driving skills, it provides an easy way to upload your footage to YouTube and Facebook.

The one annoyance? The MiVue C330 features a Mini-USB port, a connector that has largely been phased out and isn’t as readily available in the average household as it once was. While the C330 isn’t alone in featuring a Mini-USB port, the company doesn’t provide a cable to connect the dashcam to your PC or Mac to easily view the footage. You’ll have to search your cupboards for an old one, or pick one up on Amazon.

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7 Ways to Take a Screenshot in Windows 10

Being able to capture your computer screen can be very useful. Perhaps you want to preserve an online transaction, grab an image to share with a friend, or aid tech support in remotely solving a problem with your laptop or PC.

We’ve outlined seven easy ways to take a screenshot in Windows 10, many of which also work in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Print Screen

Pressing the Print Screen key is the fastest and easiest way to take a screenshot, but it’s certainly the least convenient way to do it. Since the screenshot is not saved but only stored in the system clipboard, it must be pasted into a graphics program or word processor after it has been taken.

The system remembers only one shot, so if you don’t fix the image immediately then pressing Print Screen again will replace it with a new one. This will not be useful when you need to take a series of images. Alternatively, the system can be extended with applications such as Clipboard Master.

Alt + Print Screen

This solution works just like pressing the Print Screen button, but saves only the active window. So if you have multiple folders opened on your desktop, pressing the Alt and Print Screen keys at the same time will allow you to save the image without background clutter.

Windows + Print Screen

The next key combination is Windows + Print Screen. The screen should go out for a moment when you use it. The graphics (.png format) are located in the Screenshots folder, where images are saved by default. This folder is created automatically when you use a keystroke combination for the first time.

Windows + H

If you want to take a full screen shot and share it to an online service such as email or social media, press the Windows and H keys at the same time. On the right side you will see a selection of places to which you can send the created image. Of course, what appears here depends on which apps you have installed on your machine.

Snipping Tool

Windows 10 has a built-in screenshot too.? Originally it was called the Snipping Tool, and is found in System Accessories. When you launch it you can select the area you want to capture – the active window, the full screen, the rectangle or the shape of your choice. The screenshot can be saved in the system tray or at a location of your choice. Available recording formats are .png, .html, .jpeg and .gif.

Windows + Mute button

On Windows 10 mobile devices, screenshots are taken just as they are on smartphones and tablets with other operating systems. Hold down the Windows logo key while pressing the mute button. The same happens if you press the Windows + Print Screen keys on your computer or laptop – the screen fades off for a moment and the created screenshot is saved in the default image folder.

Third-party application

The last solution is to use one of the numerous third-party applications for creating screenshots. These might be dedicated applications such as Screenshot Captor or SnapDraw, or browser extensions such as Fireshot and Nimbus. There are so many out there – and most of them free – that you can try a few and pick whichever works best for you.

This article originally appeared on PCWorld Poland.


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‘Disastrous’ copyright bill vote approved

A committee of MEPs has voted to accept major changes to European copyright law, which experts say could change the nature of the internet.

They voted to approve the controversial Article 13, which critics warn could put an end to memes, remixes and other user-generated content.

Article 11, requiring online platforms to pay publishers a fee if they link to their news content, was also approved.

One organisation opposed to the changes called it a “dark day”.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs voted by 15 votes to 10 to adopt Article 13 and by 13 votes to 12 to adopt Article 11.

It will now go to the wider European Parliament to vote on in July.

‘Censorship’

Last week, 70 influential tech leaders, including Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee, signed a letter opposing Article 13, which they called “an imminent threat to the future” of the internet.

Article 13 puts more onus on websites to enforce copyright and could mean that every online platform that allows users to post text, sounds, code or images will need some form of content-recognition system to review all material that users upload.

Activist Cory Doctorow has called it a “foolish, terrible idea”.

Writing on online news website BoingBoing, he said: “No filter exists that can even approximate this. And the closest equivalents are mostly run by American companies, meaning that US big tech is going to get to spy on everything Europeans post and decide what gets censored and what doesn’t.”

Article 11 has been called the “link tax” by opponents.

Designed to limit the power over news publishers that tech giants such as Facebook and Google have, it requires online platforms to pay publishers a fee if they link to their news content.

The theory is that this would help support smaller news publishers and drive users to their homepages rather than directly to their news stories.

But critics say it fails to clearly define what constitutes a link and could be manipulated by governments to curb freedom of speech.

After the vote, US not-for-profit organisation Creative Commons, which aims to make more content free for others to share, called it a “dark day for the open web”.

Another Twitter user tweeted: “15 MEPs voted for upload filtering. They understand the internet better than the people who invented it, apparently.”

Open Rights executive director Jim Killock told the BBC: “Article 13 must go. The EU parliament will have another chance to remove this dreadful law.

“The EU parliament’s duty is to defend citizens from unfair and unjust laws.

“MEPs must reject this law, which would create a robo-copyright regime intended to zap any image, text, meme or video that appears to include copyright material, even when it is entirely legal material.”

But publishers, including the Independent Music Companies Association (Impala) welcomed the vote.

“This is a strong and unambiguous message sent by the European Parliament,” said executive chair Helen Smith.

“It clarifies what the music sector has been saying for years: if you are in the business of distributing music or other creative works, you need a licence, clear and simple. It’s time for the digital market to catch up with progress.”

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How to Delete Browsing History on Android

Most of us think we have nothing to hide, and therefore it matters not who sees what sites we visit online. But you may want to be a little more discreet.

If you’ve been shopping for a partner’s birthday, researching a mystery ailment, watching something you don’t want the kids to find, or asking the type of questions you’d feel silly asking an actual human on a shared Android phone or tablet, know that anyone who has access to that device can also see what you’ve been looking at. You might want to rethink that data falling into the wrong hands.

Most Android devices run Google’s Chrome browser, although some manufacturers add their own tools for getting online. You’ll find the process for deleting your browsing history in those apps largely similar to the steps we outline below for Google Chrome.

How to delete your phone or tablet’s browsing history

  1. Launch Google Chrome
  2. Tap on the three dots icon at the top right corner of the screen
  3. Select Settings
  4. Select Privacy
  5. Scroll down to and select ‘Clear browsing data’
  6. You’ll probably find all three options listed here are preselected by default, but double-check ‘Browsing history’ is selected
  7. Next to Time range use the drop-down to specify a time period, either All time or the last hour, day, week or month
  8. Tap Clear data

Read next: Does Android need antivirus?


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How to Sideload Apps on Android: Install Apps Outside Google Play

By default all Android phones and tablets are configured such that you are unable to download and install apps from sources other than Google Play. This is to help keep your device secure, because Google has no control over the security of apps outside its own store.

In many cases that’s a good thing, especially if you’re not sure how to tell a dodgy app from a legit app. (Here’s how to remove a virus from Android if you do accidentally install one.)

But sometimes you want more than what Google offers. If an app is not available in Google Play (or if it should be available but is not showing on your device because Google thinks it is incompatible), there is a way to sideload it.

We’d recommend thoroughly checking the permissions of any app you download outside Google Play as well as reviews of that app. You might want to consider backing up your data and installing an antivirus app before downloading third-party software, and be sure to pay attention to any odd behavioural changes following the installation. Make sure you know exactly what you’re downloading. 

How to install apps that are not in Google Play

The exact process for enabling the option to install apps from other sources differs depending on which version of Android you are running. The steps below assume you are running Android 8.0 Oreo, but in older- or customised versions of Android you may instead find this option in the Security menu. On a Samsung Galaxy phone, for example, it’s in Settings, Lock Screen & Security, ‘Install Unknown Apps’.

If you can’t find the ‘Unknown sources’ or ‘Install Unknown Apps’ option, look for a search bar at the top of your Settings app and type it into here.

Alternatively, when you download and attempt to install the .apk file (the Android equivalent to Windows’ .exe files), you should be prompted to enable the downloading of apps from unknown sources. It’s fine to follow this prompt, but it makes reversing the permission after the installation more difficult when you don’t know where to find it.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select ‘Apps & Notifications’
  3. Tap Advanced
  4. Choose ‘Special app access’
  5. Scroll down to and select ‘Install unknown apps’
  6. Select the app that you will be using to download the file (we suspect it will be Chrome)
  7. Toggle on the slider next to ‘Allow from this source’

Sideload apps on Android Oreo

You should now be able to download and install apps from unknown sources using that app. Simply tap the .apk file to begin the installation and follow the prompts. Be sure to choose only the app vendors you trust, and remember to reverse the permission once the app has been installed.


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Mario Tennis Aces review

Mario Tennis games have been around since 1995, so it’s about time that the Switch got a new edition and it’s the first in-house sports game for Nintendo’s popular console. Here’s our Mario Tennis Aces review.

Although it’s been around for a long time, that first edition probably isn’t the one people (who are old enough) remember. Mario’s Tennis launched on the Virtual Boy but it was Mario Tennis on the N64 and Game Boy in 2000 that was a hit.

Mario Tennis Aces is only the seventh game in the series and after the last couple, Mario Tennis Open (3DS) and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash (Wii U), we’re hoping things pick up a bit. Check out the best Nintendo Switch games.

Mario Tennis Aces: The Story

It seems a bit odd for a tennis game to have a story mode, but it provides something to focus on if you’re not playing with mates or online. It’s the first one since Power Tour in 2005 on the Game Boy Advance.

Adventure mode in Mario Tennis Aces features a series of levels spread across a map. You walk around like Super Mario games of old but the path is pretty linear.

Mario Tennis Aces adventure map

It’s somewhat tenuous but you need to travel around the Kingdom of Bask to collect power stones and defeat a legendary racket called Lucien that is controlling Wario and Waluigi and has Luigi hostage.

It’s all a bit nuts and surprise surprise, you’ll have to play tennis in each level although it’s not as simple and boring as playing match after match.

The adventure mode includes bosses, practice courts that are essentially mini games and other unexpectedly creative levels. In Mirage Mansion you need to play against a huge mirror while solving the puzzle. 

Other than being a bit of fun, the adventure mode is a great way to learn the game and put you in a good position to beat real-life players.

Mario Tennis Aces: Shots and Rackets

It’s its most basic form, the gameplay of Mario Tennis Aces is pretty simple. You can select three different shots – top spin, flat and slice – and use the left joystick for direction. Running to the right spot early and holding down the button will charge up a shot to make it more powerful.

Those shots are colour coded so you know what type of shot is coming your way. What’s not made clear is that they interact with each other a bit like rock, paper, scissors. 

Flat will counter flat, while slice and top spin should be used against each other.

Beyond this, the gameplay does get pretty complicated and we don’t just mean with shots like lobs and drop shots.

Mario Tennis Aces Zone Shot

First up is a Star Shot which is a powerful shot if you can charge up while standing on a star that appears on the court. A Zone Shot is achieved by tapping R while on a star and gives you the ability to pinpoint where your shot goes on the court. You can also use it on a server, which isn’t explained. 

You’ll need energy to do a lot of these advanced shots and the bar will increase during a normal rally. However, you can fill it up quicker with Max Charge Shots – holding down the button long before striking the ball – or the next type of shot.

A Trick Shot can be used with the right joystick and allows you to jump quickly across the court to reach a shot that would have otherwise gone past you. It just requires a bit of timing. 

The Special Shot is the pinnacle and you’ll need a full energy bar to use it and each character has a different one – at least in the animation.

Although it uses your entire energy bar, the Special Shot can break an opponents racket. If you’re facing a Special Shot, you’ll need to block it at the right time otherwise you’re racket takes damage – and you lose if it breaks completely.

You can get different rackets with more advanced ones being stronger. Rackets have levels for attack, defence and durability.

To help you block at the right time, Zone Speed is effectively bullet time so you can face the shot in slow motion.

Mario Tennis Aces racket levels

With this many elements, it can take a while to get your head round them all and remember when to use each. We also found the momentum favours the player on the front foot too heavily, but the racket mechanic means you can still win even if you’re badly behind on points.

If all this gets a bit much – we’ve found it difficult to remember all the different shots – or means you have an unfair advantage over friends who don’t know the mechanics you can switch on simple rules which limits you to basic shots. 

Mario Tennis Aces: Modes

As well as Adventure mode, you can also use motion controls instead just like Tennis from Wii Sports by switching on Swing mode. It also has it’s own modes including Big Ball and Rally Challenge.

In Swing Mode your character will move across the court automatically and you do shots with motion so a slice involves swinging from your shoulder downwards.

Free Play lets you choose any character and set the rules for a match. By default, quick play means you score like a tiebreak so it’s first to seven.

Mario Tennis Aces court

Both of the above allow 1-4 players, although you’ll need at least four Joy-Cons to play with four locally.

Tournament mode is only for one player, although we don’t understand why two people can’t play doubles. There are three cups to compete for with increasing difficulty – Mushroom, Flower and Star.

It works pretty much like you’d expect a tournament to, although you have six rackets to go through so you don’t go out if one breaks.

Mario Tennis Aces: Characters and Courts

There are 16 characters to choose from including Bowser, Boo, Spike and Chain Chomp (with more on the way, according to the official website) and like other Nintendo games it makes a difference who you pick.

As per usual it works roughly on size so Mario is a good all-rounder, Yoshi is fast and characters like Donkey Kong are slower to move across the court but can unleash more power.

You can level up as you play the game with your character getting a small boost each time you do, either in shot speed, run speed or agility.

Mario Tennis Aces mini game

There are also a range of different courts you can play on and it’s not just the scenery that changes.

For example, Savage Sea has a mast in the middle of the net you can bounce the ball off, Piranha Plant Forest has three Piranha Plants in the way and Mirage Mansion has mirrors that act like portals.

It means the game gets a bit more jazzy, but if you want to play a straight forward game of Tennis then you can still pick a basic court.

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