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November 2015



AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition Issues

30 November 2015


There are now many reports, such as this one on Reddit, that the recent AMD Crimson Edition driver contains a potentially critical bug. It appears that it can lock the fan speed on AMD GPUs to a very low level, such that under sustained heavy load the GPU may burn out. It is recommended that AMD users revert to a previous driver until the situation is rectified. AMD has tweeted that they are aware of the issue and will be releasing a hotfix tomorrow.



Foxit Reader 7.2.8

28 November 2015


The free Foxit PDF Reader has been updated to Version 7.2.8.1124. A changelog is not yet available.



Windows 10 'Version 1511' Update

25 November 2015


Ed Bott reports that Microsoft has reinstated the ISOs of its recently released major update for Windows 10, known as Version 1511 (Build 10586), and has issued a statement. Microsoft explains that the major update was temporarily pulled because it accidentally reset several privacy-related settings to their defaults (on). Microsoft has now issued a new Cumulative Update for Windows 10 which rectifies this issue.


Update: Another privacy-related change in Version 1511, which Microsoft hasn't publicly acknowledged in its statement, is reported here: the Diagnostics Tracking Service was renamed to the Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service, and re-enabled by default.



AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition

25 November 2015


AMD has released the Radeon Software Crimson Edition for the HD 5000 series and above on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. This graphics driver package includes a newly redesigned user interface which replaces the Catalyst Control Center. The software provides new features including Frame Pacing, FreeSync and Frame Rate Target Control support for DX9 games, LiquidVR support, a Shader Cache, Flip Queue Size optimizations, and reduced video decoding power consumption - more details in this article. Note that this is the last driver release for the Radeon HD 8000 series (HD 8400 and below), HD 7000 series (HD 7600 and below), HD 6000 series, and HD 5000 series GPUs. These cards are now considered to be legacy products and will not receive new drivers.



CCleaner 5.12

25 November 2015


A new Version 5.12.5431 of the free CCleaner system cleaning utility has been released. Changes include improved Chrome and Firefox cleaning, Improved detection and cleaning of portable browsers, improved Skip UAC on Windows 10, as well as minor improvements and bug fixes.



WinRAR 5.30

24 November 2015


The archival utility WinRAR has been updated to Version 5.30. Changes include extraction support for numbered extension multipart archives and multipart zip archives created by 7-Zip, as well as shortcut, command line and UI enhancements, along with bug fixes.



Windows 10 'Version 1511' Update

22 November 2015


Microsoft recently released a major update for Windows 10, known as Version 1511 (Build 10586). Initially, this update could be installed either via Windows Update, or as an upgrade or clean install by using the new 1511/10586 ISOs MS provided through its Techbench or Media Creation Tool links. MS has now removed the 1511/10586 ISOs, reverting them back to build 10240 - the original Windows 10 RTM build. The reason for this sudden reversal is unclear. Ed Bott reports a Microsoft spokesman as saying this is a deliberate decision to make sure that installs of the 1511/10586 update are only through Windows Update; some users say they've been told by MS that 1511/10586 has been removed because it causes problems.


Update: A direct download link to the 1511/10586 Media Creation Tool is still available here for now.



Nvidia GeForce 359.00 WHQL

20 November 2015


Nvidia has released the 359.00 WHQL certified graphics driver. This driver is for GeForce 400 and higher graphics cards under Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10. This is the recommended driver for Assassin's Creed Syndicate and the Overwatch beta. The driver package contains PhysX version 9.15.0428 and updates GeForce Experience to version 2.7.4.



7-Zip 15.12

20 November 2015


A Version 15.12 of the free 7-Zip archival utility has been released. This major update takes 7-Zip out of beta and contains a large number of changes compared to the previous stable version (9.20) released in late 2010.



Skype 7.15

20 November 2015


A new Version 7.15.0.102 of the communications utility Skype has been released. A changelog is not yet available.



Windows Updates

19 November 2015


Microsoft has released non-critical updates for Windows 10 on Windows Update. They are listed in more detail in this Microsoft Article.



Windows Updates

18 November 2015


Microsoft has released non-critical updates for Windows 8.1 on Windows Update. They are listed in more detail in this Microsoft Article.



Opera 33.0

18 November 2015


The Opera browser has been updated to Version 33.0.1990.115. This version updates Chromium and provides bug fixes.



AMD Catalyst 15.11.1 Beta

17 November 2015


AMD has released the Catalyst 15.11.1 Beta graphics driver for the HD 5000 series and above on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. This beta improves performance and image quality in Star Wars: Battlefront, Fallout 4, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.



Skype 7.14

17 November 2015


A new Version 7.14.0.105 of the communications utility Skype has been released. A changelog is not yet available.



Windows 10 Major Update

13 November 2015


Microsoft has released the first major update for Windows 10, called Windows 10 Version 1511 (10586) which you can download and install via Windows Update. Alternatively, you can generate an ISO of the new build at the bottom of this page, then do an upgrade or clean install with it. The major update contains a large number of changes, best summarized in this article.



Chrome 46.0

11 November 2015


Google has released Version 46.0.2490.86 of the Chrome browser. This version updates the Flash Player, as well as providing security and bug fixes.



Flash Player 19.0

11 November 2015


Adobe has released Version 19.0.0.245 of the Flash Player plugin for browsers. To download the full offline installer, use these links depending upon your browser: Internet Explorer or Firefox or Opera. Use Windows Update to update the built-in Flash Player in IE11 under Windows 8 and 10, and Edge under Windows 10. Update to the latest version of Chrome to update its built-in Flash Player.



Microsoft Security Updates

11 November 2015


Microsoft has released its monthly set of Windows security updates which you can view here and obtain via Windows Update.


Update: Feedback indicates that KB3097877 may cause problems with Outlook, and possibly other applications, on Windows 7. Microsoft is investigating, but for now the only solution is to uninstall it.



Fallout 4

11 November 2015


I've started playing Fallout 4, and I'm finding it almost as good as Fallout 3. Although the graphics aren't cutting edge, the atmosphere and gameplay seem very good so far. Running it on my 7-year old i7 920/6GB RAM system with a GTX 970 sees a very playable 40-60FPS (VSync-locked) with everything on maximum possible. But one thing bugged me right from the outset - I want to use TAA as it's an extremely effective form of anti-aliasing in Fallout 4, but it also makes the game look unacceptably blurry. My solution was to combine TAA with sharpening via ReShade, and I'm very happy with the results. I share the instructions on how to do this (or use SMAA instead) here.



Nvidia GeForce 358.91 WHQL

10 November 2015


Nvidia has released the 358.91 WHQL certified graphics driver. This driver is for GeForce 400 and higher graphics cards under Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10. This is the recommended driver for Fallout 4, Star Wars: Battlefront & StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. The driver package contains PhysX version 9.15.0428 and GeForce Experience version 2.5.15.



Skype 7.14

10 November 2015


A new Version 7.14.0.104 of the communications utility Skype has been released. A changelog is not yet available.



AMD Catalyst 15.11 Beta

6 November 2015


AMD has released the Catalyst 15.11 Beta graphics driver for the HD 5000 series and above on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. This beta improves performance and image quality in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, as well as providing bug fixes.



Nvidia GeForce 358.87 WHQL

5 November 2015


Nvidia has released the 358.87 WHQL certified graphics driver. This driver is for GeForce 400 and higher graphics cards under Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10. This is the recommended driver for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Anno 2205, and the new War Thunder patch with GameWorks. The driver package contains PhysX version 9.15.0428 and updates GeForce Experience to version 2.5.15.



GPU-Z 0.8.6

5 November 2015


GPU-Z, a free graphics card information utility, has reached Version 0.8.6. Changes include support for DirectX 12, removal of the Shader Model readout, support for new chipsets, and bug fixes.



Windows Updates

4 November 2015


Microsoft has released non-critical updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 on Windows Update. They are listed in more detail in this Microsoft Article.



Opera 33.0

4 November 2015


The Opera browser has been updated to Version 33.0.1990.58. This version updates Chromium and provides bug fixes.



Firefox 42.0

4 November 2015


Mozilla has released Version 42.0 of the Firefox browser. This major update adds Tracking Protection to Private Browsing, adds a mute option for tabs that play audio, improves site security and privacy controls, improves the Login Manager, and contains WebRTC and HTML5 improvements. Importantly, a 64-bit Version of Firefox 42.0 is now also available, which may improve performance. Flash Player is supported, but note that it is not compatible with 32-bit plugins. Firefox 64-bit will install separately from any existing 32-bit version of Firefox, and will automatically use your existing Firefox profile. Once installed, to confirm that you're running the 64-bit version type about:buildconfig in the Address Bar, then press Enter and it should show x86_64-pc-mingw32 under Build Platform.


Update: Mozilla hasn't provided 64-bit download links on their main Firefox page, so I've updated the 64-bit link above to a direct download of the US English 64-bit installer. For other language versions of Firefox 64-bit use this Mozilla FTP link.



AMD Radeon Software

3 November 2015


AMD is changing its driver software, branding and release strategy. The Catalyst package will be renamed Radeon Software, providing similar settings to the Catalyst Control Center, but with a new interface and improved features. A major version, dubbed the Crimson Edition, will be released every year, and minor updates will be released monthly. The new package is expected by the end of this year.



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