Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

No two people sound exactly alike. Different people have different accents and ways of pronouncing words, and computer voice recognition systems like Siri, Cortana, and Google’s voice search aren’t as good as actual human beings at understanding every voice. Train your voice assistant and it’ll be better at understanding you.

about 11 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Apple’s Game Center is included on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’s a social gaming service for games on Apple’s platforms. With Game Center, you might see friend invites, game invites, and other notifications — but you can disable all that and never see a Game Center notification again.

about 11 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Did you know Google has its own dedicated password manager? It’s more than just password-syncing built into the Chrome browser — Google’s solution also offers a web app, mobile apps, deep integration with Android, and automatic generation of strong passwords.

about 11 months ago - by  |  23 Replies

There are plenty of downsides to jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad. You’ll be behind on iOS updates and forced to jailbreak each new version of iOS you want to use. More importantly, leaked security documents show jailbroken iPhones are more vulnerable to attack.

about 12 months ago - by  |  11 Replies

Android 6.0’s big hallmark feature is Google Now on Tap. Part of Google Now, Now on Tap allows Google to scan the screen whenever you open it, automatically guessing what you want to search for and providing you with more information.

about 12 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

It seems to happen more and more often. A retail store is breached and loses its customers credit card numbers. Use Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, or another smartphone payment solution and you’d be immune to these breaches.

about 12 months ago - by  |  14 Replies

Microsoft made headlines when it stripped support for SafeDisc and SecuROM DRM from Windows 10 Recent security updates to Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 have also removed support for these DRM schemes from older versions of Windows.

about 12 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Google’s finally done it. Android 6.0 Marshmallow includes a new, iOS-style permission system for new apps. You can also manually revoke permissions from any app — even ones designed for old versions of Android.

about 12 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan protects system files and processes with a new feature named System Integrity Protection. SIP is a kernel-level feature that limits what the “root” account can do.

about 12 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Disc images have become more useful than ever on modern PCs that often lack CD and DVD drives. Create ISO files and other types of disc images and you can “mount” them, accessing the virtual discs as if they were physical discs inserted into your computer.

about 12 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Android phones and tablets aren’t all kept up-to-date with the current version of Android. It’s often helpful to know which version of Android a specific phone or tablet is running so you can get help with something or determine whether a feature is present.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

PCs don’t have to be power hogs, but they often are. High-powered desktops with gaming-focused dedicated graphics hardware are the most thirsty for energy, but older PCs are typically less energy-efficient than modern ones.

about 12 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Apple just opened iOS up a little bit. It’s now possible to sideload open-source apps — emulators, for example — onto an iPhone or iPad without paying $99 per year for a developer license.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

The Task Manager in Windows 8 and 10 has been completely overhauled. It’s easier-to-use, slicker, and more feature-packed than ever. Windows 8 may be all about Metro, but the Task Manager and Windows Explorer are better than ever.

about 12 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Install Windows 3.1 in DOSBox to run old 16-bit Windows games on 64-bit versions of Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and anywhere else DOSBox runs. This is particularly useful as only 32-bit versions of Windows can run those 16-bit applications.

about 12 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Apple wants to keep your iPhone and iPad up-to-date. But you may want to go back to an older operating system. This is especially true if you’re trying out a beta version of iOS on your iPhone or iPad.

about 12 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

New versions of Windows don’t fully support classic DOS games and other old applications — this is where DOSBox comes in. It provides a full DOS environment that runs ancient DOS apps on modern operating systems.

about 12 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

The Safari web browser likes showing the websites you frequently visit when you open it. On an iPhone or iPad, it shows “frequently visited sites.” On a Mac, it shows your “top sites.” You can disable this to prevent your browser from advertising the websites you frequently visit.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

To use the Linux terminal like a pro, you’ll need to know the basics of managing files and navigating directories. True to the Unix philosophy, each command does one thing and does it well.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a great security tool that’s particularly effective against “potentially unwanted programs (PUPs)” and other nasty software traditional antivirus programs don’t deal with. But it’s intended to be used alongside an antivirus and doesn’t replace one entirely.

about 12 months ago - by  |  21 Replies

ImageMagick is a suite of command-line utilities for modifying and working with images. ImageMagick can quickly perform operations on an image from a terminal, perform batch processing of many images, or be integrated into a bash script.

about 12 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

When you a delete a file, it isn’t really erased – it continues existing on your hard drive, even after you empty it from the Recycle Bin. This allows you (and other people) to recover files you’ve deleted.

about 1 year ago - by  |  4 Replies

Apple added a new “low power mode” to the iPhone as part of iOS 9. You’ll be prompted to activate it each time your phone reaches 20 percent battery, but you can also enable it before that point to stretch your battery power further.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Apple’s iCloud Drive normally just works in the background on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 9 makes iCloud more accessible and useful, providing a new iCloud Drive app that lets you browse, view, and manage all the files stored in iCloud Drive.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Hard drives are getting larger and larger, but somehow they always seem to fill up. This is even more true if you’re using a solid-state drive (SSD), which offers much less hard drive space than traditional mechanical hard drives.

about 1 year ago - by  |  7 Replies