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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+.

Chrome’s new user account switcher allows you to create multiple “profiles,” which you can use to log into multiple accounts at once on websites, use different groups of add-ons, and more. You can do something similar with Firefox’s Profile Manager.

about 22 days ago - by  |  11 Replies

Google wants to get rid of browser plug-ins, but they’re bundling quite a few with Chrome itself. On a clean install, you’ll see at least five different browser plug-ins, from the Widevine Content Decryption Module to Native Client.

about 23 days ago - by  |  13 Replies

Wouldn’t it be great to have a smart TV? Well, not really. Smart TVs have a lot of problems. If you do have a smart TV, you’d be better off combining it with a cheap set-top box rather than actually using its smart features.

about 23 days ago - by  |  37 Replies

Browser plug-ins are the biggest target on your computer. Java is a gaping security hole, but Flash has seen a stream of 0-day attacks recently. There’s even been an increase in attacks against Silverlight.

about 24 days ago - by  |  10 Replies

Notifications are obnoxious. Few of us actually need a “ding!” from our pocket every time we get a new email. But some emails are more important, and you might want to hear about them immediately with a notification.

about 25 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Every operating system backs up previous versions of files and offers an easy way to go back in time. If you use a cloud storage service, it also keeps previous versions of your files.

about 25 days ago - by  |  12 Replies

Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite brought a revamped Spotlight search interface. But it’s still limited. Flashlight smashes those limits, adding a plug-in system to Spotlight.

about 26 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

The “Smart Lock” feature on Chrome OS allows you to pair your Chromebook with your Android phone, automatically unlocking it when the phone is nearby and unlocked.

about 27 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

The web browser in Android 4.3 and earlier has many big security problems, and Google won’t be patching it anymore. If you use a device with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or earlier, you need to take action.

about 28 days ago - by  |  6 Replies

Modern smartphones and cloud photo services want to automatically upload every single photo you take to the cloud. But you don’t always want to save every photo forever on those remote servers.

about 29 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Apple has been frantically removing Google from their operating systems. Siri and Spotlight search with Bing by default, and there are rumors they’ll make Yahoo! or Bing the default search engine in Safari next.

about 1 month ago - by  |  1 Reply

Adobe Flash is under attack yet again, with yet another “0-day” — a new security hole being exploited before there’s even a patch available. Here’s how to protect yourself from future problems.

about 1 month ago - by  |  7 Replies

If you haven’t upgraded to a new wireless router in a few years, you might want to seriously consider it. That old router may still be working, but newer ones will give you better Wi-Fi.

about 1 month ago - by  |  21 Replies

Crouton is the best way to run Linux alongside Chrome OS on your Chromebook. Now it’s even better — you can run that Linux desktop in a browser tab.

about 1 month ago - by  |  11 Replies

For additional security, you can require a time-based authentication token as well as a password to log into your Linux PC. This solution uses Google Authenticator and other TOTP apps.

about 1 month ago - by  |  4 Replies

AirDrop allows you to quickly and easily send links, photos, files, and more content between nearby iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Just open up the Share panel and tap a nearby device.

about 1 month ago - by  |  1 Reply

There’s a dedicated community of browser users who consider a vertical tab bar, or tree-style tabs, to be an essential feature. If you use a large number of browser tabs, this can be a lifesaver.

about 1 month ago - by  |  21 Replies

NAS stands for “Network-Attached Storage.” Basically, it’s a way to attach a hard drive to your network and make it accessible to all your devices for centralized file-sharing and backups.

about 1 month ago - by  |  14 Replies

Linux newbies have probably heard a lot about Ubuntu, but it isn’t the only Linux distribution. In fact, Ubuntu’s standard Unity desktop is still controversial among long-time Linux users today.

about 1 month ago - by  |  80 Replies

We’ve been banging on about the horrific and broken Windows software ecosystem for a long time now. Rather than installing applications from Download.com and every other freeware site, you should just switch to Linux if you want to download freeware safely.

about 1 month ago - by  |  39 Replies

iPhones come with a cable that can connect your phone to your PC or Mac, but you don’t actually have to use it for that. You don’t even have to use the cable for charging if you buy into wireless charging (or just get a dock).

about 1 month ago - by  |  1 Reply

We were supposed to be living in a wireless future, but we’re not quite there yet. Still, many things we do with cables don’t actually require cables anymore — you can go wire-free with just a few tweaks.

about 1 month ago - by  |  6 Replies

At CES 2015, smart home products were everywhere. With Apple’s new “HomeKit” system and Google’s acquisition of Nest, smart home products are becoming more mainstream than ever.

about 1 month ago - by  |  5 Replies

Windows, Mac OS X, and most Linux desktops have built-in tools for quickly renaming multiple files. Use a batch-rename tool rather than fixing them one by one.

about 1 month ago - by  |  4 Replies

Mirroring your laptop or desktop PC’s display on your TV is actually pretty simple, assuming you know what you’re doing. There are several ways to do this, both wired and wirelessly.

about 1 month ago - by  |  12 Replies