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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+.

Some people think that task killers are important on Android. By closing apps running in the background, you’ll get improved performance and battery life – that’s the idea, anyway. In reality, task killers can reduce your performance and battery life.

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Tabs allow you to open multiple web pages in a single browser window without cluttering your desktop. Mastering tabbed browsing can speed up your browsing experience and make multiple web pages easier to manage.

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There are a wide variety of Linux distributions, but there are also a wide variety of distributions based on other Linux distributions. The official Ubuntu release with the Unity desktop is only one of many possible ways to use Ubuntu.

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File extensions can be faked – that file with an .mp3 extension may actually be an executable program. Hackers can fake file extensions by abusing a special Unicode character, forcing text to be displayed in reverse order.

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Geeks love keyboard shortcuts – they can make you faster and more productive than clicking everything with your mouse. We’ve previously covered keyboard shortcuts for Chrome and other browsers, but you can assign your own custom keyboard shortcuts, too.

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Ubuntu 12.10 has been released and you can download it now. From better integration with web apps and online services to improvements in Unity, there are quite a few changes – although none of them are huge or groundbreaking.

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Upgrade to Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) and you’ll run into a surprise – Ubuntu now shows you advertisements for Amazon products when you search in your dash. There’s also an Amazon shortcut pinned to Unity’s launcher.

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Whether you saw a message saying a virus was detected or your computer seems slow and unreliable, this guide will walk you through the process of dealing with your infection and removing the malware.

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We’ve covered why “Do Not Track” isn’t a silver bullet that prevents you from being tracked. However, if you don’t like being tracked and want to express that preference to websites, you can enable “Do Not Track” in every browser.

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The “Do Not Track” option is enabled by default in Windows 8’s Internet Explorer 10 and available in Firefox, Safari, and Opera. Google is even adding it to Chrome. There’s just one problem: it doesn’t actually prevent tracking.

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Top-level domains are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which is run by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

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When someone breaks a device and turns it into an expensive brick, people say they “bricked” it. We’ll cover exactly what causes bricking and why, how you can avoid it, and what to do if you have a bricked device.

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If you ever want to sign into two different accounts on the same website at once – say, to have multiple Gmail inboxes open next to each other – you can’t just open a new tab or browser window.

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When burning a CD or DVD with Windows, you’ll be asked whether you want to use a Live File System or a Mastered disc format. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

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Google Calendar isn’t just a tool to keep track of your own events. You can subscribe to a number of special calendars that automatically update with the latest weather, sports games, air times for your favorite TV shows, and more.

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Windows uses a page file to store data that can’t be held by your computer’s random-access memory when it fills up. While you can tweak the page file settings, Windows can manage the page file fine on its own.

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Like all sufficiently advanced technologies, Wi-Fi can feel like magic. But Wi-Fi isn’t magic – it’s radio waves. A variety of things can interfere with these radio waves, making your wireless connection weaker and more unreliable.

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Internet connection problems can be frustrating. Rather than mashing F5 and desperately trying to reload your favorite website when you experience a problem, here are some ways you can troubleshoot the problem and identify the cause.

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While Windows 8 may seem a bit out of place on hardware without a touch screen, trackpad gestures can help bridge the gap. Gestures on a trackpad work similarly to gestures on a touch screen.

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While you can’t get rid of the Start screen in Windows 8, there are lots of ways to customize the look and feel of the Start screen and make it your own.

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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.

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System Restore is a Windows feature that can help fix some crashes and other computer problems. To know when to use it, you’ll have to understand just how System Restore works.

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ADB, Android Debug Bridge, is a command-line utility included with Google’s Android SDK. ADB can control your device over USB from a computer, copy files back and forth, install and uninstall apps, run shell commands, and more.

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Windows 7’s backup control panel has the ability to create full system image backups. While Windows says you can’t restore individual files from these backups, there’s a way to browse the contents of a system image and extract individual files.

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Antivirus programs are powerful pieces of software that are essential on Windows computers. If you’ve ever wondered how antivirus programs detect viruses, what they’re doing on your computer, and whether you need to perform regular system scans yourself, read on.

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