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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+.

Curved TVs were everywhere at CES 2015. We’re not exaggerating: Almost all the TVs being shown off were curved instead of flat! But what’s the advantage of a curved TV, anyway?

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You’re guaranteed to stumble into an occasional error page while browsing the web. This guide will help you understand exactly what each error page means and what to do when you see them.

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DNS cache poisoning, also known as DNS spoofing, is a type of attack that exploits vulnerabilities in the domain name system (DNS) to divert Internet traffic away from legitimate servers and towards fake ones.

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Manufacturers are pushing “Ultra HD” 4k TVs hard here at CES 2015. By the end of 2015, half of all TVs in stores may be 4K TVs. They’re cheaper than ever, too. So, when should you buy one?

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We all want the replicator from Star Trek: a machine that can create any object we desire. 3D printers, which create objects from plastics and other materials, are the closest things we have. And they’re getting cheaper every year.

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As with TVs, a 4K computer monitor has a display resolution of 3840×2160. This is about four times as many pixels as a typical 1920×1080, or 1080p, display.

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So it’s the end of the road for your PC, tablet, or smartphone. Before letting go, be sure to follow this quick check list to prepare your device for its new owner.

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When you sign up for cable Internet service, you need a modem. You’re often asked to choose between renting the modem from your Internet service provider for a monthly fee or buying it outright.

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Most people use their operating system’s included file manager, but many geeks prefer third-party file managers. After all, Windows Explorer doesn’t offer tabs, a dual-pane interface, batch file-renaming tools, and more advanced features.

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Screenshots are great, but sometimes you need to create a video recording to really get your point across. You can record your computer’s desktop, your smartphone’s screen, or your tablet’s display.

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Your Mac’s Services menu can be very useful. The Services menu has become a hidden feature used mostly be power-users, but it’s very easy to use. It’s a bit like the Share features on Android or iOS.

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Google rolls out Android updates slowly, even to their own Nexus devices. It may take weeks before an over-the-air update becomes available via the System updates screen, but you can skip the wait.

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Animations on a desktop PC, smartphone, or tablet are nice — the first few times. Eventually, you just wish they would hurry up and stop wasting your time.

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Keeping your home router updated is a crucial part of staying secure. Shellshock affected a number of routers, and we’ve also seen routers hacked and turned into botnets. Home router security is notoriously poor.

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Gatekeeper is how Apple is “locking down” Mac OS X, forcing it to only run Apple-approved software by default. But a Mac is locked down in the same way Android is locked down — you’re free to change an option and install any application you want.

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Consoles have come a long way from cartridges. Today, they’re practically just gaming PCs and include built-in storage for save files, game updates, and digital-download games.

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Mac OS X ships with a built-in firewall, but it’s not enabled by default. The Windows firewall has been enabled by default ever since worms like Blaster infected all those vulnerable Windows XP systems, so what gives?

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We’ve all seen it in movies: Someone’s in an emergency situation, so they dial 911 on a landline phone and run off. The police then rush to their location. This location tracking doesn’t work as well with cell phones and VoIP services.

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Remember TV antennas? Well, they still exist! Get a digital TV antenna and you’ll be able to watch local TV stations for free, all without paying a dime to a cable TV company.

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The era of the $200 Windows laptop is back, and the HP Stream is just the first of many. These products are definitely better than the much-maligned netbook, but Chromebooks beat them in many ways.

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Poor signal strength could be your carrier’s fault, or it could be because of signal-blocking materials in your home’s walls. Whatever the cause, you can boost that signal and get the maximum number of bars at home.

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Apple tries to stop it, but there are ways to change your default apps on iOS. You can use your favorite browser, email client, and mapping app instead of Apple’s own apps.

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Apple’s MacBook Air, along with many other Macs, no longer includes an optical drive. But you can still use CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and other optical discs on your Mac.

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Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux all allow you to schedule boot-ups, shut-downs, and wake-ups. You can have your computer automatically power up in the morning and automatically shut down at night, if you’d like.

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For those of us who didn’t grow up with smartphones, typing on a touch keyboard can feel awfully slow. But there are tricks you can use to speed up typing on a touch keyboard, just like a physical one.

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