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This year’s CES unveiled a ton of new gadgets, but most of them aren’t that interesting. Here are the ones that we liked the best — just the most interesting gadgets and gear that we looked at.

about 2 years ago - by  |  7 Replies

Google just announced a new feature where Google+ acts as a bridge between the social network and your personal email. Anyone who follows you on Google+ can now email you directly. If this sounds like a terrible thing (we certainly weren’t thrilled to hear it), read on to learn how to opt out.

about 2 years ago - by  |  10 Replies

Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign is wrong about Chromebooks. Chromebooks definitely aren’t for everyone, but they’re not completely useless either. And Chromebooks have more in common with Microsoft’s vision than Microsoft wants to admit.

about 2 years ago - by  |  30 Replies

Valve’s SteamOS is a living-room gaming operating system based on desktop Linux. It’s currently in beta, but you can install it yourself on almost any computer thanks to Ye Olde SteamOSe, a modification of the SteamOS installer.

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Browser plug-ins are on their way out. Apple’s iOS has never supported plug-ins, Flash is long-discontinued for Android, and the new version of IE for Windows 8 doesn’t support most plug-ins. Chrome will soon be blocking traditional NPAPI browser plug-ins.

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Yes, Windows 7 is still available. If you want a new PC and you also want Windows 7, you can probably get it. This is easiest for businesses, but even home users have ways to get Windows 7.

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Some routers have a Wireless isolation, AP Isolation, Station Isolation, or Client Isolation feature that allows you to lock down your Wi-Fi network. This feature is ideal for businesses with public Wi-Fi networks or anyone who’s just a bit paranoid.

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Chromebooks default to the stable version of Chrome without any experimental features enabled. If you’re a geek, you can go out of your way to get the latest features before they roll out to everyone.

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Chromebooks are becoming more and more popular, with recent reports indicating that Chromebooks captured about 10% of all desktop, notebook, and tablet sales in the US in 2013. But how good are Chromebooks, really? Should you buy one, too?

about 2 years ago - by  |  10 Replies

iPhones and iPads are locked-down devices. You can only install apps Apple has approved, and you can’t tweak the underlying system like you could on a Windows, Mac, or Linux system. Jailbreaking is the act of escaping this figurative “jail.”

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We’ve written about all the different ways cellular carriers are gouging you, from long, expensive contracts to $22,000 bills for roaming data. Believe it or not, some of these terrible practices are actually changing.

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There are a few big problems with using a public Wi-Fi network. The open nature of the network allows for snooping, the network could be full of compromised machines, or  — most worryingly — the hotspot itself could be malicious.

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A lot of benchmarks are rather arcane and filled with technical parameters and jargon. Is there a simple way to perform a comparison between GPU performances (say, before and after a major video card upgrade)? Read on as we explain how.

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More and more new devices are using Wi-Fi Direct. Wi-Fi Direct allows two devices to establish a direct, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection without requiring a wireless router. Wi-Fi becomes a way of communicating wirelessly, like Bluetooth.

about 2 years ago - by  |  3 Replies

Over the years, readers have written in asking how to download Windows and make a bootable install disk, and we’ve always had to tell them that there isn’t a great way to do that. Microsoft has finally fixed this problem in Windows 8.x, and here is how to do it.

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Macs have voice dictation built-in, allowing you to talk instead of type. This feature functions more like voice dictation on a mobile operating system, and less like the more complicated Speech Recognition feature found in Windows.

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Contrary to all the criticism out there, a Chromebook can be surprisingly useful offline. The key to using a Chromebook offline is preparing ahead of time and ensuring your apps and data will be ready.

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Google’s stock Android often gets a free ride from Android geeks who flock to Nexus and Google Play Edition devices, avoiding devices running Samsung’s TouchWiz, HTC’s Sense, and other manufacturer skins. But stock Android isn’t perfect.

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Zip files can be used for a lot different things.  File compression, encryption, split archives, and more are all just a few clicks away once you understand the different things that zip archives are capable of.

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As great of a tablet as the Kindle Fire is (especially in the newest HDX incarnation), there’s what most consider a pretty unbearable flaw: you can’t access the Google Play store to get at apps outside the Apps for Android Amazon store. Read on as we show you how to circumvent that with sideloading (no rooting or warranty voiding required).

about 2 years ago - by  |  5 Replies

Kindle FreeTime is, hands down, the most sophisticated and easy to use parental-control tool available in the tablet market. Read on as we show you how to set it up, access the vast FreeTime Unlimited media library, and set time limits for your kids.

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You spend some time surfing the web, close your browser, and clear your internet history.  But is your history really deleted, and is there any way to find out what websites you visited?  Read on to see several ways that your deleted browser history can be recovered.

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Windows 8.1 adds many improvements to the Windows 8 experience, both for classic PC users and users with hybrid devices or tablets. These 10 features will be appreciated by users with touch screens in Windows 8.1, so if you have a tablet or a hybrid device with Windows 8, here’s what’s exciting about Windows 8.1.

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Browsers are adding features so fast that it’s hard to keep track of them. Internet Explorer offers live tile notifications and taskbar badges, Safari offers push notifications, Chrome has its own notification center, and Ubuntu offers web app notifications.

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Google is now providing integrated parental controls in Chrome, allowing parents to control their kids’ Chrome browser usage. This feature works best on a Chromebook, where it allows you to lock down an entire user account.

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