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If a website asks you to download a “codec,” “player,” or “browser update” to play a video, run the other way. You don’t actually need to download this sort of thing — the website is trying to infect your computer with malware.

about 1 month ago - by  |  16 Replies

It’s hard to wrap our minds around all these Internet catastrophes as they occur, and just as we thought the Internet was secure again after Heartbleed and Shellshock threatened to “end life as we know it,” out comes POODLE.

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Wireshark is the Swiss Army knife of network analysis tools. Whether you’re looking for peer-to-peer traffic on your network or just want to see what websites a specific IP address is accessing, Wireshark can work for you.

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It’s always fun to find those little hidden tricks whenever a new operating system comes out. In this case, the same trick that worked back in the Windows 7 and Vista days also works in Windows 8 and 10, but it’s been improved.

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Ever tried to buy a Windows license from Amazon or Newegg? If only it was so simple. You’ll encounter cheaper System Builder (OEM) and more expensive Full Version (Retail) licenses. But the difference isn’t immediately apparent.

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If you have ever had hidden system files set to display on your Windows system, then you have likely noticed a ‘matching’ pair of desktop.ini files on your desktop. Why are there two of them? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answers to a confused reader’s question.

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Wireshark, a network analysis tool formerly known as Ethereal, captures packets in real time and display them in human-readable format. Wireshark includes filters, color-coding and other features that let you dig deep into network traffic and inspect individual packets.

about 1 month ago - by  |  4 Replies

Java was responsible for 91 percent of all computer compromises in 2013. Most people not only have the Java browser plug-in enabled — they’re using an out-of-date, vulnerable version. Hey, Oracle — it’s time to disable that plug-in by default.

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Microsoft has changed the name of “My Computer” to “Computer” and then to “This PC,” and for those people that prefer it one way or another — or something completely different — you can easily rename it.

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Intelligent machines capable of speech are often the stuff of futuristic sci-fi movies, but you can turn any computer into a chatty Cathy. Even though we aren’t yet at the stage with computers where they can interact with us like people, there are a few tools and simple scripts we can write to make any computer that is running Windows speak to us.

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Java tries to install the terrible Ask Toolbar and other obnoxious junk — sorry, “sponsored software” — when you install it. Worse yet, Java bundles this junkware with security updates. This registry hack tells Java to never install that stuff.

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The extremely useful Snap feature — introduced as “Aero Snap” in Windows 7 — is much-improved in Windows 10. Snap Assist, 2×2 snapping, and vertical snap features help make you more productive on the desktop.

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Last year, Google announced plans to lock down Chrome so that extensions can’t be side-loaded by crapware installers. Sadly they’ve found a way to trick users into installing lousy extensions, although in this case these spyware and adware extensions do exist in the Chrome Web Store.

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Flushing your DNS cache can be a useful tool to resolve any host connection errors that you may experience with Google Chrome or other browsers. It is very simple to do and can be done directly in Chrome or from an Elevated Command Prompt window in Windows 7 or 8.

about 2 months ago - by  |  13 Replies

A new focus on the desktop brings new keyboard shortcuts for desktop users, so rejoice! Here are all the new keyboard shortcuts you need to know in the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

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Sometimes when working with Windows, you see all manner of names, abbreviations, and identifiers such as HKLM and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE for example. Is HKLM simply an alias for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or are there ‘differences’ between the two? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answers to a curious reader’s question.

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Windows 10 contains some great new features. if you’re a Windows 8 user, you may be tempted to upgrade just to have your desktop work better. But you can get many of Windows 10’s features without upgrading.

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If you are looking for a simple application to learn programming or if you are an experienced software author, you can benefit from using the highly versatile and functional programming tool called Python.

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All is well if you never need to move your Windows 7 license to a different computer or to a virtual machine environment, but what do you do if you find yourself in that situation? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post looks at the topic to help a confused reader find a solution.

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Windows 10 is a huge step forward into the future! Or wait, isn’t it a step back? Either way, it’s a technical preview that isn’t finished yet, which gives us a huge opportunity to help shape what the final version might look like.

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When it comes to accessing your email, POP3 vs. IMAP isn’t just a matter of preference. POP3 is old, outdated, and not suitable for the modern world. IMAP is the one you should be using.

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Remember when uTorrent was great? The upstart BitTorrent client was super-lightweight and trounced other popular BitTorrent clients. But that was long ago, before BitTorrent, Inc. bought uTorrent and crammed it full of junkware and scammy advertisements.

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Windows runs well in Boot Camp on a Mac — mostly. Battery life is below what you’d experience in OS X, the trackpad isn’t as smooth, and the keyboard layout is weird. The tools below can help.

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A Mac’s keyboard layout just isn’t quite right for Windows. Whether you’re primarily a Windows user or primarily an OS X user, the layout doesn’t feel quite right when you run Windows in Boot Camp — but you can fix that.

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Choosing the best Wi-Fi channel on your router helps to reduce interference and improve your WI-Fi signal. These tools will help you identify the least congested Wi-Fi channel in your area.

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