Whether you’re installing the latest version of Windows or upgrading your Linux distribution, most geeks agree that you should probably perform a clean installation rather than try your luck with an upgrade.
The news is full of reports of “spear-phishing attacks” being used against governments, large corporations, and political activists. Spear-phishing attacks are now the most common way corporate networks are compromised, according to many reports.
Phones have improved dramatically in the last ten years. Modern smartphones seem like a technology from an alien civilization when placed next to the original cell phones. But battery life hasn’t improved. In fact, battery life feels like it’s getting worse.
The last few years have seen the rise of closed platforms — operating systems that only allow you to install software approved by the operating system’s developer. However, many popular platforms — even mobile ones — are still open platforms.
Cloud gaming has much in common with streaming videos. Essentially, the cloud-gaming server runs a game and streams a video of the gameplay to you. Your keyboard, mouse, and controller input actions are sent over the network to the cloud gaming server.
The Digital Millennium Contract is a US law passed in 1998 in an attempt to modernize copyright law to deal with the Internet. The DMCA has a number of provisions, but we’ll be focusing on the ones that have most affected the web we have today.
Windows allows desktop apps to remain running whether they’re visible or not, while Apple’s iOS only allows apps to perform a few limited tasks in the background. Android sits somewhere in between — apps running in the foreground are prioritized, but apps have much more freedom to run in the background than they do on iOS.
So you’ve set a password on your Windows laptop or desktop, and you always sign out or lock the screen when you leave it alone. This still won’t protect your data if your computer is ever stolen.
Chrome often warns you “This type of file can harm your computer” when you try to download something, even if it’s a PDF file. But how can a PDF file be so dangerous — isn’t a PDF just a document with text and images?
The Great Firewall of China, officially known the Golden Shield project, employs a variety of tricks to censor China’s Internet and block access to various foreign websites. We’ll be looking at some of the technical tricks the firewall uses to censor China’s Internet.
Whether net neutrality should be mandated by law is one of the biggest policy debates around the Internet, but net neutrality isn’t just a matter of law. Net neutrality is a principle that’s given us the Internet we have today.
For many people, Windows seems to slow down over time. Quite a few people fix this by regularly reinstalling Windows. But do you really need to regularly reinstall Windows? And, if so, how regularly do you need to reinstall it?
There was a time when we had to worry about manually updating desktop applications. Adobe Flash and Reader were full of security holes and didn’t update themselves, for example — but those days are largely behind us.
Traditional mechanical disk drives need to be defragmented for optimum performance, although Windows now does a good job of doing this automatically. Some software companies claim that their tools can “optimize” SSDs, just as disk defragmenters could speed up mechanical drives.
Some geeks use “driver cleaners” when updating their drivers — generally graphics drivers — to ensure the old driver was completely uninstalled and that no leftover files will conflict with the new driver. But is this necessary?
If you’re like most Windows users, you probably just uninstall programs by launching their uninstallers from the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel. But if you’re a geek, there’s a chance you’ve dabbled with a third-party uninstaller.
Ask a geek how to fix a problem you’ve having with your Windows computer and they’ll likely ask “Have you tried rebooting it?” This seems like a flippant response, but rebooting a computer can actually solve many problems.
There was a time when every geek seemed to build their own PC. While the masses bought eMachines and Compaqs, geeks built their own more powerful and reliable desktop machines for cheaper. But does this still make sense?
Buy something at an electronics store and you’ll be confronted by a pushy salesperson who insists you need an extended warranty. You’ll also see extended warranties pushed hard when shopping online. But are they worth it?
Printer ink is expensive, more expensive per drop than fine champagne or even human blood. If you haven’t gone paperless, you’ll notice that you’re paying a lot for new ink cartridges — more than seems reasonable.
Apple loves to criticize the state of Android tablet apps when pushing its own iPad tablets. But just how bad is the Android tablet app situation? Should you avoid Android tablets like the Nexus 7 because of the apps?
Viruses and other types of malware seem largely confined to Windows in the real world. Even on a Windows 8 PC, you can still get infected with malware. But how vulnerable are other operating systems to malware?
IPv6 is extremely important for the long-term health of the Internet. But is your Internet service provider providing IPv6 connectivity yet? Does your home network support it? Should you even care if you’re using IPv6 yet?
Every device — smartphone, tablet, eReader, laptop — seems to come with its own charger. But do you really need all these chargers? Can you re-use the same charger for multiple devices?
Microsoft’s Windows XP started using the NTFS file system by default for its internal drives back in 2001. It’s now 12 years later, so why are USB flash drives, SD cards, and other removable drives still using FAT32?