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+.

Anti-exploit programs provide an additional layer of security by blocking the techniques attackers use. These solutions can protect you against Flash exploits and browser vulnerabilities, even new ones that haven’t been seen before or patched yet.

about 2 years ago - by  |  10 Replies

The Cortana virtual assistant is one of Windows 10‘s headline features, but it’s only available in seven countries around the world at launch. “I’m afraid I’m not available to help in your region,” she’ll apologize.

about 2 years ago - by  |  2 Replies

The mobile web doesn’t need Flash. iPads, iPhones, and modern Android devices don’t support Flash, and web developers offer HTML5 videos to serve those devices. But desktop browsers won’t always get these by default, even if you uninstall Flash.

about 2 years ago - by  |  4 Replies

Yes, Macs can get malware. Beyond traditional viruses, worms, and Trojans, there’s now a thriving ecosystem of adware and spyware programs that bombard you with ads and spy on your web browsing, just like on Windows.

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Everyone wants to replace the password with something better. Well, we already have smartphones — and some of us even have smartwatches. These tools can log you into your computer with a smartphone or smartwatch.

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Your Windows 10 system may have a “Defer upgrades” option for Windows Update. This option delays feature upgrades for several months while allowing security updates through.

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Windows Update has seen a lot of changes on Windows 10. The biggest is a more aggressive approach to getting everyone up-to-date, but Windows 10 will also use BitTorrent-style peer-to-peer downloads for updates.

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How much bandwidth and data are the devices on your network using? Bandwidth hogs can slow down your entire network, and per-device data usage is important if your Internet service provider imposes a bandwidth cap.

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Microsoft’s new Edge browser uses Bing as its default search engine, but there’s a good chance you prefer Google or another search engine. Edge can use any search engine that supports OpenSearch as its default.

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Windows 10 uses white window title bars by default. This is a big change from Windows 8, which allowed you to pick any color you wanted. But you can give those title bars some color with this quick trick.

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Computers crash and freeze. Your Windows PC may have automatically rebooted itself, too — if so, it probably experienced a blue screen of death when you weren’t looking. The first step in troubleshooting is finding more specific error details.

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If you’ve been experiencing system or application crashes in Windows, it’s possible system files have become corrupt or that other system damage has occurred. Here’s what you can do about it.

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However you’re getting Windows 10 — either with the free upgrade offer or on a new PC — you’re probably getting Windows 10 Home. You can pay to upgrade that Windows 10 Home system to Windows 10 Professional — but should you?

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Plug your iPhone or iPad into a USB port and you may be asked whether you want to “Trust This Computer.” You may even see this message when you plug your iPhone or iPad into a USB charger.

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Windows 10 includes Microsoft Edge, which replaces Internet Explorer as the default browser. Edge’s interface has been rewritten from scratch, and it sheds Internet Explorer’s old interface and all that clutter.

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Adobe’s Flash plug-in has a big target painted on it. A recent leak shows there’s another Flash Player 0-day that allows attackers to compromise your computer, and that it’s been for sale for the last four years.

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Macs only enable TRIM for the Apple-provided solid-state drives they come with. If you upgrade your Mac with an aftermarket SSD, your Mac won’t use TRIM with it. This reduces the drive’s performance.

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Windows 10’s “This PC” view doesn’t just show hard drives, removable storage devices, and network locations. Unlike the traditional “My Computer” list, it also contains several folders — but you can hide them and make This PC look more like Windows 7’s Computer view.

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Nintendo’s New 3DS XL promises 3.5 to 7 hours of battery life, which is quite a large range. These tips will help you get as much battery life as possible out of your 3DS, whether you’re gaming or it’s just sitting in your pocket.

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Most web browsers load Flash and other plug-in content as soon as you open a web page. Enable “click-to-play” plug-ins and your browser will load a placeholder image instead — click it to actually download and view the content.

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Skype doesn’t offer an obvious way to use multiple accounts at the same time. You don’t have to log out and log back in — you can sign into as many Skype accounts as you want via the web, Windows, Mac, or Linux Skype applications.

about 2 years ago - by  |  4 Replies

Whether you’ll be away from home while travelling or just during the workday, you may want to keep an eye on it. Solutions like Nest’s Nest Cam (formerly Dropcam) try to make this easy, but there’s more than one way to do this.

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Why type out text messages at your smartphone when you’re at a laptop or desktop PC with a full-size keyboards? These tricks allow you to send text messages directly from your PC.

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 message hasn’t always been clear. They’ve declared the Windows 10 upgrade will be free for the first year and that going forward they’ll be pushing “Windows 10 as a service.

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Microsoft won’t be offering a free Windows 10 upgrade to any old Windows Vista PCs you might have around. Only Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs get to join the new Windows 10 era for free.

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