Google’s new WEBP image format is pretty cool: its unique compression systems can display images at approximately two thirds the size of the same image rendered in JPEG or PNG format.
Internet music service Spotify offers an API that lets other websites and applications access your music and customer data. That can be a really cool feature if you’re using it to integrate music with other tools, like Shazam or Sonos. But, when you’re finished with whatever you’re doing, it’s probably a good idea to restrict access to only the most essential apps. Here’s how you do it.
Since the majority of written words are now produced in one digital form or another, fonts and typefaces have become much more important than they used to be. And to the chagrin of graphic designers and generally nerdy people everywhere, those terms are often used interchangeably.
Unless you regularly peruse the less—ahem—mainstream portions of the web’s personal electronics sites, you might not be very familiar with the booming low-price gadget trade. Manufacturers in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea are more than willing to offer phones, tablets, music players, and even full PCs to buyers whose budgets won’t stretch to the big brand names.
CyanogenMod was formerly the most popular custom ROM for Android devices. Unfortunately, a short-lived effort at making the ROM the basis of a business-to-business software company sank the entire CyanogenMod team and its former assets, including the name and community servers. But all isn’t lost: many of the original developers have jumped into the new LineageOS project—a direct follow-up to CyanogenMod. While the extensive device support isn’t quite what it used to be, Lineage is still the first stop for up-to-date community ROMs for many users.
The latest version of the Xbox controller—the one included with the Xbox One S and the upcoming One X—includes Bluetooth! Microsoft finally included Bluetooth along with the older proprietary Xbox wireless connection, so Windows users can hook it up without an extra dongle. Here’s how to connect it to your Bluetooth-equipped laptop or desktop.
Services that offer public APIs often get their best tools from third-party developers. Social platform Twitter is no exception: almost anyone who uses Twitter professionally will have TweetDeck on their desktop, which started out as an independent tool before Twitter acquired the project.
Football season is almost upon us. That means one thing: expensive cable or satellite TV packages. Okay, it also means beer commercials and overpriced stadium tickets and quarterbacks trying to sell you car insurance. But in terms of immediate costs, premium TV is up there.
If you’re a regular PC gamer, you know that playing a game in full screen mode can sometimes be a frustrating experience. Switching to a background program, using a second monitor, or suddenly getting a notification that takes focus can mess up your game. Playing the game in a window fixes these problems, but it’s less immersive and doesn’t use your monitor’s full space effectively.
When large-scale flash storage first came to the consumer market as an alternative to conventional hard drives, the biggest concern (aside from price) was longevity. Tech fans had a pretty good idea of the general reliability of hard drives, but SSDs were still something of a wild card.
The Galaxy Note 7 (no, I’m not going to call it the “Note7” no matter how many times the brand managers email me) was something of a disaster for Samsung. Those fans who put down the better part of a thousand bucks for the flagship phone a year ago were disheartened to learn that their top-of-the-line gadgets had an unusually high chance of melting through their pockets. It was, to put it lightly, a bummer.
You’re a grownup. You know how to use a computer and a phone. So when it’s time to show off some portion of your screen, don’t try to take a photo of it—that’s kid’s stuff, and it looks like junk anyway. Just about every modern operating system has some method of saving what’s on your screen, and most of them make it pretty easy. Keep this simple guide bookmarked for every method you’ll ever need.
Have you ever used one of your favorite programs on your desktop, only to find that in later updates, that program changes in ways you don’t particularly appreciate? It’s a common phenomenon: a single program, like a chat client, might break with your specific computer setup after a recent update. It’s easier (and less disruptive to your workflow) to switch to an older version of the program until the problem is resolved.
There’s a not-very-well-kept secret in the online book world: reviews are extremely valuable. The good news is that it’s easy to get started reviewing books, especially if you’re willing to do so for the new crop of independently-published authors. The bad news is that you’ll be doing it for free…or more precisely, that you’ll be paid in books. Which isn’t all that bad if you love reading.
We’ve shown you the cheapest ways to stream (almost) every NFL game this season. Now we’re back to do the same service for college ball…with one really big caveat.
Pandora is one of the oldest and most popular streaming radio services, but if you’re a long-time user, you might notice a certain sameness in some of your custom stations. The Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down rating system tends to repeat the same 100 or so songs after a while, something I’ve certainly observed on some of the “evolving” stations I’ve been curating for years.
You know how you can log in to services like Disqus, Best Buy, or Hulu, (or our very own comments) with your Facebook account? It’s a fast and handy way to avoid making a new account and password for every web service under the sun, but that free convenience sometimes comes with a price: access to your data. Companies treasure details of your personal life and the implicit right to send you messages. Here’s how to cut off that connection when you’re done with it.
Android tablets seem to be slumping hard: sales are down and developers aren’t interested in supporting them with specific apps…not even Google. But with slumping interest comes depressed secondhand market sales, so tablets are also hard to get rid of. There are a lot of things you can do with a tablet you’re not using, but my favorite use is sticking it on an elaborate PC desktop and using it as a dedicated widget pad and notification center. Here’s how you go about it.
Desktop computers make a certain amount of noise and light during operation. Unless you’ve custom-built a monster gaming machine with awesome obnoxious lighting effects, these are probably limited to a power indicator and a drive light. You can turn your computer off, of course, but if you’d prefer to let it run without the lights (like if you’re using your PC in a dorm room or studio apartment), it’s easy to turn those lights off for good.
The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the only retail-available VR headsets to use conventional gaming PCs as a platform, have been on the market for over a year. That’s long enough for fans to wonder when new models will be coming out…and long enough for sellers to want to move some of the existing stock. So, is it a good time to dive head-first into virtual reality?
As its feature set expanded, Windows became something of an omnibus. It now includes not one, but two built-in browsers, a defragmentation tool, and even Candy Crush. But like most do-it-all tools, just because Windows can do almost everything doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do anything. So it is with the default photo viewer.
The PCI Express standard is one of the staples of modern computing, with a slot on more or less every desktop computer made in the last decade. But the nature of the connection is somewhat nebulous: on a new PC, you might see a half-dozen ports in three or four different sizes, all labelled “PCIE” or PCI-E.” So why the confusion, and which ones can you actually use?
A few years ago, people were predicting the death of PC gaming as we know it. Those people are feasting on an abundance of humble pie, as PC games remain a cornerstone of the industry: digital delivery gives us more variety than ever before, and even the relatively niche market of performance gaming hardware has never been more healthy. But even the most humble of PC gamers needs a graphics card (well, sort of), and it’s one of the most frequent upgrades gamers make. But is now a good time to buy one?
The Kindle is a fantastic reading device, but it’s almost entirely reliant upon Amazon’s closed retail system for buying books. That’s by design, of course—it’s an Amazon gadget, they want you to spend money on their store. But if you have a collection of eBooks obtained somewhere else, designed for cross-platform reading in another format without the typical DRM, it’s possible to get them loaded onto your Kindle fairly easily.
At this point, you’re probably aware that online reviews can be less than honest. Unscrupulous vendors, manufacturers, and other businesses aren’t above priming their economic pumps with a little glowing praise from people who might not be wholly impartial.