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Chris's Latest Posts
Every day, the sun rises, marches through the sky, and then sets. The world changes with it as people wake up, go about their business, and then rest. But your computer just sits there all day, only acknowledging the change in time by updating its clock. There are a variety of third-party tools for Windows that can automatically adjust your computer’s settings as the day goes on, from changing your screen’s color temperature to setting desktop wallpapers, tweaking sound levels, and blocking websites.
Windows is moving towards a more locked-down direction with Windows 8 and its Start screen and “Modern” app environment. There’s no denying this — you can’t even set a custom Start screen background without installing a third-party utility. Luckily, Windows hasn’t completely shed its legacy of customizability, yet. There are many different hacks you can perform with the Start screen, although most of them should have been included with Windows 8 itself. This article reveals them all.
Android smartphones fill up over time with apps, photos, media, and even leftover app data. Worse yet, if your smartphone is nearly full, the write performance of its flash memory will decrease, slowing everything down. Luckily, cleaning up your smartphone and freeing up files should be fairly easy: You can do this all yourself with tools built into Android, no extra apps needed. The steps here were written for Android 4.3 on a Nexus 4 and should be very similar on devices running Android 4.0 and newer.
Google’s Chromebooks are surprisingly good laptops. They’re cheap — only $249 for what’s probably the best one at the moment — lightweight, portable, and quick-to-boot. They may not be the ideal computer for a PC gamer or heavy-duty desktop software user, but they can be great portable web browsers to drag to class. Chromebooks have […]
“If you knew what I know about email, you might not use it either,” said the owner of secure email service Lavabit as he recently shut it down. “There is no way to do encrypted e-mail where the content is protected,” said Phil Zimmermann as he suddenly shut down Silent Circle’s secure email service. The reality is that email is fundamentally insecure and can never be protected from government surveillance in the same way some other communications can.
Remember how everyone used to have an MP3 player? In the days before the iPhone, MP3 players were a must-have item. Smartphones have eaten into MP3 player sales over the years — why purchase a separate device when you have a smartphone in your pocket with a built-in MP3 player? Well, you might want to buy one for several reasons — MP3 players aren’t obsolete just yet.
Windows RT is the locked-down version of Windows 8 for ARM computers, as seen on Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet and other Windows RT devices. Windows RT doesn’t allow you to install your own desktop programs. You’re limited to the included desktop programs written by Microsoft or Modern apps from the Windows Store. However, there are ways to jailbreak your Windows RT device and run unapproved software on the desktop. These tricks are for the geeks who want to make their Surface do more than what it was designed to do.
Like HTTP, which your browser uses to communicate with websites, BitTorrent is just a protocol. You could use your browser to download pirated content, just as you could use a BitTorrent client to download pirated content, but that isn’t the only possible use. Sure, let’s face it — BitTorrent is probably primarily used for downloading unauthorized content. But that’s far from its only use, and the protocol still has a lot of value to people who don’t pirate.
Chrome’s new tab page is serviceable, but a bit boring. Whether you’re looking for a nice background for your new tab page or want to easily create your own visual bookmarks, add custom widgets, and view live information such as the weather or updates from your social networks, we’ve got a list of ways to make Chrome’s new tab page your own.
Facebook isn’t cool anymore. It’s the website where your older relatives hang out. It’s the place where people post political screeds, religious diatribes, and personal drama you don’t want to read. It’s seen as a service that doesn’t care about privacy, one that constantly wants more and more of your data to sell and profit from. So what are the kids using these days?
Although there are a variety of dedicated password management tools, every modern browser has its own built-in password manager. But just how good are the built-in password managers? We’ll look at how each popular browser’s password manager compares when it comes to convenience, security, sync features, and supported devices and operating systems. Dedicated password managers still have some advantages, so we’ll cover how you can get a better password manager no matter which browser you’re already using.
The National Security Agency in the US has access to whatever data you’re storing with US service providers like Google Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook. They’re also likely monitoring most of the traffic flowing across the Internet. We’ll try to summarize the important revelations about PRISM from the recent leaks and discussions around this important topic.
One of Microsoft’s big strengths — and weaknesses — is their focus on backwards compatibility. Most Windows applications will work just fine on Windows 8. This is especially true if they worked on Windows 7, as Windows 8 is very similar to Windows 7. Some old games and software, particularly ones designed for older operating systems like Windows XP, Windows 98, or DOS, may not work properly out of the box. The below tips apply to all different types of software and will help you get an idea what the problem is.
Windows 8′s new app platform provides an integrated notification system for Modern apps. Windows 8-style apps can use several different types of notifications — traditional toast notifications, lock screen notifications, and live tiles. All of these can be managed, whether you want to disable an app’s notifications, allow notifications only for certain email accounts, or temporarily silence notifications. Unfortunately, Windows 8 doesn’t include a notification center that shows a history of your notifications in one place.
Choosing some sort of password management strategy to deal with the huge amount of passwords we need is crucial. If you’re like most people, you probably store your passwords in your brain. To remember them all, you end up choosing weak, easy-to-remember passwords and reusing them for multiple accounts. But there are better ways — a good password management tool will allow you to use secure passwords without devoting lots of time to memorization. Read on to learn about a variety of powerful solutions to manage strong passwords.