Tips and Tricks
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Love Windows 8.1 but Not Its Reliance on the Cloud? Here’s How You Disable It by Kelly Lynn

  Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella is said to have been tapped for CEO because of the great job that he did setting up Microsoft's cloud presence. Indeed, the cloud emphasis is apparent on Windows 8.1 - it is deeply integrated with OneDrive, Bing and all of the other online services that Microsoft offers. Many users aren't completely enthusiastic about the Microsoft Cloud, though. They are simply not comfortable having Microsoft be an intimate part of their everyday lives, freely sending their files to Microsoft and having the company view information about their searches and other activity all the time. If you are one of these people, you would probably be interested in disabling some of the connected features on Windows 8.1. Here's how you do it. OneDrive When you allow … Continue reading

How About Using Google Drive as Your Online Movie Repository? by Kelly Lynn

  Paid storage on Google Drive is now cheaper than ever - $2 a month buys you 100 GB of space and $10 a month buys you 1,000 GB. At first, you might wonder what you could possibly want 100 GB for - your home videos, photos and music collection would barely take up 10% of the space you get. Here's an idea, though - you could turn the space available into your own personal online movie storage. Your first step - get all your content on Google Drive Before you are able to stream movies from Google Drive to your TV, you first need to upload your movie collection there. You have a few ways of achieving this - the most obvious one being to use Google Drive desktop … Continue reading

Is Your Wi-Fi Performance Always Slow? Here’s What You Do by Kelly Lynn

  Mass-market Wi-Fi has been around since 1999, the year that the term Wi-Fi was registered. While the standard has seen impressive improvements since then, wireless technology still isn't completely reliable. You can still run into slow speeds, poor signal quality, drop-outs and so on. People tend to have more trouble with these hiccups in some locations and with some equipment than others. If you've had enough of having your Wi-Fi stall for no apparent reason, here are three ideas that you can use. Diagnostics software If your broadband plan is fast enough but you don't see any of it over Wi-Fi, you could have a problem with how crowded the airwaves are in your neighborhood are. A free utility called ViStumbler helps you get around this problem -- it … Continue reading

Can the Websites That You Open on Chrome Use Your Camera to Spy on You? by Kelly Lynn

  In January 2014, Google was informed of new Chrome vulnerability that could allow any website to turn the microphone or camera on your computer on and spy on you. Google hasn't so far taken the vulnerability seriously. If you aren't comfortable with having this security hole on Chrome, here's what you can do. How does this vulnerability work? Any time you give permission to websites to access your camera or microphone, Chrome makes a permanent record of your preference - every page on that website will be able to access your camera and microphone any time you visit in the future. This is a threat not because the website could suddenly decide to go rogue one day and begin to listen in on your conversations, but because it could … Continue reading

What Can You Do to Sidestep Internet Censorship? by Kelly Lynn

  Depending on the part of the world that you live in, access to the Internet is nearly always restricted by the government -- and not always to protect the population from websites that most would see as criminal (websites enabling child abuse, for instance). In the US, for example, the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 prohibits access to websites that promote tourism to Cuba. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act bans using the Internet to even discuss pirating copyrighted content. Even if such censorship doesn't bother you, you can still have trouble with your employer banning access to certain websites on your office terminal. The question is - what can you do about the freedoms that you lose to Internet censorship? You can try using a new DNS … Continue reading

Can Anyone on Google+ Now Send You Email Through Gmail? by Kelly Lynn

  Have you ever looked around on the Internet for the email ID of someone important and come up with nothing more than their Google+ profile? As hard as you might have looked around on their Google+ profile, though, you're unlikely to have turned up their Gmail ID - all Google+ has traditionally allowed you is the ability to contact the person you're looking for through a Google+ message. In January 2014, Google+ came up with a feature to help with this problem - one that will probably get people earnestly discussing social networks and privacy issues all over again. It allows anyone arriving on your Google+ account to send you an email directly to your Gmail inbox (rather than your Google+ account). It won't matter that you've never shared … Continue reading