How-To Geek We Explain Technology Tue, 23 Apr 2019 06:02:00 +0000 en-us hourly 1 How to Avoid Windows 7’s End-of-Support Nags Tue, 23 Apr 2019 08:04:00 +0000 Chris Hoffman

Windows 7 support end date nag message on desktop

Windows 7 will soon start nagging you to upgrade to Windows 10—again. Specifically, you’ll see a message informing you that Microsoft will officially stop supporting Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Here’s how to avoid it.

Update: As of April 22, 2019, the nags are starting to appear on Windows 7 systems. You can just click “Do not remind me again” and close the window to stop the nags.

Why Windows 7 Will Nag You

Microsoft will only support Windows 7 with security patches until January 14, 2020. That’s the “end of support” or “end of life” (EOL) date. After this date, Windows 7 will technically leave “extended support.” Businesses can pay for additional support, but average consumer PCs will be stuck without security patches.

That means Windows 7 machines will be increasingly vulnerable, and software developers will eventually leave those old PCs behind and stop writing software that works on Windows 7.

The full message reads:

After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is nearing the end.

January 14, 2020 is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates and technical support for computers running Windows 7. We known can be difficult, that’s why we’re reaching out early to help you backup your files and prepare for what’s next.

We strongly recommend upgrading to a supported operating system by January 14, 2020. You’re using a supported operating system until then—so feel free to hide the nags and use your PC. And who wants to be nagged, anyway?

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Geek Trivia: Which 1920s Era Game Came Roaring Back To Life In The 1990s? Tue, 23 Apr 2019 06:02:00 +0000 Jason Fitzpatrick

Which 1920s Era Game Came Roaring Back To Life In The 1990s?

  1. Pogs
  2. Hoop Stick
  3. Monopoly
  4. Marbles

Think you know the answer?

How to Lock Text Boxes in Word Mon, 22 Apr 2019 15:23:00 +0000 Marshall Gunnell

word logo

Locking text boxes is a great way to protect specific content in your document from changing, either accidentally or intentionally. Here’s how to lock your text boxes in Word.

Locking Text Boxes in Word

Let’s say you’re working on a document that other people on the same network have access to and you want to lock your text boxes, so they don’t get edited by mistake.

RELATED: How to Protect Parts of a Word Document from Editing

To make this work, we’re going to need to use the tools provided in the Developer tab. The developer tab is hidden by default, so go ahead and enable the tab to appear on the Ribbon if you haven’t already.

Once you have the Developer tab enabled, go ahead and open up your document that has the text boxes you want to lock and switch to the “Developer” tab. Here, select “Restrict Editing” in the “Protect” section.

Restrict editing in developer tab

Note: The Restrict Editing option is also available on the Review tab, but only appears if you have enabled Developer tab.

A Restrict Editing pane appears on the right where you can restrict editing permissions for all, or certain parts, of the document. Here, check the box next to “Allow only this type of editing in the document” in the “Editing restrictions” section, then keep “No changes (Read only)” selected in the drop-down menu in the same section.

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Daily Deals: An Xbox One S + Battlefield V for $170, a Google Pixelbook for $619, a 23.8″ Monitor for $85, and More Mon, 22 Apr 2019 11:04:49 +0000 Andrew Heinzman
The Dell Monitor, the Xbox One S Bundle, the Google Pixelbook
Dell, Microsoft, Google

Right now, websites like Rakuten, Amazon, eBay, and Best Buy are running some killer deals. These deals range from $50 Corsair gaming keyboards to $190 smart sprinkler controllers, but as always, we have a few favorites.

Naturally, we’re excited about the $170 Xbox One S 1TB with Battlefield V from Rakuten (coupon code SAVE15). This is the lowest price we’ve ever seen for the Xbox One S, and it’s bundled with a great little game. If you aren’t interested in video games, you should check out the $619 open-box Google Pixelbook, or the $85 23.5″ Dell monitor (coupon code 14472).

Laptops, Desktops, Routers, and Computer Accessories

Need a new Chromebook or PC? We’ve got the deals for you.

  • Google Pixelbook 12.3″ Open-Box, $619 ($391 off) [eBay]
  • Lenovo Legion 15.6″ 1TB Laptop, $660 ($150 off with coupon code LEN150) [Rakuten]
  • ASUS VivoBook S 14″ 256GB SSD Laptop, $700 ($100 off) [Amazon]
  • Take 15% off Dell Laptops with Coupon Code FH2U-EQ7U-LUCM-GJB4 [Rakuten]

Keyboards, Mice, RAM, Routers, and More

Grab a new solid state drive or upgrade to a mesh Wi-Fi system.

  • Logitech MK540 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse, $30 ($30 off) [Best Buy]
  • Corsair K65 Gaming Keyboard Refurbished, $50 ($40 off) [Amazon]
  • Dell 23.8″ Monitor, $85 ($25 off with coupon code 14472) [Staples]
  • Dell S Series 24″ Ultrathin Monitor, $140 ($110) [Amazon]
  • LG 49″ Curved Ultrawide Monitor, $1,399 ($100 off) [Amazon]
  • G.SKILL 32GB (4×8) DDR4 RAM, $162 ($28 off with coupon code EMCTYVV42) [Newegg]
  • SanDisk 1TB Internal SSD SATA III, $100 ($25 off) [Amazon]
  • TP-Link Powerline Ethernet Adapter, $40 ($10 off) [Amazon]
  • TP-Link AC1750 Smart Router, $55 ($25 off) [Amazon]
  • NETGEAR Orbi Pro Mesh Wi-Fi System 2-Pack, $360 ($141 off) [Amazon]

Phones, Tablets, and Mobile Accessories

Grab a cheap new phone or a premium tablet.

  • Moto G5S Plus Unlocked, $140 ($140 off) [B&H]
  • iPad Pro 11″ 256GB Newest Model, $825 ($125) [Amazon]
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ 64GB 2017 Model Refurbished, $550 [Woot]
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 10.5″, $530 ($120) [Amazon]
  • Tzumi HyperCharge Wireless Charging Pad, $18 ($10 off) [Best Buy]

Smarthome Devices

Is your home falling behind the times? Upgrade it!

  • Google Home Hub, $75 ($25 off) [Massgenie]
  • Echo Plus Refurbished, $130 ($60 off) [Amazon]
  • Echo Show First Gen Refurbished, $90 ($140 off) [Woot]
  • TECKIN Smart Plug 4-Pack, $25 ($9 off with coupon code XR2D2Q34) [Amazon]
  • RainMachine Smart Irrigation Controller, $190 ($70 off) [Amazon]
  • iRobot Roomba i7, $700 ($100 off) [Best Buy]
  • Neato Botvac DR Robotic Vacuum, $300 ($230 off) [Best Buy]
  • Yale Assure Touchscreen Smart Lock, $140 ($60 off) [Massgenie]

Video Games and Board Games

Are you already bored of 2019? Grab a new Xbox One S or some cheap PC games.

  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, $57 ($13 off) [Amazon]
  • Nintendo Labo Robot, Variety, and Vehicle Kit (Japanese Import), $68 ($60 off) [Massgenie]
  • Xbox One S 1TB Console w/ Battlefield V, $170 ($130 off with coupon code SAVE15) [Rakuten]
  • $100 Xbox Online Gift Card, $85 ($15 off with coupon code SAVE15) [Rakuten]
  • The Witcher II Complete Edition Xbox One, $15 ($34 off with Live Gold) [Microsoft]
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Collection PS4, $25 ($25 off) [PS Store]
  • 40% off God of War Games PS4 [PS Store]
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Collection PC, $29 ($20 off) [Elder Scrolls]
  • Up to 90% off Square Enix PC Games [Square Enix]
  • Tropico 5 PC, $3 ($17 off) [Fanatical]
  • Star Wars Battlefront II PC, $6 ($24 off) [Amazon]

Audio Equipment and TVs

Now’s a perfect time to upgrade your entertainment center at a discount.

  • Bose QuietComfort Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones, $259 ($40 off) [Massgenie]
  • Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones, $80 ($120 off) [B&H]
  • ViewTV All-in-One HD TV Antenna, $25 ($15 off) [Woot]
  • Logitech Harmony Smart TV Remote, $69 ($10 off) [Walmart]
  • BenQ 3,300 Lumens HD Projector, $166 ($40 off) [Massgenie]

Site-Wide Sales, Gift Cards, and Free Stuff

Order a free pizza, or grab some discount jeans.

  • $100 Apple App Store and iTunes Gift Card, $85 ($15 off) [eBay]
  • $100 Xbox Online Gift Card, $85 ($15 off with coupon code SAVE15) [Rakuten]
  • Up to 70% off Frederique Constant Watches (coupon code DNEWSFS10) [Jomashop]
  • Dockers 40% off Site-Wide with coupon code FLYAWAY [Dockers]
  • Walmart 10% off Purchase with coupon code HWPUXNNJG4 [Walmart]
  • Up to 90% off Square Enix PC Games [Square Enix]
  • Sprint Customers: One Free Pizza from Pizza Hut [Sprint]

Everything Else

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The Best Bed Mounts for Your Tablet, Phone, or Nintendo Switch Mon, 22 Apr 2019 11:00:09 +0000 Andrew Heinzman
The Lamicall, Magichold, and Naham bedside mounts
Lamicall, Magichold, Naham

There’s nothing like a night (or morning) spent in bed with your favorite device. But if you’re tired of dropping your tablet, phone, or Nintendo Switch on your face, then maybe it’s time to invest in a bedside mount.

Bedside device mounts are a serious luxury, but in many ways, it’s a wonder why they aren’t a staple of every bedroom. Americans spend more than three hours a day on their smart devices, and there’s a good chance that you habitually check your phone every morning before crawling out of bed. If you’re going to be using your tablet, phone, or Nintendo Switch in bed, then why shouldn’t you do it with the comfort of a hands-free mount?

There’s a chance that you have some reservations about bedside tablet and smartphones mounts. Maybe you’re afraid of being ridiculed by your friends, family, coworkers, pets, and significant other. Maybe you’re afraid of becoming a gluttonous Netflix monster. But just think for a moment. People mount TVs on walls, and TVs are basically just big, crappy tablets that can’t be used for Facetime or texting. It’s a no-brainer.

With all the tablet, phone, and Nintendo Switch mounts on the market, it can be hard to find the product that’s right for you. That’s why we’ve taken the time to find the best mounts, for everybody’s needs. (By the way, the Nintendo Switch can fit in any tablet mount so even if we don’t mention the Switch specifically in an entry below you’ll be able to use it with no problem.).

Magichold 360 Rotating Gooseneck Tablet Mount ($33)

The Magichold 360 Rotating Gooseneck Tablet Mount

If you have a solid headboard or a bedside table, then you should check out the Magichold 360 tablet mount. This mount can pivot and rotate at any angle, so it’s great for playing games while sitting up straight, or for watching Netflix while lying on your back like a hypnotized digital mummy.

The Magichold 360 isn’t a freestanding mount, and it uses clamps to attach to surfaces. If you don’t have a solid headboard or a bedside table, then you’re going to have a lot of trouble using this particular mount.

Lamicall Gooseneck Tablet and Phone Mount ($20)

The Lamicall Gooseneck Tablet Holder

If you’re in the market for a small, unobtrusive bedside mount, then you should check out the Lamicall. Its adjustable gooseneck isn’t ridiculously long (or ridiculously ugly), so looks good when attached to a bedside table. The Lamicall even works well at a desk or in a kitchen, due to its manageable neck and sleek design. That being said, its clamp is only made for horizontal use, so it won’t work well when attached to a headboard.

The Lamicall mount can hold smartphones, but they have to be at least 5″ long. Of course, you could always slap a thick case on your tiny smartphone, or buy a dedicated phone mount.

Samhouse Rotating Tablet and Phone Mount ($30)

The Samhouse Rotating Tablet Mount

The Samhouse mount may look like a wonky surgical tool, but it’s actually an incredibly steady and easily adjustable piece of hardware. In many ways, it’s similar to the mounts that you can buy for heavy computer monitors and TVs. Its mechanical springs and joints may not look very inviting, but they’ll ensure that your phone, tablet, and Nintendo Switch hold steady above or beside your bed.

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How to Use Excel’s Split Screen Function Mon, 22 Apr 2019 14:24:00 +0000 Marshall Gunnell

excel logo

Splitting screens, whether vertically or horizontally, is a great way to streamline your workflow when using Excel. Using this feature lets you simultaneously view separate sections of a spreadsheet, enabling you to compare data quickly. Here’s how.

Using the Split Screen Function

If you have a spreadsheet packed with data, navigating it can be quite cumbersome, especially if you want to compare data from several different sections of the spreadsheet. Taking advantage of Excel’s split-screen functionality can streamline this process. Excel also lets you customize how the screen is split, giving you complete control for your specific needs.

Finding the split screen function is easy enough. Just head over to the “View” tab and click the “Split” option.

Split screen in View tab

That said, there are a few ways to use this feature to split the screen.

Creating Four Equal Quadrants

Excel lets you split the screen into four equal quadrants. This gives you four copies of your current worksheet, all on the same screen! To do this, first, make sure that you’ve got the A1 cell selected.

A1 cell selected

Next, head back over to the “View” tab and click the “Split” button. This will split your screen into four equal worksheets.

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Daily News Roundup: Your Passwords Are Probably Trash Mon, 22 Apr 2019 14:07:17 +0000 Cameron Summerson

Recently, the UK’s National Cyber Security Center paired up with Have I Been Pwned?’s Troy Hunt to conduct a survey that analyzed passwords of accounts that had been breached. Turns out that most users (still) suck at using strong passwords.

The top passwords found in the study? “123456,” followed by “123456789.” Other brilliant things, like “qwerty,” “password,” and “111111” rounded out the top five spots, with “123345678,” “abc123,” and “password1” all finding spots in the top 10. People’s names, band names, and sports teams were also among the most used (and most breached) passwords. Fantastic.

It’s no wonder we hear about new data breaches almost weekly these days—passwords like these do about as much to protect your data as not using one at all. If you find yourself using anything similar to these passwords—or even reusing the same passwords on multiple sites—it’s time to re-think your password strategy.

The good news is that we have your back. Choosing a strong password is actually easy; as is remembering those passwords. How? By using a password manager. It may seem a bit daunting to get started, but we can help with that too.

As an aside, if you’re curious about any of the passwords you currently use, you can cross-reference them with the Have I Been Pwned?’s database—and don’t worry, it’s completely safe. So check your passwords, change the ones that have been part of a breach (or are just generally weak), and get yourself a good password manager to help with it all—lest you find yourself on the wrong end of one of these lists.

In other news, Apple may be bringing some of iOS’ best features to macOS, Netflix is testing its own version of the I’m feeling lucky” button, Google Assistant is coming to third-party accessories, and a lot more.

  • More iOS features may be coming to macOS: The word on the street is that macOS may be getting Screen Time, Siri Shortcuts, and more in macOS 10.5. The convergence grows. [The Verge]
  • Netflix gets random: Hidden deep inside the Netflix Android app is a new “random” button that picks the next episode you watch for you, making TV-watching even more mindless than it already is. Yay? [Android Police]
  • Google Assistant is coming to accessories: You can already launch Assistant on phones, tablets, Chromebooks, and smart speakers, but it looks like hardware accessories will soon be able to invoke the digital assistant. Keyboards, mice, styluses, and the like will all be prime candidates for the Assistant button. I’m in. [Chrome Unboxed]
  • Samsung folds: It looks like the company is rethinking this Galaxy Fold thing for the time being—it canceled launch events in China that were set for this week. [Reuters]
  • JC Penny drops Apple Pay: In a surprising move, retailer JC Penny has removed support for Apple Pay from its stores and app with absolutely no explanation why. It just sort of…disappeared. [9to5Mac]
  • App betrayal: A recent study by the American Medical Association found that apps designed to help users quit smoking or cope with depression are also sharing their findings with Google and Facebook. 29 of the top 36 apps are sharing data, and only 12 of them disclose it in their privacy policy. Sickening. [JAMA Network]
  • Austria wants to know who you really are: A new draft law in Austria would require users to give their real name and address before commenting on large public sites. Whoa. [Engadget]
  • SuperTuxKart goes online: In more fun news, open source racing game SuperTuxKart hit a huge milestone this weekend: after 12 years in development, version 1.0 was released. And it includes online play! [Liliputing]
  • God of War was almost totally different: If you’ve played the newest God of War game, then you know there’s an absolutely iconic moment around the midway point that changes the entire feel of the game. I don’t want to give any spoilers to anyone who hasn’t played, but that moment almost didn’t happen. [Gamespot]

In more fun news, over the weekend Android Police published a hilarious look at 13 times Google Assistant completely failed to provide the right information or context. As useful as digital assistants are, it’s a good (and fun) reminder that there’s still a long way to go before we have to worry about AI taking over the world.

How to Show or Hide the Home Button in Google Chrome Mon, 22 Apr 2019 13:00:00 +0000 Brady Gavin

chrome logo

Remember when all web browsers had a button that would redirect you back to a predetermined homepage? While Google prides itself on having a clutter-free interface, some people reminisce of the days when you could click a button and return to your homepage.

How to Show or Hide the Home Button

Google Chrome hides the “Home” button from its taskbar by default to provide people with a clean interface. However, some people miss having a button that instantly brings you back to a specific webpage with the click of a button. The button isn’t gone forever, just follow these steps to get it back.

Fire up Chrome, click the menu icon, and then click on “Settings.” Alternatively, you can typechrome://settings/ into the Omnibox to go directly there.

Click the menu button, then click Settings

Scroll down and under the Appearance heading, toggle “Show Home Button” on.

Scroll down to Appearance and toggle Show Home Button to the on position

As soon as you toggle the Home button, it appears sandwiched between the Omnibox and the Refresh/Stop button.

The Home button appears immediately after enabling it

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Withings Move Review: a Hybrid Smartwatch That’s Less Than the Sum of Its Parts Mon, 22 Apr 2019 08:00:58 +0000 Michael Crider

Hybrid smartwatches are an appealing segment, combining the health tracking benefits of a standard activity tracker with the unobtrusive, fashionable appearance of a traditional watch. Withings is one of the few participants in the field.

That makes the company’s most budget-friendly model, the Withings Move, all the more disappointing. Its low price point is matched by few features, relying on a connected phone for most of its actual benefit, and the materials and finish of the watch itself aren’t up to the standard set by the Withings Steel and its stablemates.

If you’re in the market for both a very cheap activity tracker and a very cheap watch, you could combine both purchases into the Withings Move. But if the appeal of a hybrid watch is in its resemblance to a fashionable accessory, and the appeal of an activity tracker is in its accuracy and utility, then the Move falls flat on both of those points.

You Get Watch You Pay For

From a functional standpoint, the Move is very similar to the Withings Steel, the original hybrid watch design that the company inherited from its days as a Nokia subsidiary. Like the Steel, the Move tracks steps and sleep with on-board hardware, with its only feedback coming from a sub-dial that shows progress towards your daily step goal. The watch can vibrate, but offers no other interactive functions.

The Coral color option would probably look better on someone less hairy than me.
The Coral color option would probably look better on someone less hairy than me. Michael Crider

Unlike the Nokia/Withings Steel, the Move looks…well, cheap. It uses a plastic case and window, something that would be tacky on even an inexpensive conventional watch. The silicone band is more forgivable, and I appreciate that it can be changed quickly thanks to quick-release pins. But if you want a nice band that’s an extra $20-30, which seems like an odd extravagance on such a cheap device.

The Move's plastic case window is a low point in its budget-friendly design.
The Move’s plastic case window is a low point in its budget-friendly design. Michael Crider

The plastic case would be alright, if Withings had used the savings for a mineral crystal window. Something like tempered Gorilla Glass or synthetic sapphire is too much to hope for on a sub-$100 device, but the plastic window is going to scratch easily and repeatedly, even if you’re not using the Move in frequent high-intensity workouts.

The Move is compatible with standard watch bands, and the included band has quick-release pins.
The Move is compatible with standard watch bands, and the included band has quick-release pins. Michael Crider

That cheapness is presumably a feature and not a bug. At just $70, the Move is indeed one of the cheapest activity trackers around from a reputable supplier, hybrid watch design notwithstanding. It’s a bit more than half the price of the original Steel, for the same features…and in order to move up to something with heart rate tracking, you’d need to shell out $180 for the Steel HR. That’s well beyond impulse buy range for most users.

A Splash of Color

Withings is pushing the customization angle with the Move and its more expensive cousin the Move ECG. It’s being offered with a variety of color combinations for the band, face, and “tracker” hand, with a full web-based color customizer tool being offered sometime later this year.

Withings will offer multiple points of color and pattern customization on the Move...but not yet.
Withings will offer multiple points of color and pattern customization on the Move…but not yet. Withings

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How to Install Google Chrome Extensions in Microsoft Edge Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:00:00 +0000 Josh Hendrickson

Chrome Extension store viewed on Edge browser

Microsoft’s new Edge browser built on Chromium is now available—in beta. But by default, you can only install a small number of Microsoft-approved extensions. Here’s how to install extensions from the Chrome Web Store in the new Edge.

For the New Chromium-Based Edge Only

An engineer in front of binary and browser code

Microsoft is beta testing a new version of Edge that dumps their rendering engine in favor of Chromium, which forms the basis for Google Chrome. Chrome gets better battery life and the new Edge gets Chrome extensions. Microsoft hosts some Edge-specific extensions, but only about 100 of them. That sounds like plenty, but when you throw out duplicated functionality and do-little extensions (like the Microsoft Personal Shopping Assistant), that list dwindles. It’s growing, but compared to the Chome Web Store it’s pretty small.

So, if you’re using the new Edge and want more browser extensions, you can install them from the Chrome Web Store. And that’s great, because even when an extension exists in both the Edge and Chrome store, sometimes the Chrome version works better or has more features. For example, we can’t get the Grammarly Edge extension to sign into an account to unlock Premium features. But the Chrome extension installed on Edge works just fine.

To install Chrome extensions, all you need to do is flip a switch and browse to the online store. But you should be aware of a couple of warnings from Microsoft: If an extension relies on Google Account functionality to sign in or sync, the extension may not work in Edge. Also, if the extension relies on companion software on the PC, the extension may not work even if you installed the software.

How to Install Chrome Extensions in Edge

Installing Chrome Extensions on Edge is a straight forward affair. First, click the three horizontal dots in the upper right corner of the browser to open the menu.

Edge browser with arrow pointing to three horizontal dots

Then, click “Extensions” in the menu.

Edge settings menu with arrow pointing to extensions option.

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What is RAT Malware, and Why Is It So Dangerous? Mon, 22 Apr 2019 10:40:00 +0000 Andrew Heinzman
A spooky white rat on a black background

A Remote Access Trojan (RAT) is a type of malware that allows hackers to monitor and control your computer or network. But how does a RAT work, why do hackers use them, and how do you avoid them?

RATs Give Hackers Remote Access to Your Computer

If you’ve ever had to call tech support for a PC, then you’re probably familiar with the magic of remote access. When remote access is enabled, authorized computers and servers can control everything that happens on your PC. They can open documents, download software, and even move the cursor around your screen in real time.

A RAT is a type of malware that’s very similar to legitimate remote access programs. The main difference, of course, is that RATs are installed on a computer without a user’s knowledge. Most legitimate remote access programs are made for tech support and file sharing purposes, while RATs are made for spying on, hijacking, or destroying computers.

Like most malware, RATs piggyback on legitimate-looking files. Hackers can attach a RAT to a document in an email, or within a large software package, like a video game. Advertisements and nefarious webpages can also contain RATs, but most browsers prevent automatic downloads from websites or notify you when a site is unsafe.

Unlike some malware and viruses, it can be difficult to tell when you’ve downloaded a RAT. Generally speaking, a RAT won’t slow down your computer, and hackers won’t always give themselves away by deleting your files or rolling your cursor around the screen. In some cases, users are infected by a RAT for years without noticing anything wrong. But why are RATs so secretive? And how are they useful to hackers?

RATs Work Best When They Go Unnoticed

Most computer viruses are made for a singular purpose. Keyloggers automatically record everything that you type, ransomware restricts access to your computer or its files until you pay a fee, and adware dumps dubious ads onto your computer for profit.

But RATs are special. They give hackers complete, anonymous control over infected computers. As you can imagine, a hacker with a RAT can do just about anything—as long as their target doesn’t smell a RAT.

A hooded hacker in front of his computer
Maxim Apryatin/Shutterstock

In most cases, RATs are used like spyware. A money-hungry (or downright creepy) hacker can use a RAT to obtain keystrokes and files from an infected computer. These keystrokes and files could contain bank information, passwords, sensitive photos, or private conversations. Additionally, hackers can use RATs to activate a computer’s webcam or microphone discreetly. The idea of being spied on by some anonymous nerd is pretty upsetting, but it’s a mild offense compared to what some hackers do with RATs.

Since RATs give hackers administrative access to infected computers, they’re free to alter or download any files on a whim. That means a hacker with a RAT can wipe your hard drive, download illegal content from the internet through your computer, or place additional malware onto your computer. Hackers can also control your computer remotely to perform embarrassing or illegal actions online in your name or use your home network as a proxy server to commit crimes anonymously.

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Geek Trivia: Which Star Trek Actor Is Responsible For Inventing The Klingon Language? Mon, 22 Apr 2019 06:02:00 +0000 Jason Fitzpatrick

Which Star Trek Actor Is Responsible For Inventing The Klingon Language?

  1. Michael Dorn
  2. James Doohan
  3. William Shatner
  4. Leonard Nimoy

Think you know the answer?

How to Detect Hidden Surveillance Cameras With Your Phone Sun, 21 Apr 2019 10:40:00 +0000 Josh Hendrickson
Camera hidden in some ribbons
Josh Hendrickson

A family recently discovered a rude surprise at their Airbnb: a hidden camera disguised as a smoke detector in the living room. Here are two ways to check for cameras—in an Airbnb or elsewhere—using only an iPhone or Android phone.

Hidden Cameras Are a Real Danger

Analog clock with camera hidden in number ten

If you’re staying in a hotel or an Airbnb, hidden cameras can be a worry. In the case of Airbnb, your host is required to list any cameras they have, whether or not they’re turned on. Additionally, Airbnb does not allow hosts to place cameras in bathrooms or sleeping areas, even if that’s a living room with a foldout bed.

But, as this one family found out, the occasional creepy host can still hide a camera and not tell you. Hidden cameras in an Airbnb aren’t a new thing. The problem isn’t limited to Airbnb, either. A recent news story described the harrowing tale of hidden cameras live-streaming in South Korean hotels. More than 1500 hotel guests were filmed and live-streamed over the internet. As hidden cameras become even more inexpensive, they seem to be popping up more and more.

Manufacturers design cameras disguised as other everyday objects, like smoke detectors, clocks, USB hubs, even wireless chargers. These can be used for legitimate reasons in your own home—for example, to hide a camera a burglar can’t find or to monitor a nanny with that person’s consent. But how do you ensure someone isn’t targeting you with a hidden camera? With a single app and your phone’s camera, you can do a sweep for hidden cameras when you check in.

There are two ways to scan for cameras with your phone. First, if you have access, you can scan the Wi-Fi network for devices that look like cameras. But this will only find cameras connected to the network. Second, you can search for night vision cameras using your phone’s camera. If a hidden camera isn’t connected to the network and doesn’t have night-vision capabilities, neither method will spot it—but these tricks should spot most cameras.

How to Scan for Networked Cameras

Many places you stay give you access to the local network. You can use this to your advantage with an app named Fing. Fing makes both iPhone and Android apps. Better yet, it’s free and doesn’t have ads. Fing does ask you to sign in for more features, but you won’t need to do that for the device and port scanning.

The idea here is to look at all the devices connected to the local network. We recommend disconnecting all your devices except the phone or tablet running Fing so that you’ll have fewer things to sort through. Connect your phone or tablet to the network and then open Fing.

On Android, tap on the “Refresh” button at the top-right of the app’s screen to get started and agree to give the app location permissions. The iPhone app performs this step automatically.

Fing app with box around refresh button.

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Geek Trivia: What Is It Illegal For The U.S. Treasury To Print On Currency? Sun, 21 Apr 2019 06:02:00 +0000 Jason Fitzpatrick

What Is It Illegal For The U.S. Treasury To Print On Currency?

  1. Living Persons
  2. Animals
  3. Odd Serial Numbers
  4. Religious Affiliations

Think you know the answer?

Windows 10’s “Sets” App Tabs Are “No More” Sat, 20 Apr 2019 20:22:15 +0000 Chris Hoffman
Sets tabs in a File Explorer window with a gravestone
Mega Pixel/Shutterstock

Sets was going to bring tabs to File Explorer and other Windows applications. An early version of Sets once appeared in Windows Insider builds, but Microsoft pulled it. Now, according to Microsoft’s Rich Turner on Twitter, Sets is “no more.”

Update: ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley confirms the Sets feature is gone. That’s according to her internal sources at Microsoft.

We were really looking forward to Sets, as we’ve always wanted tabs in the File Explorer as well as console windows like the Command Prompt, PowerShell, and even Linux Bash shells on Windows. Tabs in other applications like Notepad would be really cool, too. Sets offered native tabs any application could use. Here’s how Sets worked when it was available in Windows Insider builds for a short time a year ago.

Back in June 2018, Microsoft removed Sets tabs from the Windows Insider build and thanked users for their “valuable feedback… as we develop this feature helping to ensure we deliver the best possible experience once it’s ready for release.”

Microsoft has been pretty quiet about Sets ever since. In December 2018, Windows Central’s Zac Bowden claimed Sets wasn’t “cancelled” according to his sources at Microsoft.

But, five months later, Sets is looking pretty canceled. In response to a question about when a tabbed console environment would arrive, Microsoft’s Rich Turner said “the Shell-provided tab experience is no more”—he’s referring to Sets here.

Turner also said “adding tabs [to the console] is high on our to do list.” Surely Microsoft wouldn’t be working on adding tabs to the console if those native operating system tabs were still their way any time soon.

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The Best Women’s Electric Razors Sat, 20 Apr 2019 08:00:43 +0000 Jennifer Allen
Woman relaxing in a bathtub

An electric razor is one of the most popular ways to remove body hair. It’s not a perfect method (none of them are) but with the right razor, you’ll be happy with the results. Here’s our pick of the best women’s electric razors out there.

Everyone’s needs and skin are different. We’ve checked out razors focused on helping those with sensitive skin, as well as for those times when you need to trim facial hair carefully. No electric razor can provide as close a shave as a manual razor, depilatory cream, or wax solution but it’s one of the safest methods. You don’t have to worry about cuts or burns through inappropriate use. Many also work just as well when dry shaving as wet shaving so there’s no messiness to contend with either.

Whatever your needs, we’ve got you covered with the best women’s electric razors out there.

Best Overall: Panasonic Cordless All-In-One Advanced Wet & Dry Electric Shaver ($50)

Panasonic Cordless All-In-One Advanced Wet & Dry Electric Shaver

The Panasonic Cordless All-In-One Advanced Wet & Dry Electric Shaver is good for every situation in life. It’s fully immersible so you can take it in the bath with you as well as the shower, and you can always opt to use it completely dry with minimal issues for your skin.

Its rechargeable battery takes about an hour to charge but when you’re in a rush, you can simply charge it up for 5 minutes and it’ll be good to go for one shave.

The razor uses four, ultra-sharp blades for as close a cut as you’re going to achieve with an electric device, with hypo-allergenic foils that are gentle on sensitive skin. The design of the shaver means it’s ideal for tackling your legs, underarm, or bikini areas without contorting at awkward angles.

Best Value: Panasonic Electric Shaver ($15)

Panasonic Electric Shaver

If you’re on a tight budget, the Panasonic Electric Shaver will still serve you well. This time around there are only three blades but it will still serve you well in most cases. That’s thanks to its flexible heads which do a decent job of shaving your legs, arms, and bikini areas reasonably closely. There’s a pop-up trimmer too which is good for when you just need to maintain a few key areas of your body.

Don’t expect to fully immerse this one in water, but you can still use it in the shower without a problem. The rechargeable battery is slower too, taking 12 hours to charge fully, but it’ll last as long as the more expensive Panasonic with 20 minutes of use.

In an ideal world, we’d still recommend the more expensive Panasonic, but if you need to spend wisely, this one should still get the job done.

Best For Sensitive Skin: Remington Smooth & Silk Electric Shaver ($40)

Remington Smooth & Silk Electric Shaver

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What’s New in Chrome 74, Arriving April 23 Sat, 20 Apr 2019 10:40:00 +0000 Cameron Summerson

Google Chrome

The stable version of Chrome 74 is set to land on April 23rd. It will include a dark mode on Windows, Incognito detection blocking, support for media keys in PiP, various Chrome OS improvements, and a lot more.

It’s worth noting that while these are all planned features in Chrome 74, there’s always the chance they don’t end up making it into the final release and get pushed to 75 (or beyond). Still, we do expect to see at least most of this stuff in 74, even if still behind a flag.

Dark Mode for Windows

Google Chrome Dark Mode on Windows

Chrome 73 was a huge release and included a dark mode for Mac. With Chrome 74, it will officially be available for Windows. What’s even cooler is that Chrome will follow system settings—if you have dark mode enabled in Windows, Chrome will respect that. The same goes for light mode.

RELATED: What’s New in Chrome 73, Arriving March 12

Incognito Detection Blocking

Some websites use a trick to detect when a user is viewing using Incognito Mode for improved tracking and advertising. Starting in Chrome 74, it will be impossible for sites to detect Incognito Mode, so you can truly browse in peace. It’s also worth noting that this feature may not be available in the main system settings initially, but it should be available behind a flag. It will likely move beyond the flag and be available to everyone in Chrome 75.

Media Key Support for PiP Video

In Chrome 70, Google enabled support for PiP (Picture-in-Picture) video, allowing users to pop videos out of their tab and float on top of other things. In Chrome 74, these PiP windows will be getting additional functionality with support for keyboard media player controls.

The word on the street is that PiP windows should also be getting a mute button at some point, though it’s unclear whether that will be in Chrome 74 or beyond.

Motion Reduction

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Geek Trivia: What Was The First Glove-Based Computer Input Called? Sat, 20 Apr 2019 06:02:00 +0000 Jason Fitzpatrick

What Was The First Glove-Based Computer Input Called?

  1. The CyberGlove
  2. The P5
  3. The Power Glove
  4. The Sayre Glove

Think you know the answer?

Windows Updates Are Breaking PCs With These Antivirus Programs Fri, 19 Apr 2019 19:21:01 +0000 Chris Hoffman Windows 7 wallpaper with bug logo

On April 9, Microsoft issued a Windows patch that broke PCs with certain antivirus programs installed. This affects PCs running Windows 7, 8.1, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, and Server 2012 R2—not Windows 10, this time.

After the update is installed, you won’t be able to log into Windows if you have affected antivirus software on your system. Windows will grind to a halt after you sign in.

This problem affects PCs with Sophos, Avira, Arcabit, Avast, and McAfee antivirus software. Microsoft has been continually adding antivirus programs to this list and McAfee is the latest one. To protect users, Microsoft has added a block to this update that prevents it from being installed on PCs with affected antivirus software.

If your PC did install the update before Microsoft put a block on it, you’ll likely need to install an update for your antivirus software to fix the problem. Microsoft provides more information about these known issues on its website.

It appears that Microsoft made a change to CSRSS—the Client Server Runtime Process— in this update. This change is causing problems with some antivirus software.

Of course, not all antivirus software is affected. We like Windows Defender (that’s Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 7) and Malwarebytes. Neither is experiencing any problems with this update.

Thanks to Ars Technica and PCWorld for shining the spotlight on this.

How to Calculate Percentage Change with Pivot Tables in Excel Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:23:00 +0000 Alan Murray

excel logo

Pivot Tables are an amazing built-in reporting tool in Excel. While typically used to summarize data with totals, you can also use them to calculate the percentage of change between values. Even better: It is simple to do.

You could use this technique to do all kinds of things—pretty much anywhere you’d like to see how one value compares to another. In this article, we’re going to use the straightforward example of calculating and displaying the percent by which the total sales value changes month by month.

Here’s the sheet we’re going to use.

Two years of sales data for a PivotTable

It’s a pretty typical example of a sales sheet that shows the order date, customer name, sales rep, total sales value, and a few other things.

To do all this, we’re first going to format our range of values as a table in Excel and we’re then going to create a Pivot Table to make and display our percentage change calculations.

Formatting the Range as a Table

If your data range is not already formatted as a table, we’d encourage you to do so. Data stored in tables have multiple benefits over data in cell ranges of a worksheet, especially when using PivotTables (read more about the benefits of using tables).

To format a range as a table, select the range of cells and click Insert > Table.

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Daily Deals: A $220 Xbox One S with 2 Games, an $880 iPad Pro, a $280 Surface 3 Tablet, and More Fri, 19 Apr 2019 10:51:32 +0000 Andrew Heinzman
The Apple iPad Pro, the Microsoft Surface Tablet, and the Xbox One S
Apple, Microsoft

It’s the end of the week, and Easter is right around the corner. As a result, retailers and manufacturers are slashing prices on smarthome devices, tablets, computers, and game consoles. Now’s a great time to buy yourself a springtime gift.

Right now, the internet’s full of crazy deals and discounts. In fact, there are almost too many deals to keep track of. Among all of these deals, we have a few favorites, like the $880 iPad Pro (newest model), the $280 Microsoft Surface 3 tablet, and the $220 Xbox One S 2-game bundle.

Of course, if you aren’t interested in tablets or an Xbox, you could always grab any Echo product at a discount, a $65 Tenda Nova mesh Wi-Fi system, or a free copy of Assassin’s Creed: Unity for PC.

Laptops, Desktops, Routers, and Computer Accessories

Need a new PC? We’ve got the deals for you.

  • Dell Precision Coffee Lake i7 PC, $ 1349 ($100 off with coupon code SAVE35) [Dell]
  • Lenovo IdeaCentre 510A Desktop, $295 ($50 off with coupon code OFD55) [Rakuten]
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop, $620 ($180 off) [Protected Trust]
  • Save 50% on Dell Refurbished Desktops (With Coupon Code BUY7020NOW) [Dell]

Keyboards, Mice, RAM, Routers, and More

Upgrade your PC or grab a discounted mesh Wi-Fi system.

  • Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse, $15 ($5 off) [B&H]
  • Dell 24″ Monitor, $59 ($100 off + $50 Dell Gift Card) [Dell]
  • WD Easystore 10TB External Drive, $160 ($140 off) [Best Buy]
  • TP-Link Wi-Fi PCI Express Adapter, $10 ($5 off with coupon code EMCTYUE42) [Newegg]
  • Up to 40% off HyperX Products [Woot]
  • G.SKILL Aegis 16GB DDR4 RAM, $67 ($30 off) [Newegg]
  • ADATA 16GB (2 X 8) DDR4 RAM, $70 ($35 off) [Massgenie]
  • Linksys E2500 Dual-Band Wireless Router, $13 ($27 off) [Woot]
  • TP-Link AC1750 Smart Router, $57 ($23 off) [Amazon]
  • Tenda Nova Mesh Wi-Fi System 2-Pack, $80 ($60 off) [Amazon]
  • Tenda Nova Mesh Wi-Fi System 3-Pack, $65 ($65 off) [Amazon]
  • NETGEAR Orbi Pro Mesh Wi-Fi System 2-Pack, $360 ($141 off) [Amazon]

Phones, Tablets, and Mobile Accessories

Grab a discounted iPad, Surface tablet, or Galaxy Tab A.

  • iPad Pro 10.5″ 512GB Newest Model, $880 ($120 off) [Amazon]
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ 512GB Newest Model, $1,150 ($200 off) [Amazon]
  • Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet, $280 ($40 off) [Newegg]
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8″ 16GB, $89 ($81 off) [eBay]
  • Garmin Approach X10 GPS Golf Watch, $115 ($34 off) [Buydig]
  • Garmin Forerunner 935 GPS Running Watch, $440 ($60 off) [Amazon]

Smarthome Devices

It seems like every smarthome device is on sale right now. Upgrade your home before these discounts disappear!

  • Facebook Portal, $100 ($100 off) [Amazon]
  • Google Home Mini, $32 ($18) [Newegg]
  • Google Home Mini 2-Pack, $63 ($38 off) [Newegg]
  • Google Home Hub, $77 ($23 off) [Massgenie]
  • Amazon Echo, $80 ($20 off) [Amazon]
  • Amazon Echo Input, $20 ($15 off) [Amazon]
  • Amazon Echo Dot, $40 ($10 off) [Amazon]
  • Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition, $35 ($35 off) [Amazon]
  • Amazon Echo Plus + Philips Hue Bulb, $150 ($15 off) [Amazon]
  • Amazon Echo Show, $190 ($40 off) [Amazon]
  • Amazon Smart Plug, $15 ($15 off) [Woot]
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, $40 ($10 off) [Amazon]
  • Amazon Fire TV Cube 4K, $80 ($40 off) [Amazon]
  • Blink XT Home Security 1-Camera Kit, $80 ($50 off) [Amazon]
  • Blink XT Home Security 2-Camera Kit, $140 ($90 off) [Amazon]
  • Ring Alarm 8-Piece Kit + Echo Dot, $204 ($115 off) [Amazon]
  • Ring Video Doorbell 2 + Echo Dot, $170 ($80 off) [Amazon]
  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro + Echo Dot, $200 ($100 off) [Amazon]
  • Ring Spotlight Cam + Echo Dot, $170 ($80 off) [Amazon]
  • Ring Stick Up Cam + Echo Dot, $150 ($80 off) [Amazon]
  • Nest Hello Smart Video Doorbell, $170 ($30 off) [Massgenie]
  • TP-Link Smart Plug 2-Pack, $55 ($20 off) [Lowe’s]
  • SYLVANIA Smart Bulb 4-Pack, $12 ($8 off) [Amazon]
  • Philips Hue Smart Bulb 4-Pack, $40 ($10 off) [Amazon]

Video Games and Board Games

Grab a discounted Xbox One S bundle or some mystery games from Fanatical.

  • Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Free ($50 off) [Ubisoft]
  • Fanatical Mystery Egg Bundle, $1 each (Up to $60 off) [Fanatical]
  • Soul Calibur VI PC, $19 ($40 off) [Fanatical]
  • Nintendo Labo Robot, Variety, and Vehicle Kit (Japanese Import), $68 ($60 off) [Massgenie]
  • Mario Sports Superstars Nintendo 3DS, $28 ($13 off) [Amazon]
  • Xbox One S + Titanfall 2 + Sunset Overdrive, $220 ($70 off) [Newegg]
  • Xbox Wireless Controller Newest Model, $37 ($25 off) [Amazon]
  • Magic: The Gathering Ravnica Bundle, $31 ($9 off) [Amazon]
  • DND Dungeon Master’s Screen Reincarnated, $10 ($6 off) [Amazon]

Audio Equipment and TVs

Need to upgrade your entertainment center? We’ve got the deals for you.

  • Audio Technica AT-LP60 Belt Driven Turntable, $90 ($60 off) [Buydig]
  • Audio Technica ATH-MH50x Studio Headphones, $110 ($30 off) [Massgenie]
  • Bose QuietComfort Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones, $259 ($40 off) [Massgenie]
  • RCA 55″ 4K TV, $270 ($330 off) [Walmart]

Site-Wide Sales, Gift Cards, and Free Stuff

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How to Copy Files Using the “install” Command on Linux Fri, 19 Apr 2019 14:24:00 +0000 Dave McKay

Concept art of Bash on an Ubuntu Linux desktop

install is a versatile file-copying command in Linux and macOS. It’s perfect for the power-user looking for efficiency. Read this article to discover how to work smarter—not harder.

Wait—It’s Not For Installing Software?

The install command might have the most misleading name of any of the Linux commands. It doesn’t actually install any software. If you’re trying to install a software package from the command line in Ubuntu or another Debian-based distribution use the apt-get command. On other Linux distributions, use your Linux distribution’s package management tool instead—for example, dnf on Fedora or zypper on openSUSE.

So What Does install Do?

In a nutshell  install combines elements from the cp (copy), chown (change owner), chmod (change mode), mkdir (make directory), and strip (strip symbols) commands. It lets you use functions from all of those in one single action.

The install command can:

  • Copy files like the cp command.
  • Choose whether to overwrite existing files.
  • Create the target directory if it does not exist, like mkdir.
  • Set the user permission flags of the files, just like the chmod command.
  • Set the owner of the files, just like the chown command.
  • Remove non-essential baggage from executable files, just like the strip command.

Despite all that functionality, the install command doesn’t have too many options to contend with.

install man page

When Would You Use It

The install command probably won’t be used every day. It’s useful, but only for certain situations. One scenario where install comes into its own is software development. Let’s say you’re programming a new utility. You’ll need to do testing outside of the development environment. To do that you need to copy the new program files to a test directory. The test directory might need to be created, and you need to set the correct permissions and ownership for the files.

Because development is an iterative activity, you can end up doing this sequence of actions many, many times. The install command does all the heavy lifting for you. Finally, when your new utility is ready to be deployed, you can use install to copy it with the correct permissions to its final working location.

An Example

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Daily News Roundup: YouTube is On Fire Fri, 19 Apr 2019 14:11:02 +0000 Cameron Summerson

After years of feuding, Google and Amazon have finally made up. As a direct result, YouTube is coming (back) to Fire TV, and Prime Video is getting support for Chromecast and Android TV. Finally.

This change comes some 16 months after Google first pulled YouTube from Amazon’s Fire TV platform, which was an aggressive response to Amazon’s decision to stop selling Google’s Chromecast. The whole thing was petty and generally a lose-lose for consumers.

This week’s change, however, makes things “right” again. Google, in a joint announcement with Amazon, said that YouTube would be making a triumphant return to Fire TV “in the coming months.” In that same announcement, Amazon said that Prime members would get access to Prime Video on Chromecast and Android TV devices…also “in the coming months.”

What’s more, Google added that it would also be bringing YouTube Kids to Fire TV devices. But that’s the scope of it for now: Fire TV devices. There’s no word of YouTube coming to other Fire devices—like Amazon’s affordable and highly popular Fire Tablets. That’s a real shame because the Fire Kids Edition tablets remain some of the best devices available for children, and the addition of YouTube Kids would be a boon for parents. Maybe we’ll see that happen eventually—baby steps, I guess.

It’s also worth noting that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Prime Video on an Android TV device—NVIDIA’s SHIELD TV exclusively got access to the Prime Video app over two years ago. It was the first Android TV device to get access to Amazon’s streaming platform. The app has also been available on Android devices for a while, albeit without the ability to cast.

But either way, the exclusivity period is over across the board now. Well, it will be in the coming months, anyway.

In other news, The Weather Channel fell victim to ransomware, Facebook stored Instagram passwords in plaintext, BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down (kind of), Google and Amazon both give users free music, and more.

  • The Weather Channel hack: TWC was down for over an hour yesterday morning after a ransomware attack took it off the air. Yikes. [Engadget]
  • Facebook sucks at storing passwords: Last month, Facebook admitted to storing million of Facebook passwords in plaintext. Yesterday, it updated the post to state that millions of Instagram users were also affected. Notifications will be sent to impacted users soon. Either way, it’s probably not a bad idea to change your password now. [The Verge]
  • Sunsetting BBM: Emtek, the company that has been running BlackBerry Messenger since 2016, announced yesterday that it’s shutting the service down. A paid, enterprise version of BBM (which is managed by BlackBerry) will be opened to all users instead. That’s a good move on BlackBerry’s part. [Liliputing]
  • Free YouTube Music: If you have a Google Home and don’t already subscribe to YouTube Music (or Google Play Music, which is kind of the same thing), you can now stream free, ad-supported tunes on your Home. [TechCrunch]
  • Free Amazon Music: Amazon announced basically the same thing for Echo users—just ask it to play music, and you’ll get free, ad-supported music. [Variety]
  • Google pulls more shady apps: Google removed several shady apps from the Play Store after a Buzzfeed investigation found them to be committing ad fraud. [Gizmodo]
  • Facebook Hell: Wired recently published a fascinating story about the culture inside of Facebook, and it’s brutal. It’s worth a read. [Wired]

I usually like to conclude with some interesting and science-based; something that would normally be outside of our usual coverage. Today, that comes from Under Armour, which recently announced an incredible new line of baselayers that recycle your energy. This line, called UA Rush, contains mineral-infused fabric that absorbs heat and converts it to infrared energy. The body then re-absorbs this infrared energy, giving the wearer improved endurance. It also helps with recovery after the workout. Best of all, it doesn’t cost that much more than a “regular” UA baselayer, with shirts starting at just $50.

How to Use Google Play Movies for Chrome and Chrome OS Fri, 19 Apr 2019 13:00:00 +0000 Brady Gavin

Play Movies Lede image

Google Play Movies & TV is a streaming service that lets you watch videos via a web client or through an app from the Play Store. Whether you want to rent or own, Play Movies lets you choose new or old titles from Google’s vast library.

How to Use Play Movies for Chrome

You can access Play Movies from Chrome visiting the Google Play Movies website. The online store lets you search and browse, view trailers for titles, purchase/rent, and watch movies and TV shows all in one place.

If ever you’ve visited the Google Play Store to download apps, music, books, or whatever, the functionality is pretty much the same across all platforms which gives you a sense of familiarity when browsing for something to watch.

A familiar splash page on the Google Play Movies store

The top of the page has a search bar to comb through the entire catalog of titles or use one of the buttons in the bar just below it to filter by genre, top charts, or new releases.

Search using the serach bar or filter results using the buttons underneath it

Further filtering options on the sidebar let you sort by TV shows, family programming, production studios, and the channel on which a show was originally broadcast.

Further filtering options on the sidebar let you sort by TV, family, production studios, and the channel a show is broadcast

Then, as you start to scroll down, lists of titles are categorized in a style we’ve come to recognize from many other streaming services: new releases, followed by most popular movies, then a varied selection of genres.

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Should You Buy the New Disc-Free Xbox One? Fri, 19 Apr 2019 08:00:23 +0000 Josh Hendrickson
A Xbox One S next to an Xbox One S All-Digital with Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon, Ori and the Blind Forest background

Microsoft just announced the Xbox One S All-Digital Version, an Xbox without a disc drive. They’re priced at $250 and include three games to start, so the question is: Should you buy it? Surprisingly the answer isn’t “no, not ever.”

Look Ma! No Discs!

Microsoft’s latest Xbox is a bit of curiosity. Imagine an Xbox One S. Now remove the disc drive and cover up the hole with a plastic face. And you have the Xbox One S All-Digital Version. Why not retool the console to account for removal of the drive? In an interview with Ars Technica, Microsoft’s Platform and Devices GM Jeff Gattis explained that even though it looked like a ten-minute design job they did in fact run through a new testing cycle and opted to go with the same form factor to keep costs down.

The change is more than just a redesign or lack thereof, however. Over at our sister site How-To Geek, we’ve detailed how this new Xbox fulfills Microsoft’s original vision for this console generation. But to get into whether or not you should buy it, really we need to dig into what you’re giving up and what you’re gaining.

Say Goodbye To Buying Physical Games And Movies

About 15 Xbox One Games
Just a few of the games I own and couldn’t play on the new Xbox Josh Hendrickson

Buying the Xbox One S All-Digital Version (which has a name so terrible it’s a strike against purchasing the thing) means giving up the ability to use any physical media. And that’s something to think through on multiple levels.

Do you ever buy used games? You can’t do that with this system. Do you trade or borrow discs with a friend? Also a no-go. Do you care about best price? Physical media is often on sale cheaper than the digital version, but that won’t help you with this Xbox.

Do you prefer the absolute best possible picture and sound from your movies that only physical media can provide? Well, you’re going to have to buy a Blu-ray player to go with this thing. Do you already own Xbox One and Xbox 360 games on discs? You can’t play those on this console.

Do you have multiple Xbox consoles in your house? We made a strong argument in our article about whether or not you should buy physical Switch games based on whether or not you have multiple consoles and players in your home. While the Xbox has way better cross-console sharing than the Switch, you still need to download the data to multiple consoles which raises our final consideration.

While maybe none of the previous points apply to you—perhaps this is your first Xbox ever and you only buy movies in digital format, or you subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, and other services instead—you still need to ask yourself an important question: “Do I have a Data cap?”

Unfortunately, many ISPs enforce data caps now. And it’s not uncommon for a game to be 80 gigs or more. Buying a disc won’t cover that entirely, but it will offset a large chunk of it. And streaming a 4K HDR movie isn’t going to help matters either. If you have a data cap and you’re an avid gamer and media consumer, giving up your disc drive is something you’ll genuinely want to think through.

Like the Name Says, Your Game Library Goes Digital

A list of 293 Xbox digital games
My digital library far outstrips my physical games.

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How to Enable Gmail’s Hidden Email Preview Pane Fri, 19 Apr 2019 12:00:00 +0000 Rob Woodgate

Dual-pane view in Gmail on the web

Gmail has a hidden preview panel that gives you a dual-pane view of your emails—just like in Outlook and other desktop email clients. Here’s how to enable it on the web and choose a horizontal or vertical split.

First, head to your Gmail inbox. Click the Settings cog and then click “Settings.”

The Settings option in Gmail

Choose the “Advanced” tab.

The Advanced Settings tab

The Preview Pane option is towards the bottom. Choose “Enable” and then click “Save Changes.”

Preview Pane radio buttons

You’ll be taken back to the Inbox, where a new “Toggle split pane mode” button will be visible next to the Settings cog.

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How the UK’s New Internet “Porn Block” Will Work Fri, 19 Apr 2019 10:40:00 +0000 Chris Hoffman
UK flag and Big Ben representing parliament
Melinda Nagy/Shutterstock

On July 15, 2019, the UK government will enforce an age-verification requirement for online pornography websites. Websites that don’t comply with the UK’s rules will be blocked in the country. Here’s how this online censorship system will work.

Surprised? Britons Shouldn’t Be

Many people seem surprised by this news. In fact, a recent YouGov poll found that 76% of Britons didn’t know a “porn block” was in the works.

Despite the surprise of some, this plan has been slowly forming for years. The Conservative party promised to introduce age verification for online pornography back in 2015 if it formed the government and subsequently won the election. The age verification plan became legislation several years ago in the Digital Economy Act 2017. It was initially supposed to go live back in 2018 but has seen several delays. Now, the government has scheduled the introduction for July 15, 2019.

This only affects you if you’re in the UK—or if you run a pornography website.

Pornography Websites Will Want Your ID

UK passport with laptop and smartphone

Under this system, pornography websites must verify the age of the people who access them. The person must be at least 18 years of age. This requirement extends to both UK-based and overseas pornography websites. It’s enforced by the British Board of Film Classification.

When we say “verify,” we mean it. There’s no more clicking “Yes, I am 18 or older.” Instead, you will have to upload an ID document like a passport or driver’s license to an age verification service or buy a sort of “porn pass” in a local shop where you’ll have to show ID.

The PortesCard by AgeID will be available for “£4.99 for use on a single device, or £8.99 for use across multiple devices,” providing a way to access pornography websites without actually uploading your ID to a pornography-related online service. Britons can buy it in their local shops.

Yes, You Might Have to Upload Your ID

So, with physical cards available in shops, you might think you don’t necessarily have to upload your ID. You can just show your ID and pay with cash at a local store, right?

Slow down there. There’s no single age verification provider. The BBFC does certify a number of age-verification providers, but it doesn’t recommend any particular one to websites

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