Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Microsoft Is Said to Plan Mobile Payments in New Phone Software - Businessweek

Microsoft Corp. is working on a version of its Windows Phone software that will let users buy merchandise with a flick of the handset at a checkout counter, two people familiar with the plans said. Read more...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Who Pays the Most for Old Gadgets and Tech: The Best Buyback Programs

The laws of geekdom state that a newer, shinier, more desirable gadget is always around the corner. And you usually want it. But do you have the bucks? Now, thanks to a slew of buyback programs and trade-in services , upgrading from last year's model doesn't have to sting. Sure, trading in used technology isn't as lucrative as selling it on eBay or Craigslist, but it's a lot less of a hassle.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Maximum PC | 63 Facebook Tips: How to Hide From Your Friends, Update Security Settings, and Navigate Apps

You’re on Facebook. So is the guy sitting next to you on the bus. Your brothers, best mates, old classmates, demented neighbors, former coworkers, your grandma – they’re all on Facebook. The social networking behemoth now boasts over 500 million (active) members (that’s 1 in every 13 people on earth) and everything from your Mountain Dew Code Red to your sneakers has a fan page (and some sneakers are themselves modeled after your social networking site of choice). But, far beyond being just a marketing tool, or a meme-factory, or a way for fourteen year olds to engage in endless flame wars over CoD scores, Facebook is becoming an integral (and at times, claustrophobic) part of how we access the Internet.

So, how to best handle this beast? This guide takes you through the ins-and outs of security and privacy settings, photo uploading and sharing, scripts, essential apps and add-ons so that you can manage your Facebook experience in a way that works for you. Or at least as close to it as Zuckerberg will let you. Here are slew of tips and tricks - including tips from Maximum PC's own Facebook Fans! - on how to try to tame the Facebook monster.

Internet Explorer 9: A Getting Started Guide

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 officially launched late Monday and is ready for download.

The new Web browser features a lot of interesting new tools such as taskbar shortcuts and dynamic jumplists, extensive HTML 5 support, hardware acceleration for improved graphics performance, and has a streamlined interface that puts more focus on the Web page and less on the browser window. Before you get started, here are a few quick tips to get you up and running with the best features IE9 has to offer.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Proposed Privacy Bill Would Put Curbs on Data Gathering - WSJ.com

Senators John McCain and John Kerry are circulating proposed legislation to create an "online privacy bill of rights," a sign of bipartisan support for efforts to curb the Internet-tracking industry. Read more...

How Computers Boot Up : Gustavo Duarte

Just in case you were wondering, here is a technical explanation of your computer's boot up process.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Microsoft Security Essentials

I recently installed Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and thought I would share my experience. NOTE: before installing, you should remove any other anit-virus software running on the computer. Having more than one anti-virus software can cuase conflicts and is not recommended. NOTE #2: After the software is installed you will be prompted to restart the computer, so save all your work and close all open applications before beginning the installation.

The installation process is very straightforward. From the main page, click on the Download Now button. After the software is installed and the computer is restarted, MSE will begin downloading and installing the most recent virus definitions. Virus definitions are what MSE uses when scanning your computer for potential threats.

Once the virus definitions have been downlaoded and installed, MSE will do an initial scan of the entire computer. This is a "quick scan" where MSE scans only those folders that are usually at highest risk of virus infection (for example, C:\Program Files). The initial scan on my computer took around 10 minutes.

Settings

Once the intial scan is complete, click on the Settings tab. It is here that you will configure MSE. Select Scheduled Scan from the list on the left. Here you can choose to have MSE do a quick scan or a full scan. I recommend you select the full scan option, since you will schedule it to run when the computer will not be in use. Select Daily in the When selection list. In the Around selection list, I would suggest picking a time in the wee hours of the morning when nobody will be using the computer. For this option, I selected 2:00 AM. Make sure there is a check in the "Check for the latest virus and spyware definitions before running a scheduled scan" check box so that MSE will get the and install the latest virus definitions before doing the scan. Since you are setting the scan time in the wee hours of the morning, it is safe to remove the check from the "Start the scheduled scan only when my computer is on but not in use" check box, but you don't need to do this.

You can leave the rest of the settings at their default selection. Be sure to click the Save Changes button to save all the changes you made.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

iPad 2: All the details

The iPad 2 is arriving to stores on March 11. It is a lot faster than the previous generation, a lot thinner—one third no less!—and lighter, and it has two cameras built-in—one in the front for video-conference and one for high definition video and photos on the back. Here are all the details you need to know about Apple's new tablet.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Windows 7 GodMode: Tips, Tricks, Tweaks

Microsoft has strived to develop Windows into an intuitive, user-friendly operating system. For some, though, "user friendly" is just another way of saying "dumbed down" in an attempt to force all users into a limited, cookie-cutter system. Power users and IT administrators need to be able to go behind the curtain of the friendly user interface and get down to the business of tweaking and customizing the operating system to meet their needs. That is where Windows 7's "GodMode" comes in.