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Features

HARDWARE SYSTEMS | SOFTWARE

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Mail in iOS 9: Three huge changes that will make email less awful

Apple's native Mail app didn't get the makeover in iOS 9 that Notes and Maps did, but it did get a few tweaks that will make managing your email less of a headache. Plus, Mail reaps the benefits of iOS 9's iPad multitasking features, which are game-changing on their own.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

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Sears vs Target: Which store operates the best connected-home showroom?

The connected home isn't just a dream for consumers, it's also a bonanza for retailers who stand to cash in big on shoppers looking to upgrade their home life with a few well-chosen gadgets. But connected-home devices are quite a new and emerging market, and confusion is rampant when it comes to products such as smart light bulbs and cloud-connected thermostats.

NETWORKING

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Powerline vs MoCA: Which alternative networking technology is the best?

Ethernet cable (either CAT5e or CAT6) is the gold standard of home-networking technology. If you can string cable from your router to everywhere you need Internet access, do it. You'll get out-of-this-world speed and impeccable reliability.

SOFTWARE

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The best Linux distributions for beginners

Dabbling for the first time in Linux starts with choosing a Linux distribution. A typical "Linux" system is built up of software from many different open-source projects, including the Linux kernel. Linux distributions--or "distros"--are the projects that package all this software into an easily installable, usable operating system.

HARDWARE SYSTEMS | SOFTWARE

How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the iOS 9 beta on my old iPad

Everyone knows that putting beta software on your primary device is a huge risk, especially if you haven't backed up in a long time (or ever). But I like to live dangerously, so I plan to put the iOS 9 beta on my iPhone 6--yes, the one I carry every day. To prepare, I decided to use my third-generation iPad, a sometimes temperamental but always available workhorse, as a guinea pig.

SERVICES | SOFTWARE

Pluto.TV is the best cord-cutting app you're not using

If the cable box has one redeeming quality, it's the ability to flip on the TV and start watching something. No disrespect to streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu, but sometimes finding the perfect video feels like too much effort.

GAMES

Pixel art and pigeons: Inside Devolver Digital's quirky, retro-infused PC game lineup

Devolver always has my favorite showcase at E3, and it's not just because I get to escape from the stale-air conditioned hell of the LA Convention Center to rake in some Southern California sunshine--though that is, scientifically, part of it. Never underestimate the effect Vitamin D has on your happiness.

GAMES

For Honor's epic melee combat makes you feel like a medieval badass

Let's get one thing out of the way, because it's a thing that really bugs me about For Honor: It is not a "new genre," no matter how many times Ubisoft claims it is. I don't care that it said it in the E3 presentation. I don't care that on Ubisoft's blog creative director Jason Vandenberghe is quoted saying "I haven't actually been able to really put a name to For Honor's genre."

GAMES

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Why you should avoid AMD and get a Steam Machine with Nvidia's GeForce graphics

The hour draws nigh. Valve recently announced the first few Steam Machines available for pre-order, and beyond SteamOS itself, each one had something in common: The first announced Steam Machines from Alienware and Syber all have Nvidia graphics hardware.

SOFTWARE

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How Square aims to bring Apple Pay into mom-and-pop shops

You can use Apple Pay at more than 700,000 retail locations across the U.S., but good luck trying to pay with your phone at your neighborhood coffee shop or favorite food truck. While national chains and big-box stores are working to upgrade their systems to accept contactless payments and chip-and-pin cards, small businesses have been much slower to join the mobile payment party.

Expert Opinion

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Apple doesn't need its own gadgets to dominate the smart home

If you believe the weekend rumors, Apple will announce a connected-home platform next week at WWDC. But before you get too excited about an iThermostat and an iFridge and an iCamera watching you sleep, consider this: If Apple does get into the home-automation market, that doesn't necessarily mean it'll make smart-home gadgets of its own.

Editors Pick

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Justin.tv goes off the air

With all signs pointing to a Google purchase of Twitch, the company behind Justin.tv has shut down the live video service.

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Verizon fires back at FCC over data throttling

The FCC called out Verizon for its plans to throttle customers with unlimited data plans who use the most data, so the carrier responded.

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Business faces backlash after threatening $500 fines for negative Yelp reviews

Businesses who don't know how to manage their social media presence should remember that the Internet can be vicious.

Latest Product Reviews

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Key Ingredient kitchen tablet review: Yummy recipes can't rescue this crummy tablet

Meatballs. Giant bacon-wrapped meatballs. The Key Ingredient Recipe tablet suggested this fantastic idea to me when I searched for a meatball recipe. It's a good thing the meatballs were tasty, because that's about the only thing this tablet gets right.