How-to

SOFTWARE | NETWORKING | INTERNET

How to figure out if a website is down...or if it's just you

Internet access is a glorious thing--except for when it isn't. Sometimes it's an easy fix if you know how to solve Wi-Fi router problems, and other times the issue isn't so obvious, especially if it looks like your favorite site went down and took half the web with it.

STORAGE

Free up space on your SSD or hard drive

Frank Yao asked how to free up space on his local, internal drive.

SOFTWARE

Mac 911: Good backup habits making migrating to a new Mac easier

To go forward, you must back up. This is an old rubric and bad joke about the importance of keeping regularly updated copies on hand of your personal and work documents and, ideally, your entire drive. Backing up is often an important stage in migrating to a new machine as well. This week, I cover my recommended methods.

STORAGE

What happens when a hard drive crashes

When Manoj Yadav took his dead PC to a repair shop, he was told that the drive had crashed. He asked me what physically happens to a drive to crash it.

SOFTWARE

Don't forget one of Linux's best features: How to use multiple workspaces

Windows users have long been jealous of workspaces--also called virtual desktops or multiple desktops--on Linux. But many Linux desktops have hidden this feature by default in recent years. Soon, Windows users will have multiple desktop workspaces enabled by default--and many Linux users won't.

INTERNET | SECURITY

How to keep your connected home safe: 7 steps you can take to boost home security

The Internet of Things is based on sensors and controls in all sorts of devices. When those types of devices are used to create a smart home, they can give residents unprecedented control and insight. The proliferation of smart devices, however, also opens the door to new dangers and threats.

HARDWARE SYSTEMS | SOFTWARE | VIRTUALIZATION

How to run Windows programs in a browser tab for free

Most of the time we focus on helpful tips for Windows users, but today's article will also appeal to anyone with a Chromebook. A company named Cameyo is known for its software that lets you run Windows program from a USB stick, but it also offers a virtualization service that lets you run full-blown Windows desktop programs in a browser for free.

HARDWARE SYSTEMS | SECURITY

Recover a stolen laptop, or prepare for the day your laptop is stolen

Sylvia Chepkurui asked, "Can I recover my stolen laptop using the serial number?"

SOFTWARE

Ask the iTunes Guy: Solving all your playlist problems in iTunes 12

Playlists are one of the best, and most creative ways to organize music in iTunes, and to listen to music on your iOS devices. But sometimes, it can be hard to figure out how to make complex playlists. In this week's column, I look at three questions about playlists, both standard and smart. And I also look at an issue where album art, for some albums, changes on iOS devices.

INTERNET | SECURITY

How to keep your email private with PGP encryption on your Mac

In our last episode of Private I, I explained the basics of public-key (PK) cryptography, a way to scramble messages in a way that only someone possessing a particular key can decrypt, without that key ever having to be publicly disclosed or shared. It's an effective system that has no known theoretical exploits, and currently deployed implementations are considered robust.

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.