News

  • How to Train Alexa to Recognize Different Voices (and Give More Personalized Answers)
    by Craig Lloyd on October 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Your Amazon Echo can finally recognize and differentiate voices from different household members. Here’s how to set it up in the Alexa app on your phone. […]

  • These R packages import sports, weather, stock data and more
    by Sharon Machlis on October 18, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    There are lots of good reasons you might want to analyze public data, from detecting salary trends in government data to uncovering insights about a potential investment (or your favorite sports team).But before you can run analyses and visualize trends, you need to have the data. The packages listed below make it easy to find economic, sports, weather, political and other publicly available data and import it directly into R -- in a format that's ready for you to work your analytics magic.[ Learn more about R with our Advanced Beginner's Guide to R ]Packages that are on CRAN can be installed on your system by using the R command install.packages("packageName") -- you only need to run this once. GitHub packages are best installed with the devtools package -- install that once with install.packages("devtools") and then use that to install packages from GitHub using the format devtools::install_github("repositoryName/packageName"). Once installed, you can load a package into your […]

  • Geek Trivia: The Term “Gerrymandering” Originated In Which U.S. State?
    by Jason Fitzpatrick on October 18, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Think you know the answer? Click through to see if you're right! […]

  • How to get a cutting-edge web browser
    by James A. Martin on October 18, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Installing a pre-release version of your web browser promises at least two distinct thrills. The first one: You get to test new features sometimes months before mainstream users see them. How cool is that?The second thrill comes from taking a risk. Installing pre-release software can cause data loss (perhaps even hair loss), excess battery drain on portables and other aggravations. As Google puts it on its Chrome Canary download page, it’s “not for the faint of heart.”[ Further reading: Best Google Chrome extensions of 2017 ]But let’s assume you’re up for the challenge and eager to see what’s next for your browser. Here’s what you need to know about pre-release versions of Chrome, Safari Technical Preview, Firefox and Edge.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • How to Quickly Make a Mac Photo Slideshow With Preview
    by Justin Pot on October 18, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    When you double-click a photo in the Windows file browser, you can use the arrow keys to quickly browse every photo that folder. Open a photo in Preview on macOS, however, and pressing the arrow keys does nothing. This makes it hard to have a quick slideshow. […]

  • Microsoft: Please Name Windows 10 Updates After Dogs
    by Justin Pot on October 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    We need to talk, Microsoft. Windows 10 is great, and we’re loving all the new features we get every six months or so. Gold stars all around. […]

  • Announcing Review Geek: A Better Solution for Tech News and Reviews
    by Lowell Heddings on October 18, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    People think of How-To Geek as a place that helps them understand how to do things, or how to understand technology, and sometimes that involves specific products or services. But as a general rule, people don’t think of HTG in conjunction with products or tech news. So today, we welcome Review Geek to the family. […]

  • Apple and GE just put iOS inside Industry 4.0
    by Jonny Evans on October 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Working together, Apple and GE have just opened the doors for further iOS deployment across industry infrastructure.Apple in the infrastructure This is a pretty significant step that puts Apple inside future infrastructure, a move I predicted would take place some time ago.GE confirmed plans to standardize on iPhone and iPad for mobile devices and (like IBM) to provide Macs to its 330,000 employees, if they want one.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • How to Use “My People” on Windows 10’s Taskbar
    by Chris Hoffman on October 18, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update includes the “My People” feature originally promised for the first Creators Update. You can now pin up to three of your favorite people to the taskbar and quickly chat with them on Skype or send them emails. […]

  • 48% off Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Display and 10 Year Battery - Deal Alert
    by DealPost Team on October 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Carbon Monoxide is odorless, tasteless and invisible, and it accounts for over 72,000 cases of poisoning each year. Kidde calls their C3010D model "worry free" because its sensor and sealed battery provide 10 years of uninterrupted CO detection, and a digital display that updates every 15 seconds. The unit will chirp when its reaching the ends of its life, so you don't have to wonder. The Kidde C3010D alarm is currently discounted down to just $27.93. See this deal now on Amazon.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • How to Disable Haptic Feedback Vibrations on Your iPhone
    by Harry Guinness on October 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    The iPhone 7 and 8 don’t have a physical home button. Instead, the feel of pressing a button is recreated by what Apple calls the Taptic Engine. When you touch the home button, the Taptic Engine sends out a small vibration. It feels really like pressing an actual button. […]

  • How to Protect Your Files From Ransomware With Windows Defender’s New “Controlled Folder Access”
    by Chris Hoffman on October 18, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update includes a new Windows Defender feature designed to protect your files from ransomware. It’s named “Controlled Folder Access”, and it’s disabled by default. You’ll need to enable it yourself if you want to try it out. […]

  • Mouse Aficionados Rejoice: The IntelliMouse Rides Again
    by Jason Fitzpatrick on October 18, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Some tech comes and goes without much fanfare, and some tech—like the beloved Microsoft IntelliMouse—develops a cult following.Click Here to Continue Reading […]

  • IT and 'citizen developers' partner on mobile apps and more
    by Mary K. Pratt on October 18, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Worker appetite for new applications, particularly mobile ones, is running high.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story) […]

  • With an idea this good, what can possibly go wrong?
    by Sharky on October 18, 2017 at 10:00 am

    It's a few decades back, and this big steel company decides to modernize one of its furnace operations with the latest technology, according to an IT pilot fish in the know."In this case, that was an electric arc furnace, where steel is continually made and fed right into the destination mill, such as a rolling mill or wire mill," fish says."They picked a particular existing plant in a part of the state with some of the highest electric rates in the country. Since another state with a much lower electric rate is just across the river, they decided to run power lines over to that electricity provider."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Windows 10 IQ test (Part 2)
    by Woody Leonhard on October 18, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Still think you know a lot about Windows?Image by MicrosoftWindows 10 has been out for more than two years and, while it hasn’t caught on like wildfire, it’s certainly left lots of head scratching. As we barrel down the two-versions-per-year slalom slide, you’re going to need a cool head – and some cooler facts – to keep it going.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Announcing Review Geek: A Better Solution for Tech News and Reviews
    by Lowell Heddings on October 18, 2017 at 9:55 am

    People think of How-To Geek as a place that helps them understand how to do things, or how to understand technology, and sometimes that involves…Click Here to Continue Reading […]

  • Let’s Face It, Phone Makers Are Just Bored
    by Eric Ravenscraft on October 18, 2017 at 9:45 am

    You know those days at work when you’ve finished your tasks and you’re waiting for the next importa…Click Here to Continue Reading […]

  • The Nintendo Switch Accessories You’ll Actually Need
    by Eric Ravenscraft on October 18, 2017 at 9:44 am

    The Nintendo Switch is set to be one of the hottest gaming items this holiday season.Click Here to Continue Reading […]

  • Best USB Car Chargers
    by Jason Fitzpatrick on October 18, 2017 at 9:40 am

    The built-in USB ports in cars are notoriously under powered (and for anybody with multiple gadgets and passengers, notoriously under abundant).…Click Here to Continue Reading […]

  • Best Full Size Multitool
    by Jason Fitzpatrick on October 18, 2017 at 9:38 am

    When you need a lot of tools on hand for a variety of tasks but you can’t pack a toolbox, a full-size multitool should be your go to companion.Click Here to Continue Reading […]

  • The Best Bluetooth Speakers for Your Shower Listening Needs
    by Jason Fitzpatrick on October 18, 2017 at 9:28 am

    If you want to sing along in the shower or enjoy your favorite podcast radio dramas in the tub, you’ll want a solid and waterproof shower-fr…Click Here to Continue Reading […]

  • Amazon Introduces Accounts for Teens (Your Purchase History is Finally Safe)
    by Jason Fitzpatrick on October 18, 2017 at 9:28 am

    For years there’s been a glaring oversight in the Amazon Household ecosystem—a total lack of a “training” account for teenagers…Click Here to Continue Reading […]

  • 10 Best Keychain Tools
    by Jason Fitzpatrick on October 18, 2017 at 9:01 am

    The best tool is the one you have with you, so what better place to have it stashed than on your keychain?Click Here to Continue Reading […]

  • Mobile collides with collaboration – and a new digital workspace is born
    by Lucas Mearian on October 17, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    As smartphones and tablets become ever more indespensible work tools, enterprise mobility management platforms (EMM) are being used deliver collaboration tools, such as voice and video conferencing, directly to user devices.With implications for all of IT, a new market survey by tech and services provider CDW found that most companies now view their mobility and collaboration platforms as one digital workspace. Additionally, the survey also found that end-users are playing a larger role in selecting those "digital workspace" platforms.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • For enterprises, the big changes to Windows 10 1709 aren't obvious
    by Gregg Keizer on October 17, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Microsoft today released the newest Windows 10 feature upgrade, labeled "Fall Creators Update" and numbered 1709, to consumers and commercial customers. The upgrade was the first since Microsoft revamped its Windows 10 servicing model by pledging to deliver two such updates annualVideo conferencingly, and changed the release track nomenclature and support timetable.As Microsoft pointed out, some practices have changed in its Windows-10-as-a-service concept.What's in a name? Today's upgrade carries the label "Semi-Annual Channel," a change in nomenclature from Microsoft's previous Current Branch, the release track offered almost exclusively to consumers. To match the naming convention it created for Office 365, Microsoft dropped its Windows 10 release titles Current Branch and Current Branch for Business, and swapped in Semi-Annual Channel for both.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Office 365: A guide to the updates
    by Preston Gralla on October 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Office 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office — currently Office 2016. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2016 without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they’re available. We’re doing for you, so you don’t have to.Following are key updates to Office 365 for Windows since Office 2016 was released in September 2015 — all the 2017 updates and the most important ones from 2016 and late 2015, with the latest releases shown first. We’ll add info about new updates as they’re rolled out.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • How to Use OneDrive’s Files On-Demand in Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update
    by Chris Hoffman on October 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    The Fall Creators Update includes a new OneDrive feature called “Files On-Demand”, in which your PC now shows “placeholder” copies of your OneDrive files. When you or a program accesses them, they’re downloaded as needed. That way, even if you have 1 TB of files in your OneDrive, they can take up almost no space on your PC, and you can still browse through them in File Explorer. […]

  • Windows 10 Redstone: A guide to the builds
    by Preston Gralla on October 17, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was rolled out, the company began work on the next major update to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 4. As it did with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has been releasing a series of public preview builds to members of Microsoft's Insider Program.What follows is a list of every preview build of Redstone 4, starting with the most recent. For each build, we've included the date of its release and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it. We've also kept the list of all the preview builds that led up to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and the Windows 10 Creators Update, which are below the builds of Redstone 4.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Geek Trivia: The Only M*A*S*H Cast Member To Appear In Every Single Episode Was?
    by Jason Fitzpatrick on October 17, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Think you know the answer? Click through to see if you're right! […]

  • Why Does ~ Represent the Home Folder on macOS and Linux?
    by Justin Pot on October 17, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Whether you’ve installed the Linux subsystem on Windows 10 or are getting started using the Linux Terminal, there are all kinds of shorthands you need to learn…none of which are intuitive. […]

  • How to Get Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update Now
    by Chris Hoffman on October 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Microsoft has started rolling out Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update, but it will be a few months before every PC gets it. If you don’t want to wait, you can download the Fall Creators Update from Microsoft right now. […]

  • Welcome to the era of the Google ecosystem
    by JR Raphael on October 17, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    By now, you probably know everything there is to know about Google's Pixel 2. You've no doubt read the reviews, mulled over the bigger-picture significance, and gotten a pretty good feel for whether the phone's right for you.Before you shift your attention to the next shiny thing, though, hang on a second: With the basics behind us, I've been working to wrap my noggin around the broader implications surrounding the Pixel 2's launch and Google's ever-expanding hardware efforts. And more than ever, I'm convinced what we're seeing right now is but a tiny sliver of a much bigger story.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Dropbox targets freelance pros with Showcase portfolios and Professional pricing tier
    by Matthew Finnegan on October 17, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Dropbox has launched a new portfolio feature, Showcase, designed to help independent workers and small teams of professionals display and share documents more easily.The idea is that freelance workers such as architects and designers can store content in Showcase before sharing information with clients. Documents are arranged in a branded portfolio in a “secure and polished way,” with customizable layouts, said Dropbox director of product, Vishal Kapoor. It is also possible to add text captions to files to introduce content topics to help create a narrative around what’s being shared.Dropbox, which recently rebranded to appeal to “creatives,” has identified a large target audience: it is estimated that 35% of the U.S. workforce is now freelance, a group that as of 2016 totaled to 55 million people.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Mingis on Tech: Pondering the Pixel 2 (as an iPhone alternative)
    by Ken Mingis on October 17, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    For high-end smartphone buyers – whether you prefer Google's Android or Apple's iOS – this may well be the best of times. The iPhone 8 is out, the X arrives in just a few weeks, and the latest device from Google, the Pixel 2, is available now.What's an Android-curious iPhone user to do?Adam Patrick Murray/IDG Pixel 2 XL: Google's marriage of hardware to software to machine-learning.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Chat happens: Your guide to 7 group-chat services
    by Rick Broida on October 17, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Everyone knows the secret to success — personal and business alike — is good communication. But in what form? If you're trying to communicate with a group in real time, you're no doubt familiar with the old standby: conference calls. You know: those mind-numbing phone meetings in which talkers overlap, voice quality is terrible, half the people aren't paying attention and somebody's dog barks intermittently throughout the call.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story) […]

  • Excel, Access, external DB driver errors linked to this month’s patches
    by Woody Leonhard on October 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I’m seeing many reports, in various locations, about this month’s Windows security patches breaking custom programs that import and export Excel XLS files. Programs that have worked for years are suddenly, mysteriously, turning belly-up. The most common symptom is an error message that says “Unexpected error from external database driver” followed by a number.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Greenpeace gives Apple a B- for its green electronics efforts
    by Jonny Evans on October 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Apple is setting a “new bar in terms of corporate responsibility” when it comes to green electronics. Meanwhile, Samsung continues to disappoint with its lack of leadership here, said Gary Cook, senior IT campaigner at Greenpeace USA.Where Apple leads on the green electronics front Apple’s commitment to the environment puts the company far ahead of every other firm, bar Truphone, according to the latest Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics.The annual report assesses firms for the sustainable manufacturing and design of IT products. It rates corporate transparency, commitment, performance and advocacy efforts in three critical areas: reduction of greenhouse gases through renewable energy, use of recycled materials, and elimination of hazardous chemicals. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • How to Add Two-Factor Authentication to Steam
    by Michael Crider on October 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    If you’ve been playing PC games in the last few years, the accumulated games in your Steam account are probably worth hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of dollars. Perhaps even more importantly, your Steam account might contain in-game items that can be traded for real-world cash…and thus, stolen with some very real consequences. So it’s a very good idea to apply Valve’s Steam Guard two-factor authentication to your account. […]

  • 35% off SanDisk 256GB iXpand Base for iPhone charging and backup - Deal Alert
    by DealPost Team on October 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Here's something you probably didn't know existed. With SanDisk's iXpand iPhone base, you'll never have to worry about losing your memories again. Every time you charge your iPhone with the iXpand Base, it automatically backs up your photos, videos and contacts. The iXpand Base offers plenty of room to save your files in their original quality with no worry about recurring monthly fees for Internet-based storage. Designed for everyday use with a soft rubber top, a sturdy base, and a wrap-around groove to keep your Apple Lightning to USB cable tidy. Its typical list price has been discounted, for now, to $129.99. See this deal on Amazon.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Review: Google’s Pixel 2 phone is the smart (and safe) choice for biz
    by Dan Rosenbaum on October 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    One of the great attractions of Google’s Pixel phones is that they are almost iPhone-like in concept: The same company is in full control of the hardware, software and ecosystem. And, often, a new phone is accompanied by a new release of the Android operating system, with the promise that it will get prompt OS updates for at least the next few generations. With other phone manufacturers typically taking weeks or months to roll out Android updates, the Pixel’s first-in-line status for new features and security fixes makes it an attractive choice for the enterprise.The just-released Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL from Google showcase the brand new Android 8.0 (Oreo) operating system in what could reasonably be called a reference design, with hardly any carrier cruft or manufacturer UI overlay. The hardware is unmistakably made by HTC, as were the earlier Pixels, and if the $1.1 billion that Google splashed out to hire a bunch of HTC engineers means that we can expect more phones […]

  • How to Take Good Photos of the Starry Sky
    by Harry Guinness on October 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    The night sky is breathtaking. If you go somewhere reasonably dark and let your eyes adjust, you can look up and see thousands of pin pricks of light, each one a star or galaxy that’s millions of years old. I find it completely humbling. […]

  • In fairness, that's really just being thorough
    by Sharky on October 17, 2017 at 10:00 am

    IT manager pilot fish gets a call from a user whose PC screen is getting pretty difficult to read, and she wants to make sure she's dealing with the problem correctly."She told me she decided it needed to be cleaned, so she got some alcohol wipes to use on it," says fish."She was running two terminal emulation sessions on her PC, so she switched to terminal session A and wiped down the screen."Then she switched to her second terminal session, and wiped the screen down again..."Sharky always scrubs the identifying marks from your story. So send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Amazon wants to deliver groceries to your car trunk — not a good idea
    by Evan Schuman on October 17, 2017 at 10:00 am

    In the minds of mobile shoppers, where is the line between convenience and personal space/privacy? We now have two retailers — Walmart and Amazon, the giants of in-store and online shopping, respectively — separately testing programs to deliver purchases directly into your home or your car trunk when the shopper is nowhere near. Both efforts rely on mobile devices connecting shoppers to the scene of the delivery, where customers can theoretically watch the delivery in real time. It isn’t practical or likely, but that's the idea. Mobile is what justifies these attempts.[ Further reading: And the award for worst mobile idea of the year goes to Walmart ]Walmart's efforts, focused entirely on shoppers letting the retailer unlock a home's front door and put away the groceries in the shopper's kitchen and refrigerator/freezer, is an idea that begs for a privacy/security disaster to happen. A prudent executive looks at any cutting-edge plan and asks, "What could […]

  • What’s New in Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update, Available Now
    by Chris Hoffman on October 17, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update, codenamed Redstone 3, is available to download now. Here are all the new features you’ll see in the latest version of Windows—and some big, splashy features Microsoft announced that never arrived. […]

  • Microsoft shuts down Krack with sneaky Windows update
    by Gregg Keizer on October 16, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Microsoft today revealed that it quietly patched Windows last week against vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol used to secure wireless networks.Details of the security update were only published Monday to Microsoft's Security Update Guide, the catalog-like portal that earlier this year replaced the decades-old practice of delivering explanatory bulletins.All supported versions of Windows received the update, according to the catalog listing, including Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Geek Trivia: The Largest City Located Within The Arctic Circle Is?
    by Jason Fitzpatrick on October 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Think you know the answer? Click through to see if you're right! […]

  • How to Disable Notifications During Video Playback on an Xbox One
    by Chris Hoffman on October 16, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Notification pop-ups can get annoying when they appear over a video you’re trying to watch on Netflix. The Xbox One allows you to hide notifications while watching videos, preventing such distractions. […]

  • 10 smart browser alternatives to Safari for iOS
    by Peter Sayer on October 16, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    10 alternative browsers for iOSImage by IDGChances are your corporate IT policy dictates which browser you use on your laptop or desktop. On your iPhone, though, you may be free to choose a more exotic browser. So we've rounded up 10 Safari alternatives -- some talkative, some secretive -- for Apple's iOS. Just remember that, although you can install as many browsers as you like on your iPhone, there's no way to change the default browser in iOS. When you tap on a link in an email or a social networking app, it's always Safari that's going to open it. Apple also requires developers to use the same Webkit rendering engine as Safari to display web pages on screen, so iOS web browsers are really all just Webkit in a different wrapper. Check out how different some of these wrappers are.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click her […]

  • Your Wi-Fi Network Is Vulnerable: How to Protect Against KRACK
    by Whitson Gordon on October 16, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Today, security researchers published a paper detailing a serious vulnerability in WPA2, the protocol that keeps most modern Wi-FI networks secure—including the one in your home. Here’s how to protect yourself from attackers. […]