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What is two-factor authentication, and which 2FA apps are best?

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 17:19

The age of widespread fingerprint and face-scanning authentication is almost here. Yet even in the age of Apple’s Face ID and Windows 10’s Hello, passwords are still the main way we log in to our various accounts. That’s why two-factor authentication (2FA) is still important.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor, or multi-factor, authentication is an additional login code for an account—a second line of defense to your sensitive info. There are a number of ways you can get these short, secondary login codes. In a moment, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular methods for using two-factor authentication. Before we do that, however, here’s a quick review of what two-factor authentication is.

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AMD confirms Ryzenfall vulnerabilities, but says they'll be fixed soon via routine BIOS updates

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 16:44

AMD has acknowledged the Ryzenfall vulnerabilities discovered by CTS-Labs, though the chip company believes the flaws can be patched via BIOS updates issued over the next few weeks.

In a blog post authored by AMD’s chief technical officer, Mark Papermaster, AMD confirmed that the four broad classifications of attacks—Masterkey, Ryzenfall, Fallout, and Chimera—are viable, though they require administrative access to the PC or server in question. Third-party protection, such as Microsoft Windows Credential Guard, also serve to block unauthorized administrative access, Papermaster wrote.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, March 21 at 10 a.m. Pacific

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-20 16:00

What can we expect at Apple’s event on Tuesday, March 27? What does Apple’s MicroLED technology mean for the Appel Watch, iPhone, and iPad? We also feature your comments and questions for Leif Johnson, Michael Simon, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 597.

Watch us live

The Macworld Podcast broadcasts live on the internet on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on the Macworld Facebook page, or on Twitter via Periscope.

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What is a MicroLED display?

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-20 14:50

Recent rumors suggest that Apple has been researching a new display type known as MicroLED for several years, and is quite far along. We could start seeing Apple-produced MicroLED displays in Apple Watch within the next two years, with phones and maybe even tablets to follow.

Be cautiously optimistic about this new display technology. MicroLEDs have the potential to be superior to OLED in many ways, and could be the dominant display technology in new products in a decade. Here’s why MicroLED is worth getting excited about.

Thinner than OLED

One of the big advantages of OLED displays over traditional LCDs is that they’re thinner, and MicroLED should be thinner still.

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Get a MacBook Air for just $699 at Best Buy

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-20 13:38

We’re only a few days away from Apple’s big mystery event in Chicago focused on education, where there’s a slight chance it’ll introduce a lower-priced MacBook Air aimed at students. That’s a bit of a gamble, though, so if you’d like to get your hands on an inexpensive Apple laptop that’s available right now, you’ll be happy to know that Best Buy is offering the entry-level 128GB 13-inch MacBook Air for $300 off.

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TCL's 6-Series Dolby Vision Roku TVs will ship on May 1st

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 13:32
With improved image chops to support Dolby Vision HDR, TCL TVs are poised to go where none of them have gone before.

How to delete, disable, or limit your Facebook account

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 13:07

There was a time when deleting your Facebook account was a pie-in-the-sky fantasy, but this week’s news might have you thinking twice. In a series of reports, we learned that an employee at Facebook erroneously handed a trove of data to a company called Cambridge Analytics, which in turn used that information to target voters and spread influence ahead of the 2016 election. So we totally understand if you’re having second thoughts about your account.

The good news is, you have options. First you can limit what third-party apps and the Facebook community can see about your account. If that’s not enough, you can deactivate your account, which can be undone, or full-on delete it—and even then, you have a chance to change your mind. Here’s how it works.

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How to delete, disable, or limit your Facebook account

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-20 13:07
If the news of Facebook's data handling has got you spooked, here's how you can limit third-party access to your account.

You can get this $100 Google Assistant-powered Insignia smart speaker for less than $40

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 10:25

Even if you don't have a home packed with smart devices, a smart speaker can still be a great way to play music and get information. So if you're looking for your first one or just want to add to an existing setup, Best Buy is offering its exclusive Insignia Voice smart Bluetooth speaker with built-in Google Assistant for just $36.99 right now.

The Bluetooth speaker looks like a standard alarm clock but it comes with Google Assistant built in for hands-free control. Once connected to your smartphone, the speaker can access a variety of popular online streaming services as well as your own Google Play music library to listen to a wide range of music in multiple rooms at once. And if you have other smart devices in your home, you'll be able to control them as well just by asking Google Assistant to turn off the lights or turn up the thermostat.

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Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller review: New tricks from the market leader

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 10:00
With onboard controls and cleaner connectors, this sprinkler system is better than ever.

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller review: New tricks from the market leader

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-20 10:00
With onboard controls and cleaner connectors, this sprinkler system is better than ever.

Monoprice slashes $80 off the Xbox One X on Sea of Thieves launch day

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 09:56

Online retailer Monoprice is famous for its cheap cables, but today you can get a good price on a 1TB Xbox One X as well. Monoprice is selling Microsoft's console for $420 today. That's around $80 cheaper than you'll find on other sites right now, where the the Xbox One X—the most powerful console ever, and one that rivals or beats many modern gaming PCs—usually sells for $500.

It's an especially enticing price for gamers now that the AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card alone commonly sells for around the same amount, thanks to the ongoing graphics card shortage. The Xbox One X's graphics power roughly correlates to the Radeon RX 580, or the GeForce GTX 1060 on the Nvidia side.

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Is your VPN secure? How to check for leaks

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 08:10

A trustworthy virtual private network (VPN) is a good way to keep your internet usage secure and private whether at home or on public Wi-Fi. But just how private is your activity over a VPN? In other words, how do you know if the VPN is doing its job or if you’re unwittingly leaking information to prying eyes?

To find out, you first need to know what your computer looks like to the internet without a VPN running. Start by searching for what is my IP on Google. At the top of the search results, Google will report back your current public Internet Protocol (IP) address. That’s a good place to start, but there is more to your internet connection and its potential for leaks.

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Throwing a Fitbit: Smack talking Apple

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-20 08:00

What to do when your business is sliding and people are asking hard questions? Smack talk Apple, of course.

Writing for Barron’s, Brett Arends tells us all about“Fitbit’s Plan to Conquer Apple (and the World).” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nathan and ed.)

Oh! Does it involve a watch that looks just like an Apple Watch? Why, yes it does. But that’s not all.

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How Apple can use Google’s simple strategy with Android P to make a better iOS 12

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 07:00
Google's Android P update is a typical release, focusing on system-level enhancements rather than innovative features. What if Apple adopted a similar strategy for iOS 12?

How Apple can use Google’s simple strategy with Android P to make a better iOS 12

Mac World - Tue, 2018-03-20 07:00

Now that we officially know the dates of WWDC 2018, we can start the countdown to iOS 12. Barring a massive change in its release schedule, Apple will unveil the next version of iOS during the kickoff keynote at 10 a.m. PST on June 4, with several rounds of developer and public betas to follow.

But this year’s release might be a little different. For the past month we’ve been reading rumors that Apple is scaling back some of iOS 12’s planned features to focus on the things that matter most, namely performance and stability. Apple had a rocky start with iOS 11, as several high-profile bugs caused iPhones to type random digits, reboot without warning, and just straight up crash. Consequently, iOS 12 needs to do as much work behind the scenes as it does in front of them.

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Evoluent VerticalMouse C Right Wireless review: This upright mouse aims to end your arm pain

PC World - Tue, 2018-03-20 06:24

The Evoluent VerticalMouse C Right Wireless ($109.95) was designed combat  repetitive strain injury (RSI) and other shoulder-arm-hand discomforts, at least for the 90 percent of us that are right-hand dominant. The company claims the palm-down position used to operate conventional mice twists your forearm and puts you at risk of injury over time. The VerticalMouse C Right Wireless puts your arm in the more “neutral”—and presumably safer—handshake grip position.

I have to admit I couldn’t find any data to support this idea, though, and easily found plenty to contradict it. By most expert-y accounts, the handshake grip is not a neutral position and the proper hand and wrist Position for using a mouse is, in fact, pretty much the one Evoluent claims is the problem.

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Fortnite vs. PUBG on iOS—The battle of the battles royale: Apple Arcade episode 3

Mac World - Mon, 2018-03-19 17:37

At this point two weeks ago, neither Fortnite: Battle Royale nor PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds were on the iPhone or iPad in the U.S., but now both wildly popular games are fighting for our attention and downloads. Join us on Tuesday for our Apple Arcade show at 11 a.m. Pacific when we’ll play both games live and decide which one we love the most.

As you may recall, we’ve already played a bit of the beta for Fortnite: Battle Royale on iPad and iPhone and shared our impressions of the experience (along with some footage). On Tuesday, we’ll play both Fortnite and PUBG back-to-back and see in real-time how their controls and performance compare.

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Microsoft: Windows 10's installation time will be short enough for your lunch break

PC World - Mon, 2018-03-19 15:07

Microsoft says its next big update to Windows 10 will install in as little as 30 minutes—as opposed to a year ago, when the Creators Update required well over an hour.

While the total installation time hasn’t markedly changed, Microsoft said the upcoming version (code-named Redstone 4 and informally known as the Spring Creators Update) will do more behind the scenes while you’re actively using the PC. That will reduce the overall downtime to roughly a half-hour, as opposed to a time of about 82 minutes for last year’s Creators Update, and 51 minutes for the Fall Creators Update.

Don’t expect the Windows 10 to require exactly 30 minutes to download and install. However, Microsoft is moving two specific tasks behind the scenes—preparing your user content (files and documents) for migration, and creating a temporary directory for the new OS. By assigning both processes low priority, they shouldn’t negatively affect your PC’s performance as you work. 

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Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing paves the way for lifelike gaming, the graphics holy grail

PC World - Mon, 2018-03-19 13:00

The PC industry is finally making a push toward a “holy grail” rendering technique that makes computer-generated imagery in movies appear so much more lifelike than the graphics in games. At GDC 2018 on Monday, Microsoft introduced a new “DirectX Raytracing” (DXR) feature for Windows 10’s DirectX 12 graphics API.

To coincide with the announcement, Nvidia announced “RTX technology” for enhanced DXR support in upcoming Volta graphics cards, as well as new ray tracing tools for its GameWorks library that can help developers deploy the technology faster. Likewise, AMD said it’s “collaborating with Microsoft to help define, refine and support the future of DirectX 12 and ray tracing.” And top gaming engines like Unity, Unreal, and Frostbite are already planning to integrate DirectX Raytracing.

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