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How to remove malware from your Windows PC

Wed, 2017-10-18 16:47

Beware the signs of a potentially malware-infested PC: slower-than-usual performance, the recent occurrence of lots of pop-ups, and other weird issues. It's possible your system has been infected by a virus, spyware, or other nefarious entity—even if you have an antivirus program installed. Yes, out-of-the-ordinary behavior is sometimes the result of hardware issues, but it’s best to first rule out malware if your PC is acting up. Here's a step-by-step guide for taking action.

Step 1: Enter Safe Mode

Before you do anything, you need to disconnect your PC from the internet, and don’t use it until you’re ready to clean your PC. This can help prevent the malware from spreading and/or leaking your private data.

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How to download the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update right now

Wed, 2017-10-18 16:28

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update launched on October 17, stuffed with all sorts of cool new features. That doesn’t mean you’ll get it immediately. Microsoft staggers the rollout of big updates across various waves. But the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is available right now if you’re the impatient type.

And bold: Microsoft only pushes the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to PCs if it knows your computer won’t run into technical issues or nasty bugs, like the broken webcams, Kindle-induced crashes, and system freezes that followed in the wake of Windows 10’s Anniversary Update in 2016. In fact, Microsoft actively discourages workarounds like the one below even though it makes them available.

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The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt GOTY is on sale for $20 right now

Wed, 2017-10-18 16:17

One of the best games of 2015 is on sale right now, and if you haven’t played it yet you absolutely should. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition (GOTY) is available on GoG and Steam for $20 as part of CD Projekt Red’s celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Witcher game series.

The standard game is also $20 right now, but the GOTY offer is by far the better deal since it includes the two expansion packs as part of the package. It’s also the lowest price yet for the GOTY edition, which came out in early 2016.

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OneDrive Files On-Demand: How to enable it in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Wed, 2017-10-18 12:22

Where is OneDrive Files On-Demand? If you downloaded Microsoft’s Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you might be interested in the terrific new OneDrive placeholders feature. But on some PCs, it never showed up.

OneDrive Files On-Demand returns the Windows 8.1 placeholder functionality to Windows 10. This displays shortcuts to all the files stored in your OneDrive account in a File Explorer window, rather than storing a local copy on your hard drive. Even if you have hundreds of gigabytes stored in OneDrive, you’ll be able to see them all in a folder that takes up a megabyte or two. It’s one of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update’s best new features.

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Save Hundreds On 48 Hours of DevOps & Deployment Tech Training ($39) - Deal Alert

Wed, 2017-10-18 10:01

You may have heard the concept of "DevOps" thrown around in the software community. For the uninitiated, it's essentially the merging of development and operations teams into one synergistic whole that can rapidly produce applications and services. As such, those versed in DevOps' practices and tools are in high demand, and with the Complete DevOps & Deployment Technologies Bundle, you can join their ranks for over 80 percent off.

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The HP ZBook x2 is a wildly powerful Surface Pro rival with a tear-off keyboard

Wed, 2017-10-18 09:51

Whether you call it a workstation or a 2-in-1, HP just designed perhaps the most powerful tablet you can buy. The HP ZBook x2 features a quad-core 8th-gen Intel processor, workstation-caliber graphics, Thunderbolt, and up to a whopping 2TB of SSD storage. Did we mention it’s ruggedized, too?

HP unveiled the ZBook x2 in advance of the Adobe Max conference, aiming the powerful tablet at graphics professionals who need the power of a workstation while on the road. Competing tablets, such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro series or the Apple iPad, simply don’t offer enough horsepower to get the job done, according to Sarah Burton, the global lead for the zBook mobile workstations. 

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48% off Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Display and 10 Year Battery - Deal Alert

Wed, 2017-10-18 09:32

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.

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Don't be fooled: Windows Mixed Reality headsets are just VR headsets

Wed, 2017-10-18 06:30

On October 17 Microsoft released the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. It adds a ton of new features, but the most important may be Windows Mixed Reality. Timed alongside the Fall Creators Update release is the first slate of Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets, sourced from third-party manufacturers like Acer, Lenovo, HP, Dell, and more.

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Best antivirus: Keep your Windows PC safe from spyware, Trojans, malware, and more

Wed, 2017-10-18 06:00

Antivirus software ranks nearly as crucial as a PC’s operating system. No matter how careful you are, some threats can’t be prevented without the additional help of an antivirus program—or a full antivirus suite.

You could visit your favorite website when it’s unintentionally displaying malicious ads. You may accidentally click on a phishing email (it happens!). You could also get caught by a zero-day threat, where an undisclosed bug in Windows, your browser, or an installed program allows hackers to install other malware on your machine.

Sure, PC security software isn’t fool-proof. Antivirus software often can’t do much to stop zero-day exploits, for example. But it can detect when the undisclosed vulnerability is used to install other nasty bits on your machine like ransomware. In general, the average user actively using email, clicking on links, and downloading programs will benefit from an antivirus suite.

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Sonos One smart speaker review: Sonos and Alexa, a match made in heaven

Wed, 2017-10-18 00:01

Sonos has multi-room audio down to a science, but it desperately needed a speaker capable of voice recognition if it was to fend off the veritable flood of smart speakers coming to market. The Sonos One is that speaker.

It sounds better than the last entry-level Sonos speaker, it’s compatible with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant, and it will be compatible with Google Assistant soon. It’s a great speaker for the price, and it’s a must-have component for music lovers living in modern smart homes.

If you already have Sonos speakers in other rooms, you can control all of them with voice commands with the addition of a single Sonos One to your network. And once you have that, you can control any Sonos speaker from any Amazon Echo. There are some limitations you’ll want to be aware of: You’ll need to use the Sonos app to group two or more Sonos speakers together (and to split them apart). But once you’ve done that, you can tell Alexa to play the artist or song of your choice on any of the speakers in that group.

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Comodo Internet Security Pro 10 Review: It works well, but read every install screen closely

Tue, 2017-10-17 15:08

When we previously looked at Comodo’s Internet Security Pro, the company had a habit of bundling software with its security suite—and that trend hasn’t changed with Internet Security Pro 10. Underneath the hassle of warding off extra installs, however, is a security suite that does a good job of detecting threats.

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus of 2017 roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

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Windows Defender review: Basic protection at the right price

Tue, 2017-10-17 15:06

In 2006, Microsoft added built-in security software to Windows for the first time. Since then, it's appeared under various names, but currently it's known as Windows Defender Security Center (WDSC). What started out as a basic antivirus detection feature has slowly grown into something that resembles a security suite. It doesn't have anything close to the features you'd see in a third-party suite, but it does a fair job at antivirus and malware scanning.

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus of 2017 roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

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AVG Internet Security Review: A premium antivirus suite that you can put on all your household PCs

Tue, 2017-10-17 14:54

AVG has a big advantage in the free antivirus space since it owns both Avast (acquired in 2016) and its homegrown product, AVG Free. The hope is that you’ll love the free stuff so much that you’ll eventually upgrade to one of its paid products.

In the case of AVG, most people go with its Internet Security program. Priced at $70, it’s one step down from the company’s flagship product, AVG Ultimate, and lacks a number of Ultimate’s less crucial features. For example, you don’t get AVG’s PC tune up package or third-party desktop software updater. That’s hardly a loss, though, as you can find free programs to dump cached folders taking up too much space or monitor software updates. The important security features are all included in the $70 security suite, however, including antivirus, firewall, and phishing protection.

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Avast Premier review: An attractive antivirus suite with limited install options

Tue, 2017-10-17 14:51

Avast is one of the more popular free, third-party antivirus programs. For anyone willing to pay for more advanced features, however, Avast’s premium products also have a lot to offer.

At the top of the company’s line-up is Avast Premier for $80, which comes filled with features. Though it only offers two additional extras compared to Avast’s $60 Internet Security product, those particular features are potentially useful for those who want them.

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Norton Security Premium review: You'll pay a pretty penny for this excellent security suite

Tue, 2017-10-17 14:44

Norton is one of the oldest names in PC security—and despite some ups and downs, it’s still one of the best. Currently, Symantec offers several versions of its long-lived antivirus software: The current flagship product is Norton Security Premium, which costs $110 per year. Following that are Norton Deluxe ($90/year), Norton Security Standard ($70/year), and Norton Antivirus Basic ($50/year). 

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Why Pixel Visual Core, Google's secret image processor, is the reason to buy a Pixel 2

Tue, 2017-10-17 14:27

The Pixel 2 is an incredible phone in large part because it has such a great camera. And it’s about to get even better. Google has revealed in a blog post that a hidden hardware image processor called Pixel Visual Core wasn’t even turned on in our review units. And yet the Pixel 2 still produced some off the best shots we’ve ever taken with a smartphone.

No matter which Pixel you choose—Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL—you get the same awesome portrait and low-light performance from a single 12MP, f/1.8 lens. But Pixel Visual Core has the potential to improve images even further. Portrait mode can get crisper. Low-light shots can get clearer. Zoom can get more powerful.

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Hands on with Windows 10's Story Remix, the new tool to make your photos pop

Tue, 2017-10-17 13:34

Microsoft’s Story Remix was expected to be one of the highlights of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and it lives up to that promise, combining the existing, excellent Photos app with a video and slideshow editor that adds transitions, music, and even fantastic 3D animations.

Remember how Paint 3D brought Paint into a new dimension, with stamped textures and 3D objects? Story Remix adds the same creative element to Windows 10’s Photos app. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the cohesive experience you might hope for, as Photos now has two different interfaces—the traditional app and Story Remix—and you may need to bounce back and forth between the two.

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Basketball without cable: A cord-cutter's guide to the NBA

Tue, 2017-10-17 13:16
Cord cutters can get their fill of big nationally televised games, but local broadcasts are still left on the bench.

How to use Microsoft's Paint 3D: Creating cool 3D scenes has never been so much fun

Tue, 2017-10-17 13:09

I’ll admit it—I simply can’t draw. Stick figures push my creative limits. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found that creating 3D objects and dioramas is actually easier in Microsoft’s Paint 3D than drawing two-dimensional art in Microsoft’s legacy Paint app.

Though it shares a name, Paint 3D isn’t really like the familiar Microsoft Paint app at all. Paint 3D’s entire purpose is to create fun, cartoony 3D objects and scenes—and share them. A major part of Paint 3D’s appeal is the Remix 3D community, where you and other members can import, edit, then share digital objects and ideas. Another is the awesome Magic Select tool which functions as a free Photoshop-like editing tool for 2D and 3D content. Don’t forget about the new Mixed Reality Viewer app, either!

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Hands-on: The ZTE Axon M is the first smartphone with a foldable screen

Tue, 2017-10-17 10:58

ZTE isn’t a smartphone brand you'd associate with “firsts.”  The Chinese company is known more for its affordable, mid-tier Android devices, its Axon series being the marquee product in the U.S. But ZTE’s new Axon M has a very different story to tell this time around. Rather than announce a flagship that competes head-to-head with the masses, ZTE is attempting to launch a whole new category of device: the foldable smartphone.

Unlike its predecessor, the Axon 7, the AT&T-exclusive Axon M features two 5.2-inch 1080p displays on either side of its hinged chassis that open to create a larger 6.8-inch tablet-style device. The idea of a foldable smartphone isn’t a new concept, as it’s been long rumored that Samsung would be first to market with such a device. Alas, ZTE has that honor, and while the Axon M isn’t likely to set the bar for this type of device, it’s good to see an Android manufacturer try its hand at something completely different.

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