Recent Comments


Comment by Misterfish on How To Get Windows 10 Right Now (September 1, 2015 11:49 AM)
Hi Bob Your article on Windows 10 upgrades came at a good time - my Win 7 was playing up and nothing would repair it. Aha, thinks I, Windows 10 will...
Comment by Ryan James on Lenovo Caught Installing Immortal Crapware (September 1, 2015 05:30 AM)
While Lenovo has undertaken very questionable business ethics, it should be kept in mind constantly, ANY information about your computer is marketable...
Comment by Don on Failed Windows Updates Causing Slowdowns? (September 1, 2015 02:19 AM)
I have to agree with Ray Bobo. What are you suggesting I do? Delete every update I've ever gotten? I don't see how to tell what updates are failed. ...
Comment by Susan Brown on Failed Windows Updates Causing Slowdowns? (September 1, 2015 12:49 AM)
I tried to use the fix for both my Vista laptop and my windows7 PC, neither could find the file softwaredistribution\download. Is there something else...
Comment by Rob on REVIEW: Advanced System Care Pro 8 (August 31, 2015 11:24 PM)
I have been using ASC almost since it's inception. At first there were a lot of problems, which are to be expected. Iobit now seems to have gotten it ...
Comment by Ken on Google OnHub: The Ultimate WiFi Router? (August 31, 2015 10:02 PM)
You say: "My guess is that OnHub’s resemblance to Amazon’s Echo is no accident; you’re going to talk to OnHub and it will talk back, someday soo...
Comment by gtodon on Google Hangouts - Finally Usable? (August 31, 2015 09:30 PM)
Regarding BaliRob's post saying that Hangouts was not available globally, Bob responded that "all of the features of Hangouts are available globally."...
Comment by Tom Mills on Free Anti-Virus For Windows 7 (August 31, 2015 08:36 PM)
Tried to upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 without results, now says "This Copy of 7 is not genuine"...
Comment by John Silberman on Google Hangouts - Finally Usable? (August 31, 2015 05:53 PM)
I still think a lot of bloat comes with Hangouts, especially in the Android version. I do miss the days when Google permitted third party apps (such ...
Comment by BaliRob on Google Hangouts - Finally Usable? (August 31, 2015 04:32 PM)
My immediate reaction was "What about the rest of us?" Google gives the impression as being global but we often get neglected. EDITOR'S NOTE: All...

UPDATE: Free Antivirus Programs

Readers often ask for my recommendations on antivirus protection. A common question goes something like this: “I got a trial version of Norton (or McAfee) antivirus with my computer, but the subscription expires in a few days. Should I pay, or switch to one of the free anti-virus programs? What do you recommend?” Read on for my updated list of the top FREE antivirus tools, and some tips on choosing free versus paid...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on September 01, 2015 | Category: Anti-Virus


Google Hangouts - Finally Usable?

Has Google Hangouts worked out the annoying kinks, and removed the hoops through which users formerly had to jump to enjoy free phone calls, video chat and messaging? Hangouts promises to be the "one app for all your conversations" on desktop or mobile devices. So are we there yet? Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 31, 2015 | Category: Telephony


Smoke and Mirrors at Amazon.com?

Like millions of other consumers, I buy stuff on Amazon.com. The free two-day Prime shipping is convenient, and the prices seem to be competitive. But some eye-opening reports, a class-action lawsuit, and a new competitor are causing me to question my assumptions about Amazon. If you shop online, you'll want to read on for the details...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 28, 2015 | Category: Finance


How “Silent Calls” Lead To Identity Theft

We’ve all had the experience of answering a phone call only to hear nothing. Typically, we just hang up and shrug. But those “silent calls” are the first step in well-organized campaigns to steal identities and bank account balances. Here is how these scams work, and what you should do to protect yourself…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 27, 2015 | Category: Telephony


Geekly Update - 26 August 2015

Quick... what novelist predicted both the smartwatch and mentioned Google by name in 1953? Is it against the law to take a snapshot of your dinner at a fancy restaurant? Why are rubber bands so popular at the Burning Man festival? And robots are HAVING BABIES? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 26, 2015 | Category: Tech-News


Google OnHub: The Ultimate WiFi Router?

Google entered the WiFi router market in August 2015, with a mind-boggling product called “OnHub.” It doesn’t look anything like a traditional router, and it doesn't act like one either. And that's a good thing! Read on to learn more about this router, and why you're going to want one...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 25, 2015 | Category: Wireless


Should You Get a Laplet?

When it comes to computers, there are more choices than ever before: desktop PCs, laptops/notebooks, tablets, “phablets” which fall somewhere between a smartphone and tablet, and “laplets” – a cross between a laptop and a tablet. Let’s take a look at the wonderful world of laplets…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 24, 2015 | Category: Laptops


Lenovo Caught Installing Immortal Crapware

Lenovo has again been caught playing fast and loose with customers’ privacy and security. First, it was Superfish. Now, it's vulnerable crapware that won't go away, even if you reformat or replace your hard drive. Read on for the full story...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 21, 2015 | Category: Software


Microsoft Edge Needs Sharpening

Windows 10 includes an “all new” web browser called Edge that replaces the much-maligned Internet Explorer as the default browser. Microsoft is hyping Edge as a revolutionary product, but so far it seems only half-baked. Here are my impressions of Edge compared to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 20, 2015 | Category: Browsers


Geekly Update - 19 August 2015

Robots, dinosaurs and cyborgs... they're smart, but can they behave themselves in public? Can you still get 8 music CDs for a penny? And did Google just re-invent the alphabet? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 19, 2015 | Category: Tech-News


Best Ebook Readers of 2015

It may seem odd that dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle and Nook still exist in this age of multi-purpose tablets and big-screen smartphones. But just as golfers tote many clubs, each finely engineered for optimal performance on different shots, serious bibliophiles like to have an e-book reader that is specifically designed for reading text. Read on for my notes on the best e-readers available now...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 17, 2015 | Category: Gadgets


Is Computer Security an Illusion?

This year's Black Hat security conference, the 18th annual gathering of InfoSec (information security) geeks in Las Vegas overflowed with attendees and alarms. In a nutshell, the message was “Everyone is vulnerable.” Here are the most important takeaways, what you should know, and what you can do...

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Posted by Bob Rankin | Category: Security


Failed Windows Updates Causing Slowdowns?

Does your Windows system seem to run slower than it should, even after running maintenance programs such as Advanced System Care or Privazer? Does it take “forever” to shut down or restart? Does it stall during a restart, forcing you to shut off power and restart manually? If so, read on for a non-obvious possible cause of these problems and an equally obscure but simple solution…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 14, 2015 | Category: Windows


Geekly Update - 13 August 2015

Cat videos are spreading from the Internet to the highways and byways. What can be done to stop this insidious plague? Can you fry an egg on the surface of your mobile device? And really, the bad guys are hacking your UNDERWEAR now? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 13, 2015 | Category: Tech-News


Is Comcast Starting To Care About Customers?

OK, stop laughing; it’s a serious question. No, really! Comcast’s customer service is spectacularly, legendarily, archetypically horrible, virtually everyone agrees… even Comcast executives. But some recent steps by the company just might be moving them in a customer-friendly direction. Read on…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 12, 2015 | Category: Tech-News




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