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Windows XP security

Though Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April, the popular OS refuses to die. Roughly 25 percent of desktop users are clinging to the OS, meaning XP still has four times as many users as Windows 8 or 8.1, according to NetMarketShare. Recently, independent security lab AV-Test investigated whether the outdated XP can be adequately protected.

Is Windows XP still safe?

The answer is a resounding yes. AV-Test found that the majority of security vendors have been able to defend against most of the known or recently discovered exploits. Vulnerabilities and other issues no longer being fixed by … Read more

Google I/O recap: Major Android news; Chrome OS update

Today Google kicked off its annual I/O conference with announcements about Android, Chrome OS, its answer to Apple's HealthKit, and the next generation of developer tools.

Introducing Android L: Android OS's KitKat successor doesn't have a name yet, but it'll begin with L. The platform update will attempt to unite Web and app user experiences through the Material Design interface. Developers will be able to use Google's new Polymer toolkit to design Web apps that look like their Android counterparts, including 3D rendering. Android L also promises notifications on the lock screen (like iOS … Read more

Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed is a security flaw that's plaguing as much as two-thirds of the Internet, including many popular sites like Yahoo and GitHub. On sites affected by Heartbleed, user accounts are vulnerable -- your username, password, credit card number, and other private information may be exposed. Companies are scrambling to patch their sites.

But don't sit around waiting for a fix. Take these two defensive steps (and one more if you have an Android device):

1. Check whether your most-visited sites are vulnerable

CNET has already checked the top 100 sites to see if they have Heartbleed patches, so … Read more

Star Apps: P.J. Byrne

As technology moves from desktop to handheld to wearable (connected fitness bands, smartwatches, Google Glass), one might wonder if microchipping is the next step in our tech evolution. The answer is an emphatic yes, according to CBS's "Intelligence," a new suspense series that airs Mondays (10 p.m. ET/PT). Josh Holloway plays Gabriel, a high-tech intelligence operative enhanced by a supercomputer microchip in his brain, which gives him unfettered access to the Internet, Wi-Fi, telephone, and satellite data -- info he uses to protect the US from foreign enemies. On the show, actor P.J. Byrne (&… Read more

f.lux gets major, much-anticipated update

One of our top picks for best desktop software, f.lux announced Tuesday that they have released a major update to their popular screen dimmer application. f.lux 3.9 now allows your screen to go even warmer, from a previous setting of 3400K down to 2700K or optionally to 1200K, if you prefer. So now you can simulate that working-by-candlelight experience on your HD display. Movie mode allows you to keep the warm setting but preserves details in picture quality such as shadows and skin tones. This mode also has a built-in timer, which allows you to watch most … Read more

5 Tips for surviving Def Con 21

As with previous years, attending Def Con 21 means assuming the worst and accepting the risks that come with setting foot in Vegas the moment you get off the plane. Roaming among the largest gathering of hackers in the world means no one is safe. CNET's Seth Rosenblatt summed it up nicely: "The best way to avoid getting hacked at Def Con is to not show up."

That said, here are some key suggestions for those attending:

1. Wi-Fi? Bluetooth? Keepin' it (un)real like its 1995.

Translation: Turn them off and pretend like they don't … Read more

Google Maps update brings new features and is now iPad-compatible

Google Maps version 2.0 rolled out Wednesday morning, almost a week after the updated Android debut. The update finally brings G. Maps to the big(ger) screen, plus a plethora of welcome features. Here are some you should keep an eye out for.

1. Explore

It seems like the big G is butting heads with rivals, Yelp and Foursquare with its Explore function. Instead of inputting a destination, you can pull down the touch keyboard to see the Explore panel. Explore gives you five different options of Eat, Drink, Shop, Play, and Sleep. Each Explore option will pull up … Read more

YourExtraLife adds game-like achievements to real life

YourExtraLife is part social network/experiment with a touch of video game, incorporated into one app. Recently released earlier this month on iOS, YourExtraLife is the creation of four indie developers out of Quebec, Canada. Their ambition is to create an app that can help people enjoy new experiences and emotions, and learn new skills through a variety of challenges. The end goal is to have users slowly move out of their comfort zone by trying things they otherwise might not.

After creating an account via Facebook or e-mail, you'll see a list of five category trees: Gourmet, Nightlife, … Read more

Star Apps: GigaOM's Om Malik

Award-winning journalist Om Malik leveraged years of tech and business media experience -- senior editor at Forbes.com, senior writer at "Red Herring" and later "Business 2.0," and contributor to "The Wall Street Journal," "The Economist," and "MIT Technology Review" -- to found leading indie tech blog GigaOM, back in 2006.

Offering news and opinion on startups, social media, cloud computing, mobile gadgets, and of course, software, Malik's CNET Blog 100-recognized Web magazine has since spawned numerous conferences such as GigaOM Structure (cloud computing and Internet infrastructure), GigaOM … Read more

Star Apps: Counting Crows

For some audiophiles, Counting Crows and The Wallflowers will forever be associated with the mid-1990s--along with Netscape Navigator, Hotmail, and of course, Windows 95. But don't call their joint summer outing a nostalgia trip. Velvet-tongued Counting Crows vocalist Adam Duritz, hot off the heels of The Outlaw Roadshow (alongside a slew of new indie bands), prefers to view his comparatively intimate Wallflowers double bill as a much-needed respite.

Other than sharing a decade, the comradely combos have shared previous tours, a track (Duritz sang on The Wallflowers' "6th Avenue Heartache"), and even a producer (T-Bone Burnett, back … Read more