Operating systems posts on CNET

Operating systems

6 security tips for using public Wi-Fi

Don't expose yourself in public. We all do it: switch on a phone, laptop, or tablet and hop on to a Wi-Fi hotspot in airports, coffee shops, trains, hotels, and other public places. The problem is, those networks are open -- even if they require a login and password, you may be sharing your files or leaving doors open to data thieves. You can't secure the network, but you can raise siege walls between your private information and the barbarians. Follow these six tips to network more safely.

1. Lock down your security settings.

Go to the security … 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

Windows 8.1 announcements at Build 2014

Today Microsoft officially announced upcoming features for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 at the Build developer conference in San Francisco.

The Windows Phone 8.1 update introduces the Action Center, a slide-down panel for notifications and phone activity similar to what's available for iOS and Android. The update brings customizable notification settings for developers, including app-specific triggers for vibration and sound.

Another big update is the introduction of Cortana, Microsoft's personal assistant powered by the Bing search engine. Though the keynote demo had some hiccups, Cortana's voice recognition shows a lot of progress and … Read more

Spruce up your PC for spring with these top apps

Every machine needs tune-ups, and that includes your PC. Without regular cleaning and updates, your system performance suffers, slowed down by hefty files and unneeded software. Fortunately, many fine -- and free! -- utilities can do the system spring cleaning for you. Here's a roundup of our favorites.


CCleaner is one of our go-to, no-nonsense Registry cleaners. It scans your PC for junk files, unnecessary Registry entries, and unused cookies. It's good practice to run these scans at least once a month.

Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller is an alternate uninstallation utility for Windows. What it lacks in … Read more

To avoid Android pitfalls, Mozilla shoulders Firefox OS update burden

BARCELONA, Spain -- Mozilla will take over some responsibility for issuing Firefox OS updates that carriers today have, a move that could help users avoid the fate of Android phone owners saddled with older operating system versions.

"We are pushing that envelope," Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich told CNET. "We think we can get people on Wi-Fi upgrading through Mozilla."

That would mean a person could step into an Internet cafe then update the software as soon as Mozilla releases a new version or security fix, rather than waiting for a handset maker to build, test, … Read more

What mattered at Mobile World Congress, day 3: S5 apps, tough tablets, and BlackBerry's return

Like at any technology show, the biggest product releases of Mobile World Congress dropped in the first couple of days. But the latter days of an event remain just as interesting. You actually have time (well, a few minutes anyway) to roam the show floor to find hidden gems and underdog products, and you can dig up a few juicy scoops. All of that is just what happened on day 3 of the world's biggest wireless show.

The return of BlackBerry? By now you may have forgotten about BlackBerry, but the former smartphone powerhouse showed up in Barcelona with … Read more

Software converts Android apps to Tizen OS -- too bad there's no phone yet

BARCELONA, Spain -- Infraware, a Korean software developer and creator of the Polaris Office suite for mobile devices, is showing off how easy it is to convert Android apps to Tizen OS at the Smart Content Korea booth here at Mobile World Congress.

With a simple click, the Polaris App Generator software is able to wrap an Android APK and convert it to a Tizen OS executable file. This means developers don't have to pour additional resources into manually porting their apps.

Young Moon, manager of Infraware's global business development division, said that the PAG software basically adds … Read more

One year on, Tizen has its sights set on smartwatches and cars

Samsung made a splash at last year's Mobile World Congress by showing off the first reference device running not Android, but Tizen OS, an open-source operating system created by Samsung and Intel, among others. A year on at MWC 2014, what has changed for Tizen?

The year has seen big changes, not in the look and design of the software, but in its application. While last year, headlines shouted about Samsung running Tizen on its phones, Tizen has since become something of a poster child as the OS of choice for various connected devices and wearable tech.

This week, … Read more

This is the dawning of the age of Aquaris -- and Ubuntu, too

BARCELONA, Spain -- Let the sun shine, let the sun shine in...on the first Ubuntu phones. The BQ Aquaris will, alongside the Meizu MX3, be the first phone to show off the Android-rivaling new operating system some time this year.

I dropped in on Canonical, the British company behind Ubuntu, at Mobile World Congress 2014, where I got my hands on prototypes of both the Aquaris and the Meizu MX3. Sadly, neither are actually working models yet, but at least we can get a glimpse at what's in store when Ubuntu arrives.

Both phones are existing Android smart … Read more

The Meizu MX3 guns for Android as one of the first Ubuntu phones

BARCELONA, Spain -- Look out, Android: Ubuntu is coming to phones and tablets, starting with the plucky pairing that is the Meizu MX3 and BQ Aquaris. Read on to find out what's different about Ubuntu, and what's the score with the Chinese-made MX3.

I caught up with Canonical, the British company behind Ubuntu, at Mobile World Congress 2014, where I got my hands on prototypes of the Meizu MX3 and BQ Aquaris. Neither are working models just yet, but they give an idea of what we can expect when Ubuntu phones do arrive.

Both phones … Read more