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Home networking explained, Part 9: Access your home computer remotely

Editors' note: This post is part of an ongoing series. Check Related Stories below for the previous installments.

If you've been following this series, you'll know that I explained the LAN and WAN ports on a home router in part 1. And now, I need to tell you how you can use this information to remotely access your device at home. For example, if you know how to use Remote Desktop, a built-in feature of Windows, to control a computer in a different room of your home, how about doing that from somewhere away from home, and save … Read more

Google+ Photos caters to pixel peepers and HDR fans

There's plenty of justified irritation that people pore over a photo's every pixel when from an aesthetic point of view, you'd be better off judging the whole work.

But if you're editing photos, it's definitely useful to zoom to 100 percent when checking things like focus or noise levels, which is why it's notable Google added that ability to its Google+ photo-editing app.

Google's Andre Meyer announced the feature Friday on Google+ -- along with one that's probably more controversial, a new HDR filter called HDR Scape.

HDR stands for high dynamic … Read more

Get e-mail manager eM Client 6 (Win) for free

As regular readers know, I'm a big fan of ditching Microsoft's pricey Office suite in favor of cheap -- or, better, free -- alternatives. My top pick at the moment remains Kingsoft Office 2013.

Of course, when you switch to Kingsoft, OpenOffice, or another suite, you're giving up one of Microsoft Office's most valuable assets: Outlook. Without it, how are you supposed to manage your contacts, calendars, and, most importantly, e-mail? (Snark answer: In the cloud, of course.)

Alas, freebie mail clients are few and far between. Perennials Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail have their merits, … Read more

Review: eM Client rivals paid Windows e-mail clients in both features and style

eM Client manages multiple e-mail accounts well, but its free version is limited by how many accounts it can support. It makes up for it with abundant style, a relatively easy setup, and great features, though.

This program behaves like a typical e-mail manager, akin to Outlook or Thunderbird. In addition to letting you manage multiple e-mail accounts, eM Client will organize your calendar, meetings, contacts, and more for you so you don't have to think about it. You can get right to work with this client by inserting your e-mail and letting it slowly populate all of the … Read more

Google emulates 1980s-era Amiga computer in Chrome

The Amiga 500 lives again -- in Google's browser.

Google developer Christian Stefansen on Thursday resurrected a version of the venerable computer system from the 1980s in the form of a Web app that runs in Chrome. Forty-year-olds who want to relive their childhoods or younger people who want to see just how hard their elders had it can visit the Amiga 500 emulator for Chrome online, boot the machine, and play some games.

Chrome emulates the old operating system by a Chrome-specific version of the Open Source Universal Amiga Emulator. Stefansen brought its 400,000 lines of code, … Read more

Review: Gmail's latest relaunch brings great organization features and solid speed

Gmail is Google's default e-mail app, which means it matches most e-mail apps in terms of features, style, and organization. There's a reason it's the default on most Android gadgets. If your smartphone or tablet didn't come with it installed, there aren't many excuses to not have it, especially if you already have a Gmail address.

With Gmail you can organize multiple inboxes into one while adjusting categories, signatures, and notification sounds for each of them, separately. If you have Android 4.0 or higher, you can use Gmail's latest inbox settings, which organizes … Read more

Google aims for slicker Web graphics, but can it get there?

More than three years after it was introduced in a white paper, Google's Portable Native Client, or PNaCl, launched for developers on Tuesday.

Pronounced "pinnacle," PNaCl works by allowing developers to compile C and C++ software to Web apps. Potentially, it could be a huge boon for developers who want to get their audio and video decompression software, image editing tools, or the complex engines that power video games by simplifying the "translation" from native code to the Web.

In its blog post announcing that PNaCl is ready, Google summarized the technical aspects of PNaCl … Read more

Tweetbot 3 for iPhone gets redesigned and a rise in price

Tweetbot, one of the top Twitter client apps for iPhone, released a major redesign on Thursday that is wholly inspired by Apple's iOS 7.

With the same bright colors, flat planes, and animated icons, Tweetbot 3 looks and feels very different from its earlier versions. Tapbots, the company behind the app, said it redesigned Tweetbot "from the ground up" for Apple's newest operating system.

"Tweetbot has slimmed down to look and feel more like iOS 7 and has also gained a lot of charm and speed in the process," Tapbots wrote in the app … Read more

Google's dilemma: A faster but fragmented Web?

Google wants a Web that looks very different from today's. Instead of more or less static sites, perhaps spiced up with a new comment popping up on your Facebook page, Google wants Web apps that are indistinguishable in performance and sophistication from native programs like high-end games or Photoshop.

But Google faces a tough choice: What's the best way to get to that future?

The promise of the route it's trying to take, a technology called Native Client, shines in the sophisticated online photo-editing tools for Google+ that launched this month. The problem is that Native Client … Read more

The best (unofficial) Instagram apps for Windows Phone

Though Instagram has become a top app on iOS and Android, it still hasn't made its way to Windows Phone -- not yet at least. While we wait for that day, plenty of independent developers have built their own versions of the social photo network that let you snap, share, and keep up with your friends on Instagram.

A handful of those apps are beautiful, well-built options that could easily pass for the real thing thanks to all of their features. I've rounded up four of them here, for all the Windows Phone photographers out there who want … Read more