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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

Protect your passwords with a free year of RoboForm Everywhere

In the wake of Heartbleed, netizens are scrambling to change their passwords. But then how do you handle the headache of remembering all those new passwords? RoboForm has the answer: one free year of RoboForm Everywhere, a $19.95 value.

A convenient password manager, form-filler, and bookmarking app, RoboForm Login eliminates the manual steps required to log in to online accounts. You keep your passwords and log-in info in RoboForm's encrypted cloud, and then you only have to remember one master password. RoboForm Everywhere applies the convenience of RoboForm Desktop to all your devices, even mobile ones. Compare the features below.… Read more

Khronos finishes WebCL 1.0 to let Web apps tap into GPU

WebGL has been a strong success, bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser. Now the standards group behind it hopes to let Web apps get even more use out of the graphics chip by releasing version 1.0 of an interface called WebCL.

At this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the Khronos Group standards body announced the ratification and release of WebCL 1.0. WebCL lets programmers run general-purpose tasks on a device's graphics processing unit (GPU) or on a multicore central processing unit (CPU), the main brain in computers and mobile devices.

Just as WebGL … Read more

The 404 1,447: Where we put on our party hats (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Seven people around the world collectively possess a set of keys that can dismantle the Web.

- Turn your Instagram pics into real photos with the Lifeprint.

- Skirmos system levels up laser tag with open-source Arduino microcomputer.

- Almost time to panic: 95 percent of the ATMs in the world run on Windows XP.… Read more

2014's battle for dashboard supremacy: Apple's CarPlay vs. Google's OAA vs. MirrorLink

There's a battle ahead, one that many may not have seen coming. Perhaps because it's starting for an odd reason. You see, the auto industry has, more or less, ceased making bad cars. These days they're all pretty good. They'll start on a cold morning, idle happily in traffic on a hot afternoon, protect you in a crash, and look pretty good while doing it. Sure, that last point is always debatable, and certainly some cars are better suited for different tasks than others, but the key is that it's genuinely hard to buy a &… Read more

Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Open-source apps must maintain accountability when it comes to security. They have an active community of developers and users who help discover vulnerabilities, peer-review code, and perform routine audits on a mass scale. Security holes are patched at a rate that discourages programmers from placing back-door malicious codes. Though not every open-source app is secure, the ones that are benefit from the community in a way that closed-source programs and applications can rarely duplicate.

Many of the apps listed here have been so widely distributed and scrutinized that even RSA Conference attendees trust and recommend them.

Gpg4Win

Gpg4Win is a … Read more

What mattered at Mobile World Congress, day 2: BlackBerry, Samsung's Galactic dominance, and plucky Kazam

BARCELONA, Spain -- Hard to believe it's only day 2 of Mobile World Congress, which already feels like it's been going on for months. The CNET team is now fluent in Catalan, cannot remember any food that isn't tapas, and has renounced all other religions for that of Lionel Messi.

With most of the main announcements out of the way, it's time for some of the smaller companies to share the limelight. Speaking of which...

CNET's full coverage of Mobile World Congress

BlackBerry unveils Z3 and Q20 Poor BlackBerry. Where once it would have merited … Read more

New TextSecure delivers smoother encryption

TextSecure is a far cry from driving a multibillion-dollar buyout. But for people who care about having their SMS and instant messages protected from prying eyes, it's an app that just got easier to use and more secure.

The new Android version of TextSecure, announced Monday, still uses the TextSecure v2 protocol that debuted with its CyanogenMod integration last year. Open WhisperSystems' founder, a security researcher and developer who goes by the pseudonym Moxie Marlinspike, said that the partnership has helped his company.

"It's been great," he said. "Their userbase is enormous, and it's … Read more

Report: LTE speeds drop in US over the last year

The download speeds of 4G LTE networks dropped in the US over the last year, according to measurements from network monitoring app OpenSignal.

In the February 2014 report, the United States ranked 15th of 16 countries for download speeds, losing ground as the average data rate dropped to 6.5Mbps from 9.6 megabits per second in the February 2013 report.

Of the country's major network operators, T-Mobile had the best data rate, at 11.2Mbps. AT&T rated 8.9Mbps, Verizon 7.6Mbps, and Sprint 4.2Mbps. However, Verizon, followed by AT&T, rated much better … Read more

Yandex suite of free Android tools sidesteps Google

Russian search and software company Yandex is offering a collection of free tools to turn the Android open-source foundation into a usable phone operating system.

The software, called Yandex.Kit, gives a Yandex-flavored experience by linking to the company's own services -- e-mail, maps, contacts, online storage, and app store -- rather than Google's alternatives. It's also got lower-level components like a browser and home screen.

Two phone makers who've signed up for the approach, Huawei and Explay, will show the technology next week at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Yandex announced Wednesday.

There … Read more