settings

Settings Extended review

Settings Extended adds a customizable widget bar to the notification window through which you can adjust settings and launch applications more quickly, without having to quit running apps. This little app reduces the number of taps you have to make for basic system functions like lowering the brightness, adjusting volumes, or toggling Wi-Fi on and off.

Pros

Extremely customizable: Settings Extended lets you select which toggles or functions to add to the notifications bar, choose the color of active & inactive icons and of the background, and increase the number of rows to up to four. Furthermore, the app's … Read more

Yasu for Mac review

Yasu for Mac is a streamlined program designed to keep your machine running smoothly by carrying out certain routine maintenance tasks. You can quickly select the tasks you'd like the program to complete during each scan, and whether you'd like the computer to shut down or restart after each session.

Pros

Highly customizable: Through this app's streamlined interface, you can select exactly what tasks you want it to perform at any given point. Options include clearing the cache and history from your browser, running daily, weekly, and monthly cron scripts, clearing system logs, application logs, archived logs, … Read more

White House embarks on climate change mapping project

The White House wants people and communities to be prepared for extreme weather events spurred by climate change, like coastal flooding, hurricanes, and wildfires. So, it's making data sets and maps from some of the country's top agencies available to the public in it's newly launched "Climate Data Initiative."

The maps and data sets are being collected in one Web site, data.gov/climate, which is full of open government data on the country's infrastructure and geographical features, like bridges, roads, tunnels, canals, and river gauges. The information comes from agencies such as NASA, … Read more

Bluetooth game controller said to be for Amazon set-top box

Amazon's streaming set-top box could feature a game controller, according to a new report.

Amazon has reportedly been planning to launch a set-top box for the last several months. More evidence to that effect cropped up on Friday in Brazil where an FCC-like government agency revealed images of an Amazon game controller. That listing, discovered by Zatz Not Funny, shows an all-black controller feature four actions buttons, two thumbsticks, and both triggers and bumper buttons. The controller also includes a directional pad and connect via Bluetooth.

Amazon was reportedly planning to launch a set-top box last fall, but backed … Read more

Does Google buying Green Throttle point to a set-top box?

Google's newest acquisition could point to the company adding snazzy gaming components to its rumored upcoming set-top box. The Web giant confirmed on Tuesday that it recently snapped up Green Throttle Games.

Green Throttle Games is known for its Bluetooth Atlas controller and Android Arena app that let users convert smartphones or tablets into makeshift consoles. In a cryptic message posted to its Web site in November, Green Throttle announced that its Arena app would no longer be available and all backend support for the app was ending.

"Stick around and we'll keep you posted on the … Read more

Amazon reportedly prepping Web TV product for March

An Amazon Web TV product has purportedly been in the works for a while. That device could finally hit the market next month, Recode reported Friday.

Citing information from industry sources and Amazon partners, Recode's Peter Kafka said Amazon's set-top box would compete with Apple TV and Roku to pipe online content to your television. Amazon already offers TV shows and movies through its Prime service and is more aggressively producing its own shows. So a Web TV product would be a natural fit.

The box reportedly would be outfitted with Android, an obvious choice since Amazon's … Read more

Chrome fights back against settings hijackers

Google is taking aggressive steps to combat what it says is the No. 1 complaint in its Chrome browser: having your settings hijacked.

The company first took measures to address the problem in August when it introduced a "reset browser settings" button on the Settings page in Chrome, but that wasn't enough to fix things.

Now, Chrome will ask Windows users automatically via a pop-up if you want to reset your settings when it detects that they might've been changed without your permission. It will disable all extensions, themes, and Chrome Apps you have installed. It … Read more

Five steps for a better-looking TV

TV factory settings are generally designed to look good in bright, fluorescent retail stores -- not your living room. To get the best TV picture, you'll need to make some adjustments.

This guide begins with some of the simpler (but impactful) settings -- like disabling unnecessary features and adjusting basic options -- before diving into some of the more in-depth calibration techniques. Give it a whirl; if you make it through the fifth step, you're sure to have a better-looking TV.

1. Disable any extras, like the 'Soap Opera Effect' TVs purchased any time over the last few … Read more

CES gets a look at Belkin's bright idea

Consumers with a budding interest in the smart home have a few new reasons to consider Belkin this year, as the company wasted little time in announcing several new smart devices at CES today. Perhaps most intriguing among them is the WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set. Consisting of a pair of the newly announced WeMo Smart LED Bulbs and a "WeMo Link" plug-in hub to help control them, Belkin's first step into smart lighting will cost $129, with additional bulbs retailing for $39.

The LED Starter Set will join WeMo's existing line of automatable light switches, … Read more

Amazon: 5 bold predictions for 2014

Amazon spent 2013 attempting to wow us and, for the most part, succeeded.

This year saw the debut of Amazon's Mayday customer service button -- the marquee feature for its newest line of Kindle Fire tablets -- the revival of the US Postal Service through Sunday delivery, and, of course, the frenzy of debate over autonomous flying robots serving as the next-generation of delivery men ahead of Cyber Monday.

Think Amazon out did itself in 2013? Well, get ready for even more eye-popping surprises in 2014.

Known for its willingness to play the long game, Amazon often goes through … Read more