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5 tips for running Windows XP relatively safely

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, an OS still used by approximately 20-25% of Windows customers. That means one in four PC users must upgrade to a more secure, supported version of Windows or risk their un-updated, un-patched version of Windows XP catching a virus or other Internet bug. As a rule of thumb, we always recommend upgrading your OS and then updating it as often as possible to protect your system. If you're switching to a new OS, read how to migrate easily from Windows XP. However, if you're a die-hard who wants to keep a Windows … Read more

Use Link Bubble to open links in the background on Android

While many apps are starting to display in-line media (showing content of a link without opening a new window), this capability isn't omnipresent across Android. Instead, when catching up on one of your feeds, like Twitter, you have to click the link, and then wait for it to load in Chrome. Link Bubble is an app that seeks to bridge the gap between your apps and the Web by letting you queue up a link to read when you're finished catching up on social media or RSS feeds. It's similar to when you open tabs in the … Read more

3 Spritz-like speed-reading apps for Android

When the Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced, details emerged about Spritz -- a speed-reading feature that comes built-in to some apps on the phone. Spritz uses rapid serial visual presentation, or RSVP, to display words one after another using a single focal point. The company calls this point the optimal recognition point, or ORP.

The technology isn't exactly new -- it dates back to the 1970s -- and it was even used in software for last decade's phones. In 2005 CNET covered a demo version of BuddyBuzz, mobile software that could display one word at a time on … Read more

Add speed reading to Chrome, Firefox

Speed reading is about to have another popularity spike -- one likely fueled by the recent announced of Spritz on the Galaxy S5. The speed reading feature will come included with some apps, and uses a single focal point in words, along with rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP for short) to display words one-by-one at speeds up to 1000 words per minute.

This technology is not only useful on smartphones or tablets, it's also great for tackling longer written works online in less time. If you search for what the average reading speed is, you'll come up with … Read more

The Fix: Optimize your smartphone

Welcome to the second episode of The Fix! This is CNET's newest show, and each episode revolves around ways to make the most of the technology in your daily life.

This episode will change how you use your smartphone. They've become an indispensable part of our lives, and when they underperform or run out of power, it's enough to make you scream. To help you out, we've got some simple advice that can make your phone faster and its battery last longer.

First off, to see if your phone's browser is slowing you down, Eric … Read more

Use Glossed.it to save interesting sentences on the Web

There are quite a few options for saving the content you read on the Web. The issue with many of them is that they can become overcomplicated in their attempts to help you. Glossed.it is a Web tool that will let you save just the sentences that really strike you as interesting.

To use the service, you will need to sign up on the Web site: Glossed.it. Once you're signed in, just drag the provided bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar.

Now head off to read some of your favorite stuff online. See an interesting sentence you … Read more

How to edit your OneDrive documents via HopTo's iPad app

Still waiting for Microsoft to release Office for the iPad? Don't bother. Here's another app that fits the bill, and it's free.

Released in November for the iPad, HopTo lets you view, edit, and create Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, and view PowerPoint presentations. You can access and edit those and other types of files from your local computer and from Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive. And thanks to the latest update, you can now tap into your Microsoft OneDrive files.

Updated on Wednesday, the newest version of HopTo directly supports OneDrive, though the app still refers … Read more

How to tell if your Android phone or tablet supports USB On-The-Go

One of the chief benefits of Android is its support for add-on storage, yet surprisingly few of the latest Android smartphones and tablets include a microSD slot. My new Moto X, for example -- no slot.

The good news is that the operating system can still access external storage (as well as various external devices like keyboards and game controllers). The bad news is that not all devices come with the necessary hardware and drivers for this USB On-The-Go (OTG) capability. So how can you determine if yours does?

The fastest and most effective solution by far is to install … Read more

What headphone buyers need to know, Part 2

There are many types of headphones, and if you understand the pros and cons of each before you go shopping, you'll make a more informed buying decision. Closed- and open-back headphones sound very different and serve different needs. To learn more about how they differ I spoke with two engineers, Sennheiser's Axel Grell and AKG's Philipp Schuster, and thanks go out to them. Today I'll look at open- and closed-back headphones; I covered on- and over-the-ear headphones in yesterday's blog item.… Read more

What headphone buyers need to know, Part 1

I get a lot of reader emails seeking recommendations for headphones, and sometimes they'll ask about two very different types of designs. For example, "What should I buy, Sennheiser's on-ear Momentum or the AKG K 712 'phones?" In that case there's no obvious "better" headphone, because they are two radically different types of headphones. The Sennheiser is an on-ear, closed-back design, and the AKG K 712 is a much larger over-the-ear, open-back headphone. It's like asking "What's better, a Ford F-150 Raptor truck or a Porsche 911 Turbo sports car? … Read more