12 apps for reducing stress

12 apps for reducing stress

Holidays are a happy time, but all the planning, shopping, and traveling can also take a toll on your peace of mind. According to the Mayo Clinic and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the period between Thanksgiving and the new year can be a stressor and a depressor. The American Psychological Association reports that 69 percent of Americans are stressed out about lack of... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Android , iOS

Holiday shopping tips and tricks

Holiday shopping tips and tricks

On Black Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving in the US -- the retail floodgates officially open for holiday shopping. You may be experiencing some anxiety: Will you get the best deals? Are you going to the right websites? Can you avoid the mad rush and still get little Timmy that toy he's pining for? The most important thing is to make sure you're shopping safely, because a compromised credit card is a lump of coal that no... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Security , Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Security Center , Guides , apps , mobile , Internet security , shopping

6 mobile payment apps you can trust

6 mobile payment apps you can trust

With the holiday season fast approaching, you can expect plenty of shopping and meals out with friends and family. What's the safest way to pay? Cash is convenient, but if you lose it, there's no getting it back. Credit cards are better protected and even recoverable, but they're vulnerable to skimming and scanning scams, and you can't use them to pay friends (unless your friends carry around Square Card Readers).

Mobile payments might be a more secure option for you,... Read More »

Topics: Security Software , Security

Tags: Security Center

The Pay-off: Can you lose the plastic and use only Apple Pay or Android Pay?

The Pay-off: Can you lose the plastic and use only Apple Pay or Android Pay?

We love the idea of using mobile devices to pay for stuff. For those of us who always have phone in hand, waving it at a payment reader seems more convenient than fishing a debit or credit card out of our wallets.

Apple and Google have been making a big deal about their mobile-payment services this year. So we decided to set up the two companies' mobile payment apps -- Josh with an iPhone... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software , Android

Tags: Apple , Android

Build a Star Wars or Minecraft game during the Hour of Code

Build a Star Wars or Minecraft game during the Hour of Code

During the annual Hour of Code event, which this year takes place the week of the December 7, you can participate in a hands-on tutorial designed to demonstrate that anyone can learn the basics of computing programming. In an hour, you can learn to code a Star Wars game or program a character to move through a Minecraft world. If that seems too trivial, discover in an hour how to animate text using JavaScript.

This year, sites are organizing 124,000... Read More »

Topics: Developer Tools , Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Choose your Star Wars path with Google

Choose your Star Wars path with Google

"Star Wars: The Forces Awakens" opens December 19, and in case we weren't thinking about it enough already, Google today launched google.com/starwars. At this site you can choose to follow the light or the dark side of the Force, and then Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and other Google services will adapt to your chosen path.

Google's embrace of "Star Wars" reflects the company's love of the story. "It probably isn't a surprise that there are tons of 'Star... Read More »

Topics: Browsers , Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , Android

Tags: Google , movies

Shop more safely on Cyber Monday

Shop more safely on Cyber Monday

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is America's biggest shopping day, but Cyber Monday is catching up. Why camp outside a store for limited-quantity "door buster" deals when you can get goods online, snug on your couch with a cup of cocoa? However, you don't want to avoid the mall circus only to get your personal or financial info trampled by an insecure site. Here's how to shop more safely online.

Alternative payment methods

One of the best ways to protect... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Security , Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Security Center , Guides , Internet security , shopping

Microsoft launches Office Insider

Microsoft launches Office Insider

During the run-up to the release of Windows 10, Microsoft introduced an Insider program where millions of people could download the operating system for free, in exchange for beta testing it. That program still exists, though you now need an activated copy of Windows first, either purchased at retail or pre-installed on a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Microsoft has decided to extend this framework to its Office productivity suite, though it's not as open or early-access as its... Read More »

Topics: Office Suites , Windows Software

Tags: beta , Microsoft , productivity , Office

Windows 10 gets its first major update

Windows 10 gets its first major update

One of the open secrets of software development is that version 1.0 doesn't necessarily reflect the complete vision of its creators. You might need several further updates, and a thing as complex as Windows 10 definitely will. Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is getting its first big revision, though the company didn't call it 10.1 or Service Pack 1. There's no branding on this one at all. Under the hood, it's Version 1511 (OS Build 10586.3). Build 10586 has been... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Windows 10 , update , operating system

Apple updates iWorks suite

Apple updates iWorks suite

Apple has had a busy fall, shipping El Capitan, iOS 9, an oversized iPad, new iPhones, and even a new iMac.

Somewhere in the flurry, Apple also found time to update its iWork suite of productivity apps. There's now support for El Capitan, the ability to open iWork '08 and some '06 documents, plus other improvements.

Most of the changes affect all three apps: Keynote, Numbers, and Pages can now handle Split View, which lets you... Read More »

Topics: Productivity Software , Mac Software