Windows tech support: Getting your PC to start

Windows tech support: Getting your PC to start

"Why won't my computer start up?" You've probably had that problem or have tried to solve it for someone else. If you know your way around a computer, people come to you with their tech-support questions. After all, going through official support channels can be very frustrating and time-consuming. Why not ask someone you know, whose knowledge you trust? We're building a series of crib sheets on common support questions to help you (or the people quizzing you), starting with... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Guides

Capture 3D panoramas with Google's Cardboard Camera app

Capture 3D panoramas with Google's Cardboard Camera app

Sure, it's neat to view stereoscopic scenes with Google's Cardboard. But creating your own 3D images with your phone? That's way cooler.

Google today released Cardboard Camera, a free app that captures 3D still images with your Android phone that you can then view with your Cardboard kit.

To get started, launch the Cardboard Camera app and tap the orange Camera icon in the bottom-right corner. To record audio, tap the audio icon at the bottom right. Then tap... Read More »

Topics: Android Software

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