Author Archives: Lincoln Spector

Lincoln Spector

About Lincoln Spector

Lincoln Spector writes about computers, home theater, and film and maintains two blogs: Answer Line at and His articles have appeared in CNET, InfoWorld, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.

Why your next cell phone should be unlocked

Purchasing a smartphone from your cellular-service provider typically comes with all sorts of compromises, restrictions, and limitations. But an unlocked Nexus phone can eliminate many, if not all, of these problems.

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Windows 10 bumps up support-call traffic

A major operating system upgrade always brings new problems — and a slew of frantic calls to tech-support services. Queries about a new OS often go well beyond learning a user interface; drivers and applications have to be updated, and no amount of beta testing ensures that everything works.

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A few good reasons to upgrade from Win7 to Win10

That “Get Windows 10” icon sitting in Win7’s notification area will get you a free upgrade, but you haven’t decided whether it’s worth taking the plunge. For most Win8 users, upgrading is a virtual no-brainer; for Win7 users, however, the case is not so compelling. Here are a few enhancements that might tip the balance toward Win10.

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Win10 tweaks to improve computing work and play

If you’ve spent any time working with Windows 10, you’ve doubtlessly figured out that the new OS isn’t perfect. Fortunately, in the Windows tradition, Win10’s behavior can be changed to better fit your computing style. Here are six tweaks that you may find useful.

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Learn to use the Windows 10 Recovery Drive

Sooner or later, nearly every Windows user powers up the machine — and Windows simply refuses to start. Every current version of Windows lets you create and run a self-booting rescue disc, but Win10 takes that tool to a new level.

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Thirty-day Win10 experiment lasts only a week

It was intended as a month-long immersion in Windows 10 and a test of using the new OS on a hybrid laptop. But the experiment ended after just seven days. It turned out that upgrading a hybrid laptop/tablet was a trial of BSoDs and compatibility issues.

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AV testing: Is your antivirus app doing its job?

Using savvy security software is an important part of staying safe online. But just how effective is it? You can’t depend on your experience — or mine. The best source for information on the competency of anti-malware apps comes from a handful of independent, virus-testing organizations. Here’s one example.

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Email: Drop the junk; keep your contacts

Moving to a new email address isn’t as daunting as moving to a new house. But sometimes it has to be done. You need to make sure that all the right people and mailing lists get your new address; you don’t want to share it with everyone.

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