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Sorting through the changes in Windows licensing

With consumer versions of Windows 10 offered free for the first year, many users have questions about licensing. Windows users have never “owned” the OS they paid for, but Win10 has significantly changed the rules.

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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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Why is the Internet slow and costly in the U.S.?

In various countries, residents get bidirectional, gigabit Internet for less than U.S. $40 a month. Most of us in the U.S. would be happy with half that bandwidth — even as we accept paying twice as much as Internet subscribers in Asia and Europe.

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How to make lithium-ion batteries last for years

The lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries used in most of today’s tablets, smartphones, and portable PCs require very different care and feeding than with the nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) and nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH) batteries used in earlier devices. In fact, proper care of a Li-ion battery can result in as much as 15 times longer service life than an improperly cared-for battery. Here’s how to make sure that your expensive Li-ion batteries last as long as possible in all your portable devices.

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Windows 10: Good, but is it good enough?

As even cave-dwelling monks probably know by now, Windows 10 is out for all the world to see — and it appears to be a qualified success. Is downloading and installing the new OS a no-brainer? If you use Win8, the answer is almost assuredly yes; but if you’re a Win7 fan, some serious considerations await.

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Updating to Win10: Definitely a mixed experience

As you’d expect, Windows Secrets contributors jumped on the formal Win10 release, downloading and installing the new OS on their various systems. Not surprisingly, they employed a range of methods just to get Win10 loaded.

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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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Are system/Registry cleaners worthwhile?

As Windows and third-party software have evolved over the years, Windows Secrets has periodically put various Registry- and system-cleanup products through their paces to examine the claims made by and about them. For example, most cleanup software claims to streamline and shrink the Registry by removing obsolete, erroneous data and broken links stored there. Other products claim to do more, such as removing junk files, reducing boot times, and improving overall system performance.

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Tools for foiling malicious links and files

Every day, malicious websites and attachments try to trick you into downloading their dangerous payload. Fortunately, there are websites and tools to help you determine what’s safe and what might be a trap designed to steal personal information and money.

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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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