Top Story

Windows 8 — streamlining the update process

It appears that Microsoft has heard our complaints about a tedious part of the Windows updating process. Changes in Windows 8 should make the never-ending task of installing patches a bit easier, by reducing mandatory system restarts.

Read More »

Your next computer could well be a tablet

Like it or not — and I know that some of you don’t — tablets are changing the way the world works and plays. Whether it’s an iPad, Kindle, Nook, or a tablet based on Google’s Android OS, mobile devices are swirling across the computing landscape. Here’s how to pick the right one.

Read More »

Ready or not, you’re getting IE 8 or 9

Microsoft wants to strong-arm us into abandoning IE 6 and embracing its latest browsers. Starting Jan. 17, Microsoft began pushing out IE 8 and IE 9 to all customers through Windows Update.

Read More »

Say goodbye to BIOS — and hello to UEFI!

If you’ve ever struggled with your PC’s BIOS — or been knee-capped by a rootkit that assailed the BIOS — you undoubtedly wondered why this archaic part of every PC wasn’t scrapped long ago. Well, be of good cheer: Windows 8 will finally pull the PC industry out of the BIOS generation and into a far more capable — and controversial — alternative, the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface.

Read More »

Great Android helper apps for Windows

Some free and low-cost apps make your Android phone and your Windows PC work together as a team.

Use these tools to optimize your home or office Wi-Fi setup, remotely control your PC from your phone (or your phone from your PC), share and transfer files in either direction, create and edit full-blown Microsoft Office documents on your phone, and much more!

Read More »

Windows Defender Offline — old name, new use

Microsoft’s newly released beta version of Windows Defender Offline, a rootkit-sniffing and Windows-rehabilitation tool, should be the latest addition to your bag of Windows-repair tricks. WDO should be able to catch a wide variety of nasties that evade detection by more traditional antivirus methods.

Read More »

The best of LangaList Plus — 2011

Every issue, the LangaList Plus technical Q&A tackles difficult — and sometimes esoteric — problems sent in by Windows Secrets subscribers.

For this last LangaList Plus of 2011, we’ve assembled some of the most popular Langa stories of this past year; we cover topics ranging from working around a Windows 7 networking bug to 14 free tools for digging out stubborn malware infections.

Read More »

Setting up a temporary ‘ad hoc’ network

When you need a quick way to share files between two Windows PCs that aren’t normally connected, an ad hoc wireless network is the way to go.

Everything you need is already built into Windows 7, Vista, and XP. Here’s how to set up an ad hoc network on wireless PCs.

Read More »

Carrier IQ: A privacy tempest of what size?

A YouTube video by Trevor Eckhart documents a litany of privacy-busting transgressions made by Carrier IQ, a software program factory-installed on mobile phones.

Almost every news outlet in the U.S. seems to have run the story about Carrier IQ as if 1984 had finally arrived, with Big Brother (in large, corporate form) working the phones — our smartphones in this case. But is that view accurate?

Read More »

Building your own XP Service Pack 4

Starting today, Windows XP users will have 860 more days of official Microsoft support — and on every one of those days, many of those users will continue to run the operating system that just won’t die. Want to extend the life of your Windows XP Service Pack 3 as long as possible? You can do so by installing Microsoft hotfixes as needed.

Read More »