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Office Online versus Google Apps: Facts and FUD

Microsoft and Google are locked in battle over free-for-personal-use productivity applications. Each is fighting for your attention. At this time, there’s no one best online suite; both are quite capable and both have some important limitations.

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Data-encryption alternatives to TrueCrypt

It seems as if everyone who kept sensitive files secure did it with TrueCrypt. Edward Snowden depended on it. So did I. But now that the popular disk-encryption app is effectively dead — at least for the foreseeable future — it’s time to look for a replacement.

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The life and untimely demise of TrueCrypt

The developers of TrueCrypt, a once highly respected, open-source encryption application, have apparently folded their tents and disappeared. Left behind are questions and paranoia — and a message that users should migrate to other encryption platforms.

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Shortcuts for working with Win8 (Win7, too)

As with all preceding versions of the OS, Windows 8.1 includes many useful keyboard shortcuts and utilities for quick navigation and file management. You just have to know where to find them.

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File-sharing strategies for Windows 7 and 8

These days, it’s possible to have XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8 all running in the same household or small business. And though Windows 7 and 8 have similar tools for sharing files over a network, there are differences that might leave you puzzled.

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Better data and boot security for Windows PCs

Fundamental changes in PCs, including UEFI and Secure Boot, can interfere with classic security techniques such as whole-disk encryption. But a simple, free, two-step process provides extremely reliable data and system-boot security for all Windows versions, on virtually all PC hardware.

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Net neutrality: What it is, why you should care

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has proposed a new set of rules that will change — some say kill — net neutrality. With regulations coming soon, Congress hunkered down; and with a brawl breaking out on a dozen different fronts, here’s what you need to know about the FCC’s proposal and how it will affect you.

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Why continuing support for XP is bad math

More than a few Windows XP users are willing to pay Microsoft for more updates to the now effectively obsolete OS. In theory, doing so could produce billions in revenue for Microsoft. Here’s why it’s not going to happen.

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Win8.1 Update becomes the new patch ‘baseline’

When Windows 8.1 Update came down the chute last week, Microsoft tossed in a surprise: if you want Windows 8.1 security patches in the future, you have to install Win8.1 Update first.

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Emergency repair disks for Windows: Part 2

Part 1 of this two-part series told how to create a Windows repair disk that boots a failing PC and provides tools that might fix what’s ailing Windows. Part 2 tells how to use a repair disk on all PCs — including those locked down with Win8′s Secure Boot — and also gives some advanced tips and tricks.

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