Top Story

Hybrid hard drives finally come of age

Once hailed as the perfect compromise between pricey solid-state drives and cheaper-but-slower platter models, hybrid hard drives quickly became a technological flash in the pan.

But new models from Seagate have resuscitated the technology — the Momentus XT line offers many of solid state’s benefits without the sticker shock.

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Simple change in settings pumps up Win7 networks

Windows 7 has many good things going for it, but home networking is not always one of them.

But with just two quick clicks within Win7′s Advanced sharing settings, you can improve your local network throughput by as much as 12%.

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Microsoft bags blogs, eviscerates Live Spaces

In a move that surprised many Windows watchers, Microsoft last week handed its online bloggers an eviction notice: they get six months to pick up and move — to WordPress.

Windows Live Spaces is now vacant, bequeathing Spaces users some tools to help them migrate to WordPress.

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IE 9 puts Microsoft back into the browser game

Internet Explorer has been a distant third-string player to Firefox and Chrome for so long, we thought it could never catch up.

But with a slick new interface and enhanced Windows 7 features, IE 9 — now in public beta — just might put Microsoft back at the top of the browser game.

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Coping with Windows Live Hotmail Wave 4

Microsoft’s new version of Windows Live Hotmail brings several new features to the online-mail table.

Some of you have written me with tales of woe, cursing the new version and the Windows Live horse it rode in on and begging to get your old Hotmail back. Sorry, you can’t.

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A threat to common “.dll” files hits many apps

Microsoft’s latest Security advisory on .dll-file vulnerabilities reveals a whole new chapter of Internet security troubles — and raises many more questions than it gives answers.

Many popular applications may be targets of this new threat, and there’s no single patch that will fix it.

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New analysis of stolen data brings surprises

Every year, the highly respected Verizon Business RISK data crime–investigation team publishes an analysis of major online data thefts it’s been asked to study.

This year, a first-ever joint report by VBR and the U.S. Secret Service presents a fascinating view into the state of the data-stealing art, with many surprising facts that should interest all consumers.

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Preparing Windows XP for the long haul

Microsoft’s support for Windows XP may be fading, but a loyal horde of XP users plans to stick with this venerable OS for as long as possible.

If that’s your long-term goal, there are a number of steps you can take now to ensure a finely tuned XP system for months — possibly years — to come.

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Eliminate Flash-spawned ‘zombie’ cookies

Way back in a 2008 column, I spotlighted one of the most insidious and least-known features on the Internet: Adobe Flash cookies that were not subject to the usual cookie rules.

Almost two years later, these special Flash cookies are still living in our PCs, and enterprising privacy-busters now use them to create zombie cookies — regular cookies that come back from the dead.

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Windows Live shares your Messenger contacts

Anticipating its “Wave 4″ Windows Live rollout of new Hotmail and Messenger apps, Microsoft made sweeping changes in how it connects you with its latest social-networking construct.

With the new Live format, Microsoft pays a great deal of lip service to maintaining your privacy; but my tests show you can’t trust what you see on the screen.

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