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Attempting to answer whether MS is snooping

Microsoft has recently released updates to Windows 7 that allow it to gather more information about our PCs. But is the company really tracking what we do on our systems? And can this data gathering be turned off?

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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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How to clean-install a Windows 10 upgrade

The current, free, Win10 upgrade is meant to convert an existing Win7 or Win8 setup to Win10, while retaining the user files and as much of the existing settings, software, and customizations as possible. But, if you know how, you also can use the upgrade to give your PC a totally fresh, from-scratch start; you’ll get a clean install that can’t carry over any potential problems from your current setup — no errors, no misconfigurations, and no junk.

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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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