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A ‘no-reformat reinstall’ for Windows 8

Win8′s Refresh your PC without affecting your files feature lets you rebuild your operating system in minutes. A refresh returns Windows 8 to like-new condition while leaving users’ accounts, data, passwords, and personal files intact. But there are a few limitations to consider.

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Add-ons that help browsers block Web trackers

Browsers provide a fairly good first line of defense against Web tracking, but to protect against beacons, JavaScript trackers, and widgets, you need more. Third-party browser add-ons and applications can provide better defenses against websites that want to follow your online activities.

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You’re being followed! How to block Web tracking

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being watched. When you’re on the Internet, there are good reasons to have that eerie sense of being followed.

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Traveling with tech: A geek goes to Rome

These days, most of us wouldn’t think of traveling without at least some of our digital devices. But there are pitfalls when doing so. Here are a few lessons learned after a week on a Mediterranean cruise ship and five days touring Rome.

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R.I.P. TechNet — the sad end of an MS institution

For years technology consultants, researchers, and journalists have relied on Microsoft’s inexpensive TechNet subscription service to test and evaluate the company’s offerings. Last week, Microsoft announced it would end TechNet subscriptions, effective Aug. 31. Here’s why that decision is — to put it kindly — lamentable.

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Understanding Windows 8′s File History

File History is a radical departure from all previous Windows backup systems. Here’s what you need to know about File History: why it’s so different, its requirements, its advanced settings — and some useful tweaks!

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What awaits in Windows 8.1 — a Preview tour

Last week, Microsoft released the beta bits for the next version of Windows — the first .1 Windows update in decades. Win8 fans will surely update to Version 8.1 when it’s released in the fall, but even old-school Windows users will find some surprisingly good enhancements.

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DIY services for creating simple websites

There are many good reasons to build a website yourself, including avoiding the substantial costs of hiring designers and developers. Here are two services that make the process of creating a custom site relatively quick and easy; and if your needs are modest, they’re free.

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Pizza and tech: An app creates the perfect combo

We’re now well into an era of mini-apps — created for smartphones, adopted by Windows 8, and now rapidly making their way onto entertainment systems and other digital devices. In a preview of things to come, a Pizza Hut app lets you order your favorite pie right from your Xbox 360 gaming/entertainment system.

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Avoiding those unwanted free applications

Free apps are great, but they often come with an unexpected cost — unwanted additional apps. Depending on how you handle them, unwanted programs can be a minor annoyance — or a daunting problem. The trick is paying attention.

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