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  • Google Top Geek E03

    Google Top Geek E03 In Spanish! Google Top Geek is a weekly show, Mondays at 12 PM (Mexico City time). Google Developers Live and the blog Programa con Google. En este episodio: Elecciones en Estados Unidos (Barack Obama) y el sitio de Política y Elecciones de Google. Women Techmakers en Google Developers Live. Google Public Alerts. Búsquedas de la semana y noticias para desarrolladores: aprende inglés y tecnología Google, Oauth 2.0, HTML5 Rocks y Jam with Chrome. From: GoogleDevelopers Views: 165 1 ratings Time: 15:20 More in Science & Technology

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  • Google Top Geek E02

    Google Top Geek E02 In Spanish! Google Top Geek is a weekly show that will cover the latest news on all things Google in Spanish speaking Latin America, trending searches, YouTube videos and apps in the region; as well as news and relevant events for developers. Mondays at noon, 12 PM, in Google Developers Live and the blog Programa con Google. Créditos E02: Agradecemos a Elefgant el apoyo para la grabación y edición. From: GoogleDevelopers Views: 4106 4 ratings Time: 15:43 More in Science & Technology

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  • [GEEK SCHOOL] Network Security 1: Securing User Accounts and Passwords in Windows

    - by Matt Klein
    This How-To Geek School class is intended for people who want to learn more about security when using Windows operating systems. You will learn many principles that will help you have a more secure computing experience and will get the chance to use all the important security tools and features that are bundled with Windows. Obviously, we will share everything you need to know about using them effectively. In this first lesson, we will talk about password security; the different ways of logging into Windows and how secure they are. In the proceeding lesson, we will explain where Windows stores all the user names and passwords you enter while working in this operating systems, how safe they are, and how to manage this data. Moving on in the series, we will talk about User Account Control, its role in improving the security of your system, and how to use Windows Defender in order to protect your system from malware. Then, we will talk about the Windows Firewall, how to use it in order to manage the apps that get access to the network and the Internet, and how to create your own filtering rules. After that, we will discuss the SmartScreen Filter – a security feature that gets more and more attention from Microsoft and is now widely used in its Windows 8.x operating systems. Moving on, we will discuss ways to keep your software and apps up-to-date, why this is important and which tools you can use to automate this process as much as possible. Last but not least, we will discuss the Action Center and its role in keeping you informed about what’s going on with your system and share several tips and tricks about how to stay safe when using your computer and the Internet. Let’s get started by discussing everyone’s favorite subject: passwords. The Types of Passwords Found in Windows In Windows 7, you have only local user accounts, which may or may not have a password. For example, you can easily set a blank password for any user account, even if that one is an administrator. The only exception to this rule are business networks where domain policies force all user accounts to use a non-blank password. In Windows 8.x, you have both local accounts and Microsoft accounts. If you would like to learn more about them, don’t hesitate to read the lesson on User Accounts, Groups, Permissions & Their Role in Sharing, in our Windows Networking series. Microsoft accounts are obliged to use a non-blank password due to the fact that a Microsoft account gives you access to Microsoft services. Using a blank password would mean exposing yourself to lots of problems. Local accounts in Windows 8.1 however, can use a blank password. On top of traditional passwords, any user account can create and use a 4-digit PIN or a picture password. These concepts were introduced by Microsoft to speed up the sign in process for the Windows 8.x operating system. However, they do not replace the use of a traditional password and can be used only in conjunction with a traditional user account password. Another type of password that you encounter in Windows operating systems is the Homegroup password. In a typical home network, users can use the Homegroup to easily share resources. A Homegroup can be joined by a Windows device only by using the Homegroup password. If you would like to learn more about the Homegroup and how to use it for network sharing, don’t hesitate to read our Windows Networking series. What to Keep in Mind When Creating Passwords, PINs and Picture Passwords When creating passwords, a PIN, or a picture password for your user account, we would like you keep in mind the following recommendations: Do not use blank passwords, even on the desktop computers in your home. You never know who may gain unwanted access to them. Also, malware can run more easily as administrator because you do not have a password. Trading your security for convenience when logging in is never a good idea. When creating a password, make it at least eight characters long. Make sure that it includes a random mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Ideally, it should not be related in any way to your name, username, or company name. Make sure that your passwords do not include complete words from any dictionary. Dictionaries are the first thing crackers use to hack passwords. Do not use the same password for more than one account. All of your passwords should be unique and you should use a system like LastPass, KeePass, Roboform or something similar to keep track of them. When creating a PIN use four different digits to make things slightly harder to crack. When creating a picture password, pick a photo that has at least 10 “points of interests”. Points of interests are areas that serve as a landmark for your gestures. Use a random mixture of gesture types and sequence and make sure that you do not repeat the same gesture twice. Be aware that smudges on the screen could potentially reveal your gestures to others. The Security of Your Password vs. the PIN and the Picture Password Any kind of password can be cracked with enough effort and the appropriate tools. There is no such thing as a completely secure password. However, passwords created using only a few security principles are much harder to crack than others. If you respect the recommendations shared in the previous section of this lesson, you will end up having reasonably secure passwords. Out of all the log in methods in Windows 8.x, the PIN is the easiest to brute force because PINs are restricted to four digits and there are only 10,000 possible unique combinations available. The picture password is more secure than the PIN because it provides many more opportunities for creating unique combinations of gestures. Microsoft have compared the two login options from a security perspective in this post: Signing in with a picture password. In order to discourage brute force attacks against picture passwords and PINs, Windows defaults to your traditional text password after five failed attempts. The PIN and the picture password function only as alternative login methods to Windows 8.x. Therefore, if someone cracks them, he or she doesn’t have access to your user account password. However, that person can use all the apps installed on your Windows 8.x device, access your files, data, and so on. How to Create a PIN in Windows 8.x If you log in to a Windows 8.x device with a user account that has a non-blank password, then you can create a 4-digit PIN for it, to use it as a complementary login method. In order to create one, you need to go to “PC Settings”. If you don’t know how, then press Windows + C on your keyboard or flick from the right edge of the screen, on a touch-enabled device, then press “Settings”. The Settings charm is now open. Click or tap the link that says “Change PC settings”, on the bottom of the charm. In PC settings, go to Accounts and then to “Sign-in options”. Here you will find all the necessary options for changing your existing password, creating a PIN, or a picture password. To create a PIN, press the “Add” button in the PIN section. The “Create a PIN” wizard is started and you are asked to enter the password of your user account. Type it and press “OK”. Now you are asked to enter a 4-digit pin in the “Enter PIN” and “Confirm PIN” fields. The PIN has been created and you can now use it to log in to Windows. How to Create a Picture Password in Windows 8.x If you log in to a Windows 8.x device with a user account that has a non-blank password, then you can also create a picture password and use it as a complementary login method. In order to create one, you need to go to “PC settings”. In PC Settings, go to Accounts and then to “Sign-in options”. Here you will find all the necessary options for changing your existing password, creating a PIN, or a picture password. To create a picture password, press the “Add” button in the “Picture password” section. The “Create a picture password” wizard is started and you are asked to enter the password of your user account. You are shown a guide on how the picture password works. Take a few seconds to watch it and learn the gestures that can be used for your picture password. You will learn that you can create a combination of circles, straight lines, and taps. When ready, press “Choose picture”. Browse your Windows 8.x device and select the picture you want to use for your password and press “Open”. Now you can drag the picture to position it the way you want. When you like how the picture is positioned, press “Use this picture” on the left. If you are not happy with the picture, press “Choose new picture” and select a new one, as shown during the previous step. After you have confirmed that you want to use this picture, you are asked to set up your gestures for the picture password. Draw three gestures on the picture, any combination you wish. Please remember that you can use only three gestures: circles, straight lines, and taps. Once you have drawn those three gestures, you are asked to confirm. Draw the same gestures one more time. If everything goes well, you are informed that you have created your picture password and that you can use it the next time you sign in to Windows. If you don’t confirm the gestures correctly, you will be asked to try again, until you draw the same gestures twice. To close the picture password wizard, press “Finish”. Where Does Windows Store Your Passwords? Are They Safe? All the passwords that you enter in Windows and save for future use are stored in the Credential Manager. This tool is a vault with the usernames and passwords that you use to log on to your computer, to other computers on the network, to apps from the Windows Store, or to websites using Internet Explorer. By storing these credentials, Windows can automatically log you the next time you access the same app, network share, or website. Everything that is stored in the Credential Manager is encrypted for your protection.

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  • [GEEK SCHOOL] Network Security 2: Preventing Disaster with User Account Control

    - by Ciprian Rusen
    In this second lesson in our How-To Geek School about securing the Windows devices in your network, we will talk about User Account Control (UAC). Users encounter this feature each time they need to install desktop applications in Windows, when some applications need administrator permissions in order to work and when they have to change different system settings and files. UAC was introduced in Windows Vista as part of Microsoft’s “Trustworthy Computing” initiative. Basically, UAC is meant to act as a wedge between you and installing applications or making system changes. When you attempt to do either of these actions, UAC will pop up and interrupt you. You may either have to confirm you know what you’re doing, or even enter an administrator password if you don’t have those rights. Some users find UAC annoying and choose to disable it but this very important security feature of Windows (and we strongly caution against doing that). That’s why in this lesson, we will carefully explain what UAC is and everything it does. As you will see, this feature has an important role in keeping Windows safe from all kinds of security problems. In this lesson you will learn which activities may trigger a UAC prompt asking for permissions and how UAC can be set so that it strikes the best balance between usability and security. You will also learn what kind of information you can find in each UAC prompt. Last but not least, you will learn why you should never turn off this feature of Windows. By the time we’re done today, we think you will have a newly found appreciation for UAC, and will be able to find a happy medium between turning it off completely and letting it annoy you to distraction. What is UAC and How Does it Work? UAC or User Account Control is a security feature that helps prevent unauthorized system changes to your Windows computer or device. These changes can be made by users, applications, and sadly, malware (which is the biggest reason why UAC exists in the first place). When an important system change is initiated, Windows displays a UAC prompt asking for your permission to make the change. If you don’t give your approval, the change is not made. In Windows, you will encounter UAC prompts mostly when working with desktop applications that require administrative permissions. For example, in order to install an application, the installer (generally a setup.exe file) asks Windows for administrative permissions. UAC initiates an elevation prompt like the one shown earlier asking you whether it is okay to elevate permissions or not. If you say “Yes”, the installer starts as administrator and it is able to make the necessary system changes in order to install the application correctly. When the installer is closed, its administrator privileges are gone. If you run it again, the UAC prompt is shown again because your previous approval is not remembered. If you say “No”, the installer is not allowed to run and no system changes are made. If a system change is initiated from a user account that is not an administrator, e.g. the Guest account, the UAC prompt will also ask for the administrator password in order to give the necessary permissions. Without this password, the change won’t be made. Which Activities Trigger a UAC Prompt? There are many types of activities that may trigger a UAC prompt: Running a desktop application as an administrator Making changes to settings and files in the Windows and Program Files folders Installing or removing drivers and desktop applications Installing ActiveX controls Changing settings to Windows features like the Windows Firewall, UAC, Windows Update, Windows Defender, and others Adding, modifying, or removing user accounts Configuring Parental Controls in Windows 7 or Family Safety in Windows 8.x Running the Task Scheduler Restoring backed-up system files Viewing or changing the folders and files of another user account Changing the system date and time You will encounter UAC prompts during some or all of these activities, depending on how UAC is set on your Windows device. If this security feature is turned off, any user account or desktop application can make any of these changes without a prompt asking for permissions. In this scenario, the different forms of malware existing on the Internet will also have a higher chance of infecting and taking control of your system. In Windows 8.x operating systems you will never see a UAC prompt when working with apps from the Windows Store. That’s because these apps, by design, are not allowed to modify any system settings or files. You will encounter UAC prompts only when working with desktop programs. What You Can Learn from a UAC Prompt? When you see a UAC prompt on the screen, take time to read the information displayed so that you get a better understanding of what is going on. Each prompt first tells you the name of the program that wants to make system changes to your device, then you can see the verified publisher of that program. Dodgy software tends not to display this information and instead of a real company name, you will see an entry that says “Unknown”. If you have downloaded that program from a less than trustworthy source, then it might be better to select “No” in the UAC prompt. The prompt also shares the origin of the file that’s trying to make these changes. In most cases the file origin is “Hard drive on this computer”. You can learn more by pressing “Show details”. You will see an additional entry named “Program location” where you can see the physical location on your hard drive, for the file that’s trying to perform system changes. Make your choice based on the trust you have in the program you are trying to run and its publisher. If a less-known file from a suspicious location is requesting a UAC prompt, then you should seriously consider pressing “No”. What’s Different About Each UAC Level? Windows 7 and Windows 8.x have four UAC levels: Always notify – when this level is used, you are notified before desktop applications make changes that require administrator permissions or before you or another user account changes Windows settings like the ones mentioned earlier. When the UAC prompt is shown, the desktop is dimmed and you must choose “Yes” or “No” before you can do anything else. This is the most secure and also the most annoying way to set UAC because it triggers the most UAC prompts. Notify me only when programs/apps try to make changes to my computer (default) – Windows uses this as the default for UAC. When this level is used, you are notified before desktop applications make changes that require administrator permissions. If you are making system changes, UAC doesn’t show any prompts and it automatically gives you the necessary permissions for making the changes you desire. When a UAC prompt is shown, the desktop is dimmed and you must choose “Yes” or “No” before you can do anything else. This level is slightly less secure than the previous one because malicious programs can be created for simulating the keystrokes or mouse moves of a user and change system settings for you. If you have a good security solution in place, this scenario should never occur. Notify me only when programs/apps try to make changes to my computer (do not dim my desktop) – this level is different from the previous in in the fact that, when the UAC prompt is shown, the desktop is not dimmed. This decreases the security of your system because different kinds of desktop applications (including malware) might be able to interfere with the UAC prompt and approve changes that you might not want to be performed. Never notify – this level is the equivalent of turning off UAC. When using it, you have no protection against unauthorized system changes. Any desktop application and any user account can make system changes without your permission. How to Configure UAC If you would like to change the UAC level used by Windows, open the Control Panel, then go to “System and Security” and select “Action Center”. On the column on the left you will see an entry that says “Change User Account Control settings”. The “User Account Control Settings” window is now opened. Change the position of the UAC slider to the level you want applied then press “OK”. Depending on how UAC was initially set, you may receive a UAC prompt requiring you to confirm this change. Why You Should Never Turn Off UAC If you want to keep the security of your system at decent levels, you should never turn off UAC. When you disable it, everything and everyone can make system changes without your consent. This makes it easier for all kinds of malware to infect and take control of your system. It doesn’t matter whether you have a security suite or antivirus installed or third-party antivirus, basic common-sense measures like having UAC turned on make a big difference in keeping your devices safe from harm. We have noticed that some users disable UAC prior to setting up their Windows devices and installing third-party software on them. They keep it disabled while installing all the software they will use and enable it when done installing everything, so that they don’t have to deal with so many UAC prompts. Unfortunately this causes problems with some desktop applications. They may fail to work after you enable UAC. This happens because, when UAC is disabled, the virtualization techniques UAC uses for your applications are inactive. This means that certain user settings and files are installed in a different place and when you turn on UAC, applications stop working because they should be placed elsewhere. Therefore, whatever you do, do not turn off UAC completely! Coming up next … In the next lesson you will learn about Windows Defender, what this tool can do in Windows 7 and Windows 8.x, what’s different about it in these operating systems and how it can be used to increase the security of your system.

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  • Google Top Geek E04

    Google Top Geek E04 In Spanish! Google Top Geek is a weekly show from Google Mexico. This week: 1. Esto es Google, el evento más grande e importante de Google en México, en su segunda edición, se llevó a cabo los días 13 y 14 de noviembre de 2012. Fue un gran evento dirigido a todo el ecosistema en México: desarrolladores, usuarios y negocios. Cerca de 3000 asistentes nos honraron con su presencia en Esto es Google a lo largo de dos intensos días, llenos de conferencias, paneles y espacios para conocer y acercarse a tecnología y startups. Mencionamos durante este segmento, ligas para aprender más de la importancia del mercado de móviles en México y el mundo: Go Mobile, para pasar tu sitio actual a una versión para móviles. The Mobile Playbook, con mucha información para tomar las mejores decisiones con respecto a móviles y tecnologías modernas. 2. De concursos de programación, de negocios hasta internships y trabajo de tiempo completo, Google ofrece una amplia gama de oportunidades en todo el mundo. por ejemplo, está por iniciar el concurso Google Code-in 2012, para chavos de preparatoria, con un formato similar al de Google summer of code, con 10 organizaciones de código abierto como mentoras. 3. Lanzamientos de la semana, el primero interesante para Gmail: búsquedas por tamaño, utilizando size:5m, larger: .., fechas flexibles, etc. En Google Drive ya puedes buscar por persona, no sólo los que han compartido contigo; sino los que involucran a una misma persona. Búsquedas de la semana Las <b>...</b> From: GoogleDevelopers Views: 15 2 ratings Time: 15:50 More in Science & Technology

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  • Google Top Geek E06

    Google Top Geek E06 In Spanish! Google Top Geek (GTG) es un show semanal que generamos desde México con noticias, las tendencias en búsquedas y YouTube en América Latina, así como referencias a apps y eventos interesantes. GTG se transmite los lunes al medio día, 12 pm, desde Google Developers Live. Guión del programa Esta semana 1. Campaña para mantener Internet libre y abierto (#freeandopen) 2. Gmail y Drive, una nueva manera de enviar documentos anexos. Puedes anexar archivos de hasta 10GB. Editar Google Sheets en tu dispositivo móvil con el app de Drive. 3. Google Maps Navigation (beta) disponible en México. Búsquedas de la semana Número uno: Cyber Monday (ciber lunes) Argentina: Vaya vicio Chile: Cyber Monday Colombia: Ciberlunes México: Miguel Ángel Calero Perú: Cyber Monday Uruguay: XO City Los vídeos más vistos en YouTube estuvieron encabezados por: Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank en Brasil. Argentina: Donde estés, hay fest! - Playa → #PersonalFest2012! Chile: Hola, soy Germán en vivo Colombia: Documental "La mondá" (Video oficial) → Documental realizado a la palabra con más uso en la región caribe México: El gimnasio de guapas Perú: El retorno del Exorcista Entre las apps de Android más exitosas de la semana, tenemos: Pagadas: Swiftkey, Plants vs. Zombies, Where's my water? Gratis: WhatsApp Messenger, Facebook, Línea Noticias para desarrolladores 1. Google Developers Academy ahora en 5 idiomas: chino, inglés, japonés, coreano y español. From: GoogleDevelopers Views: 19 3 ratings Time: 23:02 More in Science & Technology

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  • Google Top Geek E05

    Google Top Geek E05 In Spanish! Google Top Geek (GTG) es un show semanal que generamos desde México con noticias, las tendencias en búsquedas y YouTube en América Latina, así como referencias a apps y eventos interesantes. GTG se transmite los lunes al medio día, 12 pm, desde Google Developers Live. Guión del programa Esta semana 1. Geeks interactuando y socializando en el mundo real, eso justamente es lo que ha logrado el juego masivo Ingress que liberó Google recientemente. Tienen que escoger un bando: resistance o enlightened, el proyecto Niantic. Campos de energía, elementos, intriga, combate, ... Y lo mejor de todo: mucha diversión. Cuando obtengan su código, si están del lado correcto, pueden encontrarnos en Ingress Enlightened Latin America +page en Google+. 2. Reality show para desarrolladores en Argentina: +Next Level, 40 estudiantes y profesionales de TI trabajarán siete días con cámaras todo el tiempo, expertos de toda América Latina via Google Hangouts... Del 26 de noviembre al 2 de diciembre, en la ciudad de Tandil. 3. Google Apps for Business Un tema relativamente nuevo en el mundo empresarial en nuestra región es la nube y cómo aprovecharla mejor. Google Apps for Business es un servicio basado en la nube que provee Mensajería y Colaboración a través de los productos que todos conocemos de Google pero con el nivel de controles y auditoría que requieren las empresas. El enfoque de Google es y siempre ha sido la satisfacción de nuestros usuarios y Google Apps for Business le <b>...</b> From: GoogleDevelopers Views: 1 0 ratings Time: 15:39 More in Science & Technology

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  • The Best How-To Geek Articles About Microsoft Office

    - by Lori Kaufman
    We’ve published a lot of articles about Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 and the programs in the suite. This article compiles many useful tips for Office, Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, and a few links to articles about the latest version, Office 2013. HTG Explains: Does Your Android Phone Need an Antivirus? How To Use USB Drives With the Nexus 7 and Other Android Devices Why Does 64-Bit Windows Need a Separate “Program Files (x86)” Folder?

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  • Friday Fun: Factory Balls – Christmas Edition

    - by Asian Angel
    Your weekend is almost here, but until the work day is over we have another fun holiday game for you. This week your job is to correctly decorate/paint the ornaments that go on the Christmas tree. Simple you say? Maybe, but maybe not! Factory Balls – Christmas Edition The object of the game is to correctly decorate/paint each Christmas ornament exactly as shown in the “sample image” provided for each level. What starts off as simple will quickly have you working to figure out the correct combination or sequence to complete each ornament. Are you ready? The first level serves as a tutorial to help you become comfortable with how to decorate/paint the ornaments. To move an ornament to a paint bucket or cover part of it with one of the helper items simply drag the ornament towards that area. The ornament will automatically move back to its’ starting position when the action is complete. First, a nice coat of red paint followed by covering the middle area with a horizontal belt. Once the belt is on move the ornament to the bucket of yellow paint. Next, you will need to remove the belt, so move the ornament back to the belt’s original position. One ornament finished! As soon as you complete decorating/painting an ornament, you move on to the next level and will be shown the next “sample Image” in the upper right corner. Starting with a coat of orange paint sounds good… Pop the little serrated edge cap on top… Add some blue paint… Almost have it… Place the large serrated edge cap on top… Another dip in the orange paint… And the second ornament is finished. Level three looks a little bit tougher…just work out your pattern of helper items & colors and you will definitely get it! Have fun decorating/painting those ornaments! Note: Starting with level four you will need to start using a combination of two helper items combined at times to properly complete the ornaments. Play Factory Balls – Christmas Edition Latest Features How-To Geek ETC The Complete List of iPad Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials The 50 Best Registry Hacks that Make Windows Better The How-To Geek Holiday Gift Guide (Geeky Stuff We Like) LCD? LED? Plasma? The How-To Geek Guide to HDTV Technology The How-To Geek Guide to Learning Photoshop, Part 8: Filters Improve Digital Photography by Calibrating Your Monitor Exploring the Jungle Ruins Wallpaper Protect Your Privacy When Browsing with Chrome and Iron Browser Free Shipping Day is Friday, December 17, 2010 – National Free Shipping Day Find an Applicable Quote for Any Programming Situation Winter Theme for Windows 7 from Microsoft Score Free In-Flight Wi-Fi Courtesy of Google Chrome

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  • Have Fun with Mozilla Firefox’s Spark and Ember Paper Toys [Geek Project]

    - by Asian Angel
    Are you looking for a fun paper-craft project to work on while showing your support for Mozilla Firefox? Then you will enjoy the Spark and Ember paper toys that the folks from the Mozilla Indonesia community have put together. Each comes in an easy to print three page PDF file for easy storage and sharing with friends. Photo courtesy of Mozilla Blog Indonesia. Download the Spark Paper Toy Download the Ember Paper Toy [via Mozilla Blog Indonesia] What is a Histogram, and How Can I Use it to Improve My Photos?How To Easily Access Your Home Network From Anywhere With DDNSHow To Recover After Your Email Password Is Compromised

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  • Friday Fun: Snow Crusher

    - by Asian Angel
    It has probably been a long week whether you have already returned to work or are finishing up the last of your vacation time. If you are in need of some stress relief, then we have we the perfect game for you. This week you get to be totally fiendish and use a monster size snowball to destroy as many cars as possible at the local snow lodge. Snow Crusher The object of the game is simple…create as large of a monster snowball as you can and then send it down over the side of the mountain to destroy the cars at the snow lodge. You can choose from three different sizes of monster snowballs to create. We chose the “Snowflake Size” for our reign of destruction. Once you have chosen a monster snowball size, all that is left to do is select the control method that works best for you. As soon as you select the control method, your monster snowball creation will automatically begin. Keep in mind that the faster your snowball goes the harder it can become to steer if you make sudden movements… At the top you can watch your progress towards the drop-off point and the green boxes highlighted at the bottom indicate how large of an item (such as trees or boulders) your snowball can roll over and add to the total mass. Snowball speed is shown in the lower right corner. Time to roll! As soon as the first green box is lit up you can start adding small trees to your snowball’s mass. You will want to avoid larger items as you go because they will penalize your score, slow you down, and reduce the size of your snowball! Halfway to the drop-off point and our snowball is now able to grab up larger trees. If you have not hit any large items along the way, your snowball will definitely be moving along at a good rate by now. When you reach the end of the mass building area, your snowball will pop out into the open and get ready to drop off over the side of the mountain. Go snowball go! Yes! Thirteen cars crushed and ready for the scrap yard… If the “Snowflake Size” snowball can do this, just think what the “Avalanche Size” can do with three minutes of time to build up mass! Have fun with those monster snowballs! Play Snow Crusher Latest Features How-To Geek ETC The 20 Best How-To Geek Linux Articles of 2010 The 50 Best How-To Geek Windows Articles of 2010 The 20 Best How-To Geek Explainer Topics for 2010 How to Disable Caps Lock Key in Windows 7 or Vista How to Use the Avira Rescue CD to Clean Your Infected PC The Complete List of iPad Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Classic Super Mario Brothers Theme for Chrome and Iron Experimental Firefox Builds Put Tabs on the Title Bar (Available for Download) Android Trojan Found in the Wild Chaos, Panic, and Disorder Wallpaper Enjoy Christmas Beyond the Holiday with Christmas Eve Crisis Parrotfish Extends the Number of Services Accessible in Twitter Previews

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  • Beginner Geek: How To Change the Boot Order in Your Computer’s BIOS

    - by Chris Hoffman
    The boot order in your computer’s BIOS controls which device it loads the operating system from. Modify your boot order to force your computer to boot from a USB drive, CD or DVD drive, or another hard drive. You may need to change this setting when booting from another device, whether you’re running an operating system from a live USB drive or installing a new operating system from a disc. Note: This process will look different on each computer. The instructions here will guide you through the process, but the screenshots won’t look exactly the same. How To Use USB Drives With the Nexus 7 and Other Android Devices Why Does 64-Bit Windows Need a Separate “Program Files (x86)” Folder? Why Your Android Phone Isn’t Getting Operating System Updates and What You Can Do About It

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  • Beginner Geek: How to Use Bookmarklets on Any Device

    - by Chris Hoffman
    Web browser bookmarklets allow you to perform actions on the current page with just a click or tap. They’re a lightweight alternative to browser extensions. They even work on mobile browsers that don’t support traditional extensions. To use bookmarklets, all you need is a web browser that supports bookmarks — that’s it! Bookmarklets Explained Web pages you view in your browser use JavaScript code. That’s why web pages aren’t just static documents anymore — they’re dynamic. A bookmarklet is a normal bookmark with a piece of JavaScript code instead of a web address. When you click or tap the bookmarklet, it will execute the JavaScript code on the current page instead of loading a different page, as most bookmarks do. Bookmarklets can be used to do something to a web page with a single click. For example, you’ll find bookmarklets associated with web services like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pocket, and LastPass. When you click the bookmarklet, it will run code that lets you easily share the current page with that service. Bookmarklets don’t just have to be  associated with web services. A bookmarklet you click could modify the appearance of the page, stripping away most of the junk and giving you a clean “reading mode.” It could alter fonts, remove images, or insert other content. It can access anything the web page could access. For example, you could use a bookmarklet to reveal a password that just appears as ******* on the page. Unlike browser extensions, bookmarklets don’t run in the background and bog down your browser. They don’t do anything at all until you click them. Because they just use the standard bookmark system, they can also be used in mobile browsers where you couldn’t run extensions. For example, you could install the Pocket bookmarklet in Safari on an iPad and get an “Add to Pocket” option in Safari. Safari doesn’t offer browsing extensions and Apple’s iOS doesn’t offer a “Share” feature like Android and Windows 8 do, so this is the only way to get this direct integration. You could even use the LastPass bookmarklets in Safari on an iPad to integrate LastPass with the Safari web browser. Where to Find Bookmarklets If you’re looking for a bookmarklet for a particular service, you’ll generally find the bookmarklet on that service’s site. Websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Pocket host pages where they provide bookmarklets along with browser extensions. Bookmarklets aren’t like programs. They’re really just a piece of text that you can put in a bookmarklet, so you don’t have to download them a specific site. You can get them from practically anywhere — installing them just involves copying a bit of text off of a web page. For example, you can just search the web for “reveal password bookmarklet” if you wanted a bookmarklet that will reveal passwords. We’ve covered many of the must-have bookmarklets — and our readers have chimed in too — so take a look at our lists for more examples. How to Install a Bookmarklet Bookmarklets are simple to install. When you hover over a bookmarklet on a web page, you’ll see its address begins with “javascript:”. If you have your web browser’s bookmark or favorites toolbar visible, the easiest way to install a bookmarklet is with drag-and-drop. Press Ctrl+Shift+B to show your bookmarks toolbar if you’re using Chrome or Internet Explorer. In Firefox, right-click the toolbar and click Bookmarks Toolbar. Just drag and drop this link to your bookmark toolbar. The bookmarklet is now installed. You can also install bookmarklets manually. Select the bookmarklet’s code and copy it to your clipboard. If the bookmarklet is a link, right-click or long-press the link and copy its address to your clipboard. Open your browser’s bookmarks manager, add a bookmark, and paste the JavaScript code directly into the address box. Give your bookmarklet a name and save it. How to Use a Bookmarklet Bookmarklets are easiest to use if you have your browser’s bookmarks toolbar enabled. Just click the bookmarklet and your browser will run it on the current page. If you don’t have a bookmarks toolbar — such as on Safari on an iPad or another mobile browser — just open your browser’s bookmarks pane and tap or click the bookmark. In mobile Chrome, you’ll need to launch the bookmarklet from the location bar. Open the web page you want to run the bookmarklet on, tap your location bar, and start searching for the name of the bookmarklet. Tap the bookmarklet’s name to run it on the current page. Note that the bookmarklet only appears here because we have it saved as a bookmark in Chrome. You’ll need to add the bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmarks before you can use it in this way. The location bar approach may also be necessary in other browsers. The trick is loading the bookmark so that it will be associated with your current tab. You can’t just open your bookmarks in a separate browser tab and run the bookmarklet from there — it will run on that other browser tab. Bookmarklets are powerful and flexible. While they’re not as flashy as browser extensions, they’re much more lightweight and allow you to get extension-like features in more limited mobile browsers.

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  • [GEEK SCHOOL] Network Security 3: Windows Defender and a Malware-Free System

    - by Ciprian Rusen
    In this second lesson we are going to talk about one of the most confusing security products that are bundled with Windows: Windows Defender. In the past, this product has had a bad reputation and for good reason – it was very limited in its capacity to protect your computer from real-world malware. However, the latest version included in Windows 8.x operating systems is much different than in the past and it provides real protection to its users. The nice thing about Windows Defender in its current incarnation, is that it protects your system from the start, so there are never gaps in coverage. We will start this lesson by explaining what Windows Defender is in Windows 7 and Vista versus what it is in Windows 8, and what product to use if you are using an earlier version. We next will explore how to use Windows Defender, how to improve its default settings, and how to deal with the alerts that it displays. As you will see, Windows Defender will have you using its list of quarantined items a lot more often than other security products. This is why we will explain in detail how to work with it and remove malware for good or restore those items that are only false alarms. Lastly, you will learn how to turn off Windows Defender if you no longer want to use it and you prefer a third-party security product in its place and then how to enable it back, if you have changed your mind about using it. Upon completion, you should have a thorough understanding of your system’s default anti-malware options, or how to protect your system expeditiously. What is Windows Defender? Unfortunately there is no one clear answer to this question because of the confusing way Microsoft has chosen to name its security products. Windows Defender is a different product, depending on the Windows operating system you are using. If you use Windows Vista or Windows 7, then Windows Defender is a security tool that protects your computer from spyware. This but one form of malware made out of tools and applications that monitor your movements on the Internet or the activities you make on your computer. Spyware tends to send the information that is collected to a remote server and it is later used in all kinds of malicious purposes, from displaying advertising you don’t want, to using your personal data, etc. However, there are many other types of malware on the Internet and this version of Windows Defender is not able to protect users from any of them. That’s why, if you are using Windows 7 or earlier, we strongly recommend that you disable Windows Defender and install a more complete security product like Microsoft Security Essentials, or third-party security products from specialized security vendors. If you use Windows 8.x operating systems, then Windows Defender is the same thing as Microsoft Security Essentials: a decent security product that protects your computer in-real time from viruses and spyware. The fact that this product protects your computer also from viruses, not just from spyware, makes a huge difference. If you don’t want to pay for security products, Windows Defender in Windows 8.x and Microsoft Security Essentials (in Windows 7 or earlier) are good alternatives. Windows Defender in Windows 8.x and Microsoft Security Essentials are the same product, only their name is different. In this lesson, we will use the Windows Defender version from Windows 8.x but our instructions apply also to Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. If you want to download Microsoft Security Essentials and try it out, we recommend you to use this page: Download Microsoft Security Essentials. There you will find both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of this product as well versions in multiple languages. How to Use and Configure Windows Defender Using Windows Defender (MSE) is very easy to use. To start, search for “defender” on the Windows 8.x Start screen and click or tap the “Windows Defender” search result. In Windows 7, search for “security” in the Start Menu search box and click “Microsoft Security Essentials”. Windows Defender has four tabs which give you access to the following tools and options: Home – here you can view the security status of your system. If everything is alright, then it will be colored in green. If there are some warnings to consider, then it will be colored in yellow, and if there are threats that must be dealt with, everything will be colored in red. On the right side of the “Home” tab you will find options for scanning your computer for viruses and spyware. On the bottom of the tab you will find information about when the last scan was performed and what type of scan it was. Update – here you will find information on whether this product is up-to-date. You will learn when it was last updated and the versions of the definitions it is using. You can also trigger a manual update. History – here you can access quarantined items, see which items you’ve allowed to run on your PC even if they were identified as malware by Windows Defender, and view a complete list with all the malicious items Windows Defender has detected on your PC. In order to access all these lists and work with them, you need to be signed in as an administrator. Settings – this is the tab where you can turn on the real-time protection service, exclude files, file types, processes, and locations from its scans as well as access a couple of more advanced settings. The only difference between Windows Defender in Windows 8.x and Microsoft Security Essentials (in Windows 7 or earlier) is that, in the “Settings” tab, Microsoft Security Essentials allows you to set when to run scheduled scans while Windows Defender lacks this option.

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  • Stupid Geek Tricks: Manage Your SkyDrive Through the Command Line

    - by Taylor Gibb
    Originally launched as an April Fools prank by the Microsoft SkyDrive team, SkyCMD turned out to be a really geeky way to manage files and folders on your SkyDrive from the command line. Lets take a quick look. The Best Free Portable Apps for Your Flash Drive Toolkit How to Own Your Own Website (Even If You Can’t Build One) Pt 3 How to Sync Your Media Across Your Entire House with XBMC

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  • Geek Chess: Nixie Tubes as Board Pieces [Video]

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    We’ve seen some geeky chessboards in our day, but this board is a masterpiece of geekiness. Check out the video to see the Nixie tubes in action. Courtesy of a tinker named Tony, we find this delightfully analog and geeky chess set. He writes: This developed as a spinoff from the hardware and controllers I’m designing for a range of nixie clocks and watches as a ‘simple’ project that wouldn’t need much software to complete it. All visible parts are made from materials contemporary with Nixie technology and no modern plastics or resins are used anywhere in its’ consruction (other than the electronic components and PCBs). The board and pieces are machined from phenolic resin laminate and assembled using brass fittings. The brown base pieces have been filled and wiped with gold and silver engravers wax, giving a ‘worn gilding’ appearance. The displays are ex-Soviet Nixie gas display tubes, manufactured in the early 1980s. No Chinese LEDs here… How to Banish Duplicate Photos with VisiPic How to Make Your Laptop Choose a Wired Connection Instead of Wireless HTG Explains: What Is Two-Factor Authentication and Should I Be Using It?

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  • Stupid Geek Tricks: How To Download Firefox On a New Computer Without Using Internet Explorer

    - by Chris Hoffman
    Internet Explorer-haters often say that the only good use for Internet Explorer is downloading Firefox or Chrome. But if you really don’t like IE, you can use Windows’ built-in FTP support to download and install Firefox without ever opening IE. Sure, you could just open Internet Explorer and download Firefox from Mozilla’s website, but where’s the geeky fun in that? This trick is about Firefox because Mozilla provides an FTP server, while Google doesn’t seem to. Downloading Firefox without using Internet Explorer may also come in handy if Internet Explorer is crashing and isn’t working properly on your system. 8 Deadly Commands You Should Never Run on Linux 14 Special Google Searches That Show Instant Answers How To Create a Customized Windows 7 Installation Disc With Integrated Updates

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  • Beginner Geek: How to Use Multiple Monitors to Be More Productive

    - by Chris Hoffman
    Many people swear by multiple monitors, whether they’re geeks or just people who need to be productive. Why use just one monitor when you can use two or more and see more at once? Additional monitors allow you to expand your desktop, getting more screen real estate for your open programs. Windows makes it very easy to set up additional monitors, and your computer probably has the necessary ports. Why Use Multiple Monitors? Multiple monitors give you more screen real estate. Hook up multiple monitors to a computer and you can move your mouse back and forth between them, dragging programs between monitors as if you had an extra-large desktop. People who swear by multiple monitors use them to display multiple things on-screen at a time. Rather than Alt+Tabbing and task switching to glance at another window, you can just look over with your eyes and then look back to the program you’re using. Some examples of use cases for multiple monitors include: Coders who want to view their code on one display with the other display reserved for documentation. They can just glance over at the documentation and look back at their primary workspace. Anyone who needs to view something while working. Viewing a web page while writing an email, viewing another document while writing an something, or working with two large spreadsheets and having both visible at once. People who need to keep an eye on information, whether it’s email or up-to-date statistics, while working. Gamers who want to see more of the game world, extending the game across multiple displays. Geeks who just want to watch a video on one screen while doing something else on the other screen. Hooking Up Multiple Monitors Hooking up an additional monitor to your computer should be very simple. Most new computers come with more than one port for a monitor — whether DVI, HDMI, the older VGA port, or a mix. Some computers may include splitter cables that allow you to connect multiple monitors to a single port. Most laptops also come with ports that allow you to hook up an external monitor. Plug a monitor into your laptop’s DVI or VGA port and Windows will allow you to use both your laptop’s integrated display and the external monitor at once. This all depends on the ports your computer has and how your monitor connects. If you have an old VGA monitor lying around and you have a modern laptop with only DVI or HDMI connectors, you may need an adapter that allows you to plug your monitor’s VGA cable into the new port. Be sure to take your computer’s ports into account before you get another monitor for it. Managing Multiple Monitors With Windows Windows makes using multiple monitors easy. Just plug the monitor into the appropriate port on your computer and Windows should automatically extend your desktop onto it. You can now just drag and drop windows between monitors. To control how this works, right-click your Windows desktop and select Screen resolution. Choose an option from the Multiple displays box. The Extend option extends your desktop onto an additional monitor, while the other options are mainly useful if you’re using an additional monitor for presentations — for example, you could mirror your laptop’s desktop onto a large monitor or blank your laptop’s screen while it’s connected to a larger display. Be sure to arrange your monitors properly so Windows understands how your monitors are physically positioned. Windows 8 allows you to extend your Windows taskbar across multiple monitors. You’ll find this option in the taskbar’s options window — right-click the taskbar and select Properties. You can also choose where you want Windows to display taskbar buttons for open programs — on any monitor’s taskbar or only on the taskbar on the associated monitor. Windows 7 doesn’t have these convenient features built-in — your second monitor won’t have a taskbar. To extend your taskbar onto an additional monitor, you’ll need a third-party utility like the free and open-source Dual Monitor Taskbar. If you just have a single monitor, you can also use the Aero Snap feature to quickly place multiple Windows applications side by side. On Windows 7 or 8, press Windows Key + Left or Windows Key + Right to make the current window take up the left or right half of your display. You could also drag any window’s title bar to the left or right edges of your screen and release the window. How useful this feature is depends on your monitor’s size and resolution. If you have a large, high-resolution monitor, it will allow you to see a lot. If you have a smaller laptop monitor with the seemingly standard 1366×768 resolution, you won’t be able to see much of each snapped window at once, so snapping windows may not be practical. Image Credit: Chance Reecher on Flickr, Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center on Flickr, Xavier Caballe on Flickr     

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  • The Best How-To Geek Articles for March 2012

    - by Asian Angel
    March was a busy month here at HTG where we covered topics such as properly scanning photos (and getting better images), the best tips for securing your data, identifying network abuse with Wireshark, and more. Join us as we look back at the most popular articles from this past month. How to Own Your Own Website (Even If You Can’t Build One) Pt 1 What’s the Difference Between Sleep and Hibernate in Windows? Screenshot Tour: XBMC 11 Eden Rocks Improved iOS Support, AirPlay, and Even a Custom XBMC OS

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  • June 23, 1983: First Successful Test of the Domain Name System [Geek History]

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    Nearly 30 years ago the first Domain Name System (DNS) was tested and it changed the way we interacted with the internet. Nearly impossible to remember number addresses became easy to remember names. Without DNS you’d be browsing a web where numbered addresses pointed to numbered addresses. Google, for example, would look like http://209.85.148.105/ in your browser window. That’s assuming, of course, that a numbers-based web every gained enough traction to be popular enough to spawn a search giant like Google. How did this shift occur and what did we have before DNS? From Wikipedia: The practice of using a name as a simpler, more memorable abstraction of a host’s numerical address on a network dates back to the ARPANET era. Before the DNS was invented in 1983, each computer on the network retrieved a file called HOSTS.TXT from a computer at SRI. The HOSTS.TXT file mapped names to numerical addresses. A hosts file still exists on most modern operating systems by default and generally contains a mapping of the IP address 127.0.0.1 to “localhost”. Many operating systems use name resolution logic that allows the administrator to configure selection priorities for available name resolution methods. The rapid growth of the network made a centrally maintained, hand-crafted HOSTS.TXT file unsustainable; it became necessary to implement a more scalable system capable of automatically disseminating the requisite information. At the request of Jon Postel, Paul Mockapetris invented the Domain Name System in 1983 and wrote the first implementation. The original specifications were published by the Internet Engineering Task Force in RFC 882 and RFC 883, which were superseded in November 1987 by RFC 1034 and RFC 1035.Several additional Request for Comments have proposed various extensions to the core DNS protocols. Over the years it has been refined but the core of the system is essentially the same. When you type “google.com” into your web browser a DNS server is used to resolve that host name to the IP address of 209.85.148.105–making the web human-friendly in the process. Domain Name System History [Wikipedia via Wired] What is a Histogram, and How Can I Use it to Improve My Photos?How To Easily Access Your Home Network From Anywhere With DDNSHow To Recover After Your Email Password Is Compromised

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  • [GEEK SCHOOL] Network Security 8: Keep Your System Updated for Security and Stability

    - by Ciprian Rusen
    Another important step in securing any computer or device is setting up automated updates. Your device’s security relies on your operating system, apps, plug-ins, and programs always being up to date. For example, using outdated Internet browsers and plug-ins like Adobe Flash, Java, or Silverlight represents a big security problem. There are many websites on the Internet that exploit security bugs in your browser or the plug-ins you have installed.Click Here to Continue Reading

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  • [GEEK SCHOOL] Network Security 7: Using the Action Center for Extra Security and Maintenance

    - by Ciprian Rusen
    In this lesson we will talk about another lesser-known security tool in Windows – the “Action Center”. This tool that has an impact on both how secure your system is and how well it is running from a maintenance perspective. The Action Center first made its appearance all the way back in Windows XP as the “Windows Security Center” and was such through Vista until being renamed in Windows 7.Click Here to Continue Reading

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  • Stupid Geek Tricks: 6 Ways to Open Windows Task Manager

    - by Patrick Bisch
    Bringing up Windows Task Manager is not much of a task itself, but when a virus disables Ctrl+Alt+Del and takes it hostage, how else are you going to open task manager? Or maybe you’re just looking for some diversity in your life, so here are 6 different ways to open Windows Task Manager.HTG Explains: Photography with Film-Based CamerasHow to Clean Your Dirty Smartphone (Without Breaking Something)What is a Histogram, and How Can I Use it to Improve My Photos?

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  • The How-To Geek Guide to Audio Editing: Cutting, Trimming & Arranging

    - by YatriTrivedi
    Audacity novices often start with lofty project ideas, but sometimes they lack the basics. Knowing how to cut and trim tracks is basic audio editing and is a fundamental starting point for making more elaborate arrangements. For this exercise, I’ll be making a ringtone from a Castlevania: Symphony of the Night track. I have the original CD and used that so I started with better quality audio than an MP3. You can follow along with any file you like, just so you get a feel for cutting, trimming, and arranging sound clips for yourself. I know which parts I want to edit in the track, but a quick play-through will help me look for those areas visually. How to Enable Google Chrome’s Secret Gold IconHTG Explains: What’s the Difference Between the Windows 7 HomeGroups and XP-style Networking?Internet Explorer 9 Released: Here’s What You Need To Know

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  • Stupid Geek Tricks: Extract Links Off Any Webpage Using PowerShell

    - by Taylor Gibb
    PowerShell 3 has a lot of new features, including some powerful new web-related features. They dramatically simplify automating the web, and today we are going to show you how you can extract every single link off a webpage, and optionally download the resource if you so wish. Why Does 64-Bit Windows Need a Separate “Program Files (x86)” Folder? Why Your Android Phone Isn’t Getting Operating System Updates and What You Can Do About It How To Delete, Move, or Rename Locked Files in Windows

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