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Geek Trivia: What Is The Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Series?


What Is The Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Series?

  1. Stargate
  2. The X-Files
  3. Dr. Who
  4. Star Trek

Think you know the answer?



How to Back Up Your Data Using Windows File History

Windows10-File-History.jpgThis feature originally introduced in Windows 8 has become Windows 10’s main backup tool. The name may be misleading, making one think it is a tool for restoring previous versions of files, but it is actually a fully functional backup tool. Automatically backing up your files to an external drive is easy after File History has been set up. What Is File History? File History is a tool introduced in Windows 8.1 and available also in Windows 10. Its purpose is for simple and automated data backups. This tool works with a number of devices in backing up your data. Other than its ease in setting… Read more

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How to Set Up a Printer in Linux

linux-printing-feat.jpgPrinting is something most people take for granted. It’s a basic function of PCs, but when you switch to a different platform, like Linux, things might get tricky. Linux doesn’t handle things quite like it does with other operating systems. Don’t expect to run a driver setup wizard off a CD or a download. Instead, on most distributions the drivers will probably already be installed or will be handled automatically. Official Drivers That said, some printer manufacturers do provide official Linux drivers. Both HP and Brother are actually known for supporting Linux well and do release their own printer drivers. Before you start this process, visit… Read more

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Should Devices Be Required to Only Allow Complex Passwords?

writers-opinion-devices-passwords-featurWe all know what a pain it is to come up with new passwords all the time and can understand the allure of not having to create a new password if you don’t have to. So when you get a new device that has an included password, why create a new one? It works the way it is. But the state of California doesn’t believe that is keeping you well protected. They passed a law banning devices from shipping with default passwords, such as “123456” and “password123.” Should this law be stretched further? Should devices be required to only allow complex passwords? Our Opinion Miguel… Read more

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Windows 10’s Next Update Will Make Your PC Faster, Thanks to Better Spectre Fixes

Your PC has been slower ever since Microsoft patched the Spectre flaws back in January 2018. PCs from 2015 and earlier slowed down the most. Now, Windows 10’s next update will mostly eliminate those slowdowns, making your PC faster.

Microsoft’s fix is part of Windows 10 version 19H1, which is currently in development. Windows Insiders can install an early, unstable version of it now. Microsoft will likely release it to every Windows 10 user around April 2019.

This information comes via Microsoft’s Mehmet Iyigun, who works on the Windows kernel team. On Twitter, he explained the Microsoft has now enabled “retpoline” and “import optimization” by default in the new builds of Windows 10. Together, these features “reduce the [performance] impact… to noise-level for most scenarios.” That’s another way of saying the slowdown will largely eliminated and basically unnoticeable.

Here’s his full tweet:

Yes, we have enabled retpoline by default in our 19H1 flights along with what we call “import optimization” to further reduce perf impact due to indirect calls in kernel-mode. Combined, these reduce the perf impact of Spectre v2 mitigations to noise-level for most scenarios.

— Mehmet Iyigun (@mamyun) October 18, 2018

We’re not sure what Microsoft’s “import optimization” is, but retpoline has been used on some Linux systems since January 2018. Retpoline was developed by Google and is a faster way of blocking Spectre-based attacks with “negligible impact on performance,” according to Google. You can get all the technical details about Retpoline on Google’s website.

It’s notable that security researcher Alex Ionescu found the speed of transferring a bunch of small files was improved on his test system. That’s because some benchmarks found a slowdown of up to 23% when moving a bunch of smaller files around, but Microsoft’s new patch seems to help a lot here.

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Ubuntu 18.10 Is Out With a New Theme and Snappier Desktop Performance

Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” is now available. This releases features a shiny new theme named “Yaru,” which was originally scheduled for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The new GNOME 3.30 improves desktop performance, too.

Most of the improvements in Cosmic Cuttlefish are low-level things you can’t see. As usual, this means a lot of package upgrades. Ubuntu 18.10 features the Linux kernel 4.18, GNOME 3.30 desktop, and LibreOffice 6.1.2. Under the hood, this new release boasts a “state of the art toolchain” featuring various new versions of system software, from glibc 2.28 to GCC 8.2 and OpenSSL 1.1.1.

On the desktop, there’s a new default theme named “Yaru,” which includes a new icon set named “Suru.” This theme was made by the Ubuntu user community, and was known as the “Communitheme” at one point.

It already looks shiny and new, and it should be beautifully polished by the time it becomes the default theme for LTS users in Ubuntu 20.04.

The traditional Ubuntu theme, known as Ambiance GTK, is still available in the Ubuntu package repositories if you want it.

OMG! Ubuntu! reports that the Ubuntu 18.10 desktop feels a lot faster than Ubuntu 18.04 LTS did. This isn’t a surprise, as GNOME Shell’s developers have been working on seriously improving performance and reducing resource consumption for GNOME 3.30. And, as Ubuntu 18.10 now features GNOME 3.30, Ubuntu users now gain the benefits of all that work.

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How To Make Your Computer’s Microphone Sound Better

Ever wonder how radio and podcast hosts get their signature sound? While some of it comes from their better hardware, a lot of it comes down to post-processing, which is editing the audio after it’s recorded (or sometimes while it’s live) to make it sound much better. You can use the same techniques to make your microphone sound better.

The two apps we will be using for post processing our audio are Adobe Audition and Audacity. Audition is an excellent tool with a clean interface. Audacity is free, but lacks some features and is a bit harder to use, but either one is sufficient for our uses.

Buy a Standalone Microphone

While post-processing can help make your microphone sound much better, you still want a good starting point in the form of a decent mic. The primary concern here is noise. While audio post-processing apps like Audacity are great at EQing your voice and making flat audio sound professional, it can’t get rid of noise very well. Built in microphones are usually small and pick up a lot of noise from inside your device’s case. Large, standalone mics are generally much less noisy.

A great microphone could easily cost hundreds of dollars, but unless you’re an audio professional, you’ll see diminishing returns on audio quality, as even something like the TONOR BM-700 at just $30 will sound incredible compared to your laptop or phone’s built mic.

Noise Reduction

Most mics, even high-end ones, aren’t entirely quiet, and getting rid of annoying background hiss is one of the first steps in cleaning up your audio.

The spectral frequency display in Audition is useful for visualizing noise. It shows levels of noise at each frequency, over time. Before noise reduction, you can see here at the end of the audio (while I wasn’t talking) there’s still a lot of data. Looking closer, these lines of noise stretch across all of the audio.

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How to Delete Apps from Your Chromebook

Chromebooks are great because they don’t require huge hard drives, but there are some instances where that can also be a limitation. With modern Chromebooks being able to install a slew of apps from multiple sources, they can fill up quickly.

Currently, you can install Android apps from the Google Play Store, Chrome apps, and Linux applications. So storage space can become a concern pretty quickly. And with streaming services like Netflix letting you download your favorite movies and shows for offline playback, you could be faced with a device that doesn’t have enough space for everything you need.

Fortunately, it’s straightforward to uninstall apps you don’t use anymore from your Chromebook, no matter where they came from.

How to Uninstall an Android App from Your Chromebook

For most users, Android apps from the Google Play Store are likely to be the main reason they need to clear up space, so we’ll start there.

If you’re using the Chromebook with a trackpad or mouse, two-finger click (trackpad) or right-click (mouse) while the mouse pointer is hovering over an app’s icon and then click “Uninstall.”

If you’re using a Chrome OS tablet—or just like using your Chromebook’s touchscreen—tap and hold on the app’s icon and then tap “Uninstall.”

How to Uninstall a Chrome App from Your Chromebook

If your application came from the Chrome Web Store, that’s easy to remove as well. And if you’re unsure where an app came from, the process is identical to uninstalling an Android app.

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How to Change the Size of Text in Windows 10

Sometimes the size of the font on your computer can be too small or hard to see due to display scaling issues on higher-resolution screens. Luckily, Windows 10 lets you resize text to your liking. Here’s how.

RELATED: How to Make Windows Work Better on High-DPI Displays and Fix Blurry Fonts

How to Change the Size of Text

If the only thing you’re having trouble with is the text size when navigating through Windows, then making text bigger—or smaller—is all you need to do. This affects title bars, menus, icon text, and a few other items.

Fire up the Settings app by pressing Win+I and then click the “Ease of Access” category.


The “Display” tab on the left is selected by default. On the right, under the “Make Text Bigger” section, slide the bar until the sample text is easy for you to read and then click “Apply.”


Windows immediately scales up the size of all text.

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What’s the Difference Between Junk Email, Clutter, and Focused Inbox in Outlook?

If you use a recent version of Outlook, you’ve probably noticed a Junk Email folder, a Clutter folder, and something called Focused Inbox. All of these seem to affect where your mail ends up, but it might not be obvious why or when this happens. Here’s how they work and how to turn them off if you don’t like them.

Note: These features are available in the Outlook web app, Outlook 365, Outlook 2016, and Outlook 2019. If you’re using an older version of Outlook, you won’t see them.

What’s Junk Email For?

Junk Email is the simplest to explain: It’s the folder where Outlook sends mail it thinks is spam. This works just like the spam folders in other email clients, like Gmail’s Spam category.

If you work in a corporate environment, you might not see much in here, because a lot of companies apply filters to stop spam before it ever gets to your mailbox. If you’re using Outlook to access a web account from the likes of Google or Yahoo! then you also might not see much in here, as spam isn’t normally downloaded to your client.

If you do see messages in your Junk Email folder, you should follow your company’s policies on junk email. If you’ve got junk email in your personal Outlook then follow the usual precautions: don’t open any attachments, only open the mail if you recognize the sender’s email address, and if you’re in any doubt delete the mail (Shift+Delete will delete the mail completely, bypassing your Deleted Items folder).

What’s Clutter For?

Clutter is a separate folder where Outlook sends messages that it doesn’t think are spam, but also doesn’t think are important enough to clutter up your inbox. This includes things like regular newsletters, coupon emails, and so on.

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