Shared posts

21 Feb 01:46

Lenovo releases automatic removal tool for Superfish; issues updated statement

by Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Lenovo has just released an automatic removal tool for the Superfish software it pre-installed on some of its notebooks in 2014. This follows a manual procedure that the company detailed yesterday, and an update to Microsoft's Windows Defender from this morning that will also remove the software and its root certificate.

25 Feb 05:09

AT&T Lumia 830 with Fitbit Flex is now available for free on-contract

by Harish Jonnalagadda

The AT&T Lumia 830 bundle – which includes a Fitbit Flex activity tracker – is now free with a new two-year contract on the Microsoft Store. If you're looking to purchase the bundle outright, you can do so for just $399, which is great value considering the Fitbit Flex in itself retails for $90.

25 Feb 09:41

Gemalto denies 'massive theft' of SIM card encryption keys by NSA and GCHQ

by Harish Jonnalagadda

Digital security vendor Gemalto revealed its findings today following last week's report of an incursion by the NSA and the GCHQ into the vendor's SIM card encryption keys. While Gemalto noted that an operation by NSA and GCHQ "probably happened" in 2010 and 2011, the intrusion could not have resulted in a "massive theft" of SIM card encryption keys as the breach affected the company's office network and not its secure networks.

27 Feb 14:28

Microsoft confirms Windows 10 will support USB 3.1 Type-C and Dual Role

by John Callaham

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 will support both the upcoming USB 3.1 Type-C and USB Dual Role standards for data ports. The reveal was made via a panel description for the upcoming WinHec hardware development conference, which will be held in mid-March in China.

27 Feb 15:34

Microsoft to launch official Xbox One support via Reddit on March 2

by John Callaham

Microsoft will launch official support for the Xbox One console on Reddit beginning on Monday, March 2. Microsoft employees will answer support questions in a manner similar to how they respond on their Xbox Support Twitter account.

26 Feb 20:41

This is what is new in the Lumia Denim update for the AT&T Lumia 1520

by Daniel Rubino
Jessica Kendrick

ON THE DAY I SHATTER MY 1520, at&t goes and releases the software update. ~rivers of tears~

Although app and OS updates are great, what is even better is when companies post the entire changelog of what exactly is new. Luckily for us, AT&T agrees with this idea.

Earlier today, AT&T released the Lumia Denim software update for their Lumia 1520 and now the company has posted a very detailed listing of what has changed.

Most of the features in the update are already known, but things like the 578MB file size or Femtocell closed subscriber group (CSG) access being enabled are certainly unique.

26 Feb 10:55

Microsoft shares its vision of the future with thinner displays and cool gadgets

by Rich Edmonds
Jessica Kendrick

The only part where I could see myself was when the older woman sat down on the couch and her dad was showing her his new running shoe. And I was like, yup, that'll be me in 30 years.

Microsoft has released a new video on its work oriented account to share its vision of the future. It's all about massive, thin displays, holograms and cool, connected gadgets. There's even a tablet device shaped like a book.

25 Feb 23:05

Pebble, Microsoft and what could have been with Windows Phone

by Daniel Rubino

Earlier today, Windows Central ran a story regarding a potential Pebble app coming to Windows Phone. Evidence for the claim comes via a Store listing for an internal app that demonstrates a Pebble watch syncing with Windows Phone 8.1 devices.

At the time, my position was that this app represents a proof-of-concept approach. If Pebble were pleased with the performance and feature-set, a contract to build the actual app and partnership would likely take place.

Speaking with various people familiar with the situation, I have been able to learn the full context of the Microsoft-Pebble state of affairs. The news is fascinating, but the outcome will cause some weeping and gnashing of teeth.

26 Feb 02:29

Five cheap laptops that are worth a gander

by Simon Sage

We're showcasing some of our favorite cheap laptops, perfect for anybody shopping on a budget.

Whether you need a spare PC for tinkering, a laptop for the kid that can be stand getting busted with minimal heartbreak, or you're just keeping an eye on your budget and need a passable computer, we've assembled some of the most promising options available. We're setting the threshold for under $350 for these picks, and many are well below that. Keep in mind that you likely won't be playing graphics-intensive games on these machines, but browsing, daily work, and moderate photo editing shouldn't be a problem.

26 Feb 15:57

Microsoft Store currently selling 12-month Xbox Live Gold membership for $40

by John Callaham

The Microsoft Store website is the latest outlet where Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners can purchase a 12-month Xbox Live Gold membership for just $39.99. It's a $20 reduction from its normal $59.99 price tag.

26 Feb 18:01

Readly app for Windows Phone offers unlimited access to over 800 magazines

by John Callaham

Readly, which offers users unlimited access to over 800 magazines for $9.99 per month, launched their Windows Phone app this week in the Windows Phone Store. The app joins the previously released version for Windows 8.1 users.

16 Feb 05:26

Asus' ultra-thin ZenBook UX305 lands in the U.S. for $699

by Harish Jonnalagadda

Asus launched the latest addition in the ZenBook series, the ZenBook UX305, in the UK earlier this month, and is now bringing the Ultrabook to the U.S. The 0.48-inch thick notebook will be available in the country for just $699 for the full-HD model, with the QHD+ variant set to debut at a later date.

13 Feb 19:09

Get the ASUS X205 notebook for just $149 from the Microsoft Store

by John Callaham

The Microsoft Store site has a special President's Day sale on the ASUS X205 notebook with Windows 8.1. From now until Monday, Feb. 16, the 11.6-inch laptop is priced at just $149, or $50 lower than its already cheap cost of $199.

14 Feb 20:09

Feel Hurried Because You Have No Time, or Because You’re Wasting Your Life?

by (Gretchen Rubin)

“The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else.”

–Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition

Agree, disagree? This quotation reminds me of one of my favorite Secrets of Adulthood: Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastation. I have to remind myself of this often.

13 Feb 16:39

NestWP is a free, native Windows Phone app to control your Nest Thermostat

by Daniel Rubino
Jessica Kendrick


When it comes to smart thermostats, Nest is the go-to brand that comes to mind for many. Unfortunately, Google bought the company a year ago. Although Nest remains separate from the monolithic search engine, the chances of an official Windows Phone app are slim. Enter third-party developers.

NestWP is a new third-party app for Windows Phone that looks very promising. Although there are a few Nest apps already for Windows Phone, they usually tend to be web wrappers for the Nest website. Nestle was a solid offering, but alas it is now unpublished (we'll try to find out why).

13 Feb 18:53

All of OneNote's PC desktop features are now totally free to use

by John Callaham

Microsoft has now unlocked all of the premium features for its PC desktop version of OneNote 2013 for Windows 7 and 8.1. The company previously made its note-taking application free for personal use for PC desktop owners but until today certain features did require an subscription to Office 365.

10 Feb 23:23

Secret of Adulthood: You Know As Much As Most People

by (Gretchen Rubin)
Jessica Kendrick

False. I know more than most people.


From Further Secrets of Adulthood.

“I know as much as most people” is something that I remind myself when I’m confounded by an instruction manual, or by an app, or by some procedure I’m supposed to follow.

This Secret of Adulthood reminds me that if I can’t figure something out, I shouldn’t beat myself up about it. I remind myself, “I know as much as most people.” Maybe some people can figure it out, but I’m probably not alone in having some difficulty.

How about you? What are some of your Secrets of Adulthood?

12 Feb 15:49

Facebook now lets you choose what happens to your account after you die

by Rich Edmonds
Jessica Kendrick

Useful. Not morbid in the slightest.

Facebook has introduced a new feature today that allows users to select a legacy contact, who will be able to manage their account after they pass away. Once Facebook has been notified of a user passing away, the social network will 'memorialize' the account and enable access to the legacy contact who can manage the profile.

11 Feb 22:38

Which of These Four Stories Do You Tell Yourself About Money?

by (Gretchen Rubin)
Jessica Kendrick

What if you're some of all of these? Money ADD?


Paul Sullivan wrote an interesting New York Times piece, Stressed by Money? Get on the Couch,  about people going through “financial therapy” to get a better grip on their emotions and behavior around money.

Certainly, from what I’ve seen, the relationships among money, happiness, and habits are extraordinarily complex.

Sullivan cites financial psychologist Brad Klontz for the notion that people have four basic “money scripts,” that is, stories that we tell ourselves about money. Which describes you?

money avoidance: people who try to distance themselves from money, and in doing so, often undermine their financial well-being (here’s a story about money avoidance that I’ve never forgotten,)

money worship: people who believe that if they had more money, it would solve all their problems

money status: people who tie their money to their self of well-being, “net worth = self worth.”

money vigilance: people who are cautious about spending and pay debts promptly; they’re the ones who may refuse to spend for no rational reason.

The article notes that these “scripts” often run through our heads outside our conscious awareness of them.

How about you? What script fits you best? Mine is money vigilance.  Perhaps that’s partly why I’m an under-buyer.

Do you think there are any “scripts” that weren’t listed?

12 Feb 11:14

Microsoft's latest ad shows how Cortana can help new parents

by Rich Edmonds
Jessica Kendrick

Also with a slight hat tip to the new royal baby arriving in april-ish...

Microsoft has published a new advert for the Lumia 735, focusing on becoming a new parent. Using the power of Cortana, there's not only the selection of features available at hand from the get go, but the personal assistant is also able to get to know interests and habits of the Windows Phone owner.

12 Feb 19:40

Want a phone that can run Windows 10? Grab this Lumia 635 for just under $50 right now

by John Callaham

At the moment, the just-released Windows 10 preview for phones supports just six low-to-mid end Lumia devices. As luck would have it, Amazon is running a sale on the AT&T Lumia 635 for just $49.84 and it happens to be one of those lucky six Lumia Windows 10 preview devices.

12 Feb 20:49

NewEgg is now selling the Lumia 435 in the US for $109.99

by John Callaham

NewEgg has apparently become the first US retailer to sell the unlocked Lumia 435. It's official website has the low-end Windows Phone from Microsoft available for the price of $109.99.

09 Feb 20:01

Bing Rewards members can now get two free years of 100GB OneDrive cloud storage

by John Callaham

If you are a Bing Rewards member, Microsoft has just launched a nice offer where anyone signed onto that program can get 100GB of free cloud storage space via OneDrive. The extra amount of space will last for two years before it expires.

08 Feb 19:56

New Microsoft ad woos us with how the Surface Pro 3 reinvents the laptop

by John Callaham
Jessica Kendrick


Microsoft has just uploaded its latest Surface Pro 3 TV commercial on its YouTube channel. This new ad emphasizes the major features of the tablet-notebook hybrid on its own, without trying to compare it to a Mac notebook like previous commercials in the past.

04 Feb 20:18

“I Put the Device Face Down If My Daughter Wants To Talk or Physically Turn from the Screen”

by (Gretchen Rubin)

Happiness interview: Ron Lieber.

Now, how do I know Ron Lieber? I can’t remember how I met him. For a long time, I’ve been a big fan of his work. He writes a thought-provoking, helpful personal-finance column, “Your Money,” for the New York Times, and also writes for the Motherlode blog there. Recently, he wrote a post that got a huge amount of buzz: Why you should tell your children how much you make.

He has a new book that’s just hitting the shelves this week. The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money, which is an essential guidebook for any parents who want to talk sensibly with their children about money — and about good values related to money. This subject is very interesting and important, and I was particularly intrigued by the title, because I’ve often asked myself, what makes a person spoiled?

I was very eager to hear what Ron had to say.

Gretchen: You’ve done fascinating research. What’s the most significant thing you’ve concluded?

Ron: That there’s an epidemic of silence around money in families, no matter how much they have and no matter where they live. Somewhere along the way, we decided that talking honestly with children about money is impolite or age-inappropriate or will scare them or cause them to be money grubbers. But having money or talking about it doesn’t subvert values. In fact, having the right conversations about it over a decade or two can actually imprint good habits like modesty, generosity and perseverance.

Given what you’ve learned, what habits do you think are most important for parents to try to instill in children?

We live in a world nowadays that conspires against waiting. You don’t have to wait through the commercials. You can pay to skip the line at the theme park. Everyone has their own phone line. Homes have more bathrooms.  But patience is good; it’s the foundation of saving, after all. Plus if kids have to wait a while before they buy and get things, the yearning just may pass (albeit on to the next thing that they must have right that very moment).

And let’s not forget curiosity. The primary job of a child is to learn how the world works, and it’s parents’ job to answer their questions. All of them.  Including the hard ones about money.

What’s a simple habit that consistently makes you happier?

Expressing gratitude.

Do you have any habits that continually get in the way of your happiness?

Holding a device or facing a computer screen while my daughter is trying to talk to me. It makes me feel like a bad dad. I now put the device face down if my daughter wants to talk or physically turn from the desktop screen and lock eyes with her to make sure she knows I’m fully present.

Which habits are most important to you? (for health, for creativity, for productivity, for leisure, for savings, etc.)

Automating every possible financial transaction. For me and my wife, this helps reduce anxiety around missing payments or not saving enough.

Soon, we’re going to start automating allowance payments into a virtual account for our daughter so we never have to worry about forgetting to give it to her or not having enough singles to pay her on the appointed day each week.

Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

An Obliger. I do a decent job of meeting most people’s expectations of me, whether it’s editors or friends or family. But I’m not as nice to myself emotionally as I should be.

Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits? (e.g. travel, parties)

I write a weekly column for the New York Times, plus a post every two weeks for our parenting blog, Motherlode. It is an enormous privilege, but the deadline looms each and every Friday. My midnight Thursday eating habits are, well, deeply problematic.

Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you changed a major habit very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

The Apartment Therapy “landing strip” riff has completely changed the way I walk in the door when I come home each day and has made the logistics of arriving (and leaving) much more calm. Everyone has to check it out!

04 Feb 16:38

FCC Chairman states outright: they plan to classify internet access as a utility

by Derek Kessler

It's official, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler wants to reclassify internet service providers as utility providers under the FCC's Title II authority. The move aims to preserve the principles of net neutrality in law, barring ISPs from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing traffic.

04 Feb 16:50

Touch-based Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps now available for Windows 10 preview users

by John Callaham

Windows 10 Technical Preview users can now download the long-awaited touch-based versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint from the beta version of the Windows Store.

01 Feb 15:36

Microsoft Lumia 435 gets priced and dated for the UK

by Richard Devine
Jessica Kendrick

I wonder how Paul Allen feels about this.

Microsoft's latest low-cost Windows Phone, the Lumia 435, has been given a price and a release date for the UK. The device is now up for pre-order on Amazon UK for £88.49 in black, green or orange and will be released on March 1. And while it's not particularly expensive, it's perhaps a little more than we'd have expected.

02 Feb 10:36

Raspberry Pi 2 offers quad-core CPU and 1GB RAM for $35, can run Windows 10

by Harish Jonnalagadda

Three years after the launch of the Raspberry Pi, the vendor is launching a second-generation model that comes with much better hardware. The Raspberry Pi 2 offers a quad-core CPU clocked at 900 MHz, GPU clocked at 250 MHz and 1 GB RAM, all for just $35. The device can also run a customized version of Windows 10, and will be available for free to the maker community involved in Microsoft's IoT efforts later this year.

30 Jan 15:57

Ominous Supercell Thunderstorms Animated from a Single Photograph by Mike Hollingshead

by Christopher Jobson
Jessica Kendrick

This is Twister.... but real life?






Weather photographer Mike Hollingshead, whose impressive storm photography we first featured around this time last year, has taken his editing a bit further by importing his supercell thunderstorm photos into Photoshop and setting them in motion. Hollingshead says these animations aren’t created like more traditional cinemagraphs, where moving elements from a video are isolated and the rest of the image is masked out. Instead, he uses only a static image and creates the animation from thin air. Most of the photos you see here were shot in Nebraska between 2004-2013. You can see many more examples on his website.