McAfee pushed out a malformed security patch early on Wednesday that wound up crippling computers running Windows XP, but there is a fix available. Users should note that it's labor-intensive and must be applied manually to each computer. If you're running Windows Vista or Windows 7, your computer shouldn't be affected by the bad update.
If your computer is shutting down automatically, you must address that before you can fix anything else.
Step 1: Open a command prompt: Start menu, Run, then type cmd and hit Enter Step 2: Type shutdown -a, which will prevent the shutdown … Read more
3D TV effects are wasted on a portion of the population, about 4 percent to 10 percent of us. When shown 3D content, some people in this group see double or blurry images, or suffer from eyestrain or headaches that makes the content unenjoyable, to say the least.
If you're in this group, as I am, there is a solution: You can turn off the 3D feature on your TV, and watch the content "flat." If it's a movie you're interested in, find a theater that's showing it in the cheaper non-3D version. Nvidia'… Read more
Paying retail price is for people with poor impulse control. If you can delay your gratification for the shiny new toy you want and maybe do a little research first, you can almost always get what you're looking for at a price much lower than what you see either on store shelves or at the first online retailer you go to.
This should not be news to you, of course. If you're a savvy CNET reader, you're already accustomed to researching before you buy. Perhaps you scour Rick Broida's Cheapskate blog to stay abreast of good tech deals. But when you're looking for a price on a particular item, there are dozens of sites and services that can save you money. You just have to remember to use one of them. Here are my picks.
The necessary reminder InvisibleHand isn't always the best deal-finding site, but I highly recommend installing this browser add-on since it reminds you when there are better deals online than the one you're looking at. Unlike the other sites I recommend, you don't even have to remember to use it.
The InvisibleHand extension stays out of your way (invisible) until it sees a product on a site it's familiar with (like Google or Amazon). Then it pops down a little advice bar telling you if you're looking at the best real-time online price for the product that it knows of, or if there are less expensive offers online elsewhere. Very nice.
It has limitations: it doesn't calculate shipping costs, or taxes, or coupon discounts (yet). But it's still very valuable. Even if you don't use its recommendations, the fact that waves at you when you could be saving money makes it worth the download.
The old standards Nextag has been around for years, and I still use it as my go-to-site for comparison shopping. It pulls data from a healthy selection of sites (including, competitors claim, some gray-market resellers), and calculates price as delivered including tax and shipping. Nextag is far from the only player in this space. Google Products is not a bad solution either. It works like Nextag but with a different selection of sources, so it will sometimes find different prices. Also be sure to check out Microsoft's Bing Shopping, which will show you cash-back offers on some products, which sometimes will save you money over other product search engines.
For commodity products (cables, hard drives, and so on), check out Pricewatch, which gives you an extremely basic but fast and useful list of prices for popular parts from many vendors. Unfortunately it doesn't scan Monoprice, which has the best prices outside of eBay for cables and other tech infrastructure products.
The mobile tools When you see something you like in a real, physical store, stop. Whip out your iPhone and fire up the RedLaser app (99 cents). It's one of several available consumer-goods barcode scanner apps, in my opinion the best. It'll find the item you're looking for and what it's selling for online, as well as try to find it in other brick-and-mortar stores nearby (with mixed results). Bonuses: when you scan a book, it'll find it in a library; when you scan food items, it'll list allergens in it. It's also got the best UPC entry keypad for when the barcode scanner doesn't work, which is often if you're using an iPhone model other than the 3GS.
Also of note for buy-local types: the Milo local search engine, which I covered in last December. It's weeks away from getting its own mobile app and service, company reps told me.
The coupon site The Web is awash in coupon deals on various products. And like the price-checking tools, there are several good sites that will help you find these deals. I currently recommend RetailMeNot. It has a healthy collection of coupon codes from around the Web and a good community of users that rate each code as usable or not.
One of the iPad's marquee features is iBooks, Apple's book reading application and bookstore. It's a good app, attractive and capable. The bookstore itself isn't bad either, with a healthy selection of popular books and a large library of free, public domain works. But be careful before you dive into the Apple ecosystem for books.
iBooks competes with Amazon's Kindle. The new Kindle app for the iPad lacks some features iBooks has, but makes up for it with superior flexibility, and a few useful features iBooks does not have. While the iBooks and Kindle apps … Read more
This is an old issue, but it's been crawling deeper under my skin as more people buy smartphones: here in California, and only in California, we pay sales tax on the "full price" of the mobile devices. That full price is not negotiable. It's whatever the wireless carrier says it is.
For example, if you buy a Blackberry 9700 under two-year contract from AT&T for $199, you pay the same tax as you would if you bought the device without a contract at $449. At my county's sales tax rate of 9.5 … Read more
One of the things I hate about modern car technology (after the now-standard automatic transmission) is that getting one of the most useful options in a new car, a navigation system, often costs $2,000 or more, while an off-the-shelf navigation unit for one-tenth the price will do as much or more than the built-in nav package.
Compare the navigation systems on a two of my favorite cars, the Acura TL and the Audi A3. On the Acura, you can get navigation only as part of a $3,500 package (which, granted, also includes leather seats). On the A3, navigation … Read more
Welcome to the first entry in our new feature, CNET to the Rescue. In it, I'm going to look out for your rights as a consumer of technology, try to help you save money, keep advertisers honest, and in general do what I can to keep tech vendors from taking advantage of you. If you've got a consumer complaint, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the CNET to the Rescue forum.
On March 3, Chris Christensen, author of the Amateur Traveler Web site, posted a worrisome entry on his blog: Did this video get me banned from YouTube... for life? He said three weeks ago all the video reports he'd posted to YouTube for embedding in his travel blog, plus his channel on YouTube itself, had been disabled. Three weeks after communicating with Google through what he thought were the proper channels, he finally received a terse response to his query that left him as confused as he was originally--and his 39 innocuous travel videos remained banned.
I've looked at Christensen's videos and see nothing untoward in them that would merit their removal from YouTube. On one video, he does discuss and show a topless beach, but even in that video there is no frontal nudity.
I've taken on this issue for CNET to the Rescue because it highlights things that need to change in the way Google polices the user-generated content that makes up YouTube. The good news is that after I talked with Google about this issue, the company said it would start the process of updating its appeals processes to prevent this confusion and hopefully to safeguard users like Christensen who rely on YouTube for their businesses. Also, I'm happy to report that YouTube finally put Christensen's videos back online. … Read more
Wearables are largely aimed at the person who just wants to maintain a good weight, sleep enough, and maybe get in a little cardio. CNET's Brian Cooley tells you why 2014 could be the breakout year for wearable tech.