Upgrade Your Life

    Microsoft’s new operating system has not been well received, and they may be planning to change some fundamental pieces – like reinstating the missing start button and getting you to your desktop as soon as you boot up. But in the meantime, I’ll show you how to fix Windows 8’s biggest annoyances right now.

    First the rumors: Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet reports the update to Microsoft Windows 8 (code named Blue) that will release in August of 2013 may include a start button.  The little icon in the lower left hand corner of the screen has been an anchor of navigation for many, over years of Windows use, and they feel lost without it.

    But if Microsoft succumbs to pressure and returns it to the operating system, it probably won’t be your classic start button, more like an icon in the same place as the original, which will take you to the Metro UI Start Screen of tiles.

    Another rumor is that users will have the option to bypass that start screen on boot up and go directly to the

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  • Each year millions of phones are damaged by water.  The interior gets wet and the circuitry goes kaput. Replacing a wet smartphone can cost upwards of $400, so are there any ways to save a phone, especially an iPhone that’s gone for a swim?

    Previously I tested the efficacy of drying a phone in uncooked rice, it worked for Blackberries and some Android phones, but I couldn’t get it to save an iPhone. So when I saw a new product that promised a 100% success rate for resuscitating wet phones (including the iPhone), I had to try it.

    First I dunked a powered on iPhone 4 in fresh water for 20 seconds, fully submerging it and cringing as I watched air bubbles popping out of the phone’s innards, as I knew water was rushing in. 

    Then I pulled out the Dry-All Smartphone Recovery kit and followed the directions.  First turn the phone off, towel dry, put in the Dry-All case for 24 hours. The biggest mistake people make after accidentally getting a phone wet is to turn it on

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  • When you’re about to buy a new gadget or computer, you have to make a ton of decisions – decisions that could end up costing you way too much. So what are the worst tech rip-offs – and how can you avoid them?

    Rip-off #1: Buying from the Carrier

    Buying a new phone poses lots of questions – starting with: where should you get your new device? The cell service providers would love you to believe that if you buy from them, you’ll get an amazing package deal. They’d also love you to believe that you HAVE to get your phone from them. You don’t. As long as the type of phone is supported by the service provider you choose, you can often save a significant percentage by buying the device from a third party site like Amazon Wireless or Wirefly. Just as an example, I recently found the HTC EVO 4G LTE for $30 on Wirefly, while the carrier wanted $100 bucks on for the exact same phone. Likewise, I found the Samsung Galaxy SIII listed for $200

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