Upgrade Your Life
  • Nobody wants to get hacked. But when it comes to choosing a password, there are key steps you can take to reduce your risk of data intrusions from unwanted virtual visitors. This week's edition of Upgrade Your Life will teach you how to make a strong, safe password that's easy to remember — and how to reduce your odds of being an easy target for hackers.

    1. Worst Passwords
    In 2009, a major hack on social gaming site RockYou revealed some troubling patterns in how we choose our passwords. The Imperva Application Defense Center (ADC), a security research group, examined the passwords of RockYou's clients to see just what went wrong. The study found that more than 29,000 of the compromised accounts were using the password "123456" — the most popular password. The second and third most common passwords were also strings of consecutive numbers. And the fourth most common password? "Password." Other popular passwords from the RockYou case include "iloveyou," "abc123," and a handful of

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  • Upgrade Your Life: Revive a dying laptop battery

    Laptop battery wearing down? In this week's episode of Upgrade Your Life, Yahoo! News' Becky Worley shows us how to help batteries last longer ... and what to do when they run out!

    First, the basics

    Most laptops use batteries that can last for 3-5 years, or about 1000 charges. (A premium laptop's battery might last longer.) Every time you charge your battery, the total capacity of the battery is diminished. Originally it may have had a run time of 3.5 hours, but after a year it'll run out of juice at 3 hours, even on a full charge.

    If your battery capacity has diminished, there are a few things you can do about it. First, you have to correctly gauge how much capacity has been lost. There are free downloads to do this job, like Battery Bar (for Windows PCs) or Coconut Battery (for Macs). These will compare your battery's current maximum capacity to how long it lasted when it was new.
    (UPDATE- we originally recommended Battery Eater and while the program works great, their download site

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  • Upgrade Your Life: Gas saving winners and losers

    Gasoline just keeps getting more expensive at the pump. So in this week's episode of Upgrade Your Life, Yahoo! News' Becky Worley shows us gadgets and smartphone apps designed to save you money on gas ... and some bogus gimmicks you should definitely pass on.

    Improve Efficiency

    Your driving habits directly affect the gas mileage your car gets: Step on the gas a little too much, and you burn through fuel faster than you would with a more consistent driving style. But what if your car could tell you exactly how your driving was affecting its mileage?

    The Lincoln SmartGauge with EcoGuide (PDF link) gives you that feedback when you are driving inefficiently. Just glance down at your dashboard, on an equipped car, and it'll show you what kind of mileage you're getting. The better your driving gets, the more leaves appear on your screen; especially good driving earns a flower. It's sort of a minigame, but one that's not meant to be too distracting.

    Not driving a new SmartGauge-equipped

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(141 Stories)
  • Holmes takes control at Doral, McIlroy cards a 73

    By Mark Lamport-Stokes (Reuters) - American J.B. Holmes made light of the daunting Blue Monster course as he fired a sizzling 10-under-par 62 to seize a commanding four-shot lead in the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami on Thursday. While world number one Rory McIlroy recovered from a dismal start to open with a one-over 73, the long-hitting Holmes piled up an eagle and eight birdies to take control of the first of the year's four elite World Golf Championships (WGC) events. Despite blustery conditions on a fast-running layout at the Trump National Doral Resort, Holmes delivered a near-perfect exhibition of course management as he stole the limelight from a high-calibre field including every player in the world's top 50. Fellow American Ryan Moore double-bogeyed his last hole, the par-four 18th, after finding water off the tee to card a 66 while Frenchman Alexander Levy and Americans Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler opened with 68s.

  • Holmes ties PGA WGC-Cadillac Championship record with 10-under 62
    Holmes ties PGA WGC-Cadillac Championship record with 10-under 62

    American JB Holmes tied the tournament record with a sizzling 10-under 62 to surge into a four-shot lead over a world-class field in the opening round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Thursday. The 32-year-old from Kentucky tamed Doral's Blue Monster course by hitting 15 of 18 greens as he goes for his first title of the season.

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