With the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to forget about the importance of privacy and security in this world of endless digital devices. More and more of our electronics are constantly connected to the Internet through cloud services, providing more and more entry points into our homes for those with nefarious intentions. McAfee reached out to me with some tips on staying secure when using different devices, and they’re good enough to be shared, as they just might help you avoid a privacy-related disaster. Additionally, McAfee is running a sweepstakes where the grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to Iceland. More details on that at the end of this article.
If you've been shopping for a laptop lately, you may have a vague idea that "ultrabook" means "lightweight" and "small" but otherwise you may be a little confused about why some laptops are called ultrabooks and others aren't. It's understandable – this is one of those areas where names sort of caught on and many different manufacturers started using it, often with different ideas about what it meant. Here are the major points that define an ultrabook, and more importantly the top ultrabooks, and why they matter if you are getting ready to buy a computer.
Buying a home projector sounds easy at first: You get a screen, you get a projector, you aim it at the screen – and presto, theater-like movie time! But reality quickly teaches us that home projectors are very cool, but also a little complicated. They don't follow the same rules as TV screens, and they have extra features to consider and choose between.
Sometimes, your smartphone camera just isn't enough for taking great photos and you need a legitimate point and shoot digital camera. It's okay to admit it – that little lens isn't always the best at detecting light, zooming in, or snapping clear pictures, no matter how good it may be at making selfies. If you need to take pictures that your smartphone just can't handle, you need a digital camera – but you probably don't want to pay too much for one.
Do you love streaming your favorite shows, but run into a certain amount competition and lag around the household? Our modern lives are filled with the ability to stream Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, online games, and much more – but our networks have trouble keeping up, especially when everyone piles on in the evenings. If your router is several years old, it's time to think about a replacement: Today's best wireless routers and gateways are much more advanced and generally useful! So to help keep your network on safe footing, improve security, and give you a performance boost, we have collected the best wireless routers around. These beasts excel at processing data, tracking devices, and give you the features you need to manage your network (and maybe even give your own devices a bit of preference on the side). Take a look at a couple of these powerful routers and what they can do for you.
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2013, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
OS X 10.10, better known as Yosemite, represents the next-generation in Apple's desktop operating system. Yosemite brings a new look to the desktop experience, and also ties OS X and iOS together through a feature called Continuity that I bet will make work a lot easier for Apple users. With any big change, customers will wonder if their older hardware will be supported. We recently received this question from a reader named Steve:
Q: I'm excited to check out OS X Yosemite once it launches, the redesigned interface looks great! My MacBook Air is from 2010, and I was curious if you knew if it would run Yosemite without any issues, or if I have to upgrade my computer?
A: I agree--I think the look and feel of OS X Yosemite is a breath of fresh air. I've been using the Developer Preview since it was made available at WWDC 2014, and when I use a Mac that is running Mavericks or earlier, it already feels like a big step backwards from a design perspective. Now, on to system requirements! The nice thing about Yosemite is that Apple hasn't changed any of the system requirements from what was required to run Mavericks. In other words, all Macintosh products capable of running OS X Mavericks will be supported by Yosemite; as with Mavericks, 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of available storage, and OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or later are required to upgrade. To make it easier to figure out if you're specific Mac is compatible, here is a listing of all the Apple hardware that is Yosemite-capable:
- iMac Mid-2007 or newer
- MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
- Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
As you can see, anyone who has bought a Mac within the past five years is covered and will be able to run OS X Yosemite. Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook aluminum buyers as far back as 2008 are also good. In fact, some MacBook Pro and iMac buyers from back in 2007 can even get in on the Yosemite action, and those computers are now 7 years old! This is a pretty large blanket of Mac users that will be able to enjoy the next generation of OS X, and I comment Apple for including as many Macs as it did.
OS X 10.10 Yosemite is set to launch later this fall, and will be available exclusively on the Mac App Store. At WWDC, Apple announced that it will be made available completely free to its users. Can't beat that!
I wanted to publish some of my thoughts on the new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone in response to a few comments I've seen others making. Some random clarifitations:
1) While the Galaxy S5 does have a fingerprint sensor, it is bad enough that it will just be a frustration for those who try it out, and they'll likely disable it. Unlike Apple's Touch ID, Samsung's requires a vertical swipe at a very specific angle (or, non-angle.) With Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, you simply press your finger to the Home button, and it instantaneously unlocks your phone. The S5 scanner only works when you scan your finger straight down, towards the bottom of the phone, making it difficult to unlock the phone with one hand. The implementation on the Galaxy S5 is nowhere near as simple.
I was talking with my pal Dave Scherer from PWInsider today about Apple's performance, and he seems convinced that AAPL is no longer a good buy as far as stock is concerned. He basically believes that due to lower cost competition, Apple's higher-priced items won't sell as well, and that's why the stock was down after the earnings report. Of course, while I am no stock market expert, I definitely have an alternate view on how Apple will perform. My viewpoint, after the break.
One of my journalist friends, Monica Guzman, sent me an email asking what I'm looking forward to for 2014 as it pertains to technology and gadgets. There's a lot that I'm looking forward to, since I see 2014 as a marquee year--one that we will look back on as having brought us devices and convergence that we've been waiting for, for years. However, when I thought about it more, there was one thing that was more important to me. Here's how I responded:
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