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A Baker's Dozen Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Mac

Whether you're a recent convert, ambivalent veteran or one of those hardened Apple fanboys, let us remind you: a Mac, like any other computer, needs to be maintained. No, you probably don't need anti-virus software (yet), you may never have to fiddle with registry editing, and you'll likely never need to reinstall the operating system. But you may face a kernel panic, a raft of mysterious app...

You Have Ten Seconds To Edit Your Facebook Comment. Get Cracking!

Facebook has updated its commenting system (again, sigh) and among the sillier of "improvements" is an edit feature that lasts approximately ten seconds. Lifehacker details how to edit your comment: Basically, just hit the delete "X" and it will reopen the text entry box, allowing you the opportunity to polish those precious words of yours. There's tons of caveats, however -- chief among them...

How to Get Around the New York Times' Paywall

The New York Times may be putting up a paywall later this month, but users can still access more than 20 free online articles per month, using a technique explained by Business Insider. [Ed. Note: We may or may not have been exploiting this loophole to read the Wall Street Journal for ages.] All you have to do is copy the headline of the article you want to read, paste it in Google's search...

Your Guide to Private Browsing

InPrivate, Incognito, Private Browsing -- whatever they want to brand it -- all modern browsers offer a special mode designed to keep what you do online a secret from prying eyes. Despite different names and origins at different companies, they all work in basically similar ways: A new browser session is created that operates separately from your existing one, with its own history and cookies...

Clear Your Browser's Cache and Cookies to Protect Your Privacy

You probably already know this (we know you're very smart!), but it bears repeating: your browser saves a whole lot of data about what you do. Beyond just your browser history, the most visible trail of what you do on your PC, there is also your browser cache and cookies. Cookies are used by websites to keep you logged in and to track your browsing habits to provide targeted advertisements, while...

How to Make an Animated GIF from a YouTube Video

Animated GIFs are on the rise again, blanketing Tumblr, Twitter and much of the Switched team chatroom. Some sites offer GIF-making tools, but most, at best, do little more than take multiple screencaps of a video, leaving you with a five-frame result that's not going to get you any Internet cred. Amazingly, there still isn't a dedicated app for making amazing works like these, so you'll have to...

Check Where You're Logged Into Gmail

Gmail has a neat little feature that lets you check where your account is logged in and see all of its recent activity. All the way at the bottom of the screen (in very tiny text) you'll find a notification of where your account is currently logged in. Click on the 'Details' link and you'll get a full list of where your account is being accessed from, whether it's via a browser or mobile device,...

Pro Tip: How to Opt-Out of Google's Targeted Ads

In the past, we've shown you how to opt out of targeted ads from Google. But did you know that there is actually an easier way to quickly opt-out that doesn't involve digging around in your advertising preferences? There is now a giant Opt-Out button on the Advertising and Privacy page in Google's Privacy Center. Along with allowing you to opt out, the page offers a detailed explanation of...

How to Wipe Your Android Phone

If you've got to return your fancy Android phone for some reason, or you plan to sell your older model on eBay, you'll want to make sure your private information is thoroughly cleaned from the device. Setting your Android phone back to its factory defaults is simple enough, but ensuring your phone is completely clear is a two-step process. First, you need to format your microSD card: Under...

How to Bookmark Songs in Pandora

Pandora may be great at unearthing songs you never knew existed, but its social and bookmarking features are still stuck in the early Aughts. You could just jot down that great Charles Bradley track that's playing right now, but Pandora does, in fact, offer an easy, if somewhat hidden, way to save songs or artists. In the Pandora Web interface, just click 'Menu' under the album artwork,...

How to Keep Your Photos (and Their Data) Safe

iPhones, BlackBerrys and other smartphones have made it remarkably easy for us to share photos on sites like Facebook and Flickr. But they've made it a lot easier for cyberstalkers to track us, as well. That's because many digital photos contain a kind of encoded data known as Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF). This type of data is often used by professional photographers, since it reveals...

Essential BlackBerry Keyboard Shortcuts for Fighting RSI

Yesterday, we showed you how to set up your basic AutoText and predictive text settings, but you can do much more to relieve the dreaded BlackBerry thumb by taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts. Since so many exist, though, you'll want to get started with learning the basics. Some shortcuts work for both e-mail and messaging, but others are exclusive to individual services....

Soothe Your BlackBerry's Spell Check, AutoText and Predictive Text Turmoil

Many BlackBerry owners bemoan -- and remain ignorant of -- their devices' various messaging and keyboard settings. BlackBerry does, however, offer an impressive variety of shortcuts and alternative options, although those features are located within an extensive and disorganized menu arrangement. When sending messages, typing purists may want to manipulate the AutoText predictive text and spell...

Netflix Tech Tips: Finding the Right Movie for That Right Moment

Sometimes the sole impediment to a relaxing evening spent with a bowl of popcorn and the comforting glow of the TV is deciding on a movie to watch. Whether you're trying to satisfy a specific mood, or looking for that one Werner Herzog movie you haven't seen yet, Netflix's movie recommendations leave a lot to be desired. No, we're not interested in yet another cerebral, witty, foreign film with a...

Netflix Tech Tips: Tricks and Hints for Getting New Releases

Considering the number of times we've uttered, "I'll watch it when it comes out on DVD," it's no wonder we're such hounds for new releases. Sadly, we've become used to the new movies in our Netflix queue being perpetually stuck at "Very Long Wait." It's bad enough that we have to hold off until we can watch something of merit. (Damn you, New York movie ticket prices!) But having to wait...