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Short PC tips and tricks

How to Get Rid of the Ads on the Firefox New Tab Page

In an effort to develop new sources of advertising revenue, Mozilla has started displaying ads on the page that is used for opening a new tab in the Firefox browser. This new practice was started in Firefox 33.1 and is described in the Firefox message shown below.

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Free Microsoft Windows Security Tool EMET Now in Version 5.1

EMET (Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit) is a powerful free security tool from Microsoft. EMET hardens your system against various exploit techniques by making programs run in a restricted mode and has been the subject of previous tips. It has just been updated today to version 5.1.

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How to Get a Free Installation Disk for Windows 8.1

If there is one question that keeps coming up, it is how to get a disk to reinstall a Windows system. Since most OEM systems don’t come with a Windows installation disk, many people find themselves wanting to reinstall Windows but having no disk. There are ways to create an installation disk from an operating Windows system (see here  and also here) but unfortunately many PC users neglect to do this.

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Revisit all those Games of the Past at the Internet Arcade

Do you remember the 70s and 80s when teenagers (and adults) used to spend hours at the arcades feeding quarters (or whatever the equivalent local coinage was) into the game machines? Now you can play all your favorite games again and it won't cost you a single quarter.

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Protect Your Online Privacy and Speed up Browsing with Privacy Badger

Advertisers and others are constantly trying to track where we go and what we do on the Internet. There are a variety of browser add-ons which attempt to monitor and/or block these tracking efforts and Gizmo’s often reviews these defensive browser additions.  A fairly new one that is intriguing is called Privacy Badger and I decided to take a look at it.

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Five Places to Find New Uses for Old Smartphones and Tablets

Recently, I faced a dilemma. I got a new smartphone. But that wasn’t the dilemma. The dilemma was what to do with the old phone. Nobody wanted it. Since looking for a use for an old phone is a common occurrence, the web has lots of sites with suggestions. I thought I would pass along some of the more interesting places to get ideas about what to do with old phones and Android tablets.

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Nine Shortcuts to Speed up Internet Browsing that You May Not Know

All the common browsers have a number of shortcuts but some are not as well-known as others. Here are nine helpful browser hot keys and shortcuts that you may not be aware of.

1. Do a reverse search on an image
In the Chrome browser, you can do a Google search that shows the sources for an image. Hold down the “s” key and right-click the image. As far as I can tell, this is unique to Chrome.

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Easy Way to Open Safe Mode in Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1

Would you like a really convenient way to get to Windows 7 or 8.x Safe Mode? Normally, it takes a number of steps as described for Windows 7 here and for Windows 8 at this link.  If you find yourself having to make frequent use of Safe Mode, here is a way to get there quickly and easily.

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Get a New Look on the Windows Desktop with More Interesting and Colorful Cursors

The plain old standard mouse pointers may serve you well most of the time but now and then there comes a point when you want something different. Maybe you are like me and your eyes are not what they used to be. So you’d like cursors that are easier to find on the screen. Maybe you give presentations and your audience needs more striking cursors in order to follow what you are doing. Or maybe you just want something jazzier for a change. One way to make changing and managing cursors easier is to use a free program called Cursor Commander.

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How to Join the Microsoft Insider Program and Get a Trial Copy of Windows 10 Preview

If you are interested in participating in a Microsoft program that previews Windows 10 as it undergoes further devlopment, you can sign up at this link to download a preview copy of Windows 10. You'll have to join the program and agree to provide feedback. In essence, you sign up to be a beta tester. Of course, you would not do this on your regular system. This is an unfinished product with many bugs likely. It should be installed only on a virtual machine or a system you are not using for anything else.

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