Revisiting the top tech headlines of the past year
Another year is in the books and you know what? The PC isn't dead! Not that we ever thought our beloved platform was ever in jeopardy, though you wouldn't know it if you listened to analysts and market research firms predicting all kinds of gloom and doom for the desktop. We're happy to say the sky didn't fall, and as we look ahead to 2014, we're more excited than ever about all the advances in technology -- 3D printing, wearable computing, and advances in storage are just some of the things gaining momentum as we head into the new year.
Before we look too far down the road, however, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on some of the biggest news stories of 2013. We've put together a list of the most popular happenings of the past year based on a variety of factors including traffic, reader engagement, and of course editorial discretion. Some are included here because of their lasting impact on the industry, and others because they piqued the interest of you, our readers, and sparked lively debates.
Ready to get nostalgic with us? Then off we go as we relive the top 13 news stories of 2013!
Black Friday is now in the rear view mirror, which means we can look forward to a line up Cyber Monday deals. One word of note before we switch gears -- even though Black Friday is over with, many of the deals listed will last through the weekend. We'll do our best to cross out the ones we know have already expired, but if you see something that catches your eye, it doesn't hurt to click.
We like building our own PCs because there's a certain satisfaction that comes from hand-picking the right combination of parts, putting them together, and then fine tuning their collective performance both on a hardware and software level. A home brewed PC is never finished -- we can always add, subtract, or upgrade components, and over time, our machines become a living entity that grows alongside us. What started off as a lean, mean, pixel pushing machine may eventually end up as a whisper quiet home theater PC (HTPC).
A visual walkthrough of 20 new Windows 8.1 features and changes
Microsoft has recieved a lot of negative flack for the radical changes it’s made in Windows 8 with the complete disconnect from traditional UI elements like the Start button. With the release of the Windows 8.1 preview, which you can try out now if you are willing to use beta software, Microsoft is making strides to appease the user base it left out in the cold.
Windows 8.1 will allow you to boot to the desktop, disable hot corners, and more!
After many leaks and small public demos, Microsoft has officially blown the lid off Windows 8.1by fully detailing it at the company's Build event in San Francisco, California. The updated operating system offers numerous tweaks and features, some of which include...
Last week Apple announced its highly-anticipated iOS 7 update would come with a flurry of "new" features. From the look of things, however, we've seen a lot of these supposedly fresh designs in Android, WebOS, and Windows before.
Best free antivirus programs and virus propection tips
So you got caught with your pants down on the Internet (figuratively, folks) and contracted a virus. That sucks. Or maybe you were wearing protection but still fell victim to some nasty bit of code that managed to slip by your antivirus software undetected. That sucks even more. Either way, it's nothing to feel ashamed about. The web is a dangerous place and even the most tech savvy users sometimes slip up. You can even get a virus through no fault of your own simply by visiting a reputable website that, unbeknownst to you, has been compromised by a hacker with malicious intent. The web is a war zone, and even if you're not a target, you can still end up a casualty.
For the most part, we tend to steer clear of totally bogus tech stories on April Fools' Day, though it's not always easy separating fact from fiction. Crazy things happen all the time, and since April Fools' fell on a Monday this time around, traditionally one of the busiest news days of the week, it was even more challenging discerning between factual and phony announcements.
It's also part of the fun. For example, is Scope's brilliantly conceived bacon flavored mouthwash a real thing? That's a good question to ask Maximum PC Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung if you decide to rent him for a day to help with his legal woes (while you're at it, ask him what became of the "Bitchin' fast! 3D 2000" graphics card featured in the September 1999 issue of the magazine). That's but one example of many, and rather than skip over them all, we've put together a gallery of our favorite faux announcements.
Why you should NOT buy a Nexus 4, iPad mini, and other popular electronic devices.
Clark Griswold's reaction to receiving a pre-paid Jelly of the Month Club membership instead of an expected bonus check in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is exactly what it feels like to buy the 'wrong' piece of technology. For example, let's say you plunk down $200 on a subsidized top-of-the-line dual-core smartphone, and then as soon as the return/exchange period expires, the manufacture releases an upgraded quad-core model with more bells and whistles. You can shake an angry fist at Mount Olympus all you want, you're still locked into a two-year agreement. Sometimes these situations are unavoidable, but many times they're not.
The busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, has come and gone, but fear not. Even though Black Friday is officially over, many of the deals still remain, and even more are just getting started. On top of it all, Cyber Monday 2012 is here!
We understand you'd rather not waste your time wading through discounted toasters and button-up shirts, so we went out and did the dirty work for you. What we brought back with us is a robust collection of PC-related parts, accessories, and games, all organized into handy categories. If you see "(BF)" next to an item, it's a Black Friday deal (we'll cross out the ones that are expired), and "(CM)" indicates a Cyber Monday deal. Also, we're not fans of mail-in-rebates, so we've omitted most of those deals. For the few that we include, they're represented with an asterisk.
As the weekend progresses, we'll be updating this list with new deals as they emerge, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often. And if you happen to find a killer deal we missed, be sure to share it with us and the rest of our readers in the comments section below.