Don't hold your breath waiting for the return of the Start menu
Microsoft did Windows users a solid by bringing back the Start button in Windows 8.1, but has stubbornly refused to give back the Start menu for those who want it. Last we heard, the Start Menu would indeed make a comeback, the question is when, and the answer might not be with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2 -- instead, the Start menu may not make a comeback until Windows 9.
Futuremark's collection of benchmarks are handy when it comes to evaluating hardware, comparing computer parts, and rooting out potential problems. For testing graphics cards and integrated graphics, 3DMark is the go-to benchmark, and it's about to get even better. At Computex next week, Futuremark will show off Sky Driver, a new 3DMark benchmark test for DirectX 11 gaming laptops and mid-range PCs.
Watch Dog's appetite for video RAM seems to be the root cause of performance problems on the PC
After all the anticipation and patient waiting, Ubisoft's Watch Dogs title arrived on PC and several different game consoles earlier this week. Unfortunately, performance on the PC isn't up to par. Users have complained of lag, stuttering, and weird graphical anomalies when playing Watch Dogs, all of which appear to be due to the game's heavy reliance on VRAM. That's the bad news. The good news is that a performance patch for Watch Dogs on PC is coming.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 is yet another evolution in the life of this impressive and increasingly capable raw photo processing and digital asset management (DAM) application. If you’re not familiar with Lightroom and you’re a photographer, you’ve either been living under a rock or you just got your very first camera kit. Regardless, here’s a quick refresher. Lightroom combines two major modules, along with five additional peripheral modules, all designed to simplify the process of managing and processing the large intake of photographs people take today.
Note: This review was originally featured in the February 2014 issue of the magazine.
Handy disk management tool for manipulating partitions
Acronis on Wednesday rolled out Acronis Disk Director 12, the newest version of its disk management and data manipulation software. Disk Director's 12 core library support was developed by Acronis Labs, the company's $10 million high-tech R&D center launched in 2013. Using the provided tools, users can partition, format, manipulate, clone, install, share, convert, boot, span, merge, split, resize, copy, and move data or disk partitions without losing files.
Registry hack for Windows XP catches Microsoft's attention
Microsoft finally and officially ended support for Windows XP back in April, though not without throwing XP users a bone in the form of one last out-of-cycle security patch for a pretty serious vulnerability affecting most versions of Internet Explorer. However, that was a one-time thing, and now XP users are left out in the cold. Or are they? A registry hack that allows Windows XP to continue to receive security updates is making the rounds, and it's caught the attention of Microsoft.
Spotify is the latest company to fall prey to a hacker attack and has launched an investigation into the data breach. Based on initial findings, only one person's data has been accessed, and that information didn't include any password, financial, or payment information. Nevertheless, Spotify says it's erring on the side of caution and plans to roll out an updated Android app, which should show up in Google Play and Amazon Appstore over the next several days.
Nvidia on Monday launched new GeForce 337.88 WHQL certified drivers in preparation for today's release of Ubisoft's much anticipated Watch Dogs title. According to Nvidia, this latest release "ensures you'll have the best possible gaming experience for Watch Dogs." In addition, Nvidia promises performance gains of 10 percent or more in several titles at 2560x1400 and 3840x2160 (4K) resolutions.
Many devices preloaded with the free SKU to be unveiled over the coming weeks
Microsoft is now getting very serious about taking the fight to all those low-cost Android tablets and cheap Chromebooks. Hot on the heels of its decision to begin offering OEMs free Windows licenses for building sub-9-inch devices, the Redmond-based tech bellwether on Friday announced a new version of Windows that will be offered free of cost to device manufacturers regardless of screen size.
Will Microsoft ever bother to squash this security bug?
There's a zero-day security flaw in Internet Explorer that's been known for at least the last 7 months, yet Microsoft has yet to release a patch. Perhaps it never will -- after all, IE8 is the last version of Microsoft's browser to support Windows XP, which itself is now an unsupported operating system. Alternately, Microsoft might just be having a really tough time with this one -- the Redmond outfit doesn't have a whole lot to say on the matter.