As always, be suspicious of links in your Steam chat sessions
Hopefully you're getting to spend a bit of time in Steam over the holiday season, catching up on a treasure trove of games that you picked up on discount through various sales. While you're navigating Steam, however, be advised that there's a piece of malware spreading through Steam chat sessions. Messages on Steam chat saying "WTF?????" seem to link to a JPEG file, but it's really a malicious executable.
Given the choice, most people would likely choose a Windows laptop over a Chromebook if both were free. They're not free, of course, and Chromebooks have found an audience due to their low price tags and ability to offer basic functionality, like surfing the web and being productive in Google's ecosystem. In addition, you can now run Linux in a Window on Chromebooks.
The reason Microsoft is rolling with Windows 10 instead of Windows 9 for its next major operating system is because the changes are so dramatic, it warranted a generational leap in naming the product. That's the official story Microsoft wants us to believe, anyway, and while there are alternative theories -- like lazy coding -- there are parts of Windows 10 that are truly shaping up to be vastly different than Windows 8/8.1. That includes the browser, and word on the web is that Microsoft is rolling out a new vehicle for surfing through cyberspace in Windows 10.
PC vendors are not sure what to expect from Windows 10
Trying to predict the PC market is like to trying to forecast the weather a month in advance -- it's a crapshoot, basically. So, we're taking it with several grains of salt that PC vendors are reportedly doubtful that the Windows 10 launch next year will stimulate demand for replacement systems. One reason they feel that way is because of the lingering rumor that Microsoft may make Windows 10 a free update.
GeForce GTX 980M SLI and GTX 970M SLI notebook users steer clear of this one
Nvidia today made available its latest GeForce Game Ready driver, release 347.09 WHQL, which the company claims will give users the best possible gaming experience for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Elite: Dangerous. Otherwise, there's not a ton to cover in the new driver update -- it includes the usual round of 3D Vision Profile updates, along with the addition of 3D Compatibility Mode for select titles. There's also a warning.
Google’s hotword-activated voice search has been available on Chrome OS for a while now, but in its current form the feature is somewhat limited on Chromebooks. As of now, you can only search in this way from the App Launcher or when you open a new tab. Well, that is unless you like to live on the bleeding edge of technology and have switched your Chromebook to the Dev channel.
More discounts than you can shake a Paypal card at
By my conservative calculations, I'll be approximately 419 years old by the time I play through and finish every untouched game sitting in my Steam library. Maybe you're in the same boat, and perhaps like me, you'll head over to Steam today anyway to take advantage of yet more discounts as part of 2014 Steam Holiday Sale that runs from now until January 2, 2015 (10 AM PST).
Technology news can make you feel old. To wit, it may not seem like much time has passed since Microsoft agreed to a five-year deal in which Windows users in Europe would be offered a choice of browser upon first boot, but that commitment is now behind the Redmond outfit. Having lived up to its end of the deal, Microsoft has yanked the so-called browser ballot, which may not have done much anyway.
For best performance in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Standard warning always applies to pre-release software and drivers -- if you'e running a mission critical rig or otherwise need to minimize the risk of buggy behavior, then stay away. Savvy? For everyone else, especially those who want to live on the cutting edge, be advised that Nvidia just made its GeForce Game Ready driver, release 347.09, available to download in beta form.
Around one out of 10 Windows 10 users ran into trouble when trying to install a update intended to fix a problem that was causing Explorer.exe to frequently crash following an upgrade to Windows 10 Build 9879. The problem was further exacerbated by the fact that Microsoft said it didn't have a new build planned until early 2015. If you're one of the people who ran into trouble, here's a heads up that Microsoft has released a hotfix to address the issue.