How to search Google: 10 advanced tips and tricks

No matter how good you may be with Google search, there’s always something new to learn given Google’s constant tweaks. This perpetual state of change is most noticeable in Chrome, where Google can integrate search capabilities with its own browser. To advance your search game, or just discover hidden tips, check out these master tips. 

View the cached version of a page

google search cachedIDG

Hop into Google’s time machine to see how a site looks when Google last captured it.

Google’s all-knowing powers reach back to the previous versions of a website. If you click the arrow below the search result on a specific link, you can view the cached version of the page. This will take you to a static view of the last time Google’s robot snapped a picture of that site.

It’s useful for getting a quick peek, because you’ll only need to load a screen grab from Google’s servers instead of the usual advertisements. I’ve also used this if the site is having network problems.

You probably noticed an option for similar. We’ll tell you what that’s about next.

Find related results

similar searchesIDG

Google can offer a little help at finding similar sites.

If you type “related:searchterm” into the search bar, Google will look for similar websites. The results could flesh out your research or give you a broader view on a topic. If nothing else, it’s way better for killing time than checking Twitter.

Look up that image

image searchIDG

Who needs words? Google can find other instances of an image with its search powers.

There’s a neat tool available when you right-click an image in Chrome. From the popup menu, select Search Google for this image and Google will pull up what it thinks is the same image found elsewhere online.

It can be hit-and-miss: In our example above, Google mistook an Acer Chromebook for a MacBook Pro. However, when you’re searching for a needle in the Internet’s vast haystack, every little bit could help.

Search by voice

voice searchIDG

It’s not a Google Home, but you can still get plenty of information through a voice search on the desktop.

To chat with Google search on the desktop, open a new tab, click the microphone, and speak your query. It’s as simple as that. 

How to remove malware from your Windows PC

Updated June 20, 2017: We’ve updated our links for suggested anti-virus programs, and have slightly adjusted our instructions to address program updates in Malwarebytes.

Is your computer running slower than usual? Are you getting lots of pop-ups? Have you seen other weird problems crop up? If so, your PC might be infected with a virus, spyware, or other malware—even if you have an antivirus program installed. Though other problems such as hardware issues can produce similarly annoying symptoms, it’s best to check for malware if your PC is acting up and we’ll show you how to do it yourself.

Step 1: Enter Safe Mode

Before you do anything, you need to disconnect your PC from the internet, and don’t use it until you’re ready to clean your PC. This can help prevent the malware from spreading and/or leaking your private data.

If you think your PC may have a malware infection, boot your PC into Microsoft’s Safe Mode. In this mode, only the minimum required programs and services are loaded. If any malware is set to load automatically when Windows starts, entering in this mode may prevent it from doing so. This is important because it allows the files to be removed easier since they’re not actually running or active. 

Sadly, Microsoft has turned the process of booting into safe mode from a relatively easy process in Windows 7 and Windows 8 to one that is decidedly more complicated in Windows 10. To boot into Windows Safe Mode, first click the Start Button in Windows 10 and select the Power button as if you were going to reboot, but don’t click anything. Next hold down the Shift key and click Reboot. When the full-screen menu appears, select Troubleshooting, then Advanced Options, then Startup Settings. On the next window click the Restart button and wait for the next screen to appear (just stick with us here, we know this is long). Next you will see a menu with numbered startup options; select number 4, which is Safe Mode. Note that if you want to connect to any online scanners you’ll need to select option 5, which is Safe Mode with Networking. 

You may find that your PC runs noticeably faster in Safe Mode. This could be a sign that your system has a malware infection, or it could mean that you have a lot of legitimate programs that normally start up alongside Windows. If your PC is outfitted with a solid state drive it’s probably fast either way. 

Step 2: Delete temporary files

tempfilesYou can use Windows 10’s built-in disk cleanup utility to rid your system of unnecessary temp files. PCWorld

Now that you’re in Safe Mode, you’ll want to run a virus scan. But before you do that, delete your temporary files. Doing this may speed up the virus scanning, free up disk space, and even get rid of some malware. To use the Disk Cleanup utility included with Windows 10 just type Disk Cleanup in the search bar or after pressing the Start button and select the tool that appears named Disk Cleanup.

Step 3: Download malware scanners

Now you’re ready to have a malware scanner do its work—and fortunately, running a scanner is enough to remove most standard infections. If you already had an antivirus program active on your computer, you should use a different scanner for this malware check, since your current antivirus software may not have detected the malware. Remember, no antivirus program can detect 100 percent of the millions of malware types and variants.

There are two types of antivirus programs. You’re probably more familiar with real-time antivirus programs, which run in the background and constantly watch for malware. Another option is an on-demand scanner, which searches for malware infections when you open the program manually and run a scan. You should have only one real-time antivirus program installed at a time, but you can have many on-demand scanners installed to run scans with multiple programs, thereby ensuring that if one program misses something a different one might find it.

Asus Prime X299-Deluxe Motherboard Review

Earlier, we reviewed the MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. If you saw it, you’ve already seen some of our benchmark numbers. We’ll present them again here, on page four. Where the MSI board will appeal to gamers, we think the Asus offering will find its best home with power users. Let’s take a closer look.

Specifications

Features

The Prime X299-Deluxe carries forward the history Asus has of taking a bit of a kitchen-sink approach to the Deluxe-named offerings, equipping the board with dual Gigabit Ethernet and a dual-controller Wi-Fi solution that encapsulates 60GHz-band 802.11ad plus dual-band 802.11ac controllers. Yes, you get Bluetooth with that.

And if your needs are a little closer to home, the board even includes two of ASMedia’s latest dual-port USB 3.1 Gen2 controllers for its four 10Gb/s ports. You also get Type-C with that. Asus throws in a DTS license that adds live multi-channel encoding capabilities to the Digital Optical audio output, plus DTS Headphone X for synthesized 3D sound on two-speaker headphones.

The little black section in the center of the board (below the socket) is a tiny, verbose OLED display that scrolls system status messages. The Prime X299-Deluxe also includes the standard features of an enthusiast-class motherboard, such as the power/reset/CLR_CMOS buttons, which may explain why you also get the normal numeric code display along the bottom edge in addition to the verbose panel in the board’s center. We also find the normal Asus features, such as diagnostic LEDs that light up during component initialization and stay lit if that component fails to initialize. And, of course, there’s the MemOK button and EZ XMP switch that lets a builder underclock RAM if it fails to initialize, or overclock it to a manufacturer-programmed profile.

A third ASM3142 controller drives the new generation front-panel USB 3.1 Gen2 header, though users of 16-lane processors (Kaby Lake X) will find that it’s shared with the second PCIe x16-length slot. Asus says not to put anything larger than an x4 card in that slot anyway due to bandwidth issues, and that’s far from the end of your woes if your CPU runs out of PCIe lanes. The fourth x16-length slot also shares its HSIO resources with SATA ports 5 and 6 when using either a 16 or 28-lane processor, and the only way to configure your legacy graphics cards for 3-way SLI is to get a full 44-lane CPU. The most recent generation of GeForce graphics cards only does 2-way SLI, and the GPUs are so much more powerful than their predecessors that anyone with the money for a 44-lane CPU will probably be using the most modern graphics cards as well.

Oh, and if you’re willing to settle for x1 slots to handle some of your non-graphics expansion needs, the HSIO resources of those two slots are shared with the Wi-Fi card’s Key-E interface and SATA port 7. Most of those sharing issues should be laid directly at the feet of Intel. From our vantage point, it would seem the company desires the potential profit of its partners selling upscale motherboards to mid-market CPU buyers, without regard for the losses sellers would surely incur as droves of customers attempted to return non-defective products. At any rate, these choices likely dissuaded Asus from using a CPU-fed PCIe hub (such as the PEX8717 switch) to drive the board’s extravagant features.

There isn’t much to complain about concerning layout, as the Prime X299-Deluxe has eight 4-pin fan headers around its edges, a regular RGB header (top edge), plus an addressable RGB header (bottom edge) for WS2812B or WS2812B based LED strips, and a U.2 port that’s disabled by default because it shares resources with the second M.2 slot. All ports and slots are tucked out of the way to avoid conflict with CPU coolers and graphics cards. The first M.2 port is stealthily concealed under a lower extension of the PCH cover, and the only real oddity is that the second M.2 slot is upright, between the 24-pin power header and USB 3.1 Gen2 front-panel header.

Builders still need to keep track of where they’re putting things to maximize device support. One reason you’ll probably want to keep the middle slot open is that it makes a dandy place to put the included ThunderboltEX card, which includes both Type A and Type-C data connections and a DisplayPort input for graphics pass-through. It even includes the loop cable to connect your graphics card to its input. And since it’s on a card rather than on-board, builders can choose whether to stuff up the limited bandwidth of the PCH, or connect it directly to the CPU, depending on their graphics configuration and CPU choice.

The Prime X299-Deluxe includes a vertical M.2 screw set and bracket, driver discs, an I/O shield, six SATA cables, an Asus FanX card kit that supports four additional fans and three thermistors, an Asus Q-Connector lead bundler for front panel buttons and LEDs, HB-style and 3-way SLI bridges, a pair of antennas for 802.11ac standard and 802.11ad extensions, and the previously mentioned Thunderbolt add-in package.

MORE: Best Motherboards

MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard

MORE: All Motherboard Content

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Lenovo's latest concept is a flexible laptop with a screen you can bend

We all want a laptop that can bend, right? Yeah, probably not, but that didn’t stop Lenovo from cooking one up. 

The electronics firm unveiled a concept for a flexible ThinkPad laptop at an event in New York today. The device, which again is only a concept, has a conjoined keyboard, stylus support, no hinge and did we mention a screen that folds in on itself? 

Lenovo’s flexible laptop will rely heavily on voice commands and be built using “advanced materials” and “new screen technologies.” What those materials and technologies are exactly, Lenovo didn’t say.

What’s more, the laptop concept will also be “always connected, always on,” work with multiple input methods and rely on what sounds like artificial intelligence to feed you information you need to know.

This isn’t the first time Lenovo has dabbled in ductile devices. Last year, it showed off a smartphone concept that bends over your wrist like a bracelet and still manages to stay on. Lenovo also unveiled a tablet that folds in two to look like a book.

It could be years before Lenovo’s flexible laptop becomes a reality – and even that’s a stretch – but there are companies working on making flexible devices viable consumer products. 

Samsung is rumored to be developing a flexible phone many refer to as the Galaxy X, though it may not launch until 2019. LG is also working on flexible OLED displays that could be used in a number of products.

For Lenovo’s part, it’s great it’s thinking outside the box and showing what could be possible as technology becomes more advanced. The “foldable PC” could even be the eventual evolution of the Lenovo Yoga Book, a device that’s pretty fair out on its own right.

Via The Verge

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Microsoft Reacts To Kaspersky's Antitrust Complaints

Recently, the Russian antivirus company, Kaspersky, announced that it filed a complaint with the European Commission that Microsoft was abusing its dominance in the PC market to hurt antivirus companies (such as itself). Microsoft indirectly responded in a blog post talking about its partnerships with antivirus companies in general.

Kaspersky’s Complaints

Kaspersky’s main argument against Microsoft is that the company is using Windows to promote its own operating system over other antivirus solutions, often with “underhanded tactics.”


Before Windows 8, Microsoft used to develop the Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) antivirus, which was a third-party program, just like any other antivirus solution. However, starting with Windows 8, Microsoft integrated its own antivirus into the operating system by upgrading its older “Windows Defender” anti-spyware solution with MSE’s antivirus capabilities.

As the MSE seemed good enough to stop the majority of viruses, while silently doing its work behind the scenes, many people seemed content with it and stopped using other antivirus software. This scenario was unfavorable to Kaspersky and other antivirus companies. However, third-party antivirus companies could still claim a significantly higher rate of catching viruses in the wild.

According to Kaspersky, the real problems began when Microsoft started using questionable tactics such as:

  • Uninstalling existing antivirus programs when there was a new Windows update
  • Reducing the time it took to allow the developers to make their antiviruses compatible with the latest update
  • Changing notifications in a way that hurt third-party antivirus’ companies subscription numbers
  • Not allowing users to permanently deactivate Windows Defender anymore, thus potentially creating conflicts with other antivirus software

In a previous post, Kaspersky also mentioned that Microsoft was using questionable user interface tactics to make it look as if your PC was not secure just because Windows Defender wasn’t enabled, even if some other security solution was. However, Kaspersky said that Microsoft fixed this after it issued a complaint with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Services.

Microsoft’s Reaction

Microsoft didn’t directly call out Kaspersky in its recent blog post, but the article seems to have been targeting Kaspersky’s complaints. Microsoft started by reminding us about the WannaCry ransomware attack and others like it that put all Windows PCs at risk. As such, the company said that it’s focusing on securing Windows from top-to-bottom on its own, while also allowing third-party security solution providers to further enhance that protection.

Microsoft added that its goal with Windows Defender has been to ensure that all Windows customers have antivirus protection at all times, whether they’ve purchased or downloaded another security solution or not.

In its recent blog post, the company stated the following:

Microsoft supports a rich ecosystem of security partners, each attacking malware and ransomware with diverse perspectives, and continues to work with security partners to support that. As the security landscape, PC industry, and customer needs continue to evolve, Microsoft will continue to work with security partners to ensure that the broad security industry does everything possible to keep customers safe.

Microsoft also said that it’s been working closely with third-party software providers to ensure that their programs are compatible with the latest Windows updates months ahead of time. This statement seems to directly contradict Kaspersky’s claim that sometimes they are given early access to the new updates only two weeks before the Windows update is released.

Perhaps the issue here is that they’re talking about different types of updates. Microsoft may be talking about major upgrades, such as the recent Creator’s Update, whereas Kaspersky may be talking about monthly patch bundles. Security patches can also cause other software, including antivirus programs, to stop working properly due to changes in how certain code behaves.

Microsoft also mentioned that its antivirus security is disabled when a third-party antivirus is running. However, Windows Defender will be re-enabled when the subscription for the third-party solution expires, to continue to protect users.

Avoiding Antitrust Investigations

As long as Microsoft doesn’t use underhanded tactics to eliminate the antivirus competition faster than it would have otherwise by simply continuing to make Windows more secure through various solutions, it should be able to stay clear from new antitrust investigations.

Microsoft got in trouble before for the Internet Explorer integration, and the European Union’s solution was to force it to show users other browser options upon Windows installation. If Microsoft doesn’t stray too far away from a similar solution for the antivirus software, then it may not get in trouble again over antitrust issues. However, if some of Kaspersky’s accusations end up being true, then the European Commission could still open a new antitrust investigation against Microsoft.

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Asus Opens Pre-Orders On Five X299 Motherboards

Asus brought seven X299 motherboards to Computex, and now it’s made five available for pre-order.

Manufacturers have rushed to release X299 motherboards ahead of the launch of Intel’s new X-series CPUs. Those processors are all about power–Intel upped their core and thread counts, boosted their clock speeds, and reorganized their cache subsystems for improved performance. Taking advantage of those improvements requires new motherboards, though, and so we find ourselves in the middle of an X299 gold rush.

Pre-orders are now available for the Prime X299-Deluxe, Prime X299-A, TUF X299 Mark 1, TUF X299 Mark 2, and ROG Strix X299-E Gaming motherboards via Newegg and Amazon. Prices range from $260 for the TUF X299 Mark 2 on the low end and $490 for the Prime X299-Deluxe on the high end. (As of this writing, there’s no difference in price between Newegg and Amazon for any of the available motherboards.)

Asus said on its website that its goal was to create “X299 solutions for every scenario, from hardcore gaming with bleeding-edge customization and cooling to boards engineered to endure the toughest conditions.” That’s why it has five boards spread across three product lines–the company has targeted the Prime series at overclockers, the TUF series at people who demand a little durability, and the ROG Strix series at gamers.

Of the motherboards it took to Computex, Asus has yet to reveal additional information about the ROG Rampage VI Extreme or ROG Rampage VI Apex. Those boards are expected to offer even more overclocking support than the models available for pre-order today–Asus said at Computex that overclockers broke all kinds of performance records with the ROG Rampage VI Apex and a Kaby Lake-X Intel Core i7-7740K processor.

Newegg said it will start to ship the Prime X299-Deluxe and Prime X299-A on June 26; the TUF X299 Mark 1, TUF X299 Mark 2, and ROG Strix X299-E Gaming will ship on June 30. Amazon said that it plans to release all five of the motherboards on June 26. You can find all the boards here:

If you’re looking for X299 motherboards from other manufacturers, Gigabyte is offering three Aorus Gaming boards with the chipset, and MSI is also running a pre-order event for five X299 motherboards across various product lines. And if you’re more curious about how these new X-series CPUs will perform, check out our review of the Intel Core i9-7900X.

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Frontier Developments Talks Thargoids, Future Plans For 'Elite: Dangerous' At E3

Before the gaming industry descended on Los Angeles for E3 last week, Elite: Dangerous players were treated to a surprise in the game with the first sightings of the Thargoids, a race of aliens that were also included in Frontier Developments’ previous games. At E3, we sat down with senior designer Sandy Sammarco to talk about upcoming content and how the Thargoids will play a part in future events.

The Alien Threat

For context on the Thargoids, we have to go back to 2015, when players first started to discover strange artifacts that had some relation to the alien species. The following year, players discovered additional evidence of the Thargoids, such as alien structures called barnacles, unknown probes, and alien wreckage. Some players even experienced the Thargoids interfering with their frameshift jumps between systems. Sammarco said that all these events led up to the recent reveal of the aliens and update 2.4 coming later this year in Q3, which is simply called “The Return.” Full details on the update are coming soon, but Sammarco let us know about a few things players can expect to see later this year.

According to Sammarco, the update was in development for the past year. The recent meetings with the Thargoids are a ramp up to an eventual confrontation, and Sammarco brought up the fact that players still only have access to human-specific weapons and armor, which probably means you’ll get try new alien technology in the fight against the Thargoids.

The Return Update 2.4 Announcement Elite: Dangerous

As if that wasn’t enough, Sammarco then showed us a clip portraying another piece of content. It featured a ship flying at a low altitude across an unknown planet. On the surface was a large object that resembled a wreck, but as the ship moved closer, it turns out that it was another alien structure. The ship then produced a rover that moved closer to the structure, which, to our surprise, opened to reveal a series of tunnels. Inside were floating units called Scavengers, which were moving from one place to another. As the rover moved further inside, unknown objects popped underneath its tires. Eventually, the rover approached a massive central room… and then the video cut to black. Sammarco smiled and even though we, understandably, had some questions about the clip, he didn’t provide any comment about what we had just witnessed.

More Work

In addition to “The Return” update, Sammarco also briefly mentioned Frontier’s additional work on the game in the near future. “The Return” marks the end of Horizons, which is Elite: Dangerous‘ second season, and even though new content will arrive as part of the update, the studio is also working on refining existing gameplay features and “making the player experience better.” Similar to the new update, Sammarco mentioned that more details about these changes are coming in the future.

In the meantime, non-PC players will also benefit from the new updates and changes. He mentioned that Frontier is also working on updates to support the upcoming Xbox One X console. Those on the PlayStation 4 will soon join in on the action when Elite: Dangerous comes out on June 27. Sammarco mentioned that players on Sony’s console can use the DualShock 4’s Sixaxis motion controls to move their ship. The touchpad in the middle of the controller is also used to access different mechanics within the ship. Those with a PlayStation 4 Pro will see an additional set of visual options for the game.

When “The Return” launches, all three platforms will have players combating the new alien threat, but it won’t be the end of for Elite: Dangerous. Sammarco called the update “the end of the beginning and the start of a new story.” The Thargoids are just the tip of the iceberg, and Frontier Developments has more planned for its massive space-faring game. For now, we’ll just have to wait.

Name Elite Dangerous: Horizons
Type Sci-fi, Space simulator
Developer Frontier Developments
Publisher Frontier Developments
Release Date
  • December 16, 2015 (PC)
  • June 3, 2016 (Xbox One)
Platforms PC, Xbox One
Where To Buy

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