Did you know that laptops and other devices without GPS hardware can determine your precise physical location—with just a Wi-Fi radio? Here’s how this often-overlooked feature of modern “Location Services” works. “Location Services” Is More Than GPS Modern operating systems—including iOS, iPadOS, Android, Windows 10, macOS, and Chrome OS—have their own “Location Services” systems built in. When an app—like a map or navigation app, for example—wants to request your location, it doesn’t just access your device’s GPS radio directly. Instead, it asks your operating system’s “Location Services” where you are. Modern Location Services systems use a variety of techniques to find your location. GPS is one of those techniques. But, when a GPS signal or GPS hardware is unavailable—or just too slow—Location Services has other tricks up its sleeve. For example, if your device has a cellular signal, it may triangulate your location based on signals from cellular towers. Based on the … [Read more...] about How Devices Use Wi-Fi to Determine Your Physical Location
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As a hobby, vintage computing is on the rise. A generation that grew up with classic PCs is looking back and revisiting the glory days of the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s with the authentic machines. But what’s the best way to get the hardware? We’ll show you the options. The Catch: Many Vintage Computers Need Repair Before we begin, there are some “gotchas” you should know about buying vintage computers. Unless a machine has been shown to be in working condition, don’t buy it, because the older it is, the less likely it is to work as soon as you get it. That makes an “as-is” purchase risky for people who don’t have the technical background to repair or recondition a vintage PC. Almost no PCs were designed with three-decade longevity in mind. As a result, these sensitive electronic devices include components that degrade over time. Here are some frequent problems that pop up with vintage PCs: Plastics discolor or become brittle Rubber components or cables degrade and get … [Read more...] about What’s the Best Way to Buy a Vintage Computer?
After over three decades of Microsoft Windows success, there have been some clear failures along the way. With that in mind, we’ve picked the six worst versions of Windows. All of these made us want to stick to older, better versions of Windows, or use alternatives like Macs or Linux instead. The Ranking Criteria Most of us know a bad version of Windows when we see it. Maybe we’ve experienced personal pain in wrestling with its bugs, or lost time reinstalling it over and over again, or heard stories about how often it’s crashed. In developing this list, we considered the following metrics: How much people hated each version (appearances on other worst-of lists), how poorly it sold, how slowly it was adopted, how bad its reviews were, the length of its lifespan on the market, and our own personal experiences with the software. For fun, we also googled “Windows [x] Sucks,” and tallied up the results. Honestly, there’s no hard science to this, so you might not agree with … [Read more...] about The 6 Worst Versions of Windows, Ranked