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  • Study: Virginia has the fastest Internet in the USStudy: Virginia has the fastest Internet in the US

    If you want the fastest broadband Internet in the US, consider moving to Virginia. That’s the takeaway from a new bit of research from communications firm Broadview Networks, which ranks average broadband speeds for all 50 United States and the District of Colombia.

  • FCC doesn't buy Verizon's throttling rationale, wants all carriers to explain themselves

    On Friday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler dismissed Verizon’s reasoning for throttling certain mobile broadband users, and announced that the Commission was questioning other mobile carriers’ throttling policies as well, Reuters reports.

  • Meet the most insanely authentic flight sims ever: IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad and Ilya MurometsMeet the most insanely authentic flight sims ever: IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad and Ilya Muromets

    "This is how we do games: To understand what it's like to dogfight, we just go outside of Moscow, put ourselves in planes, and do some dogfighting," says IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad's producer Albert Zhiltsov, showing me a video of the team flying maneuvers in real planes.

  • Missing Pieces: A fish plays Pokemon, Mario Kart becomes Mercedes Kart, and more must-know games newsMissing Pieces: A fish plays Pokemon, Mario Kart becomes Mercedes Kart, and more must-know games news

    A fish is playing Pokemon. A dictatorship banned a game about dictatorships. Someone is suing over 1080p resolutions (or lack thereof). Evolve is delayed.

  • Legendary 'King's Quest' developer Sierra rises mysteriously from the graveLegendary 'King's Quest' developer Sierra rises mysteriously from the grave

    Sierra Entertainment is one of those legendary companies from the '90s that died somewhere in the past decade of industry consolidation. See also: LucasArts, Mythic, Midway, Neversoft, et al.

  • Yahoo Mail to support end-to-end PGP encryption by 2015Yahoo Mail to support end-to-end PGP encryption by 2015

    Yahoo is following in the footsteps of Google and plans to implement end-to-end encryption into Yahoo Mail by 2015. Like Google, Yahoo plans to use the OpenPGP encryption standard to encrypt messages. OpenPGP, which is the gold standard for email encryption, uses a public-private keypair scheme to protect user messages.

  • Hands-on: New Alienware 13 is Alienware's thinnest gaming laptop yetHands-on: New Alienware 13 is Alienware's thinnest gaming laptop yet

    Not to be outdone by ultra-thin gaming laptops like the Razer Blade and Origin's EVO 15-S, Alienware announced the Alienware 13 on Friday. And, well, Alienware's still being outdone by Razer and Origin when it comes to ultra-thin laptops, but at least the race is a little closer.

  • Nvidia reports strong quarter as Tegra sales grow 200 percentNvidia reports strong quarter as Tegra sales grow 200 percent

    Although sequential growth was flat, Nvidia exceeded analyst expectations as the company's profits and revenue climbed compared to a year ago.

  • Microsoft vows to kill support for stale web browsersMicrosoft vows to kill support for stale web browsers

    Microsoft said Thursday that it will phase out support for what some might call “stale” browsers, outdated versions of Internet Explorer that Microsoft replaced with more modern alternatives.

  • Adobe Photoshop upgrades its 3D printing tools with more file formats, better paintingAdobe Photoshop upgrades its 3D printing tools with more file formats, better painting

    Adobe boosted Photoshop's 3D printing features in an update that rolled out Thursday, part of a bid to further improve the software's 3D printing capabilities.

  • Gmail makes it easier to unsubscribe from bulk emailGmail makes it easier to unsubscribe from bulk email

    Google's war on unwanted email got a new weapon on Wednesday, making it easier for you to dump your unwanted email newsletters, notifications, and advertising. Soon, you'll see prominent unsubscribe links right next to the sender's email address in bulk mail that works its way into your Gmail inbox.

  • Windows 9: Goodbye, Charms bar, hello virtual desktops?Windows 9: Goodbye, Charms bar, hello virtual desktops?

    Reports about the next major Windows release keep getting better and better. It looks like Microsoft has finally come to its senses and will dump the Charms bar in Windows 9 (also known as Threshold) slated for release next spring. Even better, Microsoft is planning a surprise for multi-taskers with the addition of multiple virtual desktops.

  • Adobe revamps Connect's collaboration features Adobe revamps Connect's collaboration features

    With videoconferencing features now built in to dozens of communications platforms, companies that focus on business-class videoconferencing are pushing their offerings upmarket. As part of this trend, Adobe announced Thursday a wide range of upgrades to its Connect system. The latest version, Adobe Connect 9.3, will be released at the end of the summer. (A specific release date has not been set.)

  • Twitch starts scanning for copyrighted audio, silences own videos for infringmentTwitch starts scanning for copyrighted audio, silences own videos for infringment

    Well, if YouTube/Google did actually solidify its purchase of Twitch.tv last week, it certainly didn't take long for things to change at the notoriously laissez-faire (one-eyed, one-horned, flying) purple streaming giant.

  • Intel preps for its Broadwell launch, but businesses aren't waiting for the new CPUsIntel preps for its Broadwell launch, but businesses aren't waiting for the new CPUs

    Intel said this week that it will introduce “new products” at the IFA 2014 conference in Berlin this September. The company is being coy about the specifics of what it will announce, but all signs are pointing to Intel’s next generation of Core microprocessors, code-named “Broadwell.”

  • How to create relational databases in Excel 2013How to create relational databases in Excel 2013

    Excel used to be the poor schmuck’s database, with spreadsheets that just sort of sat there. You could create something more sophisticated with LOOKUP functions, but they were a huge hassle to set up. Not anymore: Excel 2013’s table tools include features that make it easy to link charts and cells, perform searches, and create dynamically updated reports, just like—yes—a relational database. Excel can handle a lot of day-to-day office data this way, and we’ll show you how to set it up. How Excel makes a relational database Relational databases—databases structured to recognize relations among the information stored in them—are essential for working with large amounts of business data. They let you quickly search and retrieve specific information, view the same data set in multiple ways, and reduce data errors and redundancy. Try doing that with a spreadsheet. To show you how Excel makes it easier, we will create two tables: the master table and the detail table. The master table is the primary table, which generally contains unique records (such as name, address, city, state, etc.). This table rarely changes except to, say, add or delete individuals. For every record in the master table, there can be many records in the detail tables (also called slave or child tables) that link back to the master table. This is called a one-to-many relationship. The data in the detail tables—such as daily sales, product prices, quantities—usually changes constantly. To avoid repeating all the master information in every detail table, you create relationships using one unique field, such as the Sales ID, then let Excel do the rest. For example, you have 10 sales people who all have unique, demographic information (master table). Each sales person has 200 products that he/she sells (detail or child table). At the end of each year, you need a report that provides the total yearly sales by person, but you also need a report that provides the total sales by city. For this tutorial, we’ll create a master table with the salespersons’ information and a second table that provides their total sales, by quarter, for the year. The Sales ID is the relational field that connects the tables. Then, we’ll create a report (or pivot table) that shows which cities had the highest sales. Open Excel and select a new, blank worksheet. Create the master table 1. First, double-click the tab at the bottom of the screen (above the green bar line) and type Master over the tag line Sheet1. 2. In cell A1 type: Master. In cells A3 through F3 type these column headers: Sales ID, Sales Person, Address, City, State, Zip Code. 3. In cells A4 through A13 type the sales ID numbers—in this case, 101 through 110. The Sales ID is the unique data value that’s used to create a relationship between your two tables. 4. Enter names, addresses, cities, states, and zip codes in the remaining cells. You can copy the information from this sample worksheet or create your own data. Since we are looking for the highest sales by city, be sure to create multiple cities in your table. For example, we have three salespeople in Los Angeles, two in Hollywood, two in San Francisco, and three in San Diego. 5. Once the data is entered, highlight A3 through F13, including the column headers. From the Styles group, select Format as Table. From the dropdown, choose a color and format you like. A Format As Table dialog box appears with the table range displayed in the white box. Ensure that the My Table Has Headers box is checked, then click OK. Create the master table. 6. With the table still highlighted, select the Design tab under the text that says Table Tools (this option is available only when the table is highlighted). In the Properties group (far left), in the box under Table Name, type Master. Highlight and name the table. Create the detail table 1. At the bottom of the screen beside the Master tab, click the '+' sign to insert a new sheet. Double-click the tab and type Sales over the tag line Sheet2. 2. In cell A1, type Total Sales for 2013. In cells A3 through E3, type Sales ID, Quarter1, Quarter2, Quarter3, and Quarter4. 3. In cells A4 through A13 type the sales ID numbers: 101 through 110. 4. In B4 through E13, enter 40 random numbers that represent sales dollars or copy the data from this example table. 5. Once the data is entered, highlight cells A3 through E13. From the Styles group, select Format as Table. From the dropdown, choose a color and format you like. A Format As Table dialog box appears with the table range displayed in the white box. Ensure that the My Table Has Headers box is checked, then click OK. Create the detail (Sales) table. 6. With the table still highlighted, select the Design tab under the text that says Table Tools (this option is only available when the table is highlighted). In the Properties group, in the box under Table Name, type Sales. Highlight and name the detail (Sales) table. Set relationships in the pivot table report section The first rule of pivot tables: You must define the table relationships within the Pivot Table report section. Do not attempt to create the relational connections first, because Excel will not recognize them from the Pivot Table reporting section. Also, be sure to select the detail table (Sales) for the “analyze data” table, otherwise it won’t work. 1. Go to the Sales table and highlight cells A1 through E11. Click the Insert tab, then click the Pivot Table button. 2. In the Create Pivot Table dialog box, ensure that the Select a Table or Range Table Range field says "Sales." If you want to import a table/database from another program such as Word or Access, click the second option, Use an External Data Source. 3. In the second field—Choose Where You Want the Pivot Report placed—click New Worksheet if you want the table on a separate sheet by itself, or click Existing Worksheet if you want the report to drop in beside your Sales table. 4. And for the last field—Choose Whether You Want to Analyze Multiple Tables—click Add this Data to the Data Model, then click OK. Insert and create the Pivot Table. The Pivot Table menus appear with a Help box on the left that says “To build a report, choose fields from the Pivot Table field list.” 1. Under Pivot Table Fields, the Active button is selected because only one table is currently active. Click the boxes Quarter1, Quarter2, Quarter3, and Quarter4 and some numbers appear in a grid on the left. 2. Click the All button, then click the Master table link. The fields from the Master table appear. Click the box beside City. A yellow box appears that says “Relationships between tables may be needed.” 3. This is where you define the relationship between the two tables. Click the Create button and the Create Relationship dialog box appears. Under Table, click the down arrow and choose Sales from the available tables list. Under Column (Foreign), click the arrow and choose Sales ID from the field list. 4. Remember the Sales ID is the only field that’s in both tables. Under Related Table, choose Master and under Related Column (Primary), choose Sales ID again, then click OK. Select fields from sales and master tables, then create relationship. Excel makes the connection, then displays the report on the screen: Total Sales by City. Enter a report title in A1, and it’s complete. Total sales by city report. Sort, create filters, and select data by other fields Filters are used to select specific data by fields. To filter the data by city, click anywhere inside the table, then click the city field—notice the small arrow on the right. 1. Click the arrow and the Sort-Filter Options dialog box pops up with selections for Filters and Sorting. If you want to Sort, click Sort A to Z or Sort Z to A, or see the graphic below for the options under Sort More Options. The Filter options include Label Filters, Value Filters, and Search (or select specified records in the current search field). If you have a huge database with hundreds of records, you can enter a city name (or partial name) in the Search box, then click the hour glass to locate the specified record/city. Excel displays the city in the list below the Search box. 2. If your database is relatively small, first uncheck the Select All button, then scroll down to the city you want, click the box, then click OK. The report now shows total sales for each quarter in that city only. Label Filters and Value Filters are additional filtering options to help you refine your search. For example, in the Label Filters, if you choose all cities that Begin With “S,” you get San Diego and San Francisco. If you choose all cities Less Than “S,” you get Hollywood and Los Angeles. Numeric fields are filtered the same way most all other databases do it—Less Than, Greater Than, Equals, Between, etc. Sort and filter by City for custom results. 3. You can also select a different field and quickly create a new report. For example, if you’d like to see the quarterly sales plus totals by sales person, uncheck City and check Sales Person. The report drops in. 4. Next, click Sales Person, click the down arrow, then uncheck Select All in the Sort-Filter Options dialog box. Click four names on the list, click OK, and the filtered report drops in. The Pivot Tables/database options are endless. There are numerous ways to analyze the data, create and manage sets, group fields, insert slicers and timelines, drill up and down, and import and export data, as well as design reports with custom layouts and styles, create hundreds of colorful charts, then print it all out for distribution. Total sales by sales person, then filter by selected sales persons. Charts and styles To spice up your table before you print it, try adding a chart and/or some colors and style to the table. To add a chart, highlight the table, select Pivot Table Tools Analyze Tools Pivot Chart, then select a chart from the gallery of charts, and click OK. To add colors and style, select Pivot Table Tools Design Pivot Table Styles and choose a table design from the gallery of styles. Click Banded Rows under the Pivot Table Style Options group to alternate colors and/or shading on the odd and even rows for easier viewing. And that’s all there is to it. Add flair with charts and styles. With this new relational database/table feature, this process is so easy that once it's set up in Excel, you can extract specific data and create dozens of reports in minutes.

  • 3 tools to schedule your social media posts3 tools to schedule your social media posts

    Maybe you were tasked with managing your company's social media accounts because you're the marketing guy or maybe because you're youngest staffer and therefore deemed the most social media savvy. Whatever the reason, you're stuck with it—but posting to your company’s Twitter feed is likely the first thing to drop off your to-do list when the work piles up. If that's you, it's time to embrace a social media scheduling service. With these tools you can keep your tweets and status updates flowing even when you're stuck in your third meeting of the day. Just remember a couple of golden rules when it comes to scheduling posts: Don’t schedule everything, be prepared to engage when your scheduled posts go live, and stay on top of current events and trending topics. FutureTweets If you’re just getting into the tweet-scheduling game, FutureTweets is about the most straightforward scheduling service you can ask for. Just type your tweet, choose your publish date and time (you can enter these manually or use the provided pop-up calendar and analog clock), and hit the schedule button. FutureTweets offers easy, basic scheduling for your Twitter account. Below the tweet box, you can see a list of your current and past scheduled tweets—the first have have gold stars next to them, the second have green checkmarks. You can delete or edit a tweet by clicking the appropriate icon next to it. FutureTweets is a great service for people who want to schedule a few tweets quickly without having to go through the hassle of signing up for a completely separate social media management tool. But it’s limited: There’s no easy way to add pictures to your tweets, and there’s no built-in link-shortening service. So if you’re planning heavy social activity, you may want to look at a more powerful service. Klout This service ranks users according to their social media “Klout,” which it measures using an algorithm that considers both the size of your network and the amount of influence you have over your followers. Earlier this year, Klout started putting its analytics to use with a brand-new sharing feature.  You can sign up with either your Twitter or Facebook account, and you can add social networks—including Google+, Instagram, Blogger, and Tumblr—to your profile to generate a more accurate Klout score. Sharing content from Klout is simple: just start typing in the text box at the top of the screen. You can share content on Twitter, Facebook, or both. The sharing box offers several features, including the ability to add photos, shorten links, and tag people (Twitter users only). Klout will even offer up your “best” times to share, which it determines by looking at how your shared content has been received by followers in the past. Klout can suggest content for you to share on your social networks. Klout can even help you decide what to share. Click “Create” in the left menu, and Klout gives you a curated list of trending content based on your interests. You can add and remove interests in the Content Filters section, and you can also filter through content by selecting and de-selecting different topics. Klout highlights recently-published content as being “Hot Off the Press,” so you can jump in and be a conversation-starter. Klout requires a little more investment than FutureTweets. It’s a great choice, though, since it offers useful analytics-based tools, which take some of the guesswork out of your social media strategy. If you’re working for both yourself and another business, though, you’ll need to set up a separate Klout accounts—Klout only lets users add one of each network per account. HootSuite Social media managers swear by HootSuite for a reason: It’s one of the most robust social media management tools around. HootSuite lets you schedule posts across multiple networks and also offers a quick “AutoSchedule” feature for people who are more concerned with having a constant stream of updates, rather than choosing the exact day and time. HootSuite’s main screen focuses on customized streams from your various social networks. A stream might be, for example, Twitter @mentions, Twitter Direct Messages, or Facebook News Feed Photos. The streams screen is also divided into tabs, so you can group similar streams together. HootSuite's AutoSchedule feature automatically posts for you at predetermined intervals. To post from HootSuite, simply start typing in the text box at the top of the screen. The text box will expand so you can choose which profile to post from. If there’s one profile you use frequently, you can “pin” it, and it will be the default whenever you type an update. HootSuite offers link shortening and the ability to add images, files, and locations, as well as options to target specific countries on Twitter. You can also choose privacy options when posting to Facebook or Google. HootSuite lets you choose a day and time (you can pick minutes in increments of 5) and gives the option to have an email sent to you when the post publishes. All currently scheduled posts can be found in the Publisher menu, where you can edit, delete, or reschedule them before they go live. HootSuite’s AutoSchedule feature automatically posts tweets between certain hours on certain days (customizable in the AutoSchedule menu) and spaces them out so you’ll reach the largest number of followers. For example, you can set up AutoSchedule to post five posts per day on weekdays, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. HootSuite is more complicated and takes longer to set up than the other services in this round-up, but it’s worth the extra legwork. Free users can add up to three social networks to one HootSuite account, including LinkedIn, Google+ Pages, and Foursquare. HootSuite Pro starts at $8.99/month and lets you add up to 100 social network accounts/profiles and bulk schedule up to 350 updates at once by uploading a spreadsheet.

  • OneDrive continues Microsoft migration to Amazon mobile devicesOneDrive continues Microsoft migration to Amazon mobile devices

    As Amazon continues to blaze its own trail in Android devices, Microsoft’s services are moving right along with it.On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that its OneDrive cloud-storage app is now available in the Amazon Appstore, for both the Kindle Fire line of tablets as well as the new Kindle Fire phone. In July, Microsoft announced it had ported its OneNote note-taking app to the Amazon Appstore as well. In our productivity-oriented review of the Kindle Fire HDX, we found a couple of note-taking apps that did the job—but without the integration elements that the combination of OneNote and OneDrive offer. At Microsoft’s recent partner conference, Microsoft executives reiterated that users should expect a continued migration of Microsoft apps and services onto non-Windows platforms. “On every home screen out there our aspiration is to have one or many Microsoft icons representing Microsoft digital experiences,” Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said. “They’re all entry points for us as an ecosystem.”And Microsoft’s Jason Moore said as much in announcing the OneDrive integration. “OneDrive is now everywhere that matters to you – from PCs to Macs, Android, iOS and Windows phones and tablets, and now on your Kindle Fire and Fire phone,” Microsoft’s Jason Moore announced.ABI Research said this week that as many as 20 percent of all Android tablets run what’s known as AOSP, or the Android Open Source Project. Many of those tablets are confined to China, where low-priced, bare-bones offerings from numerous manufacturers never make it to the media markets of the United States. But that figure still includes Amazon’s tablets and phones. Porting Microsoft’s services to Amazon bites off a big chunk.It’s not too hard to believe that Microsoft’s other services will eventually arrive on the Kindle platform as well, including services such as the Outlook Web App. Microsoft’s Office Mobile apps for Android are another candidate—but since they still don’t support Android tablets, it’s unlikely Microsoft will make the effort until a native version of Office for Android is released.

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Spotlight
  • 'Xbox One Hotel' to open in Paris
    Relaxnews - 2013-11-13 2:45 PM

    To mark the launch of its latest games console, Microsoft France will transform the Hôtel O in Paris into a space dedicated entirely to the Xbox One.

  • Most plan on starting holiday shopping earlyMost plan on starting holiday shopping early
    thecanadianpress.com - 2013-11-04 5:15 PM

    Nearly three-quarters of Canadians recently polled say they plan to start their holiday shopping early this year, and will use the Internet to check and compare prices before buying gifts, two holiday retail studies suggest.