Announcing LifeSavvy: It’s Like How-To Geek for Everything Else

LifeSavvy Launch

Today we’re thrilled to finally announce something we’ve been working on for a while: a new site to help us expand our coverage beyond simply tech and gadgets, into the things that matter for everyday life.

For more than a decade, How-To Geek has been where you turn when you want experts to explain technology in terms that everybody can understand. Our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. Where do you go from there?

We first branched out in 2017 because we realized that people were constantly asking us which products they should buy. So we launched Review Geek, where we do thousands of hours of research and testing so you don’t have to. Since launching, millions of people have used our product recommendations to help make their purchasing decisions.

But we didn’t want to stop there. We thought, why can’t we take what makes How-To Geek successful and useful, and do that—but for other areas besides technology?

LifeSavvy: Skills for a Better Life

LifeSavvy is our answer to how we can help people outside of the world of tech. Don’t worry though, we didn’t just round up your favorite tech writers from How-To Geek and tell them to write about fashion and baby products—we went out and hired expert writers that have real-world experience in the things they are writing about, and showed them how we put you, the reader, first.

Whether you’re looking for tips on organization, travel, parenting, fitness, photography, relationships, school, cooking, career, or anything else, our team of expert writers is here to help explain things the same way How-To Geek has been explaining tech for years.

Don’t Miss Out: Make Sure You Subscribe to LifeSavvy

If you want to keep up to date with everything we’re doing there, you’re going to need to subscribe, which you can do by clicking one of the buttons below. The site just launched like 5 minutes ago, so none of the pages will have any subscribers yet, which means you get to be part of the exclusive club of people who followed us since we launched.

LifeSavvy on Facebook

Read the remaining 8 paragraphs

Apple is Announcing New Stuff Tomorrow: Here’s What to Expect

Tomorrow Apple has yet another big product announcement, and this one is focused on the iPad. Here’s everything we know about what’s going to happen.

The Event is Being Held in Brooklyn

Almost all Apple events are held on the west coast, so it’s really interesting that this one is being held on the east coast. You can watch it live via Apple’s site or the Apple Events app on Apple TV, tomorrow, October 30th, at 10 AM EDT.

All of the press invites, and the images on Apple’s site, are artistic drawings of the Apple logo—which clearly identifies the Pencil and the iPad Pro as the main reason for this event.

New iPad Pro with FaceID and No Home Button

Image Credit: 9to5Mac

Thanks to a bazillion leaks from everywhere for months, we know that Apple is going to be launching a new iPad that essentially mimics the iPhone X by removing most of the bezels and replaces the home button with swipe navigation. Instead of TouchID, the new iPad Pro will use FaceID to log you in by simply looking at the screen. And there will likely be a new Pencil, and maybe a smart connector change.

Additional rumors point to things like USB-C, although it’s much more likely that Apple will just switch the other end of the charging cable that it comes with—instead of distributing Lightning to USB-A charging cables, they will probably switch to Lightning to USB-C and include one of their newer fast chargers. They also just started selling an Apple Watch charging cable with USB-C on the other end rather than USB-A, so it makes sense.

Maybe a New Retina MacBook Air, Finally

It seems like every year the rumors say that Apple will finally launch a new MacBook Air with a high-resolution screen. And every year they refuse to do it.

The rumor machine is going again though, and supposedly this time it’s really going to happen. The 12” MacBook hasn’t been updated in a while, and it’s really due for some changes as well, so it would make sense if they either release a new Air as a lower-cost version, or make that the lower cost one, and make the Air into a bigger version of the 12” MacBook.

Read the remaining 5 paragraphs

Free Download: Winamp 5.8 Beta Is Official, Now Llama-Friendly

The tech world got really excited the other day with the news that Winamp was supposedly returning with an all-new version that would solve all of our music-listening problems. And now the official Winamp 5.8 is available for download. Great, right?

If you want to download it for yourself, just head straight to winamp.com and grab yourself a copy. It’s even now llama-friendly for some reason.

What’s Going On With Winamp 5.8?

This new version is basically identical to the leaked beta from last month, which added Windows 10 compatibility, removed all the broken stuff, and got rid of all the Pro features, so it’s now freeware again. It’s a lot better than it was before, but it’s a bit buggy still.

If you’ve got a high-resolution / 4K monitor… Winamp is very, very broken. It’s hilariously bad.

If you’re using a modern skin, you can fix this by right-clicking on each window and choosing Window Settings -> Scaling -> 200% (or whatever scaling you prefer).

Read the remaining 9 paragraphs

Google is Going to Pay Phone Makers More to Install Chrome Now

Google is going to start charging for the Play Store in Europe as a response to an antitrust ruling—and naturally, speculators are pontificating what that will mean. Here’s what will actually happen: Nothing.

What the What? Antitrust?

So here’s the deal, for those of you that don’t have time to pay attention to these things. The European Commission found that Google broke antitrust laws in the EU for anticompetitive behavior, fined them $5 billion, and gave them 90 days to comply.

Google has been banning phone makers from using forked versions of Android, and forces them to preinstall Chrome and Google Search if they are going to offer the Google Play Store. And of course, without the Google Play Store, your Android device is sorta worthless—that’s why our article on installing the Google Play Store on your Amazon tablet has nearly 3 million views.

There’s a whole bunch of debate that we won’t get into about how antitrust works and whether this is good or bad for consumers. The fact is that antitrust works differently in Europe than in the US, and over there, it’s more important to allow access to alternatives—even if those alternatives aren’t actually realistically going to happen.

Google’s Business Model for Free Android Needs Chrome

The main reason that Google is able to spend billions of dollars creating and promoting the free Android operating system is because they get the benefit of advertising dollars from people searching Google on their phones, usually using Chrome.

And the only way they can force manufacturers to not screw Android up it is to use the Play Store, and Google Play Services, as a big hammer to force everybody to stay in line and keep the core functionality updated. If you want to make a phone with Android, you need the Play Store, and if you want the Play Store, you have to set Chrome as the default browser with Google Search set to default.

After the initial ruling, Google hinted in a blog post that Android’s free business model would probably have to come to an end in Europe as a response, and they might need to start charging phone makers.

The free distribution of the Android platform, and of Google’s suite of applications, is not only efficient for phone makers and operators—it’s of huge benefit for developers and consumers. If phone makers and mobile network operators couldn’t include our apps on their wide range of devices, it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem. So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven’t had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly controlled distribution model.

Google’s Solution: Pay Phone Makers More to Install Chrome

Read the remaining 10 paragraphs

Turns Out Putting a Facebook Camera in Your House Might Be a Privacy Issue

Right after getting hacked a few weeks back, Facebook announced the Portal, a smart video calling device for your home that they said would respect your privacy. Turns out they didn’t really mean your privacy. Somebody’s privacy might get respected though.

The Facebook Portal has a camera and microphone, and is meant to be used to talk to your relatives, watch videos from social media, and listen to music. It’s supposed to be the new communication portal with the rest of the world, using Facebook and Messenger to communicate with friends and family.

Originally Facebook touted all of the privacy features—you can disable the camera and microphone with a tap, and it comes with a camera cover. And they had originally told the media that no data collected through portal would be used to target users with ads on Facebook. They literally claim on their privacy page that it is “private by design”.

Turns out… that’s not true, as Recode reports:

Facebook has since reached out to change its answer: Portal doesn’t have ads, but data about who you call and data about which apps you use on Portal can be used to target you with ads on other Facebook-owned properties.

Basically, since Portal is built on top of Messenger, anything you do on Messenger can be used to target you with ads. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.

RELATED: Facebook Announces a Camera for Your House. Didn’t They Just Get Hacked?

How is This Surprising? Facebook Knows Everything

Please point to where on the Portal it spied on you.

The fact is, Facebook collects and uses shocking amounts of data about you to target ads. They are collecting shadow profiles that include all of your contact information, even if you don’t give it to them. And there’s no way to opt out—Facebook most likely has your phone number, personal, and work email addresses, and there’s no way to keep advertisers from using them to target you.

Read the remaining 9 paragraphs