Holiday cooking tip: Windows 8's Food & Drink hands-free mode keeps your screen clean

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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It’s holiday time, and America’s kitchens will soon be filled with laptops, tablets, and smartphones as home chefs follow along with all those great looking recipes you can find on the Internet. And you know what that that means: sticky, icky gunk smeared across your device's display.

But wait! Holiday cooking doesn't have to smudge up your screen—if you take advantage of a great feature in Microsoft's Bing Food & Drink app, which comes bundled with Windows 8.1.

Food & Drink features recipes for all kinds of holiday treats, pulled in from sites such as Epicurious, Saveur, and AllRecipes.com. More importantly for the health and safety of your device, however, it features a hands-free mode that lets you move through each step of a recipe by waving your hand in front of your device's webcam.

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How to turn any Web page into an impromptu Music app playlist in Windows 8.1

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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Say what you want about the Windows Store, the one thing Windows 8.1 is not suffering from is a lack of music, thanks to apps like Nokia Mix Radio, iHeart Radio, and, Microsoft’s built-in Music app.

Those modern UI music apps get even better when you combine them with a neat feature built into Windows 8.1 that creates automated playlists based on the web page you're browsing. (Sorry Windows 7 and 8 users, you’ll have to sit this one out).

For this hassle-free holiday tip, you’re going to need a Windows 8.1 device, an Internet connection, and either an Xbox Music Pass subscription or a few hours left on your monthly free streaming limit. Ready? Let’s get started.

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Easily find far-flung customization options with Windows' secret GodMode

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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Like putting a personal touch on your PCs? Customization options abound in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, but these features can often be hard to find, an issue exacerbated by Microsoft's dual (or should I say dueling?) interfaces. Strategically burying some Control Panel options under the Charm bar doesn't help matters either.

Enter GodMode—a handy, hidden folder well-known to IT pros who want to quickly get at a wide range of customization options on the desktop, but one few everyday users know about.

GodMode basically provides easy, direct access to all of Windows' various far-flung features and customization options from a single interface, sorting them into handy categories like Display and Administrative Tools. Whether you want to adjust your monitor's resolution, tweak your folder options, or customize your taskbar's notification area, it's all a single click away in GodMode.

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Juggle multiple Twitter accounts in Google Chrome

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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QuickTweet

I'm not what you would call a heavy Twitter user (I've lost weight! Kidding, kidding...), but I do have two accounts I like to check daily. And doing that in my browser is quite the hassle, as it means signing out of one account, signing into the other, and on and on. If I had three, four, or even more accounts, it would really be a nightmare.

There are lots of social-network managers out there, but all I really need is a simple way to hop between my two handles. And I found that in QuickTweet, a Chrome extension for managing multiple Twitter accounts.

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How to quickly recover lost form data in your browser

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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This is an update of a browser extension I last wrote about a couple years back. It's too good not to revisit every so often.

Just the other day, this happened: After writing a fairly lengthy post in a browser-based blog tool, I hit the Backspace key to delete something--but because my cursor wasn't inside the text field at the time, Chrome interpreted that as the keyboard shortcut for "back." In other words, back to the previous page. A big chunk of my unsaved work: gone.

Crud.

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How to bring back Libraries in Windows 8.1

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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I've resigned myself to the fact that some questions just don't have answers. For example, who built the pyramids? What really happened to Amelia Earhart? And why did Microsoft disable the Libraries feature in Windows 8.1?

You remember Libraries: It was one of the most highly touted (and useful) additions to Windows 7, a way to find and sort files without having to navigate across a zillion far-flung folders.

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Where did my volume icon go?

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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Why did you run away, volume icon?

I'm not exactly sure when or why it happened, but somewhere along the way, my System Tray volume icon disappeared.

At one point, it was right there, just waiting to be clicked. Now, the System Tray shows only my network, battery, and Action Center indicators. (Just to clarify, I'm using Windows 8, but referring to Desktop mode. The same issue could apply to Windows 7.)

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