How to use Chrome's coming voice search feature today

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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Welcome to perceptual computing. Google recently added hands-free voice search to the beta build of the Chrome browser, a new feature that allows you to simply say "Ok Google" and then dictate your search terms to their browser (assuming your PC has a microphone, of course).

It's a handy feature, but Google has yet to say when it will be baked in to the official Chrome build. The good news for anyone who wants to talk to their computer right now is that you can manually add hands-free voice search using the Google Voice Search Hotword (Beta) extension.

Yes, it's also a beta test, but adding an extension to your current browser is a lot simpler than switching over to a less stable version of Chrome, don't you think?

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3 helpful tips to keep your Outlook.com inbox 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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Around ten years ago, like many longtime Hotmail users, I got a Gmail account and never looked back. Gmail was faster, more organized and just plain better. Well, that was then. These days, I've jumped ship yet again to the ultra-polished Outlook.com and spend most of my time using Microsoft's Hotmail successor.

Outlook.com's stuffed with nifty features, including the modern UI-style layout, social integration, and standard hits from the Hotmail days like Sweep. If you're thinking about switching back to Outlook.com, or just want some tips on how to make your Outlook.com experience better, here are three tips to help you better manage your inbox.

Schedule a sweep

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Use Windows' sorting options to find just the right file

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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One of the biggest pains of using a PC is rooting around the file system to find very specific information.

Over the years, Microsoft has made it easier to find files with enhanced search capabilities for finding that one Word document, photo, or video you need. Search is great when you're looking for a specific file by name, but sometimes you don't care about words. Sometimes, you're looking for the largest video file in your collection, or the most recently modified Word document in your OneDrive folder.

That's where File Explorer's View menu comes in handy.

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How to erase specific autosuggested URLs from Chrome, Firefox, and IE

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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A big part of my job is doing research online. That means from time to time the autocomplete function in my browser's address bar gets filled with mistyped URLs or sites I browsed once, but never want to visit again. If you've ever spent a boring night surfing around the web, chances are your browser's autosuggest function tosses up similar ghosts. 

Erasing all autosuggested URLs from your browser would be a hindrance, but specifically deleting those unwanted URLs can really streamline the browsing experience. Here's how to dump the annoying addresses while keeping all the good stuff in Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

Chrome

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How to force SkyDrive to store your files on your hard drive 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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There are a lot of great features in Windows 8.1 that make it well worth using, and Update 1 expected in the coming weeks sounds promising too.

But for traditional PC users with big hard drives one thing that may not be so great is how Windows 8.1 works with SkyDrive.

To make Windows 8.1's deep SkyDrive integration more usable on a tablet, Microsoft decided to store most of your SkyDrive documents in the cloud and only download them locally when you need them.

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How to clean up the mess left by browser toolbars

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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You would think that in 2014, we'd have put all the web shenanigans of the 1990s and early aughts behind us, but you'd be wrong—at least for Windows users. Download a desktop app like AVG, Skype, or Vuze and these programs will try to sneak toolbars onto your system or change your default home page and browser. Yuck.

If your browser is loaded down with toolbars or you want to get back to searching with DuckDuckGo rather than Bing, here's how to do battle against these foes on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer

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Use Outlook.com's aliases to hide your true email address from prying eyes

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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Microsoft’s Outlook.com isn't anywhere near as tweakable as Gmail, but one great thing Outlook.com does offer is email aliases—multiple, independent email addresses belonging to a single account.

Why would you want to use an email alias? You can create a hard-to-guess alias as a password recovery address for your online accounts, making it more difficult for hackers to nab your data through the back door. Creating junk addresses to hand over to websites or apps that force you to register is also a great way to keep your personal email address out of the hands of marketers.

Here’s how to get started.

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