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    How To Send Any Audio (and Video) Stream to AirPlay Devices

    If you're big into iOS, AirPlay is a great method for streaming audio and video content between your Apple devices. But it's not perfect. Your iPhone and iPad can only stream out, for example — not the other way around. And your AppleTV will only accept the file formats supported in iTunes. These aren't quite deal breakers, but they can be annoying restrictions.

    Luckily, there are are a few third-party solutions with AirPlay support — and they enable your Apple devices to do all the things they normally can't. If you've ever wondered how to re-direct audio (and sometimes video) from nearly any application or player to your iOS device — including all that new Spotify goodness — here's how.

    How To Avoid Accidental Android Market and In-App Purchases

    We have, in the past, complained that Google makes it a hassle to buy apps. Well, they must read Tested (or just listen to their users) because over time, the Market has gotten a lot more user-friendly. One of the most useful features Google has rolled out to the Market as of late is in-app purchases. When you add this to the already exploding paid app ecosystem, it gets very easy to buy things. But, maybe too easy? We’re hearing more and more stories of people accidentally buying in-app goods.

    Another incident might begin when a user lets their young ones play with the phone only to learn they bought $50 worth of in-game currency. Or maybe you just let an acquaintance borrow your phone? Not everyone is familiar with the concept that phones do ask for real money. We’re going to go over the best ways to guard against that kind of occurrence. Stick with us to protect your wallet.

    How To Test Your Web Browser (and What Browser Benchmarks Actually Mean)

    With the Internet's second big browser war upon us, benchmarks, performance and speed have taken center stage in the fight for online supremacy. Here at Tested, we often discuss numerous technologies, from WebGL to HTML5, in attempt to suss out what browsers work best. But we also realize it's not always easy to understand what purpose these tests serve — and more specifically, the real-world benefits for people like you.

    Here's a quick rundown of what all these names and numbers mean, why they matter, and how to run some tests of your own.

    How To Manage the SD Card on Android Phones Like a Pro

    Android provides a lot of freedom with regards to file system access and storage. We definitely love having this kind of control, but it’s not just the user that gets this access. Any app that includes the modify/delete SD card contents permission has the same access to your storage card that you do. It goes without saying that you should only install apps you trust when they can access your files.

    More than that, these apps can go around making folders, leaving files strewn about, and just generally messing the place up. In the short term a few apps won’t be a problem. But if you install a lot of apps, it’s going to get messy. Let’s go over some best practices for managing your SD card and keeping the file system neat and tidy.

    How To Run a Local Web Server to Host Web Apps

    Hosting is expensive. So is registering a domain name and renewing it every year — especially for a personal blog or wiki you might not use all that often. So why not host it yourself? It's not as crazy as it sounds.

    Of course, we don't actually recommend you host your collaborative Star Trek wiki or trendy food blog on your own machine. What we're referring to are web applications that are just as useful when run locally as they are online. For example, some people maintain personal Wikis for storing notes and private information. Or consider ThinkUp, an app that archives all of your Twitter and Facebook posts, and generates statistics and trends with the results. You could buy a hosting plan and install each of these services online — or you could run them locally, free of charge. You'll get the same results, not to mention the added peace of mind that your personal data is safe, secure and only accessible by you.

    Today, we'll focus on installing the aforementioned ThinkUp, one of many legitimate reasons for running online apps and services on your own machine with a local web server. Let's get started!

    How To Remove Malware and Thwart Its Dirtiest Tricks

    It’s every Windows user’s worst nightmare. You boot up your machine to play some games do some work, but instead of seeing your usual desktop, you get a hideous pop-up claiming that viruses and hardware errors are destroying your computer. The warning is completely bogus, of course, generated by malware that’s trying to scare a credit card number out of you. But the phony program is right about one thing: your system has been infected, and now you have to deal with it. There are lots of genuine malware removers available for free that can help, but even with such noble code on your side it can be tricky to completely undo the damage—modern malware digs into a system like a tick, employing devious tactics to prevent its own removal.

    Here’s how to deal with some of the most common infections.

    Tips For Safe Surfing On Public Wi-Fi Networks

    Go to your nearest mall, library or school, and you’ll probably have an easier time finding an open wireless hotspot than a washroom; that’s just the way things are. Not that we’re complaining, of course. Blanketed, city-wide Wi-Fi has been a long time coming, and we can’t wait until that pervasive vision comes true.

    However, the risks associated with public wireless hotspots should be abundantly clear — and increasing the number of hotspots will only make those risks worse. With some freely available software, it’s trivial for unencrypted information to be intercepted or sniffed, often without you knowing. Here are a few tips for safer public browsing, with the hopes of keeping your identity where it belongs.

    The New Complete Guide to Backing Up Your Android Phone

    Google has had more than a enough time to develop some sort of unified backup solution for Android. They haven't, and we don’t expect them to ever do it. Google, and by extension Android, are about the Cloud. A lot of the data on your device ends up in Google’s servers, ready to be pushed back down to your device should you ever need it. But for the data that isn’t handled by Google, you’re on your own.

    A year ago we went over how to backup your Android phone, and it’s about time we revisited the issue. Technology marches on, things change, apps fall behind, and new services appear. Read on to find out what you can backup and how to do it.

    The Best Apps and Services to Find Your Lost Android Phone

    Quick! Check your pocket. Is your phone there? Is it supposed to be? If your Android handset has gone missing there are a number of useful apps you can use to find it again. Depending on the gravity of the situation you can pinpoint its location, make it ring, lock it down, or even wipe the device if it isn’t coming back.

    There are quite a few apps on the Market that purport to handle this functionality for you. Some are free, some cost a few bucks up front, and some require a subscription. Join us as we talk about four of the top apps and service to find your phone.

    How To Diagnose and Repair Basic Network Connection Problems

    Home networking equipment has reached a point of such ubiquity that it will soon be counted among common household appliances such as your TV, microwave and refrigerator. Unfortunately, it seems that the extent of most people's troubleshooting knowledge ends with rebooting their router and whining at the closest person they consider their personal tech support representative. This guide aims to provide a series of tools which can help you repair problems yourself, thus alleviating the pressure placed on those around you with any tech knowledge at all.

    We've covered networking before, I won't be detailing tips for improving your Wi-Fi network, or configuring your router. Instead, let’s take a look at some common tools you can use in administrating your own home network.

    How to Troubleshoot Common Android Market Errors

    Google has worked hard to make the Android Market more usable in the last few months. The phone client is easier to navigate, and the web Market has totally changed the way people install applications. But despite all the improvements, there are still some confusing bugs and limitations people run into.

    We’re going to go over some of the most common Android Market issues, and give you a rundown of potential fixes.

    How To Move Your Apps and User Files to a Secondary Drive

    One of the obvious benefits of having multiple hard drives is that you have more than one place to put all your stuff. In most cases, this involves creating a couple of ad-hoc folders for music or games on a secondary drive — folders that live outside your traditional home directory. But what if you’d prefer to keep everything in one place? More importantly, what if you want to move your user files or applications to another drive entirely?

    The benefit here is not only speed, but reliability. If your boot disk fails, all your files are stored safely on another drive for a speedy recovery. And for those using solid-state disks, you can free up space and keep only the necessities for a speedy OS. It beats messing about with RAID.

    Of course, neither Windows or OS X offer an obvious way to do this. By default, both operating systems place all their system files and folders on one drive, and one drive only, leaving you to deal with additional drives on your own. But with a bit of tweaking, it’s easy to move your applications and files to a secondary drive — leaving your computer none the wiser.

    How To Make Any Pair of Headphones Smart Phone Capable

    You know what's handy? Devices that perform more than one useful function. Take smart phone headsets, for example: They have headphones which give you the ability to listen to music without annoying your fellow public transit passengers, and the in-line remote and microphone allows you take calls without needing to put your phone to your ear. Unfortunately, the ear buds included on most bundled headsets are almost uniformly low quality. If you've ever wished you could use a pair of headphones you already own with your phone without sacrificing the features of your headset, you're in luck.

    This guide will show you how to mount a female headphone socket to your headset, giving you an in-line microphone compatible with any headphones you'd care to connect.

    How To Monitor Your Broadband Bandwidth Usage
    Late last week news broke that a pair of policy groups have petitioned the FCC to investigate bandwidth caps in the United States. The groups called AT&T’s new 150GB cap “a profit center” that isn’t linked to network congestion woes and called into question Comcast’s cap, which has held fast at 250GB since 2008 despite three years of network improvements. Now the FCC has to choose how to respond; hopefully the Commission will compare these bandwidth caps to the amount of traffic passing through each network and determine their fairness.

    a few tools ISPs offer to keep an eye on the restrictions they’ve put in place.

    How To Protect Your Privacy on Android Phones
    Users of Android phones know that Google's services are tightly integrated with the device. For most of us, that's all well and good. But in the wake of the iOS tracking incident, the recent data thefts from Sony's PlayStation Network, and now LastPass hacking, we have to wonder if it's not better to just opt out of some of these services. Android offers some ways to reduce your data exposure and increase the overall level of security and privacy. 

    How To Make Your Own Cinemagraphs: A New Take on GIFs
    We hate to break it to you, but it doesn't look as if GIFs are disappearing anytime soon. Those ancient animated images — once limited to   gaudy "under construction" signs and chain-mail fodder — are receiving a new lease on life as of late, thanks to a little something called  cinemagraphs.

    This is actually just a fancy name for an animated GIF, but specially designed with a purposeful artistic goal. One photographer, Fernando J Baez, describes the technique as "more than a photo, but not quite a video." The intent is to augment, or draw attention to, certain aspects of an image through localized animation — for example, a breeze blowing through a subject's hair — and masking the remainder of the animation to appear static. It's by no means a new phenomena, but the technique is a little more involved than creating your average meme-worthy GIF, and can produce some incredibly cool results.

    One of Jamie Beck's animated photographs, otherwise called a cinemagraph.
    Photoshop. That's because Adobe's powerful image manipulation software actually allows us to edit more than just images — there's support for certain video formats too, which is what we'll be using to create our final image. Sound good? Let's get started.

    How To Have Fun with Near Field Communication on Android
    At this juncture, we're all familiar with wireless communication technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. But one wireless tool that is just starting to roll out to the mainstream is near field communication, or NFC. The first Android phone with NFC was the Nexus S last December. If you pick up a Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy S II, or the Nexus S 4G on Sprint, you will have NFC capabilities in your phone.    

    What iPhone's Location Tracking Means for You (and How to Protect Yourself)
    Like many of you, I woke up this morning to the news that my iPhone and 3G-enabled iPad have recorded every single location I’ve visited since last summer, when I installed iOS 4. If you’ve missed the story, Ars Technica has a typically thorough breakdown of the work done by a pair of security researchers, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, and the implications of your iPhone recording your daily movements--or maybe just the cell towers your phone connects to as you move around.

    Either way, the upshot is the same: all iPhones running iOS 4.0 or higher periodically record the time and general location of the device using cell towers as a point of reference. As far as anyone can tell, this info is only stored on the phone (and in the phone’s backup on your Mac or PC) and is never transmitted to anyone, including Apple.