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    Barebones Android: The Features to Ditch for Maximum Battery Life
    That Android phone in your pocket does a lot of cool stuff, right? It's easy to get caught up in the fun of using your phone and lose track of the battery level. The last thing you want is a dead phone when you're not near a charger. Since today's mobile devices use juice even when they're just sitting in your pocket, you might want to take action.



    Backstabbed: 7 Brutal April Fools Pranks You Can Do Now!

    Welcome to the worst news day on the Internet. While every other site is busy posting fake news, the humorless bunch at Tested .com will be gluing people's mice to their desks and filling people's offices with styrofoam peanuts. Oh, and we're going to show you how to prank the hell out of your friends too.

    There are veritable cornucopia of killer pranks you can pull on your coworkers and friends. Everyone's heard of the old standbys, like plugging a spare wireless mouse in to someone's computer, then making their cursor go crazy throughout the day (for bonus points, control the mouse with your feet, so they won't catch your hand movements), the old tape over the mouse sensor trick, and the always classic desktop wallpaper instead of desktop--although we do have a killer variant of that one that will actually melt your brain. 

    Oh, and don't forget to lock your workstation (that's Win+L on Windows, but you can use LockTight to do the same thing on the OS X) any time you get up tomorrow, or risk being the fool, rather than the fool-er. Oh, you didn't prepare for your prankery before you came to work? Fear not, six outta seven pranks require no preparation.

    How To Find All Your Downloaded Music to Upload to Amazon's Cloud Drive
    Last night, Amazon pulled the wraps off of it's Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. I love that the new service offers free online backup and streaming of songs you purchase from Amazon going forward, but the songs you've already purchased won't be automatically backed up. Nor will songs downloaded from other services, like eMusic or iTunes. Backing those tracks up should be easy using Amazon's new MP3 Uploader, right? It should be, but it isn't. If you're like us, your digital purchases are buried in your music library along with thousands of tracks ripped from CDs--and it will be a massive pain in the ass to dig them out, one file at a time. 
     

     
    How To Troubleshoot a Crash-Prone Android App
    The vast majority of the time, apps you download will work just as well on the 100th run as they did on the first. But there are times when things go awry. An app might be behaving itself, then spontaneously start force closing or failing to run at all. Android hides a lot of powerful functionality behind the scenes, and this is a time to break it out. 


     
    How To Build a Future-Proof $1500 Gaming PC
    Building a new gaming PC is much easier than you think. All you really need is a screwdriver and the eight components that make up a modern PC: CPU, motherboard, case, RAM, video card, storage drive, optical drive, and power supply. Picking out these components isn't so difficult either, since we've just seen product refreshes in the CPU and GPU markets that makes choosing those core parts a no-brainer. So when Jeff from Giant Bomb told us he was in the market to upgrade from his dated Core 2 machine, we seized the opportunity to spec out a reasonably-priced rig that would last a couple years and build it live to show you just how easy PCs are to assemble.


     
    Tested: Flash 10.2 for Android Taken for a Test Drive
    Prospective Honeycomb tablet buyers had a pretty serious frown on their faces recently when we found out that the Xoom wouldn't be shipping with Flash. Adobe had still not finished the Android version of Flash 10.2, which was required for Honeycomb but runs on phones too. The turnaround is looking not terribly bad, though. The final version of Flash 10.2 for Android is expected to be in the Market Friday, but you don't have to wait.

    The APK file has leaked, so we're going to give it a try and see what, if anything, has changed. 
     
    How to Properly Encode Video for Android Devices
    Android is still without an built-in video solution. That means you will be confronted with a painful reality should you adopt one of these devices, you will need to encode your own videos. Encoding your video in the first place is troubling, but knowing what settings to use for your Android device can end up a nightmare. 


     
    Hack Removes Dock Requirement for Atrix's Webtop
    In case you forgot, the Motorola Atrix is one beast of a mobile phone. But speedy, dual-core processor aside, there's one particular feature that first caught our eye back at CES — Webtop. Connect the Atrix to its optional multimedia dock or laptop attachement and you can launch a separate, desktop-style operating system, complete with mouse and keyboard support. In fact, Webtop runs very similarly to a fully-fledged computer — but with a few caveats. 

    simply does not work over vanilla HDMI. Those who want Webtop functionality are required to purchase one of Motorola's expensive accessories. But if the world of custom ROMs and Android hacks has taught us anything, it's that in this community, nothing stays locked for long.  
     
    How To Solve Common Windows Problems Without Rebooting
    Windows, for the most part, is reasonably stable OS. Still, it’s not uncommon to have a rogue program or driver wreak all sorts of havoc on your system — often forcing a unwanted reboot. In some cases, Windows is smart; if your graphics driver trips up, the Windows Display Driver Model is smart enough to recover, no reboot required. But not every Windows component is quite as graceful. 

    without rebooting. Now it’s time to show you Windows users how to do the same. 

    How to Manually Update the Nexus One and Nexus S to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread
    At long last the Gingerbread update for the Nexus One is going out over the air (OTA). This version of Android (2.3.3) is also being pushed to the Nexus S OTA. Google has said, as they often do, that the OTA will take several weeks to complete. Being technology enthusiasts, we don't much see the point in waiting weeks to get an update that we can sideload now. Luckily, the Android community has managed to find the update files on Google's servers. With a little file management and some clicks in recovery mode, you can update either of these handsets to the latest and greatest. 
     

     
    How To Pop-Out Netflix Streaming Videos from Your Browser
    While Netflix Instant is one of the best streaming video services around, it lacks a useful feature that both YouTube and Hulu have—a pop-out option. Being able to pop-out a video into its own window is nice, letting you drag your movie around without juggling the web page as well. If you’ve got a dual monitor setup, pop-out also lets you go full-screen without the hassle of having it shrink back down when you click somewhere else (Update: You can also fix the dual monitor issue by installing Silverlight 4. Thanks Netflix Instant team!). So if you’ve been missing this feature in Netflix Instant, fear not, there’s a simple workaround.



    How To Fix Common Mac OS X Problems Without Rebooting
    There are those who simply never shut down — people who are so adverse to rebooting their machines they do everything in their power to avoid it. But energy concerns aside, there are tons of valid reasons for doing so. Some prefer a persistent workspace, while others might run home servers. For these people, continuous uptime is an must. But driver updates or stubborn apps are all it takes to bring your system to a reboot-worthy halt.



    How To Future-Proof Android Video Encoding: WebM vs H.264
    With the newest version of Android for phones, Google is extending support for their WebM video codec to the platform. Google is positioning this as an alternative to the patent-encumbered H.264 video codec. With a  future of large-screen Honeycomb tablets, and stupid-fast smart phones, video is only going to become more important. There are reasons to support both formats, but you'll probably want to stick to one. 


     
    How To Buy a Used Android Phone with Complete Confidence
    The two year contracts most carriers push on you to get subsidized smart phones can be a troubling proposition. If you're not happy with the phone, you're stuck on the carrier for two years. Buying a new phone without subsidy can be a very expensive alternative. If you want to save a little cash, and maintain your freedom, you can always pick up a used Android phone on eBay or Craigslist. Since you would be getting this phone second hand, warranties are of little use. You need to make sure the handset is as described. That guy on Craigslist probably doesn't take returns. 


     
    Tips To Make Your Own Awesome Headphone Stand
    Do you chuckle every time you see someone listening to music with those iconic Apple earbuds? Cheap and available they may be, but they’ll never come close to matching the audio quality of a great pair of headphones. Picking out the perfect headphones isn’t an easy decision, either--they can cost in the hundreds of dollars, and you have to choose between open and closed phones or go for a high-end headset. And once you’re fully immersed in that world of aural bliss, another expensive hobby arises: customization.

    Headphone cans are the perfect size and shape for classy custom panels or artwork. And most high-end headphones are already pretty stylish--when they look that good, they deserve a suave headphone stand to hold them up for the world to see. If you’re adventurous, that means building something with your own two hands.