All Windows 10 PCs have “Game Mode” enabled by default. Microsoft once touted this feature, but it’s now faded into the background. Bizarrely, some people report that disabling Game Mode boosts the performance of certain PC games! What Does “Game Mode” Do on Windows 10? First introduced in Windows 10’s Creators Update , which was released back in April 2017, “ Game Mode ” promises to boost the performance of many PC games. Here’s the official description: Microsoft says that Game Mode “helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system.” Technically, it works by detecting games and giving them priority access to your computer’s resources. The game you’re focused on playing gets more CPU and GPU resources, while other applications and background processes get fewer resources. This only works if Windows 10 detects that you’re playing a game. Microsoft’s limited explanation of Game Mode also says that, in Game Mode, Windows Update won’t … [Read more...] about Did You Know? Windows 10 PCs Have “Game Mode” on by Default
Google Assistant smart speakers and displays are designed to listen to voice commands and respond with answers. However, you may not want your Google Home or Nest to be listening all the time. That’s where the mute switch comes in. Before we get started, it’s important to understand what it means when we talk about devices like the Google Nest Mini and Nest Hub “listening.” These devices are technically “listening” all the time, but they aren’t recording you all the time. RELATED: How (and Why) to Opt-In to Google Recording Storage A smart speaker or display is like a dog. It may hear you whenever you talk, but it only recognizes certain commands. Google Assistant doesn’t truly start “listening” (recording) until it hears “OK Google” or “Hey Google.” That being said, it is possible to completely stop the device from hearing you at all. Google has included physical mute switches on all Google Assistant-enabled devices. When you slide this switch, the microphones are … [Read more...] about How to Mute Your Google Smart Speaker or Display’s Microphone
On Windows 10, Windows Update may sometimes offer you an “Optional Quality Update.” Unlike other updates, Windows won’t automatically install these—so what exactly are they? Should you install them? Windows Update Won’t Automatically Install These An “optional quality update” is a Windows update that you don’t have to install immediately . These never include security fixes—if an important security patch is available, Windows Update will install it without waiting. However, some updates are optional. These fix stability issues and other problems in Windows. Some of these may be optional hardware driver updates . You have the choice of whether or not to install these—it’s up to you. What Is a “Cumulative Update Preview”? One of the most common optional quality updates is a “cumulative update preview.” Microsoft releases cumulative updates once a month on Patch Tuesday , which is the second Tuesday of each month. These updates bundle a large number of fixes for … [Read more...] about What Is an “Optional Quality Update” on Windows 10?
The sun sets depressingly early during certain times of the year, and this can have a big effect on your mood. What if you could control when the sun rises and sets with a fake natural light window? We’ll show you how to tackle this DIY project. Why a DIY Natural Light Window? If you live in a location where there are extended periods of darkness, you know how important natural light can be. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is very common during these times of the year, and lack of sunlight is part of the cause. There are plenty of products designed to help with this problem . However, if you want window-sized light, you’ll probably have to spend several hundred dollars . We wanted to add some extra light to our dim basement office and decided to go the DIY route. We’ll show you how to make a faux window with natural light that changes to match the sun, all for less than $100. What You’ll Need Before we go any further, just a heads up that we’ll be using … [Read more...] about How to Build Your Own Artificial Natural Light Window
Computational photography is responsible for most of the amazing strides our smartphone cameras have taken in the last decade. Here’s how it works, and how it makes our photos so much better. The Magic of Computational Photography Computational photography uses digital software to enhance the photos taken by a camera. It’s most prominently used in smartphones. In fact, computational photography does the heavy lifting to create the great-looking images you see in your smartphone photo gallery. The rapid improvement in smartphone cameras over the last few years can largely be attributed to improving software, rather than changes to the physical camera sensor. Some smartphone manufacturers, like Apple and Google, continuously improve the photo-taking capabilities of their devices year after year without ever drastically changing the physical camera sensors. Why Does Computational Photography Matter? How a camera digitally captures a photo can be roughly divided into two … [Read more...] about What Is Computational Photography?