Chris Pollette

Contributing Writer

Chris Pollette is the former tech editor for HowStuffWorks.com and the original co-host of the TechStuff podcast. He's written many articles on technology subjects as diverse as VPNs, Bluetooth and LEDs.

Recent Contributions

Magnets produce magnetic fields and attract metals like iron, nickel and cobalt. They're used in all sorts of applications but how are they made and how do they work?

By Tracy V. Wilson & Chris Pollette

Thanks to the Faraday cage, we can control electricity and make it safer for our computers, cars and other inventions.

By Chris Pollette & Nathan Chandler

Nearly everything you use to run your computer or enhance its performance is either part of the motherboard or plugs into it. But what does it actually do?

By Tracy V. Wilson & Chris Pollette

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Fiber-optic lines have revolutionized phone calls, cable TV and the internet. It's a really cool technology that enables the long-distance transmission of data in light signals, and is used in many more ways than you think.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Chris Pollette

A Google engineer made headlines for claiming that an AI called LaMDA had become sentient or conscious. While many AI scientists disagreed, what would it take for an AI to ever become sentient?

By Chris Pollette

The legend of the samurai continues to permeate our culture, with countless movies and TV shows dedicated to the subject. How much of what we know about the samurai is truth and how much is myth?

By Ed Grabianowski & Chris Pollette

How can you check the version of Android on your tablet, and how do you update it? We have some simple steps.

By Chris Pollette & Eric Seeger

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A robot and a human being are made up of the same basic components. And with each passing decade, robots become more lifelike. Find out how robots operate and the marvelous things they're already doing.

By Tom Harris & Chris Pollette

Wireless mesh networks promise to deliver high-speed Internet connectivity anywhere, anytime. Find out when you would use them.

By Chris Pollette & Dave Roos

Is anyone watching you now? If you have Bluetooth enabled on your smartphone, someone might know exactly where you are.

By John Fuller & Chris Pollette

The microprocessor determines the processing power available for any application you run. Without it, there is no computer. Learn all about this amazing, ever-shrinking technology that makes your computer compute.

By Marshall Brain & Chris Pollette

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Whether they're sorting out scrap metal or helping us unlock the secrets of the universe, electromagnets are pretty nifty devices. What's so great about magnetism on demand? We'll electrify you with the details.

By Marshall Brain & Chris Pollette

Yes, it's still around. Second Life is a 3D virtual world where you can live in a castle, fly to dance clubs and change your appearance with a click of your mouse. So what's up with it now?

By Jonathan Strickland & Chris Pollette

Electronic books have been out for years, though none of them met with much success — until the Amazon Kindle. What's so special about this little device?

By Jonathan Strickland & Chris Pollette

The capacitor plays a crucial role in electronics. It stores electrons for when they're needed most, dumping a huge charge instead of a steady flow. How does it do it?

By Marshall Brain & Chris Pollette

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There is no great divide between Mac and Windows operating systems, thanks to Boot Camp. What does it take to install Windows on an Apple computer, and how does Boot Camp help you do it?

By Chris Pollette & Stephanie Crawford

Chromecast is a tiny TV dongle that promises to bring you streaming media controlled via your mobile device. Can it compete with the rest of the streaming media market?

By Chris Pollette & Bernadette Johnson

Streaming video and audio have come a very long way since it was first introduced in the 1990s. In fact, millions of people have gotten rid of cable and rely on streaming only for entertainment.

By Chris Pollette

Now almost anyone can be a disc jockey, talk show host or recording artist. Find out what tools you need to record and receive podcasts and see what industry analysts have to say about the future of podcasting.

By Stephanie Watson & Chris Pollette

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Mac or PC? It's a question almost everybody has an opinion about. Or, are you wondering what the difference is? We've broken down these computers to reveal their strengths and weaknesses.

By Chris Pollette

You're typing along on your laptop when, all of a sudden, your computer fades to black. What's causing your black screen and how do you fix it?

By Chris Pollette

You want to share what's on your screen with someone on email or through social media. But how do you do it? Microsoft Windows has several easy ways.

By Chris Pollette

More people are using virtual private networks to establish secure communication over the internet, protecting their private information and allowing remote employees to connect to the private corporate networks.

By Jeff Tyson, Chris Pollette & Stephanie Crawford

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On Feb. 17, 2009, TV sets in the United States will need a converter to watch local stations. Is your television ready for the switch?

By Chris Pollette

Light emitting diodes form numbers on digital clocks, send data from remote controls and illuminate watches – the simple genius of the design makes it infinitely applicable. And now, LEDs are affordable.

By Tom Harris, Chris Pollette & Wesley Fenlon