Stories by Bill Snyder

Little-known alternative to Safari & Chrome for iPhone, iPad

I'm always partial to products that come out of small companies and independent developers. After all, Dell and Facebook started in dorm rooms, and giant companies like, Microsoft, HP and Apple launched as shoe-string operations It is, you might say, the Silicon Valley way, even if some of those outfits were born outside of California. So it's good to see a worthy competitor to Apple's Safari mobile browser come out of the software shop of Ang Quang Do, an independent developer based in London.

Written by Bill Snyder01 March 11 06:34

Smartphone security threats overdramatized, experts say

I was sitting in the middle of one of the most security conscious crowds you'd ever come across -- about 200 computer security professionals listening to a high-powered panel on mobile security threats at the RSA Conference in San Francisco last week.

Written by Bill Snyder23 Feb. 11 04:05

Should you file taxes on your smartphone?

It's almost March and that means tax day is marching relentlessly closer. As always, the major providers of tax prep software have tweaked their offerings and are competing for your business.

Written by Bill Snyder15 Feb. 11 07:32

Mobile phone data plans: New gotchas

Ah, the good old days. Of last year. When nearly all wireless data plans were of the all-you-can-eat variety and you could download your fingers off with nary a care. That's not the case any more.

Written by Bill Snyder08 Feb. 11 06:12

Five new online security threats to avoid

I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook, so when I got an e-mail from the social networking site telling me "you haven't been back to Facebook recently" and here are some messages you missed, it didn't seem odd. I clicked on the link, wondering what one of my friends was doing.

Written by Bill Snyder01 Feb. 11 04:13

Five ways to speed up your home network

Maybe you're tired of paying the cable company and want to get your movies and other entertainment from the Web. Naturally you'll want to watch those shows on your TV with the aid of a Roku box or similar device. More and more people are doing that, and if you want to join the crowd, you've got to be sure you're home Internet network is up to the challenge.

Written by Bill Snyder25 Jan. 11 06:46

The PC virus turns 25

Happy anniversary Basit and Amjad! Twenty-five years ago this month, the Alvi brothers of Lahore, Pakistan, gave the world the Brain Virus, the first bit of malware capable of infecting a DOS-based PC. Back in those relatively innocent times, the brothers actually embedded their real names and business address in the code and later told Time magazine they had written the virus to protect their medical software from piracy.

Written by Bill Snyder19 Jan. 11 03:00

Seven technology habits of smart people

I can't help you lose weight, stop smoking or keep any of the other New Year's resolutions you and millions of others might make. But I can give you a few ideas that will save you money and help you get the most out of the technology you use every day.

Written by Bill Snyder12 Jan. 11 08:22

Five best browser innovations of 2010

The browser wars have changed. During the last couple of years, the four or five leading browsers have all greatly improved -- to the point that the choice often comes down to taste or political conviction, as in "I hate Microsoft and I'll never use IE."

Written by Bill Snyder30 Nov. 10 03:53

Laptop, netbook or tablet: 7 questions to ask before you buy

Your old PC is ready for the recyclers and it's time to buy a new one. Or is it? These days, we're fortunate to have a plethora of computing devices that can handle everything from sending an e-mail to watching a movie or writing a thesis. A PC (or Mac, for that matter) is no longer the only choice.

Written by Bill Snyder23 Nov. 10 06:39

What if Facebook and Chrome mated: Meet RockMelt

Does the world need yet another browser? It depends. If you're like me, and spend a lot of time on the Web, but not too much time with social networking sites, you don't. Firefox and Chrome and even IE (not to mention Safari or Opera) are more than enough. But if you can't live without instant Facebook updates and the latest Tweets, you should check out RockMelt, a new browser designed for the social networking aficionado.

Written by Bill Snyder16 Nov. 10 06:08

20 must-have IE and Firefox shortcuts

I spend hours and hours exploring the Web. At times all that mousing around makes my right hand hurt. So I try to use keyboard shortcuts at least some of the time. At the very least, using different muscles in the hand relieves some of the strain, and sometimes those shortcuts save time compared to the corresponding mouse commands.

Written by Bill Snyder09 Nov. 10 03:37

Adobe Reader: Will new version block hackers or tempt them

Here's a distinction no software company craves: For two quarters running, Adobe's popular Acrobat and Reader software have been the favorite target of hackers around the globe. According to Symantec's quarterly threat assessment, attacks related to PDF usage accounted for 36 per cent of malicious activity in the most recent quarter and 57 per cent in the preceding three months.

Written by Bill Snyder02 Nov. 10 03:03

Mobile phone bill shock: FCC, carriers face off

If your wireless bill spiked by more than $18,000 one month, would you think that was a "trivial" issue? Of course, not. But the big telcos and their conservative allies are trying to stop the FCC from putting rules in place that will make wireless bill shock a much less common occurrence.

Written by Bill Snyder19 Oct. 10 03:43