Stories by Bill Snyder

Verizon and others offer attractive new cord-cutting services

If you love paying through the nose for hundreds of cable TV channels you never watch this post isn't for you. But if you're sick of Comcast and its rivals, here's some good news: In the last couple of months there have been announcements of at least four significant new streaming options and services.

Written by Bill Snyder01 Aug. 15 02:37

Cell phone alerts are dangerous to drivers

I know. You've been nagged and nagged by writers, including me and my colleague, Al Sacco, to put down your phone and other devices when you're behind the wheel. But before you stop reading note this: A new study from Florida State University indicates that even putting your phone on vibrate while you drive doesn't make you all that much safer.

Written by Bill Snyder29 July 15 00:31

FCC ruling could finally make telecoms eradicate 'robocalls'

I don't want to seem cranky or brash, but I really wish "Rachel" would stop calling me. Remember Rachel? That feminine voice on the other end of those "robocalls," telling you she's from cardholder services, a non-existent outfit that tries to scam the unsuspecting?

Written by Bill Snyder23 July 15 23:21

Verizon nabs another speed crown as low-cost carriers lag far behind

Despite ads that suggest, "Yes, you can have it all," wireless service really doesn't work that way. You can go for speed, or you can go for a low price, but you can't have both. A new series of speed tests from respected tech website Tom's Guide reiterates this fact.

Written by Bill Snyder22 July 15 00:59

Where to buy a Windows 10 PC on launch day

I'm finally done hating on Windows 8, because Windows 10 arrives on July 29. We can all move on and forget the OS nicknamed "Windows Frankenstein."

Written by Bill Snyder19 July 15 10:35

Smartphone 'upgrade fatigue' sets in as new models disappoint

Are you a bit disappointed with your new Apple iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6? If so, you're not alone. An analysis of more than 600,000 online reviews and comments posted by smartphone buyers during the past six months suggests consumers are jumping off the upgrade merry-go-round.

Written by Bill Snyder17 July 15 00:35

Why it's right for Google to resist the 'right to be forgotten'

I'm a fan of the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog, a group that generally lives up to that name, but its recent effort to push Google into an Orwellian form of censorship, the so-called "right to be forgotten," is a massive mistake.

Written by Bill Snyder09 July 15 23:55

Consumers love Samsung, but don't trust Apple or Facebook

Judging by its huge sales numbers and unrivaled consumer interest in its products, you'd think that no company in the tech arena was more beloved than Apple. Think again. It turns out Samsung is the "most reputable" tech company in the world, at least according to a recent survey of more than 5,000 consumers.

Written by Bill Snyder03 July 15 04:55

Verizon shines in extensive U.S. wireless speed tests

Speed isn't everything when it comes to wireless service, but it sure comes in handy when you need to upload a large video or stream a new album. That's why the major carriers constantly boast that they have the fastest networks. They all can't be number one in speed, of course, but the four leading wireless providers are delivering faster speeds, in more areas, than ever before -- and even Sprint, a perennial slowpoke, is finally making significant gains

Written by Bill Snyder29 June 15 23:06

Hulu adds Showtime as costs of streaming services quickly mount

It's getting easier to cut the cable cord and free yourself from sky-high bills and bundles of lame channels you never watch. Before you start acting like a kid in a candy store and grabbing all the sugary treats in sight, you should take a deep breath and really think about what you want to pay for.

Written by Bill Snyder25 June 15 00:38

Attention Samsung Galaxy Users: Your phone has a big security flaw

As many 600 million Samsung phones may have a security flaw that could allow hackers to monitor the camera and microphone, read incoming and outgoing text messages, and install malicious apps. Fortunately, Samsung says it will release a fix in a few days.

Written by Bill Snyder21 June 15 00:12

Smartphone 'kill switch' effectively thwarts thieves

Smartphones thefts dropped sharply last year, thanks to security innovations such as Apple's "Find My Phone" remote-locator feature. However, a surprising number of consumers still don't protect their phones with password locks, according to a survey from Consumer Reports.

Written by Bill Snyder16 June 15 23:22

5 key questions Google needs to answer about its driverless cars

When was the last time your computer crashed? How long has it been since you needed to take your car to the repair shop? The answer to both of these questions is probably not that long. What brings these seemingly unrelated points to mind is this: Google's been trumpeting the safety record of its driverless cars, and the media's been falling all over itself to herald a new automotive era.

Written by Bill Snyder13 June 15 05:51

How to play the 2015 Video Game Hall of Fame games online for free

Back in the day, I spent a lot of beer-fueled hours playing arcade and console games, including Pong, Tetris, and Pac-Man. Those games are long gone, but certainly not forgotten, and all three, along with Doom, Super Mario Brothers and World of Warcraft, were just inducted into the newly-established World Video Game Hall of Fame.

Written by Bill Snyder09 June 15 01:16