Stories by Bill Snyder

'Just Say No' to Sprint's Latest Wireless Offer

Sprint's latest family plan gives you twice the data as similar plans from AT&T and Verizon for roughly the same price. Sprint will also pay your early termination fee if you jump ship from a competitor while you're still under contract. Sounds great, right? If you take a close look at the details, the luster wears thin in a hurry.

Written by Bill Snyder20 Aug. 14 23:25

Microsoft Pulls Latest Software Update as It Looks Ahead to Windows 9

The last time Microsoft pushed out a major update to Windows 8.1, users who didn't install it were punished by having their right to download future security updates blocked. This time users who did download the latest update are being punished by having to uninstall it because of some nasty glitches the company didn't find until it had been available for more than a week.

Written by Bill Snyder19 Aug. 14 00:15

Comcast Customers Mad as Hell about Abysmal Customer Service

How mad does Comcast make its customers? So mad that a New Mexico women recently pulled a gun on a Comcast tech, and a man famously made a recording of a ludacrous conversation with a Comcast service rep who wouldn't let him cancel his service. Then there's the customer who was so sure that a Comcast service rep was lying he recorded their conversation and eventually used the recording to prove he'd been lied to -- or at the very least, seriously misled.

Written by Bill Snyder13 Aug. 14 23:31

Is the Robot Revolution Going to Put Us Out of Work?

Most of us have experienced the "career creepies," those moments of intense anxiety about our place in the work world. I had one of those a few months ago when The Associated Press said it would use computer-generated stories to supplement its coverage of corporate earnings announcements. Yikes! If a writer isn't safe from automation, who is?

Written by Bill Snyder11 Aug. 14 23:14

Why Unlimited Wireless Data is a Myth

All of the major wireless carriers "throttle" customers who use what the companies think is too much data, but Verizon's policy is tougher than its competitors.

Written by Bill Snyder07 Aug. 14 23:12

User Beware: That Mobile App is Spying on You

Those apps you download on your smartphone may be free or very cheap, but there's a hidden price you should be aware of: loss of privacy.

Written by Bill Snyder06 Aug. 14 00:49

How to Extend Your Home Wi-Fi Network

I love my Victorian flat. But like many buildings from that era, it has lots of doors, lots of walls, and lots of old-school wiring, all of which interfere with my Wi-Fi network. My signal is quite strong in my office, where my router is, but the farther I move away the weaker the signal. I got tired of watching my iPhone drop connections in the living room so I decided to extend my network.

Written by Bill Snyder01 Aug. 14 06:08

In Digital Assistant Faceoff, Good Now (Just) Edges Siri

Call me old fashioned, but unlike Joaquin Phoenix in the film "Her," I'll never fall in love with a computer, Apple's Siri, or any other digital assistant. Siri is helpful, but does it work as well as Google Now? According to Gene Munster, a Piper Jaffray analyst who performed a rather painstaking analysis of the subject, there's almost no difference between the two -- though the Android version has a very slight edge.

Written by Bill Snyder25 July 14 23:08

'Privacy Badger' Browser Add-On Protects You from Online Tracking

I'd never confuse Amazon, Facebook or doubleClick with the NSA, but I still don't like being tracked online. Tracking is more than just annoying; it lets unscrupulous companies that scarf up user data turn around and sell your information -- and despite statements to the contrary, the collection isn't always done anonymously.

Written by Bill Snyder23 July 14 01:10

How AT&T, Verizon Force Smaller Carriers to Keep Prices High

You may not be an AT&T or Verizon wireless customer, but part of your monthly cell phone bill likely winds up in their coffers. That's because the two mobile giants charge sky-high roaming rates when competitors' customers access the AT&T and Verizon networks as they travel out of range of their smaller networks.

Written by Bill Snyder15 July 14 23:49

FTC Sues Amazon Over Kids' In-App Purchases

C'mon Amazon. You're supposed to be a consumer-friendly company. What's less friendly than making it easy for children to run up large, unauthorized charges using mobile apps? That's exactly what the FTC is accusing Amazon of, and the agency filed suit against the company on Thursday.

Written by Bill Snyder11 July 14 23:43