bsnyder

bsnyder

San Francisco journalist Bill Snyder writes frequently about business and technology. His work appears regularly in CIO.com and the publications of Stanford's Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.

Articles by bsnyder

Consumer Tech Radar

You could soon have to pay streaming-video sales tax

Some cities and states want to tax the streaming services that destroyed Blockbuster and other video-rental companies, and that could make it much more expensive to cut the cord.
January 10, 2017
Should Apple hobble FaceTime to battle distracted driving?
Consumer Tech Radar

Should Apple hobble FaceTime to battle distracted driving?

In 2014, a driver using Apple's FaceTime video app allegedly killed a five-year-old child. The grieving family says Apple knew the danger, and even patented a tech to reduce risk, but still did nothing.
January 4, 2017
Everything you need to know to cut the cord and ditch cable
Consumer Tech Radar

Everything you need to know to cut the cord and ditch cable

Thinking of cutting the cord and saying sayonara to cable for good? We've got you covered with this easy-to-digest rundown of all the hardware you'll need and the services that deliver the most value.
December 23, 2016
T-Mobile’s free DIRECTV NOW deal is full of gotchas
Consumer Tech Radar

T-Mobile’s free DIRECTV NOW deal is full of gotchas

The 'Un-carrier' continues to roll out offers that sound too good to be true ... until you read the fine print. T-Mobile's latest DIRECTV Now ploy is an all-out insult to AT&T.
December 15, 2016
Finland is a tiny wireless nirvana the U.S. could learn from
Consumer Tech Radar

Finland is a tiny wireless nirvana the U.S. could learn from

It's clear that lively competition in Europe yields better wireless service options for consumers. Unfortunately, even more wireless consolidation may come to the United States under President-elect Trump.
December 7, 2016
Facebook trolls should learn from Amazon’s new Prime ad
Consumer Tech Radar

Facebook trolls should learn from Amazon’s new Prime ad

Abusing friends and relatives on Facebook has become all too common, particularly following the recent presidential election. Amazon took a refreshing tack in a new Prime ad — and internet trolls should take note.
November 21, 2016
Today’s cable TV may not be better but it sure is more expensive
Consumer Tech Radar

Today’s cable TV may not be better but it sure is more expensive

An FCC study found that cable TV costs have increased nearly four times as fast as the overall cost of living in the United States, and though many consumers have access to more channels, they may not actually watch any of them.
November 3, 2016
Consumer Tech Radar

T-Mobile’s Google Pixel offer has 2 hidden gotchas (updated)

T-Mobile says it will give customers $325 if they bring their own Google Pixel phones to its network. The deal sounds solid, but there are at least two things you need to know before you opt in.
October 27, 2016
TV companies can drop your favorite channels without refunds
Consumer Tech Radar

TV companies can drop your favorite channels without refunds

Dish Network customers recently sued the company after it dropped a popular channel without providing refunds. However, a U.S. court found that the fine print in their contracts basically gives Dish carte blanche to chop channels.
October 25, 2016
Consumer Tech Radar

It’s time for porn sites to embrace HTTPS

Popular adult websites are often much less secure than people think, and a civil liberties group wants to help protect adult consumers and improve online secure within the porn industry.
October 17, 2016
Verizon’s miserable customer service is about to get worse
Consumer Tech Radar

Verizon’s miserable customer service is about to get worse

Verizon Wireless plans to shutter call centers in five U.S. states and reduce staff in 1,700 of its retail stores, a move that will surely affect the company's already poor customer service.
October 14, 2016
Consumer Tech Radar

New Comcast data caps spotlight disturbing trend

The age of data caps and metered broadband is here, though Comcast, the largest ISP in the United States, admits network capacity is not a problem. More companies are likely to follow Comcast's lead, and that's terrible news for consumers.
October 7, 2016
Verizon iPhone 7 users report nagging connectivity issues
Consumer Tech Radar

Verizon iPhone 7 users report nagging connectivity issues

Many Verizon Wireless customers complain that their iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartsphones frequently drop data and GPS connections, but neither the carrier nor Apple will confirm or deny the reports.
October 6, 2016
Consumer Tech Radar

New streaming devices from Roku, Amazon best Chromecast

Roku and Amazon this week debuted new or updated, budget-friendly streaming devices that challenge, and in some ways outperform, Google's popular Chromecast dongle.
September 29, 2016
Consumer Tech Radar

New Verizon, AT&T streaming options threaten net neutrality

Two new zero-rated services from Verizon and AT&T let subscribers stream premium content on their smartphones and tablets devices without eating into their monthly data quotas, but they also test net neutrality rules.
September 14, 2016
Consumer Tech Radar

iPhones are much more likely to ‘fail’ than Androids

A new report suggests Apple smartphones are significantly more likely to experience serious hardware or software problems than phones from Samsung and other Android phone makers.
August 26, 2016
How ISPs get away with shiesty internet speed claims
Consumer Tech Radar

How ISPs get away with shiesty internet speed claims

A watchdog group charged Comcast with misleading consumers about Internet speeds. But Comcast isn't the only company to blame — ISPs rarely tell the truth about real-world upload and download speeds.
August 11, 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update is infested with bugs
Consumer Tech Radar

Windows 10 Anniversary Update is infested with bugs

Microsoft's massive Windows 10 Anniversary Update has caused major problems for some users, and at this point it's a good idea to avoid the OS completely until the company squashes some of the bigger bugs.
August 9, 2016
What you need to know about Dish’s TV ‘skinny bundles’
Consumer Tech Radar

What you need to know about Dish’s TV ‘skinny bundles’

Dish Network's 'skinny bundle' TV packages are supposed to let consumers strip out channels they don't want and pick and chose the ones they do with add-on 'packs.' However, the bundles are so skinny, they're practically starved.
August 5, 2016
How ‘super shoppers’ shape the future of online retail
Consumer Tech Radar

How ‘super shoppers’ shape the future of online retail

A recent study found that 13 percent of the world's internet shoppers account for nearly two-thirds of all consumer spending on goods online, and the group's shopping habits could impact the rest of the consumer market.
July 29, 2016
Comcast wants to blur line between cable and web content
Consumer Tech Radar

Comcast wants to blur line between cable and web content

Giant cable provider Comcast will soon let its subscribers access video content via Roku devices and Samsung smart TV, and it will offer 6,000 hours of programming from the Rio Olympics next month.
July 25, 2016
No, sharing a Netflix password will NOT land you in jail
Consumer Tech Radar

No, sharing a Netflix password will NOT land you in jail

Despite the clickbait headlines, a recent ruling in U.S. federal court isn't meant to crackdown on consumers who share their Netflix passwords. In fact, some of the largest streaming providers say they're OK with password sharing.
July 13, 2016
Why you won’t see a U.S.-made iPhone any time soon
Consumer Tech Radar

Why you won’t see a U.S.-made iPhone any time soon

Despite political bluster from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, it's simply not possible for Apple to build the iPhone in the United States, and even if it could be done, the change would add $100 to the phone's price, according to new research.
June 13, 2016
A cord-cutter’s guide to digital TV antennas
Consumer Tech Radar

A cord-cutter’s guide to digital TV antennas

Consumers who want to say sayonara to their pay TV providers need a quality digital antenna. Tons of different antenna options exists, and finding the right one can be a challenge. Here's how to get started.
May 20, 2016
Is it wrong to use a VPN to skirt streaming restrictions?
Consumer Tech Radar

Is it wrong to use a VPN to skirt streaming restrictions?

Netflix says some of its customers use VPNs to access restricted content, so the company blocked the tech, raising questions about the ethical implications of location 'spoofing.'
May 17, 2016
Amazon takes aim at YouTube, Netflix via new video offerings
Consumer Tech Radar

Amazon takes aim at YouTube, Netflix via new video offerings

Amazon this week unveiled its new Video Direct user-generated video service, a direct shot at YouTube, and it also upped the competition with Netflix via new, aggressively-priced streaming video offerings.
May 11, 2016
U.S. carriers near bottom of wireless network performance list
Consumer Tech Radar

U.S. carriers near bottom of wireless network performance list

Despite the high price of wireless service in the United States and recent investments designed to improve the 'Big Four' carriers' networks, American consumers still suffer comparatively poor service, according to a new report.
May 5, 2016
Why enterprise developers could save Windows 10 Mobile
Feature

Why enterprise developers could save Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft continues to bleed mobile market share with Windows 10 Mobile, so why are some enterprise developers betting big on the platform's eventual success in the corporate world.
April 22, 2016
Consumer Tech Radar

How to stream live NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL games

It's still not possible to stream all of your favorite live sports due to programming restrictions, and the available paid options can be pricey, but this guide to live sports streaming can help find the best available options.
April 6, 2016