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

Consumers increasingly dissatisfied with PCs, tablets
Consumer Tech Radar

Consumers increasingly dissatisfied with PCs, tablets

Junkware, poor support, and slow processors are among consumers' top complaints about desktops PC, laptops, and tablets, according to a new survey that placed Apple at the top and Acer at the bottom of a consumer satisfaction ranking.
September 22, 2015
Consumer Tech Radar

Surprise! Best Buy prices often on par with Amazon

Best Buy closed the price gap on electronics and tech gadgets during the past years, and its in-store prices are often just as low — sometimes lower — than Amazon.com, according to new research.
September 2, 2015
Good riddance to bad U.S. wireless service contracts
Consumer Tech Radar

Good riddance to bad U.S. wireless service contracts

Verizon and Sprint recently joined T-Mobile in the movement to kill wireless service contracts, and AT&T is likely to follow in the near future. For most consumers, that's a good thing, but a lack of contracts means you'll pay more for new smartphones.
August 24, 2015
Consumer Tech Radar

9 signs your computer’s hard drive is about to die

Losing data can be a real disaster, but thankfully hard drives often show warning signs before they die. If you observe any of these nine signs of impending failure, back up your drive immediately and prepare for the worst.
August 14, 2015
Verizon shines in extensive U.S. wireless speed tests
Opinion

Verizon shines in extensive U.S. wireless speed tests

All four major U.S. carriers improved the speeds of their wireless networks during the past year, and while Sprint made the most gains, Verizon came out with the fastest average downloads nationwide.
June 29, 2015
Opinion

Smartphone ‘kill switch’ effectively thwarts thieves

A report suggests that Apple's introduction of a smartphone 'kill switch' resulted in a significant drop in phone thefts across America. That's good news, but the report also shines light on another issue: The tendency to forgo phone locks for convenience.
June 16, 2015
Opinion

AMD exec spills beans on Windows 10 release date

If recent claims from a chip executive regarding the Windows 10 release date pan out, life will soon get easier for Windows users thanks to the return of the classic Start menu, new voice-powered search, and the death of the crazy Windows 8 interface.
April 21, 2015
Opinion

Research says online password meters are unreliable

Those handy password meters that test the strength of proposed passwords when you create new accounts are often inaccurate and misleading, according to a new study.
March 30, 2015
Opinion

Why .sucks domain names really suck for businesses

In June, .sucks domain names will go on sale, and companies that want to buy them to thwart trolls or critics will have to pay an absurd $2,500 per site address.
March 25, 2015
Opinion

Sprint’s ‘Family’ Data Plan Is Cheapest Option for SMBs

Sprint's latest "family" wireless data plan features 12GB of high speed data that can be shared across as many as 10 lines for $90 a month. It's a great option for small- and medium-size businesses, but Sprint's network generally isn't as fast or reliable as its competitors' networks.
February 24, 2015
Opinion

iPhones Retain More Resale Value Than Samsung Handsets

A new report from online mobile-device marketplace NextWorth says Apple's iPhone retains significantly more resale value than other high-end smartphones, including Samsung's popular Galaxy S phones.
February 11, 2015
Opinion

Fuming TurboTax Users Force Intuit to Issue Rebate

Intuit removed key features from its popular TurboTax software without telling customers. In response to waves of criticism, countless angry posts on social media and piles of poor online reviews, the company backtracked and offered a rebate.
February 3, 2015
Opinion

The Top 5 Consumer Tech Trends of 2014

The year 2014 was a good one for consumer technology. These five consumer tech trends made life better, and they all have far reaching implications for the new year.
December 23, 2014
Opinion

Why It’s Time to Start Using a Password Manager

No one can remember dozens of strong passwords, and thanks to the plethora of password managers available today, nobody has to. Here are two easy-to-use password managers that can help you stay safe online.
December 3, 2014
Opinion

Verizon is Tracking Mobile Users Online, Researcher Says

Verizon Wireless is using cookie-like tokens that let advertisers track customers on the Web so they can serve targeted ads, according to an Electronic Frontier Foundation researcher.
October 28, 2014
Opinion

Why You Really Shouldn’t Worry About In-Store Beacons

In-store beacons push advertisements and other content to your phone using Bluetooth — but only if you let them. Beacons don't automatically track your location or movement, but they do communicate with apps that could collect sensitive data.
October 20, 2014
5 Things You Need to Know About VoLTE
Opinion

5 Things You Need to Know About VoLTE

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) means better sounding voice calls and the ability to use voice and data at the same time, among other things. Here are five facts you should know about the next-generation wireless network technology.
October 10, 2014
Opinion

In-Flight Phone Calls Could Spark High-Altitude Brawls

Following a recent European ruling to let passengers access wireless networks throughout flights, a group of U.S. Congressmen told regulators that in-flight cellular calls are both annoying and dangerous.
September 30, 2014
Opinion

FTC Fines Tech Giants for Violating Kids’ Privacy

Yelp is the latest tech heavy to admit that it violated federal policy by not screening kids when they register for the site, but it's hardly the only company with questionable privacy practices related to children.
September 18, 2014
Opinion

Amazon Sells Fire Phone for $1, but It’s Still Not Worth It

A mediocre product and AT&T exclusivity are a couple of reasons why Fire phone sales have been weak, according to Bill Snyder. In response to sorry sales, Amazon cut the price of its first phone to a single dollar.
September 9, 2014
Opinion

How to Help Block the Comcast/Time Warner Merger

A combined Comcast/Time Warner Cable could limit and control what you can watch on TV and how you use the Internet. If you care about that sort of thing – and you should, according to CIO.com contributor Bill Snyder – here's how you can act now to block the merger.
August 25, 2014
Opinion

How to Extend Your Home Wi-Fi Network

If your router is one room and your TV is in another, your home Wi-Fi network might not be strong enough to reach it. Here are four ways to solve the problem.
July 31, 2014
Opinion

How AT&T, Verizon Make Smaller Carriers Keep Prices High

Sky-high data roaming charges from AT&T and Verizon help the carriers line their pockets and keep competitors from offering truly unlimited data plans, according to a new collection of consumer advocacy groups.
July 15, 2014
Opinion

Aereo Deserves to be Put Out of Business for Stealing Content

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that startup Aereo can't sell broadcast TV content it picks up from the airwaves, effectively killing the small company. CIO.com blogger Bill Snyder, ever the consumer advocate, says the decision was the right one.
June 27, 2014