Consumer Advice - News, Features, and Slideshows

News about Consumer Advice
  • Android users: Advice to protect your phones

    Android smartphone users can take some commonsense precautions to protect their personal data from being stolen -- important advice considering an app developer purports to know how to take the information in under 60 seconds.

  • Facial recognition: Facebook photo matching just the start

    The Internet was in an uproar earlier this year following Facebook's launch of facial recognition software for its photo services, enabling users to identify their friends in photos automatically--and without their permission. Though critics described that move as creepy, the controversial technology may now be on the verge of widespread use.

  • Cloud music streaming: Pros and cons

    There is rampant speculation that Apple will soon join Amazon and Google to offer a service to store your music in the cloud and stream it to your devices.

  • Online Dating for Nerds

    Valentine's Day is just around the corner--and if you're without a special someone, <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/142432/online_dating_horror_stories.html">online dating</a> might sound like a <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/159382/online_dating_adds_video_goes_local.html">viable option</a>.

Tutorials about Consumer Advice
  • Digitize your documents

    The space required to store paper documents can be a problem. Digitizing your documents renders them exquisitely portable--you can store an entire library on your e-book reader with ease. And because paper documents can be turned into editable computer documents, they become searchable. Compare typing "Roosevelt" in a search field with spending all day scanning microfiche and old newspapers by eye to research the Square Deal or the New Deal. The digital document is a boon to researchers the world over.

  • Digitize your pictures

    Today the digital camera is ubiquitous, but photos used to be taken by momentarily exposing something called "film" to light. Yes, film--the ode to photo-sensitive chemical reactions that produced all of the pictures made before 1990 or so. Those images were, and quite of­­ten still are, transferred to photo paper and pasted into coffee table al­­bums. Sometimes they were processed into transparent 35mm slides and projected onto white screens for everyone's en­­joyment (or boredom, depending).

  • Digitize your music

    In my lifetime, music has been delivered on vinyl, cassettes, eight-track tapes, CDs, and audio DVDs. How do I listen to it now? Usually with a PC or a smartphone, and occasionally with an MP3 or other media player. I downloaded much of that music or ripped it from CDs, but the rest of it came from LPs and cassettes.

  • Should I protect my tweets?

    When I signed up for a Twitter account in the summer of 2009 I spent some time thinking about whether or not I should protect my tweets. As a novice Twitter user, I had to decide whether the benefits of protecting my tweets outweighed the drawbacks. Looking back, I do not regret my decision to protect my tweets, and I'll tell you why.

Features about Consumer Advice
  • Skeptical shopper: Enhanced advertising in augmented reality

    Have you ever found yourself in an unfamiliar city with no clue about where to go and what to see? What if you could just hold up your phone, snap pictures of your surroundings, and discover interesting local restaurants and landmarks? With augmented-reality apps, you can do just that. But advertisers are jumping on the trend as well, so the same application that reveals intriguing potential destinations might also bombard you with ads for nearby fast-food chains. Can augmented reality actually be useful for consumers, or is it simply another way for corporations to get a hand in your wallet?