Consumer Advice - News, Features, and Slideshows

News

  • 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>.

  • MacBook Air performs poorly in laptop comparison tests

    Recently, after testing two MacBook Air models running Windows 7, we published results that showed the thin and light Apple laptops outperformed most Windows-based netbooks and ultraportable notebooks. Hundreds of readers commented on the article, with many of the comments going something like this: "The MacBook Air costs far more than many of the laptops you've compared it against. How does it do against similarly priced notebooks?"

  • Skeptical Shopper: E-Coupons May Track Spending Habits

    The advent of online coupons has made shopping and saving that much easier. In an earlier era, people spent their Sunday mornings clipping coupons out of the newspaper. Now, you can download coupons from dedicated sites like Coupons.com or Ebates.com, or even social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. But this convenience carries certain privacy risks: Some companies track consumer spending habits based on the coupons those consumers use.

  • The what and why of Google's transparency report

    Google has unveiled its Google Transparency Report, the company's latest effort to stick to its "don't be evil" mission statement. The new site helps users differentiate between regular Google downtime and service interruptions caused by government interference, but that's just some of what the site can do.

  • Technology's Biggest Myths

    As it turns out, Windows Vista really wasn't all that slow; and no, your PC probably won't fry if you open it up without wearing a wrist strap. Thanks in large part to the Internet, the tech world is teeming with lies, half-truths, and misinformation. We've dug up some of the Web's most notorious nuggets of conventional wisdom to see which hold up to scrutiny and which are merely urban legends.