Recent Comments


Comment by PMWilll on Does Email or IP Address Reveal my Physical Location? (August 29, 2015 03:15 AM)
Great report! I'm a skeptic with the way social media has evolved so quickly. I like the pearls of information I'm gaining each time I read your artic...
Comment by Linda on Smoke and Mirrors at Amazon.com? (August 29, 2015 02:38 AM)
Amazon is gouging Canadian consumers as well. Here's my experience. Last fall Amazon.ca offered a special on Canadian Litter - a new, Canadian-based...
Comment by Monica on Smoke and Mirrors at Amazon.com? (August 29, 2015 02:36 AM)
Most the time Amazon is higher than other sellers that sell on Amazon however they always promptly refund my money and they pay return shipping if I a...
Comment by Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries on Smoke and Mirrors at Amazon.com? (August 29, 2015 02:26 AM)
And here's the unhappy almost-ending to the tale of my order from Jet. After I failed to put two of the Tide Pods into my cart, I added other items t...
Comment by Jack T on How “Silent Calls” Lead To Identity Theft (August 29, 2015 02:17 AM)
Bob provides a service to alert people to be careful but, in fact, this scam is not about dead calls or robocalls. The ONLY way ID theft works here i...
Comment by Charles Feinstein on Smoke and Mirrors at Amazon.com? (August 29, 2015 12:51 AM)
Jet.com is only for US based shoppers. As an American living in Canada, I will say that Amazon.ca is not the "good deal" that Amazon.com is. Shippin...
Comment by Dan on Lenovo Caught Installing Immortal Crapware (August 28, 2015 10:57 PM)
"Can you imagine what will happen if someone can flash the BIOS remotely?" Now there's a question! (I recall the time when it was thought that remote...
Comment by Jemima on Smoke and Mirrors at Amazon.com? (August 28, 2015 10:41 PM)
I agree with Dianne, above: this website is so junked up with moving objects that it's difficult to look at, let alone use. I would get a raging heada...
Comment by Sheri on Smoke and Mirrors at Amazon.com? (August 28, 2015 10:17 PM)
Yes, I tried Amazon Prime on their UK site once, when they offered a free trial of it. But I didn't find it saved me any money at all because the Prim...
Comment by SnakeDancer on Smoke and Mirrors at Amazon.com? (August 28, 2015 09:52 PM)
The necessity of a low income caused me to diversify my on-line shopping experience long ago. At one time Amazon had most all of my business, due to ...

Smoke and Mirrors at Amazon.com?

Like millions of other consumers, I buy stuff on Amazon.com. The free two-day Prime shipping is convenient, and the prices seem to be competitive. But some eye-opening reports, a class-action lawsuit, and a new competitor are causing me to question my assumptions about Amazon. If you shop online, you'll want to read on for the details...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 28, 2015 | Category: Finance


How “Silent Calls” Lead To Identity Theft

We’ve all had the experience of answering a phone call only to hear nothing. Typically, we just hang up and shrug. But those “silent calls” are the first step in well-organized campaigns to steal identities and bank account balances. Here is how these scams work, and what you should do to protect yourself…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 27, 2015 | Category: Telephony


Geekly Update - 26 August 2015

Quick... what novelist predicted both the smartwatch and mentioned Google by name in 1953? Is it against the law to take a snapshot of your dinner at a fancy restaurant? Why are rubber bands so popular at the Burning Man festival? And robots are HAVING BABIES? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 26, 2015 | Category: Tech-News


Google OnHub: The Ultimate WiFi Router?

Google entered the WiFi router market in August 2015, with a mind-boggling product called “OnHub.” It doesn’t look anything like a traditional router, and it doesn't act like one either. And that's a good thing! Read on to learn more about this router, and why you're going to want one...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 25, 2015 | Category: Wireless


Should You Get a Laplet?

When it comes to computers, there are more choices than ever before: desktop PCs, laptops/notebooks, tablets, “phablets” which fall somewhere between a smartphone and tablet, and “laplets” – a cross between a laptop and a tablet. Let’s take a look at the wonderful world of laplets…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 24, 2015 | Category: Laptops


Lenovo Caught Installing Immortal Crapware

Lenovo has again been caught playing fast and loose with customers’ privacy and security. First, it was Superfish. Now, it's vulnerable crapware that won't go away, even if you reformat or replace your hard drive. Read on for the full story...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 21, 2015 | Category: Software


Microsoft Edge Needs Sharpening

Windows 10 includes an “all new” web browser called Edge that replaces the much-maligned Internet Explorer as the default browser. Microsoft is hyping Edge as a revolutionary product, but so far it seems only half-baked. Here are my impressions of Edge compared to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 20, 2015 | Category: Browsers


Geekly Update - 19 August 2015

Robots, dinosaurs and cyborgs... they're smart, but can they behave themselves in public? Can you still get 8 music CDs for a penny? And did Google just re-invent the alphabet? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 19, 2015 | Category: Tech-News


Best Ebook Readers of 2015

It may seem odd that dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle and Nook still exist in this age of multi-purpose tablets and big-screen smartphones. But just as golfers tote many clubs, each finely engineered for optimal performance on different shots, serious bibliophiles like to have an e-book reader that is specifically designed for reading text. Read on for my notes on the best e-readers available now...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 17, 2015 | Category: Gadgets


Is Computer Security an Illusion?

This year's Black Hat security conference, the 18th annual gathering of InfoSec (information security) geeks in Las Vegas overflowed with attendees and alarms. In a nutshell, the message was “Everyone is vulnerable.” Here are the most important takeaways, what you should know, and what you can do...

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Posted by Bob Rankin | Category: Security


Failed Windows Updates Causing Slowdowns?

Does your Windows system seem to run slower than it should, even after running maintenance programs such as Advanced System Care or Privazer? Does it take “forever” to shut down or restart? Does it stall during a restart, forcing you to shut off power and restart manually? If so, read on for a non-obvious possible cause of these problems and an equally obscure but simple solution…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 14, 2015 | Category: Windows


Geekly Update - 13 August 2015

Cat videos are spreading from the Internet to the highways and byways. What can be done to stop this insidious plague? Can you fry an egg on the surface of your mobile device? And really, the bad guys are hacking your UNDERWEAR now? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 13, 2015 | Category: Tech-News


Is Comcast Starting To Care About Customers?

OK, stop laughing; it’s a serious question. No, really! Comcast’s customer service is spectacularly, legendarily, archetypically horrible, virtually everyone agrees… even Comcast executives. But some recent steps by the company just might be moving them in a customer-friendly direction. Read on…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 12, 2015 | Category: Tech-News


How To Undo a Windows 10 Upgrade

Windows 10 has a lot going for it. Improved speed and security, the return of the Start button, and the Edge browser are just a few things I like about the new Windows operating system. But it also has a few rough edges right now. The good news is that Microsoft has provided an “Undo button” for those who've tried Windows 10 and want to go back to what they had before. Here's how it works, and my experience using it...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 11, 2015 | Category: Windows-10


Are Cheap Windows 10 Laptops “Chromebook Killers?”

Microsoft and PC vendors are striking back at the Chromebook with an array of sub-$200 laptops. Will the latest batch of low-cost Windows 10 machines tempt consumers away from Google's increasingly popular alternative to the traditional Windows laptop? Read on to see which is best for you…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 10, 2015 | Category: Laptops




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