News Ticker

Locked vs. Unlocked phones — It can matter

February 19, 2018

CNET’s Maggie Reardon points out that Verizon is, once again, selling locked phones just like its competitors. And that means that a phone you buy from one carrier might not work on another carrier’s network. But, as she points out, you can still purchase unlocked phones that can usually be easily switched between carriers or used overseas by purchasing a local SIM card.  Still, [...]

DOJ alleges Russians used VPNs to appear as if they were in US

February 16, 2018

The 37-page indictment (read or download PDF) from the Justice Department alleges that defendants and co-conspirators purchased space on U.S. computer servers and, says CBS News technology analyst Larry Magid, hid their Russian identity and location by accessing those servers using virtual private networks that made them appear as if they were in the US. The allegation is is section 39 of the [...]

Tax apps, software give CPAs a run for the money

February 15, 2018

The annual tax deadline is fast approaching. If you’re like most Americans, you need to file a return. You could hire a CPA or go to a tax preparation service such as H&R Block. You could even do it on paper, but for many taxpayers, it’s cheap and easy to use a tax preparation program, website or app. For most filers,, and provide the easiest and most [...]

Google Chrome to block particularly annoying ads

February 14, 2018

Google announced that it is rolling out a feature for its Chrome browser that will block ads that are really really annoying. They won’t block all ads – that would be self-defeating for a company that makes its money on ads — but the type that really annoy users, causing many to install far software that tries to block all advertising. Among these are my least favorite ads, [...]

For many PC users, a cheaper PC is just as good

February 11, 2018

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News I recently wrote a positive review about a  $1,214 Lenovo All-in-One PC with 16 GB of memory and a 2 TB drive. But, at the end of the column, I advised readers, “Before buying any machine, I suggest shopping around. Costco and Best Buy usually have a good selection of all-in-one machines, often starting at prices below those reviewed in [...]

How to watch the Olympics online

February 9, 2018

If you subscribe to a cable or satellite package that includes NBC (just about all do) then you can log into NBC Olympics and watch for free. The site will provide some free coverage for anyone, but it’s limited. Here is NBC’s FAQ about what you need to know to watch the Olympics on its site. And here’s the full schedule. But even if you’re a cord cutter there are [...]

It’s a hoax. Facebook is not limiting your feed to 26 people

February 8, 2018

  Call it a hoax, an urban myth or even fake news, but Facebook has not changed its algorithm to limit your news feed to only 26 friends despite what you may have seen from friends on Facebook. The reason you may have seen this is because someone posted this fake information and others have shared it, copied and pasted it and spread it so that it’s now viral. Read the full post on [...]

U.S. Safer Internet Day Celebration — watch the live stream Tuesday

February 2, 2018

by Larry Magid Tuesday, February 6th is Safer Internet Day. The big U.S. celebration will be in Austin, but you don’t have to come to Texas to participate. It will be live streamed starting at 11:30 AM eastern. This year’s theme is  “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you.” FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will be the keynote speaker. Safer Internet Day [...]
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