Stories by Rick Broida

How to save on mobile plans: Your guide to 17 no-contract carriers

The old two-year-contract business model for mobile phone plans is all but abandoned. And there are more choices than ever: We look at 17 alternate mobile service carriers.

In Pictures: 9 security gadgets for mobile devices

If you use your smartphone or tablet for work, you need to keep your data secure when you're on the go. We look at nine gadgets that try to keep your important data out of the hands of others.

Six browser plug-ins that protect your privacy

It's no stretch to say that ads are what make the Web go 'round. The content you're reading right now? Paid for by ads. Google, Facebook, Pandora, YouTube? Driven by ads. This is not a new concept: TV and radio have relied on commercials since their earliest days. Because, let's face it, <em>something</em> has to pay for all the free programming and services.

By Rick Broida | 17 October, 2014 21:43

Tags: Google, security, Pandora, data privacy, beca, disconnect, privacy, youtube, Facebook

OnePlus One deep-dive review: Unbeatable value for Android geeks

With a starting price of just $299, the unlocked, Cyanogen-powered OnePlus One Android phone beats the bigger brands at their own game.

By Rick Broida | 07 July, 2014 20:38

Tags: galaxy, Motorola, OnePlus, consumer electronics, Google, htc, smartphones, Android

How to save on mobile plans: Your guide to 16 no-contract carriers

The mobile-phone industry is in a state of flux. Where once you had little choice but to buy a subsidized phone from a major carrier and pay two years' worth of whatever monthly fees it chose to levy, now you have options aplenty.

By Rick Broida | 24 April, 2014 23:34

Tags: mobile, Boost Mobile

Should you get a hybrid laptop? A user report card

Hybrids -- laptops whose displays detach to become tablets -- were designed to allow users to have one device with many uses. But do they work as advertised? We talked to some users to find out.

By Rick Broida | 20 March, 2014 10:56

Tags: hardware systems, laptops

There's no place like home page: 8 iGoogle alternatives

Use iGoogle? Upset that it's going away? Here are 8 alternative Web portals, some of which are just as good -- and one or two of which are better.

By Rick Broida | 31 October, 2013 13:11

Tags: web apps, Google, Desktop Apps, bing, software, twitter

3 wireless media hubs: Extra storage for mobile devices

When you've burned through the available storage on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you have two basic options: Delete old stuff to make room for new, or upgrade to a new device that offers more space. The former is a hassle; the latter, expensive.

By Rick Broida | 13 September, 2013 22:01

Tags: Carry Technology, storage, Iogear, Kingston Technology

7 mobile hard drives: More portable and more powerful

As more and more business travelers depend on portable hard drives to both back up their data and carry it around with them, the technology has been consistently improving. Even with the proliferation of cloud data services, hard drives are often considered more private and secure (and are especially useful where there is no wireless connection).

By Rick Broida | 19 August, 2013 14:36

Tags: storage

Leap Motion Controller review: A touchscreen interface without the touching

The new Leap Motion Controller brings motion control to any computer. The question is: How effective is it, and does it have any practical value?

By Rick Broida | 27 July, 2013 10:07

Tags: hardware, Computer Peripherals, hardware systems, Leap Motion, Lenovo

Windows 8 on a USB Drive, defragging tips, launch apps fast

If you've poked around PCWorld in recent weeks, you've learned how to download and install Windows 8 on a new hard-drive partition and how to install Windows 8 in a virtual machine. Today, let's talk about one of my favorite approaches for installing Windows 8, well, anywhere: by way of a flash drive.

By Rick Broida | 02 November, 2011 09:17

Tags: Windows, software, operating systems

Make sure all your Google Contacts sync to your iOS device

My wife recently made the switch from a clunky old Android phone to a spiffy new iPhone 4S. When she asked if all her contacts could be moved from the former to the latter, I confidently replied, "Sure, no problem!" After all, Android phones sync with Google Contacts, and iTunes has the ability to do likewise. Easy-peasy, right?

By Rick Broida | 27 October, 2011 09:28

Tags: consumer electronics, Google, smartphones, hardware systems, iPhone, Phones, tablets, iPad, iTunes, Apple

Browsing tips: Slow-loading sites, Google Chrome tweak

True story: I'd been getting fed up with Firefox, in part because it was acting sluggish and flaky, so I decided to give Google's Chrome browser a try. And by "try," I mean make it my primary browser for a couple weeks.

By Rick Broida | 05 October, 2011 08:52

Tags: Browsers & Add-Ons, SiteAdvisor, mcafee, applications, Google, browsers, software

Learn how to run programs from your flash drive

Reader Patricia has a question: "Why can't application software be put on USB drives instead of [hard] disks?"

By Rick Broida | 27 April, 2011 08:15

Tags: storage accessory, storage, USB, software, flash memory

Turn Amazon Cloud drive into desktop-accessible storage

As you may recall, Amazon recently unveiled its new Cloud Drive service, which provides 5GB of free online storage. (Elsewhere I explained how you could bump your limit to 20GB for under a buck.) The only downside? To access it, you have to use Amazon's Web-based interface. It's not bad, but not nearly as convenient as, say, a local hard drive.

By Rick Broida | 15 April, 2011 06:29

Tags: application development, Web services development, web services, Hard Disk, software, file management

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