Barnes & Noble announced today that it would split off its digital-book business and give Microsoft a 17.6-percent stake in the new unit, resulting in a $300 million investment by the computing giant. This announcement could be good news for consumers, since it may help the bookseller in competing with Amazon in e-book readers and the content and services sold for them. The new funds, say analysts, should bolster B&N in its pitched battle for market share in e-books with Amazon—and that cutthroat competition has been excellent for buyers of e-books and e-book devices over the past few years

With the increase in texting, apps, sophisticated cameras, and more, improving smart-phone voice quality has been a low priority for manufacturers and carriers, as demonstrated by the generally ho-hum scores for that attribute in our Ratings.

Turn your old electronics into cash (video)

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You shouldn’t throw your old electronics items out with the trash for two reasons.

Asus yesterday released the latest in its line of tablets, the Transformer Pad TF300. At $400, it’s $100 cheaper than Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer Prime. But beyond the price and the name, most of the features remain the same

Thinking of lighting up Mother’s Day with the new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight? Order soon, says Barnes & Noble, due to “larger than expected” advance orders for the new e-book reader, which costs $139 and has an illuminated screen for night-time reading

Although it’s not for everyone, a few of the basic cameras we’ve just reviewed and added to our Ratings include a special feature: the ability to shoot 3D images . To view the effect, you do need an HDTV with 3D capabilities.

The Federal Communications Commission today launched a new ‘bill shock’ website that tracks how the major U.S. wireless carriers alert you when you’re at risk of going over your usage limits for voice, data, and text. Bill shock is the reaction you may have after finding an unexpected increase in your monthly wireless bill because you unknowingly went over your limit.

Social networking is playing an ever-bigger part in our lives, both at work and at home. So it’s no surprise that some new computers are getting more built-in features to help you stay in touch

Some postal customers are getting bogus e-mails about a package delivery or online postage charges that contain a link or attachment that, when opened, installs a virus that can steal personal information.

Packaging all your home services—telecommunications, Internet, and cable TV—into one plan from a single provider promises a big cash savings on monthly bills. But which provider offers the best plans for your limited bucks? Consumer Reports Electronics Editor Paul Reynolds stopped by the Into Tomorrow show to discuss the latest findings from our annual survey of Consumer Reports readers.