“Privacy and cybersecurity are not well understood by the news media or politicians,” declared Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist and a CR board member), who keynoted a panel discussion hosted by Consumer Reports at New York University last night: “Facebook and your privacy: What Every Consumer Should Know in the Age of Social Networking.” There are real problems,” noted Newmark, adding that “the Internet has no lobby.” He pledged to take a more active role on behalf of consumers. “A nerd’s gotta do what a nerd’s gotta do,” he said. Following on the heels of Consumer Reports’ recent ” Facebook and your privacy ” story, the panel included a diverse group of speakers from both business and consumer advocacy

Target has announced it will stop selling Kindles in its stores, depriving shoppers of one of the few venues in which they can look at and use Amazon’s tablets and e-book readers before they buy one. The chain’s move seems to have been driven by so-called “show-rooming,” the industry term for the practice of consumers viewing products in retail stores before buying them online.

The new version of the Nook Simple Touch has the highest overall score we’ve ever awarded an e-book reader, thanks in large part to an illuminated screen that improves reading in dim light without compromising it in other lighting conditions. The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight edges out, by a point, the original Nook Simple Touch , previously the top-scoring model in our Ratings of e-book readers . The GlowLight model, which costs $140, was a little less readable in normal light conditions than its sibling, largely because its screen comes with an anti-glare coating that slightly reduces the crispness of type

All four of the biggest wireless providers have assured the Federal Communications Commission that they’re providing alerts when customers approach the data limit for their wireless plans. And three of the four carriers (all but AT&T) have also reported that they’re also providing such alerts whenever customers are subject to often-hefty international roaming fees. The information comes from an FCC chart detailing wireless carriers’ programs for such alerts, which help minimize “bill shock,” the experience of getting an unexpectedly high bill for exceeding the voice, text, or data limits of your cell-phone plan.

Now that the first 2012 TV models are available from a number of manufacturers, our engineers are hard at work putting them through their paces. There’s a fairly wide range of models being tested, from more basic models from secondary brands such as Haier, to the first 3D set we’ve tested from Sanyo (among the least expensive 3D TVs we’ve ever seen), to a fully loaded 3D flagship model from Samsung’s new ES8000 LCD series, which lets you control the TV using voice commands and gestures.

Bad news for owners of smart phones powered by Google’s Android operating system. Security researchers say they’ve discovered NotCompatible, a piece of malware specifically targeting Android devices.

How to tell if a car is a rebuilt wreck


If you’re shopping for a car, buying a late-model used one can often provide a great balance of value, reliability, and safety. Such cars have already taken their initial big depreciation hit, saving you significant money, plus there is less to finance and insurance will be less

Barnes & Noble today discounted its Nook Simple Touch and Nook Color models by $20. The sale, in effect until May 12, turns what were already fine values into some of the best bargains ever for a black-and-white and color e-book reader, respectively. The Nook Simple Touch will sell for $79 in the sale, down from $99.

Samsung is making sure its tablets run the gamut, from large to small and from expensive to low-cost. Its latest entry, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, is an update to its original 7-inch tablet. It’s also the most inexpensive Galaxy Tab yet, at $250 with 8GB of storage

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