Ting: A Dirt-Cheap Service Option for Your iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s

Ting iPhone 5c and 5s

Stop the madness! No, I don’t mean allowing Michael Bay to make movies, though we as a society should be taking a very serious look at that. The madness I’m referring to: paying too much for phone service. Specifically, it’s a common misconception that once your smartphone is out of contract, you have to keep paying […]


Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Smartphone Selfies

Credit: Kevin Dooley,

Chances of the new ABC sitcom “Selfie” surviving more than six episodes: slim. Chances of you looking less blurry, overexposed, and/or duck-faced in your next selfie: 100 percent — if you read on. Selfies may be fun, spur-of-the-moment snapshots of one or more mugs, but they’re still photos, and therefore can benefit greatly from some […]


Five More Tech Freebies You Won’t Want to Miss

Microsoft Store free tech support

No, you’re not experiencing deja vu, but there’s definitely something familiar about that headline. Ah, right: A few weeks back I shared five new tech freebies you won’t want to miss. Good news: most of them are still available. Better news: I’ve rounded up five more. Because, let’s face it, short of a free lunch and […]


Cheap Ways To Speed Up Your PC

Guy Sleeping at Computer Scratch

Is there anything sexier than turning on a new computer and watching it boot up in seconds? Well, yes, hundreds of things, but I don’t get out much, so let’s stick to the topic at hand. A few years of use will turn your sleek, racy 90s Val Kilmer of a computer into a sluggish, […]


With New Kindle Fires, Amazon Totally Wins the Tablet Wars

Kindle Fire HD 6 and HD 7

It’s over. I’m calling it for Amazon. Yesterday, the company added four new Kindle Fire tablets to an already impressive lineup. (Two new Kindle e-readers, too, but I’ll come back to those.) With more features and mostly lower prices, there’s just no way a sane person could ever opt for an Apple iPad. Thus endeth the […]


Which Watch: The Moto 360 Now or Apple Watch Next Year?

Moto 360 side by side

Friends, Romans, countrymen — lend me your wrists. Also, your wallets. Because if you want a smartwatch, it’s gonna cost you. The new Motorola Moto 360 runs $250 with a leather band or $300 with a steel one, while Apple’s just-announced Apple Watch will start at $349 — and heaven knows how far it’ll skyrocket […]


Six Smartphones That Cost Less Than the iPhone 6

Huawei Ascend G7

If you’re anything like me, well, seek therapy. Seriously, though, if you’re anything like me, you were pretty excited to see Apple unveil two new iPhones a couple days ago: Big and Bigger, otherwise known as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. You were less excited, though, about the pricing: $199 and $299 for a […]


Six Secrets of the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

It’s official: the iPhone 6 exists. And so does its bigger brother, the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple just about melted the Internet yesterday with news of the two new models, a new mobile-payments system, and the biggest attack on your wrist since the Swatch watch. Of course, with so much information flying so fast and […]


The New Moto G: Shut Up and Take My Money, Motorola!

New Moto G in hand

Earlier today, Motorola took the wraps off a bunch of new products, included a souped-up Moto X, the breathlessly awaited Moto 360 smartwatch, and the successor to one of the top-selling smartphones of 2014: the Moto G. Let me cut right to the chase. If you’re thinking of buying a new smartphone, buy the new […]


Five New Tech Freebies You Won’t Want to Miss

Pixlr for desktop

Regular Scratch readers know of my affinity for all things free, whether it’s an app bundle or a Microsoft Office alternative or two months of audiobook service Audible.  Sure, sure, smiles and hugs and the smell of freshly baked bread are pretty good, too, but they’re not quite so thrilling as free stuff. With that […]


Dropbox Finally Gets Affordable — and Competitive

Dropbox Scratch

When people come to me looking for a deal on cloud storage, I tell them, “Do your own research! I’m busy!” No, I usually point them to Bitcasa, Box, Google Drive, or even Microsoft’s OneDrive — all of which offer a decent helping of free space and affordable plans for those who need more. But […]


Burger King’s New Side Item: Free Smartphones. No, Really.

Burger King free phones

Forget “Want fries with that?” Burger King is now asking customers, “Want Moto X with that?” In a move that I can describe only as bizarre, the fast-food joint unveiled a new promotion yesterday to help promote its new app: A free smartphone when you buy a Whopper with cheese. Okay, I made that last […]


Three Cool Ways to Get a Tablet with a Free Data Plan

T-Mobile free data

Consider the tablet. All done? I guess what I meant to say is, consider how you typically use your tablet. I suspect most of us fire them up at home or the office, connecting to the Wi-Fi networks available there. When we’re out and about, though, we switch to our smartphones. But wouldn’t it be […]


Should You Buy a TV with Built-in Roku?


Here’s something that happened in Vegas that didn’t stay in Vegas. Way back in January–a month I’ve tried hard to forget, along with the rest of winter 2014–Roku announced that it had hooked up with TV makers Hisense and TCL. That was no shameless CES one-nighter; the union resulted in new lines of HDTVs with Roku […]


Get the 5.5-inch HTC Desire Smartphone for $199.99

HTC Desire 816

For the record, I despise the portmanteau “phablet.” Just because a smartphone has a large-ish screen doesn’t mean it’s a tablet (because tablets don’t make phone calls, duh). Seriously. “Phablet.” Barf. Now that we’re clear on that, QVC has the HTC Desire 816 5.5-inch phablet (dammit) for $199.95 shipped. This brand spankin’ new smartphone just landed […]

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