Why I Broke Down and Finally Subscribed to a Music Service

Beats Music

I hate subscriptions. Paying a monthly fee for anything feels like a rip-off to me, a money pit from which there is no escape. Granted, I’ve been a cable subscriber for, well, roughly as long as cable has existed. Same goes for my cell phone, though you won’t catch me getting locked into another two-year […]


Five Insanely Good Gadget Deals That Feel Like Black Friday

Black Friday collage

Is it Black Friday already? Let’s see, no, the calendar says Tuesday. So why the heck am I discovering so many amazing deals on gadgets and gear? Don’t know, don’t care. The reality is you’re about to save big on everything from laptops to tablets to smartwatches, and maybe get a serious chunk of your holiday […]


Which Stick Streams Best? The War for Your TV Heats Up

Chromecast-Fire TV Stick-Roku

So many streaming sticks, so few HDMI ports. I’m referring, of course, to the new breed of media-streaming “boxes” that deliver Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Netflix, and other TV-junkie goodness to your big screen. Gone is the set-top appliance; now you plug something akin to an oversize flash drive directly into an HDMI port — […]


The Tech Gear I’d Buy if Money Was No Object

Phantom 2 Vision Plus

We’ve all had dreams of winning the lottery, inheriting a fortune from some uncle we never knew existed, or finding a giant duffel bag of cash in a deserted plane-wreck in the woods. (No, wait, that’s the plot of “A Simple Plan.” And it didn’t turn out so great. For the characters, I mean. But […]


Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is the Streaming Deal of the Year

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon’s Fire TV? Meh. A $99 Roku competitor that hasn’t exactly set the world on… well, you know. Amazon’s just-announced Fire TV Stick? Zowie! Ah-OOH-ga! Holy insane deals, Batman! Pre-order between now and 6 a.m. (PT), Oct. 29, and you can get it for just $19. Okay, big fat asterisk: That price is available only […]


Set Up a ‘Video-Selfie’ Studio on the Cheap

Video studio

Recently I was hired to record some how-to videos about computer security, which made me feel good because I’ve been giving away that advice to friends and family for years. (No more free lunch for you, people I love!) Just one problem: The videos needed to look good. I couldn’t just hold my smartphone at arm’s length […]


Kindle Fire HD 6 Review: Shocking Secrets of the $99 Tablet

Kindle Fire HD 6 Citron

Holding Amazon’s baby tablet, the Kindle Fire HD 6, in my hand, I’m instantly struck by this thought: The screen is just half an inch larger than that of my iPhone 6 Plus. Half an inch! In other words, it’s not far off from being able to slip into my pocket. In fact, I just […]


The Best Apple News Today is Not the iPad Air 2 or Mini 3

iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

iPads are too damn expensive. There, I said it. Oh, wait, I’ve been saying that for years. How you can justify paying $399 for an iPad Mini when an Amazon Kindle Fire HD starts at $139? Or $499 for the entry-level iPad Air when Google’s (admittedly unexciting) Nexus 9 goes for $100 less? Today, as you […]


The Nexus 9 is here! The Nexus 9 is here! (Meh.)


Just a day before Apple takes the wraps off what is rumored to be a new iPad, Google trotted out some new hardware of its own: the Nexus 6 smartphone, Nexus Player streaming box, and, of particular interest to yours truly, a new tablet — the Nexus 9. Why the interest? It’s been nearly two […]


How to Edit Video without Spending a Fortune

CyberLink PowerDirector 13

What a time to be an amateur videographer. I don’t care if you’re a kid making stop-motion animation movies with your Lego figures or an aspiring Abrams hoping to go viral on YouTube. The tools you need to make sweet vids have never been cheaper, easier, or more abundant. Allow me a brief “back in my […]


A Cheap and Easy Halloween Costume for Tech Geeks

Tech Support Man

You know the old saying: The geeks shall inherit the earth! Or at least win Halloween, provided they dress accordingly. As a card-carrying geek myself, I often struggle with what to wear on October 31 — or, more often, to the parties that precede it. Sure I could go with an obvious choice — a Starfleet […]


Five Seriously Awesome Podcasts You Should Be Listening To


I’m extremely fortunate because my commute to work involves nothing more than a flight of stairs. If you’re not so lucky, you’ve probably wished for something — anything — to help you pass the time. Long drives, traffic jams, road work — it’s enough to make you spend money on audiobooks! Before you open your […]


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 […]

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