Don’t Hit The Road Without These Free Travel Apps

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Summertime is travel time, and there’s no better travel companion than your smartphone. (Well, unless you can get Jessica Alba.) In fact, I’d argue you get the best return on your investment when you stock your phone with various trip-friendly apps, which can help you in ways you never thought possible.

Indeed, with these five apps, all of which are free, you’ll be able to manage all your travel plans at a glance; find cool and interesting things to do wherever you go; leverage public transportation in strange cities; and even translate foreign languages. (In your face, Fodor’s!) Let’s take a closer look at this fab five

Freemium Games Are The Biggest Waste of Money

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Stop throwing your money away on crappy phone games. That’s the dumbest thing you can do with your money. These supposedly free games make a killing off of bored people who want an excuse to touch their phone. There was a time not too long ago where it was OK to stop touching your phone for five minutes. My Freemium gaming experience was specific to one game, but all of these games are the same. They get money out of players in two ways. The first is that they lock the game and prevent you from playing it unless you pay a fee. The second is they allow you to pay to unlock things like new characters, weapons, and power-ups. It’s really easy to fork over a dollar or two when you’re waiting at the dentist’s office or sitting at your desk at work. Those dollars don’t seem like much at the time, but they add up quickly.

My experience with Freemium gaming was The Simpsons: Tapped Out. This is a free game where you get to build the fictional town of Springfield from scratch. That’s what I was told anyway. The game play in The Simpsons: Tapped Out consists of placing buildings and then waiting a pre-set time period to click on them to get money to buy more buildings. This leads to every town having huge blocks of buildings placed as close together as possible because you don ‘t want to waste an inch of real estate space. That’s not really my idea of proper city planning.

No More Aereo? No Problem. Here Are Three Cord-Cutting Alternatives

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Aereo is dead. Long live Aereo!

As you may have heard, the nascent TV-streaming service was just handed the equivalent of the death sentence by no less than the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled the company violated copyright laws.

That’s a pretty big blow to cord-cutters, folks trying to eschew hefty cable bills in favor of Internet-powered television. Aereo helped solve a big piece of that puzzle, delivering local channels to your TV or mobile device and letting you record them, DVR-style, for later viewing.

So what now? You probably know that a pair of rabbit ears will let you tune in local channels, but what about recording them? What about slinging them to phones, tablets, Roku boxes, and the like?

Have no fear: There are other options. A new breed of DVRs caters expressly to the antenna crowd, giving you a home for those sweet, sweet over-the-air TV signals. Here’s an overview of three relatively new products.

Bargain Basement Booze With Josh Androsky

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It’s Friday night, you just got off work, time to unwind, right? Unfortunately, the act of unwinding (i.e. having an adult beverage) brings about its own stress. How much money do you gotta drop? What’s the best bargain? Where should you go? It’s all too much, ain’t it? NOT ANYMORE, BABY. I, Josh Androsky, will do the dirty work to discover which bargain basement booze has the most bang for your buck.

Director: Cassandra Lee Hamilton
Music: Cowabunga Babes

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP6b_JilrHo&w=560&h=315]

Laptop Versus Tablet: Which One Should You Buy?

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Last month I explained how to turn a tablet into the perfect PC for seniors, but guess what? You’re not a senior. (Well, unless you’re in high school or college, in which case I hate you.) Even so, I’ll wager you’ve wondered whether or not a tablet should be your next PC.

Indeed, here’s a common scenario: Your old laptop is on its last legs. It takes forever to boot, runs at a glacial pace, coughs up regular error messages (or, worse, Blue Screens of Death), and probably weighs a lot more than you’d like it to. Also, the “W” key has fallen off, a tough blow for anyone who still types “www” before a Web address. (Handy tip: not necessary!)

Try On Your Perfect Bra At Home With True&Co

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There are few things in this world less comfortable than an uncomfortable bra. Childbirth, while I’ve never experienced it, seems as though it would be more unpleasant than the sensation of an insufferably tight brassiere digging into your shoulder flesh like a toddler burrowing into wet sand. Pretty much any other painful event a woman can experience, however, pales in comparison.

Finding a suitable over the shoulder boulder holder is a must for any comely lass who doesn’t want to suffer a life of misery. If you’re tired of being victimized by your hooter holsters, online retailer True&Co claims to have the solution. They’re all about helping you “find the perfect fit.” They promise to do so with “no fitting rooms” and “no measuring tape.” You may ask yourself, “How the hell is that possible?” It being 2014 and all, the answer’s simple: Via a confusing, over-stylized website!

Win Freebies For Your Next Vegas Trip With MyVegas

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MyVegas is an app available to download for your smartphone or play on Facebook. It boasts real Las Vegas prizes for players to cash-in on. When I first heard about this, I thought it was too good to be true, maybe even a scam. So, I tried it for myself. Here’s what I learned from a few hours play.

How to Play:

I started playing on Facebook and like every slot game I’ve ever played in Vegas, I had no idea what I was doing. I pretty much just kept clicking the ‘bet’ button, and kept receiving chips. After I got the hang of it a little bit more, I was able to do automatic spins and bet higher amounts of chips. Within the first half-hour I was at level 5.

Every time you go up a level you get more coins and betting chips. I eventually ran out of chips, and a screen popped up telling me I could buy more with my actual money. This is the part where the app can get scammy. Then again, pretty much every “free” game on Facebook and on smartphones tries to get you to buy more coins, lives, or something of the sort. That $1.99 seems harmless until you fast forward three months and realize you’ve spent nearly $50 on a pointless game. I’m not going to fall for this again. Curse you, Candy Crush!

Hands Down The Easiest Ways To Save On Your Travels

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In the past 6 years I’ve flown back and forth across the country at least 20 times. I hate to think of the thousands of dollars I’ve scraped together, only to be dumped backed into the greedy mouths of the head honchos at [Insert Evil Corporation] Airlines. Thinking of all the money I’ve spent helps me go the extra mile to save more and more each time I travel so that I can take a few extra mini-trips throughout the year. And the best way to start saving some sweet getaway cash is at the airport. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way:

Love Books? It’s Time To Consider Subscribing To Oyster

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Last December I told you about Oyster, an e-book subscription service that many have likened to “Netflix for books.” (Seems like there’s a Netflix for everything these days, though I’m still waiting on “Netflix for cookies.”) You pay a flat monthly rate and get unlimited access to every book in the Oyster library.

Back then, the service felt a little half-baked. (Clearly I’m still thinking about cookies.) Its catalog consisted of only about 100,000 titles, and its mobile apps were limited to iOS devices.

What a difference six months can make.

How To Do Las Vegas Without Being A Sucker

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On your first, second, and even third trip to Vegas, you’re still just a wide-eyed “fish” with a pocket full of “greenys”. You land at McCarron Airport so eager for a YOLO weekend of Jager shots at a topless pool, you don’t even care that you’re basically what P.T. Barnum would call The Mark. You’re a sucker. A newbie. A “grinder”. But then, a few bachelor parties later, you start to learn your way around the city. Before you know it, you’re asking yourself, “Wait, why is the cab driver getting on the freeway?”

Transportation
Don’t let the cab driver get on the freeway. It’s a classic cabbie fair hike technique. Every city’s taxi drivers do it. It’s a longer route, it’s more expensive. Stay off the freeway. But why are you taking a cab anyway? The airport shuttles like ASC, Bell Trans, Showtime, and SuperShuttle are fairly quick and convenient. They cost about $7 to a hotel on the strip and around $9 to downtown. But be prepared for the cultural enlightenment that comes with sharing a van with eight strangers from Maui, Wisconsin, and Tokyo.

Banana Boat For Men Asks: Are You Man Enough To Fight The Sun?

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As someone who lives her life treating gender like it’s merely a suggestion (because it is), I’ve grown quite accustomed to the way that marketing loves to divide the world up in order to trick us into giving them maximized profits. While my life history has made me perhaps more keenly aware of it, I’m hardly the first to notice, or even to break down why it happens. What I can do, however, is provide you with some examples of some ways that shoppers of any sex and gender can cut costs by cutting through gender roles.

A new addition to the slate of seemingly unnecessarily gendered products this year: sunscreen. Banana Boat has recently launched the all new Banana Boat For Men. This is apparently to combat the waves of sunburned men who have refused to use a product as girly and effete as Banana Boat Sport? I guess I find it hard to believe that there are legions of lobster-looking bros out there who have been adamant that they’d rather get skin cancer than put on any of that chick stuff, but apparently Banana Boat is banking on the idea that there are. Or more likely, they think that by creating the solution the problem will start to exist. All I know is I’ve been to plenty of beaches and I’ve never heard anyone complain about sissy sunscreen.

Why Did I Buy This? With Grant Pardee: Roomba Review

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Roombas can be a great addition to your home and make cleaning a more efficient process unless you become emotionally dependent on them. In this video, I give the iRobot Vacuum Cleaning Robot ($400 on Amazon) a spin around the house and enjoy watching the little guy clean up after me, scare the cats, fight with my drone, and then ultimately become a horrible drunk monster before returning to it’s dock. All in all, the Roomba is a great buy as long as you can handle it.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRf8_oj_UBM&w=560&h=315]

Get A Philips Fidelio HTL7180/F7 Sound Bar For $439.99

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Can we talk high-end audio for a sec?

See, here’s the deal: The speakers in your HDTV totally suck. I don’t mean they’re weak and tinny and facing the wrong the way (which they are); I mean they’re just terrible. It’s like owning a Ferrari that tops out at 15 mph.

In other words, your eyes have it made, but your ears are getting robbed. That’s why I always advise HDTV owners to invest in a sound bar, which will vastly improve your TV audio. Of course, as a massive cheapskate, I usually recommend a low-end, sub-$100 model.

Top Ten Party Tips From #EviteParty And Sandra Lee

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Now that it’s officially summer, it’s time to get down and party! Crazy as it sounds, I’m invited to at least 1 to 3 parties per week in the summertime. Whether it’s someone’s birthday party, a Fourth of July shindig, a graduation celebration, a girls get-together, World Cup 2014 viewing party, there’s always a reason to party and if you don’t have any, just create one!

While throwing a party can be lots of fun, it can also be super stressful. The planning process is no walk in the park and it’s the little things that truly make or break your party. If you’re new to hosting parties or you need a few pointers to get you through your next one, here are the top ten party tips from Evite and Sandra Lee.

Note: Don’t forget to enter the Great Party Giveaway Sweepstakes to get a chance at winning $2500 worth of party supplies, food and more.

Best Birthday Freebies for Slobs

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It’s infuriating that so many businesses offer free meals to kids for their birthday. Is turning 7 years old really an accomplishment worthy of free food? No way. Turning 30 and not having any kids of your own is an actual accomplishment that should be celebrated with a free feast. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many birthday freebies for single slobs like me. I navigated the sloppy seas and found the best birthday freebies for slobs. Most of these birthday freebies require you to join some sort of digital fan club so links are included. This is your plan of action to have the ultimate slob birthday for free. Put on your favorite eating shirt and let’s get started.

Your first stop on the slob express should be for coffee. A birthday boy needs his morning jolt to handle the busy day ahead. Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and Starbucks will all give you free coffee for your birthday if you sign up for their fan clubs. Lots of local shops will give you free coffee too so you may want to ask about birthday freebies next time you’re in your favorite shop. Personally, I’ve always preferred free stuff from giant corporations over people with a independent business. The perceived social justice of getting something free from a giant corporation makes the coffee taste that much better.

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