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Looking for a videogame gift to put under someone's tree? If you're
a parent like me and the recipient is a teen, tween, or even
younger kid, you might prefer something free of blood, guts, guns,
and other violent images.
Alas, that leaves out a lot of the hot new releases, including
Assassin's Creed IV, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Grand
Theft Auto V. I'm not wild about exposing my kids to so much
realistically rendered brutality. (That's what TV is for! Kidding,
Sometimes I'm tempted to buy things I don't need, even when I know
full well they're not practical.
For example, TigerDirect is currently offering the Seiki SE39UY04 39-inch 4K Ultra HDTV for
$499.99 shipped when you apply coupon code
NFF106630 at checkout. That's the lowest price
I've ever seen on a 4K TV, and therefore I must have
Well, okay, quick reality check. Let's take a look at some of the
pros and cons here.
In case the terminology is unfamiliar, "4K" refers to ultra
high-definition television, also known as Ultra HD. The number
derives from the screen resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels, which
is four times greater than standard HDTV (which runs at 1,920 by
I'm a huge fan of Sonos audio gear, which lets you stream all your
favorite music (playlists, Pandora, Spotify, etc.) to wireless
But, ho, it's some expensive gear, with even the most basic
package starting at $300. My cheapskate nature won't allow me to
spend that kind of money on what is essentially a fancy
Especially when there are such inexpensive alternatives. For
example, with my smartphone or tablet and a simple Bluetooth
receiver, which can plug into any stereo or speaker I already own,
I can fashion a system that's nearly identical to a Sonos--for a
fraction of the price.
The key ingredient: the Bluetooth receiver.
True story: My sister once left her Kindle e-reader on an airplane.
By the time she realized it was gone, well, it was too late.
Whoever found the Kindle--assuming they were honest enough to want
to return it--had no way of determining who owned it.
This happens all the time. According to Look Mobile
Security, some 9 million cell phones were lost in 2011. The Ponemon
Institute reported in 2008 that travelers lose more than
12,000 laptops per week in U.S. airports--and 8,000 are
never returned because the owners can't be found. (Those numbers
are probably even higher now.) And don't get me started on kids who
lose their iPods, tablets, and other gadgets.
There's never been a better time to ditch your landline.
If you're already paying for cable or DSL Internet service, you've
got everything you need to kiss your local and long-distance
telephone companies goodbye.
Well, almost everything: The missing ingredient is a voice-over-IP
adapter, which sounds complicated but isn't. It's a little box that
sits between your existing phone (or cordless phone system) and
your router and provides full-featured home phone service. For
You've probably heard of one such product: the MagicJack, an
infomercial staple. A few months back, I reviewed its successor,
the MagicJack Plus.
Today let's talk about its latest competitor, the NetTalk Duo
Last week I listed the top five video game-related items that should be on every gamers wishlist this season. I also mentioned that many games will be seeing price drops over the next few weeks. Well, the drops have begun and two big A-list games have already gone cheaper.