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'Bits' & 'Bytes' (PC & Electronic Stuff)
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SPIDER
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'Bits' & 'Bytes' (PC & Electronic Stuff)

Cool Got some PC information? Post it here.

I'll also be posting Internet Deals on electronic products
in this thread from time to time.

thumright If anyone else knows of any deals go ahead and post them.
(providing you are not profiting from them)

Wink Nowadays we all need to save a buck or two ...
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CNET.com
By: Rick Broida | 16 comments
August 12, 2010

(Photo Credit: Wal-Mart)



Get a 40-inch HDTV for $399.00

The Proscan 40LD45Q may be a fairly basic HDTV, but hundreds of buyers ranked it 4 or 5 stars.

If I can wax nostalgic for a moment, I can remember when finding a 32-inch LCD for $399 was a big, big deal. (Even today I see them selling for that much and more.)

Now
Walmart has the 40-inch Proscan 40LD45Q LCD HDTV for $399. shipped.
(plus sales tax in most states).

That's pretty fantastic.

The Proscan is a full 1080p TV with three HDMI inputs, a VGA input (in case you want to pair it with a PC), and a 2,000:1 contrast ratio.

It also sports an ATSC tuner in case you prefer free, over-the-air HD broadcasts to pricey cable or satellite.

Obviously Proscan isn't a household name like Sony or Toshiba--in fact, it's the kind you typically see only at a place like Wal-Mart.

However, I think the customer reviews speak volumes.

This model currently has 273 of them, with an average of 4.5 stars out of 5.

The only complaint you tend to see is with audio quality, but in my experience, all HDTVs have crummy built-in speakers.

That's why most folks add a home-theater speaker system or the like.

If memory serves, this is the lowest price I've seen on a 40-inch HDTV.

It could be a perfect choice for the den, bedroom, or even living room.

- Rick Broida

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Last edited by SPIDER on Wed 13 Apr, 2011 3:06 pm; edited 4 times in total

Post Thu 12 Aug, 2010 4:19 pm 
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SPIDER
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Sony Reader, Pocket Edition, for $99.99

CNET.com
By: Rick Broida
August 19, 2010


(Photo Credit: Sears)


Get a Sony Reader Pocket Edition for $99.99

Though slightly less tempting now that the Kindle's down to $139, a Sony Reader for less than $100 is hard to pass up.

And, lo, the era of the sub-$100 e-book reader is finally upon us! Sears (Sears?) has the Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300BC for $99.99 (plus $7 for shipping and sales tax in some states). It's new, not refurbished.

For years I've been saying (to anyone who'll listen--a surprisingly small group) that $99 is the magic price point for e-book readers like this and the Kindle. (Apparently $139 is fairly magical as well, as evidenced by the immediate sellout of Amazon's new Kindle Wi-Fi.)

Sony's product doesn't get nearly as much ink (no pun intended) as the Kindle, but it's still widely regarded as a fine way to pocket reading material. "Pocket" being the operative word: unlike the Kindle, the PRS-300BC is trim enough to slip into a jacket pocket.

In fact, it's one of the most compact readers on the market, owing to its 5-inch screen. However, Sony's playing a bit fast and loose with the moniker: the PRS-300 simply cannot ride around in a pair of jeans. Still, I really like the design. This is arguably the most comfortable e-book reader on the market today.

It's also an "open" reader, meaning it supports the increasingly popular ePub format (among others), which the Kindle does not.

The one and only downside is connectivity: to add books to the PRS-300BC, you have to connect it to your PC. That's a hassle to anyone spoiled by the Kindle's 3G or the Nook's Wi-Fi.

Still, there's that magical $99 price. Think you'll take advantage of it?


Bonus deal: Buy.com has the Asus RT-N13U Wireless N Router for $22.99 shipped (after a $20 mail-in rebate). That's a great price by itself, but there's a bonus to this bonus: the router doubles as a print server and triples as an FTP server!
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Post Thu 19 Aug, 2010 9:03 pm 
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Google makes it official: Phone calls now in Gmail
by: Tom Krazit
August 25, 2010


To get started, users check the box next to Google Chat in their list of forwarding phones and the next time someone calls their Google Voice number, Gmail will notify them of an incoming call, Google says.


(Photo Credit: Google Voice Blog)


Gmail isn't just about e-mail anymore: it's also a phone.

Google launched the ability to make voice calls to any traditional phone number from a Gmail account Wednesday, which CNET had reported Tuesday was in testing. It's a blend of Gmail and Google Voice technology that allows users to dial numbers from their computers as well as receive incoming calls through one's Google Voice number.

Gmail users can link their Google Voice accounts with their Gmail accounts to have their in-boxes treated like just another line that will ring when people call their Google Voice numbers, and their Google Voice number will appear on the incoming call screen of those they are calling. A Google Voice account isn't required to use the service, but international calls will be funded through Google Voice accounts.

Calls to phone numbers in the U.S. and Canada will be free, and will cost 2 cents a minute to several other countries such as France and the U.K. The service should be rolling out to Gmail users Wednesday.

In a blog post announcing the feature, Google would only commit to offering free calls in the U.S. and Canada through the end of the year. Google's Craig Walker, product manager for real-time communications, said the company had no plans to raise rates beyond 2010, but it is still waiting to see if it will make enough margin on international calls to justify the free cost of U.S. and Canada calls. It will cost a little more to call mobile phones in countries outside the U.S., depending on the country.

Google Apps customers won't see this function just yet, no doubt disappointing some small-business customers looking to eliminate their phone bills. However, Google played it coy as far as plans for bringing out a business-friendly version of this technology, saying it wasn't ready as of yet but that it was interested in providing such a service.

More to come...
VIDEO
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Post Wed 25 Aug, 2010 1:11 pm 
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Reader's choice: You find the deals!
CNET.com
By: Rick Broida
August 23, 2010


Gone fishin'...

(Credit: photoXpress)

I'm on a much-needed vacation this week, so I won't be posting any new deals
(unless something really exciting crosses my radar).

I know, I know, you can't survive without your daily bargain. (I feel your pain.)
That's why I'm handing the reins over to you, my faithful Cheapskaters!

Time and again you've found great deals of your own and posted them in the comments.

So for this week, that's what I'm hoping you'll do:
find something really spectacular and share it with your fellow deal-hunters.

In other words, hit the comments and get your cheapskate on.

I'll be interested to see what you come up with, and who knows-
-I might just poke my head in from time to time.

Thanks, and I'll see you next Monday!

Find more deals, coupon codes, and bargains on
CNET's Shopper.com.

(Rick Broida, a technology writer for nearly 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he oversees BNET's Business Hacks. Rick is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. Disclosure. Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.)

Follow Rick on Twitter at cheapskateblog.
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Post Thu 26 Aug, 2010 7:32 pm 
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HURRY! It's only available until Nov. 4th

thumright Here's a real good FREE Software deal for use now or in the future ...

It's a quick download (I just did one) and ya just never know
when you might want to have it available in your PC.
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By: Rick Broida
November 2, 2010




Get WinX HD Video Converter (Win/Mac) for free
[clic above title for additional links & details.]

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe has the muscle to convert nearly any video or audio file to nearly any other format.

Need to convert a video or audio file into a different kind of video or audio file? Freeware favorite Handbrake can handle some video formats, but it's a bit out of date--and nowhere near as comprehensive as a utility like WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe.

That tool normally sells for $29.95, but from now until November 4, you can download WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe absolutely free.

It's available for Windows and Mac; the license codes you need are listed right on the download page.

What's the catch? There isn't one, except that this freebie doesn't qualify for technical support or updates.

Of course, it'll probably be quite some time before you'd need an update.

HD Video Converter Deluxe (HDVCD from here on) comes loaded for bear, offering support for nearly every video and audio codec known to man.

It's also the first converter (according to WinX) that handles multitrack video formats like BDAV, M2TS, and AVCHD.

Alas, I don't see WTV on the format list, meaning HDVCD can't convert shows
recorded using Windows Media Center. That's a bummer.

On the plus side, it offers extras like the Website Video Downloader, which can save (and convert, natch) videos from the likes of YouTube, and output presets for every portable player from Android to Zune.

And let's not forget: This is a $30 video converter you're getting for zilch, zip, nada.

Don't pass it up!
Cool

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Post Tue 02 Nov, 2010 7:46 pm 
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SPIDER
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NOTICE: Change of Topic-Thread content.

.
Cool I've retitled this topic to 'Bits' & 'Bytes' ...

Because by the time I get around to posting 'Cheapskate Deals'
they are usually 'Sold Out'.

This thread will now contain various PC information, satire, etc..

Wink Feel free to add your own ...
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Post Wed 26 Jan, 2011 7:25 pm 
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~ ERROR 404 ~

Do you ever get an 'ERROR 404' message?
Here's a satirical guide to help you ...
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Post Wed 26 Jan, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Here's an easy way to do it ...

.
Hotmail launches accounts you can throw away!
CNET.Com
By: Josh Lowensohn



Microsoft knows you're making throwaway e-mail accounts, and wants to make that process easier.

Today, Hotmail is getting a new feature aimed at "e-mail enthusiasts," which lets anyone create multiple e-mail accounts that can be read, replied to, and managed from their everyday e-mail inbox. These additional e-mail addresses can be had in the same manner as signing up for new accounts, but they require no extra log-ins or upkeep.

The idea is to give users a safe way to provide third parties with an e-mail address, without giving up the address they've provided to family and friends, which, if compromised, can end the usefulness of that particular account.

"Today we all often have multiple e-mail accounts for many different reasons," Windows Live director of product management Dharmesh Mehta told CNET in a phone interview yesterday. "One of which is that I don't want to give my real address out to any site in the world. I might be worried they'll spam me with newsletters, or they might resell it to other marketers. Who knows what can happen?"

The other problem, Mehta said, is balancing a single e-mail address with work, family and friends, and everything else you're doing on the Internet. "If I'm a hardcore gamer in one environment, and a conservative professional guy in another environment, there are different reasons for multiple accounts," Mehta explained.

The solution Microsoft's Hotmail team came up with was to make use of some of its existing technologies like account sign-up, message filtering, and multiple e-mail address integration to give users these aliases within the same account.

Each user can create up to five aliases, any of which can be deleted and replaced with another at any time.

Over time, Microsoft will increase that limit to 15 aliases per account, making it so that the true heavy users won't need to juggle between two or more Hotmail accounts.




Read More ...
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Post Mon 21 Feb, 2011 2:55 pm 
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SPIDER
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Take control of your PC ...



Smart Defrag 2 ...
Free Disk Defragmenter
(with 30 million users)




I've been using this free tool for nearly two years and find it to be excellent.

It will accelerate the whole system with fast and efficient disk defragmentation either automatically or manually.

It is known that disk fragments has been a primary cause of slow and unstable PC performance.

Smart Defrag 2 is a FREE tool that provides extremely fast and efficient defragmentation to your hard drives intelligently for faster file loading and high disk performance.

With "install it and forget it" feature, Smart Defrag 2 works automatically and quietly in the background on your PC, keeping your hard disk running at its top speed.

This powerful, award-winning free defragmenter is 100% safe and clean with no adware, spyware, or viruses.

Clic tab for more information & a download link for this FREE and useful PC tool.


~ TRY IT - YOU'LL LIKE IT ~

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Post Fri 25 Mar, 2011 1:19 pm 
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Time for a little fun ...


Link
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Post Sun 27 Mar, 2011 5:17 pm 
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.
CNET.Com
By: Declan McCullagh
March 28, 2011




Why browsers differ on Web sites' safety.

For all the tens of billions of dollars a year spent on Internet security a year, on everything from antivirus software to intrusion prevention, there's one component that's vital but remains obscure: which Web sites browsers decide to trust.

Each of the major browser makers has compiled a different list of who possesses the master keys to Web authentication--namely, who can be trusted to issue the secure digital certificates to create encrypted channels--and each has different procedures for approval.

A closed lock icon typically appears in a browser and an "https://" connection is displayed when a Web site is deemed legitimate.
.

Learn More:
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Post Thu 31 Mar, 2011 2:20 pm 
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CNET.Com
By: Erica Ogg
April 11, 2011



(Credit: Scott Ard/CNET)

What turns people off from buying 3D TV

Since 2008, Sony has been one of the main forces behind the 3D TV campaign. But so far many consumers have balked at the high price and the need to wear glasses.

Try as they might, Panasonic and Sony have yet to convince consumers that 3D TV is a necessity.

Released today, a new study commissioned by The NPD Group found that while people know more about 3D TV now, they're not generally any more convinced of why they need one.

A year and a half into the 3D TV era kicked off by Sony and Panasonic and since joined by others, 45 percent of people who said they wouldn't buy a 3D TV said the reason is it is too expensive. And 42 percent of people said the reason they wouldn't buy one is because they don't want to wear glasses.

That's an increase in both categories--just six months earlier only 37 percent said price was the inhibiting factor in their purchase, and 32 percent said wearing glasses was. But interestingly, the increase of people who were hung up on 3D glasses was larger than people who thought the TVs were too expensive.

This NPD study follows a survey Nielsen conducted last fall that found, among other things, that 90 percent of respondents said they wouldn't want to wear glasses for 3D TV because it would hinder multitasking--like working on a laptop, or other things people generally do while sitting in front of the TV.

And therein lies the main problem with 3D TV.

The prices of the sets will eventually fall--in fact it's already happening, more on that in a moment--but we're still not that close to not wearing 3D glasses while watching a 3D television at home. And unlike HDTV, which went from the new must-have feature to commodity item in less than half a decade, 3D TV still doesn't feel like it's anywhere near becoming as ubiquitous as HD despite the best efforts of TV makers.


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Post Wed 13 Apr, 2011 3:05 pm 
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.


-> VIDEO: TOP 5 LED LCD TV'S

Smile Check out the best of LED LCD TV Technology.
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Post Fri 22 Apr, 2011 7:58 pm 
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NYT.Com
By: Nick Bilton
April 28, 2011


For Consumers, a Different Approach to Search.

The search results for car insurance companies on www.FindTheBest.com



Kevin O’Connor has a knack for spotting new businesses online.

In 2007 this paid off when DoubleClick, an online advertising company he helped co-found, was purchased by Google for $3.1 billion.

In August, Mr. O’Connor started a new type of search engine called FindTheBest.com, one that he says he believes signals the next era of consumer Web search.

To set itself apart from search engines like Google and Bing, FindTheBest has created hundreds of specialized online apps that offer users an ultra-detailed comparison of products and services. The apps include searches for things like ski resorts, treadmills, car insurance providers and dog food.

“We create a lot of expert ratings of services by sifting through a lot of different sources,” Mr. O’Connor said.

“For our car insurance comparison app, we checked insurers’ credit ratings, consumer approval ratings and dozens of other sources to define a detailed list of the best insurance companies.”

In comparison, Mr. O’Connor said, Google’s results on the same topic require the user to do the work.

FindTheBest has grown rapidly since its start.
The site receives 1.5 million unique users a month and it now offers more than 500 comparison apps.

Next week FindTheBest will introduce a new product called “Best of Badges” that will allow companies to tag products or services on their own Web sites that have received high expert ratings. This is meant to help it compete with other consumer advocacy sites including J.D. Power and Consumer Reports.

“Our goal right now is to keep building credibility with consumers as the ultimate consumer advocacy site,” Mr. O’Connor said.

He said FindTheBest was advertising- and marketing-free and planned to remain that way for a while. When asked how the company makes money, Mr. O’Connor said simply, “We aren’t.”

The Web site also plans to add Facebook’s comment system to its apps, which would require users to identify themselves when commenting on a company.

“Everything we’ve heard from consumers says when there’s a picture and a name next to a review, people are going to be a lot more objective with their comments,” Mr. O’Connor said.

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Post Fri 29 Apr, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Coming to a cell phone near you ...

CNET.Com
By: Lance Whitney
May 10, 2011




FCC to launch disaster alert system for cell phones

The Federal Communications Commission is expanding its familiar emergency alert system notifications sent over TV and radio to now include mobile phones.

Dubbing the new service PLAN (Personal Localized Alerting Network), the government would target the alerts in the form of text messages sent to cell phones of people who need or want to be notified in the event of an emergency. Developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), PLAN would allow customers of any participating wireless carrier to turn their phones into personal alert systems.

The service will initially launch in New York City by the end of this year but is expected to roll out nationwide in 2012 through support from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. To receive the alerts, a mobile phone must be outfitted with a certain hardware chip, typically found in higher-end phones like the newer iPhone, according to The New York Times. A software upgrade is also required.

The alerts will be targeted geographically, so that people will receive notifications of emergencies based on where they live. FEMA promises that the alerts will get through even if the cell towers are jammed with traffic. The alerts will be free of charge and won't require any special sign-up. Users whose phones already come with the new PLAN technology will automatically receive the alerts, though they can opt out at any time.

To pass along the alerts, government officials would send notices concerning public emergencies, such as tornadoes or terrorist threats, according to FEMA. Officials at PLAN would then confirm the alerts and relay them to the wireless carriers, who would then send them out as text messages to residents in the affected areas. Once the system is operational, cell phone users would receive three types of alerts, according to the FCC:
1) alerts issued by the president;
2) alerts involving imminent threats to safety of life;
3) Amber Alerts.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate, and executives from the major mobile carriers have gathered together today at the site of the World Trade Center to announce PLAN.

"Following the devastating tornadoes in the Southeast, we are witnessing yet again the critical role the public plays as part of our nation's emergency management team," Fugate said in a statement. "Making sure that they get useful and life-saving information, quickly and easily, right on their mobile phones, will help more people get out of harm's way when a threat exists.

This new technology could become a lifeline for millions of Americans and is another tool that will strengthen our nation's resilience against all hazards."

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Post Wed 11 May, 2011 7:03 am 
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