Following the demise of Circuit City, Wal-Mart's been making a big push into the electronics market, and one of its PR folks let us in on a couple of upcoming "deals" on certain LCD TVs. The sale runs from June 14-20, or while supplies last.Vizio VO420E 1080p 42-inch LCD ($697) Sony Bravia KDL-52S5100 1080p 52-inch LCD ($1,788) Sanyo DP37649 720p 37-inch LCD ($398)
Many of you already know how to get a great deal on software, but for those who could use a reminder, we've compiled a list of tips that take freeware, Webware, and boxed software into account.
Ditch the features
Ask yourself how many features of that $30, $60, or $200 program you're really going to use. If the answer is less than half, you can probably make do with freeware or with a less expensive shareware application. If you're already comfortable finding, downloading, and using freeware alternatives to pricey, branded software, then congratulations.
If you're not, there are a few ground rules to know. The programs may not always be as flashy or as feature-rich as the reigning app you're familiar with, and they may require you spend some time with the ReadMe file or Help Manual if they operate differently than you're used to. Yet on the whole, the freeware category is growing ever-more sophisticated in everything from interface design to customer support. If you hate the app, it costs you nothing but trial time, and you can always buy the full-priced software to replace it.
For a real-life example, take an image editor. Unless you're an advanced or frequent user, you may not actually need a program as fully caffeinated as Adobe Photoshop, especially if Paint.NET or GIMP's core features are what you'll actually use the majority of the time. With a little research, you can even find two or more freeware programs that cover the feature spectrum in a suite of pro-grade software. In fact, that's how we cobbled together our own Adobe Creative Suite.
How do you find freeware? We recommend CNET Download.com, of course, as your go-to source for discovering and downloading Mac and Windows freeware (also Mobile and Webware.) It's especially useful if you narrow your search results by free licenses (see the illustration at left).
You can also find Windows, Mac, and Linux alternatives from similar download catalogs. SourceForge.net is another good source for the more adventurous and savvy users who are unafraid of choosing from a list of active builds and downloading through mirrors. Forums run by the open-source community may also reveal worthy freeware for those with time to investigate. While search engines are another path to freeware titles, some sites--especially those advertising cracks and serial numbers--are notorious for delivering malware. We recommend for Windows users to at the very least install an application to rate your search engine results as safe or suspicious, such as McAfee Site Advisor for Internet Explorer or Firefox.
Start off with these top freeware security apps and all-around apps for Windows. Mac users will find freeware in this Mac Starter Kit, plus less expensive alternatives to popular programs that are worth the asking price.… Read more
For anybody who complains that Sony's Memory Stick Duo memory cards are too expensive compared with other forms of flash memory, DealExtreme has a solution. It's the StarJade SDHC microSD to Memory Stick MS Pro Duo Adapter Sleeve, which retails for a mere $2.85, including free shipping. Unfortunately, the only problem is that it's illegal (see "update" note at the bottom of the post).
A quick comparison on Amazon for prices of microSD and Memory Stick Duo reveals that an 8GB microSDHC card costs around $20 (with shipping), while an 8GB Memory Stick Duo … Read more
Subscription music site eMusic has inked a deal with Sony Music to bring selections from the label's catalog--"classic" recordings that are at least two years past their release date--to the online retailer starting in a few months.
eMusic hasn't had the biggest footprint in the digital music retail space of late, falling well behind iTunes--and some say that Amazon MP3 has grown bigger as well. eMusic was one of the first players in the space to offer music free of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions, which a few years ago more or less meant that … Read more
New York comes alive with its car show, car batteries that are grown, not built, want to steal a car legally? And a ride in a little Dodge that defies description.Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES
During an employee Webcast earlier this week to discuss Intel's stock options program, the chip giant's CEO, Paul Otellini, shed a little background on Sun Microsystems' pursuit to find a buyer.
When queried by an employee about his thoughts regarding an IBM-Sun merger and whether Cisco's recent announcement about entering the storage market drove Sun to find a buyer, Otellini said:
Oh, I don't know if the Cisco entry spurred IBM. I think (a) cheap Sun price--a low price--spurred a lot of interest. I can tell you that Sun was shopped around the valley and around … Read more
Buzzworthy social music service Project Playlist has signed another major-label deal: EMI Music has licensed its catalog to the company, which hired former Facebook executive Owen Van Natta as its CEO in November and says that over 52 million playlists have been created to date by its over 42 million registered users.
The first major-label deal for Project Playlist was with Sony BMG, an agreement announced in December. The company had previously been sued by a number of big players in the music industry, including EMI, because of the amount of unauthorized content uploaded to its servers. The Recording Industry … Read more
In the U.S., tax season is well upon us. And with the recession in full tilt, you may be--smartly--biding your time to make a purchase. Fear not though, there are tools aplenty to help you keep an eye on the price of something, and swoop in to get it when it goes on sale or the manufacturer offers a rebate.
We've put together a list of 22 different tools that let you do this with relative ease. Most only work on Amazon.com, but a few will keep an eye on the entirety of the Web to let you know about sales, price drops, and increases.
Amazon Price Watch (aka NukePrice.com) Amazon Price Watch may sound like it's only Amazon.com prices, but it actually works with around 100 online retailers. You can have it watch the price of something by dropping its link into the service's Web form, or by installing a browser add-on that lets you start tracking from the retailer's site. Along with price-watching tools, it's also got a deals finder and a "filler items" tool that will help you find low-priced items to add to your Amazon order to get free shipping.
Apnoti Apnoti watches Amazon for price drops. You can use it either by dropping in the Amazon product link and your e-mail address or installing a tool bar that adds the option to watch a price to Amazon.com. One of Apnoti's strengths is that it refreshes its price index "continuously" so you can be notified when a price drops usually within the hour.
BeatThat! BeatThat is primarily a deals site that lets users add deals they've found in return for cash. However, each product on the site can be watched to see if it drops below whatever price threshold you set. Like PriceGrabber you must be a registered user of the site to make use of this feature.
Buy it Later Buy it Later is a tool that's been designed specifically for Amazon.com. You install a small browser add-on, which will add a new button to Amazon product pages that lets you opt-in to buy it at a later date. Once you click this the tool will start tracking the price. It also gives you the heads up when an item comes back in stock, which can be useful if you're looking to buy something with a low supply.
CamelCamelCamel While camel imagery does not bring price watching to mind, the site does a great job at it. You can search items on Amazon and a few other retailers. It's also got a great grid of products that have had the biggest price drops by day and week both in dollar amount and in percentage. One of the most important things the site does, however, is show you a price history from the past month both from Amazon and third-party retailers. This is a good way to see whether a price is trending up or down, although admittedly its charts can be thrown off by gray market listings.… Read more
If you're looking to jump into the iPhone world, now might be a good time. AT&T is again offering refurbished iPhones on its Web site, but this time with even better deals.
The 8GB iPhone 3G can be purchased for just $99, and both 16GB iPhone 3Gs (black and white) can be had for just $199, the regular price of the 8GB phone. Nice upgrade.
These prices are, of course, coupled with two-year contracts, so they're not for everyone. But if you were going to make the switch to AT&T anyway, this might be … Read more
Ladies and gents, we have a new low! Buy.com has the Magellan RoadMate 2200T GPS for $59.99 shipped (after a $30 mail-in rebate). It's a refurbished unit, but it's also the least-expensive navigation system I've seen yet.
Needless to say, this model is a couple years old, so don't expect a lot of bells and whistles. It does offer text-to-speech, music and photo players, an optional traffic-monitoring kit, and a "smart detour" feature. Hmmm. Come to think of it, you get some bells and whistles, after all. It's even waterproof!