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50 Under $50: Back to School

None of us here (aside from our lovely intern, Matt Evans) are going back to school this year. But that doesn't mean we can't drool over the delightful gadgets and finely designed objects (like this foldable keyboard) that are offered to returning academics of all ages. We've put together some gear to make even those that cheer "no more pencils, no more books" in May excited to crack open some...

Sweet and Simple: The Best Basic Phones for Our Dearest Dads

A reader asks: My father is a businessman who travels a lot internationally, and asked me to find him a bare bones, simple cell phone that works well but also looks good. For the life of me I can't settle on a device. Instead, the market is flooded with smartphones or regular ones with tons of confusing crap stuffed inside. He doesn't text much but needs the capability, and his vision and...

SNL's Top 10 Greatest Fake Tech Commercials

Share Despite the dozens of iconic characters 'Saturday Night Live' has spawned over its 35 years, the most consistently funny and memorable moments have come from its hallmark spoof ads. After striking comedic gold in its very first season with a sketch about Mel's Char Palace, SNL's writers soon keyed into the parodic potential of America's longstanding obsession with technology, resulting...

Fed Up With Facebook? Delete it, and Here's How

Share Back in February, CEO Mark Zuckerberg celebrated Facebook's 6th birthday and 400 millionth member by penning an open letter to his users to thank them for making both milestones possible. "Whether in times of tragedy or joy, people want to share and help one another," Zuckerberg wrote. "This human need is what inspires us to continue to innovate and build things that allow people to...

Last-Minute Gifts Your Ma Will Get for Mother's Day

Share If you're reading this, chances are it's because once again the second Sunday of May has crept up on you with nary a thought for dear old Ma, and now you're in a white-knuckled panic looking for something to show that you care more than you apparently do. But never fear, once again the trusty Internet -- that faithful refuge for poor planners and the absent-minded -- doth provide. We've...

Robot Rock: The Cyborg Songs That Make Us Adore Our Metal Overlords

Share That scene in 'Empire Strikes Back' where Luke confronts the Dream Vader in a cave on Degobah, only to realize that he is becoming a hate-filled machine like his father, is a bit like our relationship with technology. Slowly, we become "more man than machine, twisted and eee-vile." As Kraftwerk suggests, we are all robots, motoring along our little programmed paths, using our phones,...

Games on the Go: Animal Murder Frenzies and Suicidally Charged Adventures

Share Flash games are supposed to entertain and provide a gentle distraction from our daily doldrums. Mashing and killing fellow creatures and animals is restricted to the 'Modern Warfare' segment, and surely never comes from lovable indie designers that bring us titles like 'Sushi Cat,' right? Apparently, that is not the case, as this week's selection, it appears, has slightly more devious...

10 Ways to Keep Your Data Safe

Share Since 2005, there have been at least 358.4 million personal records lost to security breaches, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. This includes everything from home addresses to credit card numbers and Social Security information. But, as frightening as the prospect of your sensitive data being compromised is, simply removing all traces of yourself from the Web is not a...

New Security Concerns Floating Around in Cloud Computing

While cloud computing might be one of the hottest trends in tech these days, it's not without risks. Both consumers and businesses face hazards that most proponents have been reluctant to discuss. Think of the cloud as a central supercomputer that stores both data and applications. Instead of having to spend thousands on state-of-the-art hardware and graphics cards, you can hook into this...

What's the Best HDTV I Can Get for Under $500?

Share A reader asks: I just moved into a new house, have an empty living room, and want the best possible TV I can get to fill the gaping hole -- for under 500 bucks, that is. I know it's a tall order, but I'm broke and need to be sure whatever TV I get is going to impress my suspicious wife and last for the next, oh, 30 years -- until I've finally paid off my mortgage. So please, just tell me...

What's the Best PC Monitor/TV for Under $350?

A reader asks: One of my college housemates just moved out, which is a good thing, but he took his TV with him. This is a bad thing. So I'm looking for a PC monitor that can do double duty as a TV, too -- something reasonably big, as good quality as possible, fast enough for console games and is around $350 or so. I'm stuck with a laptop 12-inch screen until you reply, so hurry up and just tell...

Invite-Only Shopping Explained: What's Good, From Gilt Groupe to Glam List

By Leila Brillson and Ben Deitz Share Explaining invite-only shopping to the uninitiated is a daunting task. The timed sales, the select merchandise -- shoppers who are used to the traditional way of e-commerce are usually baffled. "Why don't they have my size?" "The item was in my basket last night, where did it go today?" Of course, those who are familiar with the system, waiting diligently...

The Best Earbuds That Won't Break the Bank

Share A reader asks: The original Apple iPod ear buds I've been using for years have finally crapped out, and I'm looking for a replacement and hopefully an upgrade. My budget is $100 max, and I want the best possible combination of good sound and comfort. I'm not a huge fan of the types you shove in your ear canal. Since you can't try out earphones at any stores I've visited, I have no...

What Underwater Point-and-Shoot Camera Should I Get?

Share A reader asks: I'm interested in a waterproof camera for an upcoming trip but can't decide between the various point-and-shoot models. I've read that some leak, or simply don't take great pictures. I know you can buy waterproof camera housings but wonder if I can get away with one camera that just does it all. So, just tell me what to get! Dear Reader: We totally agree. In our...

What's the Best Point-and-Shoot Camera Under $150?

Share A reader writes: My wife treats digital cameras like they're disposables, so once again I'm in charge of finding her next victim. Since I know I'll be in this position again by the end of summer, what's my best option for a camera that takes great pictures, is simple as pie to use, and is cheap enough that it won't make me cry when she inevitably busts it -- say under $150 or so? I've...