Tagged With consumerist

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Nokia this morning announced that it is offering the option for phone owners to extend the warranty on their phones by 12 months under its Nokia Care Protect program, effectively doubling the coverage period for most models. I've always tended to resist buying extended warranties on electrical products, and it seems particularly strange in the case of phones, where many consumers buy a new model every year anyway. On the other hand, the prices aren't too extreme -- $13 for entry-level phones, $34 for 300-7000 series phones, and $72 for Eseries and Nseries smart phones -- and there's a case to be made for trying to get a longer lifespan out of your equipment rather than relentlessly buying new models simply for the sake of fashion. Where do you stand when it comes to warranty extension? Let's hear your experiences in the comments.

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Wired's How-To Wiki takes a group-edited look at the digital camera market and how a newcomer (or, more likely at this point, a buyer replacing their first, outdated model) can parse all the features and statistics to come out with a reasonable bargain. Their advice on megapixels, one of the most hyped features on any camera, is pretty reasonable:

Then there is the fact that even a 3.1 MP camera, which is obsolete for non-camphones, can take a perfectly passable 6" by 8" photograph. The current standard for the low end of consumer digital cameras is between 5 and 7 megapixels, allowing flawless 8x10s. Really, when any camera you buy lets you print 8x10s, do more mexapixels matter?

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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You already love the one-stop convenience of shopping online at Amazon.com, but chances are you're not getting everything you can out of this feature-packed shopping engine. Did you know Amazon can email you suggestions from Mom's wish list two weeks before her birthday? Automatically ship you a new case of toilet paper every two months? Refund the difference on the price of an item you purchased that went on sale? Several advanced Amazon features and third party apps and add-ons can help you get the best deals and the stuff you want delivered to your door right on time. After the jump, add our favourite 10 Amazon power-shopper tools to your cart.

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Reader Liza is in a pickle and is looking for advice. She writes in:

I recently followed Lifehacker's guide to BitTorrent and set my laptop up with the uTorrent program. Using a combination of PizzaTorrent and uTorrent, I downloaded several movies and albums, perhaps 30 in all. Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from Cablevision (my ISP) saying that Paramount/Dreamworks had filed a complaint with them regarding my illegal download of one of their films.

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Budget blog Wise Bread points out a number of ways to save money next time you're planning to hit your local red-themed big box store. Turns out there's a number of ways to get huge discounts on items nobody may know are on sale at Target. Some items end up on "secret clearance," so bringing your bigger purchases to the self-scanners might reveal hefty discounts. There's also a semi-secret weekly schedule of discounts in certain departments:

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Amazon power user Merlin Mann makes a convincing case for how Amazon's Gift Organizer helps you be lazy and thoughtful when it comes to giving the perfect gift:

As you surf Amazon and notice stuff that might be cool for Mom or Aunt Sue or that nice UPS man, just click "Add to Wish List" and select the person it's intended for. Into the hopper it goes. Ubiquitous capture. Swish. So, if you start using the Gift Organizer today—even for stuff you have no intention of buying from Amazon—your life is going to be much easier the next time a gift-giving occasion rolls around; you've capitalized on several months of passive, half-assed attention to actually do something useful.

At this point, Amazon is big enough to act as a universal shopping cart and wishlist app; if you, like me, were one of the unprepared stressjobs running around on December 22nd, this sounds like a good Getting Gifts Done system.

Preemptively Save Christmas '08 with the Amazon Gift Organizer

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When getting things done involves making phone calls, you want to spend the least amount of time and money on the horn as possible—and several tricks and services can help you do just that. With the right tones, keypresses, phone numbers, and know-how, you can skip through or cut off long-winded automated voice systems and humans, access web services by voice, and smartly screen incoming calls. Check out our pick of the 10 best telephony techniques for getting more done in less time over the phone.

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Wired magazine reports that the year 2007 was the worst ever when it came to airport delays, and they put together a handy Google map of major airports' delay report cards. At my home airport in San Diego, almost 16% of all departing flights are delayed (as was my holiday flight home this week), which is a lot better than New York's JFK airport's whopping 30%. What about yours? Check out the map before you decide what time to leave home for the airport. (Beware: not all airports are on the map.)

Atlas: Airport Delays Are Getting Worse, So Pack Your Patience