Technology

4 Frugal Tips for Surviving the Holidays at the Airport

Holiday travel is always a headache, and a pricey one at that. Flying is expensive, but it's airport prices that really grind my gears. No matter how many times I experience it, I will never think paying $8.50 for a Big Mac, or $7 for a bottle of water is OK.

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In-Store Only: iPhone 6 for $129 at Walmart

Following the announcement of its 12/13/14 weekend sale, Walmart has slashed the prices on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to $129 and $229 respectively with the purchase of a two-year contract with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. It's also cut prices on the older generation iPhone 5s, which is selling for just $49 with a two-year contract!

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Beware! That 'Order Confirmation' Email Could Be a Malware Attack

You've no doubt been doing a bit of online shopping in preparation for the holidays, so getting an order confirmation email from a store like Target, Home Depot, Walmart or Costco most likely wont set off any alarm bells for you.

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Your 7 Biggest Questions About Apple Pay (Answered!)

On Monday, Apple rolled out yet another perk of living in the modern age: Apple Pay. No longer will the shoppers of the world have to pull out their wallets and laboriously swipe their credit cards to make a purchase. No, the payment of the future can be made with just a tap of a smartphone.

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Apple iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus on sale September 19! Here's everything you need to know

It's the moment Mac junkies worldwide have been waiting for. Apple has finally unveiled the long-awaited, much discussed iPhone 6, and in typical Apple fashion, they had a surprise in store. Spoiler alert: there's TWO of them!

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Trade an old iPhone for a new iPhone 5s at Best Buy this weekend

Free iPhone 5s at Best BuyWith the iPhone 6 ready to be unveiled in August, we're starting to see serious discounts on Apple's current models.

Through Sunday, May 11, Best Buy is allowing customers to trade in a working iPhone for, at most, a new iPhone 5s and over $100 in Best Buy store credit.

Here's the breakdown: the iPhone 5s is currently discounted to $99.99 on Sprint and Verizon (sorry, AT&T customers - it's still $199.99 for you). In conjunction with this, Best Buy is offering guaranteed trade-in values for used iPhones - as long as they're in working condition with no water damage or screen cracks.

Guaranteed Trade-in Minimums 

  • iPhone 5: $200. This means a free iPhone 5s + $100 gift card for Verizon and Sprint; free iPhone 5s for AT&T.
  • iPhone 4s: $150. This means a free iPhone 5s + $50 gift card for Verizon and Sprint; $50 off iPhone 5s for AT&T.
  • iPhone 4: $100. This means a free iPhone 5s for Verizon and Sprint; $100 off iPhone 5s for AT&T.

Of course, customers need to be eligible for a device upgrade to take advantage of this offer. It's also worth noting that these prices apply to the 16GB models of the 5s. Those looking to upgrade to the more expensive 32 or 64GB models on Verizon and Sprint will still get a price break, though, as Best Buy is discounting them each $100 through May 11.

This Week Only! Get a $20 Gift Card for Old Electronics at Best Buy

Best Buy Electronics Trade InLet's face it, when it comes to filling up landfills there is almost nothing worse than old electronics. Not only are they usually made of non-biodegradable plastics that can do some serious ecological damage; some electronics, such as LCD screens in laptops and HDTVs, contain mercury, which should never be thrown away with the regular trash. It's always a good idea to recycle your old electronics. It's even better to make some money doing it! That in mind, you could get $20 from Best Buy by trading in your old gear.

From now until April 26th, the retailer is awarding a $20 Best Buy Gift Card for any device that is able to be turned on and works. It did not have to be purchased from Best Buy, though some exclusions may apply (very old tube TVs, for example). But even if it's not working, they will still take your old electronics and recycle them for free. You can learn more about their recycling program here and find out what times of items they take.

Either way, you will be doing a good thing!

How to Create a Secure Password You Can Actually Remember

There's been a lot of buzz about the Heartbleed Bug over the last 24 hours, and because this is such a big deal, even though it's not explicitly about deals or freebies or otherwise saving money, we feel that Brad's Deals have a responsibility as a consumer advocate to pass along the notes on what you should do to protect yourself.

What is the Heartbleed Bug?

How to choose a secure password

Photo: snoopsmaus / Flickr

Heartbleed is being described as an encryption flaw in a secure connection protocol called OpenSSL. Basically, when your computer is connected to a secure website, like a bank or an online retailer, there is a sort of ping signal that keeps you securely connected. The Heartbleed exploit allowed hackers to replace that ping with a false ping, using it to intercept sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers and any other data that you would submit with a secure form.

Do hackers have my information now?

No one knows for sure. This wasn't a case of catching the bad guys doing something bad, so we can't say for sure if anyone has used the exploit to get info in the past.

What you should do about it?

The best thing to do is to wait for affected websites to fix the bug with a security patch, then update your passwords. Changing your passwords before those updates are made still leaves them vulnerable to the exploit.

What sites were affected?

Mashable put together a good list that they're keeping updated as information comes in. Bookmark it and check back often. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are just a few of the bigger names on the list.

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Trade Your Old Windows XP Laptop for a $99 Chromebook

How to Get a Cheap ChromebookBest Buy is offering an interesting incentive to Windows XP users who are looking to finally upgrade. From now through 4/19 they can trade in (in-store only) a working Windows XP laptop for a $25 gift card plus a discount coupon good for $75 toward the purchase of a new Windows computer, Apple computer or Chromebook.

An interesting way to use this would be to get a new Chromebook for as low as $99 (if you get the full trade-in value). For example, this  HP 11.6" LTE Chromebook  or this Acer C720 11.6" Chromebook. That's the lowest price we've ever seen for a Chromebook, which runs on the Google OS and is a category of laptop growing in popularity.

Why go Chromebook? Well, with so much of our data being stored in the cloud using online storage, it's not always necessary to have laptop with a large hard drive and tons of memory. For those who mostly use their laptops to use the Internet and read e-mail, a Chromebook can be a very cost effective way to go. And, you can still edit and read documents using free programs such as Google Docs or even do some light editing of photos and video. Everything just gets stored in the cloud instead of on your laptop. Also, using the offline feature, it is possible to look at already received e-mail and write drafts of new ones when you are not connected to the web. The same goes for Google Docs. Plus, Chromebooks are thin, very light and fast because they run entirely on solid state (no moving parts) drive storage. It's a great portable computer option.

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How to Return Your Recalled Fitbit Force (and Possibly Make a Profit)

The Fitbit Force earned rave reviews when it was initially released, even winning the top spot on TIME's list of the top 26 fitness trackers. But then reports of skin irritation and allergic reactions slowly began to surface until a few days ago when Fitbit halted sales of the Fitbit Force and voluntarily recalled those already sold. How to return your Fitbit Force

While the consensus is that some users likely are reacting to the nickel in a small metal component (a common jewelry allergy), there is speculation that it might also have something to do with the glue used in manufacturing. It's not a hugely serious problem, but Fitbit decided to take action out of an abundance of caution.

You can find the Fitbit Force Return Kit Request Form here.

Here is our take on your options with regards to the Fitbit Force recall, including how you might even make a profit from returning it. 

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