Blog Posts by Becky Worley

  • How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers?

    Wearable fitness trackers like the Fitbit and Jawbone Up are all the rage, but are they accurate? We wear them to gauge how much we move and how many calories we burn. But if they’re not accurate, you might be sabotaging your weight loss goals by eating more than you really burn.

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  • New, Cheaper Smartphone Plans

    However much you pay every month for your cell phone service, it’s probably too much; between $80-100 a month if you own a smartphone. But good news: Facing stiff competition from budget carriers, all of the major networks recently began offering cheaper “prepaid” plans – which could save you a ton of money.

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  • Facebook Photo Sharing Tricks

    Sharing photos is probably the most popular activity on Facebook. Yet with new features being added all the time, you may not know all the ways you can access and share your own pics – and those of others.

    Trick #1 – Download a photo from someone else’s page

    This one’s easy, and you probably know it already: Facebook has enabled the ability to download high-resolution images from other people's pages  - not just the low-res versions you get by right clicking. Click on a picture to make it full screen, then hit options,choose download and you should get the highest resolution of the photo that Facebook has stored.

    Trick #2 – Download a photo from someone else’s page via your smartphone

    ·     On iPhones (and other iOS devices) tap the photo in your news feed so it goes full screen, then hold your finger on the picture for a few seconds. An option to “save photo” will pop up. Once you choose that option, the picture will be saved in your camera roll.

    ·     On Android phones, it’s a little more

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  • How (Not) to Fix a Cracked Phone Screen

    Sooner or later, it’s going to happen to you: You’ll drop your phone. You’ll hear that awful crack at impact. And yep – the glass will be shattered. So after you’re done howling and cursing, what do you do? Try to fix it yourself? Use a mail-in service or a local shop? And which option is worth the cost?

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  • Do You Really Need a $650 Garden Hose?

    When my garden hose twists into a tangled mess, it doesn’t just make my hose more prone to cracking and leaking; it makes my patio look so messy. But to solve these dire problems, is the only answer to buy a $650 robotic hose?

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  • Paying by Phone – Conveniences and Cautions

    It seems like every time I get to the register of a chain store, they offer me a new way to pay with my phone. But these new modes of paying have serious pros and cons – and there may be compelling reasons not to dive into mobile payments just yet, despite their growth.

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  • Where Teens Go Instead of Facebook (and Why You Should Too)

     


    Remember a few years back, when teenagers left MySpace in droves for this new thing called Facebook? Grown-ups soon followed suit (not that they were ever much on MySpace), and joined Facebook by the hundreds of millions – which made it far less cool for their kids. So where on the Web are teens going now, and what can you learn from them?

    A recent study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 94% of American teens still have a Facebook account, but they’re using it less, and using it more carefully. More than half have tightened down their privacy settings and regularly delete or edit previous posts.

    But even with tightened privacy settings, teens have realized that Facebook is more like a family picnic than the private party they want it to be. They still share photos and use Facebook messaging, but they are increasingly turning to newer social networks to fill the function of traditional status updates. So which sites are they using – and why?

    Micro-blogging

    While

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  • Apple Upgrades - Not Sexy, But Awesome

     


    With the kick off of Apple’s developer conference, the company has announced new hardware and a slew of software advances. Some are true innovations, some are an attempt to catch-up to Android, and some copy features in popular apps. Here’s why you should care - and when the changes will land on your phone and laptop:

    New Laptops with Longer Battery Life

    The Macbook Air gets a refresh with longer battery life and a price cut. The 11-inch model goes from 5 hours of battery life to 9 hours; and the 13-inch model goes from 7hours of battery life to 12.  Both sport upgraded Intel Haswell processors, but neither has the retina displays of the Macbook Pro laptops that Apple touts as visually superior. The new Macbook Airs cost $999 for the 128GB, 11-inch model and $1099 for the 128 GB, 13-inch model (a $100 price drop from the previous model). Both are available now.

    New Mac Operating System

    Previous Mac computer operating systems have been named after wild felines. But as Apple used up the

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  • Amazon Shopping Secrets



    When you shop online, you use coupon codes for almost every site EXCEPT Amazon. Do those codes exist? And how can you get even better prices at the web’s biggest superstore?

    Secret Coupon Codes?

    Every time I buy something at Amazon, there’s this little box that comes up during the checkout process that says, “Add coupon code for discount.” But no matter how many times I’ve looked, I’ve never found a percentage-off code on any of the good coupon sites like RetailMeNot or CouponCabin. Sure, it looks like they have those secret codes, but when you actually click on “Get Deal,” a new window pops up stating “No Coupon Required!” So I called the folks at Amazon and asked where to get one of these mythical codes. It turns out that while they do offer them, they are incredibly rare, and usually product-specific. For example, they recently offered $35 off Quicken – if you have the code – and the code was right there on the same page.

    So don’t beat yourself up the next time you see the code box and

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  • Spot a Bad Hotel – Before You Book

    The hotel you book could make or break your whole vacation.And yet, online ads and even user reviews may be misleading. Fortunately, there are some tricks for decoding online listings and finding the best hotel or vacation rental for the money.

    Nearly 150 million travel bookings were made online last year, and that number keeps growing by about 10% a year. Without a human travel agent to help, we are increasingly tasked with trying to find the best accommodations for the best price by ourselves.

    Tip #1: Don’t Get Taken In By Fancy Prose

    Descriptions of vacation lodging can get pretty ornate. I’ve seen everything from “Our designers have made the rooms punch-drunk on color and light” to “We’ve included every luxury – and invented some of our own.” But what does that all mean? These descriptions are designed to evoke feelings rather than convey facts. So dig deeper; what are the actual, specific luxuries they’re talking about? In the case of the hotel this ad line came from, one luxury is

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