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  • Roughly one-third of all holiday shopping is now done online – and that raises a whole new set of questions: What’s the best way to check that all your gifts will arrive on time? What if the price drops – can you get a refund? And if it needs to be returned, where – in your month’s worth of junk email – is the receipt?! Good news: There’s one great tool that tracks all your purchases for you – automatically.

    The Runners-Up

    I’ve tried a number of web services that aggregate purchases and track shipments, regardless of vendor or shipper. Sites like Fara, Boxoh, and PackageTrackr all track your packages, but most don’t do a whole lot more than you could do for yourself. With Fara, for example, you need to start by forwarding them your purchase confirmation emails. But if you need to take that extra step, you might as well just put your confirmations in their own little folder yourself. What I want is for everything to be automatic.

    Best Tool: Slice

    With Slice, you sign up and link the email

    Read More »from Best New Tool to Track Packages
  • Black Friday has really changed. I’ve been covering it IN DEPTH for the last eight years, and each year, this cat-and-mouse game between retailers and consumers has a different winner. This year, retailers have the upper hand because of something called “deal-staggering.” I’ll get to that in a second. But if you know the tricks, you can still land great deals – even on rarely-discounted Apple products. 

    The Best Apple Deals Are Not Always At The Apple Store

    Apple has its one sale of the year on Black Friday, but you won’t find the best deals at the Apple Store. They’re in the big-box retailers:

    · iPad Mini $299 at Walmart – How is this a deal? Because they give you a $100 gift card when you buy the device.
    · iPad Air $479 at Target – same story: the savings come when they hand you a $100 gift card with the purchase.
    · iPhone 5C $45 at Walmart – plus, they give you a $75 gift card. You actually make money on the deal!
    · iTunes Gift Cards – Get a card valued at $100 for just $85 at Best Buy.
    ·

    Read More »from Beat Black Friday
  • Black Friday has really changed. I’ve been covering it IN DEPTH for the last eight years, and each year, this cat-and-mouse game between retailers and consumers has a different winner. This year, retailers have the upper hand because of something called “deal-staggering.” I’ll get to that in a second. But if you know the tricks, you can still land great deals – even on rarely-discounted Apple products. 

    The Best Apple Deals Are Not Always At The Apple Store

    Apple has its one sale of the year on Black Friday, but you won’t find the best deals at the Apple Store. They’re in the big-box retailers:

    · iPad Mini $299 at Walmart – How is this a deal? Because they give you a $100 gift card when you buy the device.
    · iPad Air $479 at Target – same story: the savings come when they hand you a $100 gift card with the purchase.
    · iPhone 5C $45 at Walmart – plus, they give you a $75 gift card. You actually make money on the deal!
    · iTunes Gift Cards – Get a card valued at $100 for just $85 at Best Buy.
    ·

    Read More »from How to Beat Black Friday

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  • Today in History

    Today is Good Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year.

  • ASSISTANT'S GRUFF ATTITUDE NEEDS TO BE SMOOTHED OUT

    DEAR ABBY: How do I deal with an assistant who keeps calling me a "brownnoser"? She did it again yesterday at a staff meeting in front of my boss and another assistant. It was the third time she has said it. She is gruff and rude, and several people have complained to me about her attitude. Should I address her comments during her next employee evaluation, or would it be better to speak to her privately? -- THE BOSS IN LAKELAND, FLA. DEAR BOSS: Talk to her privately and tell her what she said is insulting, not funny and you don't want it to be repeated. ...

  • Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach
    Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach

    A group of researchers stumbled upon a grisly scene during a field study in Macedonia last year: a dead nose-horned viper with a centipede's head sticking out of its ruptured abdomen. "All of us were astonished, as nobody has ever seen something like this," Ljiljana Tomovi?, a herpetologist at the University of Belgrade, told Live Science in an email. The remnants of the death match were discovered when one researcher, Dragan Arsovski, turned over a stone, Tomovi? The unfortunate nose-horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) was a young female that stretched about 2 inches longer than the centipede (7.9 vs. 6 inches, or 20.3 vs. 15.4 centimeters), the researchers wrote last month in a brief report published in the journal Ecologica Montenegrina.

  • AC/DC rock on without lead guitarist
    AC/DC rock on without lead guitarist

    Australia's pre-eminent hard rock band AC/DC announced Thursday they will carry on making music without ailing guitarist Malcolm Young. "After 40 years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health," the group said on their website, without disclosing the nature of his illness. Formed in Australia in 1973 by Malcolm and brother Angus Young, AC/DC is famed for rock anthems "Let There Be Rock", "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Highway to Hell".

  • Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
    Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

    ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

  • Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall
    Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For the Clintons, 2014 is the year of the baby.

  • Scientists discover first Earth-sized planet that could support life
    Scientists discover first Earth-sized planet that could support life

    For the first time, scientists have discovered an Earth-sized alien planet in the habitable zone of its host star, an "Earth cousin" that just might have liquid water and the right conditions for life. The newfound planet, called Kepler-186f, was first spotted by NASA's Kepler space telescope and circles a dim red dwarf star about 490 light-years from Earth. "One of the things we've been looking for is maybe an Earth twin, which is an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a sunlike star," Tom Barclay, Kepler scientist and co-author of the new exoplanet research, told Space.com.

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