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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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  • BRIDE'S BEST FRIEND HESITATES TO STAND UP AT HER WEDDING

    DEAR ABBY: My best friend is getting married. She left me a message asking me to be a bridesmaid. Of course I'm honored, but I don't know what to do. I dislike her fiance. He is disrespectful and mean to her and to their son.I can't stand up with them and pretend to be happy for her when I think she's making a terrible mistake. I want her to marry someone who will be nice to her. Help! -- CONFLICTED IN MINNESOTADEAR CONFLICTED: If standing up with her will make you feel like a hypocrite, then don't do it. But recognize that if you don't, it will distance you from her. ...

  • Hagel blasts US Syria strategy in memo: official
    Hagel blasts US Syria strategy in memo: official

    Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel has castigated the US strategy in Syria in a memo to the White House, saying Washington must explain its intentions toward President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The memo was sent last week to President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, a defense official said Thursday, confirming a New York Times report. Hagel warned that the Syria policy was "in danger of unraveling" due to confusion over the US stance toward Assad, the paper wrote. The Obama administration has focused on defeating the Islamic State group in Iraq first, and described US-led air strikes in Syria as a way of disrupting the jihadists' supply lines.

  • Denied land access, Palestinians miss olive harvest
    Denied land access, Palestinians miss olive harvest

    Al-Janiya (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Abbas Yusef points wistfully towards his olive trees, which are bearing their annual fruit. Yet again, the 70-year-old Palestinian farmer will be unable to make the autumn harvest. Yusef's olive groves lie on land either side of an Israeli settlement in the northern occupied West Bank. For the 1,400 residents of Al-Janiya -- Yusef's village -- attacks by settlers who have uprooted trees and burnt Palestinian farmland have become a daily occurrence, he says.

  • Why Baltimore Is Hesitant to Open a 100-Year-Old Time Capsule
    Why Baltimore Is Hesitant to Open a 100-Year-Old Time Capsule

    A Sealed Capsule Discovered Behind a 1915 Plaque at the Washington Monument

  • Efforts to compromise with Maine nurse stall
    Efforts to compromise with Maine nurse stall

    FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — Insisting she is perfectly healthy, nurse Kaci Hickox again defied the state's Ebola quarantine Thursday by taking a bike ride with her boyfriend, and Maine health authorities struggled to reach a compromise that would limit her contact with others.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay in Bloomberg Businessweek column
    Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay in Bloomberg Businessweek column

    Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday made a surprising announcement in an opinion piece on Bloomberg Businessweek, which is very much in line with his many public notes in the recent past about diversity at the workplace. “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Cook said  in the essay. FROM EARLIER: Tim Cook offers a heartfelt tribute to Steve Jobs on the 3rd anniversary of his passing The executive admitted that he never hid his sexual orientation while working at Apple, even though he had not publicly declared it until now. “For

  • Burkina Faso president won't resign after protests
    Burkina Faso president won't resign after protests

    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Burkina Faso's longtime leader refused to resign Thursday in the face of violent protests that posed the greatest threat to his nearly three-decade rule, saying instead he will lead a transitional government after parliament was dissolved.

  • Sweden recognises Palestinian state, Israel recalls envoy
    Sweden recognises Palestinian state, Israel recalls envoy

    Sweden on Thursday officially recognised the state of Palestine, becoming the first EU member in western Europe to do so, prompting Israel to recall its ambassador to Stockholm. We're choosing the side of the peace process," Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem told reporters as she explained the controversial decision. Just hours after the Swedish announcement, Israel said it was recalling its ambassador to Stockholm for "consultations". "This indeed reflects our irritation and annoyance at this unhelpful decision, which does not contribute to a return to (peace) negotiations," Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon told AFP.

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