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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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(115 Stories)
  • Cuba cracks down on goods in flyers' luggage
    Cuba cracks down on goods in flyers' luggage

    A carload of burly nephews and grandsons greeted Martha and Alfredo Gonzalez when they stepped out of Havana's international airport into the blazing heat of an August afternoon. A round of embraces and ...

  • 'Up to 15,000 Russian soldiers' sent to Ukraine say rights groups
    'Up to 15,000 Russian soldiers' sent to Ukraine say rights groups

    Up to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine over the past two months, and at least 200 may have died in combat there, rights groups told AFP on Monday. Moscow denies that it has deployed regular troops to Ukraine to prop up separatists battling Kiev forces, but multiple indications have emerged over the past weeks that Russian soldiers are on the ground in Ukraine. Valentina Melnikova, head of the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers, the main organisation representing the families of servicemen, said some 7,000 to 8,000 Russian troops are believed to be in Ukraine at present.

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help
    Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea gave foreign media access on Monday to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and — watched by officials as they spoke — called for Washington to send a high-ranking representative to negotiate for their freedom.

  • Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter
    Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter

    HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros fired manager Bo Porter on Monday, saying the dismissal had less to do with the team's 59-79 record than the need for "new direction" and a "united message throughout the entire organization."

  • US urges Israel to reverse Palestinian land-grab plan
    US urges Israel to reverse Palestinian land-grab plan

    Israel faced increasing pressure Monday, including from the United States, after saying it plans to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area in the south of the occupied West Bank. Ally Washington, the United Nations and Egypt all called for an urgent rethink after Sunday's announcement, which angered the Palestinians and alarmed Israeli peace campaigners, and comes days after a long-term ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians took hold. "This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve, and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians," a US State Department official said.

  • Tripoli under militia control as Libya chaos deepens
    Tripoli under militia control as Libya chaos deepens

    Libya's toothless outgoing government admitted Monday from its safe refuge in the east of the country that it has in effect lost control of Tripoli to armed militias. The interim government led by prime minister Abdullah al-Thani, which resigned last week, said armed groups, mostly Islamist militias, were in control of ministries and blocking access to government workers. It said the interim government was in contact with officials and "trying to ensure the continuity of services from afar". Libya has been sliding into chaos since Moamer Kadhafi was overthrown and killed three years ago, with interim authorities confronting powerful militias which fought to oust the veteran dictator.

  • Dengue outbreak affects at least 22 in Japan
    Dengue outbreak affects at least 22 in Japan

    An outbreak of dengue fever in Japan -- the first since World War II -- has affected at least 22 people, the government said Monday, with all cases believed to be linked to a Tokyo park. The health ministry said 19 new infections have been confirmed since last week. All are believed to have visited Tokyo's Yoyogi Park or its environs, one of the major green lungs of the metropolis, popular with residents and tourists alike. The park, one of the largest open spaces in central Tokyo, is believed to be the source of the mosquito-borne disease.

  • Pro-independence Scots narrow gap to victory ahead of vote: poll

    Support for Scottish independence rose dramatically in August, a poll showed on Monday, leaving the "Yes" campaign just six points behind advocates of staying in the United Kingdom with 17 days to go until a referendum. Pro-independence leader Alex Salmond dominated the second debate last week, having failed to win the first one. A poll for the Sun and the Times newspapers showed support for the pro-independence "Yes" campaign had risen to 47 percent, a four point gain since mid-August and up eight points since the start of the month. The lead of the "No" campaign to reject independence has slumped to 6 points from 22 points at the start of August.

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