Budget-Friendly Gifts For Dads And Grads
thing many dads and grads have in common is their love for the
latest and greatest gadgets. Fortunately, you may be able to
give them the hottest gadgets and stay within your budget.
Less than $50
prepaid iTunes or iBook gift card is an affordable and
convenient gift that is likely to please-it’s a great gift for
the dad or grad who seems to have everything.
Less than $200
Book lovers can now find the Amazon Kindle with Special Offers
for $114 at various retailers. At in-store trial stations, such
as those at Target, you can experience it firsthand before
buying it. The Kindle replaces bulky books and magazines with a
sleek, featherlight design and a glare-free screen. It can store
up to 3,500 books, so your dad or grad can always have favorite
reads at the ready.
the music or movie lover on your list, you may need to look no
further than the Soundfreaq Sound Platform, a breakthrough
Bluetooth wireless sound system that plays audio from any iPod,
iPhone or iPad. At $199, the sleek design of the Soundfreaq
Sound Platform can give a smart, modern feel to any home or dorm
room. It also charges the device as it plays music and delivers
a home-theater-quality movie experience right to your iPad.
Less than $300
compact design of today’s netbooks makes them great gifts for
graduating students, whether they’re off to their first
postgraduate job or continuing their education. The Acer 10-inch
Netbook is one option that retails for under $275. With a
stylish look and considerable computing power, this lightweight,
handy laptop is conveniently powerful-yet portable-for those
always on the go.
make your gift giving even more affordable, look for retailers
that offer trade-in options for used gadgets. For example,
select Target stores andwww.Target.com offer
store credit on the spot for used video games, cell phones or
iPods and iPads. Electronics trade-in services provide an easy
way to recycle unwanted electronics items, saving a little green
for both you and the environment as you shop for the dads and
grads on your gift list.
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Nostalgia Is Better Than Ever
you can remember the Kennedy administration, the Beatles on “The
Ed Sullivan Show,” Sandy Koufax pitching or the first moon
landing, chances are you’re a baby boomer.
Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers are some 80 million
strong. The generation, often referred to as the hardest
working, has played a significant role in shaping the cultural,
social and consumer-focused society of today. Spending more than
$2 trillion on consumer goods each year, this group knows what
it wants and where to get it.
Increasingly, boomers are re-embracing the good old days,
searching out content and products that remind them of a better
time: the television shows they watched, the breakfast cereal
they ate, the songs they listened to.
Major companies are taking note and reintroducing classic items.
TV shows from “Hawaii Five-O” to “Charlie’s Angels” are back in
the mainstream entertainment lineup while “Mad Men” has
capitalized on the glory days of 1960s advertising.
Nowhere is the popularity of nostalgia as evident as on the
Internet. A wide array of websites has surfaced to supply
boomers with classic content ranging from vintage prom attire to
response to the nostalgic bent of its 55 million members,
venerable social networking site Classmates.com acquired a huge
assortment of vintage content to transform itself into Memory
Lane.com. The new website features the largest archive of
nostalgic content on the Internet, letting boomers relive six
decades of Americana from
the 1940s through the 1990s with over 100 million pieces of
site now offers vintage magazines such as SPORT and The Saturday
Evening Post, historic Universal newsreels and clips to the
music that provided the sound track to so many boomers’ lives.
Boomers can also explore over 70,000 digitized high school
yearbooks covering over 30 million people who graduated from a U.S. high
school before 1989.
visit to MemoryLane.com has been compared to stepping into an
Internet time machine where visitors can explore, discover and
connect with the iconic moments that formed America’s
history—and their own. Boomers can relive the events that helped
shape their lives through the tremendous amount of images,
videos, music, magazines and other content preserved atwww.MemoryLane.com with
a simple click of a mouse.
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Quick And Easy Fix-its For Common Kitchen Mishaps
cooks have less than desirable results from time to time. The
good news is that whether it’s the recipe’s fault or your own,
most cooking disasters can be fixed in a few easy steps.
Whether the soup is too salty, the sauce is too spicy or the
veggies are a mushy mess, making a mistake in the kitchen
doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch, throwing out
expensive ingredients and wasting precious time. With these tips
from restaurateur, “Top Chef” contestant andDinnerTool.com blogger
Ariane Duarte, you can easily fix mistakes and save your meal.
you accidentally dumped the contents of your saltshaker into
your soup, a medium-sized potato can save the day. Simply peel
and slice the potato, cook for 20 minutes and discard. The
potato will release some of its liquid and soak up some of that
Ouch! Perhaps you overestimated your heat tolerance for
jerk-rubbed chicken or you used peppers in a sauce that ended up
hotter than you expected. In sauces, adding sweet ingredients
such as tomatoes can serve to dial down the spice factor. A
touch of butter, yogurt or another creamy dairy product can also
tame the flames. If you’ve over spiced your meat, whip up a
sweet, creamy sauce and serve it on top.
While it’s not possible to undo an overcooked, mushy serving of
broccoli or asparagus, you can give it a new life in a soup.
Puree the vegetables in a blender with some butter and chicken
stock, then simmer in a pot with milk or cream. Season with
white pepper and you have a delicious, nutrient-rich meal. If
you have overcooked sweet potatoes or carrots, throw them in a
blender or food processor with milk and butter to make a yummy
puree. If you have soggy potatoes, fry them.
Good news. There is a simple cure for overcooked pasta. Sauté
the noodles in a hot pan with some butter and olive oil—the
pasta will be revived and take on a little bit of a crunch.
Serve as planned or simply add a touch of wine, cream and
Parmesan cheese and you’ll have a great dish.
tons of great tips on how to fix common cooking blunders,
including scorched soup and too sweet sauce, and for ingredient-
saving tips like what to do with hardened cheese or stale bread,
go to www.dinnertool.com/tips.
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From “The Online Mom” To Keep Kids Safe
are, if your child isn’t at school or sleeping, he or she is
According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation,
American youth ages 8 to 18 spend nearly eight hours a day
online. Other studies have shown that 75 percent of children
ages 3 and older are using the Internet. While much of this time
is likely spent doing harmless activities such as IMing with
friends, watching videos on YouTube or posting on Facebook,
children may be exposed to inappropriate content, viruses and
other risks. In fact, 65 percent of children ages 11 to 16
report having received an inappropriate e-mail, IM or text
within the last six months.
It’s not practical to keep kids off-line entirely, so it’s
important for parents to prepare their children for a digital
future. That means developing rules and guidelines that both the
parent and child can embrace.
Monica Vila, also known as “The Online Mom,” has spent the last
15 years focused on consumer technology and empowering families
to make good decisions regarding their use of technology. Vila advises
parents to stay in touch with their children, keep communication
open and, when necessary, monitor online activity.
• Be informed. Find
out what your children like to do online, which sites they like
to visit and which games they play. Spend time together online.
• Start a dialogue. Talk
to your child about online safety and be specific about your
concerns. Let him know there are safe and unsafe websites, just
as there are safe and unsafe places to go in the real world.
Install a top-rated suite of parental controls to protect your
home computers and monitor your child’s use. All-in-one
solutions, like Kaspersky PURE Total Security, include blocking
features to restrict or filter inappropriate content,
time-management controls to limit screen time, and tools to
monitor your child’s communications. Let your child know when
you install parental controls—trust is the foundation of good
• Protect personal information. Teach
your children to respect personal information, both their own
and others’. Teach them never to share passwords, phone numbers,
addresses or other personal information.
• Click smart. Teach
your children not to open files or click on links unless they
are from a trusted source. Talk about the dangers of malware and
how viruses can harm your computer.
learn more, visit www.pureprotection.com.
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Build A Better Browser With The Bells And Whistles You Want
going online, most people don’t give a second thought to their
browser—the software that lets you read websites—but maybe they
should. Your browser can make a big difference in how you use
browsers are not the same. And there’s no reason to settle for
the browser you already have if it’s not the best available. It
can be easy—and free—to download a faster, more efficient
latest browsers have plenty of innovations to offer. For
example, the latest version of Opera, a leader in browser
innovations, now has new features that can streamline your daily
use of the Internet.
latest version, Opera 11, offers features such as tab stacking,
visual mouse gestures and Opera extensions.
Almost everyone uses tabs to manage open pages in the
browser—but with the new tab-stacking feature, you can organize
your open tabs by stacking them just like sheets of paper.
Mouse gestures let you control your browser using only movements
of the mouse. In Opera 11, a new visual guide helps you learn
and master all the different ways of using your mouse.
Extensions are fun, and with the latest version of this browser,
they are easy to download and install. There are almost 500
extensions to try.
Some of the most popular extensions let you download videos
directly from YouTube, block ads and translate foreign Web pages
Protecting your computer from viruses is an important
consideration when using an extension. To ensure your security,
Opera thoroughly checks every extension before it is released.
download the free browser, visit www.opera.com.
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Survey Reveals Women’s Facebook Opinions
than 400 women revealed their secret Facebook habits and
opinions in a survey that showed there’s a fine line between
friend and “frenemy.”
survey was conducted by Eversave, a company offering daily deals
called “Saves,” to better understand the effect of social
networking on deals. However, results also uncovered the
surprising love/hate relationship women have with the social
survey found one reason women like Facebook is because they can
receive alerts on daily deals, one of the fastest-growing online
activities today. Eighty-seven percent of the women said they
find out about deals by “liking” daily deal companies on
Facebook and 45 percent learn about savings through their
However, the data also uncovered some interesting things about
survey revealed that while women use Facebook to keep their
friends informed about what they are up to (79 percent) and
share interesting and/or funny links and videos (64 percent),
they have little tolerance for friends who use the site to brag
fact, 85 percent of those surveyed claim they have been annoyed
by their online friends, and that the following bothersome
behaviors topped the list:
Complaining all the time (63 percent)
Sharing unsolicited political views (42 percent)
Bragging about seemingly perfect lives (32 percent).
Despite the occasional annoyances, women appreciate Facebook for
allowing them to see friends’ photos and videos (91 percent) and
helping them search for long-lost friends (76 percent).
“Most people regard social media, like Facebook, as a place to
gripe or boast because they often can’t do it in real life,”
said Charlene DeLoach Oliver, JD, CISR, an attorney turned
blogger at CharleneChronicles.com. “They also use it as a tool
to connect with people, stay abreast of breaking news and find
great deals, contests and giveaways.”
have a love/hate relationship with Facebook,” commented one
respondent, Jennifer Brocato of Raynham, Mass. “On
one hand, it keeps me in contact with friends and family I
rarely see and get to talk to. On the other hand, it can be a
huge time waster. All in all, I am glad Facebook exists.”
Eversave offers local daily deals on fun things to do in and
around cities, including restaurants, spas, activities and more.
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A Little Help From The Cloud Makes A Big Difference To Small
Hong Kong to Hawaii, Argentina to Austria, small-business owners
everywhere are looking to grow their business by revenue,
geography, number of employees or customers—and want the best
technology available to become more productive.
Often, that means searching for a cloud service (similar to
desktop applications, but online) to organize daily tasks,
collaborate with others and get work done, all while operating
on a slender budget.
IDC, a technology market research firm, recently reported that
spending on public cloud services increased 34 percent in 2010,
and spending by small to medium businesses represents almost
half of this.*
you’re a small-business professional, you don’t want to be
bogged down with technology issues even for a second. When it
comes to working with the best technology tools, you can tap
into cloud productivity services and work with ease from almost
anywhere on virtually any device, without the need to manage
If you’re looking for a cloud productivity service that’s
perfect for your small or medium business, make sure it meets
the following criteria:
• Is easy to use. You’ll
want to be able to create an account in minutes and be up and
running in no time. More importantly, why not use the
applications you already know and love? Look for a service
provider that works beautifully with the e-mail, document and
communications solutions you already have.
• Works the way you do. A
good online productivity service will allow you to find and
connect with colleagues and customers virtually anywhere. It
should show you when others are online and available, no matter
which application you’re working in. It also should let you make
PC-to-PC voice and video calls or hold online meetings on the
fly. And you’ll want to be able to share your desktop, online
white board and presentations with colleagues as if you’re in
the same room, even if you’re a city or continent away.
• Stays true to content. Insist
on a service that frees you to work where and when you choose,
so you can respond to important requests from almost any
location. You’ll want both Web-enabled and offline access to
email, important documents, contacts and calendars even when
you’re out of the office, and you’ll want a consistent
experience regardless of whether you’re working from a PC, Mac
or smartphone. You’ll want the ability to edit spreadsheets,
presentations and documents with others in real time and to
access and view files in high fidelity from your browser or
mobile device-so others can see files with consistent content
and formatting while using their Web applications, mobile
devices and desktop applications.
• Is supported by a single, trusted source. An
online service should help safeguard your data with
business-grade reliability and disaster recovery capabilities,
with data centers in multiple locations and a strict privacy
policy. Insist on a financially backed guarantee; if you
experience an interruption in the service, the best services
will compensate you.
• Is designed to minimize the need for IT staff. Look
for a service you can easily set up and use without the need for
internal IT support. Let the online service take care of the
details, so you can focus on your business. Pay-as-you-go
pricing is beneficial because it allows you to change your
services according to your evolving needs, adding value over the
long term and saving your business money.
Cloud productivity services, such as Microsoft Office 365, make
it possible for small businesses to access the best productivity
technology at a predictable monthly cost while leaving the IT
management to the technology experts. Office 365 brings together
familiar software such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint
Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in
an always-up-to-date cloud service for businesses of all sizes.
The public beta is now available, allowing people to try Office
365 for the first time.
Today, you can secure a spot in the Office 365 public beta and
learn more about the service at http://www.Office365.com,
follow Office 365 on Twitter (@Office365),
like Office 365 on Facebook (Office
365) and read the Office 365 blog at http://community.office365.com for
the latest information. Small businesses can also enter the
Office 365: Ready for Work contest athttp://www.facebook.com/office365.
By sharing their stories, small-business owners can win Office
365, $50,000 in advertising and business services, and a
Microsoft executive to work for them or their charity of choice,
for a day.
*IDC, Worldwide Small and
Medium-Sized Business 2011-2015 Forecast: How Changing Needs and
Priorities Will Impact SMB IT Spending by Company Size and
Region, Doc. #227277, March 2011
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Five Ways To Better Share With Friends Online
you want to share photos and updates with just a few of your
friends rather than your entire list of social network friends.
Facebook Groups are the perfect way to do just that. Start a
Facebook Group for your family or friends who share a common
interest or hobby and get the most out of your experience by
following these five easy tips:
Add Any Friend
You can start up a group on Facebook quickly by adding any of
your friends instantly. Have a book club? Planning a family
reunion? Want to keep up with your five best friends you've
known your whole life but who live far away? Create a group for
them to post photos and links, ask questions, whatever you want
to use that space for. And if you're not friends with someone
you want to be in it, don't worry. Since members can add their
friends, you can rely on other people in the group to add them
Add An Icon and a Picture
Once you've created a group, you should add an icon or picture
to help organize your group among the several you may be part
of. You can pick from the icons beside the group name to choose
something that characterizes the group. For instance, if you've
made a group for your flag football team, you may want to pick
the icon of a football. You can also upload a picture for the
group. Maybe you have a great picture of the entire team or the
trophy you won that can represent your group's identity.
Set Up an E-mail Address
You don't have to always have access to Facebook if you want to
stay in touch with your group. You can create a group e-mail
address by going to "Edit Group" in the top right-hand side of
your group's page. You can choose any name you like and it will
be attached to @groups.facebook.com. Now you can e-mail an
update to your group at any time.
Use Your Docs
You may have updates and information that require input from the
entire group. For instance, if you are on the planning committee
for your high school reunion and want to provide updates on the
bands you've checked out to perform, Facebook Groups' Doc is a
word processing document that anyone in the group can update at
any time so someone can chime in and provide his or her feedback
on the bands you suggested. You can also see what has changed
and who made the change.
Edit Your Settings/Notifications
If you want to stay on top of what is happening in your favorite
groups, you can make sure they always appear on your home page
by going to the "Edit Settings" link in the top right-hand
corner of the Group page. From there, you can also edit your
notification settings for specific updates you receive when
content is posted to the group.
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