Author name: Matt Whitlock

15 Ways to Stop Technology From Emptying Your Wallet

Times are tough. Families are on budgets. Your 401k has taken a beating. In times of economic turmoil, it’s often necessary to take a look at the family budget and get yourself back on track. While many will first think to switch to generic food items, buy everyday products in bulk, and give up highlights and spa treatments, what most may not realize is how much the technologies we use everyday are affecting our bank accounts.

If you’re unwilling to part with the family necessities, trimming the technology fat and altering how you use it can help you save money regular basis. I won’t lie to you… many of the things I’ll recommend can be downright painful to the tech-savvy consumer. But, desperate times call for desperate measures, and even following a few of these could make a big difference to your bank account balance.

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Black Friday is Almost Here – Are You Ready?

We’re but mere days away from our turkey feasts, and that can only mean one thing – Black Friday, the kickoff of the holiday buying season and craziest retail shopping day of the year, is almost upon us.

Given the current economy, it couldn’t come quicker. If your budget for Christmas gifts has shrunk along with your 401k, then it may be a good idea to take advantage of the deep discounts and great in-store sales while you can.

If you’re looking to shop the door busters on Black Friday, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of your local newspaper tomorrow and Thursday to get all the store fliers. Start circling the products you’re interested in and planning your strategy.

If you’re an online junky, like me, there are a number of resources available online to see all the good deals. Our friends at Retrevo have put together a pretty nifty Black Friday guide for those buying tech, which is available for download on their site. You can also check out GottaDeal and for a look at all the Black Friday specials.

Once you know what you’re getting, don’t forget to head over to my Black Friday Survival Guide at to brush up on your Black Friday game plan. If you are planning on standing in line overnight or even a few hours, the tips there can make your shopping experience much more enjoyable.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone, and happy bargain hunting!

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Best Buy Prescribes Millions in Gift Cards to Ease HD-DVD Buyers’ Pain

frown.jpgIf you’re one of the millions that didn’t heed our warnings about buying into the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray format war, and ended up making the wrong choice, you may be getting a little medication to help ease your pain. Those who purchased an HD-DVD Player or XBOX-360 add-on drive at Best Buy before February 23, 2008 will automatically receive a $50 gift card good towards anything in the store.

Some may look at the $50 gift cards as a token gesture, considering that HD-DVD playback devices sold between $180 and $500 until Toshiba pulled the plug back in February. It’s important to remember that early adoption of new audio, video, and gaming formats is a…

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M&K Sound Returns!

High-end home audio speakers may be a bit bigger than your typical gizmo, but this is certainly welcome news for you audiophile geeks out there.

Months back it was uncovered that premium home and professional speaker manufacturer M&K Sound would be making a return under new ownership… after being closed for over a year. Today, it looks like M&K is looking to make their return in the near future thanks to their new website that just went online today.

Most importantly, the new site shows which M&K products the new ownership is bringing back.

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HD-DVD Dead – Goodbye Format War, Hello Single Standard

bluray-trophy.jpgA few months back I gave Toshiba some advice on how HD-DVD could win the format war. Perhaps it was too little, too late, or it was sound advice that fell on deaf ears. Either way, Toshiba has packed up camp and announced it will no longer be manufacturing or marketing HD-DVD players and ending the long format war once and for all.

It’s estimated Toshiba sold over one million HD-DVD players and three-hundred thousand personal computers with HD-DVD drives. Painful as it may be for early adopters, there will be no rebates, refunds, or credits toward Blu-Ray devices for anyone that bought in to HD-DVD early.

What brought the demise of HD-DVD? Though a full autopsy may be in order to find the detailed answer, I chalk it up to three things:

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The Playstation 3 beta program continues with 120GB PS3

ps3-beta-3.jpgNever in my life have I seen the same computing product get more hardware changes than software updates. Yes, I’m talking about Sony’s Playstation 3, a product that is now starting on what can only be described as its third major retail beta program… with a fourth supposedly in the works.

According to an Engadget report, Gamestop has done everything but dole out the ISBN numbers on the packaging for the still unconfirmed 120GB Playstation 3. Was 80GB too small for their top tier PS3? No, of course not. It was too small to also be bundled with the new DualShock 3 controller… the controller that should have been bundled with all PS3 models to begin with. Sorry to everyone who bought an 80GB PS3 in the last few weeks. No refunds or exchanges please.

Thinking about picking yourself up a new 20, 40, 60, 80, or 120 Gig PS3 in the coming months and want to know which is the safest buy? Click on through to find out.

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Skyfire Looks to Save Windows Mobile Web Browsing

With iPhone users now being treated to a desktop like web experience on a portable device, jealous Windows Mobile users have had to cough up twenty-five smackers for Opera Mobile to get a mediocre (but at least functional) mobile web browser. But it looks like Opera’s stranglehold as the only decent mobile web experience may be coming to and an end when Skyfire makes its first public appearance. Promising a desktop like browsing experience, complete with support for flash, YouTube, ajax, and more, Skyfire looks to be heaven sent for Windows Mobile users.

Check out a video demo of Skyfire and get more info at

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