POWERFUL COMPUTERS COST LESS THAN SMARTPHONE

We’re seeing one of those tidal shifts in the market. The computer is fading in importance — and perhaps most importantly for manufacturers, in profitability as well.

You can buy powerful computers now for less than the price of a smart-phone. They’re also cheaper than high-end tablets like the iPad and its competitors. We get regular mailings of
newsprint catalogs form tech retailers like Micro Center, Fry’s and Tiger Direct and they all have stunning deals. It’s not because we’re columnists, everybody gets them. Some of these catalog
outfits also have retail stores, though they’re not found everywhere.

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SAVING A BUCK ON APPLES

It turns out that buying a Mac or iPad at an online store like Amazon, MacMall or MacConnection, is often cheaper than buying one at an Apple store.

That struck us as pretty odd because of the way Apple closely controls it’s pricing, But a deal’s a deal, and we’re not going to knock it. Next question: Should you wait for a later version or go for it now? DealNews.org helps you decide. Click on “When to Buy a Mac” to get the results of three years worth of price research. (They also sell refurbished MacBooks.)

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HOTEL DISCOUNTS

Tingo.com lets you book a hotel reservation and automatically get money back if the rate drops. They say the average savings are $46.

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ALL PILE ON FOR GROUPON

The Groupon competition has gotten so bad that competitors are springing up like weeds. If you just tuned in, Groupon is a website that offers daily discounts on just about anything. It’s been very popular with shoppers looking for deals. So popular, in fact, that web giant, Amazon, has decided to get into the act. Their new service is called “Amazon Local” and you can find it at Local.Amazon.com.

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EBAY OFFERS CASH BACK PROGRAM

Ebay.com is offering U.S. residents a 2 percent “cash back” program if  they use PayPal to pay for purchases. There are a couple of catches. First, you don’t get actual cash back. After a three-month earning period, you get an “eBay Bucks certificate” you can use to buy more stuff on eBay. After you receive your certificate, you have 30 days to spend it. The second catch, according to a Techcrunch report: The Bucks program excludes all purchases from Classifieds, Business & Industrial Capital Equipment, Real Estate, and eBay Motors categories (except Parts & Accessories). eBay has been implementing Bucks through a pilot program over the past year and says that consumers in the program spent five times more on […]

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TOURING SOFTCITY

You can hang out with experts at the SoftCity cafe and get questions answered, plus earn points toward software purchases.

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CHEAP STUFF FROM PC MAG

PC Magazine’s “Utility Library” has lots of cheap programs, some useful, some not.

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FACEBOOK SECURITY

A questionable offer: free McAfee for six months.

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WRITERS ON WRITING

Get discounts from groupon.com and find out how writers think at “Writers on Writing.”

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MOVIE CLIPS, RECYLERS, STOCKTWITS, GROUPON

Share your favorite movie scenes, find the good recyclers, get stock tips, and find discounts at these sites.

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