How to find legitimate deals on tech

Gadgets

We all want to get our hands on the latest in shiny new gadgetry. Unfortunately, the newest tech tends to come with the most premium prices. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. By keeping an eye out for seasonal price changes, annual product cycles, special offers, and refurbished devices, you can make sure you’re buying your hardware at the best price point possible. If you want the best value from your future tech purchases, check out some of the tricks in this guide.

Become a web detective

Good news for eager bargain hunters: Plenty of online retailers are willing to slash prices in order to attract your business. To find these discounts, head to price comparison sites such as Google Shopping and PriceGrabber, which will list where something is selling for the cheapest price. Before you start your purchase though, check to see how extras like shipping charges and warranty costs will add to your total cost.

Don’t forget the biggest online retail behemoth out there. This guide to saving time and money on Amazon has lots of useful advice, such as tracking price changes with CamelCamelCamel. Plenty of the tips apply to other sites as well. For example, sign up for the email newsletters and follow the social media accounts of your favorite stores in order to receive a heads up on special tech deals you wouldn’t otherwise notice.

Google Shopping

On top of individual price comparison sites, you can install price comparison extensions for your web browser. The Shoptimate add-on fits right in your browser; when you visit one of a broad range of shopping sites, it will pop up to share additional price options in real time. InvisibleHand works similarly, and it also covers flight and hotel comparisons in addition to e-tail. Finally, Honey will lead you toward discount coupons and codes to take even more money off your total.

Beyond sites and extensions, you can compare some prices on your own. Scroll down to the bottom of a product listing on Amazon, for example, and you’ll see side-by-side spec and price comparisons of similar products. Every listing shows when the item first went on sale, so you can make sure you’re not comparing TVs or laptops from different years.

Once you’ve finished shopping, you’re almost ready to purchase. Before parting with your credit card or PayPal information, research the history and specs listings of the gadget that’s tempting you. After all your comparing, a low price might have tricked you into selecting an older product, or one that’s not exactly what you’re looking for.

Know your seasons and cycles

The time you shop can make a difference to the price you pay. So if you can hold off on a purchase, you might be able to get it for cheaper. For example, the sales bonanza that kicks off with Black Friday doesn’t really stop until Christmas. The biggest reductions during this period will be on older, mid-range tech rather than the very top-end stuff, so by all means splurge, but make sure you know what you’re getting.

When should you buy to get discounts on the best and newest gadgets? These deals don’t usually hit the scene until immediately before or after an updated version arrives. If you wait for the new model to appear, the current (and soon to be “old” model) is likely to be much cheaper. For the iPhone, for instance, shop in September, while Samsung’s Galaxy phones get less expensive around late February or early March, coinciding with the Mobile World Congress tech expo.

Apple iPhone

If you know when the new iPhone is coming out, you can save money on the older model.

Apple

Not every gadget has such a predictable release schedule. But a few minutes’ research online should tell you how long a tablet or a digital camera has been on the market and whether there are any rumors of a new and improved model in the pipeline. If you really want to get technical, look at the components. For example, Apple and all the other big laptop manufacturers base their product cycles around new CPUs from Intel, so you can predict when an updated range is about to arrive. (In case you’re wondering, the next batch at the time of writing should show up in late 2017).

You don’t have to become an expert on silicon. But keep a cursory eye on the tech press for Intel CPU news in order to choose the best time to make a purchase.

Take the refurb route

Ask yourself: Do you really need a laptop or a phone that’s fresh out of the box, untouched by human hands? Refurbished tech sometimes gets a bad reputation for faulty or knock-off gadgets that are priced to sell. But the reality is that you can make some serious savings on refurb tech that is virtually as good as new.

If someone has already opened your laptop, decided they don’t want it, and sent it back to the supplier, what do you care? As long as it works and you’re saving a chunk off the list price, you can enjoy your new product. These days, a lot of refurbed gear comes with a guarantee and warranty, so you’ll still have the security of purchasing a verified gadget—and the discounts can be substantial.

Apple Macs

The Apple site is one place to go to for refurbed tech.

David Nield/Popular Science

It’s not the only place you can buy refurbed gear, but eBay is a good place to get started. Look for refurbished versions of your favorite devices. Before you spend your money, check for good seller feedback and a warranty. Pay attention to the listing and the supplied photos as well, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.

Many of the big tech companies, including Dell and Apple, have refurbished storefronts of their own. Coming from the companies themselves, you know the goods will be comprehensively checked and good to go, so you don’t have to worry about the hardware dying on you after a few months. Again, double-check the age and spec of whatever you’re buying so you can do a proper comparison with the prices for the newest, top-end models.

Go for older tech

If you know what you’re looking for, then you can find some great deals on older pieces of technology. You just need to learn the difference between a gadget that’s cheap because it’s almost obsolete, and a gadget that’s cheap because it’s just been replaced by something newer.

We can’t give you advice for every single laptop, desktop, phone, tablet, TV, camera, and wearable line out there. But let’s use smartphones as an example: The Galaxy S7and the iPhone 7 were launched last year, but they’re both still very capable devices. When you start shopping, focus on flagship tech that’s now slightly older, rather than tech that was originally in the budget or mid-range section of the market and has now fallen even further behind.

Amazon TVs

Electronics like TVs can hang around in stores for a long time.

David Nield/Popular Science

Again, the specs list can tell you just what you’re getting. The newest TV sets have support for 4K and HDR, so if you can live without either or both of these (perhaps if you’re shopping for a smaller bedroom set that doesn’t need the highest resolution), you can get a model that launched two or three years ago—instead of the latest TV on the market—for a significantly cheaper price.If you don’t mind used gear, from sites such as eBay or Craigslist, then you can save even more: Just follow each site’s official buyer advice and do your research into the item you’re purchasing and its seller. That means carefully checking the photos of the device and its description so you know exactly what your money is buying.

Source:-popsci.

Find out all About Debt Consolidation Loan in One Go

Image result for Find,out,all,About,Debt,Consolidation,Loan,in,One,Go

Debt consolidation includes borrowing a sum of money from a lower interest lender to clear out your debt with the higher interest lenders. With this movement, you can get rid of high interest debt and just be left with an easy to manage, lower interest loan!

Why should you consolidate?

Opting for another loan appears like the last option that a debtor would want to do, but there are two amazing reasons why you should consolidate your debt:

  • Pay lower interest and get debt free faster

Who hasn’t heard of the stats, and it goes like this: if you have a credit card debt of $10,000 with an 18% rate of interest and you can only pay a minimum of $200 per month, then only $46 of the money is going towards the principal and the rest $154 is spent on the interest. This way you’ll end up paying $9261 as interest in eight years…!

But with debt consolidation, you can easily opt for a consolidation loan of $10000 at an interest rate of 9.5% and use it to clear your credit card arrears. And this way you can pay your loan in a period of 5 years or so with $2700 of interest in total.

  • Ease your planning and payouts

If you’re under debt of different lenders, then it may be difficult to keep a track of different due dates and payment amount. In fact, you cannot easily track your progress also. But, with consolidation of debt, you only have to pay for one loan and just have one account to track. Thus, it is a simple and easy to handle repayment plan.

With debt consolidation, you can efficiently monitor your spending habits. You can prepare a budget and make use of money management tools to control your extra expenses. Talking about budget, you also need to have a good strategy to cover your expenditures without switching to credit card or greater interest loans. A low rate loan plan will help you get rid of your credit card outstanding, but if you do not control your expenses, you’ll be back at the starting point along with an extra loan amount on your head.

Debt consolidation is more like an instrument, not a full-fledged solution. One needs to use it cautiously and save thousands of dollars in interest every year. It can serve as a great method by allowing the debtor to get a perfect grip on debt and loan, but with cautious steps. As a borrower, one needs to be very clear about the advantages that it will render in comparison to the present loan structure and you surely need to do calculate it well. What is even more important is debt consolidation loan shouldn’t be taken as a license to go for additional debt. The purpose of the loan is to lower down the pressure of your unpaid arrears; you shouldn’t end up taking new debt. It will lead to a dicey condition and eventually more fiscal distress.

Tinder Smart Photos Launched; Helps Find Matches by Choosing Your Best Photo

Tinder Smart Photos Launched; Helps Find Matches by Choosing Your Best Photo

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tinder claims users saw a 12 percent increase in matches
  • Smart Photos alternates your profile pictures to test success rate
  • Tinder says algorithm will maximise your match potential

Tinder has quickly become one of the most popular dating apps around the world, but there has been one constant complaint that has plagued the app since its launch – the difficulty in finding a match. Now the app wants to address this issue and has introduced a feature called Smart Photos to increase your chances of finding a match by choosing your best photo to represent you.

The company says that it has implemented a brand new algorithm that maximizes your match potential. “It’s simple: Smart Photos alternates the photo first seen by others when you’re shown on Tinder, notes each response as others swipe on you, and reorders your photos to show your best ones first. In testing, users saw up to a 12 percent increase in matches,” Tinder said in its release.

(Also see:  Tinder’s New Boost Feature Helps You Skip the Line, Puts You on Top of the Pack)

The app will essentially be using what in the publishing world is best known as A/B testing to help you make your profile as attractive as possible with the photos you uploaded. It will constantly test your profile photos and then arrange them in a manner that increases your chances of finding a match.”We all Swipe Right for different reasons, so everyone on Tinder has a distinct swiping pattern. Smart Photos take into account each individual’s swiping pattern when selecting which of your photos they’ll see first. It’s a system that gets smarter with more input: the more you swipe and the more you’re swiped on, the better the algorithm serves you. Yes, there’s science behind the swipe,” the company said.

Tags: Tinder Smart Photos, Tinder Dating App, Apps, Android, Apple, Social
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Can a Machine Write a Sonnet That Is as Good as a Human’s? We’re About to Find Out

Can a Machine Write a Sonnet That Is as Good as a Human's? We're About to Find Out

Turing Tests in Creative Arts

Dartmouth College
Since it was devised in 1950, the Turing Test – named for Alan Turing, hero of “The Imitation Game” – has been the standard way of assessing artificial intelligence: Machines are judged on how well they exhibit intelligent behavior, usually in conversation or game-playing, that to a human listener or observer would be indistinguishable from that of a real person.Last summer, two professors at Dartmouth College proposed an imaginative variation: the Turing Tests in Creative Arts, challenging participants to submit algorithms that can generate human-quality art.

“Specifically,” Dan Rockmore (a professor of math and computer science) and Michael Casey (a professor of music and computer science) write in an essay that discusses the project, “we ask if machines are capable of generating sonnets, short stories, or dance music that is indistinguishable from human-generated works, though perhaps not yet so advanced as Shakespeare, O. Henry or Daft Punk.”

The competition has three parts: DigiLit, where the test is creating a New Yorker-level short story; PoetiX, where the product must be a 14-line sonnet in iambic pentameter; and AlgoRhythms, where the computer has to create a 15-minute dance set. In all cases, the software will be given a “seed” – a verbal image in the literary contest and a single track of music for the dance. Organizers will mix the entries in with human-generated work. A panel of literary judges will be asked to figure out which poems and stories were written by machines; for the music, the judges will be dance students. A winner is any computer entry that fools the judges into thinking its creator was alive.

The results will be announced May 18 at Dartmouth’s Digital Arts Exposition.

© 2016 The Washington Post

Tags: AI, Artificial Intelligence, Machines, Science, Turing Test
[“Source-Gadgets”]