Happy Black Friday, cheeps! (That's "cheapskates" plus "peeps" in case you're new around here.)
In honor of this crazy day of shopping madness, and to cap off the celebration of my fifth anniversary writing the Cheapskate blog, I've got one seriously killer contest for you.
Because it's a fifth anniversary, I decided one prize wouldn't do -- I needed five. And thanks to some very generous companies, that's what I ended up with. I'm overjoyed with this roster of goodies, which you can easily enter to win by following … Read more
When most of us think about GPS apps for smartphones, we're thinking about navigation apps that help you to get wherever you happen to be going. However, there's a whole range of GPS logger apps that are designed to keep track of where you've been.Tracking your historic position, movement, speed, and elevation is very useful for fitness, as evidenced by the selection of fitness apps below, but it can also be fun. For example, after exporting the .GPX data from a GPS logger app, it can be imported into Google Earth or similar software to create a 3D flyby or, as is the case in the image above, 2D virtual artwork on a massive scale.
What does a car for women look like, exactly? Does it look different than a car for a man? What, pray tell, is a gender-specific car?
I don't know the answers to those questions, but apparently Honda does. The Japanese automaker is offering a Honda Fit subcompact designed specifically for women -- it's badged "She's" -- that's pink on the outside (though it can also be had in "eyeliner brown," black, or white); pink on the inside (yes, even the stitching); and in many ways a throwback to the 1950s. … Read more
As a child, I used to concentrate really hard on things like pencils and pebbles, trying to get them to budge with the sheer power of my mind. It never worked, but technology is getting us a little closer to the mind control dream. The Muse brainwave-sensing headband from Interaxon is a step in the right direction.
The Muse uses two sensors on the forehead and two behind the ears. You wear it positioned kind of like a pair of glasses. It measures your brainwaves and sends the information to a smartphone or tablet. Viewing that data in real time can show you if your mind is wandering, if you're relaxed, or if you're in a state of intense concentration.… Read more
Like clockwork, Apple never fails to refresh its iPod lineup every fall. In recent years, though, one can't help but notice that the ritualized iPod unveiling has lost some of its gusto compared with the fanfare surrounding the iPhone and iPad.
Still, Apple remains the top manufacturer of portable media players. Those of us old enough to remember the "iPod wars" that occurred nearly a decade ago can attest to the fact that Apple's tenacity in making the world's most popular MP3 player laid the groundwork for the success of the iPhone (pour one out for the Zune, friends). Apple may have moved on to bigger, better products, but maintaining its dominance in the diminishing world of MP3 players is just good housekeeping.
And so, the 2012 Apple iPod lineup offers a mix of new and old.… Read more
Climbing walls have come a long way since phys ed lecturer Don Robinson glued real rocks to a hallway wall at Leeds University in 1964. Just down the street from my office, walls made of plywood reinforced with steel frames sport dozens of different types of holds and graded "problems" -- perfect for staying in shape during the rainy winter months in Portland.
But not everyone lives within walking distance of an indoor climbing hub, so Munich-based design studio Lunar Europe thought up a pretty sleek art piece that doubles as a climbing wall and syncs up with an iPhone app.… Read more
All of the best sounding in-ear headphones I've tested over the years have been custom-molded to my ears models. Prices vary, but the $399 UE-4 was the least expensive, and most of the top-of-the-line models are more than $1,000. Those prices don't include the fee the audiologist charges to make molds of your ear canals, and the fees add $100 to the price of the headphones. Customs ensure a perfect fit, and the best isolation from external noise. Plus they can't fall out of your ears,