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The holidays are a great time to buy your family — or yourself — exciting new gadgets. Smartphones, tablets, TVs, headphones, computers, streaming media players, soundbars, gaming consoles, robots, cameras — the list seems endless.
Unfortunately, you should avoid some items on that list. These tech no-nos are either on the way out, or not quite ready for prime time. Here are gifts to avoid this holiday.
Looking for a bargain laptop to surf the Web, watch movies, listen to music, read books, play casual games and perform other light computing tasks? You’ll find plenty.
More people are finding that for the same money — or less — they can do just as much, or more, with a tablet. A tablet is ultraportable, has better battery life, is more versatile and less susceptible to malware than a laptop.
read more at USA TODAY
Robocalls, telemarketers, clingy exes and more: Here’s how to block calls.
Cell phone spam is a real problem. In fact, one tech analyst writing for Forbes recently opined that the “Do Not Call List” doesn’t work and estimated as many as 100 billion robocalls—calls lacking a human being on the other end—and other solicitations are made to cell phones in the U.S. every year.
Another analyst told Bloomberg that in 2011 4.5 billion spam text messages were pushed out to cell phone owners, so you can imagine by now that number is even higher.
And, don’t forget about clingy exes who keep calling, incessantly harassing debt collectors or weirdos from Craigslist who won’t stop texting you about the laptop you sold weeks ago.
So what can you do? Most wireless carriers will let you block at least a few numbers for free, so check with your carrier. You’ll also want to find out how long the block remains in place because some carriers expire blocks. More robust blocking options are available on your smartphone.
For now, iOS doesn’t support call and text blocking, but blocking is coming this fall with iOS 7. According to a recent Apple announcement, iOS 7 will include “Phone, FaceTime and Messages blocking to prevent specific people from being able to contact you.” And, in the meantime, you can download a silent ringtone (available in iTunes for $1.29) and assign it to any unwanted callers.
As for Android users, there are a few good free apps that you can immediately install on your smartphone to help…