Lots of people have disconnected their land lines and use their mobile phones exclusively.
However land lines still have a place in today's world, especially for people who talk on the phone a lot.
Mobile phones can cut in and out, but a land line (or Voice-over-IP line) will be more reliable, more clear, and a cordless phone can provide more talk time on a single battery than a mobile phone.
If you have a broadband Internet connection, check out these Voice-Over-IP devices.
OBi200 from Newegg or Amazon for $40.
Supports up to 4 voice-over-IP services on your single home/cordless phone system.
OBi202 from Newegg for $55.
Supports up to 4 voice-over-IP services on up to 2 home/cordless phone systems (a good way to use one phone for personal, and another phone for business, through the same box).
After you get the OBi device, register it on OBiTalk.com.
From that page, click "Approved Service Providers" to see a list of VoIP providers that OBi can quickly apply onto your account.
One of those services is PhonePower, and OBi currently has an offer to give you PhonePower for $35/yr.
The service includes a US or Canada phone number, free incoming calls, 300 outgoing minutes/month, call forwarding, call waiting, Caller ID with name, voicemail-to-email, E911, and fax.
They give you a real phone number, which you can also set your Google Voice account to ring (if you use Google Voice).
You can move your OBi device to any Internet connection, and your phone number will still work.
However be sure to tell customer service to update the address of your phone into the E911 system, so when someone dials 911 from your land line phone, the correct address will appear on the operator's screen.
Click here to see Amazon's deal of 2 for $20 Valeo Wiper Blades.
Click "Use our Part Finder" in the middle of the page, and enter your car's make & model.
That should show the wiper blades compatible with your car.
Confirm the Amazon size looks right by searching for your car's make & model on MyWiperBlades.com.
Some cars require different size blades for the driver side and passenger side, and Amazon's site may not show that information.
Once you find wiper blades compatible with your car, you must buy blades in multiples of 2 from "seller Amazon" to get the discounted price.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
- Roku HDMI Streaming Media Stick for $49
Plug it in to a TV's HDMI port, and you can stream audio & video through Roku channels, like MLB.TV, NHL GameCenter, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, and Slacker.
To see how this brand new Roku device compares to the Google Chromecast and the Roku 3, check out this PCMag Article.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
- $5 off at iTunes, $10 off at Lowe's, $5 off at Petco
American Express card members (personal cards, not business cards) can get credits when shopping at some stores.
Go to AmericanExpress.com and log in to your account.
If you have trouble logging in, call AmEx customer service.
On the Account Home page, just below your Outstanding Balance are two rectangles that says "Latest Transactions" and "Offers For You." Click the "Offers For You."
Scroll down, and see the long list of offers.
Click "Save Offer" next to each offer you want to activate.
After each offer is activated, simply spend the required minimum and AmEx will automatically apply a credit on your next statement.
Offers change every month or so, and this month includes these offers:
$5 back when you spend at least $5 at iTunes.
$10 back when you spend at least $50 at Lowe's stores or Lowes.com
$10 back when you spend at least $50 at Crate & Barrel or CB2 (online or in-store).
$5 back when you spend at least $25 at PetsMart (online or in-store).
Unlike past AmEx offers, most of the current offers are not allowed to be used toward gift cards.
Friday, March 28, 2014
- Leviton In-Outlet Surge Protector for $15 (expired)
On sale until 2pm EDT (11am PDT) is the Leviton 5280-W 15-Amp Power Outlet with built-in surge protector for $15.
After 2pm EDT, the price goes up to $20.
It has great reviews, and is meant to replace a wall electrical outlet.
Most people will find regular surge protectors much easier to use that this.
Regular surge protectors offer 6-12 power outlets, and all you have to do is plug one in.
This outlet is meant for places where there is no room to install a surge protector, such as a wall outlet behind a wall-mounted TV.
It must be installed by an electrician who knows how to replace power outlets.
The downside of this device is if a power surge does happen, the outlet will be tripped and should be replaced.
After the surge protector is tripped, the little green LED light will no longer illuminate but the outlet should continue to work.
So, this is basically a one-time surge protection outlet.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
- PNY 128GB USB3.0 Flash Drive for $49
Also being offered at BHPhotoVideo.com for the same price, which could be better after factoring in sales tax.
This receiver is currently on sale for about $100 to $200 less than normal.
It looks like a great value at $300 for a good quality receiver.
According to the product manual, it allows two speaker zones (one 5.1 and one 2.0) in different rooms to work off the same digital audio source, something that many multi-zone receivers cannot do.
However both speaker zones must use the same audio source, not different sources.
This receiver can be controlled by its IP ethernet connectivity from apps like Roomie.
If you don't have an available Ethernet port near the Receiver, get something like a TrendNet TEW-687GA for $30 (usually $60) which bridges a single Ethernet port with a Wifi network, wirelessly connecting to your Wifi router.
- PNY 128GB USB3.0 Flash Drive for $50
Also being offered at Frys.com and BHPhotoVideo.com for the same price, which could be better for some people when it comes to shipping speed and sales tax.
- Kindle for $49
Amazon Kindle is on sale again today for $49.
The e-ink display does not emit light, so it is much easier on the eyes for reading text than any tablet or computer.
Staring at a light-emitting screen (like a tablet, phone, or computer monitor), especially in the dark, can produce eyestrain and cause eye damage over time.
If you want to read books, the Kindle and its non-light-emitting e-ink display is the best thing around.
When the Kindle is idle and not in use, the screen will show a static advertisement.
It does not take up any energy to show the ad, but if someone wants a Kindle that does not display any advertising, the "without special offers" versions are available.
The Paperwhite version has a white background instead of gray.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
- H&R Block Tax Software for $20 to $37 (expired)
Each year in March, Amazon puts some tax software on sale for a day.
Today's deal is on several versions of H&R Block tax software.
Personal versions that include a state return are going for $20, with premium versions that include business returns for $37.
- 240GB mSATA SSD for $122
MyDigitalSSD (MDMS-BP4-240) 50mm Bullet Proof 4 mSATA 240GB Solid State Drive for $122.
This is a mSATA (mini-SATA) drive (not a regular Serial-ATA SATA drive), and only works in laptop computers with a mSATA interface.
- Rugged Case and Keyboard for iPad Mini $30
$45, and code H2ORESIS applies $15 off.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
- Antec A/V Cooler for $42.38
The Antec A/V Cooler is available on Amazon for $52.38, and press "Clip Coupon" under the price to get $10 off during checkout.
If you keep your home theater A/V Receiver powered on in your living room, you probably know how hot it gets.
Add another device like a cable box or DVR, and the heat can cause your electronics to fail.
This cooler sits on top of your receiver or DVR, and provides a constant (and quiet) airflow keeping the A/V equipment cool.
You can also stack things on top of your receiver without the risk of the receiver overheating the devices on top of it.
We have had a couple of these Antec coolers for 5 years.
Other than annual air-dusting with a compressed air can, they have worked great for us, with no overheating problems to any of the electronics on the shelf.
Its size is designed to fit on top of an A/V receiver perfectly, but it can rest above a DVR, Xbox One, or any home electronic device with a flat top.
- Onkyo TX-SR313 5.1-Channel A/V Receiver for $170
This looks like a good value for an A/V Receiver.
An Onkyo TX-SR313 5.1-Channel A/V Receiver is on sale for $170.
It supports 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer, plus an additional pair of speakers for a separate room/zone.
Usually sells for at least $210, and the reviews are decent for the price (but not great).
- Google Chromecast Media Player for $30
Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player for HDTVs for $30.
It usually goes for $35.
Make sure your HDTV has a USB port.
Chromecast gives two things.
It turns any HDTV into a "smart" TV, letting you stream Youtube, Netflix, and do basic web browsing on your TV.
You can stream videos from your phone or tablet onto your TV.
For example, using an app on your phone, you can turn on Youtube videos on your TV.
Since the Chromecast plays the videos by itself, the phone only acts as a remote control so to not drain its battery.
People who already have a Smart TV or a Roku will probably find little use for the Chromecast.
- Free Kindle Book: The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids
Friday, February 14, 2014
- 20% off clothing, shoes, jewelry, watches, and luggage
If you sign up for the Amazon Fashion News mailing list, you get 20% off your next purchase of clothing, shoes, watches, jewelry, handbags, and luggage.
For example, this Tumi Luggage Alpha 2 Carry-on Luggage Bag is $286 after 20% discount (usually sells for over $350)
Thursday, February 13, 2014
- Hoover Windtunnel Air Bagless Upright Vacuum for $80 (expired: sold out)
$80 with free shipping.
The reviews are very good, and this vacuum usually sells for around $120.
On the main Account Home page, just below your statement balance, in the middle of the page, find "Offers For You".
Click "Offers For You" to see all available offers
Offers currently available include:
Spend $15 at a Panera Bread restaurant, get $5 statement credit
Spend $40 at a Chevron gas station, get $5 statement credit
Spend $150 at Amtrak.com, get a $30 statement credit
You must click "Save Offer" next to each offer you want to activate.
You are under no obligation to do an offer.
Once activated, all you have to do is spend the money on your AmEx card in a single transaction at the eligible store, and you automatically get a statement credit.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Obihai Voice-over-IP Devices for Your Home:
Many people have disconnected the wire and use mobile phones and computers to make calls, but if you are someone who still enjoys having a home/cordless phone, there are some good options that use Voice-over-IP.
The above devices will require a voice-over-IP (VoIP) service.
Someone can just use a free Google Voice account to make and receive calls for free without paying for VoIP today, however direct Google Voice as a VoIP service will stop working as of May 15.
This means the OBi products will require a paid VoIP service to work with a Google Voice account.
One VoIP service you can use is CallCentric (reviews).
CallCentric has Pay-Per-Minute plans which will let you make calls and receive calls at about $2/mo plus around 1¢ to 2¢ per minute of phone usage (around $1/hour).
Other similar services compatible with the OBi devices are:
It is important to know that "pay as you go" plans do not include 911 service, meaning you would have to use your mobile phone in case of an emergency, or pay extra for a service which includes 911 emergency calling.
When properly configured, 911 service liked to your phone would immediately show your name and address to responders when you make an emergency call, which can save precious time trying to say your address during an emergency.
It is also important to note that VoIP services are not as reliable as your local telephone company (there are some negative reviews of CallCentric's poor customer service and some downtime)
Reliability is no longer a huge concern since most people have cell phones as backup, but it is something to keep in mind.
So if you buy an OBi device for $38-60, you can get home phone service for around $2 to $6 per month (with E911 service).
A good alternative is an Ooma device which costs $128 and gives you basic phone service for free (plus about $4 in monthly taxes).
The disadvantage of Ooma is you are locked in to Ooma service, not a problem if the Ooma service looks good to you, but the OBi would let you switch VoIP carriers whenever you dislike the service.