It happens to everyone: Your phone's battery runs dry right when you need to make an important call, answer an important e-mail, or see the crucial last few minutes of an episode of "Sherlock." And there's no outlet or charger nearby to give you that little bit of extra juice.
Despite the understandable delays and roadblocks to its original timeline, the colonization initiative Mars One has succeeded wondrously in one of its less tangible goals: planting seeds in our collective subconscious.
For instance, what would it be like to live out your last days on the Red Planet, surrounded by only a handful of others in close proximity? What are the psychological effects? What will the limitations of the confirmed live stream be, and what happens when something inevitably goes wrong? These are questions the public is now seriously considering, thanks to the mission's open application process and its insistence on a one-way trip to get Earth's Mars colony up and running sooner rather than decades from now, when a return trip may be possible. … Read more
Quick housekeeping note: After much deliberation, I will no longer be spotlighting deals from 1Sale (formerly 1SaleADay). I've heard from too many readers who've had too many unhappy experiences with the company. Although a lot of daily deal sites are slow to ship products (2-3 weeks is the norm for some), this one seems to have a particularly terrible track record in terms of delivery time and customer service responsiveness. The last thing I want to do is create grief for Cheapskate readers, so until I see evidence that the company has made improvements, I won't be … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- Actor Christopher Lloyd arrived at CES 2014 in his iconic time-traveling vehicle from "Back to the Future," the DeLorean, as part of a celebration of the 120th year of Gibson guitars.
Despite owning a time machine, Lloyd, who was in character as Doctor Emmett Brown, was 15 minutes late to the event Tuesday. The car he pulled up in was an authentic re-creation of the vehicle from the movie, complete with flux capacitor and eco-friendly "Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor." As he emerged, he was surrounded by puffs of smoke and enthusiastic camera-people.… Read more
If Marty McFly were real, would he use Twitter? Researchers set out to wring any traces of time travelers out of the online world. Astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff and physics graduate student Teresa Wilson from Michigan Technological University released their findings with a paper titled "Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers."
The researchers start by acknowledging the theoretical possibility for time travel into the future. Stephen Hawking's famously unattended time travel party in 2009 gets a mention. (He sent out the invitations after the party was over.)
The search for signs of time travelers involved scouring the Internet for prescient information. "Specifically, we search for content that should not have been known at the time it was posted," the paper says. The scientists narrowed down some search terms that had specific windows for entering popular use, and looked for mentions of those terms prior to them entering the lexicon. "Comet ISON" and "Pope Francis" both fit the bill.… Read more
You know how every laptop is pretty much like every other laptop? Occasionally a manufacturer tries something a little different, often with mixed results.
So it is with the Acer Aspire R7, which debuted earlier this year to decidedly mixed reviews. Some pundits loved the innovative design and beautiful display, others griped about the arrangement of certain key components. Interestingly, most agreed that the $1,000 price tag was pretty good for such an original and inventive machine.
So get a load of this: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Acer (via eBay) is offering the refurbished Aspire R7-571-6858 15.6-inch convertible laptop for $499.99 shipped. … Read more
This is an update of a deal I wrote about earlier this year.
Given how utterly indispensable our mobile phones have become, it's no understatement to say that everyone needs a good travel charger. Of course, many of them can be kind of a hassle, in part because charging the charger itself often requires a USB port, and you usually have to pack along USB cables to charge your device(s).
That's why I've loved the MyCharge Summit ever since I first laid eyes on it at last year's CES. Since then it has become my … Read more
I think we can all agree that packing is the worst. I might like it less than the actual act of flying or trying to get through airport security. With iOS app Stow 2, I can follow a customizable template to make sure I pack all I need for a trip.
Stow 2 is free, though you get additional features for a $1.99 in-app purchase. With the free app, you can create one profile, and it doesn't require an e-mail address or Facebook credentials.
After you create a profile, you can choose a template for the type of … Read more
I do not enjoy air travel. Of the many aspects I dislike -- the potential for exploding during takeoff, middle seats in coach, turbulence, the person in front of you fully reclining for the entire flight, the potential for crashing during landing -- there is one I must face before I even leave the house: the anxiety about getting caught in a miles-long security line at the airport and missing my flight. Perhaps for my next trip that requires a flight, WhatsBusy can reduce my anxiety a bit -- at least until I get to the gate and begin to … Read more
Traveling can be a headache, especially during big holidays like Thanksgiving. With so many people traveling the country at around the same time, you're faced with packed airports, unforeseen schedule changes, bad weather, and probably more than a few irritable fellow passengers just trying to get home for the holiday.
To keep the stress level at a minimum, I selected some helpful travel apps for iOS that will keep you on schedule and help you navigate your itinerary.