Friday, March 28, 2014

Hotel Deals in Bethesda, MD Arrive Just in Time for Spring Travel

Cherry Blossoms Aren't the Only Things in Bloom! This Season, Travelers Can Pluck Big Savings at the Bethesda Marriott Suites

BETHESDA, MD -- (Marketwired) -- 03/28/14 -- The Washington, D.C. area is undoubtedly a year-round destination, thanks to its museums, landmarks and world-class attractions. But if there were ever a best time to visit, it would be that balmy interlude between winter and summer. Now, with its Spring Time Inclusive Getaway package, the Bethesda Marriott Suites is making a weekend getaway to the area the newest rite of spring.

Available through April 30, 2014, the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway package combines some of the most inviting hotel accommodations in Bethesda with the sort of perks that everyone can appreciate. Guests who book the package can look forward to complimentary Internet access and self-parking, snacks upon arrival and a daily buffet breakfast for two.

The package also includes overnight accommodations within the hotel's amply sized suites. Guests, whether they're a couple on a romantic escape or a family on Spring Break vacation, can luxuriate in gracious rooms that feature a separate living area and bedroom. Down comforters and 300-threadcount linens go a long way toward making the property one of the most desirable Bethesda family hotels.

Visitors looking to explore area attractions like the Strathmore Music Center and downtown Bethesda will benefit from the hotel's location, which is just a few minutes away. Others who want to get a taste of D.C. can easily get there on the Metro. In fact, this Bethesda hotel is one of the few with free shuttle service to the nearest Metro station. Such dedication to its guests' comfort informs every aspect of the hotel staff's service.

As one of the more generous hotel deals in Bethesda, MD, the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway lets guests focus less on logistics (where to park? What to eat?) and more on entertainment. After all, springtime in Washington, D.C. translates to almost weekly festivals, events and celebrations. The Cherry Blossom Festival, for example, kicks things off from March 20 to April 13 with kite-building workshops, soccer tournaments, vignette stage performances, art shows and more. Plus there are always the perennial favorites (think the White House and the National Gallery of Art), making the District area one of the most vibrant destinations around. This package just makes experiencing it all more fun.

To learn more about the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway, travelers may visit When booking, guests must use the Deal Now V2X to secure the promotion.

About the Bethesda Marriott Suites
Unlike most hotels, space isn't a limited luxury at the Bethesda Marriott Suites. This property's 272 suite-style accommodations feature plenty of room for guests to make themselves at home, whether it's for a quick escape, family vacation or extended business trip. Living rooms, king-sized beds and elegant appointments make each guest room feel especially welcoming, while hotel amenities like the indoor-outdoor connecting pool and fitness center make it easy to stay active. The hotel's Democracy Grille specializes in classic American dishes served within a stylish setting, ideal place casual meals or business lunches. In fact, with 10 meeting rooms and a location along the I-270 Technology Corridor, business travelers have just as much to appreciate in this property as vacationers.

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Bethesda Marriott Suites
6711 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, Maryland 20817

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gold HTC One 2014 to be a Best Buy exclusive in the USA

The All New HTC One a.k.a. HTC One 2014 is going to be unveiled on Tuesday, March 25. It will even hit the shelves in selected UK stores just minutes after the official announcement. Some carriers have even started teasing the new One.

We probably know everything there is to know about the smartphone courtesy of all those numerous leaks throughout the past few months. The HTC One 2014 should become available in three flavors - gold, dark gray and silver. You can check its detail specs right here.

According to the famous @evleaks tipster the gold version of the HTC One 2014 will be a Deal Now exclusive. There is no info on how long it will stay exclusive, but the retail off-contract price is tipped to be $600. If true, the All New HTC One will cost exactly as its predecessor last year.

We guess we'll know everything on Tuesday.

Friday, March 21, 2014

'Scandal' Recap: Season 3, Episode 14, 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang'

The answer to"Who got shot?" Was answered quickly this week on "scandal," but a bigger question popped up: who are the truly evil people on this show?

Jake shot two randoms and our beloved James in cold blood. He terrified our sweet, sweet David into complicity. And he yelled at Liv, a thing no man does unless his name is Fitz or Papa Pope.

Jake has taken ownership of his role as command and defined it on his own terms, which means he's not afraid to get his hands dirty. But will all that grunt work come at the price of his soul?

Check back later for the full recap.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Government Snooping Is Bad for Business | MIT Technology Review

Following a one-day summit in Brasilia this February, negotiators from Brazil and Europe reached a deal to lay a $185 million fiber-optic cable spanning the 3,476 miles between Fortaleza and Lisbon. The cable will be built by a consortium of Spanish and Brazilian companies. According to Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, it will "protect freedom." No longer will South America's Internet traffic get routed through Miami, where American spies might see it.

She's not being paranoid. Documents leaked last June by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed a global surveillance operation coördinated by the U.S. National Security Agency and its counterpart in Britain, the GCHQ. Among the hundreds of millions of alleged targets of the dragnet: Brazil's state oil company, Petrobras, as well as Rousseff's own cell phone.

The big question in this MIT Technology Review business report is how the Snowden revelations are affecting the technology business. Some of the consequences are already visible. Consumers are favoring anonymous apps. Large Internet companies, like Google, have raced to encrypt all their communications. In Germany, legislators are discussing an all-European communications grid.

There is a risk that the Internet could fracture into smaller national networks, protected by security barriers. In this view, Brazil's new cable is akin to China's Great Firewall (that country's system for censoring Web results), or calls by nationalists in Russia to block Skype, or an unfolding German plan to keep most e-mail traffic within its borders. Nations are limiting access to their networks. The result, some believe, could be the collapse of the current Internet.

Analysts including Forrester Research predict billions in losses for U.S. Internet services such as dropbox download and Amazon because of suspicion from technology consumers, particularly in Europe, in the wake of Snowden's revelations. "The Snowden leaks have painted a U.S.-centric Internet infrastructure, and now people are looking for alternatives," says James Lewis, director of the strategic technologies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Many nations eavesdrop, each for their own reasons. Some target dissidents with malware to watch their keystrokes. Others, like China, also bleed companies of intellectual secrets about jet fighters and wind turbines. So pervasive and successful has digital espionage become that in 2012, Keith Alexander, the Army general in charge of the NSA, described it as "the greatest transfer of wealth in history." He estimated that U.S. companies lose $250 billion a year to intellectual-property theft.

This is hastening the trend to secure networks, to isolate them, or even to disconnect. In this report, we visit a small energy company for which a network cable might as well be Medusa's hair (see " Cyberspying Targets Energy Secrets "). The company is so frightened that it keeps its best ideas on computers quarantined from the Internet. Retrograde technology is winning money and resources. Following the Snowden revelations, Russia's secret service reportedly placed an order for $15,000 worth of typewriters and ribbons. They said paper was safest for some presidential documents.

Security experts have been warning for some time that computer networks are not secure from intruders. But in 2013, we learned that the mayhem has become strategic. Governments now write computer viruses. And if they can't, they can purchase them. A half-dozen boutique R&D houses, like Italy's Hacking Team, develop computer vulnerabilities and openly market them to government attackers.

Criminals use common computer weaknesses to infect as many machines as possible. But governments assemble large research teams and spend millions patiently pursuing narrow objectives. ­Costin Raiu, who investigates such "advanced persistent threats" as director of research and analysis for anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab, says he logs on to his computer assuming he is not alone. "I operate under the principle that my computer is owned by at least three governments," he says.

That is a threat mainstream technology companies are grappling with. The U.S. government circumvented Google's security measures and secretly collected customer data. British spies scooped up millions of webcam images from Yahoo. In December, on Microsoft's official blog, the company's top lawyer, Brad Smith, said he had reason to view surreptitious "government snooping" as no different from criminal malware. Microsoft, along with Google and Yahoo, has responded by greatly widening its use of encryption (see " The Year of Encryption ").

"We're living in a very interesting time, where companies are becoming unwilling pawns in cyberwarfare," says Menny Barzilay, a former Israeli intelligence officer now working in IT security for the Bank Hapoalim Group, in Tel Aviv. In this new context, nobody can say where the responsibilities of a company may end and those of a nation might begin. Should a commercial bank be expected to expend resources to defend itself when its attacker is a country? "This is not a 'maybe' situation. This is happening right now," says Barzilay. "And this is just the beginning."

If the Internet and its components cannot be trusted, how will that affect business? Consider the case of Huawei, the Chinese company that last year became the world's largest seller of telecom equipment. Yet its market share in North America is paltry, because the U.S. government has long claimed that Huawei's gear is a Trojan horse for China's intelligence services (see " Before Snowden, There Was Huawei "). Now American firms like Cisco Systems say their Chinese customers are turning away for similar reasons. After all, the Snowden documents suggest how vigorously the NSA worked to insert back doors in gear, software, and undersea cables-in some cases via what the agency called "sensitive, cooperative relationships with specific industry partners" identified by code names.

Mistrust is also creating business opportunities (see " Spinoffs from Spyland"). In this issue we travel to an old bunker in Switzerland that local entrepreneurs have turned into a server farm, hoping to do for data what the Swiss once did for Nazi gold and billionaires' bank accounts. Thanks to its privacy laws and discreet culture, the country is emerging as a hub for advanced security technology (see " For Swiss Data Industry, NSA Leaks Are Good as Gold "). In Lewis's view, these sorts of technological initiatives threaten the American lead in Internet services such as remote data storage. "It hasn't been long enough to know if the economic effects are trivial or serious, but the emergence of foreign competitors is a sign that it's serious," he says.

There's even a shift under way in consumer technology. Consumers have been rushing to download texting apps like Snapchat, where messages disappear. They are posting on anonymous message boards like Whispr and buying "cryptophones" that scramble their calls. Spy-shop stuff is going mainstream. Phil Zimmerman, a famous privacy advocate, helped create one of the cryptophones, the $629 Blackphone, launched in February at the big mobile communications conference in Barcelona, Spain (see " For $3,500, a Spy-Resistant Smartphone ").

That is how Edward Snowden is affecting business. People are asking questions about technology products, and technology companies, that they never asked before. Is it safe to connect? Are you Russian or American? "This is something that changed since last June, when the leaks started," says Mikko ­Hypponen, chief research officer of the Finnish security company F-Secure. "Before, the idea was that the Web had no borders, no countries. This was the naïve utopia. Now we have woken up."

Monday, March 17, 2014

U.S. authorities probe TeliaSonera's Uzbek licence deal

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - U.S. authorities are investigating TeliaSonera's purchase of a 3G license in Uzbekistan in 2007, the Swedish telecoms operator said, a Best Offer that has forced the firm to replace top management and most of its board.

Swedish prosecutors have already launched a preliminary inquiry into corruption allegations related to the 2.3 billion Swedish crowns ($360.5 million) deal, while Dutch authorities raided Telia's offices this month. [ID:nL5N0JE1D4]

In a further widening of the investigation, the company said on Monday that it had received requests from the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for it to hand over documents related to Uzbekistan.

Telia said it was cooperating with all authorities in the matter.

A spokesman for the company, 37 percent owned by the Swedish state, said the questions from the U.S. authorities were very broad and that it had not been informed what had triggered the new investigation. "This is the very early stages of their investigation," said Peter Borsos, head of group communications.

The U.S. Department of Justice could not immediately be reached for comment, while the SEC declined to comment.

Swedish prosecutor Gunnar Stetler - in charge of Sweden's investigation into the Uzbek license deal - said he had asked U.S. authorities, among others, for help but declined to give more information.

There has been intensifying international scrutiny of the Uzbek telecoms market, with Russian operator Vimpelcom - Uzbekistan's biggest mobile operator by subscribers - saying last week it was being investigated by U.S. and Dutch authorities.

President Islam Karimov has ruled the gas-rich nation, central Asia's most populous country, with an iron hand since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Last year, Telia's then-chief executive resigned after an in-house investigation criticized the company for lack of due diligence when buying the 3G license in the country, ranked by Transparency International as one of the world's most corrupt.

New CEO Johan Dennelind fired four top executives after a law firm appointed by Telia to look into its dealings in Eurasia, which makes up around 20 percent of its sales, found some transactions had not been conducted in line with sound business practices.

Telia said earlier this month that the Dutch holding companies which control its operations in Uzbekistan had been raided by authorities in a preliminary investigation into bribery and money laundering.

It said on Monday that the Dutch authorities had requested collateral against any future financial claims against Telia UTA Holding BV, one of the holding companies.

"According to the information we have currently, the request for collateral is between 10 million euros ($13.93 million) and 20 million," Telia said.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson and Olof Swahnberg; Editing by Pravin Char)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Poor and Uninsured? You've got an Obamacare Discount Waiting

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Chris Walters, PolicyGenius Contributor


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  • A full 90 percent of people who are uninsured haven't bought insurance on the marketplace.
  • 80 percent of people who say they can't afford insurance are actually eligible for subsidies, but two-thirds of them don't know this.
  • The poorer you are, the less likely you are to have even heard about the marketplaces.
  • Although the March 31 deadline to buy personal health insurance and avoid a tax penalty is only a few weeks away, a couple of new reports show that the two groups that stand to benefit the most -- the poor and the uninsured -- are barely participating.

    The incredibly low participation rates from the poor and uninsured are even more surprising considering the onslaught of media coverage and promotional campaigns that have been running for months now. Despite everything, there's clearly still a large information gap.

    Excuse #1: "I haven't bought health insurance because I can't afford it"

    So maybe it's time to take a more personal approach. If you know people in your family or circle of friends who still haven't shopped for health insurance on one of the marketplaces, either because they're worried about the cost or because they have no idea how it all works, feel free to use the information below to help clear things up.

    It matters because after March 31st most Americans won't be able to buy a policy through the health insurance marketplace again until November 14th, and that means they could possibly face a tax penalty (a small one, but still) when filing their 2014 taxes next year.

    For some this is sadly true even with the new cheaper plans, but at least those people are unlikely to face a tax penalty next year for not buying a policy.

    For everyone else who says this -- including all those people identified in the McKinsey survey who are eligible for health insurance subsidies but don't know it -- now is a good time to spend the 2 to 3 minutes it takes to find out your subsidy status. (Yes, it happens that fast.)

    Option A (more streamlined):

    If you can go online, here's a chart that shows qualifying income ranges for the health insurance subsidy.

    Option B (more educational, better for absolute newbies):

    If your income falls within the eligibility range, then you have your choice of two free interactive tools to help you find out exactly how much money you can get.

    Kaiser Family Foundation's Subsidy Calculator (English)

    Health Tax Credit Tool (English)

    Crédito Fiscal de Salud (Spanish)

    Excuse #2: "I don't know what information I'll have to provide"

    If you need an offline tool, Consumers Union (the organization that publishes Consumer Reports) offers free downloadable brochures in English and Spanish for every state. They're very clear and explain how the subsidy works and how to determine your eligibility. (Be sure to choose the version in the first column, because it's the one that includes a phone number you can call for further help.)

    Any subsidy you qualify for is applied directly to the monthly premium of the plan you purchase. For example, if you qualify for a $100/month subsidy and buy a plan that's normally $200/month, you'll only have to pay $100/month ($200 minus the $100 subsidy).

    When you shop on the marketplace, you'll need to provide enough personal information to prove your identity. If for some reason the marketplace can't confirm you're who you say you are, you might be asked to provide other types of proof.

    In addition to personal information you'll be asked to give your estimated income for 2014, and any subsidy you receive will be based on that number. Next year when you file your 2014 taxes, the amount on your tax return will be compared to what you submitted to the marketplace to make sure they match. If you should have received a larger subsidy, you'll get that difference paid to you in a refund. If you should have received a smaller subsidy, you'll have to pay back the difference.

    Excuse #3: "I can't access the website"

    If you want to know more about the verification process, Consumer Reports has a brief but detailed overview.

    So what do you do next?

    If you want to know what the actual shopping experience is like, we published a detailed account titled, " What no one tells you about shopping the ACA health insurance exchanges."

    PolicyGenius is an independent site that offers unbiased advice and easy shopping for all lines of consumer insurance

    Not everyone can go online and spend the hour or two it can take from start to finish, but fortunately you can do it all over the phone. Here's a list of every state's marketplace help line. You can also find your state's phone number printed on the brochures we mentioned above, so if you're planning on explaining all of this to someone offline, be sure to print that out to bring with you.

    If you're looking to take the next step we've put together a handy checklist detailing how to go about shopping on the exchanges.

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

    Defensive Driving Insurance Discount Quotes Now Generated for Drivers Through Automotive Website

    Louisville, KY (PRWEB) March 09, 2014

    Driving classes are one way that some adults are using to become aware of motor vehicle laws changes and how to better prepare for cautious driving in the U.S. The Auto Pros company is now generating defensive driving insurance Buy Cheap quotes through its search tool at

    All quotes that are offered are available for a person who has completed a defensive course and can provide proof upon policy purchase. The quotations that are delivered are dependent on each provider inside of the national quotes tool available.

    "A driver who is better prepared to face challenges while driving could be rewarded by some insurance agencies in the form of coverage discounts," an Auto Pros company source said.

    Part of the discounts that are now offered through the Internet quotes system pertain to good driver discount programs offered by U.S. insurers. The remaining section of policy incentives that exist in the search system are for average drivers quoting basic plans for coverage.

    "The tools that we're giving access to are providing one additional resource for drivers to find applicable discounts that agencies are generating for insurance policies," said the source.

    The Auto Pros company is one of the national sources that have opened up a resource for the public to use while locating auto industry price information through the Internet. The insurer details that are provided are now positioned with the auto warranty rates tool that is active at


    The company is an American resource to locate insurance company discounts in a single location on the Internet. This company has programmed a series of easy to use research programs for the public online. The company continues to include new partners in the quotation tools each year to expand the independent research options for consumers. This company is now a resource for locating auto parts components pricing and costs for warranty programs that national agencies underwrite for car owners within the U.S.

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    MK set to Seal Seat Sharing Deal Over Breakfast

    <Deal Of The Dayp>Discussions over seat sharing reached a feverish pitch on Tuesday at Anna Arivalayam, with parties of the DMK front making a beeline to hold talks. A tone of finality is expected to be reached on Wednesday morning, when DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi would discuss the matter over breakfast with all the allies at one go. On Tuesday, however, a picture emerged on who would contest in how many and which seats, with the DMK reaching agreements with two of its allies.

    Karunanidhi finalised the seat sharing agreements with the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and Puthiya Tamilagam in the presence of his party's seat sharing committee. The two allies would receive one seat each, according to an official release from the DMK.

    While Manithaneya Makkal Katchi has been given the Mayiladuthurai constituency Puthiya Tamilagam has been allotted the Tenkasi (SC) constituency, where it commands considerable influence. These agreements were achieved in a matter of minutes after the allies walked into the DMK office on Tuesday evening.

    The other two allies, however, would have to wait till the breakfast meeting with Karunanidhi. It is yet unclear how many seats the VCK would get.

    The party has stood by the DMK for over five years, and is expecting to get more seats than it did in 2009, when it contested in the reserved Chidambaram and Villupuram constituencies.

    Sources in the VCK told Express they have asked for five seats. They have named Chidambaram (SC), Villupuram (SC) and Kancheepuram (SC) as non-negotiable allotments, and also asked for one general constituency each in the northern region and one in the south.

    This request is expected to be addressed during the sit-down with Karunanidhi. VCK leaders, however, indicated that they are most likely to get the three reserved constituencies they have asked for.

    In all likelihood, the IUML would get one seat and would contest under its own symbol (ladder) rather than under the DMK's symbol (rising sun) as it did in 2009. There is no clarity on which seat would be allotted to the IUML, with some saying it has been denied the Vellore constituency, where it is incumbent.

    If these calculations turn out to be final, the DMK would contest 33 seats in Tamil Nadu and the one seat in Puducherry.

    After finalising these agreements, the DMK would be prepared to release its official list of candidates by as early as Wednesday evening, party sources said.

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

    Nikeid Shoes Reviews 2014: Save with Nike id Promo Code for Customized Shoes

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    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 vs Galaxy Grand Duos Price and Specs Comparison

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    The long expected Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 was released following the amazing predecessor Galaxy Grand Duos. Samsung is well known for its quality/price ratio as they have always released high quality products for a share of the price of its main competitor Apple. However not all their products have met the expectations as Galaxy Grand Quattro. We therefore look at Samsung's Galaxy Grand 2 and Galaxy Grand Duos and compare them in order to get a sense of how much more successful will Galaxy Grand 2 be.


    Galaxy Grand 2 comes with a slightly bigger display of 5.2 inches which is a slight upgrade from 5 inch display on Grand Duos. While this may not seem much of an improvement the pixel resolution and density definitely sets them apart as Grand 2 benefits of an impressive 720×1280 pixel resolution and 280 (ppi). In comparison Grand Duos figures are 480×800 pixels and 187 ppi. This simply translates into better display, better pictures quality and watching videos or movies will be more enjoyable.


    Grand 2 is quite bigger measuring 146.8×75.3×8.9 mm whilst Grand Duos measures 143.5×76.9×9.6 mm but the weight difference is almost insignificant with only one gram difference - 163 g for Grand 2 and 162 g for Grand Duos.


    Galaxy Grand 2 comes with Quad-Core 1.2 Cortex-A7, Adreno 305 GPU and Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with 1.5 GB of RAM and the operating system on it is Android 4.3. Grand Duos works on Android 4.1.2 and comes with a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 processor. The CPU running on the Grand 2 makes it the better option.


    No changes have been made as far as the camera is concerned as both phones comes with 8 MP camera including auto focus and good-fitted LED flash. The only slight difference is that Grand Duos comes with MP front camera and Grand 2 with a 1.9 MP one. But the 0.1 MP difference cannot be considered a drawback.


    As mentioned above the Galaxy Grand 2 features 1.5GB RAM which is an improvement compared to the 1GB RAM found on Grand Duos. But as far as internal memory goes there is no difference there as both devices have been equipped with 8GB memory. Dual SIM is supported on both smartphones and the microSD cards support the expansion of internal memory up to 64GB.


    This is a controversial subject when talking about smartphones as users are constantly looking for better battery life expectancy.

    Grand Duos run on Li-Ion 2100 mAh, supposedly translates into 10 talk-time hours for 2G and more than 400 of them in standby. However Grand 2 has a more greater autonomy, Li-Ion 2600 mAh, that gives users longer talk-time (17 hours) in a 3G network and about 370 hours in standby mode.


    Samsung have always been at the top as they have successfully managed to release high-end quality devices at an affordable price.

    Unveiled in India, the price for Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 has been set from Rs 22990 to Rs 24990 or found on Amazon at $400. In comparison the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos costs between Rs 17,000 and Rs 19,500 or can be found on Amazon at a price of $280.

    Galaxy Grand 2 wins the color round too for it is available in pink, black and white unlike the Grand Duos which was mainly available in white.

    Here you can also find a comparison between Samsung Galaxy Grand 2, Moto G and Lumia 1320.

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

    Jason Collins signs contract with Brooklyn Nets

    Nearly 10 months after becoming the first openly gay NBA player, Jason Collins will finally get his chance to, well, play.

    With free-agent-to-be forward Glen Davis telling the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday that he intends to sign with them after he clears waivers at 5 p.m. Eastern and thereby taking the Brooklyn Nets' top free agent option off the table, the Nets moved quickly to finalize a 10-day Deal News with Collins. And after USA TODAY Sports first reported Davis' intentions, the Nets confirmed the expected signing of Collins to a 10-day contract in a statement about the historic event. Collins, who will be the first openly-gay player in all four major North American professional sports, is expected to be available for tonight's game in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

    FTW: Collins belongs on NBA roster -- period

    "The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision," Nets general manager Billy King said in the statement. "We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract."

    New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement about Collins' signing as well.

    "Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team," Silver said. "Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment."

    MORE: Collins comes out as gay man

    The 35-year-old Collins announced his homosexuality by way of Sports Illustrated in late April, and thus became known as the first openly-gay NBA player. Yet because Collins never continued his career, the revelation was somewhat anticlimactic in terms of its possible social impact.

    WHO IS COLLINS?: A look at his career

    That changed on Sunday, though, as the Nets and other teams vying for Davis' services were told that he would sign with the Clippers and the runway for Collins' moment was thereby cleared. Per the rules of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, a team can only sign a player to two 10-day contracts in the scope of one season. So if all goes well with the Nets, they would have to decide whether to sign Collins for the rest of the season either at the conclusion of this 10-day deal or the next. Collins' twin brother and former NBA player, Jarron Collins, hinted at the forthcoming excitement via Twitter not long after the news of Davis' intentions was first reported by USA TODAY Sports.

    "Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday. Today should be a pretty cool day!"

    Davis reached a buyout agreement with the Orlando Magic on Friday, and was known to be considering the Nets and Clippers as options (the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls, among other teams, also had interest).

    The Nets, meanwhile, were considering a list of free agent possibilities that included players currently playing in the National Basketball Development League and others who are playing in China. Brooklyn has a clear need for another big body down low, as they had extensive trade talks with the Los Angeles Lakers about center Jordan Hill leading up to the deadline but ultimately passed on that possibility.

    In 13 seasons, Collins became known as a classy professional who averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game with six teams. He spent his first six season with the Nets when the team was still in New Jersey.

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

    Shoptimist: Savings site puts money back in your bank account

    SavingStar was launched in 2011 and has since grown to almost 5 million members. Users create an account and register grocery or drugstore loyalty cards with the site. Locally, Kroger, Food Lion and CVS cards can be registered.

    Once your cards are uploaded, you can scroll through the digital coupons on the site or app (available for iPhone and Android). If you see something useful, click "I Want This!" and the coupon will be uploaded to all registered cards.

    When you go shopping, these coupons won't be deducted from your bill. Instead, the site will recognize when purchases are made and transfer the value of the coupon(s) into an account on the website. Depending on where you shop, the savings will be transferred between two and 22 days. Once you've saved at least $5 the money can be transferred directly into a bank account or PayPal account, or can be added to an Amazon gift card.

    Types of coupons

    A few different kinds of coupons are available on the site. Some are basic coupons offering cents or dollars off a particular product. Other coupons offer dollars off a minimum purchase of a particular brand. For example, currently you can save $5 when you spend $20 on Dole products.

    Some coupons can only be used once and some can be used multiple times - the rules are noted in the description when you upload coupons. New coupons are generally added on Thursdays but new savings can pop up at any time.

    The site recently introduced the Healthy Offer of the Week and Friday Freebies. The Healthy Offer is released every Tuesday and features savings on fruits and vegetables. This week you can save 20 percent on bananas. Each Friday a new product is introduced for Friday Freebies. If you upload this coupon you'll get 100 percent back upon purchasing the product. Some previous Friday Freebies have included Barilla pasta, Starkist tuna, Bush's Baked Beans and Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. This week's offer is for Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.

    SavingStar also features a Cashback Mall. When you shop online at participating retailers, such as Lands' End, Groupon or Macy's, you can earn a percentage back from select purchases. This money goes into the same account as your coupon savings. Earn your money back by accessing the retailer's site through SavingStar and clicking the "Shop Now" link or by using one of the Best Buy provided by SavingStar. The percentages vary by retailer.

    I've used this site with success. A wide variety of product coupons are available and they change often, so it's important to keep checking back. One of SavingStar's best attributes is that it won't interfere with coupon usage in the grocery store or drugstore. If you have a SavingStar coupon and a Kroger or Food Lion digital coupon for the same product uploaded to your store loyalty card, your SavingStar account will be credited and you'll get the grocer's digital coupon savings at the register.

    You can also use old-fashioned paper coupons and still get credit for SavingStar coupons. With the app and the option to email or print your uploaded coupon list, it's easy to keep track of your savings, too.

    Have you tried SavingStar? If so, share you experience on the Shoptimist blog at

    Also on the blog:

    Free financial education from Bank On Roanoke Valley

    Friday, January 31, 2014

    2014 Fantasy Outlooks: Oakland Athletics

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    After two straight American League West titles and two straight ALDS losses to the Tigers, it appears that Athletics general manager Billy Beane's "stuff" still doesn't work in the playoffs. It may not work particularly well in Fantasy either. Though Beane's squad had more than enough power and pitching to earn a postseason berth, they were short on elite players and well-rounded talents who are sought out by Fantasy owners.

    Consistent with their reputation for exploiting market inefficiencies, the A's were led by an overlooked 27-year-old catcher-turned-third baseman ( Josh Donaldson), a 33-year-old outfielder who finally turned in his first 20-20 season ( Coco Crisp), an injury-prone shortstop who managed to deliver a full season's worth of games ( Jed Lowrie), a platoon first baseman ( Brandon Moss) and a 40-year-old contact pitcher ( Bartolo Colon). Yoenis Cespedes, probably the most recognizable Fantasy entity coming into 2013, couldn't clear the bar he set as a rookie, when he was a top 20 Rotisserie outfielder. Difficulties in making contact helped to shave 52 points off Cespedes' batting average, as he languished with a .240 mark and No. 33 ranking among Roto outfielders.

    Despite the team's collective success, you could easily get through the first three or four rounds of your upcoming mixed league drafts without seeing a single Athletic go off the board. Still, Donaldson and Cespedes are legitimate early-round options (if not the very early rounds), and Crisp and Moss can be targeted in the middle rounds, particularly in Roto leagues. Colon is out of the picture, having signed with the Mets this offseason, but Sonny Gray and A.J. Griffin are solid candidates for your mixed league rotation. New closer Jim Johnson is also an appropriate pick for the middle rounds. Lowrie, outfielder Josh Reddick, catcher John Jaso and starting pitchers Jarrod Parker and Dan Straily are all players worthy of late-round fliers.

    The A's did lose a few key pieces from their 96-win team, but they found solid replacements during the offseason. Colon and closer Grant Balfour departed via free agency, but Beane signed Scott Kazmir and traded for Johnson to take over for them. Kazmir is another name to add to your late-round sleeper list after completing a successful campaign with the Indians last year. The team also added bullpen depth by trading outfielder Seth Smith to the Padres for Luke Gregerson, and they maintained their outfield depth by acquiring Craig Gentry from the Rangers.

    Fantasy teams don't usually face the same payroll constraints that the A's do, so they don't have to mimic the franchise's no-stars approach. That said, the organization still offers plenty of players who can help Fantasy owners win a title this coming season, if not the centerpieces to build a team around.

    Injury-risk sleeper No. 1 ... Scott Kazmir, starting pitcher

    Kazmir gave us a nice comeback story last year, just by virtue of cracking the Indians' rotation and staying there through the end of the season. What he accomplished, especially from late June on, was actually much more impactful than simply winning and keeping a job. Kazmir gave owners strikeouts all year long, and his 4.04 ERA and 1.32 WHIP obscure how dominant he was over his final 18 starts. Over that three month-plus stretch, he posted a 3.06 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, as he threw more than two-thirds of his pitches for strikes and recovered from poor early luck with hits on balls in play. As long as Kazmir doesn't revert to his prior history of injuries and wildness, he has a shot at pitching like a top 30 starter.

    Injury-risk sleeper No. 2 ... John Jaso, catcher

    Jaso's first season in Oakland got off to a slow start, as he hit just .252 with one home run through the end of May. His Fantasy owners didn't get to enjoy the fruits of a midseason revival for long, as Jaso's year was done for good on July 24 when he was concussed as a result of taking foul tips off his mask in back-to-back games. Any time a player returns from a concussion, it's a risk to assume they can pick up where they left off, but Jaso is in a situation that is as close to ideal as possible. He will spend most of his time as the designated hitter, spared from the rigors and injury risks of catching, and assuming he is healthy, Jaso should be able to amass more than his previous career high of 404 plate appearances. Given that you may be able to get the likes of Geovany Soto, Alex Avila or Welington Castillo off waivers in a two-catcher mixed league, it's worth giving Jaso a try with a late-round pick, as there is minimal cost if he doesn't work out. If all goes well, he could provide a decent batting average and power with a high on-base percentage.

    As part of a crowded infield situation a year ago, Lowrie headed into spring training looking poised for a utility role, but he emerged as the starting shortstop. Then Lowrie did something unprecedented, turning in a full season in a regular role. He finally answered the question, "What could Lowrie do if he could just stay healthy for a full season?", and the answer was to his owners' liking. Hitting .290 with 15 home runs, 75 RBI and 80 runs, Lowrie finished fourth in standard Head-to-Head scoring among shortstops and seventh in Rotisserie value. Lowrie was aided by his career-high batting average and 45 doubles, which were partially boosted by a drop in strikeouts but also by a 28 percent line drive rate. That's more than 10 percentage points higher than his rates from each of his three previous seasons, and it has regression written all over it. Health permitting, Lowrie should be able to provide 15-plus homers for the third straight season, but don't be surprised to see his batting average and doubles total plunge. Despite his lofty rankings from 2013, Lowrie is best viewed as a late-round option this spring.

    Prospects Report

    Addison Russell's stock has been enhanced by his rankings on top prospects lists, and he put up stats in the California League that back up the hype. Then again, lots of hitters do in that hitter-friendly circuit, but Russell's home park in Stockton is not an especially favorable environment. The 20-year-old shortstop could bring his power-speed combination to Oakland sometime this season, making him worthy of a flier in deeper leagues. ... Michael Ynoa may be the best known of the A's current pitching prospects, but Raul Alcantara is younger, fared much better after making the jump from Class A to Advanced Class A, and doesn't have Ynoa's history of elbow injuries. Both pitchers should be targeted in deeper dynasty leagues. ... Other than Russell, first baseman Maxwell Muncy is probably the prospect closest to the majors, but he may not arrive this year, and when he does debut, he may not hit for much power. ... Outfielder Billy McKinney and third baseman Renato Nunez are still working through the lower minors, but both have sufficient promise to merit a pick in dynasty formats.

    Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs .

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    Amazon Attacking Barnes & Noble On Campus?

    Review-storefront.png"> The homepage for Amazon's new UC Davis store. Amazon promotes things students might want to buy most.

    While Barnes & Noble may be struggling right now as a company, it's mostly the Nook digital media division that's dragging down earnings - both B&N's chain of retail stores and college bookstores are showing relatively healthy revenues and profits, despite the intense competition from Amazon and other booksellers.

    Now, Amazon, perhaps not content to best Barnes & Noble on the ebook battlefield, is going after the retailer in one of its strongholds: the college campus. Amazon has formed a partnership with University of California, Davis to create an online storefront geared specifically toward the university's students.

    Barnes & Noble does the same thing in the physical world, operating nearly 700 college bookstores across the country, including at Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale, state schools like Indiana University, and community and technical college systems. Through the first half of the company's fiscal 2014, its college division had sales of $963 million. In fiscal 2013, it had nearly $1.8 billion in sales.

    For the Amazon deal, UC Davis Stores, the company that operates the university's retail network, will get about 2% of revenues from purchases through the new online storefront. A scholarship has also been established that will use store revenues.

    "The collaboration is a win-win for the university and its students," UC Davis Stores director Jason Lorgan said in a statement. "The site complements the existing UC Davis retail operations and provides additional items that we're unable to provide. We expect it will generate significant revenue for the university and do not believe it will harm our in-store sales."

    Whether deals like this harm UC Davis Stores sales is an open question and, now, an ongoing experiment. Less immediately clear is if such a deal will put a dent in one of Barnes & Noble's healthiest businesses. In 2013, the college bookstore segment showed modest 1.1% growth while both the company's other divisions shrank. The retail segment, which is roughly three times the size of the college business, shrank by about 6% and the beleaguered Nook digital business shrank by nearly 17% in 2013. Losses at the retail stores seem to have stemmed somewhat in 2014 while the bleeding at Nook has intensified.

    Requests for comment from Amazon on its college strategy were not responded to before press time.

    "The new program is a way for Amazon to better serve our university student customers," an Amazon spokesperson said in an email to me. "By collaborating with the college bookstore, we're able to complement the on-campus selection, offering students millions of items at great prices with free two-day shipping through Amazon Student. And when students shop with Amazon through this program, they support their university. We think it's a win-win."

    The spokesperson went on to confirm that the program is a pilot and Amazon hopes to roll it out to other college campuses.

    Barnes & Noble as a whole is struggling on many fronts. A disastrous holiday quarter exposed massive losses at Nook. The company is being sued by shareholders and a class action complaint was recently filed. And the appointment of Michael Huseby as the new CEO has signaled to investors, employees and observers that the break up and sale of the company may be imminent.

    Observers have predicted that Nook will be sold or shuttered and at least one investing industry observer cheered that notion. One industry analyst speculated that Wal-Mart could buy Barnes & Noble in an effort to bolster its book sales competition with Amazon.

    Monday, January 27, 2014

    Your ultimate mobile office: The tools you need to work on any device

    Whether work follows you out of the office or your office is wherever you happen to be, you can't be tied down. You need to edit documents, access files, track projects, and more, from your laptop or from any major flavor of mobile device. Here are the tools anyone needs to get work done anywhere.


    Microsoft Office 365

    We have to mention Office 365, but we also have to note a few caveats. With a one-year subscription ($100), users get access to all of Microsoft's programs on up to five Windows or Mac computers, plus mobile access on up to five smartphone and tablet devices. Apps are available for Android and iOS, and the app is preinstalled on all Windows Phones.

    Office 365 has a big cross-platform weakness: the limited apps for iOS and Android.

    That said, using Office 365's companion apps on Android and iOS is a bit of a nightmare, with feature omissions and weird quirks plaguing the overall experience. Perhaps worse, you can't use Office Mobile on your iPad or Android tablet, so owners of such devices are shortchanged.

    Kingsoft Office

    When PCWorld reviewed Kingsoft Office 2012, we called it the best Microsoft Office alternative you've never heard of. And you can't argue with free. The 2013 version boasts further improvements, including a ribbon interface that looks and acts astonishingly like that of Office on the PC. Kingsoft also has good mobile apps for iOS and Android.

    Kingsoft Office isn't perfect, however. Although you can open documents in all Office formats, including the newer .docx format for Word documents, you can save them only in the older .doc format.

    Google Drive

    Google Drive includes a powerful word processor, spreadsheet creator, and presentation maker that you can use anywhere you have a Web connection, or offline with any device running the Chrome browser. And unlike Office 365, Drive provides solid mobile applications for Android and iOS. You'll find an app for Windows Phone as well, though reviews on it are mixed, and the app was functional but a bit buggy in our experience.

    Google Drive is a cloud-storage service and a remarkably full-featured (and free) Web-based productivity suite rolled into one.

    Of course, Google Drive also offers a fully integrated cloud-storage platform with 15GB of free storage space and the option to add 100GB to 16TB of capacity via a monthly subscription.

    Not married to Google? It has some competition, too.

    Cloud storage

    dropbox app

    Dropbox's mobile apps integrate nicely with iOS and Android.

    With Dropbox, you get 2GB of online storage at no cost, and you can unlock additional storage (up to about 15GB to 20GB can be had for free) for performing certain tasks such as enabling automatic upload of pictures on your mobile device. Dropbox subscription plans add 100GB to 500GB of storage for $100 to $500 per year. For the admittedly hefty prices, you get priority access to Dropbox's support team and more bandwidth allowance.

    Dropbox has apps for PC, Mac, and Linux on the personal computer side, and mobile apps for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone. What sets it apart from the other services is how it deeply integrates with each operating system. On Android and iOS, for example, you can set the app to automatically upload pictures you take on your phone to your Dropbox. On your PC, you can keep a separate folder for Dropbox so that you can easily upload files to the cloud.

    Microsoft SkyDrive

    SkyDrive has iOS and Android apps but integrates best with Windows Phones.

    Microsoft's SkyDrive gives users 7GB of free storage. Subscription plans add 50GB to 200GB of storage for $25 to $100 per year-a bit cheaper than other options. Users can access SkyDrive files via a Web app, or through apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

    Surprise: SkyDrive is deeply integrated with Windows 8, RT, and Windows Phone. On Windows Phone, SkyDrive is built into the Photos hub, so you can easily save pictures and videos to your SkyDrive storage. On all Windows platforms, you can save and access your Office files anywhere, and they look good on all devices from phone to tablet to PC. The service works well on other platforms, but the experience will always be a bit better on Windows devices.

    Scheduling and task management

    Nothing against the calendars in Outlook and Drive, but these third-party apps can add key enhancements. is a simple-to-use cloud-based task list that lets you set target completion deadlines, add reminders, and of course, remove tasks from your list as you complete them. Each step takes just a few seconds, meaning you'll be more likely to use the tool than tire of it-something that can't always be said for the arduous processes of full-fledged programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar.

    The app is available on both Android and iOS, and a Google Chrome extension lets you manage your tasks from any PC, Mac, or Linux computer. The company behind also provides a Calendar app, Cal (iOS and Android), that connects to your task list.


    A simple and free online scheduling tool, Doodle makes it easy to figure out when everyone in a group is free. Instead of tearing their hair out trying to reconcile everyone's conflicts, the meeting organizer sets up a survey with potential dates and times for the meeting. Each participant responds with their free times, and then the meeting organizer can set up the meeting right from within the Web app.

    Users can connect their Google, iCloud, Outlook, or Microsoft Exchange calendars. Doodle is accessible via any Web browser. The Android and iOS apps inexplicably cost $3 each and are inferior to the experience you get in a mobile browser.



    Evernote needs no introduction. With Evernote, you can quickly jot down notes complete with pictures and audio clips, set reminders, or add to-do lists, all of which then sync to the cloud so that you can view them on any device.

    Evernote Premium users ($5 per month or $45 per year) get offline note-taking capabilities on mobile devices, better collaboration tools, passcode locking, more upload capacity, and smarter searching. A Presentation Mode for your notes is a cool feature limited to Mac users for now.

    Evernote offers mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry, as well as for Windows 8 touch devices. You can also install apps on nontouch Windows computers and Macs by way of Evernote's download page.

    Microsoft OneNote

    OneNote's wheel-based control scheme (Windows 8 app pictured).

    OneNote lets you take notes digitally as you would in a typical composition notebook, and you can create different "notebooks" for different topics. Apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone (app preinstalled), and Windows 7/8/RT, and with Office Web Apps on any Mac or Linux device.

    The Windows 8 app is where OneNote truly shines, not surprisingly. In addition to taking notes with embedded images and spreadsheets, you can capture anything on your Windows 8 screen using the Share Charm and add annotations to make the image meaningful. We'd like to see Microsoft include this feature in all versions of the OneNote software.

    Handy extras

    When you're on the go, having tools to connect with your colleagues-or directly to your office PC-can keep you from running aground. Although this arena sees significant competition, the following two tools offer the best feature sets-and they're free.


    Now owned by Microsoft, the Skype videoconferencing and calling service is available on all major platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux computers and Windows Phone, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry mobile devices. Not surprisingly, Skype is deeply integrated into Windows 8.1 and 8.1 RT, and it also integrates with the People Hub on Windows Phone 8.

    The thing everyone loves most about Skype is still present: Phone and video calling between Skype clients is free, and Skype users can call a mobile or landline telephone anywhere in the world for a modest per-minute fee.


    TeamViewer is a free application that lets you access your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer remotely from your Android, iOS, Windows Phone, or Windows 8/RT device, provided that your main computer is powered on and has the TeamViewer app installed.

    TeamViewer makes it a snap for you or a cohort to control your PC from afar, on mobile apps and proper PCs alike. (Android app pictured here.)

    In our testing, we easily connected to our Windows and Mac machines from an iPhone, iPad, Nexus 5, and Windows 8 tablet device, and each worked fairly smoothly.

    Sunday, January 19, 2014

    Travel Deals and Steals for Sunday, Jan. 19


    Celebrate National Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month at Mountain Creek in Vernon, N.J. It's the closest major ski resort to New York City - and now there's a "Bring a Friend" promotion.

    Steal: Weekdays through Jan. 31, buy one "Learn-to-Ski" or "Snowboard Package" at $99 and get one free. This includes: a limited terrain lift ticket, rental equipment, helmet, and a one-and-a-half hour group lesson for you and your friend (holidays not included).

    Experience: Every day through Feb. 28, grab the "3X Guarantee." This means three anytime beginner lift tickets, three helmet and equipment rentals, and three 90-minute group lessons for $129.99. Mountain Creek guarantees that students will be embracing their inner Olympic athlete and making turns unassisted in just three visits - or Mountain Creek will keep teaching you for free.

    Book it! Coupon at or by calling (973) 827-2000.


    Discover the wildlife, fresh cuisine and stunning scenery of Bora Bora in French Polynesia.

    Deal: The "Romantic Getaway" island experience includes five nights at the St. Regis Bora Bora, with rates starting at $4,125 per person. Also in the deal: internal round trip airport transfers, coach class air by Air Tahiti, one night at the InterContinential Papeete Tahiti, five nights at the St. Regis Bora Bora and a shark-watching tour. There's breakfast for two daily and one three-course dinner for two. There's even a guaranteed upgrade from the overwater bungalow to a superior overwater villa at the St. Regis Bora Bora. This offer is valid for bookings by Jan. 31 and travel before March 31.

    Experience: Just one hour by plane from Tahiti, Bora Bora is a pristine tropical paradise with snow white sand beaches, clear waters and the creamiest butter (yes, butter) you will ever taste anywhere on the planet. The scenery is lush and tropical, blooming with hibiscus and strings of lagoons hiding the most elegant black pearls in the world.

    Book it! Online at or by calling 1-800-227-9246


    Spend a whole lot less for much more fun at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa.

    Deal: Book by Feb. 28 and save 20% off lowest available rates. Rates currently start at $299 per night. The offer is valid for stays now through March 31.

    Experience: This sprawling beachfront property lays claim to the area's largest private beach and is just minutes from many of South Florida's hotspots. Nearby Las Olas Boulevard has 17 blocks of cafes, shopping and art galleries. Get a great view of the area with a riverfront cruise, which departs from the Las Olas Riverfront Marketplace nearby.

    Book it: Visit and enter promo code D3Q.


    Enjoy world-class golf and save on a beachfront suite at the five-star CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla.

    Deal: Book the "Suite Escapes" package and stay four nights in a beachfront suite - and get the fifth night free. This deal includes: complimentary breakfast, airport or ferry greeting and WiFi. Rates start at $875 per night.

    Experience: All beachfront suites come with a private terrace overlooking views of neighboring St. Maarten. Guests love the Greg Norman golf course, state-of-the-art spa and pristine beaches. The resort is also home to the Caribbean's first hydroponic farm and the island's first Japanese restaurant, Tokyo Bay.

    Book it: Online at and select the "Suite Escapes" promotion. The offer's valid through Dec. 20.

    Conway Confidential is a content syndication provider specializing in travel, food and lifestyle.

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

    Sports Authority Coupon 2014: 15% off Coupons, Printable Coupon & Deals

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    The Sports Authority coupon code is the best way to save money on purchasing gym equipment or the latest and greatest gear from the sports world at a very reasonable cost. This Sports Authority coupon code will allow customers to get the opportunity of saving on different versions of accessories that can be used for outdoor activities and the amount of money that customers got as their savings can be used to purchase other products that they might need. Sports Authority coupons provide additional discounts off the original price. These Sports Authority coupon codes are exclusive unadvertised deals and are not published outside of Sports Authority's affiliate networks. Consumers must hunt Sports Authority coupons down through the internet. The discount is calculated when the ordering is processed. To use the Sports Authority coupon code, consumers must enter it on the check out page before they submit their ordering.

    Sports Authority is a full-line sporting goods store, which is dedicated to providing our customers with the best shopping experience possible by consistently providing an impressive assortment of brand name merchandise at great values in over 1,200 categories including equipment, footwear and apparel. Dedicated to increasing that value, Sports Authority strives to be the first choice for the sports, leisure and recreational customer by providing industry-leading customer service and product knowledge as well as "Specialty Service at Everyday Low Prices". When customers sign up for the newsletter they will also receive a Sports Authority coupon for 10% on their next purchase.

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    Cheaperseeker provides not only Sports Authority online coupons, promotions, and discounts but also for hundreds of other top stores throughout the US and around the world, so remember to check over at before doing any online shopping at or other online store to make sure the prices paid are as low as possible.

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Deal could come as early as today to protect DIA art, Detroit pensioners

    A Online Deals-works-mediators-would-protect-art-pensions-Detroit-bankruptcy">deal to use foundation money to protect the Detroit Institute of Arts' collection and Detroit's pensioners from the consequences of the city's bankruptcy could be announced as early as today, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

    One source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said talks are at a delicate stage and there are "a number of moving parts," including what role the state would play in any deal.

    But there's a 50/50 chance the " grand bargain " will be announced today, the source said, in part because of concerns about inaccurate speculation.

    The foundations, which range from nationals such as Ford and Kellogg to local institutions such as Skillman and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, were preparing Sunday to make a joint statement that reflects their enthusiasm at being involved in efforts to help the city get back on its feet.

    Darren Walker, CEO of the Ford Foundation in New York, has reportedly taken a lead role in structuring the deal and bringing other foundations into it.

    Gerald Rosen, chief judge of U.S. District Court in Detroit, is the mediator in the city's bankruptcy case and called the foundations together in the fall to discuss ways to help with the DIA and the pensions.

    DIA officials declined comment Sunday, and pension officials could not be reached.

    If a deal is brokered, it would be a breakthrough in addressing the two most contentious issues in the city's bankruptcy proceedings.

    DIA in peril: A look at the museum's long, tangled relationship with Detroit politics and finances

    Interactive gallery: Detroit Institute of Arts masterpieces: What they're worth

    Mark Stryker: DIA's future intertwined with Detroit's

    Sources say the deal taking shape would have the foundations give between $300 million and $500 million to fill a portion of the funding shortfall in the city's two pension funds. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr has said that shortfall — mostly in the city's general retirement fund, not the one for police and firefighters — is as high as $3.5 billion.

    The foundation money won't fill the gap entirely, but sources said it's intended to soften any blow retirees would be asked to take in the bankruptcy. If managed properly, it's also possible that the foundation money could be invested and eventually grow to pay an even larger share of the pension shortfall, which is projected to materialize over the next 30 years.

    In exchange for the money given to pensioners, the museum would not be asked to sell any art or otherwise monetize its collection. Under the deal, the museum and its collection would eventually revert to state control, likely under an authority that would ensure that the DIA would never again face the possibility of having to sell its treasures to pay municipal or state debt.

    There are several sticking points in the deal — a major one being what role the state would play.

    Sources say the foundations have insisted that the state chip in on the effort, and that to date, no agreement — on the amount of state help, or the terms — has been reached. Some sources said the state's share could be as high as $100 million, paid over 10 or 20 years; other sources have said the amount being asked of state officials was lower.

    It's possible any state contribution would have to be approved by the Legislature.

    State Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, who chairs the appropriations committee, said he hasn't been approached about money for the museum, but "that could come and I would consider that."

    There also is concern, according to sources close to the negotiations, about the implication of a change in DIA ownership on the millages that were passed last year in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to provide $23 million a year to the museum for the next decade. Negotiators plan to talk soon with county executives to be sure that the deal to save the museum's art doesn't wipe out the millage agreements. The foundations' help is contingent on the millage money staying in place.

    Sources also say there are concerns about the future management of the pension funds. The police and fire pension fund is better managed than the general fund is, but there are questions about whether the foundations will give money without new management in place for both funds.

    Rosen already has brokered a tentative agreement between Detroit and several banks over a 2005 credit swap deal. He has worked for weeks with the foundations and others to shape a deal to save the city's art museum and help retirees.

    Deal: All of Amazon's Kindle Fire Lineup is $30 Off

    Discount is running a promotion that slashes $30 off of all of their Kindle Fire tablets as a "thanks to customers for voting Amazon #1 in customer satisfaction" yet again. The deal includes discounts off of the brand new Kindle Fire HDX models (both 7 and 8.9) and the regular Kindle Fire (both 7 and 8.9). The Fire HDX 7 can be had for as little as $199, while the HDX 8.9 drops to $349. The regular Kindle Fire HD drops to an insanely low $109 price, which the HD 8.9 slides in at just under $200. Not bad deals.

    The HDX models are Amazon's top tier line that can compete with almost any other tablet on the planet in terms of specs. We're talking high-res displays (1920×1200), Snapdragon 800 processors, the newest version of Amazon's Android skin, custom Dolby Audio, "state-of-the-art" dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, and their 24-7 Mayday video support chat.

    At checkout, use the code "MAYDAY30″ to see the discount.

    Amazon Links: Kindle Fire HDX 7 ($199) | Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 ($349) | Kindle Fire HD 7 ($109)

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    New D.C.-Based Price-Comparing App Launches

    The D.C. tech scene now has another home-grown app. PriceSpotting-a free app that allows users to compare prices of items at local stores-launched this week and is available for iPhone and Android users to download.

    Here's how it works: Users can search for items on the app to see which local store is offering the product at the lowest price. Or users can scan items while they're at a store to see how its Coupon Codes with other retailers. If the item isn't available in the app's database , users can upload it themselves so that others can eventually search for it. The success of the app depends on whether people contribute to its inventory; as an incentive, users earn points for the items they upload, which can be redeemed for cash or special sales.

    "We help consumers save money and time for local purchases," says Neil Kataria,the CEO and founder of D.C.-based Blue Tiger Labs, the company that developed PriceSpotting. Kataria said during the beta-testing stage of the app, about 5,000 users submitted about 3 million prices (for around 219,000 unique items) in D.C. Next, Kataria says he plans to expand the app to San Francisco and Atlanta.

    "It takes four to five seconds to enter some prices," says Kataria. "It's incredible, incredible just to see the activity during the testing period."

    The app debuted this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Blue Tiger Labs launched PriceSpotting alongside another one of its homegrown apps: Mobile Merchant, which allows shopkeepers to manage their inventory digitally.

    Blue Tiger Labs has its office in Chinatown and currently has 13 employees, nine of them based in D.C.

    The apps received money from a number of investors including Mark Ein, chairman of Kastles Systems.

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    T-Mobile will now pay $350 for you to leave AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon

    Just as predicted, T-Mobile's latest hyped-up plan to change the cellular industry is this: the company will pay your early termination fee if you agree to switch. Starting tomorrow, the company will pay you up to $350 per line to cover early termination fees and release you from a contract with AT&T, sprint plans, or Verizon.

    Unfortunately, there are quite a few catches. You'll also need to trade in your existing phone, buy a new T-Mobile phone, sign up for a new T-Mobile plan, and even port your existing phone number to T-Mobile - in case you weren't going to do that anyway.

    T-Mobile also won't be paying out a lump sum of $350, but rather the actual amount you pay your existing carrier if you break your contract to switch. You'll need to send proof to T-Mobile directly at this website or mail it to the company, and presumably wait for your money. You do, however, get an instant credit for trading in your existing smartphone at the time of the deal, with T-Mobile paying up to an additional $300 depending on the phone you trade in, and you won't have to pay right away for your new smartphone since T-Mobile is making almost all of them $0 down on contract.

    "We're giving families a 'Get Out of Jail Free Card.'"

    Unsurprisingly, T-Mobile is trumpeting the idea as a bold new idea. "We're giving families a 'Get Out of Jail Free Card," writes Legere in the press release. But in many ways, AT&T just beat T-Mobile to the punch. Last week, AT&T announced that it would pay $200 for every line that T-Mobile customers switched over to its own network, an offer that also requires those customers to buy a new AT&T phone.

    "Try the network, try what we're doing, and if it doesn't work, these pricks will pay you to come back!"

    At the time, Legere called AT&T's promotion a "desperate move," accusing AT&T of trying to buy customers back, and his own plans aren't that much different. However, as Legere points out on stage, the fact that both T-Mobile and AT&T are paying you to switch could be pretty great.

    "Try the network, try what we're doing," Legere asks. "And if it doesn't work, these pricks will pay you to come back!"

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    Deals on the Slopes: January 9 edition

    Here's what's happening on the slopes of some of New Mexico's ski areas

    College Days @ Red River

    January 5, 2014 - January 15, 2014

    Talk about a deal! You're still not finished with your Christmas Break until you've come to the mountains! $35 lift tickets and $15 rental equipment, just for bringing your Student ID. Come visit for fun activities, too! Including some contests where you can fight your rival school's students, live music, great ski fun.

    More info at 575-754-2223

    Buy Tickets Discount and save up to 25% at Angel Fire

    November 8, 2013 - March 17, 2014

    Winter Reservations are now open! This year buy your Lift Tickets more than 7 days in advance of arrival and save money over the Window Rates guaranteed! Save up to 25% online.

    Deals at Sipapu

    * Get deep discounts on lift tickets every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in January:

    * Buy 1 lift ticket, get 1 FREE on Tuesdays!

    * Wednesdays are Car Load Days: everyone in one car (limit: 6) skis for $50.

    * Thursdays are Local Appreciation Days: all lift tickets are $25 or less! No ID required.

    * FREE Lodging Days are available nearly everyday: buy one $44 lift ticket and up to four people stay slopeside for FREE.

    * January is Learn to Ski Month! First-time skiers and snowboarders get a free 2-hour lesson with a lift ticket purchase, and beginner packages are available starting at $49 per guest! For details, visit