TechBite: Secret Shopper Scam – Don’t Get Nailed

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By Steve Bass

My mother got a letter from a company in Canada. The cover letter, on decent-looking stationery, and with a real signature, congratulated her for agreeing to be a secret shopper. There were three pages of instructions and an honest-to-goodness Citibank check for $1,500.

The letter said she was to cash the check, use the money to buy items at Sears, Best Buy, and a supermarket, and then rate the stores. On top of that, she could keep whatever she purchased — and get a $300 fee for her time. Sweet, no?

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TechBite: 5 Net Tricks to Save You Money

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By Steve Bass

Frugal? Thrifty? No, Cheap!
"You’re a bargain hunter," one of my more polite friends says. My wife’s more to the point: She calls me a cheapskate. I like being frugal, but what do I know? Call me whatever you want (you will anyway), I don’t like paying retail and I’m always looking for a deal, especially when shopping online.

The Internet gives me the chance to comparison shop, see how shipping figures into the price, look over specifications, and feel confident I’ve found the best buy. Here are some of the sites I use.

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TechBite: Stream Movies from Your PC to Your TV

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By Steve Bass

Watch movies on my PC? No way." I was talking to one of my cousins, not one of the brightest bulbs in the family. It took me a few minutes to explain how he could send downloaded movies — as well as other Internet content, such as TV shows — to the TV in his living room.

For the last few months, I’ve tried two devices that sit near your TV and grab video content from your PC. Even in this dreadful economy, neither one I tried is terribly expensive — and there are no monthly charges.

This week I’ll cover the hardware; next week I’ll tell you where to find movies and TV shows on the Internet. I’ll also tell you about a MediaGate portable media player.

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TechBite: Save your PCs Bacon – Back up your Registry

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By Steve Bass

System Restore is a recovery tool built into Windows that backs up and restores the Registry. System Restore takes a snapshot of your computer — called a restore point — once a day, as well as before you perform certain tasks, such as installing a new program. If all goes well, you can use a restore point later on to bring your PC back to the state it was in when the snapshot was taken. But remember, we’re talking about computers.

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