TIME Smartphones

Here’s How to Fix Your Cracked iPhone Screen

Broken iPhone
Simone Becchetti—Getty Images

Advice from someone who has broken every model

With apologies to Sir Jony Ive, I have managed to break every version of Apple’s iPhone, in one way or another. From getting water in the original iPhone’s dock to dropping and shattering an iPhone 6 within one day of its release, I’ve done it all. Heck, my iPad even took a face-plant on the sidewalk once, resulting in shards of glass everywhere.

But to date*, I’ve paid $0 to get each device repaired. Now that’s pretty much because Apple’s Genius Bar staffers did me a solid, each and every time I got a case of the dropsies (a string of favors that I imagine will end with this story.)

Still, if you’ve got a broken iPhone screen — depending on the model — there is more than one way to get it fixed.

Original iPhone

Seriously? Just upgrade it. If you’re still lugging around a seven-year-old handset, you probably also have a seven-year-old cellular plan. Carriers will give you an iPhone 5C for free, and your plan will still be cheaper. And no, your original iPhone isn’t worth money — unless it’s sealed in the box, comes with another, opened box original iPhone, and a souvenir gift bag—all in mint condition.

iPhone 3G (and 3GS)

See above. But in case you were wondering, my iPhone 3G screen held up just fine — including when I put it in the washing machine.

iPhone 4 (and 4S)

Sadly, see above, again. But the real problem here isn’t that you can’t get these screens replaced, because you actually can. It’s just that these older phones are officially obsolete, unable to load the newest versions of iOS. And, in addition, it’s currently less expensive to buy an iPhone 5S ($99) than it is to fix a broken screen on these older models ($149 each, except for iPhone 4S, which costs $199). These repair prices were quoted by Apple, and tend to be higher than third party repair services or do-it-yourself options. But still, it’s less expensive to simply upgrade to a new handset.

Still, if you like the challenge of doing it yourself, this guide by iFixit can help you field strip your iPhone like it was a wide-mouthed bass. But before you rip into it, grab a display replacement kit, which has all the tools and hardware you need and typically costs less than $20.

Alternatively, if, like me, you broke iPhone 4’s rear glass cover, you can easily swap it out, and get some pretty cool colored or brushed aluminum replacements in the process.

iPhone 5 (and 5S)

Apple’s out-of-warranty cost for replacing these handsets’ screens is $129, which again, begs the “why not upgrade” question. But in this instance, the answer to that might be because your iPhone 5 is still too new to toss — and I’d argue that even if you can upgrade, this phone is still plenty powerful and worth holding onto (at least as a backup).

Replacing the iPhone 5 on your own is also a little more involved than its predecessor, invoking the need for special suction tools, as iFixit demonstrates. For $59, the company provides everything you need to fix your broken iPhone 5 screen, but if you have a busted iPhone 5C or a smashed up iPhone 5S, make sure you get the proper kit — they aren’t all the same. (In fact, the replacements for the colored and Touch ID sensor phones cost $89.)

As the costs of replacement parts soar, it might be worth considering having someone else fix up your iPhone. A local third-party repair shops that I contacted recently quoted just over $100 to replace my shattered iPhone 5 screen. Yup — I’ve broken one of those, too. Well, my wife did, a month after I broke my brand new iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus)

Before I go into display replacement options for Apple’s newest iPhones, two pieces of advice. First, buy a case. The brushed aluminum backing on the new iPhones is smooth and particularly slick. With its wider form factor, the phone is more difficult to grip. I recommend Apple’s leather case, it’s the best protector I’ve ever had — and no, I didn’t have one when I dropped my iPhone 6 in the garage, 23 hours after I bought it.

Secondly, buy the AppleCare Plus warranty. In my 15 years as an Apple user, I have never bought one warranty, but if I could take a mulligan on this device, I would. Many people opt out of AppleCare Plus because the cost of replacing the newest iPhone’s display is an all-time-low $109 ($129 for the iPhone 6 Plus). But the $99, two-year plan is a good investment because it allows for two accidental incidents. (Meanwhile, AppleCare’s default plan lasts just six months and only covers manufacturer’s faults.) You’ll want these protections because even the non-plus-sized iPhone 6 is wider than you think, and you will drop it. I repeat, you will drop the iPhone 6.

Also, it’s entirely possible that iPhone 6’s screen replacement services are currently unavailable, because demand for the new phones are so high that replacement displays are hard to come by. This would mean that Apple could only replace your iPhone 6, a repair option that costs $299 for an iPhone 6, or $329 for iPhone 6 Plus. If you had AppleCare Plus, that would cost $0.

Given how new the iPhone 6 is, its replacement parts are still very expensive, and third-party repair shops are having a difficult time matching the Apple Genius Bar pricing. A call to a local shop just generated a $250 quote for an iPhone 6 screen replacement, and the iPhone 6 Plus’s screen costs $370 for them to fix.

And likewise, it’s still early for do-it-yourselfers to make their own repairs. This walk-through explains how to swap out a new screen for a broken one. They also sell replacement display parts, but starting at $166, you won’t save any money fixing your iPhone 6 on your own. Just do as I’ve done every time: bring it back to Apple, be very nice to the lovely people there, flash a smile, tell a funny story about how you destroyed the super-computer in your pocket, and know that it will all work out in the end.

*With my recently broken iPhone 5, this is likely to change soon.


5 Awesome Things You Didn’t Realize You Could Do With iPhone’s Touch ID

Apple iPhone Touch ID
An employee holds an Apple Inc. iPhone with the "check out" section of a demonstration bank payment web page using the Zapp money transfer and payment system in this arranged photograph at the company's offices in London, U.K., on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Like most of Apple’s new technologies and modern conveniences, Touch ID is something you didn’t know you needed until you got it. As a fingerprint-authorized security sensor embedded in your iPhone 5S-or-newer handset (and on the newest iPads), this innovation lets you securely unlock your phone with a simple touch and make wallet-less purchases using the company’s Apple Pay service.

But that’s only where this technology begins. Here are five more ways you can use Touch ID to lock down your digital life:

Authenticate Your Apps

As great as Touch ID is, it will only keep people from monkeying with your Apple device. If someone knows the password to your web-based accounts like Facebook or Gmail, they can just log in on other hardware. Two-factor authentication, the process of using more than just a password to log into a service, doubles up your security, and apps like Authy can give you that added layer by providing you with a “token,” or a code that changes every 20 seconds.

This technology isn’t new, but Authy (which is free) allows users to lock app with Touch ID, giving it three levels of authentication — one of which being your fingerprint — making your accounts as secure as can be.

Unlock Your Computer

Once you start using Touch ID to secure your iPhone or iPad, you’ll start wondering why you still have to peck a password into your computer. Well, you can get around that with FingerKey, a $1.99 iOS app (with a complementary Mac program) that uses the fingerprint sensor embedded in your mobile device’s home button to autofill your computer’s passkey.

By pairing the phone to your computer via Bluetooth, the software duo forms a secure connection, waking the computer and entering your password. Right now, the solution is only available for Apple computers, but Linux and Windows versions are already in the works.

Secure Your Phone Records

Using Google Voice is a great way to trim back on your cellular service, but you can also take your number with you, roaming-free, when you travel worldwide. There are many ways to access the service on an iPhone, but one way to keep the app under wraps is by using GV Connect. This $2.99 app not only bundles together all of Google Voice’s great features, like voicemail transcription and text messaging, but it also lets users lock down the app using Touch ID, ensuring that all your records, texts, and voicemails stay private.

Protect Your Personal Journal

Remember when you were a kid, and your little sister Cindy read your diary? Oh wait, you’re not Marsha Brady. But then again, who writes diaries anymore? Instead, they log extensive journals on great apps like DayOne, a 2014 Apple Design Award winner that allows users to capture all the details of their lives using smartphone tools, from what song was playing when you first met her, to what the weather was like on the day he was born.

And with Touch ID security, now those details are locked away as safely — or moreso, perhaps — as if they were in your mind. So rest assured, your deepest thoughts and biggest secrets can indeed be committed to text while being completely shielded from prying eyes.

Sign Sensitive Documents

In 2005, Iraqi voters produced images of what they call the “electoral stain,” an ink-covered finger of people who just made their mark. If you can vote with a fingerprint, imagine if you could sign a contract with one too. SignEasy lets iPhone and iPad users do this through its handy app, linking the secure fingerprint sensor with e-signatures to authorize documents via mobile devices.

More secure than just scrawling your name on the touchpad, this free app makes the process more secure than before, when a four-digit pin code was required to make your mark. Get that — a pin code. How quaint! You might as well just use a pen.

TIME Social Media

Here’s a Super-Easy Way To Beat Twitter’s 140 Character Limit

Just take a screenshot

Twitter’s 140-character limit for tweets is rooted in its origin as a text-based service: SMS messages have a 160-character limit, so tweets were limited to 140 characters, leaving 20 for users’ handles.

But it’s been years since most of us used text messages as our primary means of tweeting. Instead, it’s all about desktop or mobile apps. And yet that 140-character limit hangs around, taunting us.

Well, here’s a crafty way to break that limit: Just type out a super-long tweet, take a screenshot of it, and post that screenshot. Boom! You’ve beaten the limit. A caveat: This will eat up more mobile data than a simple text tweet, and it won’t be copy & paste-able.

Here’s a list of ways to take a screenshot on different devices:

Happy tweeting.


How to Rescue Your Mac Fom Having Too Many Photos

Apple Opens New Store In Chicago's Lincoln Park Neighborhood
The new 11-inch MacBook Air is displayed at the new Apple Store during a media preview on October 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. Brian Kersey—Getty Images

Stage an intervention with iPhoto, before it’s too late

With the advent of digital cameras — and especially since the dawn of the smartphone — it’s become ever more difficult to put our past behind us. For instance, Yahoo estimated that 880 billion photos will be taken this year alone, a number no doubt inflated by all the selfies pouring out of the Philippines.

If you open up iPhoto and feel like all those pics have somehow made it onto your Mac, don’t despair. There’s a trick that can liberate your Apple computer from the stranglehold of your snapshots. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Get an external hard drive

In order to give your Mac some breathing room, you’ll need a new place to put all your pictures. Any drive will do, but some are better than others. For this exercise, Thunderbolt-equipped drives, like the one terabyte LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt, work well because they transfer images swiftly through the faster port.

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are also good, because they write data quickly, just like a computer’s RAM does. But on a per-gigabyte basis, these drives are very expensive compared to disc-based hard drives that offer more storage bang for the buck. (For instance, at $285, the 480-gigabyte Oyen Digital Shadow Mini SSD costs more than the LaCie but has less than half the storage space.)

Meanwhile, plain old external hard drives like the Western Digital My Book for Mac are clunky performers, but offer great values, selling two terabytes for less than a Benjamin. I recommend buying as much space as you can afford, as you’ll be filling it through the years. I would not recommend buying a wireless external storage drive — they are unstable and much slower than conventional hard drives.

Step 2: Update iPhoto

If there are updates available for iPhoto, download and install them, and then open the app. Make sure your library is working fine (or as well as can be expected, considering all the foodstagram shots you’ve got jammed in there). While iPhoto slowly grinds its gears to ensure your library is working with the newest version of the software, sit back and enjoy your memories as they zip across on the screen.

Really — you have no choice in this matter, and the app might seem like it’s frozen. But have patience and let iPhoto do its thing — and don’t force quit the program, since everything should keep moving. In fact, go for a walk, and try not to take any more photos while you’re out. When you get back, the app should be working just fine, and if so, quit the program. If not, the Apple Genius Bar is a lovely place to spend a few hours.

Step 3: Find your iPhoto Library

The iPhoto Library is what Mac OS calls a “package.” Essentially, it’s a folder you can’t (easily) open, and it has a unique icon, not a folder image. This particular package contains not just every photo you’ve loaded into iPhoto, but your albums and any projects you’ve made with the program.

Sufficed to say, for most users armed with only a smartphone, it’s a large file. People who like to capture videos will have an even larger library. And photographers with a high quality camera will have an even more bloated library because their images are much bigger files. (I fall into this category, and my iPhoto Library file is more than 50 gigabytes.) Then, throw in iCloud’s “Photo Stream,” a web-connected service that syncs your phone’s pictures with those on your computer, and this seemingly innocent Apple library is actually a data-driven parasite, eating your computer from the inside out.

You will need to extract it and store it on the external drive. So, unless you’ve already moved your iPhoto Library package, you’ll find it on your computer at Macintosh HD/Users/YourUsername/Pictures/iPhoto Library.

Step 4: Copy your iPhoto Library

Moving this library is not something that Apple recommends, but I’ve had mine located on an external drive for two years without incident. But it’s a little panic-inducing the first time you transfer it over, because this plan is essentially the equivalent of packing a moving truck full of priceless family heirlooms and hoping it makes it to your new address, somewhere out there in the dark.

So, I recommend first dragging the iPhoto Library from the Pictures folder onto the desktop. Once it’s been moved to the desktop, hold down the Option key and again drag the iPhoto Library, only this time onto your external drive. A green “plus” badge should appear on the iPhoto Library when it’s hovering over the external drive. That symbol indicates that the package is being copied to your external drive, not just being moved there. (Moving means the original file would be deleted from the desktop, and you don’t want that, yet.)

It may take more than 15 minutes to copy this library to its new home, depending on how large your library is, and what kind of external hard drive you’re using. Then, once it’s done copying, drag the desktop iPhoto Library to the trash (but don’t empty the trash, yet).

Step 5: Point iPhoto to the external iPhoto Library

Now for the magical part. Holding down the Option key, click on iPhoto to open the program. Instead of springboarding into your photos, like the program normally does, the option key launches a dialog box, asking for you to select a library. Navigate to the new library you’ve placed on your external drive. Once that’s selected, iPhoto should open and operate as it always has.

It might take a little extra time to open the first time you connect to the new library, but it’s worth noting that moving forward iPhoto will point to the external drive menu by default — unless you hold down the option key when launching the program again. Also, if you have two Macs but would like to have one library, just swap the external drive to the other computer, hold down Option when launching iPhoto, and select the drive again. Two Macs, one drive.

Step 6: Empty your trash

The last step is to empty your trash and free up your hard drive, but before you do that, you may want to grab another drive and archive the iPhoto Library again. Not only are external drives more vulnerable to corruption, but the larger, less expensive, disc-based hard drives are much more susceptible to breaking, because they have moving parts on the inside. (Think of them like vinyl records with a needle — that’s essentially how they work.)

Also, using this method of externally story your iPhoto Library may mean it no longer backs up using Apple’s Time Machine service (which you are using… right?), unless you change your settings to tell it to archive that drive, too. But whether you make a second backup or not, once you’re happy with the new library, empty the trash and say goodbye to the old one — and hello to a big pile of long, lost gigabytes.


8 Netflix Tricks You Just Can’t Live Without

US Online Streaming Giant Netflix : Illustration
In this photo illustration the Netflix logo is seen on September 19, 2014 in Paris, France. Pascal Le Segretain—Getty Images

Find out how to hide the embarrassing stuff you've been streaming

One of the main reasons Netflix is so popular is because of its simplicity. It’s painfully easy to queue up a movie on your laptop, video game console or mobile device and start watching in mere seconds. But that simplicity means there are a lot of features to Netflix that the average customer may not be using.

Here, we’ve rounded up some useful tips to help you get the most out of Netflix:

See What Movies Are Coming and Going

Netflix’s lineup of movies and TV shows is constantly changing as the company gains and loses licensing rights for different content. It’s difficult to get a full picture of the Netflix library from within the app itself, but a variety of third-party websites can help. Sites like Instant Watcher and What’s New On Netflix offer a daily rundown of new releases on the streaming service. Finding out when movies are going to be removed is a little trickier, because Netflix has purposefully obscured that information. However, the site Now Streaming updates regularly with lists of movies that will soon be going offline.

Get Better Search Options

Search options on Netflix are fairly limited, which can make it hard to ferret out quality movies from the service’s vast amount of content. Sites like Instant Watcher let you filter options by parameters such as year released as well as rating on Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes. And if your favorite movie isn’t on Netflix right now, you can use Can I Stream It or WhereToWatch to find out where else a film might be available to stream legally online.

Use Your Phone As a Remote

On the PlayStation 3, customers can use their phone or tablet to control Netflix instead of a video game controller. First, make sure your mobile device and your PS3 are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Then boot up the Netflix app on both devices, and your phone or tablet can be used to control the movie playing on the big screen — this also works if you’re watching Netflix via a Google Chromecast.

Get Smarter Recommendations

Netflix prides itself on its algorithms that are supposed to serve up content you’ll love that you didn’t even know you wanted. But the process only works if you feed the company a lot of info about what you enjoy. Rate movies regularly to get more precise recommendations, and don’t forget to fill out your taste preferences in your account settings. You can access the taste preferences list by selecting the “Your Account” option on the Web-based version of Netflix.

Change Subtitles

Tired of Netflix’s signature yellow subtitles? You can choose among eight different text colors as well as a background color to place behind the text. The font and text size can also be adjusted. The options are available in the “Your Account” settings on the Web version of Netflix.

Eliminate Buffering

There’s no bigger buzzkill during a riveting movie than being hit with a buffering screen. Netflix has a hidden menu to help you banish buffering. Press Shift + Alt + Left Click (or Shift + Option + Click on a Mac) while streaming a show to bring up a diagnostic screen. Click “Screen Manager,” then select the “Manual” checkbox to alter the stream’s bit rate. A lower number will lower the image quality of the program but will also allow you to watch on a slower connection without constant hiccups. When the buffering screen hits video game consoles and other living room streaming devices, try inputing the code Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Up, Up, Up, Up on the controller or remote to deactivate Netflix, then reboot it.

Make Profiles for Multiple Users

When you’re sharing your Netflix account with multiple friends and family members, the service’s recommendation algorithm can get pretty muddled. Separate the Law and Order fans from the documentary junkies by setting up separate profiles. You can have five in total and each will get its own viewing history and tailored recommendations. Create new profiles using the “Manage Profiles” option in the settings menu on Netflix.com.

Erase Your Viewing History

You gave into your base desires and binged on Bridezillas for five hours one rainy Sunday afternoon. It’s OK—no one ever has to know. Netflix will let you see a log of your vieiwng history and wipe specific items from the record books across all devices. Simply go to the “Your Account” option in the settings menu, click “Viewing Activity” and click the X on any shows you want to erase. Then you can go on watching trashy reality TV with impunity.

Read next: How to Stop Accidentally Closing Your Browser All the Time


How to Stop Accidentally Closing Your Browser All the Time

Inside The Google Chromebook Store
The logo of Google Inc. Chrome is seen alongside a Samsung Electronics Co. Chromebook laptop. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Don't be foiled by keyboard shortcuts

If you’re anything like me, you love using keyboard shortcuts to zip around your computer without moving your mouse—some say it’s laziness, I say it’s efficiency. Hitting Control-W or Cmd-W in Chrome or Firefox, for example, lets me easily close a tab once I’m done reading ’19 Reasons ‘Rose’ From Titanic Is a Feminist Hero.’

But if you are anything like me, you also have a nasty habit of hitting the wrong keys about 37% of the time. And guess what’s right next to “W?” That’s “Q,” which, when pressed along with that Control/Cmd key, totally closes your entire browser. Annoying!

Well, there’s something you can do about it.

If you’re using Chrome on a Mac, click “Chrome” on your top toolbar, then check “Warn Before Quitting.” Now, you’ll need to either hold down the Q button or tap it twice to fully close Chrome—no more accidental Cmd-Qs when you meant to Cmd-W. Chrome for Windows lacks this nifty feature, but if you restart Chrome and hit Control + Shift + T, it’ll reopen all the tabs you had open when you accidentally closed Chrome.

For Firefox users on Windows or Mac, the trick takes a little more work. First, open Firefox’s preferences panel and head over to the “Tabs” section. Check “Warn me when closing multiple tabs.” Then, open a new Firefox tab and in the address bar, type about:config. Filter those results by “warnon,” and set all the options that appear to “true.” Then filter for “quit,” and set the “showQuitWarning” to “true.” This won’t work. Huzzah! Now any time you’ve got more than one Firefox tab open, it’ll warn you before quitting.

Happy browsing, Chrome and Firefox users.


How to Turn Your iPhone into an Eagle-Eyed Fantasy Football Scout

Professional football running back running through defenders crowded stadium in background
Thomas M Barwick—Getty Images

Blitz your league opponents with this mobile playbook

When the first iPhone was launched in 2007, it had more computing heft than all of NASA had in 1969. So, if a bunch of giant, whirring supercomputers can help mankind land on the moon, your tiny pocket-sized smartphone can certainly rocket your fantasy football team into contention.

But it doesn’t take an astronaut or a football expert to make all the right picks—someone with a good understanding of the Xs and Os of Apple iOS can stiff arm the competition. Try these tips to turn your iPhone into your secret fantasy football weapon:

Tip 1: Throw a Flag on Your Notifications

If you’re like most people, your iPhone’s notifications are like Wes Welker in the offseason: out of control. Go into Settings and then Notifications, and look at the effect of your haphazard app adds—you do not need alerts from Candy Crush Saga. So, for the rest of these tips to work, start by nuking your iPhone’s current alerts in order to start fresh.

Apps can have three kinds of notifications. Badges (the little red numbered dots on the corner of the app) are great for things that you can blast through later, like work email. Banners (small strips that come and go up on the menu bar) work well if you’re always eyes-deep in your phone, and want to know what’s happening outside the app you’re in. Alerts, meanwhile, are like a solid defensive tackle — they’ll stop you in your tracks (until you press “OK”). Set up your apps keeping these differences in mind, giving alerts to the programs with the most crucial information and putting badges on the good-to-know news apps.

In addition, swiping down from the top of the home screen reveals the Notification Center, a great place to quickly zip through alerts across your apps. Most apps display items in Notification Center, but the best way to ensure you don’t get hit with the same information twice is to allow notifications for apps you want to display info here, but then turn off their sounds, badges, alerts, and lock screen options. This app offensive might take a while to run, but at least it gives you something to do while watching this week’s Tampa Bay game at Washington.

Tip 2: IFTTT the NFL

Yes, your phone is your team’s MVP, but there’s a whole world of digital smarts that can also lead you to victory, and IFTTT (pronounced “ift”) is the playmaker that can make them play like a team. An online service that links web-based data with web-based services, this easy-to-use interface can do everything from flash your Internet-connected lightbulbs when your team scores to text-message taunt your league opponents when their players get injured — all automatically.

If you haven’t heard of IFTTT yet, you will soon, because it’s starting to attract users outside the geek-o-sphere. But more importantly, IFTTT has heard of the NFL, and they even have their own list of winning fantasy football plays. For instance, if you want send breaking ESPN fantasy news to your phone via text message, this service can make that happen. League operators are even starting to pile onto IFTTT too. For instance, by using IFTTT with Yahoo Fantasy Sports, you can receive a daily digest email of your players’ health changes, among other things.

Tip 3: Be A Social Media Sleeper

In today’s always-on information age, there’s a tremendous amount of news to digest — and that’s just what gets published. Sometimes the meatiest scoops are solitary posts on Twitter. If you want to be an expert on your roster, you have to gather social media news like a pro, and professionals use Hootsuite. Free to use (though you can pay for enhanced options), Hootsuite connects to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others, all within one application, allowing you to better organize your feeds. You can create lists of writers and outlets who cover football or report on your favorite teams individually, and you can even track hashtags and search terms (like your players’ names) to make sure you’re gobbling up every bit of news they’re making.

If that’s too involved for you, or you’re a rookie to the fantasy football scene, Reddit also has excellent analysis, with user-generated topics that get up-voted by other users. Specializing in injury rumors, the board can alert you to impending roster problems. The forum website has a great official app, though you might have a hard time finding it because it’s called Alien Blue. Just keep in mind that anyone can post here, including your opponents, so take every “day-to-day” with a grain of Gronk-sized salt.

Tip 4: Tap That App

Of course, when you think iPhone, you think apps, and when it comes to fantasy football there are enough iOS offerings to choke a linebacker. As far as free apps go, Team Stream is an excellent way to stay on top of the latest news with a customizable interface that stretches beyond football even into college sports. Combining popular Twitter feeds with news stories (even scouring the local papers) the app hits hard for fantasy football fanatics.

But don’t dismiss paid apps. Some 33 million people will spend more than $100 each on fantasy football this year, so at $9.99, RotoWire Fantasy Football Assistant is a bargain worth looking into. RotoWire has been in the fantasy game for more than 15 years, typically providing subscriber-based insight to guys who are mopping it up in their leagues. But this app is subscription-free, giving you all the numbers you need, as well as the ability to view depth charts, make watch lists, and project statistics. If you’re looking for an app to tell you who to add and who to start, this guy could quickly become your new best friend.


6 Ways To Save Tons of Money Shopping on Amazon This Holiday Season

Inside An Amazon.com Distribution Center On Cyber Monday
An employee loads a truck with boxes to be shipped at the Amazon.com Inc. distribution center in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Try the virtual bargain bins, for example

One of the best places to find a deal online is Amazon. However, not everything is the bargain it appears to be. Just as in the offline world, doing a little research pays.

Check out these tips to ensure you’re getting a great deal while navigating the virtual aisles at Amazon:

1. Shop the bargain bins

Look for what you want in the bargain bins, found through a link named “Today’s Deals” at the top of every Amazon page. On the Today’s Deals landing page, you’ll find the Best Deals section loaded with bargains in every category, the Lightning Deals section with time-sensitive sales—lasting four hours or until the item is sold out—on products from a specific category like automotive or electronics, and a Deal of the Day discount of up to 75% off a single item that changes daily.

On Fridays, find one-day discounts on even more products by clicking on the Friday Sale link at the top of the Today’s Deal’s page, where it’s adjacent to two more links worth using: those to Amazon’s Outlet Center and Warehouse Deals pages.

2. Use a price checker browser plug-in

Don’t assume that any of Amazon’s prices are the lowest available anywhere, especially if the seller is a third-party store. We’ve seen stores on Amazon sell products for as much as twice the retail price, often for products that are outdated or even obsolete.

Check other retailers’ prices and prices at specialty websites—Best Buy for electronics or Home Depot for tools, for example. If it is a hard-to-find item and you really MUST have it at any price, go ahead—at least you’re making an educated choice. Using a browser plug-in like InvisibleHand (for Firefox and Chrome) can make this process easy. When you’re browsing on Amazon, the plug-in will display a notification pop up with the price and location of the better deal if it knows of one.

3. Check the suggested retail price

Know what the real suggested retail price is of the product. Whether by design or error, it’s not that unusual to see inflated retail pricing so your discount appears higher than it actually is.

4. Use a price tracking browser plug-in

If you find an item at Amazon and you’re hoping the price will fall later, consider using the CamelCamelCamel plugin for Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Once installed, you’ll see a graph showing the Amazon price history, if it’s available. You can also sign up to receive email alerts if the price drops below a level.

5. Check out the seller

Look carefully at who is selling and who is shipping the item you want. An item may be shipped by Amazon on behalf of another seller with a returns or exchange policy that is different from Amazon’s—and not to your liking. Items that are both sold and shipped by Amazon will be tagged as eligible for “Super Saver Shipping” or for free shipping via “Amazon Prime” (a pre-paid premium membership plan).

And check out a seller’s feedback rating before buying. If the seller has very few reviews or a satisfaction rating less than 90%, you may want to take your business elsewhere.

6. Use Super Saver Shipping

Super Saver shipping is available only if the total value of everything you’re buying at once is $35 or more—but being just shy of that minimum can push the cost with shipping charges past the price of the item elsewhere. In this case, check out Filler Item Finder. This site suggest items on Amazon priced at exactly the amount you need—or slightly higher—to bring your order to $35. You can sort your results by category, including books, music, groceries and more.


How to Get in Shape Using Technology: 6 New Gadgets You Have to Have

A young girl running for exercise.
A young girl running for exercise. Jordan Siemens—Getty Images

Having seconds this Thanksgiving? Try these tech-fueled fitness tips first.

Once upon a time, mashed potatoes were stick-to-your-ribs food. Nowadays, they just pile on your waist. Still, come Turkey Day, there’s no way you’ll be able to resist an extra helping, and with today’s fitness trackers, you won’t have to.

Helping people to quantify their activity and catalog their calories, the latest smart health gear doesn’t just serve up heaping spoonfuls of data, they also give you new inspiring ways to get healthy. Catapult from the couch to the gym — after your post Thanksgiving dinner nap, of course — with these six gadget-driven fitness tricks:

Stop Sucking Wind

If you’ve ever laced up and hit the pavement only to suck wind — hard — Adidas Fit Smart will help you to slow down and build your respiratory and cardio skills back up gradually. Using a color-based heart rate display that shows users how hard they’re exerting themselves (blue is resting, green is active, orange and red are pushing it), the $199 wristwatch also syncs with expertly organized fitness plans via Adidas’s MiCoach system.

Of course, when it comes to fitness trackers, people tend to overlook Adidas, but through MiCoach, they have been in the game longer than almost anyone, and their platform is full of training regimens for runners whether they are just aspirational or already highly competitive.

Comfort is Key

The biggest problem for people who use fitness trackers is finding the motivation to wear one all the time. Sure, the bigger the gadget (and the more of them) the better the data, but sometimes having the freedom to move is all about feeling free when you actually do move. Women, burdened with chest-strangling sports bras, have it worse than men — unless they don a Sensoria Fitness Sports Bra.

This $149 combination heart-rate monitor and support garment embeds textile sensors into its light, moisture-wicking fabric. The no-fuss sensor is a natural fit on the chest, and with low-energy Bluetooth technology connecting it to your smartphone, it will last up to eight months before the battery needs to be replaced. In addition, the heart rate monitor is compatible with Strava, Runkeeper, and MapMyRun, top fitness-tracking apps for your smartphone.

Get Fighter Pilot Fit

Exercise can feel like drudgery, but instead of thinking of yourself as a slob, imagine yourself as an elite athlete — after all, that’s how athletic companies think of you. For instance, Nike may have developed sneakers for Michael Jordan, but they made a lot more money selling them to aspiring ballers like yourself. So next time you suit up, give yourself some credit. Lifebeam Hat actually packs technology that has helped track fighter pilots’ vitals mid-flight. A lightweight, breathable $99 running hat, it has sensors that measure heart rate, steps, and calories burned, sending this data along to ANT+ equipped devices or to smartphones via an embedded, low-energy Bluetooth chip. And if you’d rather ride than run, Lifebeam has a bicycle helmet version, too.

Watch Your Waist, Not Your Wallet

Gym memberships are only guaranteed to make your wallet slimmer, and they could fail at helping you lose weight. And though expensive, touchscreen, heart rate-monitoring trackers are currently all the rage, they also offer that same empty promise. Meanwhile, inexpensive activity monitors like the Misfit Flash take much less investment and can offer the same immense upside.

Discrete, waterproof, and versatile, the $49-for-pre-order, disc-shaped device can be worn on the wrist, belt, or even around the neck to monitor steps, calories burned, distance covered, and sleep quality. It’s always on and has a battery that lasts up to six months, syncing to your smartphone via low energy Bluetooth. But at that low a price, Flash lacks something that other, more expensive trackers bring to the table — the guilt over how much you spent on it.

Listen to Your Heart

According to a 2014 study by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, music can help joggers shut out the world, run faster, bounce back more quickly, and heck, even enjoy themselves more. It’s all very technical, but then again you probably knew all that already — because who doesn’t enjoy working out to their favorite jams? If you want to recreate the science for yourself, pop on the LG Heart Rate Monitor Earphone. As the name implies, the $179 headphones can catch your pulse while pumping out your favorite music, beaming everything back and forth to your smartphone via Bluetooth. In addition, with a workout voice guide and a playback control remote, you can skip all the mellow stuff when it tells you how slow you’re going, and crank up the volume on your power tracks to give yourself — and your research — a little extra kick.

Make Fitness An Always-On Activity

If you haven’t said it yourself already, be assured that experts are screaming it from the rooftops: desk jobs are killing us. Whether it’s doing laps around the office or taking walks around the neighborhood, everyone needs to insert some more movement into their day and to make fitness an ongoing effort. The discrete and comfortable Garmin VivoSmart can keep you moving by counting steps, measuring other health metrics like heart rate and calories burned and helping you reach your daily goals. Like smartwatches, the slim, $169 band has an OLED display that can display notifications from your Bluetooth-synced smartphone, letting you see everything from who’s calling to the content of your text messages. But most importantly, it gives you periodic reminders to get up and stretch your legs, even vibrating on your wrist to jostle you out of your seat.


5 Tips to Stay Healthy If You Sit at a Computer All Day

Grazia Magazine Produces Issue From New Shopping Centre
Production staff on the weekly fashion magazine, Grazia edit the magazine in a temporary office inside the Westfield shopping centre on November 3, 2008 in London. Oli Scarff—Getty Images

Desk jockeys aren’t athletes, but they still need to stay fit

It might be due to the darkness that accompanies shorter days, or the invasion of warmer, comfier clothes into the winter workplace, but now is the time when long hours, slouching, slumping, and straining dominate the office. Clean up your act around the computer, before bad habits lead to poor health.

Here are five ways to make sure your computer desk doesn’t become the death of you.

1. Give your monitor a second look.

If your screen is planted directly on your desktop, it’s time to ask management for a raise — for your computer’s display. According to Dr. Jim Sheedy, director of the Vision Performance Institute at Pacific University, the top of your the screen should be level with your eyes. The ideas is to get the eyes looking down about 10 degrees. If it’s any lower or higher, computer users will adapt to it by moving their head. If your screen is to low, your head points down, causing neck and back aches. High displays, meanwhile, contribute to dry eye syndrome.

2. Poor posture? Take it on the chin.

Poor posture is something that every office-based employee should consider throughout their day. Most people sitting at a computer get drawn into the screen, which means they crane their necks forward. This imbalance puts strain on the neck and spine. It’s like holding a bowling ball with one hand, says Dr. James Bowman, of Portland, Ore.-based Solutions Chiropractic. If your arm is vertical underneath, it puts less strain on the muscles, but lean that ball forward and your muscles have to compensate to keep it aloft. Sitting at a desk, that bowling ball is actually our head, so Bowman recommends chin retractions, or making a double chin, to keep the neck and spine lined up underneath.

“It’s probably the most effective single exercise you can do for the upper back and neck,” he says.

3. Stand up for yourself.

The modern workplace was built around the concept of sitting, but humans’ ability to stand goes back millions of years. Buck the trend of the office era with a standing desk — or, if that’s too radical, a sit-stand workstation. According to research out of the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic, sit-stand workstations helped workers replace 25 percent of their sitting time with standing up, which can increase their sense of well being and decreased their fatigue and appetite. The Jarvis Desk can go from 26-inches to 51-inches at the push of a button, lifting up to 350 pounds of whatever’s on your desk—including multiple monitors.

“I definitely feel healthier standing while working as it causes me to be more focused on my posture and ‘hold’ myself better in terms of my stomach and shoulders especially,” says Dan McCormack, who uses a Jarvis Desk at his home office in Austin, Texas.

4. Move it or lose it.

But why stand when you could walk? Many offices around the country are getting wise to treadmill desks, which can help workers burn 100 calories more per hour over sitting, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.

“The most important thing is to switch it up and work in different positions throughout the day,” says Emily Couey, Eventbrite’s vice president of people. The online event ticketing service offers multiple workspace options including traditional sitting desks, standing desks, and treadmill desks, which Couey says “people love, because it allows them move while they work — especially those with fitness trackers counting their daily steps.”

5. Pace yourself.

All work and no play makes Jack a bad employee. Whether it’s on their phone in the bathroom or on the computer in their cube, everyone takes sanity breaks to check their Facebook or read some news. The Pomodoro Technique even encourages this kind of behavior by breaking tasks into “pomodoros,” intense 25 minute work bursts, followed by five-minute breaks.

Named because they can be measured using little tomato-shaped kitchen timers (Pomodoro is Italian for tomato), this method lets people work intensely and stave off distraction, yet rewards them with time to goof off, as well. If you don’t have a tomato timer handy, there are a lot of apps online to keep track of your sessions. But Francesco Cirillo, the technique’s founder, recommends using the real deal.

“You have to be able to actually wind it up,” Cirillo says in his book, The Comodoro Technique. “The act of winding up the Pomodoro is a declaration of your determination to start working on the activity at hand.”

Read next: 7 Healthy Alternatives to Coffee at Work

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