Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Daily Deals for April 1, 2014, featuring free Skillfeed online classes and video

It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring exclusive TUAW Deals, a handy list from Dealnews and our own handpicked iOS and OS X selections. Don't forget to check out our " Today in the App Store" post that singles out today's best free apps, new apps, and app updates in the iOS App Store.

TUAW's Daily Deals

Learn Tech With SkillFeed - Free for 45 Days [Now free, down from $30]

Skillfeed is an incredible educational resource for designers, photographers, coders, and anyone else looking to gain (or improve) their skills in a wide variety of programs.

They've curated the best Coupon Code classes and videos in the world, so you don't have to. Just log on whenever (and wherever) you'd like, and learn!

Save 100% on SkillFeed at TUAW Deals.

Deals from Dealnews

  • StackSocial: [Mac Software] The Mac Freebie 7-App Bundle for free
  • Other World Computing: [Apple Computers] Used Macs at OWC from $429 + free shipping
  • Other World Computing: [Computer Accessories] OWC Garage Sale: Discounts on RAM, accessories, computers, more
  • Fry's: [Camera Accessories] Gopole Evo Transparent Expansion Pole for $25 + free shipping
  • MegaMacs: [MacBook] Refurb Apple MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 15" Laptop for $620 + $20 s&h
  • iTech Deals: [iPhone Accessories] Lightning to Micro USB Adapter 5-Pack for $8 + free shipping
  • eBay: [Camera Lens] Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens for Canon, Nikon, more for $265 + free shipping
  • Office Depot: [Office Chairs] Office Chairs at Office Depot: Up to $120 off, deals from $55 + free shipping
  • ToshibaDirect: [USB Hard Drives] Toshiba 5TB Canvio Desk USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for $195 + $10 s&h
  • BuyDig: [Headphones] Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla Over-Ear Headphones for $799 + free shipping
  • Western Digital Store: [External Hard Drives] Refurb Western Digital Drives & Routers: Up to 67% off, from $15 + $6 s&h
  • Monoprice.com: [24-Inch LCDs Or Larger] Monoprice 30" 2560x1600 IPS LED LCD Display for $576 + 33 s&h

iOS Software Discounts

OS X Software Discounts

Note: All prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly. TUAW is not responsible for third-party deals and cannot guarantee availability or quality of any particular product at a specific price.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

NY budget deal expected today

ALBANY - Legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday are set to announce an agreement on a budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year that increases school aid and funding for pre-kindergarten, enacts property-tax reforms and delays implementation of new testing standards on students.

The sides were expected to huddle to address some unresolved items, such as final school aid figures and whether to include some type of public financing of campaigns in the budget.

"I think we're very close," Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, who heads the Independent Democratic Conference, said late Thursday. "I think (we're) just working out some technical issues."

The agreement would increase school aid by $1.1 billion, install a two-year property-tax freeze and delay implementation of the Common Core testing.

The sides are busily trying to get an on-time budget for the fourth year in a row - a key goal of Cuomo as he seeks re-election in November. The 2014-15 fiscal year starts Tuesday.

Some proposals are not going to be included in the budget. The legalization of medical marijuana and providing college assistance to immigrants in the country illegally won't be part of the Best Deals. Neither will a proposal pushed by religious groups to give tax breaks to donors who contribute to private schools.

Cuomo, though, reached a compromise on his top priority: property-tax reform.

Cuomo has pressed for a two-year, property-tax freeze that would require local governments and schools to cap property taxes and, in year two, agree to cut the tax levy. In exchange, homeowners would get a rebate check that averages about $350 a year.

Lawmakers said the final budget will allow local governments and schools who have shared services in recent years to qualify for the tax rebate. Also, schools and local governments would have to develop a plan to share services, but it would not be tied to any specific cuts in the tax levy.

The changes would seek to address concerns by local officials and some lawmakers that the freeze would strain their budgets.

"We're doing in the context of how do we continue to support our school districts and our communities so they can balance their budgets, and how we don't have to impact property taxpayers," said Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County.

The $138 billion budget would also increase school aid by about $300 million more than Cuomo proposed Jan. 21. Cuomo proposed an increase of $807 million, or nearly 4 percent, to a total of about $22 billion.

Another $340 million would be designated for full-day, pre-kindergarten statewide. But $300 million of it would go to New York City to satisfy Mayor Bill de Blasio. He wanted to raise taxes on the rich to fund the program in the city, but Cuomo and Republicans were opposed.

Lawmakers and Cuomo were finishing budget language that would delay the use of Common Core-based test scores in grade-promotion decisions for students in grades 3 through 8.

The delay is expected to be for two years, but not impact the use of the tests on teacher evaluations. Unions wanted teachers to also be held harmless.

Lawmakers said another change would be to allow an upstate manufacturing tax credit proposed by Cuomo to be expanded statewide. Some downstate lawmakers wanted their regions included in the budget deal.

Legislative leaders and Cuomo have suggested privately that public financing of campaigns start with a pilot project for the state comptroller's seat.

But good-government advocates are opposing the measure, saying they want a public-matching system of small donors for state legislative and statewide seats.

Dave Palmer, manager of the Fair Elections Campaign, ripped the comptroller-only proposal.

"So-called "compromises" like the 'comptroller-only' option are just another excuse to satisfy the status quo and keep corruption as firmly entrenched tomorrow as it is today," he said.

JSPECTOR@Gannett.com

www.twitter.com/gannettalbany

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Coming Tonight: 'Boom Beach', 'Firework Apprentice', 'Sometimes You Die' and More

<Deal Newsp>It's Wednesday again, and here's the weekly onslaught of iOS games. Supercell's Boom Beach is likely going to steal the show, at least when it comes to massive iTunes featuring when it launches tomorrow. I played it for quite a bit on stream yesterday and was actually really surprised by how much I like it. I sort of missed the boat on Clash of Clans, but Boom Beach's Canadian soft launch has sucked me in.

Here's what's on our radar for tonight, and as always, it's possible that more stuff could be released in the meantime and will appear in our normal 11:00 PM Eastern post. Also, since Boom Beach is soft launched, chances are it'll appear at a really weird time whenever Supercell flips the global release switch.

Fatal Attraction review - thrilling film has become a modern morality play

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There is something pathetic about the commercial theatre's increasing reliance on movies for source material.

You can make a good musical out of a movie, as Billy Elliot has proved, but it puzzles me why people should be expected to cough up to see a transplanted screenplay; and, even though James Dearden has made some adjustments to his 1987 script for Fatal Attraction, it remains an essentially hollow experience.

The story outline will not greatly surprise anyone who saw the film. We still see a happily married New York lawyer, Dan Gallagher, having a two-night stand with a book editor, Alex Forrest, while his wife is away in the country.

As before, actions have consequences since Alex turns out to be a determined woman who is not to be lightly discarded.

In the end, desperate Dan is stalked and haunted by the tenacious Alex so that his marriage, his job, his car and even his daughter's rabbit are not safe from her attentions.

So what's new? Where the film depicted Alex as a mad harridan whose hairstyle alone should have set alarm bells ringing, Dearden's play lays more stress on Dan's culpability.

After first meeting Alex, he talks of "that sense of exhilaration when the hunter closes in on his prey". He goes on to describe his bout of weekend sex as a "minor indiscretion" and his chum, Jimmy, seeks to justify male infidelity by saying "we're programmed that way - we can't help ourselves."

But these tonal shifts do nothing to explain Alex's singular ferocity. The story is still seen from Dan's point of view: even more so in that, in the play, he becomes the narrator. And, although the intention is clearly to suggest that Alex is as much victim as avenging fury, she remains curiously enigmatic.

Dearden's chief innovation is to use her obsession with Madam Butterfly as a clue to her character. This reaches absurd proportions with the suggestion that Alex is a modern equivalent of Puccini's heroine; Cio-Cio-San was a guileless 15-year-old rather than a 36-year-old editor with a personality disorder.

One is left with a dizzying succession of short scenes that, in Trevor Nunn's production, whisk us from bars to bedrooms to offices and the Gallagher family's rural home.

But, although Robert Jones's designs lend the show a mechanical efficiency, no scene lasts long enough to make an emotional impact. You don't even get the sense, as you did in the movie, of the daily routine of routine domestic contentment on the verge of destruction.

The actors do all they can within the script's limits. Mark Bazeley as Dan conveys the man's escalating panic and self-loathing.

Natascha McElhone makes Alex a softer and more initially hesitant figure than Glenn Close in the movie but lacks the backstory to illuminate her descent into borderline psychosis. And Kristin Davis, in the underwritten role of Dan's wife, is left trying to make bricks without straw.

Dearden's script doesn't do enough to reimagine the movie. A film that was at least a brutally effective psychological thriller has become a modern morality-play that simply confirms the dismal truth of Arthur Hugh Clough's poetic couplet: "Do not adultery commit, Advantage rarely comes of it."

* James Dearden: Why I changed Fatal Attraction's ending

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Deal: Refurbished 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD Tablet for $129, Today Only

Today only, save $140 off the price of a new one or $70 off the price of a refurbished one.

As its Gold Box daily deal, Price Compare is selling the refurbished 9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet at $129 for the model with 16 gigabytes of storage. New, this tablet sells for $269. Refurbished, it normally sells for $199.

Though this is a refurbished model, Amazon says it's "certified to work and look like new" and carries the same one-year warranty as new models. This particular model also comes with Amazon's "special offers," which are basically ads that show on the tablet's lock screen. They can be removed for an additional $15.

This deal is good today only.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Tablet (Certified Refurbished) [Amazon]

More Info:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Target deals 3/16: Eggs, cheese, apples, granola bars and more!

Target has some good deals this week on eggs, cheese, apples, granola bars and more! There is also an in-ad coupon for pet food and litter. Please share any other deals you find at Target this week!

The deals from the ad this week are valid 3/16 - 3/22/14.

In-ad coupon: $10 off dog/cat food or cat litter purchase of $40 or more (excludes treats and rawhides). Valid in-store only. Coupon expires 3/22/14.

Deals from the ad:

Eggs, 1 dozen, $1.79 - .50 mobile coupon when you text THANKS to 827438 AND 5% off Cartwheel discount

Market Pantry shredded cheese, 6 - 8 oz, $2.00 - .75/1 mobile coupon when you text THANKS to 827438 AND 5% off Cartwheel discount

Market Pantry granola bars, 6 or 8 count, $1.50 - %5 off Cartwheel discount

Gala or Granny Smith apples, 3 lb bag, $2.99 - $1 fresh fruit mobile coupon when you text THANKS to 827438 AND 5% off Cartwheel discount for bagged apples

Hormel Always Tender baby back pork ribs, $2.99/lb - $1 coupon from 2/9 SS

Additional ways to save at Target:

Target.com Coupon Code: You can find printable coupons at Target.com when you scroll down to the bottom of the home page and click on Coupons. The store Target coupons can be combined with manufacturer's coupons on the same item.

Cartwheel discounts: There are also coupons available through their Cartwheel program HERE. With the Cartwheel discounts, you can load specific % off savings to your Cartwheel account and then print out a barcode that is scanned at the register at the store or show the barcode on your smartphone through the Cartwheel app (which is what I usually do to save money on ink and paper). These Cartwheel savings can be combined with store and manufacturer's coupons for even greater savings. No more than one manufacturer coupon, one Target coupon and one Cartwheel offer can be combined per item. Each Cartwheel offer may be used for up to a maximum of 4 qualifying items per offer per transaction. Limit of 1 Cartwheel barcode per transaction and 6 Cartwheel barcode transactions per day.

Mobile coupons: Target offers mobile coupons regularly (inlcuding some grocery coupons!). Sign up for them by texting OFFERS to 827438. These coupons can be used with the other discounts. See their website for more information.

Coupon Policy: You can see the full Target coupon policy on their website HERE.

Red Card: If you have the Target Red Card credit card, you get another 5% off.

Readers show off coupon coups

My readers enjoy sharing their couponing and money-saving tips, so here's a roundup of ideas for saving with coupons straight from my inbox to you.

Dear Jill: Ever hear of "throwaway" coupons? I get coupons in the mail from area restaurants, etc. I live in an apartment complex. Everyone else just throws away these coupons in the trash can in the mailroom. So, I retrieve the coupons and always get up to 50 percent off meals. -- Glen

Dear Jill: I have a post office box for mail, and on Wednesdays there is a local newspaper that has small Deal Now inserts in it. I make sure to go get the mail that day because everyone else throws the coupon insert into the recycle bin. I pick out whatever I need and get free coupons. -- Lauren

Dear Jill: If you get your hair cut at a chain that takes coupons, see if they take competitor coupons. I get coupons all the time in those coupon packs in the mail for local businesses. I keep all the haircut coupons and whichever one is the best value, that's the one I take to get my haircut. My salon takes coupons from anyone and it's a great way to save. -- Patty

Dear Jill: If you have a phone that receives texts, it is worth signing up for offers from stores you like. I get $10-off-$25 text coupons from a major department store pretty regularly and they are usually better coupons than I get in e-mail or in the postal mail. I also subscribe to text coupons for my favorite hair salon and they send out $10-off-$40 coupons for styling and other treatments. They don't offer coupons any other way. -- Emma

Dear Jill: Here's an online shopping tip that I learned when I was going to send a cheesecake to someone as a gift. I put the cheesecake in my shopping cart and then decided to think about it until the next day. Well, the next day, I got a coupon code in my e-mail reminding me about the cheesecake in my shopping cart. It gave me 25 percent off if I placed the order in the next three days. So I did, and then it cost much less than I planned to pay.

I have read about abandoning your shopping cart for a day or two and in many cases, it works to get you a better deal if you don't need to order something right away. -- Devin

JILL CATALDO, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Find her column on this page on Sundays. Go to www.super-couponing.com.