Geek Squeaks (#2015-41) FEATURING — Three WordPress.com Blogging Editors To Consider — and MORE GREAT STUFF

December 21, 2015

Three WordPress.com Blogging Editors To Consider – About a year ago I was at wits end in trying to find an editor that I could use at the desktop level to draft my blog articles. Today, if you are an avid blogger or want to give blogging a try, you need to know that there are several options available. Some of these editors support other blogging platforms, but what I am outlining here in this geek squeak article is editors that I know work with the WordPress.com platform (which is the online cloud based version of WordPress).

Wordpress

To keep this simple and allow you to do a quick read; three options to consider are:

ScribeFire – This editor is actually a browser extension (for Firefox and Chrome) that I use (and love). I think what sells me on this is that it is a basic editor, is fast, and dependable. The cons with ScribeFire is that, due to its’ simplicity, you have to do the final touches online (with the formatting) using the online WordPress editor. Otherwise, ScribeFire has worked for me. ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to all of your blogs.

Open Live Writer – Remember the Windows version of Live Writer. I actually used that prior to ScribeFire; however, due to changes at Microsoft and the operating system upgrades the Microsoft version of Live Writer is basically a dead duck in the water. Due to numerous people using Live Writer, a group of talented contributors have turned what it used to be into an open source program called Open Live Writer. Open Live Writer is like Word for your blog. Open Live Writer is a powerful, lightweight blog editor that allows you to create blog posts, add photos and videos then publish to your website.

New WordPress.com Desktop App – WordPress.com must have heard our cries and know that in order to continue as one of the premiere blogging platforms there has to be options made available in order for people to remain within their blogging empire. I can tell you from being a blogger since 2008, WordPress is the way to go. With the new Windows and Mac based apps you can manage your sites, write and publish, and even customize your site and view stats from a dedicated app in your Windows Start Menu.

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Happy Holidays To My Reader And To My Favorite Blogging Friends –  I want to wish my readers’ a safe and happy holiday season; AND, hope that you will continue to visit my blog. I love blogging about information technology, and have been doing so since 2008. During this journey there is a group of bloggers that have kept together in the virtual sense (even though none of us have physically met each other). Those bloggers, whom I have great respect for are Steve, Bill Paul, and Michael (and Jason). I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season…

Happy Holiday Wreath Facebook Cover

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Bluetooth Speaker Makes Great Gift – If you are looking to gift someone, consider a portable bluetooth speaker. Currently Anker has a new release at Amazon (that has become a best seller) called the Anker SoundCore. Right now the customer reviews on this little beast is very good. Points that standout with this speaker is battery life (24-hour / 500-song playtime powered by a built-in high capacity Li-ion battery) and Bluetooth 4.0 Technology (compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices. Instantly connect to your smartphone or tablet from up to 66 feet away. SoundCore reconnects automatically to the last device used. Built-in mic for hands-free calls.).  What you get is the Anker SoundCore Bluetooth speaker, Micro USB charging cable, welcome guide, and 18-month warranty).

Anker SoundCore

Anker SoundCore

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Turn Your Android Device Into An At Home Video Monitoring Device – Have a tablet or an old smartphone around? If so, put it to work using the AtHome Camera – Home Security App. This app, using a three step process, will turn the device into a home video monitoring device that can be accessed when you are away.

AtHome Camera – Home Security

 AtHome Camera - Home Security- screenshot

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The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards – If you love animals, then you will love these hilarious and funny pictures (with a funny caption). For example the picture you see below was captioned “Rush Hour”. To see the original “Rush Hour” and others visit The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. The cool thing about this is that no digital manipulation was allowed in order to enter the contest.

The Comedy Wildlife

WINNER Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-40) FEATURING — Use Qwertycard To Generate And Keep Track Of Passwords — and MORE GREAT STUFF

December 14, 2015

Use Qwertycard To Generate And Keep Track Of Passwords  – As computer and internet users, where we log into numerous accounts, we are still failing to keep our information safe. From experience of helping others, I find that most people use weak passwords and will use the same password to log into numerous accounts. On top of that, most folks will write down those passwords and keep them near the computer. An easy solution to all of this is what is called a Qwerty Card. I had heard about these cards in the past; and, just recently I came across them again on Tech Crunch. How this works is that the card reflects the QWERTY keyboard and each letter on the keyboard is assigned a unique character. When you purchase a card, you are given a unique base code. To generate a really strong password, you first type your base code, then your own password, then use the Qwerty card to generate the coding for the website name. You can also simplify this process and still maintain a strong password by reducing the number of steps. To learn more on how this works, either visit Tech Crunch or the actual site that sells these cards (click here)…

Qwerty Cards

picture of qwertycard

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EncryptOnClick Is Like Hiring Your Own Highly Experienced Data Security Guard – I nearly forgot about EncryptOnClick, until I saw that the developer recently updated it. If you want a simple, easy to use encryption program, this one is definitely a keeper. After you install EncryptOnClick, you can copy the contents of the install directory over to a flashdrive (to make it a portable app). Very nice program, that is FREE (that uses 256-bit AES encryption). You can encrypt individual files or entire directories.

EncryptOnClick

EncryptOnClick

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Google Drive Rolling Out New Search Experience – Drive lets you search across all your files, regardless of the device they came from. To make that easier, you can use these new ways to find your files: Narrow your search to a file type from the search box on Android, iOS, and the web. Open advanced search instantly from the search box. Access recent files or search Drive from the home screen using 3D Touch on iOS. Search Drive using the iOS search bar without opening the Drive app.

The new features will be rolling out in the coming weeks…

Read About Google Drive’s New Search Experience

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Speaking of Google Drive – Here is The Only Google Drive Guide You Will Ever Need… The guide covers: Navigation: Supported File Types | Accessing Google Drive | Storage Space | Working with Google Drive | Desktop Clients | Uploading Files & Folders | Downloading Files & Folders | File Size Restrictions | Creating a New Document | Sharing Files & Folders | Collaborating | Accessing Files Offline | Organizing Your Drive | Tweaking Your Layout | Third Party Apps | Troubleshooting | Drawbacks of Google Drive…

The Only Google Drive Guide You Will Ever Need

Google Drive will sync documents with Microsoft Office

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MAPS.ME – GPS Navigation & Map (Android) – Get detailed maps of any country in the world (that can be downloaded) and are optimized for your phone or tablet. This is an Android app called MAP.ME… If you need a GPS unit for your car; by using your Android smartphone, this is a great option. Recently upgraded to include walking directions…

MAP.ME

 MAPS.ME - GPS Navigation & Map- screenshot thumbnail

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A Terabyte Internal SSD Drive (by Samsung) – I am starting to see the much larger SSD drives come down in price. If your are in the market for a SSD Drive you may want to take a look at the Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Samsung SSD Drive - 1TB.png

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-39) FEATURING — Put All Your Cloud Drives In One Place — and MORE GREAT STUFF

December 7, 2015

Put All Your Cloud Drives In One Place – Thought I would share with you an online service that I use called MultCloud (by AOMEI). This service provides a FREE option (as well as a PAID option) that can help you easily (and safely) manage multiple cloud storage services. For example, I currently manage online drives from Box, Copy, Google, Dropbox, Mediafire and OneDrive ALL from MultCloud. In that mix I also use MultCloud to manage two Google Drives. What MultCloud does is allow you to pull all of those services and manage those services from one location. MultCloud FREE features an online file manager, cross-cloud file transfers, and a countless number of cloud drives. The file transfer speeds for the FREE version are slower than the PAID version and there is a monthly data cap on the FREE version (which is quite high in my opinion). For normal everyday use, the FREE version has worked for me and in the end (after I give this a run for awhile), I may opt to go to the PAID version.

MultCloud 

MultCloud

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Use Your Android Phone (or Tablet) To Convert An Image To Text – Ever heard of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) where you scan a paper document and OCR software that is engineered to recognize the characters in the document then translate (or convert) it into an electronic text version (that you can then edit, insert into documents, etc…)? There is an OCR version for your Android Phone or Tablet called Text Fairy that has the ability to scan for and extract text from an image. From my testing, I found Text Fairy to be quite accurate and the best part is that it is FREE. Some words of advice is when you scan the document is to make sure the images are sharp (with good lighting) and the text is black on a white background.

Text Fairy

 Text Fairy (OCR Text Scanner)- screenshot

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Nothing Gets Old Faster Than The Technology News – Case in point, check out the boredpanda for 15 Vintage Computer Ads That Used To Be Cool.  The ad I have reflected below is my favorite one from the 15 selected. Which is your favorite?

15 Vintage Computer Ads That Used To Be Cool

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How To Disable Login Screen on Windows 10 after Sleep – I have been recently assisting quite a few folks with breaking through the Windows 8.1 barrier to Windows 10. One of the most asked questions that I am receiving is “How do I disable the login screen on Windows 10 after sleep?”. What this means is that Windows 10, by default, will go into a sleep mode when the computer is idle for a prescribed period of time. When the end user comes out the sleep mode, the computer will prompt you for your password. To change this setting, to prevent or disable the login prompt, is actually quite easy and the best way to show you is for you the watch the video below from Simple How To Guide

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This Software May Be Useful When You Sell or Get Rid Of Your Hard Drive (or PC) – Came a across this portable app, called My Disk Wiper, that may be a keeper for the tech toolbox. What this portable app does is securely wipe hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, etc… by overwriting the files with a standard pattern that the developer claims cannot be undeleted or restored. To ensure maximum privacy the file names are wiped before deletion.

My Disk Wiper

My Disk Wiper

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The easiest and fastest outdoor Christmas light solution – no more hanging string lights – My neighbor has one of these and it is awesome (and beautiful). If you are looking for an alternative option to hanging lights for Christmas, take a look at the Star Shower Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights… Plant this thing in the ground, plug it in and you will have up to 600 square feet of green and red lights displayed. The one I have reflected below is the number one best seller at Amazon with a near 5 star rating…

Star Shower Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights

Star Shower

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-38) FEATURING — My Reset Experience With Windows 10 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 30, 2015

My Reset Experience With Windows 10 – I recently performed a reset on my Windows 10 based computer and found the experience to be quite positive. I thought I would share some pointers with you so that if you have to perform a reset, it is not a scary experience.  Even though the reset preserves your personal files, I highly recommend that you always have a backup of any files on your computer that you cannot live without.

To get to the reset option in Windows 10, click on the Windows Start button (bottom left corner), go to Settings > Update & security > Reset this PC > Get started and choose an option. The option I chose was to reinstall Windows 10 and keep my personal files. This option will reinstall Windows 10 and keep your personal files; will remove the apps and drivers that you originally installed; will remove the changes made to any settings (and return them to the default settings); and, will remove any apps that the PC manufacturer installed (Note: If your PC came with Windows 10, the apps from your PC manufacturer will be reinstalled.).  After I launched the reset on my PC, it was pretty much hands free; and, what I really liked was that following the reset, Windows 10 generated a html page on my desktop titled “removed apps” that listed all of the programs I originally had installed on my computer. I had already written down what I wanted to re-install, but this list came in quite handy. In the end, the reset took approximately a half hour to 45 minutes and I can honestly say my computer is cleaner and faster.

Windows 10 Reset

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How To Mark All Your Unread Gmail’s As Being Read  – After performing a reset on my Windows 10 computer, I found myself motivated to do some housecleaning in my Gmail account. One of the issues I ran into was that I had hundreds of email’s that I did not read. As a result, I needed and wanted to mark those emails, as being read. The problem with this is that Gmail will only allow you to bulk select only a certain number of emails. This is where I started thinking, “there has to be a way to mark all the emails in my account as being read”. After performing some online research, I found an article at a site called Chron, titled “How to Mark an Entire Gmail Inbox as Read“. By using the Google Search box in your email as a filter to generate all unread messages, and following the step-by-step instructions, at Chron, you can easily mark hundreds (or thousands) of unread emails and change them to read.

 

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A Simple Program To Troubleshoot Network-Related Problems – If you manage a network, Win Network Tools may be helpful. The program provides a graphical interface (or launcher) of common command line tools that are built into Windows (that are typically run from the command prompt) and some other options (such as Speed Test) that will launch a site to test out your connection speed. What would be nice is if this program had a “portable app” option readily available for the tech toolbox. I did find that if I installed the program, and copied the “WinNetworkTools.exe” to another location (such as a flash drive) I was still able to run the program.  I then uninstalled it from the computer. Nice concept…  May contact the developer to suggest the portable app idea.

Win Network Tools - Interface

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Checker Plus for Gmail – You do not know what you are missing if you do not have Checker Plus for Gmail installed (as a Google Chrome extension). In my opinion, this is probably one of the best (and most useful) extensions available. I currently use this to monitor 4 different Gmail accounts and the best part is that you can set this to run in the background so that you will get notifications when an email arrives. If you have Chrome installed, get this one…

Checker Plus for Gmail

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Shield Your Electronics From Electrical Power Surges – When Christmas rolls around many of you may be installing new electronic equipment. What we have a tendency to forget is to purchase a surge protector to help protect the equipment from power surges. I went on the hunt to find what I think is a good investment and came up with the Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 25ft Cord Right Angle Plug 1440 Joules . This Tripp Lite Surge Protector has a 1440 joule surge suppression rating with EMI/RFI line noise filtering to help components perform at their peak while extending their lifespan; 8 outlets with 3 specially designed to accommodate transformer plugs without blocking other outlets; an extra-long 25 foot cord with space-saving right angle plug; diagnostic LEDs that alerts you to the protection and grounding status; convenient built-in outlet safety covers to protect young children from possible harm and prevent dust from eroding internal components; and, a lifetime Warranty and $75,000 Ultimate Lifetime Insurance for connected devices. On top of this, to support my opinion on this, this surge protector is carrying a 5-Star rating.

 Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 25ft Cord Right Angle Plug 1440 Joules

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-37) FEATURING —Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Goes Mobile — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 23, 2015

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Goes Mobile – I cannot say enough about Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and it does not surprise me that they are offering an app for the Android platform (called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile). From what I have been reading about this, their intentions are to focus on keeping your phone (and tablet) malware and spyware free; AND, not turn into a security app that is full of bloat. You can read more about this app HERE and get it HERE

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile

Features of the mobile version are:

  • Detects and eliminates malware, including spyware and Trojans
  • Scans your apps for malicious code or Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)
  • Alerts you if a link to a malicious website is detected in an incoming text message (SMS).
  • Stops unauthorized access to your personal data
  • Scans your Android device for security vulnerabilities
  • Identifies applications that are tracking your location

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Learn More About The November Windows 10 Updates – The November update is a large update (or OS upgrade). On my box it took approximately 45 minutes for the update to complete. So what are we getting with this update? To get a good read and visual on some of the new features, go to Supersite for Windows and read The Windows 10 November Update: Your mega-guide to all the how-tos that features a photo gallery review.

slide-01.png

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A Security Program That Focuses On Toolbars, Browser Hijackers, PUP’s and Adware – Through recent experience of assisting someone with removing a browser hijacker, I have added AdwCleaner to my tech toolbox (and to the Downloads page under the Free Software Swarm). AdwCleaner saved me a ton of time and did the job. I do recommend that you use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in conjunction with AdwCleaner to rule out all avenues of a potential malware infection.

AdwCleaner

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An Example Of Some Great LED Light And Network Technology – I have always had a fascination with the LED technology and how it is changing the way we use flashlights and outdoor lights. An outdoor (motion sensing light) that I am planning to purchase for my camper is the Mr. Beams Networked LED Wireless Motion Sensing Spotlight System. The cool thing about these lights is that they can be “networked” so that they will communicate with each other, so when one spotlight detects motion, the other lights on the “network” activate simultaneously. The lights require a D-Cell battery and will reportedly last up to a year before the next battery change.

Mr. Beams Networked LED Wireless Motion Sensing
Spotlight System

Mr. Beams

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-36) FEATURING — Control What People See About You On Google Services — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 16, 2015

Control What People See About You On Google Services – If you are a subscriber to any of Google’s services, it is important to know that you can control what people see about you at aboutme.google.com. While you are there, click on the privacy checkup where you can review and adjust what data Google uses to personalize your experience, and update what information you share with friends or make public.

Google About Me

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Safely AND Quickly Hide Files and Folders – If you are looking for a way to hide a file or folder, then take a look at WinMend. I can tell you that I have used WinMend for the past several years and I have never lost a file.  The WinMend site states it, like this; “While ensuring the absolute system safety, this application can quickly hide files and folders on local partitions and/or on removable devices. The hidden files/folders will be safely hidden whether the drive is accessed in another operating system on the same computer or reinstalled on another computer”. I have added WinMend to the downloads page, located under the FREE SOFTWARE swarm…

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Using The Disk Cleanup Tool In Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 – Cnet has a nice tutorial (click here), on how to clean up the junk in Windows using the built-in cleanup tool. The tutorial covers each aspect of what the tool removes and cleans from your system such as the browser thumbnail cache, system files, system restore files, the hibernation cache, and the recycle bin.

Cleaning up system files

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A Tool To Reset And Repair Windows Update Related Components – The Windows Club posted this article, Reset Windows Update to default in Windows 10, that features using the Windows Update Component Tool (aka Reset Windows Update Agent) to reset and repair the components to the Windows Update service. The tool itself is available from Technet – click here

Reset Windows Update 1

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MORE Quick Links To Amazon Holiday Deals – As you probably have noticed I have an obsession with Amazon and the challenge of locating their best deals. As Christmas gift giving (and receiving) nears, I really go on the hunt to bookmark links to their holiday deals.  Below is my latest collection to share with you.

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Today’s Deals

Cyber Monday

12 Days of Deals

Last-Minute Deals

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Black Friday

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-35) FEATURING — GEGeek NOW On Facebook — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 9, 2015

GEGeek NOW On Facebook – The motherload of all tech sites, GEGeek, is now featuring their GEGeek Tech Toolkit on Facebook. The toolkit, available through donation at the main GEGeek web site, is a complete collection of over 400 tech related FREE programs and suites (all available from a menu launch utility). If you are an information technology professional the GEGeek website and the GEGeek Toolkit should automatically become part of your mindset. Mike and Jason at GEGeek have gone to great lengths to review, collect, and maintain the information (and toolkit) that is available. Jason recently joined Mike to assist in maintaining the motherload. I personally thank both of them (and I encourage you to do the same). After you donate to acquire the toolkit, you are then entitled to the upgrades (which occur on a regular basis).

GEGeek

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Online Games To Pass The Time Away – I regularly visit the USAToday web site to get my initial daily dose of news. Did you know that on the USAToday web site there is a link that will take to you a wide array of online games that they sponsor and maintain. Initially when you load the USAToday site, you will find a link a the top of the site for Crosswords. Click on that link and you will be taken to the Crossword puzzle page and on the page (at the top of the crosswords) you will find additional links for puzzle, arcade, strategy, brain, casino, and quiz type game challenges. Prior to playing any of the challenges or games, you will be required to set though a short in length advertisement…

USAToday Puzzles

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WordWeb Upgraded To Support Windows 10WordWeb has been a mainstay on my computer for years. It is a very useful and comprehensive one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows. It can be used to look up words from almost any program, showing definitions, synonyms and related words. It includes pronunciations and usage examples, and has helpful spelling and sounds-like links. I especially like the one click lookup where you hold the CTRL key and right mouse click on a word to get the definition. WordWeb can also be installed as a portable app. You will be prompted for that option after you run the install file. Also, if you like WordWeb and use Google Chrome, be sure to download their WordCaptureX browser extension…  NOTE: WordWeb has been added to the What’s On My PC download page under the FREE Software swarm.

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Fix Specific Windows 10 Problems and Issues With This Utility – The Windows Club has a developed a utility called FixWin 10 for Windows 10, that is a portable freeware application that allows you to fix and repair Windows 10 problems, issues and annoyances. This new release of FixWin has an updated UI for Windows 10 and includes a new section to fix Windows 10 common problems and issues specifically.

FixWin 10 for Windows 10

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Digital Trends’ (brought to you by Drippler) Best Android Apps For Any Occasion This list of Android Apps is a pretty good list in my opinion and is a good starting point if you are looking for good reputable android apps (for any occasion). The list was originally posted on Digital Trends and it made Drippler (the Android app that features new tips, apps, features, updates, accessories and more)….

false

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Where To Look For Deals On Amazon – As the holiday shopping season approaches and we Countdown To Black Friday, many of us will be doing our shopping online. One of my favorite shopping sites is Amazon. For example, to look for bargains I will visit their Today’s Deals, their Outlet, or their Warehouse …  I have found items, using these three options, to get really good deals. If you want to visit the Earth’s Biggest Selection to get a full directory listing at Amazon, CLICK HERE

Countdown Black Friday

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