Are you all tapped out every time you have to go to the pump? Thankfully, there are dozens of terrific mobile apps that can do everything from locating the cheapest nearby gas station to helping you avoid traffic jams.
The best app for locating cheap gas is GasBuddy. Once you download the free app, it will use your location to find nearby gas stations and then list the possibilities according to price or proximity. You can also enter in a city, state or ZIP code to find prices in other areas. Gas prices are reported by members of an extensive GasBuddy community -- the app has been downloaded 15 million times, and the company says there are 500,000 active users. Reporting gas price information is a snap, and those who do can accumulate points to put toward entries in a weekly $250 prepaid gas-card giveaway.
AAA TripTik Mobile
You don't have to be a member of AAA to enjoy the services of this free app, which not only helps you locate gas stations near you but also identifies AAA-affiliated auto repair shops, restaurants and hotels. The app also provides voice-guided turn-by-turn directions to chosen locations. If you are an AAA member in need of roadside assistance, you can call for service directly through the app. Like GasBuddy, AAA TripTik Mobile can either base directions on your current location or map to whatever city/address/ZIP code you provide.
It would be so nice if gas were the only expense that car ownership required. But there are myriad costs that come along with owning a car, from oil changes to wheel rotations, to changing wiper blades. Gas Cubby is a great app for anyone who wants to track all of these expenses in one place and monitor spending habits over time. The app can also alert you to schedule that regular maintenance check.
Waze Social GPS
& Live Traffic
Traffic jams drain time, and time is gas money. Waze is a revolutionary app that helps you avoid traffic by sharing reports from other members of the Waze community. The app works best for recurring commutes and can lead you on alternate routes around congested areas. The app's turn-by-turn voice directions are very accurate and might even get you to think twice about investing in costly GPS navigation services.
Ultimately, the most effective way to save money on gas is to not drive at all. But if you are going to bike everywhere, you should make sure your two-wheeler is in good working condition. Bike Repair explains more than 70 different bike problems and can teach you repairs through its step-by-step explanations and photo guides.
Tribune Media Services
Bucks for the 'Bang'
IBM has partnered with the multinational team building the world's largest radio telescope to develop supercomputer technology to study faint radio signals from deep space produced by the "Big Bang" 13 billion years ago. IBM said the processing power needed to operate the telescope is the equivalent of combining several million of today's fastest computers. Construction of the $2- billion supertelescope project will begin in 2017. -- Bloomberg News
Small businesses embracing tablets
Tablets are becoming the computing device of choice for small businesses. About 28 percent of small-business owners surveyed by Newtek Business Services said they already are using tablets for their computing applications. And 45 percent said a tablet would be their next technology purchase, compared to 41 percent who expected to buy a laptop and 14 percent who expected to purchase a desktop computer.
FTC, game site settle
RockYou, the developer of online social games "Zoo World" and "Gourmet Ranch," will pay a $250,000 fine as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over an incident two years ago that left email addresses and passwords from 32 million users exposed to hackers. The company was also charged with violating online privacy rules by collecting email addresses and other information from 179,000 children without parental consent. -- AP
iPhone, iPod Touch -- http://www.appolicious.com/tech/apps/505240-gasbuddy-find-cheap-gas-prices-gasbuddy-organization-inc
Android -- http://www.androidapps.com/apps/360092-gasbuddy-find-cheap-gas-gasbuddy-com
AAA TripTik Mobile
iPhone, iPod Touch -- http://www.appolicious.com/tech/apps/220252-aaa-triptik-mobile-american-automobile-association
Android -- http://www.androidapps.com/apps/690388-aaa-triptik-mobile-aaa_national
Waze Social GPS & Live Traffic
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad -- http://www.appolicious.com/tech/apps/68486-waze-social-gps-traffic-waze
Android -- http://www.androidapps.com/apps/313046-waze-social-gps-live-traffic-waze
iPhone, iPod Touch - http://www.appolicious.com/finance/apps/58632-gas-cubby-fuel-economy-mpg-mileage-calculator-and-car-maintenance-service-log-the-application-cubby-llc
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad -- http://www.appolicious.com/sports/apps/272822-bike-repair-atomic-softwares?tracking_id=search_results%3Aa119a251-5f32-012f-b766-40409525c8c6
Android -- http://www.androidapps.com/sports/apps/422707-bike-repair-atomic-softwares?tracking_id=search_results%3Ab7d58160-5f32-012f-d2fe-40404140b3c0