Nick C

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14 privacy tools you should use to stay secure | ZDNet

Often, open-source software is the most secure<p>The latest Edward Snowden leaks have shown that the oldest, least funded open-source technologies are …

Information Systems

What is pre-tirement? A way for the over-50s to stagger (towards) retirement

There is no longer a cut-off point at which you retire, according to a new report. Instead, those aged 50 to 80 are increasingly still working, at least part-time<p><b>Name:</b> Pre-tirement.<p><b>Age:</b> Late-50s.<p><b>Appearance:</b> Clapped-out.<p><b>Time to retire.</b> Tempting, but retirement is so passe. It’s all about …

Lowest-ever 10-year mortgage deals launched as inflation falls

Interest rate rise now not expected until 2016 as banks and building societies’ battle for borrowers intensifies<p>Plunging inflation and interest rate expectations have prompted banks to launch an explosion of mortgage deals fixed for 10 years at historically low rates.<p>Santander this morning launched …

Best sweet and fortified wines for Christmas

Complete your holiday wine stocks with the best moscatos, ports and sherries money can buy<p>What will you drink with your Christmas pudding? What will you leave out for Santa Claus? It’s not Christmas unless there’s a bottle of port sitting on the mantelpiece and one of sherry in the fridge. Here’s …

Sparkling Wine

31 Delicious Things To Cook In December

The best way to stay warm is to start eating and drinking and never stop.

Can you snap up Cyber Monday bargains from the US?

The big beast in your way is HM Revenue & Customs, and the small matter of duty and VAT<p>It remains extraordinary how prices for so many goods in the US are much lower than in the UK. A Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet retailing on Amazon in the UK is £800, while on Amazon US it is £623. An Urban Decay …

The energy switch that could offer the cheapest dual-fuel tariff in the UK

MoneySavingExpert.com says its deal with E.ON should provide a considerable saving – but you must sign up by 7 November<p>Consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com has launched what’s looks set to be the first collective energy switch to undercut the cheapest existing providers, after agreeing a …

‘Extraordinary’ interest rates on 10-year fixed-rate mortgage deals

Is a decade too long to tie yourself into a mortgage? Just watch out for early repayment charges, brokers warn<p>Ten years … it that too long to tie yourself into a mortgage deal? Lenders don’t seem to think so and have started to launch decade-long fixed-rate deals with “extraordinary” interest rates …

Investing for the children’s future? Don’t be afraid of going to the market

Clinging to the safety of cash when opening Junior Isas means losing out on long-term returns from equities<p>Junior Isas have reached their third birthday, but cautious parents could be missing out on thousands of pounds for their children as three-quarters have chosen to invest in cash accounts …

Regular investing: whether you have £10 or £500 there’s a place for you

Start small in a regular savings account or stock market fund and little by little you can build a tidy lump sum<p>Setting aside a sum every month is the most painless way to save for the future. And when it comes to stock market investing, a regular savings plan can help smooth out the highs and lows …

Dealer or local garage for your car service?

Millions of motorists shun main dealers for ‘fast-fit’ outlets or small local garages – but new figures could prove them wrong<p>Next time your car needs a service don’t automatically assume that your trusted independent garage or local “fast-fit” outlet is the cheapest option. Often the main dealer …

Who do we want to bank with? John Lewis, of course

A survey reveals which high street retailers we’d trust to take care of our banking<p>More than three-quarters of consumers say they would trust retailer John Lewis – whose Christmas ad was unveiled on Thursday – to take care of their banking.<p>That was one of the eye-catching findings in a survey …

Why does Sainsbury’s reward fuel use with Nectar bonus points?

Customer complains of 10 times the rewards on petrol but zero for reusing a plastic bag<p><b>Sainsbury’s has just sent me an email about its Nectar reward scheme, saying it will no longer be offering me a bonus point for every carrier bag I reuse. It will, however, be giving me 10 times bonus points on</b> …

Savers turn to ‘sin stocks’ in search of higher return for their cash

Imperial Tobacco, Shell … savers suffering years of rock-bottom interest rates are turning to the FTSE 100 British blue chips<p>Tobacco companies – the archetypal “sin stocks” – remain hugely popular among investors, despite regular warnings that profits will inevitably slide as more people quit …

Is it better to take out a mortgage via a broker, or go it alone?

Already 60% of mortgages are brokered and thanks to new home loan rules that number is sure to grow<p>Gone are the days when if you wanted a financial product as daunting – and expensive – as a mortgage you would pop into your local bank branch for a cosy chat with the manager.<p>As recently as 2012, …

Which supermarket is cheapest? It’s Morrisons now

Move over Aldi, step aside Asda, Morrisons is winning the supermarket price war, independent survey finds<p>Morrisons has jumped ahead of Aldi to become Britain’s cheapest supermarket in the first fully independent audit of prices at the major chains, prepared exclusively for Guardian Money.<p>Aldi was …

Virgin Media announces price rises

Cable firm’s 5.9% overall price rise follows similar increases by its main broadband, TV and phone rivals<p>Virgin Media has become the last of the big phone companies to announce prices rises, putting up it landline and bundle charges by between £1 and £4.50 a month.<p>The cable firm, which supplies …

Factsheet: Stamp duty and stamp duty land tax

Be aware that this is calculated on a ‘slab structure’ – at £250,000 you’ll pay 1%, but at £250,001 you’ll pay 3%<p>Stamp duty is a tax charged by the government when you buy property or shares. There are different kinds of stamp duty, which apply to different purchases.<p>Stamp duty on homes and …

Factsheet: Annuities

An annuity is your saved pot of pension money, built up over your working life, and traded for an income when you retire<p>What is an annuity?<p>An annuity is simply a contract: your saved pot of “defined-contribution” pension money, built up over your working life, is traded for an annual income for …

Factsheet: Buying a home

You can navigate your way through what can be a long and complex process by following these steps<p>Buying a home can be a long and complex process, but typically it involves going through these steps:<p>Find out how much you can borrow<p>Call a mortgage broker to get an idea of how much you can borrow. He …

Factsheet: Credit cards

You can find a card supplied by almost anyone, but beware of only paying the minimum your provider asks for each month<p>Credit cards are available from a wide range of providers, from supermarkets to airlines and even charities.<p>Applying for a card is simple – applications can be made in a bank …

10 cocktails every man should know how to make

What's the perfect gin and tonic ratio? When's the best time to make a Bloody Mary? And how can you get drunk like the Brazilians? Mehmet Ivanovic answers all these questions, and more...<p>There was a time when I didn’t have the foggiest about cocktails. Their preparation was mythical and complex; …

The best red wines for Christmas

<i>Our award-winning wine writers, Victoria Moore and Susy Atkins, unveil the richest reds for you to sip this Christmas.</i><p>Red wines under £10<p><b>Côtes du Rhône Villages 2015, France</b><p>Boasting a cerulean blue and scarlet label that’s strangely similar to another popular Côtes du Rhône you may know, this is my …

MX Player Removes Native Support For AC3 and MLP Audio Codecs, Workaround Available

Since the recent update to MX Player, many users are running into a new problem: there's no sound in certain videos. It turns out the latest release …