My Internet … Personal Solutions, March 2013

March 1, 2013

Great Smartphone Deal

How would you like to spend just $19 a month for unlimited calls, texting, and data – and no contract? That is the great deal offered by Republic Wireless, a division of The catch is that the system uses Wi-Fi when cus­tomers are in a Wi-Fi area and Sprint Nextel’s 3G network when they are not. Another problem is that the only handset that can be used is a Motorola Defy XT. This handset has a somewhat small screen and runs on an older version of Android.

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[else_has_no_access] There are two payment options – pay $249 for the Defy XT and $19 a month for service, or pay $99 for the phone and $29 a month for service. Why so inexpensive? Because most people access the system via Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi is plentiful. If you don’t have to have the latest and greatest smartphone – or if you want to provide an inexpensive smartphone to a family member – this option is definitely worthwhile. Visit and click on the Wireless link.

Pillows for Long Flights

Anyone who endures long flights, especially in economy class, to destinations with several time zone changes, usually requires some help sleeping. Travel pillows are generally the answer, although from my experience, inexpensive solutions do not work well. The Travelrest is a banana-shaped pillow that can quickly be inflated and weighs just 5.6 ounces. Available in multiple colors, it costs $27 at Weighing 12 ounces, the Kuhi Comfort pillow is made up of two large, velvety brown balls. Reportedly it works well even when used in a middle seat where passengers must remain fairly upright. It is $40 at The Comfy Commuter pillow is a typical U-shaped neck pillow but with substantial cushioning. It has Velcro straps to help maintain its position around the neck. At, it is also $40. Of course, for the best possible rest, you will also want to bring along some eyeshades.