TrueCar – find out what others really paid

Editors pick by CNNMoney

Best Site: Truecar.com

With auto rebates getting rarer and prices starting to rise, you need all the negotiating ammo you can get. It’s not hard to find a site that divulges the dealer invoice price for various models. But TrueCar tells you something that’s even more helpful: exactly what other buyers in your area recently paid for the model you want. With that info — gathered from finance companies, insurers, dealers, and other sources — you can make short work of negotiating. TrueCar VP Jesse Toprak says the average user strikes a deal in 15 minutes or less.

Coolest feature: You’ll get a nifty graphic combining the breakdown of the dealer’s actual costs, the average price people are paying, and what’s considered a great vs. merely a good deal for that model.

Try this too: The True Market Value tool at Edmunds.com offers a slightly different take: Analysts adjust the data to reflect market conditions. It doesn’t give as much info as TrueCar does, however.

http://www.truecar.com/index.html

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Create a perfect sketch of the accident online

You’ve been involved in an accident. You have many questions to answer and forms to fill in — from the police, insurance companies, and perhaps even lawyers and courts. And almost every one of those forms requires you to draw a diagram of what happened. AccidentSketch.com provides you with the tools to draw the sequence of events — and you only have to drag and drop road and vehicle icons onto a screen, fill in some details, then print out the accident report with your sketch. All for free.

http://accidentsketch.com/

Keep your stuff in sync: A guide to online data syncing services

Let Google, Yahoo, MobileMe or another service provider synchronize your contacts, calendars, e-mail and personal data for you.

Remember the early days of PDAs? They revolutionized the concept of a planner by combining calendars, contacts and notes into a compact, easy-to-carry device that could be connected to and synced with your computer.

Fast-forward to today, when you are likely to rely on a smartphone or other handheld device (an iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile or Android device, to name a few possibilities) plus multiple computers (desktop at home, laptop at work, netbook on the road, for example) for accessing and managing your personal data. And depending on your job or school, you may find yourself needing to access some of your personal information through a publicly accessible Web service.

While broad and instant access to your e-mail, contacts, meetings and notes can be incredibly advantageous, it presents some challenges — particularly if you need to add or edit contacts, notes or appointments on the go — because you need to ensure that all of your sources for information are accurate and current and contain the same set of data.

One way to manage this data syncing is with cloud-based services, where an Internet server acts as a central repository and gateway to your information. A key part of achieving the dream of accurate and reliable information syncing is choosing the right service for your habits, your mobile devices, your particular mix of computers and the applications you use on them.

To help you choose, I’ve compiled information on six common Internet-based data-syncing options, complete with a summary of their strengths, weaknesses and which platforms and tools they work with. I’ve covered four free services — Google, Microsoft’s Windows Live, Yahoo Mail and Plaxo — and two paid services, Apple’s MobileMe and hosted Microsoft Exchange.

Now there’s no excuse not to have your e-mail, contacts, appointments and notes updated across all of your devices.

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135509/Keep_your_stuff_in_sync_A_guide_to_online_data_syncing_services

5 handy free tools to speed up your website

Want to speed up your website? It’s well worth the effort.

The faster your pages load, the happier your visitors will be, and the longer they’ll stick around.

Removing unnecessary or oversized content can help reduce your bandwidth requirements and save you money, too.

Of course you’ll need advice on which parts of the site need optimisation, but that’s surprisingly easy – we’ve uncovered free tools from Google, Yahoo, MySpace, AOL and more that will analyse any web page and point out how it can be improved. So which one is best? Keep reading for everything you need to know.

http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/web/5-handy-free-tools-to-help-speed-up-your-website-615942

Vista – UAC – Annoyance Buster

Maintain your PC’s protection without the incessant UAC interruptions.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/140134/annoyance_buster_make_vistas_user_account_control_work_for_you.html

One solution is to turn UAC completely off. To do that, choose Start, Control Panel, click User Accounts and Family Safety, and select User Accounts. Or just click Start, type User Accounts, and choose that option from the search results. Next, click Turn User Account Control on or off, and then click Continue when prompted by (what else?) UAC itself. Uncheck the box, and click OK. Choose a restart option when prompted to do so. After you restart, you’ll no longer be bothered by UAC prompts.