How can I delete my search history on Facebook?
Question: Does Facebook keep track of my searches like Google does? Can I stop it?
Answer: Yes, Facebook records any search you make on the site. To clear your searches, log in to Facebook and go to your Timeline page. Click on the Activity Log button at the upper right. On the left column of the Activity Log, under Photos, Likes and Comments, click on the More link. Then scroll down and click on the Search link. You'll see a list of every Facebook search. To clear the list, click on Clear Searches at the top-right of the list. Simple! You will need to do this every few months as you can't turn off this feature.
Lower your heating bill
Q: My heating bill is already sky high and it isn't even really winter yet. How can I bring it down?
A: Heating costs are definitely up this year thanks to rising propane, natural gas and electricity prices. I'd invest in a programmable thermostat and lower the temperature while you're at work and at night when you're bundled up in bed. Be sure to avoid laundry and other energy-intensive tasks during peak energy hours. Call your energy provider to find out when peak hours are for you.
Test your cellular speed
Q: I just bought a 4G smartphone, and my Internet isn't as fast as I expected. Is there a way to tell what kind of speed I'm getting?
A: There is an app for that. Take a look at the free Speedtest.net. It tells you the speed of your cellular or Wi-Fi connection. The FCC has a similar app called Speed Test. In addition to testing speed, Speed Test collects your speed data so the FCC can make cellular coverage maps. These maps will help consumers make more informed decisions and keep cellular carriers honest.
Cheap tech gift ideas
Q: I don't have a lot to spend on gifts this year. Are there any low-cost gadgets you can recommend?
A: Usually, cheap tech is just that — “cheap.” So, avoid the $100 tablets, bargain basement HDTVs and sub-$400 laptops. If you need a solid low-cost tablet, the Barnes & Noble Nook HD is a good buy. Save your HDTV purchases until just before the Super Bowl in February, because that's when prices are the best. Instead of a sub-$400 laptop, get a sub-$400 tablet. It will be just as good for casual computing tasks, and more portable.
Should I buy an extended warranty?
Q: Everywhere I turn, salespeople are offering me extended warranties on my purchases. Am I OK turning them down?
A: Definitely. Most people don't get any advantage from extended warranties. Products either break during the free factory warranty period or after the extended warranty expires. Plus, extended warranties often don't cover common types of damage and wear and tear. Instead, check with your credit card provider. You might get a free extension on the factory warranty just by buying with the right card.
Email Kim Komando at firstname.lastname@example.org.