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Gear Guide: Last-Minute Gifts

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Sometimes you can’t wait for a gift to come by snail mail; sometimes you can’t even dash to the mall. Turn to the Internet when you need instant—but thoughtful—presents.

  • A subscription to Netflix pleases movie and TV watchers who are tired of the local video store’s selection and late fees. You can buy gift certificates for as little as one month of service ($22) and as much as a full year ($264). Just make sure the recipient has a DVD player.
  • Every iPod-equipped music lover will welcome an iTunes gift certificate from the iTunes Music Store. Amounts range from $10 to $200, accommodating a range of budgets. And you won’t have to guess what the kids are listening to nowadays.
  • A year of .Mac may befuddle some recipients—until they realize the worlds it opens. Thanks to your $100 gift, families can share photos and video, job seekers can post resumes, travelers can store files, and anyone can enjoy freebies such as downloadable games and music tracks.
  • Instant access to Consumer Reports research is a great gift for people who want in-depth information before they buy. A one-year subscription to the Web site is $26. Who knows—you may save the beneficiaries so much money that next year they’ll give you a pile of presents!
  • Virtual credit at Powell’s Books has several benefits. The site not only has a huge selection of new, used, and out-of-print books, but also has indie cred to burn. The idea of supporting a scrappy David in a field of Goliaths should appeal to every Mac user on your gift list. You can purchase any amount of credit.
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