This solar system AR toy proves that you don't need to be an astronaut to explore space

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The solar system, but here on Earth.
The solar system, but here on Earth.
Image: AstroReality

Becoming an astronaut is tough. First, you need a degree in engineering, math, or science, and have at least three years of field experience. Second, you have to pass an incredibly demanding physical examination. 

And even if you do get selected, you have to undergo training which involves squeezing yourself into tiny simulators and gaining fluency in Russian. Oh, and once you finally get to go on a deep-space mission, you also have to trust the universe not to let you end up like Matt Damon in The Martian. (We know, that was fiction — but still.)

Just because it’s almost impossible to get into a space program, doesn’t mean you can’t explore the solar system. The Solar System Mini Set offers a unique celestial experience, and you can play with it in the comfort of your home (you can even eat space cheese if you want).

Check it out:

[embedded content]

Engineered using 3D printing technology, the 3 cm planet models are optimized to work with augmented reality technology so you can see each one’s character up close. When you pair the planets with the app, you can inspect them in amazing detail, complete with features like atmospheres, moons, and rings. It works in real time, too. The mini replica can be light or dark depending on the time you explore as it mirrors how the actual planet rotates into daylight.

You may not ever travel to space, but you can at least pretend with the Solar System Mini Set. Regularly $179, you can get it on sale for $129 — a savings of 27%.

Image: AstroReality

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Is your inbox a mess? The Mailstrom app can help — and it's on sale.

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Don't let an avalanche of emails get you down.
Don’t let an avalanche of emails get you down.
Image: pexels

Managing your email account hasn’t gotten any easier in recent years, especially now that spam mailing lists have nearly become self-aware and all your personal and work messages have had roughly two decades to pile up. Luckily, Mailstrom is an app that can help you sort through thousands of emails instantly, bringing your Inbox back down to a reasonable size and keeping it that way.

Mailstrom is a mail management app that uses settings you define to sift through every message you’ve ever received and keep your organized. 

You can set Mailstrom to automatically block specific senders or even subjects from your Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook accounts to keep unwanted junk from ever passing in front of your eyes, and you can use its intuitive one-click Unsubscribe feature to instantly rid yourself of mailing lists you’re no longer interested in or never signed up for in the first place. Best of all, Mailstrom never keeps your password, so your privacy is never at risk.

Normally, a lifetime subscription to Mailstrom sells for $999.75, but right now Mashable readers can jump on a 93% markdown and get one for just $59.99 by clicking on the button below.

Image: Pexels

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Pre-order the new Apple Watch Series 4 at Walmart and be among the first to get bragging rights

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Pre-order the Apple Watch Series 4.
Pre-order the Apple Watch Series 4.

The new Apple Watch Series 4, which is now thinner and lighter than the previous model, hits shelves (both virtual and otherwise) on Friday, Sept. 21. And we’re here to remind you that there’s no need to wait in long lines for hours and hours. You can simply pre-order one (or two) and just have it shipped to you by the end of the weekend. Now isn’t that easier?

We’d recommend taking the plunge at Walmart, where you can get free 2-day shipping or may even be able to snag a discount on select models for picking it up in the store. The GPS and cellular versions of the Apple Watch 4, and its long awaited edge-to-edge display, are now available for pre-order with various colors and band options, such as a gold aluminum case with pink and white sports bands or a gold aluminum case with a pink sand sport loop. Unfortunately, space grey aluminum case and silver aluminum case (in both 40mm and 44mm) are out of stock temporarily. (Keep checking back though!)

For 2018, Apple ditched the ceramic and gold versions of the Apple Watch, opting to go with aluminum (40mm for $399 and 44mm for $429) and gold stainless steel (40mm for $699 and 44mm for $749) models instead. Each model also comes with optional cellular connectivity for an additional $100. The Apple Watch Series 4 is supported on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and Sprint in the United States. 

In addition, the new Apple Watch Series 4 features an all-new Digital Crown that is still used to scroll through apps, but now has an Electrocardiogram (ECG) feature that can detect if you’ve fallen. The smartwatch then can call for emergency assistance when you’re in need.

Image: Apple

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Best photo editing software for your desktop computer or laptop

Whether you’re focused mainly on organization or deep editing features, we have the tools for you.

Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

The history of photo manipulation dates back over 200 years when photographers would scratch, scrape, paint, cut, and paste their way to a pleasing (often humorous) result. 

What was once a physical skill possessed by a select few, photo retouching has since become much more accessible thanks to the latest technological advancements. 

There’s the infamous Adobe Photoshop, one of the most recognizable pieces of software on the planet – so familiar that it has become a verb. There’s Apple Photos, a free, hidden post-processing gem hardwired into MacBooks, and so many others in between.

So whether you’re a photo pro or just doing it for the ‘gram, if you want to take your captures to the next level, there are numerous computer software options out there for your to take advantage of — and we’ve found the best of them. 

For this roundup, we took into account features, usability, and cost to make sure all your photo editing needs are met. Here are our picks:

Gives you access across all your devices • Easy to use interface • Organizes your photos for you

Doesn’t come with as many editing tools

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an affordable cloud storage and organization system with some editing features, Lightroom CC could be your best choice.

1. Adobe Lightroom CC

Adobe’s latest photo storage and editing product is easy to use and intuitive.

  • Price:
    Plans start at $9.99/month
What photo enthusiast doesn’t like a one-stop photo shop? The most recent addition to the Adobe family gives you access to all your original high-resolution images across all your devices. 
The all-new Lightroom CC represents Adobe’s shift from traditional catalog storage to an intuitive cloud-based system. The interface itself feels less like a high-tech software system and more like a simple smartphone app, only enhanced for your desktop. It creates a single catalog of all your photos without the need to rename them or input fancy keywords. Just drag and drop your pictures and Lightroom CC organizes them and auto-attaches searchable keywords so you can find your photos in a snap. 
You can edit your photos directly from the software using creative presets or you can make selective adjustments if you prefer. The software features adjustments for light, color, fine details, and optics.
Lightroom does, however, lack some of the individual editing controls like curve adjustments and complex colors that Photoshop enthusiasts love, but for $19.99 per month you can get the Creative Cloud bundle that includes Lightroom CC, one terabyte of cloud storage, Lightroom Classic (the original version that professionals love), and Photoshop CC for a more in-depth photo enhancing experience. 

Automatically sorts your photos for you • Chooses the best shot for you to edit from a series • Lets you isolate a photo subject from background

Not as many deep features for pros

The Bottom Line

If you’re an entry-level photo editor, Photoshop Elements could be all you need.

2. Adobe Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements’ latest update not only helps you edit your photos, but it also organizes them for you using built-in content intelligence.

  • Price:
We take more photos than ever, and for the past ten years Photoshop Elements has made photo editing easy for entry-level snappers. Photoshop Elements‘ latest 2018 update not only helps you edit your photos to their best potential, but it also organizes them all for you using built-in content intelligence. The AI analyzes your photos and gives you options to correct them using just a few clicks. 
The software automatically sorts your photos by date, subject, people, and places. By attaching smart tags, photos of common subjects like birthdays, sunsets and landmarks, become easy to find without having to do any of the organizing work yourself. There’s even a feature that cuts down on editing time by automatically choosing the best shot for you to edit based on image quality, faces, and subjects.
If you’re familiar with how difficult it can sometimes be to isolate a specific subject in a photo using Photoshop, the new update makes it way easier. Just drag a box around the subject (or multiple subjects), and the software will isolate it for you, then you can fine-tune the edges if needed.
If you’re a newbie, the latest update is an ideal choice because it comes with 49 guided elements features that show you how to edit your photos step-by-step. And of course, you can always add your own personal touch. 

Lots of retouching features • including body shaping • Affordable

No geotag maps • Not as many features as Photoshop

The Bottom Line

If you’re all about retouching, Cyberlink could be the tool you’re looking for.

The CyberLink software offers useful everyday photo-editing tools and an interface that’s split into six modules. There’s the Library module to import, mark, and prepare photos for editing, but all the magic happens in the Adjustment module. It gives you tools to crop, straighten, and adjust tonality. There’s a spot remover tool for blemishes and an adjustment brush to isolate areas you want to alter. Add a gradient mask, saturate or desaturate, and adjust color temperature. If retouching and skin smoothing tools is what you’re after then the Edit allows you to do just that, along with a cool body shaping feature.
Similarly to Photoshop, it has content-aware object selection tools, and you can use the Layers module to blend multiple photos together. Once you’ve finished your masterpiece, you have the option of creating a slideshow before exporting them. PC Magazine called it “an affordable tool that gives Adobe a run for its money.”

Automatically adjusts photos for you

Pricey • Doesn’t organize photos • Not much editing flexibility

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for software that does the work for you, PhotoLab could be worth the price tag.

4. DxO PhotoLab

What makes Photolab so unique is that it automatically finds the faults with your photographs based on the type of camera and lens and makes adjustments.

  • Price:
If you want clean, high quality, no-frills photo editing software then take a shot at this one. 
What makes DxO PhotoLab (formerly Optics Pro 11) so unique is that it automatically finds the faults with your photographs based on the type of camera and lens you use and it makes adjustments, without you having to do a thing. 
The user interface looks similar to Lightroom, and in fact, it works as an excellent plug-in for your Adobe Lightroom workflow since DxO doesn’t offer as much editing flexibility.  
There are no brush tools, but the Customize mode can be used to make primary adjustments to  contrast, color, and exposure if the automatic enhancements miss the mark. The software doesn’t help with organizing photos, but you can export them directly to other photo applications like Facebook and Flickr once you’re satisfied with the edit. You can also export them to Photoshop or Lightroom to continue working if you wish.

Free • Offers video editing as well

Not as many features as paid options

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for simple photo and video editing, this could be your best bet. And it’s free!

5. Microsoft Photos

If you want simple photo and video tuning, this free option may be the right choice for you.

  • Price:
Microsoft Photos is a free, media creation toolbox and you may already have it, since it’s included in Windows 10 computers and replaces the Windows Photo Gallery app.
The application is helpful for adjusting saturation, contrast, highlights, and shadows. It also comes with 15 preset filters that work well for scenery shots. You can change the strength of each of the enhancements with a slider and make skin corrections using blemish removal tools. 
It also comes with video editing software that allows you to trim videos and add background music. You can add filters to your vids, but unlike with photos, the video filters aren’t adjustable. The same type of software can cost you $69 for Adobe Premiere, though you will get more advanced video editing options. If you want simple photo and video tuning, this free option may be the right choice for you

Organizes photos by date • Offers basic photo editing

Not as many features as paid options

The Bottom Line

If you use a Mac and have basic needs, Apple Photos could be all you need.

6. Apple Photos

If you just need the basics, this free option could be all you need.

  • Price :
Pull the best out of the pics you take with Apple Photos, the MacBook upgrade of iPhoto. The app recognizes raw camera files and also groups all your pictures by date. You can zoom in to a specific day or zoom out to display months or years worth of photos in what the app organizes as Moments. When you click Edit at the top of the software, Adjust, Filters, and Crop menus appear so you can enhance your photos. 
The adjust tab opens up a world of editing opportunities. It allows you to control the brightness of your images, exposure, highlights, shadows, and black point – just as you can on iOS smartphones. You can also sharpen photo details and adjust noise. The Filters come with Warm and Cool options but aren’t nearly as customizable as the ones that come with Photoshop Elements. 

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The best dating sites for women looking to make a connection

Go get ’em, ladies!

Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

The online world can be rough for women, but navigating online dating is its own type of intimidating. However, as the world increasingly moves onto the internet, online dating has long been the new norm. 

Finding the right dating site can be a challenge. Every woman has different wants when it comes to finding a match.

Some are looking for a fun time, some are looking for their next long term relationship. Some are trying out online dating for the first time, while others are seasoned pros. Some are just getting back into the dating game.

We’ve selected a few different sites for different types of daters.

Large dating pool • Cool new features • Proven success

Not the cheapest

The Bottom Line

If you’re willing to invest in your dating journey, Match has a great success rate and lots of users.

1. Match

Match has a huge user base and matchmaking technology, but isn’t cheap.

  • 3 months:
  • 12 months:
Match has been around since 1995 and is one of the most trusted of the dating sites — for good reason. Its long history gives it a strong standing in the world of online dating and the site covers a huge area, servicing 24 different countries in 15 different languages.
Match caters to a wide variety of daters, from people looking for casual dating to those after for long term relationships. Though they are the oldest of the dating sites, they’ve kept up with the times and recently added a mobile platform with features like user stories. They like to share success stories of couples who’ve met on Match.

Things to know:

  • It’s free to build a profile, but in order to message your matches, you need to pay for a membership, which averages around $23/month. 
  • Match also has a Missed Connections feature, based on users’ location that tells them who they’ve crossed paths with recently.

Offers matchmaking tech • Ability to filter based on factors like career ambitions

Not a big of a user base as some • Pricey

The Bottom Line

If things like career, education, and background are important to you, EliteSingles might be worth the price.

2. EliteSingles

EliteSingles offers matchmaking tech and the ability to filter based on education and career ambitions, but a full membership can be pricey.

  • Very limited membership:
  • 3-month membership:
  • 6-month membership:
  • 12-month membership:
For women who know what they want out of a long-term partner, EliteSingles prides itself on its intelligent matchmaking algorithm. EliteSingles presents you matches based on your personal preferences and the Big Five Personality Traits: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (sometimes called Emotional Stability). 
Whether you’re looking for someone of your similar demographic background, age, or career ambitions, EliteSingles makes it easy to narrow down your searches and be as specific as you want. They also offer local dating features, for those who want to meet someone in their area. 

Things to know:

  • This is a site for people looking for a serious relationship. If you want something casual, you’d best look elsewhere. 
  • EliteSingles was created as a professional dating site.
  • You can create a profile, view your matches, and receive limited messages for free. 
  • The site also has a premium option, which allows for unlimited messaging, full photo viewing, and more matches. 
  • The premium option also allows you access to the mobile app.
  • A 12-month membership is $31.95 per month, a 6-month membership is $44.95 per month, and a 3-month membership is $59.95 per month.

Uses AI to learn what you like

Not particularly bi-friendly • On the pricier side

The Bottom Line

If you’ve tried other dating sites/apps and are looking for a fresh approach, Zoosk could be for you.

3. Zoosk

Zoosk approaches dating in a fresh way with machine learning.

  • Sign up:
  • Monthly :
  • 3-month subscription:
  • 6-month subscription:
If by the end of this list, you still don’t know what it is you want out of a dating site, you might want to try Zoosk. The site was originally a Facebook app back in 2007, but has since transitioned to its own web domain with over 33 million users in 80 countries and in 25 languages
After signing up, users are prompted to answer a few baseline questions (height, ethnicity, smoking habits) and then are able to sift through matches. Zoosk sends you potential matches based on profiles you’ve liked before. They also share their success stories.

Things to Know

Offers a 3-month guarantee • For the marriage-minded • it has the best track record of all

Taking a long quiz can be tedious if you’re busy • Free membership is very limited

The Bottom Line

If you’re serious about settling down and have time for a long quiz, eharmony has the best track record in the business.

4. eharmony

If you’re serious about settling down, eharmony is the gold standard.

  • Basic membership (very limited, no messages):
  • Premium membership:
    starts at $19.95/month
Dating giant eharmony is the site to go to when you’re really serious about finding a connection. Unlike some of the other websites which cater to both serious and casual daters, eHarmony focuses on people seeking long-term relationships. In 2013, eharmony ranked first in creating more marriages than any other dating site and according to a spokesperson, the site is responsible for 4% of U.S. marriages. eHarmony makes a guarantee that if you’re not satisfied in 3 months, you’ll get 3 months free. 
Instead of the user searching for potential matches using their own criteria, eHarmony presents their suggestions on the lengthy and comprehensive personality quiz members take when signing up. eHarmony caters to people of a variety of age, demographics, and backgrounds, and also has options for local dating. One thing’s for sure: people on eHarmony aren’t looking for a hook-up. Success stories for eHarmony are shared on the site.

Things to know:

  • Once again — free to sign up, but options are limited. To actually message, you need a membership.
  • eHarmony is one of the pricier dating sites out there, but at least you know everyone on there is serious about finding The One. 
  • Prices start at $19.95, though they sometimes have promotions for longer plans.

Massive user base • LGBTQ friendly • Tons of features for max satisfaction • Chemistry questionnaires are actually decent

Outdated and unattractive layout • Entire site looks like a virus-ridden porn ad • Best features get pricey

The Bottom Line

If you can get past the fact that it looks like an ad for a deserted strip club, you’ll get the satisfaction you were looking for and more.

AdultFriendFinder is our pick for the best hookup site, and that’s because it’s literally impossible to walk away unsatisfied. It’s like a Pornhub that you can actually interact with. Regardless of whether you’re looking for an in-person hookup or to blow off some steam via sexting or raunchy videos, AFF has everything that your dirty mind can think of and more. Almost nothing is blurred out (no, really, there are lots of unsolicited dick pics), v=but if you don’t mind that the entire thing looks like a sketchy “There are hot singles in your area” ad, you’ll be in heaven.
With over 25 million monthly users (that’s more than eharmony) as well as live video options, chat rooms, groups for ultra specific kinks, and more, you can probably assume how wild this site can get. But there’s such a large and diverse group of potential matches, you’re very likely to find someone who’s on the same page as you. The part that you wouldn’t expect is the fact that they do offer tons of compatibility questions and matchmaking services, because they’re that intent on finding you a good lay.

Things to know: 

  • AdultFriendFinder is like the dating site version of New York City (AKA it never sleeps). You’ll find people who work the regular 9-5, people who work the night shift, and people in other time zones, so it’s nearly impossible to log on and not have people to talk to. 

AdultFriendFinder is like the booty call that’s always awake when you text them. 
You can read our full review on AdultFriendFinder here and sign up here.

Made for single parents • Emphasis on user safety • Great reputation

Doesn’t have a user base as large as some others • The free membership is very limited

The Bottom Line

While you can find single parents on other sites, this one was made for them, and might be worth the price.

6. Single Parent Match

If you’re a single mom and only want to meet other single parents, this could be the site for you.

  • Basic membership (limited):
  • Gold membership:
Dating can be hard when you’ve got kids to worry about. There’s a lot of sites out there catering to single parents, but Single Parent Match is the oldest of them and has a great reputation. While you can definitely seek out like-minded single parents on other sites, Single Parent Match is specifically designed for just single parents. 
The site is simple to use and to understand and is very committed to the safety of its users.

Things to know

  • It’s free to sign up, but you can purchase a Gold membership, which allows you to send messages. 
  • Basic membership users can, however, correspond with users who have Gold Memberships.
  • A Gold membership is $29.95 a month. 

Free • Fun matchmaking questionnaires • Huge dating pool • LGBTQ-friendly

Building a profile can be tedious

The Bottom Line

OkCupid genuinely wants dating to be a good experience, and their multi-faceted matchmaking and modern vibe help you steer clear of feeling like a loser.

7. OkCupid

Famous for its quirky personality questionnaires, OkCupid uses the answers to find compatible matches.

  • Basic subscription with all you need:
  • A-list subscriptions:
    Start at $4.99/month
Some might remember OkCupid as the hub for internet quizzes, which spun off into the now removed HelloQuizzy. But OkCupid has also been the go-to freemium dating site since 2004. 
Famous for its quirky personality questionnaires, OkCupid uses the answers to find compatible matches. Some of these questions get #intense. “Are you the type of person to tell a homeless person to get a job?” and “Are you afraid of death?” are among the least skipped questions.

Things to know

  • OkCupid is free to use, but you can pay to be an A-Lister and get to access special features, which you can view once you sign up. 
  • The A-List Basic plan gives you the full list of who’s liked you, advanced search features, read receipts, and no ads. It starts at $4.95 per month for 6 months. 
  • The A-List Premium plan gives you everything on basic, PLUS increased attractiveness, daily boost, public answers to questions, and message priority. It’s available for 1-month ($24.90), 3-months ($22.90 per month), and 6-months ($24.90 per month).
  • OKCupid also has an option for people just looking for friends.  

Easy to use • Made for older people who want to meet other older people

The site does not reveal premium prices until you sign up • which seems shady

The Bottom Line

SilverSingles could be a good option for those with limited internet experience who only want to meet other people their age.

8. Silver Singles

SilverSingles is tailored to “mature, well-rounded men and women” above the age of 50.

  • Basic membership (no photos or messaging):
  • Premium membership:
    Starts at $12.95/month
SilverSingles is tailored to “mature, well-rounded men and women” above the age of 50. It debuted in 2001 as, changed its name to Single Seniors Meet in 2009 and has been SilverSingles since 2011. SilverSingles is tailored towards long-term committed relationships for their members’ golden years. The site is very clear and easy to navigate, making it a approachable for older adults who might not get online as much. 

Things to know

  • Like most other sites, it is free to sign up for a basic membership. You can complete your profile and view matches, but will have limited communication.
  • Premium membership offers unlimited communication, a more detailed online profile, and read receipts. 
  • They offer a few different monthly plans.

Whether you’re looking for a quick fling or the next great love of your life, we wish you success in the digital dating field. Go get ’em, ladies. 

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Snag the Fire Tablet 7 on sale for only $35 — the price of a hardcover book

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Image: amazon

As if there wasn’t already reason to grasp onto any and all forms of worthwhile entertainment now that summer pool parties and beach days are in the past (*sigh*), the Amazon Fire Tablet 7 has gone on sale for only $35.

This new (and improved) generation of the Fire Tablet beefs up the specs while keeping all the features that we know and love.

Choose from (literally) millions of e-books and magazines on Kindle — over one million of which you can access for $2.99 or less. Or you can go all in on the Kindle Unlimited subscription for $10 (after your 30-day free trial.) Fun fact: the Fire Tablet 7 comes with Blue Shade, an exclusive feature that automatically adjusts and optimizes the backlight so you’re not straining your eyes when you’re banging out those last few chapters before bed. Oh, and for the times you don’t want your eyes to do any work, you’ll have access to over 180,000 book titles to listen to on Audible.

Music lovers will get more than their fair share of songs from the Amazon Digital Music Store, which you can download into your library for free and play whenever and wherever you are. (An unlimited subscription is only $8 for those who are already Prime members.) 

For the series-binging beings that we are, the Fire 7 provides us with all our favorite streaming options, from Amazon Video, to Netflix, to HBO NOW, Sling TV and more. 

And when all else fails (Netflix never fails, but whatever), you can always cozy up and try to finally beat your high score on Candy Crush (or one of the other 600,000 games available on the Fire 7.)

Where the Fire 7 really shines in comparison to older models is in the spec department. It rocks a fast quad-core processor, plus it now offers dual-band WiFi with support for more WiFi networks and better performance — ain’t nobody got time for lagging. You can also expand the tablet’s storage by up to 256 GB using a microSD card, plus you can get unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content and photos taken with your Fire Tablet. Download away, kids!

The Fire 7 has a crisp display with higher contrast and sharper text than previous models, a 2 MP rear-facing camera and a front-facing VGA camera for when you’re trying to keep in contact with friends via Skype without leaving your couch. 

Oh, and how could we forget: obviously the Fire 7 comes with your favorite digital assistant, Alexa. Use voice command to have Alexa access any of the above features for you, as well as call or message family and friends, dish the latest news, control your smart home, and more. (Talk about literally never leaving the couch.)

We really can’t think of a better way to stay entertained for months on end, and the fact that it’s only $35 right now is the icing on the cake. 

Don’t miss out, grab the deal here

Image: amazon

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8 of the best automatic cat feeders to keep your pet fed and happy

Your kitty will always be fed on time with an automatic cat food dispenser. These all get two paws up!

Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

As our schedules become more and more jam packed, having the option to automate daily chores, such as feeding the cat, can be a real time saver. Plus, it just feels good to know your feline bestie has a nice full belly. Pet product manufacturers have smartly recognized this need of pet parents everywhere, and there are now dozens of automatic cat feeders available these days. To help you figure out which option is right for you, we researched the internet’s favorite models and broke them down based on the features cat owners care about most.

Whether you’re looking for a no-frills, basic gravity feeder or a full-fledged product to program perfectly timed and portioned meals, we’ve got the best automatic cat feeder options to fit your—and your kitty’s—needs. 

Program up to 12 daily meals • Adjustable portion sizes • Slow feed mode

Power supply sold separately

The Bottom Line

For pet parents who want to program multiple daily meals in set portions, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder is your best bet.

1. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

For pet parents who want to program multiple daily meals in set portions, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder is your best bet.

  • Capacity:
    24 cups
  • Meals:
    Up to 12
  • Power source:
Perfect for single or multi-cat homes, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed allows pet parents to program up to 12 different daily meals, ranging in size from one-eighth of a cup to four cups. The large capacity hopper holds up to 24 cups of kibble at a time, which should last most felines quite a while before needing to be refilled. 
It can be used with both dry and semi-wet foods of varying kibble shapes and sizes. One standout feature that cat owners will love is the slow-feed option. This mode dispenses your cat’s food over a period of 15 minutes, which helps prevent your kitty from bingeing and then vomiting their meal. There’s also an immediate feed button that allows you to give your feline a little nibble in between their regularly scheduled mealtimes.
It comes with its own bowl and stand, which attaches to the feeder, but you can also use it with your kitty’s favorite dish. The pet-proof dispenser keeps prying paws out, and food fresh. The majority of the parts are dishwasher-safe on the top rack for added convenience when it comes time to wash the unit, and are made of BPA-free plastic and stainless steel. 
Amazon user Matthew Tracy writes: 

“We purchased this feeder for our two cats after reading many reviews of other feeders; it seemed that clever cats had a relatively easy time breaking into many of them. We were primarily buying the feeder for portion control while away from home (one of the cats is an over-eater), so any feeder we bought would need to stand firm against the onslaught of prying paws.

This feeder was definitely up to the task. Food is dispensed by gravity, but instead of an auger it uses a sort of conveyor-belt elevator, and the end of the elevator is guarded by a large plastic hood; the end result is that there is just no way for little paws to manipulate the mechanism, despite many vigorous attempts. The lid of our unit is now scratched to heck by the teeth and claws of greedy kittens; it wears these battle scars with pride, having safely defended the food within until mealtime.

Overall this feeder was worth the cost; it’s portioning is correct, its operation is reliable, and our cats have been yet unable to crack into this vault of a machine. So far, it’s earned my trust completely.”

Voice recording feature • Infrared sensor • Ultra-low power consumption

Battery operated

The Bottom Line

The WESTLINK 6L Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser has all the bells and whistles cat owners want in an automatic feeder, and it’s super simple to program.

Even Garfield would approve of this automatic cat feeder with its large capacity hopper (which holds a whopping 25 cups!) and precise portioning system—from 10 to 400+ grams per meal. It does have fewer meal options than our top choice, but programming this unit is much simpler. 
What makes the WESTLINK 6L really special is the ability for pet parents to record a special message of up to 10 seconds for their kitty. When meal time rolls around, the message plays as a signal to your feline that it’s time to eat—as if the food hitting the bowl wouldn’t be enough! That said, there’s also an infrared sensor on this feeder, which checks the bowl for food before dispensing. If it senses there’s still food in the bowl, it will skip your programmed mealtime. Kitty might be a bit hungrier once they finally do get around to eating, but this ensures that food is not wasted and stays as fresh as possible. 
It includes many pet-proof features to help prevent overeating, including a locking hopper lid and two-key programming. Another bonus: the bowl and hopper are removable for easy cleaning. 
Amazon user Jersey Jim writes: 

“By far the easiest feeder to program, fine tune, clean, fill, power, and travel with. I don’t think it’s listed in the description but the power cable is just a really long USB A to A cable, male connectors on both ends that has an included USB to AC receptacle like your phone charger. Unlike other automatic feeders, the square shape helps this device not only fit into a corner better but keeps the area “clean” since there’s less negative space like a dome-topped feeder creates allowing dust and hair to get behind it (providing you place this flush into a square corner). I think there’s battery backup; I haven’t tried it out… I could be wrong and it might be battery or AC rather than failing over to battery. I have not clogged this device but were it to clog, you can unsnap the storage top leaving the bottom timer/motor/feeding tray intact so that’s super-handy. My last feeder I had to pour all the food into a bag in order to remove the top and clean. I would say that dispensing 3 meals a day of setting #1 (about 1/8 Cup) of cat food, this holds at least a month and a half of food if not more. The settings for each of 4 programmable meals go up in about 1/8 Cup increments… but doesn’t stop at 1Cup or 2Cups…. you can keep that motor cranking and dispense a meal of about 9.5 cups (setting #38).”

RFID-controlled • Sealed lid prevents tampering

Can’t feed multiple meals

The Bottom Line

If you have a multi-cat home where one feline requires a special diet or medication, the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder can give you peace of mind the right pet is consuming what they need.

3. SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder

If you have a multi-cat home where one feline requires a special diet or medication, the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder can give you peace of mind the right pet is consuming what they need.

  • Capacity:
    2.5 cups
  • Meals:
  • Power source:
If you have an extra special kitty who requires a prescribed diet or is on a weight-management program, this automatic cat feeder is perfect. It’s super high-tech, and uses a RFID collar system to only dispense food to the correct kitty (especially important when you have more than one cat in the house). It is also compatible with any implanted microchip for added convenience. This way, Fluffy gets his or her special food, while any other pets are access-denied. Since the SureFeed Microchip Feeder can store up to 32 microchip identifications, there’s plenty of space to store all your cats. 
It’s also an excellent choice if your cat requires medications to be dispensed during the day. Because the lid is sealed, it keeps flies, ants, and other yuckies out of your cat’s food, and is ideal for serving up wet food without drying out. 
If you want to spruce up your cat’s mealtime further, there are optional accessories available including colored bowls and mats. The batteries should last for up to four months of daily use, and the low battery indicator will let you know when it’s time to change them. It can be used with both wet and dry foods, and the three-year warranty gives added peace of mind. 
Amazon user L.B. writes:

“My cat is not that smart and she’s a bit skittish but she quickly warmed up to this feeder and was using it within a day. It was easy to set up and took seconds to register her microchip. The training aid it has is a really nice feature, but she didn’t really need it.

I really like that you can adjust how quickly the feeder closes once the pet has walked away. I had it on the default setting and my other cat was able to sneak a quick bite in..but I sped it up and now it closes right away.

If I had any complaints it would be that it does not have a power adaptor or port to plug one in. This would be a nice option especially since I plan to make daily use out of this feeder.”

Sealed compartments • Dishwasher-safe • Budget-friendly

Daily filling required • One compartment always available • Battery powered only

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an automatic cat feeder that won’t break the bank, the PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Feeder is for you.

Pet parents can enjoy all the convenience of an automatic cat feeder, without the hefty price tag, thanks to this unit. The PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Feeder features five chambers which can hold up to one cup of food in each spot. Because of its covered, spinning design, it can be used with both wet and dry foods of varying shapes and sizes—there’s also nothing to get jammed, unlike with hopper-style feeders. 
The BPA-free, dishwasher-safe food tray makes for easier cleanup. Keep in mind that while there are five chambers, one will be available to your cat right away. The spinning system is nice, as you can check how much food your kitty has (or hasn’t) eaten at the end of the day. There’s also a two-meal version available if your pet doesn’t require as many meals. 
Because of its compact and lightweight design, this feeder is also a great pick for when you have to travel with your cat and want to keep them on their regularly scheduled meals. Even if you aren’t super tech-savvy, this feeder is easy to program, but if you have any troubles at all, their US-based customer support is available six days a week to help troubleshoot any issues. 
Amazon user Cattsburgh writes: 

“Our cat recently went into heart failure and had to start taking pills five times a day. We hide the pills inside soft treats and she inhales them without even noticing, which is great, but stopping what you’re doing every 2 to 4 hours to get the pills, pop them in treats, find her, and hand feed her was kind of insane. With this five compartment automatic feeder, she can self serve her pills after we pre-load the trays each morning. All we have to do now is make sure she’s taking the pills in a reasonable timeframe, and we’re good to go. I will say it took her a while to get used to this feeder because the tray moves automatically under the hood. I think at first she was nervous it would start moving before she could eat out of the tray, but after prolonged use, she seems to have gotten used to it just fine. For us this feeder has been a lifesaver. Very happy we found this product! This was very easy to program, even with our intense pill schedule. Great product.”

Video alerts • Multi-pet management • One-way audio

The Bottom Line

If money is no object, the Wagz Smart Dog Feeder can easily be repurposed for feline companions and offers the ability to track, monitor, and adjust your pet’s feeding schedule all from the palm of your hand.

It might have been designed with dogs in mind, but this automatic feeder is also great for feeding feline friends on a schedule. Because it uses a smart-collar system, the Wagz Feeder can be programmed to dispense meals of varying sizes to multiple pets. So your fat cat can get a lighter serving than your skinny kitty. 
The automatic dispenser can be programmed to put out specific amounts of food at set times, or you can manually override and dispense more from your smartphone. There are subscription plans available that expand on the basic alerts and features of the free app, if you want more options. 
What makes this feeder truly special, however, is its one-way audio and built-in HD video camera. Not only does this allow you to see if your pet is eating properly while you’re away, it gives you an opportunity to interact with them. Custom sounds signal to your feline that it’s chow time. Fancy! It’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa for voice control and monitoring.
Amazon user Mattie Clark writes: 

“I love this feeder! I don’t have to worry about feeding my dog if I’m running late after work AND I can watch her through the awesome live camera via the Wagz app! The integrated capabilities make me feel much more comfortable about leaving my fur baby alone for 6+ hours a day. Def recommend this feeder!”

Easy to fill and clean • Free feeds • Low tech

Can’t control portions • Can’t schedule feeds

The Bottom Line

The Van Ness Medium Auto Feeder offers a bare bones option for those who prefer the convenience of not having to fill their cat’s dish every day.

If overeating isn’t a problem for your feline and they can be free-fed without gorging themselves, a gravity-style feeder can provide the convenience of an automatic feeder in an affordable and easy-to-use package. The Van Ness Medium Auto Feeder holds up to about 15 cups of kibble at once, which means you can go a long time between having to refill the reservoir. It’s available in a choice of three different sizes, so if you find you like more or less food storage you can choose the best one for your needs.
Because of its large capacity, this automatic feeder is perfect for multi-cat homes. It’s made in the USA with USFDA-approved, food-contact materials that are safe for pets to use. The removable lid also makes for easy filling and cleaning, and it’s dishwasher-safe for added convenience. Tight on space? This feeder’s square design tucks nicely into a corner. 
Amazon user S. Schroeder writes:

“I have 3 cats and feeding them was getting to be a chore and a messy one at that. I bought this in hopes it would straighten out the problem…IT DID!! 6 pounds of cat food (Purina Cat Chow) lasts my 3 cats a tad over a week… Awesome!!”

Program up to 12 daily meals • Adjustable portion sizes • Slow feed mode

Programming can be challenging • No empty alert

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an automatic cat feeder that is remote control enabled, look no further than the PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder.

If you like the idea of being able to remotely monitor and dispense your feline companion’s meals, look no further. The PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder is for you. It can be programmed to dispense up to 12 meals daily, ranging from one-eighth of a cup to four cups at a time. The hopper holds up to 24 cups of food, so you don’t have to refill it too frequently. 
The feeder is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, and allows pet parents to monitor their kitty’s feeding from anywhere for added peace of mind through its WiFi connection. In the event of a power failure or the feeder somehow going offline, the battery backup will continue to dispense food for your kitty. Many of the components are dishwasher safe for added convenience. 
The locking lid and child lock feature also help to keep tricky cats from sneaking more food than they should have, while the pet-proof dispenser keeps prying paws from stealing extra portions. The Slow Feed and Feed Now options are perfect for kitties who eat too fast or need extra noms before bed.
Amazon user Jennifer S. writes: 

“I want to preface this review by saying I’ve only had this feeder for a few days, but so far, I absolutely LOVE it! I have two cats who I love dearly, but who constantly wake me up in the middle of the night wanting fed. In the past, they stopped at nothing to wake me up, clawing carpet and curtains, jumping on me, eating my hair, meowing, etc. It’s only been a few days, but they’ve already stopped bothering me as much at night. It’s so nice to be able to set the feeder to give them a little midnight snack and finally get to enjoy uninterrupted sleep! As soon as they hear the food hit the bowl, they take off downstairs and don’t bother me for the rest of the night. It’s the best! My only complaint, and the only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars, is that the feeder seems more suited for a single cat, not as much for multiple.”

Program up to five daily meals • Battery backup • Sleek • modern design

One meal always available • Smart cats might override for manual feed

The Bottom Line

If your finicky feline will only dine on wet food, the GemPet 5 Meal Trays Automatic Pet Feeder is an excellent choice.

If you have a finicky feline who will only eat wet food, this automatic cat feeder is an excellent choice. It features a covered, rotating food tray with five compartments. Feeding schedules can be highly customized with this unit, and there’s even the option to record a message of up to 10 seconds to entice your feline friend to come dig in. 
The lid locks securely into place to help keep prying paws out, and to keep food fresh. Keep in mind that although there are five chambers, one will be uncovered and available right away, so you may need to manually time your kitty’s first meal. 
Pet parents will appreciate the standby mode on this feeder, which automatically sets the feeder to standby if there has been no operation for 25 seconds, in order to save electricity and batteries. A low battery indicator light lets you know when it’s time to swap them out for fresh ones. The tray can be removed for convenient cleaning. 
Amazon user FisL writes: 

“I highly recommend this automatic feeder if you have a cat that is obsessed with food, can get into anything, or meows relentlessly when you’d rather be sleeping. We have a food-aggressive cat, and this feeder changed our lives (including the cat’s!) for the better. We only use it for dry food in the morning, but it can be set to more than once a day and wet food as well (sometimes we even put a little water with the dry food). Setting up the timing and meals is very straight forward. Read the directions and it will be just fine. With the regular feeding in the morning, the cat no longer bothers us and now just sits by the feeder staring at it until it rotates.”

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The most popular dating sites in the UK, just in time for cuffing season

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Dating is a serious business.
Dating is a serious business.
Image: Pexels

It’s that time of year again… the chilly period between the beginning of autumn and the start of spring, in which anyone not coupled up finds themselves seeking to be “cuffed” by a serious relationship. Also known as cuffing season

We might like to think that we are deeply complex creatures but when it comes down to it we are simple. In the summer, when the sun is shining and the temperature is warm, we are more content to remain single. We socialise more, meet new people, and enjoy the feeling of being untethered. As the leaves turn from green to crispy shades of Autumn however, we yearn for companionship. It’s a fact. It’s science. It’s instinct. 

Much like a bear, our natural intuition tells us to bunker down and protect ourselves from the oncoming cold. That means movie marathons, duvet days, and ideally someone to hug and to hold. As the cold weather bites, you owe it to yourself to find that special someone, even if what you are really searching for is a human-sized hot water bottle. 

We have compared the best dating sites and apps in the UK to help you in your journey, just in time for cuffing season.

Having avoided being tied down all summer, it can be an adjustment when signing up to a dating service. For those of you that aren’t ready to make a serious commitment to an individual site, FriendFinder could be the perfect choice. It’s an easy-to-use and fun service that requires only as much commitment from you as you are willing to give. So the move from single to cuffed is as painless as possible.  

With FriendFinder, you are able to search existing members without having to sign up. Again, this appeals to the toe-dipper. No scary commitment up front, allowing you to test the water before diving in. 

The FriendFinder Magazine also helps to provide the all-important details before you make your selection. You can gobble up information on tips, articles, polls, and more.

You will need a paid membership to interact with others. So whilst it’s great to be able to search for existing members without signing up, you can’t really do anything when you find your perfect cuffing partner, unless you pay up. 

Image: Friend Finder

As the name suggests, EliteSingles is known for being a bit exclusive. The site relies on a highly detailed matching system stemming from a questionnaire that analyses 29 unique character traits. That’s a lot of character right there. With the comprehensive profiles (with similarities highlighted for easy matching), filtering, and verification options, Elite Singles is an option for more discerning types. 

The signup process is frustrating and much lengthier than other dating sites. EliteSingles boasts over 13 million members worldwide however, and claims that an average of 2,000 couples pair off every month, so if you make it through signup, the chances of success are high.

Another issue is the search option, which doesn’t exist, and accessibility without paying, which is also non-existent. Other than that, EliteSingles is a serious option for selective professionals, who are looking for something genuine.

Image: Elite Singles

eHarmony is not a site for hook-ups. So move on if that’s your game. Cuffing season lasts right up until next Spring, or beyond, so you better come ready to find love. Or at least be open to the possibility. A lot can happen in the space of a few months. 

With a heavy focus on determining compatibility, gives members in-depth tools for getting to know themselves as individuals and within a couple. Take this chance to do some serious personal growth, to become a better person and a better lover. You might just learn a thing or two.

eHarmony’s 29 Dimensions of Compatibility matching system is backed up by more than 15 years of data.

The site has a completely customised user experience, from dashboard insights, to other profiles members see on the site, with unique guided communication options ensuring users learn about others in depth. 

There’s no such thing as a perfect dating site and eHarmony is no different. It has limitations.  There’s no video integrated into the site, there are a limited number of matches, and there is no search option which makes finding a match a little more troublesome.

Having said all of that, eHarmony claims to be responsible for over 11,000 marriages. If they can get people to tie to knot then surely they can find someone for you to cuddle in the cold.

Image: eHarmony places itself as one of the industry leaders in the matchmaking category due to the unique features of their fully developed mobile app.

The guys and girls at Match are continuously improving their matching algorithm, incorporating user feedback and behaviour. This has resulted in extensive search and discovery opportunities, making scouting for potential matches easier and less stressful. 

If there’s something you feel is missing from the site or app, chances are it won’t be that way for too long. Match promises to incorporate user feedback, so new features are regularly added. 

On the flip side, approval on the site is not instant, which is frustrating. Also, month-to-month costs are higher than average, and the online to offline process can be lengthy. 

Image: Match

The main difference between Affinity and Match is that Affinity prioritises the need for compatibility in matchmaking. Therefore you need to take a personality test before you can match with anyone. When you do, you should match with people who share your values and interests.

Another key difference to Match is the way in which you search for matches. You can search yourself on Match, but on Affinity, the site does all the work by pairing you up with people deemed most compatible, giving you a daily recommendation of singles who share your values. Whether this is a positive or a negative depends on you. It takes a lot of the weight off your shoulders but you get less control over your matches. 

It comes down to how much you trust the system. is a trusted name in the world of matchmaking and has a quality compatibility questionnaire to fall back on. It does however have a fairly limited member pool, so you are putting a lot of faith in that questionnaire. has a high monthly rate, but you can sit back and let them do the work for you.

Image: Affinity

Much like Affinity, Parship UK is ideally suited to people looking for a long-term relationship and who would like to leave the searching to someone else. The Parship system recommends matches to its members based on their compatibility score. 

Parship uses their own formula-based approach to matchmaking. That means you’ll have to take a pretty lengthy compatibility test, similar to eHarmony’s. This can feel a little clinical (and let’s face it, nobody likes tests) but the experts at Parship attest to its effectiveness. The test helps to determine each member’s personality type. Once you’ve made it through, profiles of suggested matches will be sent to you as they turn up. You have the option of taking a look closer at your matches, or ignore them. The choice is yours!

Access for non-paying members is severely restricted. The matchmaking system can be used and it’s possible to send ice-breakers, but emails can’t be sent or opened until you upgrade to premium. So you are kind of forced into making a decision. Continue with ice-breakers and blurry pictures, or find your perfect match for cuffing season? The choice is yours again. 

Image: Parship

On the face of it, Dating Direct is remarkably similar to Match. The reason? Both sites belong to the same parent company. The result is that members of both sites are shared together on one single database, totaling 4.5 million UK members. The chances of finding a match therefore look pretty good from the outset with Dating Direct. 

The key differences are the interface colours and mobile support (which Dating Direct lacks). The main feature of Dating Direct is ‘the Daily Six’. The site utilises its matching algorithm to carefully pick six different members that it predicts will work for you. Whether they do or not is something you will have to try for yourself. Then — as simple as it gets — you are asked the question: “would you like to meet them?” and can respond with either: yes, no, or maybe. Understood? If you opt for yes, then that person is informed that you are interested in them. But you still need to make the all-important first move and make conversation.

It’s important to note that you can’t access Dating Direct from your mobile. So if you prefer to look for a partner on the go, then Match may be the better option. But if you prefer to stay in the comfort of your own home, then Dating Direct shouldn’t be ruled out. 

Image: Dating Direct

Surprise, surprise, Guardian Soulmates is dominated by Guardian readers. If you believe the Guardians’ own reader profiles, these cuffing candidates are wealthy foodies who likes to travel and invest. Sounds like the dream right?

Guardian Soulmates welcomes you with the tag “meet someone worth meeting”, and that’s what it is all about really, isn’t it? The typical questionnaire is super basic so the bulk of your profile is a 2000-word essay about yourself. Yep.  And then another 2000-word essay about what you’re looking for in a partner. Blimey.

Déjà vu incoming. There’s a feature called “your matches”, much like we have seen before. Guardian Soulmates use the criteria that you select in the ‘who you’re looking for’ page to put together a list of compatible ‘soulmates’. Something a little different however, for each individual criteria, you can choose to set how important these criteria are to you. If these are also important to other site members, you will be matched together. A nice touch!

Image: Guardian Soulmates

OK, OK. This isn’t a matchmaking service quite like the others on this list. And it isn’t strictly for those looking for something that will last throughout cuffing season.

Ashley Madison is arguably the most well-known adultery site, and is geared towards attached individuals looking for discreet sexual encounters. So the cuffing season criteria is a little grey here. 

The site is exceptionally clear cut, with a user-friend layout and sensitive navigation. It also has an extensively large user base. 

The site lacks some basic community-based features such as chatrooms or forums. But that’s not really what Ashley Madison is all about anyway. The payment system is also confusing with no standard month-by-month membership option. 

Image: Ashley Madison

So whether you’re looking for long term love or just someone to keep you warm for the next few months, there are a whole range of sites and apps that have you covered.

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Save $449 and bring home a little taste of Italy with this high-end Philips espresso machine

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Image: Philips

Most coffee makers are fairly straightforward devices, using either fresh grinds or single-use cups. However, nothing can beat a nice espresso or cappuccino to give the start of your day an extra kick. And if that’s the kind of coffee you’ve been craving, Amazon has one of the best espresso machines on the market on sale.

The Philips Saeco Intelia Cappuccino Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine is available on Amazon right now for $1049.76. It normally goes for $1499, which means you’ll save $449 during this sale.

This is one of the best espresso machines you can get on the market right now. The espresso maker sports high quality and uses ceramic grinders that won’t overheat, lasts longer than the average grinder blades, and is much quieter.

If it you don’t feel like waiting, the quick heat boiler means it’s perfect in a time crunch. You won’t have to wait nearly as long and can immediately start on a new cup much faster than most other coffee makers out there. And with a dual chamber carafe, you’ll have some frothy milk ready to go with no worry of spills. 

If you consider yourself a coffee lover, espresso yourself (sorry we had to) and make sure to order the Philips Saevo Intelia from Amazon while you can.

Image: Philips

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Learn hundreds of new tech skills with unlimited access to these online courses

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One of the best roads to job security is the ability to do stuff your boss can’t do. And while some of your friends might be considering the classic route (going back to grad school), the idea of crippling debt and tedious lectures might not sound so great to you.

Instead, try conquering new skill sets online with Stone River eLearning — it’s an online subscription that gives you complete access to 170 courses (and counting) and more than 2,000 hours of digital instruction. Their courses cover everything from iOS mobile development to graphic design, and everything in between. And right now, Mashable readers can get access to it all for life for just $59. So you can be one-upping your boss for years to come.

This subscription lets you explore the breadth of the digital sphere without the same risk of taking traditional courses. You’ll learn how to program and use tools like Bootstrap, Unity 3D, Java, Python, MySQL and more — basically, all the essentials you’d need to know for web and mobile programming, web design, game app creation, 3D-animation, and more.

Visit the Mashable Shop and get this Stone River eLearning: Lifetime Membership for 99% off, or just $59.

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