10 Affordable Gifts for the Geek in Your Life

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10 Affordable Gifts for the Geek in Your Life

by Nathan Eddy

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Feel the Force With a Star Wars Lightsaber Candlestick ($23.99)

A perfect re-creation of Darth Vader's lightsaber, this all-metal candle holder is ideal for the Star Wars geek in your life, and it even comes with three no-drip red taper candles. An officially licensed Star Wars collectable, the candlestick holder base unscrews for a more movie-accurate look.

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Monitor All With the Star Trek Electronic Door Chime ($20.99)

Modeled after the communicator panels on The Original Series, this motion-sensitive door chime for fans of Star Trek can be mounted on the wall by the door and when someone crosses the threshold, it will issue an alert. Choose between the door-opening sound effect or the red alert alarm.

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Save the World With the Marvel Superhero Socks Set ($13.99)

This set of Marvel Superhero Costume Socks includes three of our favorites: Spider-man, Iron Man and Wolverine. They're a soft and comfortable blend of cotton, polyester and stretchy Lycra, and will fit most adult humans. Perfect for your friend in the power suit who secretly wants superpowers.

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Make One Giant Leap for Your Front Door ($19.99)

This awesome One Small Step Doormat is a highly detailed photo of Buzz Aldrin's first lunar footprint, printed to actual scale, plus the non-skid bottom keeps it in its place, just like Aldrin's moon boots kept him in place up there.

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Keep It Classy With a Nerdtendo Gambooze Flask ($19.99)

This stainless-steel flask is decorated to look like a favorite from our youth, Nintendo's iconic Gameboy portable video game player. It can hold 8 ounces of your favorite liquid, but just keep in mind imbibing is going to lower your motor skills, and thus, most likely, your Tetris score.

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Throw Down With Retro Video Game Cartridge Pillows ($24.99)

Perfect for the geek whose apartment could use a jolt of energy, this set of pillows, inspired by retro video game cartridges, is soft, puffy and easy to clean so your friend can throw them anywhere—even at you if you start cleaning his clock playing Call of Duty.

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Blast Off With an R2D2 Thermos-Brand Lunch Kit ($21.14)

Whether you're 5 years old or 55, taking your lunch to work (or school) should be more fun than a brown paper bag—and what could be better than bringing R2-D2 along to carry your sandwich? The kit is 100 percent PVC-free and features closed-cell polyethylene foam insulation. While that's not as advanced as a robot, it's sure to make everyone else at lunch a little jealous.

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Build a Better Morning With a Lego Brick Coffee Mug ($22.95)

If you know someone who needs more than just a strong cup of coffee in the morning to get out the door, perhaps the combination of caffeine and Lego bricks will do the trick. The mug doesn't come with bricks, however, so make sure you stock up beforehand.

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Keep Surfaces Safe With Rubik's Cube Coasters ($19.99)

This set of six plastic coasters can stack to form one solved Rubik's Cube. However, it doesn't have to; because each row is divided into two coasters, you can stack them in a slightly messed up format if you want.

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Spice Up Your Party With Star Wars Themed Ice ($9.99)

Japanese firm Kotobukiya has expanded its lineup of Star Wars silicone trays versions featuring more of the iconic characters and vehicles from the Star Wars saga, including the Millenium Falcon shown here. Whether you're making a treat for your family or spicing up a Star Wars-themed party, these sturdy trays let you capture ice, chocolate, jelly or cupcakes, and are oven- and microwave-safe.

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Managed Service Providers' Formula for Success: 10 Best Practices

With demand for cloud services of all types going nowhere but up, the need for companies to provide those services is going in the same direction. If you're looking for a promising area of IT in which to start a business, consider founding a local managed service provider (MSP) company. According to all the major IT market research firms, outsourcing trends in IT aren't going to taper off anytime soon. One firm, MarketsandMarkets, expects the market for managed services to grow from $143 billion in 2013 to $256 billion by 2018, at a CAGR of 12.4 percent from 2013 to 2018. But launching a new company certainly isn't a simple proposition. The U.S. Department of Trade and Industry estimates that one out of every five startup businesses fails within its first year of operation. The 10 tips offered here will help prevent you from becoming a business failure statistic and put you on the fast track...