Posted in FYI, technology

Getting Ready for Holiday Tech Gifts

It is that time of year again when we are able to acquire computer tech deals before the holiday is upon us.  And, we can get our shopping done on-line.  I looked around for some ideas at a few websites I count on go give me suggestions.  Take a look at the some of the deals and see whether you find something that will work for your shopping list.

  1. The Roku Streaming Stick. ( $49.00). The tiny Roku Streaming Stick brings us still further into the future of streaming entertainment onto our big-screens. It is a small device, not much larger than the typical thumb drive, that plugs directly into a port on your TV and allows you to stream television shows, movies, music, games and other content from the Internet, in some cases without extra cables or remote controls. Source: https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/other-gadgets/roku-streaming-stick.htm
  2. Kindle Paperwhite. If you’re tired of lugging around those heavy hardcover books, you should consider buying a Kindle. After testing all the Kindle models for 2017—including the new Kindle Oasis—our recommendation for most people is the Kindle Paperwhite. (available at Amazon) Not only does a Kindle give you thousands of books at your disposal, the convenience factor is just plain hard to beat. Source: https://www.reviewed.com/laptops/best-right-now/the-best-kindles
  3. Google Home Mini Smart Speaker  ($49.00) – Looks like a real winner to me and less expensive than some gadgets. Source: https://www.pcmag.com/feature/339156/24-must-have-tech-gifts-under-50/6
  4. Amazon Smart Plug  ($24.00) We will not have to turn on our coffee makers and lights.  This little gadget will do it for us.  And, it may fit into your budget. Source:  https://www.pcmag.com/feature/339156/24-must-have-tech-gifts-under-50/10
  5. iHome Motion Sensor iSBO1 – ($29.27) A WiFi Motion sensor. This gadget will let you know about movement in your home.  Nicely priced too. Source: https://www.pcmag.com/feature/339156/24-must-have-tech-gifts-under-50/12
  6. Tile Pro and Tile Mate ($25.00)  – A real winner for help finding your keys and other items you have misplaced.
    Source: https://www.pcmag.com/feature/339156/24-must-have-tech-gifts-under-50/12

Once you get started, with these deals, you will be so happy you did.

Click below for more deals 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in FYI, technology

No Cords Smartphone Charging?

I have friends who recently purchased wireless charging gadgets and they are very pleased with them.  I’m still holding onto my cords and plugs, and I am wondering if I am causing myself unnecessary work in the process.  I often go to read what Brian X. Chen in the New York Times Tech Fix column has to say about technology.  Below is a summary of what I learned about these gadgets.
♦ Newest smartphones are composed of glass. This fact allows the phone to charge wirelessly.  However, according to the article I read, wireless charging isn’t truly wireless!  That’s because the accessories that allow you wireless charging (mats; stands;), that is to say, you put your phones on to charge, have to be plugged in to a power outlet.

♦ Wireless charging is not as efficient. Therefore, it is slower in refilling the battery. As much as 15 percent slower. Even with that fact, there are smartphone users who say that wireless is more convenient.

♦ After reading the pros and cons, I think for me personally, it’s not worth the costs involved.  I have so many plugs already.  What would I do with them??

♦ One gadget did seem to be worth investigating:  Mophie’s rectangular battery packs with built-in inductive charging. This gadget does not have to be plugged into a power source (cost listed at $99.00).

♦ Another suggestion I liked was having a wireless charging pad for your guests when they come to visit your home, which is aesthetic and hospitable.  No need for them to be under your table looking for an outlet ;).

  • Take a look at the pros and cons for yourself by reading the source document by Mr. Chen.  Just click the picture below.

 

 

Posted in FYI, technology

Last Minute Back to School 2018 Deals & Advice

If you’re still looking for last-minute back to school deals for your school supplies and laptops,  I’ve searched around and found one or two suggestions, which may help you.

I’ve always gone to Wirecutter for their observant and expert advice on all sorts of products.  Whether you are in college, grade school, or going back to school yourself, it’s a good place to start. Scroll down through the menu screen to find the products you’re looking for.  Then, select the filter option. And while you’re at it, sign up for their Newsletter to stay on top of good purchases. https://thewirecutter.com/deals/

You will also want to look at https://Inkgrabber.com, and https://www.inkjets.com, to find the best deals on toner for your printers.

  • As soon as you start to get the “jitters”, as you send your young college students off to fend for themselves, you may want to take a look at this set of suggestions, published by US News. It is an article about wellness for Parents no less! Click this link, and “breathe” US News for Parents
Posted in FYI, technology

Virtual HELP Wanted?

I don’t know about you, but the idea of an assistant to help me keep my projects on track or, moreover, get them done, seems rather attractive these days. Well, it turns out that those virtual assistants are out there, and they are available 24 hours a day!  Yep!

According to a recent article in the New York Times, these services are for people who want help managing their lives, but don’t need a full-time assistant.  Does this sound like you?  Well, read on to find out what’s out there. And whether you can fit this type of help into your budget.  The article suggests a price range of $81 for an app, to as low as  $20 an hour.  So, what do the various services do?

The first website I visited is Fin https://www.fin.com/,
Some of the claims are as follows: email; text; schedule; research.  24 hour service, 7 days a week. They are more flexible, highly educated, and you only pay for what you use.  That’s pretty impressive.  According to the article I read about this service, the experience with the company was a little confusing: the charges they accrued; how those charges were accrued; and the service was not what was expected. Although they eventually worked it all out.  My suggestion is to be perfectly clear what services you are asking for, and make sure to use those services one request at a time, instead of mixing them.  Use this link to review how the pricing works – https://www.fin.com/pricing

Continue reading “Virtual HELP Wanted?”

Posted in FYI, technology

Stolen Laptop Protection & Encryption

In today’s world with mobile devices, PC’s, and laptops,  we are inundated with the concerns of protecting our personal data, which is stored in files on these various pieces of equipment.  According to a recent article in the New York Times, by Whitson Gordon, if your laptop is stolen, your personal information is not protected even if you have a password on the device. The article states the following:

Passwords on the computer only protect access to the device.  There are other techniques to copy files from your devices. For example, if the hard drive is removed, they can put it onto another computer and access the files.  Geez!  I never thought of that!  Hackers/thieves have ways to reset the password on your PC, allowing access to your personal information, emails, passwords etc.

Although this information may be disconcerting, there are steps you can take to protect your data and to protect your devices; some of these options for ‘Encryption” that protect your hard drive are already available on your laptop for free. Windows 10 devices have encryption defaulted.  Check your laptop in Settings/About and look for ‘Device Encryption”.  Use your Microsoft account to activate this free feature. If you do not have this feature available on your laptop, look for the free program VeraCrypt. The NY Times article is quite detailed with information about Mac laptops, iPhones, Android phones, and information on which devices are automatically encrypted.

 There is a caution to be aware of when using encryption. You must NOT forget your password!  Source article: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/smarter-living/how-to-encrypt-your-computers-data.html

Other sources for encryption information can be found at the following websites:

https://www.wikihow.com

https://www.lifewire.com

 

 

 

Posted in APPS, FYI, technology

Parking Apps! What a Relief!

How often do you find a parking space quickly?  When you’re not in your home town do you have someone, or “something” that can help you in finding a space reasonably quickly?

Imagine if you did not have to worry about that all alone?  Well, if you did not know, (which I didn’t) there are parking APPS – over two dozen! Yes!  These Apps help you find parking that is inexpensive in various cities, and airports!

Below are some links to some of the best apps available.  You can read the source documents for more selections.

   https://www.bestparking.com/

  https://spothero.com/

Read more here:
https://solutions.softonic.com/what-are-the-best-parking-apps

Parking Woes? There’s an App for that

 

 

Posted in APPS, FYI, technology

Savoring ♥ Technology Time Out

June 29, 2007, is when the first iPhone was released.  Yes!  And, we have not been the same since.  For one thing, so many mobile phones have been created/released. Many of us wonder, what did we do before the mobile device revolution. 24 hours a day we can be connected to an Internet universe, live vicariously via YouTube, and various Apps.  How can we control being ‘wired’ all the time?

When my son was a youngster I occasionally suggested that he take a ‘time out’ to have him calm down, in the event the behavior he was exhibiting was not desirable.  This was not something that was looked on by him as a ‘good’ thing.  Flash forward, and it seems that it was not all that bad an idea.  There’s a conversation going on about appreciating stillness; savoring moments away from the computer, email, and mobile device madness, which can keep many of us “plugged in” 24 hours a day.  Not good! 

I searched around to find some tools that could help us, in the event we just can’t tear ourselves away from those cute little toys :). Here is what I found: Moment, which is an iOS app that keeps track of how much you’re using your phone. There is also Moment Family, that allows you to monitor the entire family from your phone. Samsung user can use ‘Thrive Mode, which gives you the option of creating at VIP list, which disallows being interrupted by calls and texts from those not on the list. Continue reading “Savoring ♥ Technology Time Out”