Free App Friday For 2/27/15

Posted February 27, 2015 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Carcassonne, one of my favorite apps of all time. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Free App Friday!

Here are some of the top 100 most downloaded AND highest-rated apps (4/5 stars or better) from Amazon’s Android App Store as of this writing. Note that where a given app has already been included in a Free App Friday post, a different one (still with a minimum 4/5 star rating) will be subbed in. Remember that free apps may include in-app purchase (IAP) options or be ad-supported, but given that these apps have been given very high ratings by MANY consumers, where IAP links or ads are present they must be pretty unobtrusive. Descriptions below are from the apps’ product pages.

Bingo Showdown – Bingo Showdown brings the excitement of LIVE Bingo and the competitive edge of tournament-style play.

Book of Mormon Stories – This app is essentially a dedicated browser that allows you and your children to easily watch and listen to the Book of Mormon scripture stories provided by the lds.org.

RPG Clicker – RPG Clicker is a fantasy RPG simplified to one finger touch. No more getting lost in a boring dungeon, just tap your way through diverse terrain and menacing monsters.

Cheezburger – The official Cheezburger app is here to help you get 5 minutes of happiness every day no matter where you are!

City Racing 3D – #1 Real 3D physics racing game proudly presented! And it’s FREE!

Monster Warlord – Catch rare and mysterious monsters by questing and battling!

Werewolf Tycoon – Become the Big Bad Wolf of Werewolf Park in this werewolf stealth simulation game. Eat as many people as you can, but pace yourself, try not to be seen, and do not let witnesses escape!

Super Jewels Quest 2 – Match-3 jewels game.

Obenkyo – Learn japanese hiragana, katakana and kanji, and test yourself by drawing, or multiple choice.

Spades Free – Spades Free brings this classic 4-player contract trick taking card game to the Android market, created to the same high standard as the rest of our games, Spades Free supplies classy graphics, super smooth gameplay, highly scalable difficulty & much more.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Carcassonne is a turn-based strategy game about claiming land and building castles, similar in concept to Risk but on a much smaller scale. If you want the full details, see my post about it here. The game is currently rated 4/5 stars and priced at $4.99. I paid full price for it back in 2013, and have never regretted it!

 

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Fire Tablet Tech Tip of the Week: Lifehack: Fire HD6 Makes A Great Camera For ‘Middle Aged Eyes’, or Kids!

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Today’s post is brought to you by the Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-012-16AA Detachable 2 in 1 Touchscreen Laptop. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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LinkedIn’s Ad Network Isn’t Just On LinkedIn

LinkedIn has created a new “Ads By LinkedIn” network that targets ads to LinkedIn members based on their LinkedIn member profile, posts and other information stored on the LinkedIn site. So far nothing about this sounds unusual, but here’s the kicker: the ad targeting doesn’t just happen on the LinkedIn site, the same LinkedIn targeting data is being shared with all of the approximately 2,500 sites that have signed up to participate in the Ads By LinkedIn network.

This means that, for example, if a luxury watch maker wants to target LinkedIn members who are male executives aged 45+ and live or work in the San Francisco Bay area, they can do so on any of the 2,500 sites in LinkedIn’s advertising network.

It should come as no surprise that LinkedIn has not exactly trumpeted the news of this new ad network, and that therefore most LinkedIn users don’t know about it. Click here to see LinkedIn’s (totally unpublicized) page about the Ads By LinkedIn network.

Now that you do know about it, here’s what you can do about it:

 

How To Opt Out Of ‘Ads By LinkedIn’ Data Sharing

The screenshots tell the story here (click or tap on images below to view a larger version in a new browser tab or window). Begin by logging in to LinkedIn, then click your profile icon to open the member menu and select the Privacy & Settings menu item:

 

On the Privacy & Settings menu, select Account:

 

On the Account menu, select Advertising Preferences:

 

On the Advertising Preferences pop-up, uncheck the box next to the paragraph that begins, “LinkedIn may use cookies…” and save your changes:

And that’s it! Youre all done, though as the pop-up warns, it can take up to 24 hours for your changes to take effect.

 

Keep opting out and keep complaining, and maybe sites like LinkedIn will start to get the message that we don’t want them sharing our data with advertisers or other sites, regardless of whether or not it includes “personally identifying” details.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

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Fire Tablet Tech Tip of the Week: Lifehack: Fire HD6 Makes A Great Camera For ‘Middle Aged Eyes’, or Kids!

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Today’s post is brought to you by LootCrate, a fun and value-packed monthly subscription service that brings you a surprise grab bag of cool stuff every month. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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The first two Digital Media Mom Android apps, Where Did I Put It? and Willpower, have been very popular and well-received (unanimous 5-star reviews for both!) and now I’m happy to announce the release of the first in a whole suite of new Digital Media Mom apps: Yarnventory.

Like all Digital Media Mom apps to date this one was inspired by a hassle I regularly have to deal with in my own life, and like all Digital Media Mom apps it’s priced at just $1.99. Here’s the app’s description from Amazon:

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Don’t you just HATE how when you find a great pattern and want to start a new project, the first thing you have to do is open all your yarn stash bins and pull everything out to see if you have an appropriate yarn on hand?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could store photos of all your yarns and all their important details (e.g., dye lot, style, weight, quantity per skein, number of skeins on hand, etc.) plus notes of your own about each yarn in a database instead? YARNVENTORY IS THE ANSWER!

In addition to letting you store and edit yarn photos and details, on devices with an external SD card Yarnventory lets you back up, export, and re-import your Yarnventory database. This is useful for transfer to a spreadsheet, or for backup and restore of data if your device is lost or replaced — just install a fresh copy of Yarnventory and import your existing data!
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Like ALL Digital Media Mom apps, Yarnventory has minimal permissions and can run totally offline, it has no In-App Purchases or ads, it’s simple enough to be backward-compatible with earlier versions of Android, and it has a very small installation file size as well. Here’s the rundown on those permissions:

Read-only access to device state: (to tell if a call comes in and let the call come through)

Read/Write access to external storage: (for database backup/export and import functions)

 

First In A Suite Of Apps For Crafters

As I mentioned, Yarnventory is just the first in a suite of similar Digital Media Mom inventory database apps for crafters. Because I also work with beads, polymer clay, embroidery/needlepoint and more as a crafter, I know there’s a need for this same type of app for other crafts as well. Stay tuned, and I’ll let you know as each one becomes available.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Loot Crate is a monthly subscription service that delivers a grab bag of great stuff, much of it limited-edition or exclusive to Loot Crate, for $13.37/mo + S&H (which, as of this writing, is $6 for anywhere in the continental U.S.). Each Crate is guaranteed to contain products valued at $40 or more, there’s no minimum subscription requirement, and you can easily cancel at any time. The image below shows everything that came in the January 2015 “Rewind” -themed Crate.

Click here to read my detailed review of the February ’15 Crate, including links that demonstrate the retail value of the items shown.

Click here to sign up for Loot Crate.

 

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Fire Tablet Tech Tip of the Week: Lifehack: Fire HD6 Makes A Great Camera For ‘Middle Aged Eyes’, or Kids!

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Today’s post is brought to you by Amazon’s ONE DAY ONLY 15% Off Sale on Fire Tablets. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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If You Bought A Lenovo Computer Between Last September And Now, It Probably Has Superfish

Since last September Lenovo has been shipping laptops with Superfish “adware” pre-installed. Once installed, Superfish can display its own ads in your browser. That’s pretty slimy, but it’s not the worst thing about Superfish: in order to get the necessary permissions required to do its adware dirty work, Superfish installs its own (bogus) security certificate on your computer to supersede and override ALL other website security certificates.

Security certificates are those things that tell your browser you’re on a legitimate site and not a fake. Every legitimate site must provide a security certificate to indicate who’s really running the site, and when the certificate presented by a given site doesn’t match the name of the company that runs the site, it’s a major red flag because it often means the site you’re looking at is a fake, intended to trick consumers into giving up personal and financial information.

By supplying its own security certificate and allowing its certificate to override ALL other sites’ security certificates, Superfish does two horribly horrible things: first, it doesn’t allow consumers to see if the sites they’re visiting have trustworthy and accurate security certificates of their own, and second, because the Superfish certificate’s own security credentials (these are like a digital key that opens digital security locks) are public knowledge, it’s virtually effortless for hackers to provide those credentials to any Superfish-ed Lenovo computer they can access and thereby gain TOTAL CONTROL of the computer, to steal or install whatever they want!

 

 

Tools To See If You’ve Got It

Only Lenovo computers have been affected by this debacle, because Lenovo itself pre-installed Superfish on computers that began shipping last September. If you bought one of them, here are some trusted sites you can visit that will quickly scan your machine to see if Superfish is installed:

Filippo Valsorda’s Superfish scan

LastPass scan for Superfish

Lenovo has also provided its own list of Lenovo models where Superfish was factory installed, here.

 

How To Get Rid of It

While Lenovo was initially—and shockingly—dismissive of the Superfish problem, Lenovo has now provided their own tools to remove Superfish.

Windows users who are feeling a little untrusting of Lenovo, which would be understandable, can let the latest Windows Defender update handle the task of removing Superfish. Click here to visit Microsoft’s site with details and instructions on Windows Defender.

 

 

Why Did Lenovo Do This?

While Lenovo has made no official statement in this regard, the most likely reason for any computer or software manufacturer to pre-install adware is that the company stands to receive a portion of the ad revenue generated by the adware.

Either Lenovo was unware of the Grand Canyon -sized security hole Superfish opened on its Lenovo computers, or was aware but felt the risk of anyone discovering and taking advantage of the hole was small.

They were wrong. Way back in September, almost immediately after the Superfish-carrying machines started shipping, online discussion/support boards for Lenovo computers started buzzing with consumer complaints and concerns.

As to why it took Lenovo so long to DO something about it…well, you’d have to ask Lenovo.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Amazon’s ONE DAY ONLY 15% Off Sale on Fire Tablets provides a great opportunity to grab an excellent tablet that’s already a great value at its full price at a discount. Just be sure to take advantage of this deal TODAY (2/24/15), because prices go back up tomorrow.

 

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Fire Tablet Tech Tip of the Week: Lifehack: Fire HD6 Makes A Great Camera For ‘Middle Aged Eyes’, or Kids!

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Free Music Monday for 2/23/15

Posted February 23, 2015 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Anker full-speed portable chargers, USB hubs and backup power supplies for all your portable USB devices. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Welcome To Free Music Monday!

In today’s Free Music Monday, it’s Tunecore’s 2-album artist compilation “All About Love”.

Tunecore has been a mainstay here on Free Music Monday, offering lots of quality alternative rock, pop, folk, and even some bluegrass and country from artists deserving of the exposure these sampler albums can provide.

This time, it’s All About Love, in the form of two albums with 14 tracks each:

All About Love 2015: A TuneCore Artist Compilation, Vol. 1

 

All About Love 2015: A TuneCore Artist Compilation, Vol. 2

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Anker full-speed portable chargers and backup power supplies are consistently very highly-rated by consumers, and they’re also very reasonably priced. Anker products are designed to provide maximum functionality with minimal hassle, and range from an individual backup power supply (currently priced at $25.99) to a 9-port USB hub (currently priced at $45.99) that includes one charging port: you can plug the hub into your computer’s USB port to enable connection of up to nine other USB devices, and even provide charging capability for one of those devices. Anker also offers a foldable solar charger that’s currently got an average review rating of 4.5/5 stars and is priced at $60. Whatever your USB hub or portable power needs, Anker’s got you covered!

 

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Fire Tablet Tech Tip of the Week: Lifehack: Fire HD6 Makes A Great Camera For ‘Middle Aged Eyes’, or Kids!

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