Ask Mom

Send to Kindle

Questions? Comments? Praise or criticism?

Due to excessive spamming, the contact form has been disabled. You can get in touch with Digital Media Mom via email by clicking here.



Print Friendly


  1. Comment by Belinda:

    How does the free trial for Amazon Prime work ?

    • Comment by Mom:

      It basically gives you access to all Amazon Prime member benefits (e.g., unlimited free streaming access to Amazon Prime Instant Videos and the Amazon Prime Music library, free 2-day shipping, use of the Prime Kindle Lending Library, etc.) for the duration of the trial period. If you cancel before the end of the trial period, your Prime membership and benefits end. If you don’t cancel before the end of the trial period, your Prime membership will automatically be renewed for a period of 1 year at a cost of $99 (as of this writing). Personally, I’ve been a Prime member for about four years now, and even since the price went up to $99 I feel I’m getting more than my money’s worth in free shipping alone. The Prime videos, music etc. are just icing on the cake for me, but it’s worth noting that a year of Amazon Prime still costs less than a year of Netflix or Hulu+, and the Prime Instant Video catalog is pretty huge. Click here for Amazon’s own page with full details about the Prime trial.

  2. Comment by Romy Michelle:

    Digital media mom I just signed up for dish network and got the basic plan. They advertise 120 channels. Well guess what, I did the count last night and 67 of them are infomercials. I feel ripped off. In correspondence with them they offer to upgrade for more money!!! Any thoughts on this?

    • Comment by Mom:

      Sounds like a classic bait and switch to me, unless those 67 ‘infomercial’ channels show actual content part of the time. For example, on my system there are numerous channels that run infomercials from about 2am to 8am and run regular programming the rest of the time. If that’s not the case and I were you, I’d cancel the service and ask for a refund. If the front-line customer service person says it’s against policy, just keep complaining up the chain, asking to speak to a supervisor, until you get results. If the Dish people won’t play ball, try going through the store where you bought it or, if you paid with a credit card, disputing the charge with your credit card company.

      I’ve been with Verizon Fios for over 6 years and I’ve always been happy with the service and price.

  3. Comment by Tamara:

    How do you move books from your computer to my kindle fire hdx.

    • Comment by Mom:

      The Amazon “ecosystem” isn’t really set up for moving books from your computer to your device, you’re generally supposed to move them from your Amazon Cloud Library to your Fire by tapping the Books link on your Fire’s home screen menu bar, then long-tapping the cover image of the book you want to download and selecting “Download” from the pop-up menu. If you have ebooks stored on your computer that you want to transfer, you must connect your Fire to your computer via USB cable and then use copy/paste to move them from the computer to the Fire. However, note these important caveats:

      1) The ebooks you copy over from your computer must be placed in the ‘Documents’ folder on the Fire, NOT the ‘Books’ folder. The Books folder is only set up to display Amazon content, so while you can copy other ebooks into that location, your Fire won’t display the copied books on any menus and you won’t be able to find them when using the Fire without a special directory tool or app. Just copy them into the Documents folder and look for them on that menu tab on the Fire.

      2) The Fire cannot “read” ALL ebook formats. It can read Kindle (.AZW), .KF8, .TXT, .PDF, unprotected MOBI, .PRC, .DOC and .DOCX, but NOT epub, pdb, or other proprietary formats.

  4. Comment by lisa:

    i just downloaded “i heart radio” and i love it BUT…how do i turn it off ???

    • Comment by Mom:

      I don’t use that app so I don’t know exactly how it works. I’d suspect there’s some kind of auto-start or auto-load option you can disable in the app’s Settings or Options area, but again, since I don’t use the app I can’t be sure. You CAN turn off any app on a mobile device by going to the Settings, Options or Information menu of the device itself, tapping on the link for processes currently running and turn that one off. The exact location of this ‘processes running’ menu item varies by device, so I can’t be more specific than that.

  5. Comment by Ray:

    I think there is a new breed of questionable review activity going on.

    I found a whole series of unnatural 5-star-gushing reviews, all of which were “Verified purchases” for products. All from seemingly different reviewers, all of whom had a statistically impossible overlap of products.

    Do you know where products go to buy these reviews now?
    It bothers me because I used to ignore non-verified-purchase reviews and this makes trusting reviews even more questionable.


    • Comment by Mom:

      Product manufacturers will often provide free products, yet still retain the “verified purchase” status on Amazon, by sending the reviewer a digital gift certificate the reviewer can use to buy the product. It’s still technically a “verified purchase”, but the reviewer did not pay for the item. This isn’t anything new.

      This doesn’t mean that ALL “verified purchase” reviews are fake, I’m sure the great majority are genuine when you look at them across all the products Amazon sells. However, in certain product areas such as diet pills and supplements, the digital gift certificate gambit is common. I myself have been solicited via email to receive a digital gift certificate in exchange for posting a review for a certain diet pill, but did not accept the offer.

  6. Comment by Ann:

    I am really enjoying my Kindle Fire subscription to BBC History Magazine, but wish I could clip / save / share articles from this excellent publication. Is there any way to do this?

    • Comment by Mom:

      Just found this on an Amazon Help page, pertaining to 2nd Gen Kindle (monochrome) only:
      “You may also press the Menu button when reading your Kindle subscription content for more options, including adding notes or highlights, search, and to keep the issue. Select Clip This Article to save a copy of the entire article to your “My Clippings” file, available from the Home screen.”

      If you have a 2nd generation Kindle Fire HD or HDX there’s no “official” way to clip, but you can center the content you want to clip onscreen and then take a screenshot. The screenshot can then be emailed or printed. Click here to read my DMM post about how to take a screenshot on a 2nd gen HD or HDX.

  7. Comment by Bill Moore:

    I read your comments on the general uselessness of antivirus programs for the Kindle but had a question about one specific “virus” that apparently comes packaged with esFile explorer 3; namely Android/MMarketPay which is identified everytime I start up by MobiShield antivirus on my Kindle Fire HDX WiFi only.The file path is: /data/app/ I have deleted and reinstalled e program to no effect. I find esFileExplorer very useful and am reluctant to delete it – especially as I do not have cell phone connectivity with my Kindle. What are your thoughts about this? Is it potentially dangerous? Should I delete the program or delete the MobiShield program and ignore it?

    • Comment by Mom:

      Bill –
      I don’t know where you got the idea that a virus comes packaged with ES File Explorer 3, but I can tell you for a certainty you’re wrong about that because I have ES File Explorer 3 on my own Kindle Fire tablets and 1) I’ve never observed any unusual behavior on any of them and 2) when I connect to my computer via USB and search the file directories myself, manually, there are no extraneous or suspicious files anywhere on the device. So first, relax. =’)

      The path and file your Mobishield program identifies are not malicious. “Estrongs” is the name of the company that makes ES File Explorer. You can visit their website here. The specific .apk allows access to read directories and interact with files at the system level, which is a necessary and legitimate function for ES File Explorer: it’s designed to let you see all the files and folders on your device, and interact with them the same way you might on the file explorer of a desktop system. This is simply a classic case of an antivirus/antimalware app sounding a false alarm just because it found an app that has access to view and interact with system-level files and folders.

      And again I say: antimalware scanners and antivirus programs are largely useless on the Kindle Fire line of tablets, as of this writing at least, because they give FAR more false positives than useful information.

      Frankly, looking at all the outrageous permissions Mobishield requires, I’d be much more leery of installing IT on my tablets than ES File Explorer 3. In fact, I’m going to post about that today.

  8. Comment by Nina:

    Sorry, this might be long because I’m paranoid and want some peace of mind. I’ll try to make it simple. I recently got a new Kindle Fire (Love it more than I thought I would) and have been freely getting apps from Amazon. After seeing what some apps require to access in the permissions I got worried.

    1. I was wondering if I should be worried about my privacy and personal information? I got the Jorte Calendar and Organizer app and it requires a lot of permission and I don’t understand a lot of what it’s asking for. Such as,
    a. list of accounts on my Fire
    b. Access to my camera device
    c. Access information about networks
    d. Allows to send in-app billing requests
    e. Open network sockets

    I absolutely LOVE this app and does everything I want it to do. I keep my task list and special events but I’m also very careful not to put sensitive information i.e. I put a birthday cake emote on the day but don’t say whose birthday it is and appointments.

    2. I did go to my eBay account and others to change my password then I deleted cookies and passwords and such afterwards. Is that enough to be safe and secure? Or should I change those passwords again?

    3. Do I need to worry about game apps that can steal my information?

    ***4. I guess basically, I just want to know if my personal information is safe if I only download apps from Amazon and that I use my Wi-Fi to only surf the web, watch youtube videos and email. I won’t root or side-load apps ever because I don’t need to or want to. If I am in danger, what should I look for?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my questions. Hope to hear from you soon and hope you’re having a good new year so far!

  9. Comment by Connie:

    I have hundreds of books on my kindle paperwhite, and the power port is broken :/ I’m looking into buying a Kindle Fire. If I buy a KF, I know I will need to download all of the books I have. In a few years time, if I upgrade to another Fire, will I need to download my books again? Or can I copy the books to my PC, then copy the books onto my new Fire? I love Kindle, but this will be the third Kindle I’m buying, and it’s getting really frustrating having to re-copy everything each time! Hoping you have some insight. Thank you!

    • Comment by Mom:

      Connie –
      Why are you downloading everything to each new device to begin with? That’s not how the system is set up to work. Every piece of digital content you ever buy or get for free from Amazon is stored automatically, free of charge, on their servers under your account. You’re only supposed to download the specific content you intend to use, when you intend to use it. Everything else is supposed to stay in the cloud.

      Think of your Amazon cloud library like the public library: you visit it when you want to check something out or return something. In between those times, all the content stays put and can be accessed whenever you like so long as you never manually delete it from your cloud library. There’s no need to download or copy anything you’re not currently using, or about to use, ever.

      If you need more details on this, see my post Managing Your Kindle Content: Cloud vs. Device, Deleting and Storing Content. Hope this helps.

  10. Comment by Bob Merlin:

    Hi Pixel Packin’ Mom!

    Amazon told me I could have 4,000 books on my Kindle and I want them! Seriously though, I save a lot of articles and clippings from Instapaper and Evernote and it would be ever so handy to have an SD slot on my Paperwhite. My Kindle v1 has one.

    While we chatting, here’s my perfect Kindle Paperwhite 8: 8″ screen, 300 ppi, SD slot, and a keyboard like v3. Could you please use your influence with Amazon for this? I have concept drawings if that would help!

    Thank you,
    Bob Merlin
    Los Banos, CA

    ps – “Your books are on the Amazon Library Server.” I am now a “cloudaphobic.” I worry that when it rains, I’ll be hit by an errant book and with El Nino coming can “bibliocides” be far behind?

  11. Comment by Joan Schneider:

    I just got new Fire HD 10.5 and can’t figure how to take a screenshot. Is there a way to do this?

    • Comment by Mom:

      I don’t have that specific model, but on the others you simultaneously press the power and volume down buttons. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the timing and amount of button-press pressure right.

  12. Comment by Joan Schneider:

    Thank you for answering my question. I tried that before, but apparently not enough times. It finally worked. Thanks again.