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Today’s post is brought to you by the Samsung 64GB EVO Class 10 Micro SDXC up to 48MB/s with Adapter, currently 45% off at $32.76 and Prime Shipping eligible. 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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UGH! Not Again!

Don’t you just hate it when you’re cranking right along on your computer, surfing the net, and all of a sudden a page won’t load and you get an error telling you to verify your internet connection?

You glance down and see that annoying little red or yellow dot on top of your connection bars (red arrow in image below – tap or click on images to open a larger version in a new tab or window), and you know you’ve lost your internet connection for some reason. Note that personalized connection/network names have been blacked out in the screenshot to protect the owners’ privacy.

 

 

Three Easy Fixes That Usually Work

1. Disconnect and Reconnect

a. Click on the name of your usual connection in the list of available connections.
This will open an area beneath the connection with a “Disconnect” button, as shown below:

 

 

b. Click on the Disconnect button.
It will turn into a “Connect” button.

c. Wait five seconds or so, then click the “Connect” button.
Most of the time, this will resolve your problem.

 

2. Reset Your Router

Your router is the electronic box your internet service provider installed in your home when you first signed up with them.

The router should have a large reset button right on the front. The button may be in a slightly different location or look different on different models of router, but in general it will be large and have an image that looks a lot like the curvy arrow “reload” / “refresh” link or button you’re used to seeing in your browser.

Press and hold it down for a couple of seconds, then release. Wait for all the lights on the front of the router to come back on before trying your computer again, particularly watch for the one that has a “WWW” or picture of globe next to it: that’s the one that signals whether or not you’re connected to the internet. Note that this may take several minutes.

If you’re not sure how to find the reset button on your specific router, refer to the user manual that came with it or call your service provider and ask them to help you find it. Alternatively, you can just skip to the next fix, below.

 

3. Reboot the Computer

This one is pretty self-explanatory, and can quickly fix all kinds of minor problems.

Turn the computer completely off as you normally would at the end of the day or work session. Wait five minutes, then start it up again.

As it goes through its start-up routine, the computer will create a new, ‘clean’ internet connection, just as it does every time you start up your computer.

 

If All Else Fails…

You can go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > View Network Status and Tasks > Troubleshoot Problems (in Windows 7, it’s at the bottom of the Network Status and Tasks screen) and follow the troubleshooting wizard as it walks you through the steps to identify and repair the problem.

Still no luck? Sorry, but at that point you have no choice but to call your internet service provider for tech support.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

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Today’s post is brought to you by the Jackery® Mini Premium Charger 3200mAh Power Pack – Ultra-Compact Aluminum Portable Battery Charger External Battery Pack, currently available for 71% off its usual price of $69.99, priced at just $19.95 and Prime Shipping -eligible. 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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I’ve got an amazing find for you today, so be sure to share this one far and wide!

 

One Web Page Lets You View, And Opt Out Of, Over A Hundred Tracking Networks With Just A Few Clicks

I had no idea how many advertising and marketing networks were following my every move online until I visited the opt out page for the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising. It’s a consumer opt-out program the ad and marketing networks voluntarily sign up for in order to help them pass Federal muster by being able to prove they allow an easy means for consumers to opt out of information sharing.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they make the opt out page easy for consumers to FIND. But I found it, and I’m spreading the word!

 

How To View The List of Networks Currently Tracking You, And Opt Out

Note that this will only opt you out of ad and marketing networks that voluntarily participate in this program, so it won’t get every single tracking network out there. But it will get most of them.

1. Click here to visit the opt out page for the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising. The page will immediately start analyzing your browser data, cookies and so forth to see which of the participating networks are tracking you (tap or click on images to view an enlarged version in a new tab or window):

 

2. When the analysis is complete, you’ll be shown the results. Look: 86 networks, most of which I’ve never heard of, have been tracking me in the browser I used to do this! The arrows below indicate where you can “Select All” of the networks currently tracking you, then Submit your request to turn off tracking for all those networks. Note that you can also click on the far left tab, for “All Participating Companies,” to turn off tracking for ALL participating networks and not just those that are currently tracking you—a pre-emptive move against those that might try to track you in the future. You’ll find the same “Select All” checkbox and Submit button on that tab.

 

3. Click on the Select All box to select all networks, then click the Submit button. You’ll be shown a processing screen while your request is being processed:

 

Finally, you’ll get a results screen:

OptOutComplete

You’ll notice that not ALL participating networks were successfully opted out for me here, and the confirmation screen explains this. I can come back in another few hours, or days, and re-submit the opt out choices for those few remaining stragglers.

 

4. Repeat this process in every web browser you have installed on the current device, then repeat the process in every browser on every tech device you use that has internet access.

 

You’re all done! Easy peasy, right?

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

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Today’s post is brought to you by the brand new Pink Floyd album The Endless River [+digital booklet], the band’s fifteenth and final album. 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!

Those who loved it when I featured the Green Hill Celtic Music Sampler 2014 (still free as of this writing) will want to grab today’s pick: Authentic Scottish Castle Music (4.5/5 stars, currently FREE).

The album includes 10 tracks of traditional Scottish music written in the 1700s and played by artists of today.

It provides a terrific alternative to traditional holiday music, especially if you’re looking for something non-denominational that’s not specifically tied to Christmas, but is also great for any occasion where you want something relaxing and instrumental.

 

Lovers of the lute, pipe and fiddle, be sure to get your copy of Authentic Scottish Castle Music.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Newly released just one week ago, Pink Floyd’s long-awaited “farewell” DOUBLE album The Endless River [+digital booklet] is now available. In that one week the album has already racked up an average 4/5 star rating across over 460 reviews, and is currently priced at $14.99.

 

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Free App Friday for 11/14/14

Posted November 14, 2014 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Microsoft Xbox LIVE 12 Month Gold Card, currently being offered by Amazon at $49.88, instead of the usual $59.99 you’d pay in brick and mortar stores. 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 the top ten 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.

Just Me & My Mom – Little Critter – In this classic children’s book by Mercer Mayer, Little Critter enjoys a special day in the city with his mother.

My Horoscope – Read your daily horoscope prepared by an astrology expert with over 12 years of experience.

Dumb Thief Breakout – Help the Dumb Thief to break into the Mob boss’s home and steal the diamond back and then return it to the museum making sure you don’t get caught.

Hip 2 Save – The FREE Hip2Save App allows you to easily access all the latest in-store deals, online bargains, freebies, coupons and more that are posted on Hip2Save.com.

Happy Chef – Develop expert culinary skills in Happy Chef, a gripping Time Management game with tons of different dishes!

Video Poker Casino – Video poker casino allows you to use skill to beat the house. Play this popular game just like in Las Vegas.

Read Me: Stories To Learn To Read – In just 15 minutes a day, teach your child to read with confidence using Read Me Stories.

Fairway Solitaire Blast – It’s solitaire as you love it, but with a twist that has made it one of the most celebrated franchises ever: it’s solitaire with power ups, with friends, with golf!

Slots Battle – Battle your way to the top of the leaderboard in this exciting, real-time slots competition!

OceanuX – Underwater Match 3 – Collect treasures to destroy matching groups of three or more objects. Acquire power-ups like Bomb and Lightning to improve your score.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Is it coming up to the deadline to renew your XBOX Live Gold membership? If so, take advantage of this offer and save a little cash. Right now, Amazon’s offering the Microsoft Xbox LIVE 12 Month Gold Card for $49.88, over $10 less than its usual pricetag of $59.99.

 

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5 Easy Fixes For A Sluggish Computer

Posted November 13, 2014 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Lenovo Thinkpad E545 20B20011US 15.6-Inch Laptop, currently (as of 11/13/14) rated 4/5 stars and on sale at 22% off, priced at $391.63 and Prime Shipping -eligible. 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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Don’t Toss That Perfectly Good Laptop or Computer Yet!

First, try these five simple fixes for a laptop or computer that seems to be running more slowly than it used to.

 

1. Take out the trash.

Empty the recycle bin. It’s right there on the desktop, but lots of folks tend to forget that day in and out, it’s being filled with files you intended to delete and scarfing down memory space like there’s no tomorrow. Just right-click on the wastebasket / recycle icon and select “Empty Trash”.

Emptying the recycle bin does mean the contents are permanently gone though, so if you have any concerns about possibly wanting to recover anything you’ve deleted recently, you can pick and choose the files to delete instead of emptying the entire bin at once. To do this, double-click on the wastebasket / recycle icon to open its folder, then go through the file list and delete only the files you feel comfortable with.

 

2. Delete your Temp files.

Every computer has “temporary” files that are only created, and needed, during a single computing session. Yet weirdly, they don’t always get deleted automatically at the end of a session. In that case, they just keep piling up, eating away precious hard drive space. Note that the Temp folder(s) may be hidden, so refer to yesterday’s post on How To Show Hidden Folders On Your Windows PC if that’s the case for you.

Up until Windows Vista, the Temp folder(s) was / were located right off the C:/ drive (My Computer > C:/). But beginning with Vista, they’re usually located within the User/Data or User/AppData folders.

 

 

3. Move the computer closer to your router.

The further your device gets from the wireless router, the weaker the wireless signal becomes. If it’s at all possible, relocate the computer or router so they’ll be located closer to one another.

 

4. Verify no one else in your home or on your network is streaming, downloading, or doing anything else that sucks up large amounts of wireless bandwidth.

This is a very common bugaboo. Mom wants to watch a streaming video, but junior’s just started a download of a very large game update on the XBOX. Remember: bandwidth is limited.

 

5. Run a virus scan.

This one should go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway. If there are nefarious processes running in the background that you don’t know about, it’s typical for all other processes on the infected computer to slow down.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The Lenovo Thinkpad E545 20B20011US 15.6-Inch Laptop is a terrific, basic, workhorse type laptop for students or businesspeople. It may not have all the bells and whistles of a fancy gamer laptop, but why should you pay for those features and upgrades if you don’t really need them? It’s got an average review rating of 4/5 stars across over 370 Amazon reviews, and over 460 questions about it have been answered bu consumers who already bought it as well.

 

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