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Welcome to DMM’s 5/5/17 Freebie Friday!
This week’s Freebie Friday offers a cornucopia of mobile game apps for Android. Here are 10 of the most downloaded AND highest-rated FREE apps (4/5 stars or better) from Amazon’s Android App Store as of this writing.

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.

 

Paperama App

 

Paperama – Introducing a new and unique puzzle adventure: Enter a beautiful Origami world and bring it to life!

Mage & Minions – Fight spectacular real-time battles against hordes of skeletons, robots, beasts, demons, aliens, dragons and many other minions.

Just Jumble – Play America’s favorite daily puzzle in a marvelous new app!

Blackjack: MyVegas – myVEGAS Blackjack is the only free-to-play blackjack app that offers players a chance to earn real world rewards from an exclusive collection of travel, leisure, and entertainment brands including BELLAGIO, ARIA, MGM GRAND, WOLFGANG PUCK, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL, and HOUSE OF BLUES.

 

Roblox

 

Roblox – Join the largest user-generated gaming community and play thousands of games, ranging from immersive multiplayer games and competitions, to interactive adventures where you can imagine what it’s like to be a dinosaur, a miner in a quarry, or an astronaut on a space exploration.

Checkers Free – Checkers has been around for centuries, but it has never looked this good in a package this small. Take a great-looking game of checkers with you wherever you go with Checkers Free.

Trials Frontier – Explore a vast world on your motorcycle. Compete against your friends on Global Leaderboards. Master physics-based tracks to challenge the world’s top riders for the best times.

 

 

Jedi Lightsaber Simulator – Lightsaber Multiplayer Duel. Fight against friends or strangers with your lightsaber (best for use on a smartphone)

ICE – Quick and addicting real-time strategy. Beautiful, not-so-simple, just awesome. Control your army of ant-like ships. Capture connected enemy bases (remember that you can’t simply capture a non-connected base – this would be too easy!) You win when you control everything, you lose when you lose everything. Good luck!

Guess The Song – How well do you know music? Guess The Song – 4 Pics 1 Song will put your music trivia knowledge to the test! This new app combines the best of both words – picture trivia and music trivia!

 

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Grab your favorite Star Wars character(s) from the Star Wars USB Thumb Drive collection: Yoda, Storm Trooper or Boba Fett. With prices starting below $8 (as of 5/4/17, for Boba Fett), it’s a fun and inexpensive way to store and move your files.

Storm Trooper USB

 

 

      
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If you’ve been using Gmail or Facebook for a while, chances are good you’ve purposely or inadvertently granted at least a few apps permission to connect to those accounts, “Login with Facebook” or “Login with Gmail”, and if that’s true, you’ve also granted them permission to gather certain data from you. Here’s how to find out which apps gather your Gmail and Facebook data, and how to disconnect them.

 

Respect Your Privacy

 

How To See Which Apps Are Connected To Your Gmail & Disconnect Them

1. Go to the Google Security Page for your account.

2. Click the link for Connected apps and sites (it’s in the left-hand sidebar, as of this writing). All apps and services you’ve granted permission to link to or access your account will be shown.

3. Click on each app to see what permissions it has, and if desired, to disconnect it.

 

How To See Which Apps Are Connected To Your Facebook Account & Disconnect Them
These instructions are for the online website that’s accessed in a browser, not the mobile app.

1. Login to your Facebook account and click or tap the globe icon to open the drop down menu, then click or tap the Settings link.

Facebook Settings

2. On the Settings page, click or tap the Apps link to view all apps you’ve granted permissions. Mouse over each app in turn to reveal the pencil icon. Click or tap it to edit settings for the app, or to delete the app from your Facebook account altogether.

Facebook App Settings

 

Note that these instructions are accurate as of this writing, on 5/2/17, but Google and Facebook features, pages and menus are subject to change at any time in the future.

 

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If you’ve been listening to friends, family and co-workers rave about shows like Outlander, The White Princess, Black Sails or the upcoming American Gods, but haven’t been able to join in because you don’t get Starz! and don’t want to sign up for a whole cable package just to get these shows, no worries! With an Amazon Channels Free Trial (not available outside the US) you can sign up for individual premium cable channels like HBO, Showtime and Starz! with no cable contract or commitment. You get access to all of each channel’s great programming—movies and original series alike—on all your streaming video and mobile devices, and the first month is free of charge. Try your favorite channel out for 30 days at no charge (Psst! You can binge watch during the free trial, there are no limits on how much or when you can watch!), and if you decide not to cancel the price for Starz! is currently $8.99 per month after that (prices vary by channel; at $14.99, HBO is currently the most expensive). You can cancel at any time, so unlike a cable subscription, there’s no minimum contract and no commitment.

Amazon Channels Starz Trial Subscription

Advertisements make it possible for Love My Echo to bring you great content for free, so thanks for your support.

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Welcome to DMM’s 5/1/17 Movie Monday, where I’ll help you tackle movie night with brief reviews of movies and videos you may have missed that are worth the rental or purchase. It’s springtime, and that’s the perfect time to enjoy some fun movie musicals.

 

Le Miserable

 

These feel-good fantasies may be a little silly at times, but with their bright colors and foot-tapping songs, their cheerful enthusiasm is hard to resist.

 

Xanadu Movie

Xanadu (PG)
The Greek muses incarnate themselves on Earth to inspire men to achieve. One of them, incarnated as a girl named Kira, encounters an artist named Sonny Malone. With the help of Danny McGuire, a man Kira had inspired forty years earlier, Sonny builds a huge disco roller rink. – IMDB, Written by Randy Goldberg

This one aims to be a throwback to the glamorous, big-budget musicals of the 1940s. With a musical score and songs written by Jeff Lynne and performed by Electric Light Orchestra, Olivia Newton John and The Tubes, the movie also features an animated musical sequence by Don Bluth studio and dance numbers starring the legendary Gene Kelly, as Danny McGuire. Newton John plays Kira, a muse sent from Mount Olympus to bring inspiration to a frustrated artist. Once Malone and McGuire meet, and Kira leads them to an abandoned landmark building in L.A., they agree to open a new club together.

My favorite scene is the amazing sequence where Malone and McGuire imagine fusing modern rock and roll with 1940s swing in a musical number that blends a 1940s -style harmony performed by Newton John singing all three parts with a pop-rock song performed by The Tubes. Initially the songs couldn’t sound more different, but thanks to Jeff Lynne’s masterful arrangement they come together seamlessly as the dancers, each group costumed appropriate to their song’s era, combine into a single group. It’s also a joy to see Kelly dancing, with just as much style and skill as back in the day when he starred in his own musicals.

 

Sgt Pepper Movie

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (PG)
A veritable who’s who of the rock and roll scene of the late 1970s join forces for this fun romp loosely inspired by the Beatles album of the same name. In this imaginative film, a rock band comes to the rescue of a small town suffering from boredom.

Beatles purists and critics alike panned this one HARD when it was first released, but its current 4.75/5 star rating on Amazon shows that it’s been rediscovered and newly appreciated in video formats. It’s got quite the cast: Peter Frampton, The Bee Gees, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Steve Martin and Frankie Howerd star, and Earth, Wind and Fire and Billy Preston contribute their own covers of the Beatles’ hits Got To Get You Into My Life and Get Back, respectively. Sometimes tacky, sometimes flabbergasting (Steve Martin wrestles with Peter Frampton at one point, and Frampton tussles with Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler at another), but always bright, fun and filled with terrific musical performances from beginning to end.

 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (G)
Eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts creates an extraordinary car. It not only drives but flies and floats as it leads him, his two children and his lady friend, Truly Scrumptious, into a magical world of pirates, castles and endless adventure.

Less well-known than Mary Poppins, this movie has a similar tone and theme and was written by Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many other popular, award-winning books for kids and young adults. Dick Van Dyke stars as Potts, and is every bit as charming and talented here as in Poppins. The family bonds through magical adventures in fantasy worlds as well as their own, and Potts comes to understand his kids need a father as much as a playmate. Features some fantastic choreographed musical numbers, including the Disney standards The Old Bamboo and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

 

      
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Welcome To DMM’s 4/28/17 Freebie Friday
Today I’ve got two shorts from Audible: nonfiction dealing with the Bernie Madoff scandal and a horror story.

First up, it’s Ponzi Supernova.

Ponzi Supernova

 

Ponzi Supernova is an original audio series that profiles Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street financier sent to prison for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. The series, hosted by journalist Steve Fishman, includes hours of unheard conversations with Madoff behind bars, as well as interviews with law enforcement and the victims.

In a review, Lulu Miller, of NPR’s Invisibila, wrote: “At times alluring, at times disgusting, it’s the push and pull that makes the magic of this series. You experience non-consensual bouts of empathy for Bernie, and moments later find yourself repulsed by his seeming lack of remorse for his victims, not just their financial ruin, but even their deaths. This is a needed listen for anyone curious about what actually went down, and anyone hopeful of sparing ourselves from another implosion in the future.”

Ponzi Supernova is a premium Audible Original series. Every day, millions of listeners enjoy true life stories, must-hear audio documentaries and fearless comedy. Available free to Audible members and Amazon Prime members by tapping Channels in the Audible App.

Ponzi Supernova is free for a limited time. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. Audible reserves the right to cancel the offer at any time. Offer ends April 30, 2017, at 11:59 PM EST (US).
 


 

Today’s second pick is The Hospital: The First Mountain Man Story

The Hospital

 

“Mountain Man” Augustus Berry is a survivor in undead suburbia. He scavenges what he can from what’s left over. He is very careful in what he does and where he goes, taking no chances, no unnecessary risks, and weighing every choice…until he decides to visit the hospital at the edge of town, and experiences terror the likes he’s never encountered before.

A short story of approximately 9,500 words. The first story of the “Mountain Man” series. Contains strong language and graphic violence. If you enjoy this, check out the rest of the series.

 

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Millenials and beyond have rediscovered the joys of instant photos: being able to take a picture with friends and immediately hand them the hard copy! This makes Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera (UK visitors – click here) the perfect springtime gift. Imagine the fun with this camera on hand for all those upcoming bridal and baby showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, vacations, and nights out with friends. Currently priced at $60 or less (depending on your color choice) and rated 4.5/5 stars.

Fujifilm Instax Cameras

Advertisements make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content for free, so thanks for your support.

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4/24/17 Movie Monday: Future Shock

Posted April 23, 2017 By Mom
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Welcome to DMM’s 4/24/17 Movie Monday, where I’ll help you tackle movie night with brief reviews of movies and videos you may have missed that are worth the rental or purchase. This week, the spotlight is on futuristic thrillers.

 

Cloning

 

These movies imagine future worlds in which humanity has found different methods to conquer death and disease—each sinister in its own way.

 

Vanilla Sky

Vanilla Sky (R)
A successful publisher finds his life taking a turn for the surreal after a car accident with a jaded lover.

This is the type of film with a third act twist that makes you re-evaluate everything that came before. Multiple viewings are rewarding not only for the sake of connecting the dots that lead up to the big reveal, but because the script raises interesting questions about identity and what it means to live a fulfilling life. Tom Cruise does a self-aware take on his own ultra-rich, ultra-popular persona, and Cameron Diaz turns up in a rare and affecting dramatic turn as an infatuated and troubled young woman. A very interesting movie that makes you think.

 

The Island

The Island (PG-13)
A man goes on the run after he discovers that he is actually a “harvested being”, and is being kept along with others in a utopian facility.

A movie with shades of Logan’s Run. In a future, underground community Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) believe they are being kept healthy and secure by a government that is gradually rebuilding society following some kind of cataclysmic event that’s made the surface of the planet barren and unsafe for life. Their routines and diets are fixed, and no co-ed fraternizing is allowed. They dream of the day they will win a lottery that allows selected individuals to leave the enclave and live out the rest of their lives on The Island, a single, enclosed, above-ground paradise. But Lincoln begins to suspect all is not as it seems, and pulls Jordan into his quest to learn the truth.

 

Gattaca

Gattaca (PG-13)
Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman star in this futuristic sci-fi thriller about a world where genetic engineering is used to perfect the human species.

This take on future dystopia imagines a world where genetics strictly—and legally—dictates status, in everything from educational and job opportunities to marriage prospects. In this governmentally-imposed caste system, only those with the ideal combination of genes, possessing physical beauty, perfect health and high intelligence, are allowed to hold positions of authority or responsibility. Of course, in such a world no romantic mixing between castes is allowed, and any breach of the rules is punishable by death. When an intelligent but genetically imperfect young man (Ethan Hawke) tries to game the system by borrowing blood from his genetically superior but wheelchair-bound flatmate (Jude Law), he soon becomes romantically entangled with a co-worker (Uma Thurman) who has her suspicions but also finds herself attracted to the mysterious new man.

Jude Law, as the flatmate, does an amazing job portraying a bitter, hopeless man who had it all in terms of genetics but finds himself robbed of everything to which he’d been entitled due to an accident that’s left him paralyzed from the waist down. Thurman and Hawke are terrific, and their on-screen chemistry is very real: this is the movie that led to their later relationship and marriage.