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Welcome To Digital Media Mom’s 3/17/17 (Almost) Freebie Friday
I’ve got three great finds to share with you today: nature sounds to help you relax, sleep, or feel closer to nature. Each runs an hour in length, and each is currently priced at a buck or less. Not quite free, but pretty darned close!

First up, it’s Bird Sounds – Morning Birds for Relaxation, Meditation, Yoga: bird calls against the soothing background of a forest stream. Currently rated 4.5/5 stars and priced at 89 cents.

 

Today’s second pick is Zen Garden (Music for Deep Sleep, Meditation, Spa, Healing, Relaxation). Currently rated 4.5/5 stars and priced at 99 cents.

 

Finally, it’s Rain Sounds Ambience for Meditation, Relaxation, Massage, Yoga…Relaxing Ambient Soundscapes. Currently rated 4.5/5 stars and priced at 89 cents.

 

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Need a high-capacity, HD-capable memory card to hold all the action video you’ll be shooting this spring and summer? The Verbatim 64GB PremiumPlus 533X microSDXC Memory Card with Adapter, UHS-I Class 10, 98742 is optimized for the speed and resolution demands of HD video. Waterproof, shock proof, and able to withstand temperature extremes, this card has a 64GB capacity. Currently (as of 3/17/17) priced at $22.35.

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Ars Technica is reporting on malware found preloaded on new Android phones, which sounds pretty scary at first, but the problem is easily avoided so read on.

 

How You Get Malware

 

From Ars Technica:

A commercial malware scanner used by businesses has recently detected an outbreak of malware that came preinstalled on more than three dozen Android devices…The malicious apps weren’t part of the official ROM firmware supplied by the phone manufacturers but were added later somewhere along the supply chain.

In other words, the malware wasn’t installed by anyone working at the manufacturer’s facility, it was installed at some point between the time the phones left the factor(ies) and the time they were sold.

 

The Easy, Two-Step Fix
First, only buy tech devices from trusted, name-brand stores, not small shops, non-branded kiosks and independent sellers.

Second, install a malware scanner app on your mobile device and run it: first, when you initially get the device, and again, regularly. Most computer antivirus software services offer a free, mobile app version of their service to their subscribers, so it doesn’t have to cost you anything to extend the same level of protection from your home network to your mobile device.

 

Conclusion: as is so often the case, a little common sense and some reasonable precautions can keep you out of trouble on this one.

 

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ESET SMART Security is the antivirus, anti-malware software many tech professionals trust, yet it’s intuitive enough for consumers to use and understand. Simple menus, real-time or scheduled scanning, suspicious website warnings and instant quarantine of suspicious content and sites—all without dragging down the computer’s performance—have made this product an award-winning favorite year after year. And of course, it includes a free, mobile app version.

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Welcome to DMM’s 3/13/17 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 Milla Jovovich, kicking butt and taking names in three different guises.

 

And The Horse

 

Milla Jovovich has appeared in numerous films where she plays an enhanced superhuman warrior of some type. Here are three of my favorites.

 

The Fifth Element (PG-13)
Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, and Gary Oldman star in acclaimed director Luc Besson’s outrageous sci-fi adventure, an extravagantly styled tale of good against evil set in an unbelievable twenty-third century world.

This movie is a sci-fi blowout that’s LOTS of fun. There’s action, comedy, and even some suspense. Jovovich plays the alien “perfect being” who’s been sent to save Earth from imminent destruction, and Bruce Willis plays the cab driver who reluctantly agrees to help. Jovovich brings the perfect blend of wide-eyed innocence and action hero to her role, and Willis is an excellent comic foil. The costumes and characters go over the top at times, but that’s part of what makes it so entertaining.

 

Ultraviolet (PG-13)
Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil, The Fifth Element), Cameron Bright (X-Men 3), Nick Chinlund (The Legend of Zorro) and William Fichtner (The Longest Yard) star. In the late 21st century, a subculture of humans have emerged who have been modified genetically by a vampire-like disease (Hemophagia), giving them enhanced speed, incredible stamina and acute intelligence, and as they are set apart from “normal” and “healthy” humans, the world is pushed to the brink of worldwide civil war (a war between humans and hemophages) aimed at the destruction of the “diseased” population. In the middle of this crossfire is Ultraviolet, an infected woman who finds herself protecting a nine-year-old boy who has been marked for death by the human government as he is believed to be a threat to humans.

Based on the popular graphic novel series, this movie has a lot of cool visual effects and of course, plenty of action. It imagines a world where the future has brought amazing technology like cybernetic implants, personal gravity fields and super-dimensional weapons, but good old fashioned corporate greed has as much of a chokehold on society as ever.

 

Resident Evil (R)
A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.

This one’s based on the mega-hit videogame series, but as one who’s never played the game I can promise you the film stands on its own. The first, and maybe still the best, movie about a pharmaceutical experiment gone awry that unleashes hordes of ravenous undead. It does get a little gory at times, but it’s pretty obviously CGI gore—reminiscent of the videogame, based on what I’ve seen in the game trailers—so it’s not that difficult to take.

 

      

3/10/17 (Almost) Freebie Friday

Posted March 9, 2017 By Mom
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Welcome to DMM’s 3/10/17 (Almost) Freebie Friday!
I’m keeping my eyes peeled for those truly free freebies but when I can’t find anything new that’s truly worth sharing, my fallback plan is (Almost) Freebie Friday: sharing quality stuff that’s so dirt cheap, it may as well be free. Today I’ve got four literary classics in audiobook form.

 

Long Week

 


These classic short stories are just the thing for commute time, after-work decompression, or a lazy hour or two on a weekend afternoon, and all are currently (as of 3/9/17) priced at about a buck each—even less if you’re an Audible member, with your automatic 30% discount.

 

 

The Call of the Wild – 4.5/5 stars.

Jack London’s masterpiece tells the gripping tale of a dog named Buck who is wrenched out of his life of ease and luxury to become a sled dog in Alaska. Drawing on his wolf heritage, Buck must fight for survival in an alien environment.

3 hours, 23 minutes.

 

 

The Mark of the Beast – 4.5/5 stars.

When a carousing Englishman disgraces the consecrated effigy of Hanuman, a leprous “Silver Man” marks him with a hideous curse. The ensuing night brings new terrors to the house of the doomed man.

33 minutes.

 

 

Lot No. 249 – no reviews yet.

Unexplained events are happening at Oxford these days. Several students have been attacked at night by some strange form of wild animal. It can scale walls with cat-like agility. Its arms are as thin and as strong as steel bands. And there is one student who conducts midnight studies in his room with certain Egyptian artifacts. The most significant of which is a 6’7″ tall mummy.

1 hour, 18 minutes.

 

 

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves – 5/5 stars.

In the mystical land of Arabia, there is secreted a magical door that opens with the command, “Open, Sesame!” Inside lays the plunder of a century of robbers and mercenaries. When Ali Baba witnesses 40 thieves open this door with the enchanted words, endless possibilities begin to unwind before him.

1 hour, 38 minutes.

 

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With the Anker SoundCore Sport Portable Bluetooth Wireless Shower / Outdoor Speaker with Enhanced Bass and Built-In Microphone you can keep the audio going in the shower, at the campsite or beach, or on the go. Currently (as of 3/9/17) priced at $39.88 and rated 4.5/5 stars across over 470 reviews.

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This week marked another one of those Wikileaks data dumps, and this one’s got consumers in a panic. In a nutshell, Wikileaks says that thanks to some CIA and MI5 hi-jinks, your TV can spy on you. And so can your phone, your computer…pretty much any device with a microphone or videocam. But is it true?

 

Wikileaks Is Listening

 

The best, most level-headed discussion of this matter I’ve yet found is over on the excellent Tom’s Guide site. From Tom’s Guide:

 


Here’s what you need to know. The WikiLeaks revelation is likely part of a Russian disinformation campaign meant to undermine the U.S. intelligence agencies in general…

Some of the CIA hacking tools mentioned in the WikiLeaks dump are real. Some of them probably are not. We may never truly know which is which. (But we are intrigued by the one about turning a Samsung Smart TV into a listening device.)

For the moment, all we can tell you to do is to keep your PCs, Macs, iPhones and Android updated to the latest versions of their operating systems, to run antivirus software on Windows, macOS and Android, and to be wary of smart-home devices that are always listening to what you say. (And if your Android device can’t be updated beyond Android 5.1 Lollipop, get a new one.)

WikiLeaks says the cache of information, reportedly “8,761 documents and files,” came from “a former U.S. government hacker [or] contractor.” That’s possible. It’s also possible that it came straight from the Russian intelligence services, which is how WikiLeaks apparently obtained emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee.

As such, we can’t completely trust what’s in the files. But let’s go over the important stuff…


 

The article goes on to address Wikileaks’ allegations about each specific device and software type in greater detail: phones, apps, Samsung smart TVs, and antivirus software. Click here to read the full article on Tom’s Guide.

 

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Etymotic Research Isolator MK5 Noise-Isolating In-Ear Earphones (UK visitors – click here) are high quality, moderately priced earbuds that offer two different styles of ear cushion, including a pair of memory foam cushions, to ensure that even those with the most sensitive ear canals can listen in comfort. Package also includes a zippered storage pouch and cord clip. Currently priced at $59 and rated 4/5 stars on Amazon’s US site, 5/5 stars on Amazon UK.

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