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Today’s post is brought to you by Amazon’s MP3 Store 7th Anniversary $5 Sale. 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!

It’s that party-hosting time of year again. One of the biggest challenges for any host or hostess is finding the right mix of music to get your guests moving and hopefully, asking you, “What’s this SONG?” so they can immediately go out and buy it, thanks to your cutting-edge taste. That’s where the Wtii Records Spring 2012 Sampler (4/5 stars, currently FREE) comes in.

With lots of very danceable, edgy tracks and a couple of slower pieces to provide a little rest and rehydration time, this album is classified as Goth/Industrial but to me, it’s got “rave” written all over it! Here are some noteworthy tracks:

Skies Gone Dark is like Kraftwerk meets Depeche Mode. Very interesting, and just the track to prick up your guests’ ears as they enter, hang up their coats and grab a drink.

With its electronic drum n’ bass pounding along, Scissors will get them out on the dancefloor.

Mirage keeps the dance party going with a track that would do The Chemical Brothers proud.

Guess I Lied is like Human League meets New Order, and is also very danceable.

Intuit slows things down a bit and brings Bush to mind, but with a more industrial/electronica feel.

If you love Pop Will Eat Iself, Cryonica is the jam for you. Very dark and industrial, with sound bytes in the mix and overlaid rap.

Nine Inch Nails fans, give a listen to Reasons by am.psych.

Save Dat Mermaid brings Was Not Was’ Dad, I’m In Jail to mind: screaming, darkly humorous vocals over a hard-driving electronica soundtrack.


This album has 12 tracks in all.


Wtii Records Spring 2012 Sampler: grab it and add it to your dance party mixes today!


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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Amazon’s MP3 Store 7th Anniversary $5 Sale features hundreds of MP3 albums priced at just $5 each. It’s a great chance to backfill your digital library with such albums as:


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Free App Friday For 10/10/14

Posted October 10, 2014 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by The OontZ Angle – Ultra Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, currently on sale for $39.99 (that’s 43% off the usual price of $70) and eligible for Amazon Prime Shipping. 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.

Word Search Perfected – The game of word search has been perfected! Find more words in each free word search puzzle than you would ever have believed possible.

Happy Street – In Happy Street you can build a uniquely charming village, limited only by your imagination. You will discover a living world full of funny and customizable characters.

Period Tracker – Period Tracker™, the easiest way to track your periods is now on Android!

Bible Gateway – The Bible Gateway Bible App offers many wonderful ways to experience Bible reading and Bible study, including: More than 90 different Bible translations, including NIV, KJV, ESV, NKJV, NLT, HCSB, NASB, CEB, The Message (MSG), Amplified Bible (AMP) and many more.

Big Business Deluxe – Have you ever dreamed of becoming a billionaire? Build your own business empire from the ground up! Build the city of your dreams and rake in millions right now!

How To Draw: Superheroes – 22 superhero drawing lessons are grouped in this app! Batman, Superman, Spiderman or even Iron Man can be drawn with ease! HOW TO DRAW: Follow our step by step drawing instructions.

NPR Podcasts – NPR Podcasts is a collection of the best NRP podcasts and guide you in a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. With this app you are going to find topics about Pop Culture, books, money, health, movies, music, television, comics and pretty much anything else that strikes a nerve, all in a weekly discussion from NPR.

Mahjong Venice Mystery – Pair up and match colorful tiles to clear over 400 levels and solve an ancient mystery. Gather special power-ups that will help you on your travel through the city of Venice, one of Italy’s most interesting cities. Can you find the thirteen lost paintings from the past that hide a well hidden secret and repair the old machine to save the historical city from its nemesis?

QuizUp – The world’s largest trivia game is now available for Android!

101-in-1 Games HD – This game is a collection of 101 games in 1 app in full HD quality! Games in a huge variety of genres: puzzle games, fast paced arcade action, racing, sports, cooking, shooting, sudoku and many many more! We now offer multiplayer games on single device, high-score tables, achievements and lots of other cool features!


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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The The OontZ Angle – Ultra Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker packs big sound into a small, portable, Bluetooth-compatible package. Over 1,700 Amazon customers have given this speaker an average review rating of 4.5/5 stars, and it’s a great time to pick one up since they’re currently priced at $39.99 (that’s 43% off) and eligible for Amazon Prime Shipping, too!


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AT&T Mobile Refunds For “Cramming”

Posted October 9, 2014 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup, a great buy at the current, discounted price of $69. 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 Were An AT&T Mobile Customer Between 2009 – Present, You May Have Been Victimized By “Cramming”

The L.A. Times is reporting that AT&T has been found guilty of “cramming”: adding 3rd-party service charges to its mobile customers’ bills for things like custom ringtones, daily horoscopes and so on, typically at a cost of $9.99/month, without the customers’ consent and without clearly labeling the items on customer bills. AT&T has been ordered to issue $80 million in refunds, plus fines and other fees. From the article:

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) said AT&T received 1.3 million calls from customers questioning third-party charges on their bills in 2011 alone. The complaints should have raised alarms…Instead, AT&T tightened its refund policy in October 2011 to reassure companies offering third-party services they would not have to hand over full refunds to customers. AT&T had offered refunds for up to three months worth of charges but limited refunds to just two months, Ramirez said.

AT&T’s bills made it difficult for customers to identify third-party payments they did not authorize. The payments were listed as “AT&T Monthly Subscription,” which led customers to believe the charges were part of their service with the company.



If You Believe You May Be Affected, Here’s How To Apply For A Refund

The FTC has set up a special page for AT&T customers to apply for refunds here. However, the page warns, “You should not expect to receive your refund for at least 9 months.” Even so, it’s worth applying if you were caught in the net of paying unauthorized $10 charges month after month for years. That $10 a month adds up.

The linked FTC page also includes links to related articles on the FTC’s findings and settlement terms.


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And now, a word from our sponsor…

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7 Smartphone Life Hacks

Posted October 7, 2014 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Samsung Electronics 64GB EVO Micro SDXC with Adapter Upto 48MB/s Class 10 Memory Card, rated 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $29.99—50% off its usual price of $59.99—, and eligible for Amazon Prime Shipping. 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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Smartphones can do a lot of cool things, like making calls, playing music, videos and apps, and accessing the internet, but the phone’s built-in functions are just the beginning. Here are some creative ways to use them.

1. Use the camera to take photographic reminders.

Snap a picture of the inside of your fridge before you head to the market, and never stand in the dairy aisle wondering if you need to buy milk again!

Look up your driving route on Mapquest or Google Maps on a full-size computer or laptop at home, snap a picture of the map as it’s displayed onscreen, and now you’ve got a copy to take along that isn’t dependent on an active, strong cell or WiFi signal (like a mapping app would be).

Before you head out to shop for clothes, paint or home furnishings, take pictures of the outfit(s) you hope to match, room(s) you intend to paint, or room(s) where the new furnishings will go.

This list barely scratches the surface; I’m sure you can think of many more ways to use this tip!


2. Turn up the volume with a drinking glass.

Whether you need to set an extra-loud alarm or just want to listen to some music, placing your smartphone in an empty bowl or drinking glass will amplify its sound output to a surprising degree.


3. Got a flashlight app? Use it and an empty, clear plastic bottle to make a camp lantern.

Turn on the flashlight app, then place the phone face up on a stable, flat surface. Place an empty water bottle (lid screwed back on – that part is important) on top of the phone screen and voila! The light is now dispersed in an arc around the bottle, just like a camp lantern!


4. Easily find your phone and charger in the dark.

Go to your local craft supply store and buy some glow in the dark paint. Paint the back of your phone case with it, either covering the whole thing or just making a large spot or square, and allow it to dry. Repeat the process on the outside casing of your charger plug (the part that goes into the wall receptacle). Note that plain glow in the dark paint looks greenish in the bottle, but when applied it dries clear.

Make sure the back of the phone and the charger plug are resting under a bright light source while you’re getting ready for bed, then place them wherever you usually would when you turn in. They’ll be easy to spot in the dark now!


5. Easily match your various charger cables to your household’s various smartphones and devices.

Use either matching stickers or dots of colored nail polish to mark each cable and its associated device. Just make sure the dots or stickers don’t cover or get into any of your device ports.


6. Got an old audio cassette tape case, or case for a small digital videotape (the type used in handheld camcorders)? Make it into a tabletop stand for your smartphone.

Just open the case all the way, flipping the top cover as far back as it will go. Now that top cover part can rest on the tabletop, and you can rest your smartphone in the little slot where the tape would usually go (image below from


7. Do you use your phone’s lock screen feature? Make your contact information your lock screen image.

Put your name, email address and a contact phone number (obviously, a number different than that for the phone itself) into a word processing document or graphics editor program on a computer, take a picture of it with your phone, then save that image as your wallpaper. Now, even if you keep your phone locked just in case you lose it, whoever finds it can still easily reach you.


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And now, a word from our sponsor…

the Samsung Electronics 64GB EVO Micro SDXC with Adapter Upto 48MB/s Class 10 Memory Card is a great buy at $29.99, and with 64 Gigabytes of holding capacity, this is one Micro SD card you can take on vacation and never worry about running out of storage space for your photos and videos. It comes with a free adapter and features file transfer speeds up to 48 Megabytes per second (depending on the speed of the device it’s plugged into), and has an average review rating of 4.5/5 stars across over 1,600 Amazon reviews.


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Is There A Virus In ES File Explorer 3?

Posted October 7, 2014 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Chromo Inc. 2x Pack 3.5mm Auxiliary Cable, a two pack of audio cables that are very handy to keep in your car for piping music, podcasts or audiobooks from your smartphone, tablet or MP3 player through your car speakers. 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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One From The Mailbag: Did ES File Explorer 3 Give My Device The Android MMarketPay Virus?

I got this question via an onsite comment form. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the comment:

“…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/”

Here’s my answer:

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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.

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And I did.



Attacks WILL Come, But It’s Pointless To Use Antivirus/Antimalware Before They’ve Arrived

I have no doubt that someday, maybe even someday soon, malware will become a significant threat to Kindle Fire tablets. But that’s not the case as of this writing, and as I’ve always said on this subject, when the first significant attacks inevitably come, they will take a form that pre-existing antivirus and antimalware apps can’t detect or repair because they will be new types of attacks.

Say what you will about hackers, but they’re not stupid: they aren’t going to waste their time developing malware that can be detected and removed by antivirus and antimalware apps currently in existence. Every time a big new malware story hits the news, it’s about a never-before-seen type of attack that exploits a previously unknown vulnerability. That’s why I don’t bother with antivirus/antimalware on my Fire tablets right now, even though I am VERY vigilant about it on my computers and home network.

When the first big attack comes, you’ll hear about it. And that’s when it’s time to get an antivirus/antimalware app: AFTER it’s been updated to detect and remove the malware in question.


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And now, a word from our sponsor…

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