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Today’s post is brought to you by Tile – Item Finder for Anything. 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!

Multiple Grammy award winners and indie rock favorites Wilco just released their new album, Star Wars, last week (on 7/17/15) and they’re making it available to fans as a free download for a limited time.

 

 

The album, which includes 11 tracks, will be released in vinyl and CD editions next month.

The Daily Beast says:
“The Band’s Best In Years…It is, in this listener’s opinion, the band’s best offering since 2007’s wonderfully grounding and adventuresome Sky Blue Sky.”

 

Wilco’s Star Wars: snag it while it’s free!

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Tile – Item Finder for Anything, is the handy new tag that attaches to your mobile stuff to work like those high-tech tracking devices we’re always seeing in the movies. You can use the free Tile app on your smartphone or tablet to easily locate misplaced items on a map, send a ringtone to the Tile on the missing item to search for it in your immediate surroundings, or send a ‘stolen’ message to the Tile on a missing item to get every copy of the Tile mobile app to start scanning for the presence of your item’s Tile, then anonymously report back to you if it pops up.

 

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Fire Tip of the Week: How To Find Out If A Book Has Elements You’ll Dislike Before You Buy

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FreeApp Friday for 7/17/15

Posted July 17, 2015 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by The Friendly Swede’s Bundle of 14 Colorful Stylus Universal Capacitive Touch Screen Pens, a bundle of 14 styli currently (as of 7/17/15) priced at $9.99. 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 some of the top 100 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.

SAS: Zombie Assault 4 – Purge the undead! Awesome upgradeable guns and armor, unique class skills, and 4 player co-op!

Mystery Manor – A mysterious Event took place in the Manor and completely ruined the ordinary life of its inhabitants. Dive into the mystery and challenge yourself with hidden objects action!

Words on Tour – Words On Tour is the new word puzzle adventure from the makers of Words With Friends!

Virtual Villagers: Origins – Care for and nurture a tribe of little people by teaching them the basics of survival.

Jigsaw Puzzles Epic – Jigsaw Puzzles Epic is a jigsaw game with over 2000 beautiful pictures in a wide variety of categories. You can also create puzzles from your own photos.

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

UNO & Friends – Playing UNO™ with friends, family, and the millions of fans worldwide has never been easier!

Asphalt 8: Airborne – The best Android arcade racing game series reaches a new turning point! Perform dynamic, high-speed aerial stunts in an intense driving experience powered by a brand-new physics engine!

Bubble Blaze – Ready, aim, fire! Pop ’em and drop ’em in this bubble-shooting extravaganza!

CivCrafter – Gather resources, build an army, and battle clans for world supremacy.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The Friendly Swede’s Bundle of 14 Colorful Stylus Universal Capacitive Touch Screen Pens consists of 9 full-size capacitive touchscreen styluses and 5 mini-styluses (perfect for your smartphone!), plus two “leashes”, all at a current cost of $9.99 and eligible for free Prime Shipping. The mini-styluses come with a dust plug leash pre-attached, and the included two detached leashes can be attached to any two of the styluses you wish.

 

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Fire Tip of the Week: Fire TV Fix: When Resume Play Doesn’t Work

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Today’s post is brought to you by the Kindle Paperwhite,  a quality, yet affordable, ereader for folks who only need a device for reading. 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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Amazon’s Made Some Changes To Their Instant Video Search Options…
…and the upshot is that it’s getting harder to seek out the bargain-priced vids you’re looking for.

I’m going to describe the changes here and how to get around them, but if you’re just looking for the cut-to-the-chase solution to this problem, here it is: because the searches I set up on my Digital Media Bargains & Freebies page were created before these site changes on Amazon, they still work, and they still provide super-speedy shortcuts to bargain-priced digital content of all kinds—in this case, Instant Videos in particular. Later in this post I’ll explain how to customize those searches as well, but the long and short of it is this: use the links on my Digital Media Bargains & Freebies page.

 

Meet The New Boss
Looking for discounted Instant Videos on Amazon is getting very difficult if you’re trying to do it via Amazon’s own search tools. Consider the following example search, in which I try to find sale-priced Action/Adventure videos. Click or tap on the images below to view an enlarged copy in a new tab or window.

1. Go the the Instant Videos landing page on Amazon and click on the Shop Instant Video menu link. Click on the genre you’re interested in. In this case, I’ve gone with “Action & Adventure”.

InstantVidSearch1

 

2. On the Genre landing page, the left-hand column no longer includes a price range search form (blue arrow below). To include any kind of price range criteria in your search, you’re going to have to click the Genres link (red arrow below) to load the Genres page.

InstantVidSearch2

 

3. On the Genres page, click on the link for the Genre you’re interested in. You’ll notice that these Genre names don’t match the ones on the drop-down menu shown in the first screenshot above.

InstantVidSearch3

 

4. Refine your search using the Sort By drop-down box, and the filters in the left-hand column. On this page, you’ll notice how the default listings for the genre you’ve chosen are not recent releases or bestsellers.

InstantVidSearch4

 

5. On the same page shown in the screenshot above, you can finally add some pricing criteria to your search. The pricing filters are located near the bottom of the column, and are now provided in fixed ranges only. This is where you used to be able to enter whatever price range you wanted in text boxes.

InstantVidSearch5

 

6. Compare to the page you get by using a link on my Digital Media Bargains & Freebies page. Here, I’ve clicked the link for Instant Video Movies Rated 4/5 Stars Or Better, Now On Sale For $6.98-$6.99. The search criteria are highlighted by the green arrow below. You’ll notice that there are recent release and bestselling films shown right on the first page of results, and that you still have the same filtering options in the left-hand column (blue arrow), but all the results shown are within the specific price range I’ve provided right in the link. Read tip #2 below for how to customize the price range by customizing the search link, which is indicated by the red arrow below.

InstantVidSearch6

 

How To Make My Links Your Own

 

Tip #1: click on the three-stars link in the left-hand column to include films rated 3 – 3.5/5 stars in your results. Some of my favorite films of all time fall into that category, and you can’t know what you’re NOT seeing unless you broaden your search.

 

Tip #2: Customize the search link to include all films within a broader price range.

I’ve set up my links to have one set of results for movies priced around $5, another for movies priced around $6, et cetera. But if you don’t want to check those links one by one, you can customize the search link.

Click anywhere on the search link, indicated by the red arrow in the screenshot above, and with it highlighted press the Ctrl + C keys on your keyboard to copy it. Paste it into Notepad or any other plain text reader program. Here’s the first part of the link, with the price range details shown in boldface red:

http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&bbn=2858905011&camp=1789&creative=390957&high-price=6.99&linkCode=ur2&low-price=6.98&qid=1360169075…

Just change those “low price” and “high price” amounts to whatever you want in your copied/pasted link, then highlight the entire revised link, Ctrl+C to copy it again, and finally go back to Amazon (where the original version of the link should still be highlighted) and press Ctrl+V to paste the edited link into the URL bar. Press the Enter key to load the new search results.

 

This is a very handy way to find all videos priced between $4.98 – $7.99, for example. Going lower than $4.99 will bring a lot of shorts into your results, and in my opinion Instant Videos priced higher than $7.99 aren’t really bargains at all, so that range is good one to go with.

 

If the original link is no longer highlighted on the Amazon page, you’ll have to manually highlight the link (make sure you get ALL of it, it’s very long!) and then do the Ctrl+V to paste the new link in.

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

I really love my Kindle Fire HDX, but some folks don’t want or need all the bells and whistles. They don’t need a device that can run apps or play videos, they just want to READ. For them, the Kindle Paperwhite is just the ticket. It offers all the same great e-reader functionality as you’d find in a Fire tablet, such as WiFi connectivity, the ability to enlarge or change the font, re-orient the screen from portrait to landscape and so on, but all that functionality comes in an elegant package that’s designed to do just one thing: make reading ebooks a pleasure.

 

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Fire Tip of the Week: Fire TV Fix: When Resume Play Doesn’t Work

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Today’s post is brought to you by the Lexar 64GB Platinum II Class 10 SDXC Memory Card 2-Pack, currently (as of 7/15/15) being offered at a 56% discount. 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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Firefox Has Stopped Blocking Flash, But That Doesn’t Mean Flash Is Safe
To bring any latecomers up to speed about why I’ve long taken the position that the Adobe Flash browser plugin is not safe and needs to die:

Why Can’t I Play Flash Games & Videos On My Thingie? (8/6/13)

Stop Complaining That Your Mobile Thingie Doesn’t Support Flash – You Should Be GLAD That It Doesn’t! (10/14/14)

Want To Get The FBI / Moneypak Virus? Download Flash! (12/10/14)

Mozilla was clearly in total agreement with me about Flash when it completely blocked the plugin in the latest release of the Firefox browser, as reported in this 7/14/15 article on NextWeb.

However, the news comes today that Adobe quickly moved to patch the specific security holes called out by Mozilla, and the Flash plugin is now available in Firefox once again. Even so, two of the very same articles that announce this development (on Business Insider and Wired, two very trusted and influential tech news sources) also openly state tech community and developer support for the Flash plugin needs to be pulled across the board: Flash needs to die.

 

But Why?
Look how much bad press and pushback it took for Adobe to finally close two major Flash security holes they’ve known about for over a year.

Adobe could’ve taken the threat to users of its Flash plugin seriously and done something about it way back in the first quarter of last year, when Microsoft first started releasing news about the Flash plugin “zero day” vulnerability.

But Adobe didn’t take any significant action until this week, when the news came out that the massive Hacking Team leak was the result of an Adobe Flash vulnerability and Firefox started blocking the plugin.

In other words, Adobe apparently couldn’t be bothered to do anything about the countless hacks and phishing attacks on mere consumers that have occurred since these vulnerabilities first came to light, but once their product was tied to a major hacking scandal and was openly called out by Mozilla as too dangerous to allow in the Firefox browser, Adobe was suddenly motivated to act very quickly; Adobe was suddenly able to fix the problems they spent the last year ignoring in a matter of two business days.

But who knows how many more security holes are still lurking in the Flash plugin? Adobe has a long and infuriating history of sitting idly by while hackers exploit its Flash plugin over and over again. I wouldn’t doubt Adobe engineers are already aware of other security holes in its Flash plugin, and Adobe simply doesn’t want to invest the necessary time, money and resources to fix Flash once and for all. Adobe hasn’t officially supported Flash since 2012, though they have released the token security patch here and there—only under duress. Truly fixing Flash would probably require a complete tear-down and rewrite of the program, so Adobe’s not gonna do it until or unless they’re forced.

 

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by Adobe’s recent patch of the Flash plugin. In my opinion, it’s no less dangerous and no less a target for hackers than it’s always been.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The Lexar 64GB Platinum II Class 10 SDXC Memory Card 2-Pack is rated 5/5 stars and currently (as of 7/15/15) sale-priced at $39.99 for the two-pack of 64GB cards. That price represents a 56% discount, and the package is eligible for free Prime shipping as well.

 

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Today’s post is brought to you by the Anker® 2nd Gen Astro Mini 3200mAh Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank, currently 75% off and priced under $10 on Amazon (as of 7/14/15). 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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You Probably Know All About The Kindle Daily Deal, But…
…did you know there’s an Audible Daily Deal on offer every day, too? Probably not, unless you’re in the habit of checking the front page of the Audible site each day.

The Audible Daily Deal is a one-day only discount on an Audible audiobook, with prices on the Deal typically ranging somewhere between $2.95 – $4.95. Audible is owned by Amazon and for a time, the Audible Daily Deal was featured right on the Audible home page on the Amazon site, just the same as Kindle Daily Deals are on the Kindle Books home page, but not anymore. Here’s the Audible home page on Amazon for today, to demonstrate; note the total lack of any Audible Daily Deal mention.

The Audible Daily Deal won’t be featured on the Audiobooks > Store page of your Fire tablet either. It used to be shown there each day, but at some point that stopped.

Even more maddeningly, if you look up the Audible Daily Deal book on Amazon its temporarily discounted price won’t be shown in the search results list: you have to click through to its product page to see the discounted price. It’s almost like Amazon doesn’t want you to find these deals or something.

 

Now check out the Audible home page for today, and note that Daily Deal icon. It’s there every day, but again, you have to visit the Audible site to see it. Click it each day to view that day’s Audible Daily Deal.

 

If you’re an audiobook fan, get in the habit of checking Audible’s home page and clicking on the Daily Deal icon every day. I’ve found LOTS of great deals on audiobooks I’d been wanting this way.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The Anker® 2nd Gen Astro Mini 3200mAh Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank is handy to have on hand for those times when your cell phone or tablet battery’s about to die and there isn’t an outlet in sight. It has an average review rating of 4.5/5 stars across over 14,800 reviews and normally sells for $39.99, but right now it’s available for just $9.99—that’s 75% off, and it even has same-day delivery availability (in areas with Amazon same-day delivery).

 

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Fire Tip of the Week: Fire TV Fix: When Resume Play Doesn’t Work

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