4/21/17 Freebie Friday: Android Apps

Posted April 20, 2017 By Mom
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Welcome to DMM’s 4/21/17 Freebie Friday!
Here are ten of the most downloaded AND highest-rated 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.

 

Two Dots Spring 2017

 

Two Dots – CONNECT one Dot to another, sink anchors, make a line, create bombs, extinguish flames, and much more.

Tetris Blitz – The Tetris® game you know and love, is now lightning fast, bite-sized fun for today’s players.

Alice in the Mirrors of Albion – Get ready for a Lewis Carroll inspired hidden object game that takes you to a mystical Victorian-era London known as Albion, fraught with intrigue, crime, and danger.

Rummy 500 – Challenge yourself with Rummy 500, the classic card game!

 

ES File Manager

 

ES File Manager – ES File Explorer (File Manager) is a FREE and full-featured file manager for both local and networked use!

Color Switch – Tap the ball carefully through each obstacle and your ball will switch color with some powerups. You must follow the color pattern on each obstacle to cross it!

Book of Heroes – Fight against terrifying monsters where you choose and trigger your abilities in our unique time-based battle system!

 

 

Bubble Blaze – Lots of challenging bubble popping levels!

Dumb Ways To Die – Enjoy 22 hilarious mini-games as you attempt to collect all the charmingly dumb characters for your train station, achieve high scores and unlock the famous music video that started it all.

slither.io – Avoid attacks and absorb opponents to become the longest player of the day.

 

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Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and any mom who loves tea is sure to love the elegant and functional Tea Forté KATI Single Cup Loose Leaf Tea Brewing System, Insulated Ceramic Cup with Stainless Steel Tea Infuser and Lid (UK site visitors, click here). Currently (as of 4/20/17) priced at just $20 and rated 5/5 stars.

Tea Forte Noir

 

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How To Stop Amazon Seller Emails

Posted April 18, 2017 By Mom
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There’s a new kind of spam email in town, and it’s maddening. I’ve noticed many of my Amazon orders prompt unwanted follow up messages from the vendor, and I’m sick of it. These always come disguised as a “thanks for your order,” “helpful tips,” “let us know if there are any problems,” email or similar, but what they’re all REALLY about is prompting the buyer to leave an Amazon review. Today’s post explains what opened the spam floodgates last year, and how to stop Amazon seller emails.

 

Amazon Seller Emails

 

What Changed?
You may recall reading about Amazon’s purge of paid reviews a couple years back. A purge of “received this product free or at a discount in exchange for an honest review” reviews followed, just last year. Both of these types of reviews are now banned on Amazon. The changes put Amazon sellers into a panic: how would they get reviews now?

 

Autospam: It’s Not A Bug, It’s a Feature!
Enter the “customer contact” industry, or as consumers would generally call it: autospammers. Sellers pay autospam services to automatically send out boilerplate emails to every purchaser based on triggers chosen by the seller. One seller I ordered from sent three emails based on a single order! If you’re wondering why Amazon allows this, the answer is that they don’t.

Amazon has very strict guidelines about seller contact with purchasers, but many sellers either don’t know or don’t care about those rules. The seller gets away with it until angry consumers start reporting the spam to Amazon. If you’ve got better things to do than be Amazon’s pen pal, you can opt out of ALL seller emails on the Amazon site instead.

 

How To Opt Out Of ALL Amazon Seller Emails

1. Login to your account on the Amazon site.

2. On the Your Account page, scroll down to the Email alerts, messages, and ads box (shown below), and click the Communication preferences link.

Amazon Account Email Prefs

 

3. On the Communication preferences page, scroll down to the Email Preferences section and navigate to the Promotional Emails section (shown below). Click the downward-pointing arrow to expand the box.

Amazon Account Email Promo Prefs

 

4. Scroll down the list and uncheck the Seller Communications and Seller Feedback boxes, as shown below, then scroll all the way to the bottom of the form and click the Update button to save your changes.

Stop Amazon Seller Emails

You will see a warning telling you that making this selection will stop ALL seller emails, including some that may be important like recalls or warranty information. This is not really a concern because sellers will still be able to contact you by going through the pre-existing, manual steps they’ve always had available through the seller marketplace. They just can’t autospam you any more.

Note that these instructions are accurate as of this writing, on 4/17/17, but Amazon site layout and policies are subject to change at any time in the future.

 

You’re welcome!

 

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With its 1 terabyte capacity, the WD 1TB USB 3.0 My Passport Portable External Hard Drive (UK site visitors, click here) is a great pick for use as a backup drive or file transfer drive. Forget about swapping out discs, memory cards or flash drives: with this, you can back up your entire computer on a single device. Available in multiple colors. Currently (as of 4/18/17) priced at just $59 and rated 4.5/5 stars across over 1,100 reviews.

WD MyPassport 3

 

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4/17/17 Movie Monday: James McAvoy Thrillers

Posted April 16, 2017 By Mom
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Welcome to DMM’s 4/17/17 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, I’m featuring James McAvoy thrillers.

 

Thriller Night

 

McAvoy is probably best known for his role as Dr. Xavier in the X-Men franchise, but he’s got a fairly lengthy resume outside of those films. Here are three thrillers where he stars, and really shows off some impressive acting chops.

 

Split

Split (R)
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate the others.

Of the 23 identities inside his character’s head, McAvoy primarily portrays five: Barry, Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig and The Beast. These five are vastly different from one another, and McAvoy plays every one of them, from a nine year old boy with a speech impediment to a proper, uppercrust British lady, equally believably. While this is a serial killer type thriller, there’s not a lot of gore; really just glances. It’s much more of a psychological thriller, not just in the sense that the main character has Dissociative Identity Disorder, but in that one of the three intended victims has some psychological trauma of her own that’s compared and contrasted with the killer’s in interesting ways.

 

Victor Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein (PG-13)
In their attempts to aid humanity, Dr. Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and his assistant Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) create a monster that holds unimaginable terror for anyone in its path!

This take gives us far more backstory on Frankenstein’s assistant Igor than you’ve probably ever known about, and in a way puts him as much center-stage as the eponymous doctor. As for Frankenstein, McAvoy plays him as a man obsessed and driven by ambition as much as by any desire to improve the human condition. The plot is a little all over the place, as it incorporates a murder mystery, some class intrigue and a romance, and I’ll admit it goes somewhat off the rails at times. However, any fan of historical fiction set in Edwardian or Victorian times will enjoy the lush production design, costumes and sets. The performances of Radcliffe and McAvoy are worth the watch as well.

 

Wanted

Wanted (R)
James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie star in Wanted, a turbo-charged thrill ride critics are calling the most visually inventive, trailblazing action film of its kind.

A great cast and some amazing visual effects elevate this movie above the typical action-thriller. This is one of those where a secret society of super agents co-exists right alongside us ordinary people, taking out baddies we never even knew were there, with an arsenal of amazing weapons and some amazing, borderline supernatural skills.

 

      
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Welcome To DMM’s 4/14/17 Freebie Friday!
I’ve got two digital albums to share today: a HUGE collection of indie music award winners, and the other an album for lovers of New Age.

First up is Message, by Vyking.

 

Vyking Message

 

11 tracks of instrumental New Age, with a good mix of upbeat electronic numbers and more contemplative pieces where a piano takes center stage. A nice backing track for any setting or activity where you’d like some music that’s pleasant, but not too distracting. Currently rated 5/5 stars.

 

Next, it’s the very large collection, Now Hear This! – The Winners of the 15th Independent Music Awards.

 

Now Hear This 2017

 

This album has 72 TRACKS of indie music award winners, and it covers all the genre bases because it includes winners from all categories. You’ll find everything from contemporary classical to country western, and everything in between, in this collection. Currently rated 4/5 stars.

 

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With the Try Amazon Music Unlimited: 30-Day Free Trial offer (Amazon UK customers click here), it’s easy to try Amazon Music Unlimited and see how it stacks up against competitors like Pandora and Spotify before you commit to an ongoing subscription. At $9.99/mo for a single membership, $14.99 for a household membership, $79/yr or $7.99/mo for Prime members and $3.99/mo for a single-device Alexa subscription, and with tens of millions of tracks available, AMU may be exactly the music streaming service you’re looking for.

Amazon Music Unlimited Free Trial

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By now you’ve probably started noticing this thing on the Facebook website, where some people’s posts appear in boldface print on a colored background. And maybe you’ve wondered how they do it. If so, read on to learn how to get background color in your Facebook posts.

 

FB Background Color

 

First, a caveat. You may also have noticed that all the FB posts with boldface text on a background color are pretty short. There is definitely a character limit: 130 characters, including spaces. As soon as you enter character #131, the post will revert to regular old black and white.

Second, a note about the Facebook mobile app. The colored background option now comes up by default in the most recent version of the Facebook mobile app. As soon as you tap to start a status update, either in the Home screen or on your own timeline, the color selection options are there. Today’s post is about how to get the colored background on the Facebook website.

 

How to Get Background Color In Your Online Facebook Posts

1. Click on the Home link to go to your newsfeed. As of this writing, this will only work from the Newsfeed/Home screen.

2. Click in the status update box to create a status update, and background color choices will show up as a customization option, as shown in the screenshot above.

3. Select your preferred color and type in your status update. But remember: keep it to 130 characters or less, including spaces.

4. Select privacy options if desired, then click the Post button.

 

Now get out there, and get colorful!

 

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With the Try Amazon Music Unlimited: 30-Day Free Trial offer (Amazon UK customers click here), it’s easy to try Amazon Music Unlimited and see how it stacks up against competitors like Pandora and Spotify before you commit to an ongoing subscription. At $9.99/mo for a single membership, $14.99 for a household membership, $79/yr or $7.99/mo for Prime members and $3.99/mo for a single-device Alexa subscription, and with tens of millions of tracks available, AMU may be exactly the music streaming service you’re looking for.

Amazon Music Unlimited Free Trial

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