News - Part 7

When And How To Stop Sharing A Family Account For Your Digital Content

Many of you may have grown kids starting off in college or permanently moving away from the family home, and you might be wondering if it’s the right time to break up your family digital content accounts (e.g., iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, etc.). The answer is: it depends on your specific situation. But after reading this post, you should have all the information you need to make an informed decision. A Single Family Household Can Share Content From an earlier DMM post, Can I Share Content From My Thingie?: Apple Thingies: Apple Content Is Controlled Through iTunes Every individual Apple thingie (iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc.) is tied, or registered, to a specific Apple iTunes customer account and content library (music, movies, podcasts, apps, etc.). A single iTunes account can have multiple Apple thingies registered to it, and everything in that iTunes library is available to all the thingies registered to that…

Do You Need To Worry About the FBI Ransomware / FBI MoneyPak Virus On Your Mobile Thingies?

I recently got a question about The FBI Ransomware Trojan, which is also known as the FBI MoneyPak virus. A commenter raised the question in the comments section of my earlier post, Does Your Kindle Fire Need Virus Protection? What’s “FBI Ransomware”? This specific Trojan / virus is an especially nasty one, as it essentially locks you out of your computer or mobile device until you pay whatever fee it’s asking in order to release the lock. It’s got “FBI” in the name because the extortion pop-up says the FBI has identified some kind of threat on your machine and will remove it in exchange for a fee, usually $100, to be paid by credit card. So these hackers get $100 immediately, plus the duped consumer’s credit card number. Making matters worse, making that payment won’t necessarily unlock your computer or device. Even if it does work, it’s only a matter of…

Kindle Fire HDX Antivirus – Do You Need It?

I’ve previously written about the pointlessness of antivirus protection for the Kindle Fire line of tablets (see my post, Kindle Fire Antivirus: You Still Don’t Need It), but the new HDX line of Fires adds a new wrinkle since they all come with the option for 4G cell service connectivity. In my prior posts on this topic, I discussed how some hackers target cell phones specifically to add bogus charges to the phone owners’ bills. Many, if not most, cell phone owners won’t notice small charges scattered across an entire month, but they add up quickly. Some hackers go for broke right out of the gate and try to make a single, large bogus charge to the phone owner’s bill (usually masquerading as some kind of pay-by-the-minute service, like a party line or psychic reading service). They sometimes get away with it because these types of charges are made to the phone owner’s account immediately…

What Happens If You Get Your Lost Or Stolen Kindle / Fire Back?

Regular readers may recall my son lost his Kindle Fire when we were visiting family out of state this past June, and the incident inspired my post, What To Do If Your Kindle Or Kindle Fire Is Lost Or Stolen. Since that post quickly became, and continues to be, among the most popular posts of all time on this site, I’m assuming many of you have dealt with a lost or stolen Kindle or Kindle Fire so I’m back with an update: my son’s Fire was turned in to the airport lost and found, and my parents were able to pick it up and mail it back to me. This post is about what happens next: how to get your formerly lost or stolen device back into your Amazon account’s good graces.

HD vs. SD – Is It Worth Paying Extra For HD Digital Videos?

I recently got this question from a site visitor and thought it’s probably something a lot of site visitors are wondering, so here goes. Neo is just as much The One in SD as he is in HD. High Definition (HD) vs. Standard Definition (SD) In a nutshell, the difference between high definition and standard definition images is the number of pixels contained in the image on display. HD images have more pixels per square inch than standard definition videos. Okay fine, but what does that really mean? It means that HD images can show much finer detail than SD images. Here’s a simple analogy that should explain why. Imagine you have a 3×5″ card, and you’ve been asked to draw a picture of a flower on it. You’re given your choice of two drawing tools: either a preschooler-type crayon (the really big ones) or a finely sharpened pencil. If you…

Amazon Review Tips & Tricks For Savvy Shoppers

Amazon is one of my preferred shopping outlets, mainly because I’m an Amazon Prime member and that means I get free two-day shipping on almost everything I buy there. However, it’s also a great resource for any shopper, even if you ultimately make your purchase somewhere else. This is largely because of the customer reviews, but if your approach to Amazon customer reviews is to merely look at the overall average review rating for a given product and maybe spot-check a few of the most positive and most negative reviews, you aren’t getting the maximum level of helpfulness and guidance from those reviews. How To Use Amazon Customer Reviews Like A Boss: The Little-Known Search This Product’s Reviews Feature Amazon reviews are a particularly great shopper resource when you’re looking at a big-ticket item, such as the Samsung Galaxy Player pictured in this post. You may have heard it’s the exact same hardware as…

Kindle Fire Antivirus: You Still Don’t Need It

Note: Kindle Fire HDX owners, please see this more recent post, which is specific to the HDX line – Kindle Fire HDX Antivirus: Do You Need It? Since a great many site visitors get here via an internet search having to do with virus protection for the Kindle Fire, I’m assuming that many people reading this are gravely concerned about the possibility of their Kindle Fire being targeted by malware. I wrote an entire post on this back in February of this year, Does Your Kindle Fire Need Virus Protection?, and what I said in that post still holds true to this day: The Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD do not need antivirus or malware protection because they are not “proliferation-friendly” devices, run a custom version of Android, and cannot multi-task, and therefore are not (yet) being targeted by hackers. Furthermore, Amazon thoroughly vets apps before allowing them to be listed…

How To Delete Items From Your Fire Or Your Amazon Cloud Account

This is a cross-posting of an article I originally wrote for the Kindle Fire on Kindle Nation Daily site, and it’s reprinted here in its entirety with that site’s permission. Many people reading this will already know how to remove items from their Kindle Fire’s carousel, and many will also know how to remove them from the Device screens (e.g., Apps > Device, Books > Device, etc.), but very few know how to prune apps, audiobooks, videos, music and Kindle ebooks from the Fire’s Cloud screens (e.g., Apps > Cloud, Books > Cloud, etc.). Here’s the scoop! Removing Items From The Carousel This is the easiest one. Simply long-tap the item you want to remove, and select “Remove From Carousel” from the pop-up menu. By the way, “long-tap” means tap and hold your fingertip or stylus on the screen until the pop-up menu appears.

Amazon Instant Video Myths and Facts

I originally wrote this post, dated 5/27/13, for the Kindle Fire on Kindle Nation Daily site, and it’s reprinted here in full with that site’s permission. Amazon’s policies and processes described here are accurate as of that date, but subject to change at any time in the future. The comment thread on Amazon’s page dedicated to yesterday’s $5 Instant Video sale Gold Box deal was very lively, and filled with many myths and signs of confusion. An earlier KF on KND post on Managing Your Instant Video Library addressed a lot of the confusion surrounding Instant Video licensing and usage, but it seems more information is still needed. MYTH: You don’t really “own” the Instant Videos you purchase, because Amazon or the studios can make them unavailable at any time. FACT: You most definitely DO own the Instant Videos you purchase, though not in the form of physical copies. Licensing restrictions placed on digital…

Rechargeable Battery Problems: Overcharging, Leaving It Plugged In

Does it seem like your thingie isn’t holding its charge as long as it used to, or like a full charge doesn’t give you as many hours of use as it used to? Does it seem like your last thingie died a lot sooner than you expected? It’s recently come to my attention that many folks don’t know two crucial things about charging their devices with rechargeable batteries, and that’s where the trouble begins. DON’T OVERCHARGE Rechargeable batteries lose a little bit of their holding capacity every time they’re overcharged. By “overcharged”, I mean when they’re plugged into an outlet for charging beyond the time it takes to fully recharge the battery. **UPDATE 1/23/14** To anyone who’s thinking it’s not possible to damage a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery by leaving it plugged in too long, see this DMM post, where I discuss the difference between what’s technically correct about Li-ion batteries…