Category: DMM U - Part 4

Closed Captions: What’s That All About?

As anyone who regularly reads my missives here at Digital Media Mom knows, I am in the process of switching to an all-digital movie library. I no longer buy new videos I want on disc, and I’m gradually replacing my existing discs with Amazon Instant Videos when I find those titles offered at a discount. Amazon is my digital video vendor of choice because I’m confident Amazon will outlive me, but I’m not so certain about any of the other folks who’re selling digital videos—like my satellite cable provider, VUDU, UltraViolet and so on. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about those wonderful, useful, practical Closed Captions!

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…

Amazon’s Instant Video Finder Is A Terrific, FREE Tool For Finding Your Next Great Movie Or TV Show

Whether you get your movies from Redbox, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Video on Demand from your cable provider, or even the old-school way, by purchasing discs, you’ve got to give Amazon’s Instant Video Finder tool a try! You know there are LOTS of great movies and TV shows out there you’ve never seen, but you also know there are plenty of clunkers. How can you narrow the field down to the winners? When you’ve got specific criteria, like maybe you need a kid-friendly film to keep the young ones occupied while the grown-ups socialize in another room, how can you quickly drill down to appropriate viewing material, AND choose something the kids will actually enjoy? When you’re in the mood for something fairly specific in terms of subject matter or tone and the usual broad categories of Thriller, Drama and Action aren’t cutting it, how can you find what you’re looking for without spending as…

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.

Which Device Permissions To Worry About

Today’s Amazon Free App of the Day is Akinator, a kind of 20-questions game app, and as per usual with many apps there are a number of negative reviews that complain about unnecessary or excessive “permissions”. So, what does that mean, exactly? Permissions – It’s The App’s Way Of Asking, “Mother May I?” Whatever kind of web-enabled device thingie you have (e.g., smart phone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Galaxy Tab, laptop, Blackberry, et cetera), it can do some amazing stuff. It can connect you to the internet, it can provide access to your email account, it can maintain a calendar and to-do list for you, and it can run all kinds of productivity and entertainment media, like videos, music, games, ebooks, and of course, apps. Some of those apps take advantage of the stuff your thingie can do and build on it. For example, every cell phone has a ‘contacts’, or phone book,…

What To Do When Your Kindle Or Kindle Fire Is Lost Or Stolen

Hey, Thief Who Took My Son’s Kindle Fire: Think you just got a free tablet you can use to order all kinds of stuff on MY Amazon account? Not so fast. When you lose your Kindle or Kindle Fire, believe it or not the loss of the device is not the worst part. No, that would be the fact that your Amazon account is now vulnerable to wrongful charges from anyone who finds your missing gadget. There is a tiny bit of good news, though: as always, Amazon’s exceptional Kindle customer service reps stand at the ready to prevent this from happening. Note: if you’ve already gotten your lost or stolen device back, see this follow-up post: What Happens If You Get Your Lost Or Stolen Kindle / Fire Back? The Thief Not Only Gets A Nifty E-reader Or Tablet, But Full Access To Charge Stuff To Your Amazon Account, Too Remember when…

The Difference Between Hardware and Software

This post is prompted by a question I got on Facebook yesterday. A lady commented that she really loves her first-gen Fire, which doesn’t have a camera, but doesn’t want to have to buy an HD model just to get the camera feature of the HD models. She wanted to know if there would ever be a camera download or app made available for her Fire. The answer is no, and this lady does not understand the difference between hardware and software. Hardware: The Physical Stuff You Can Touch Anything that’s physically built into the machine you’re using, whether that machine is a computer, a Kindle Fire, an iPad, or even a fancy-schmancy espresso maker, is hardware. It’s called hardware because it’s made of literally hard, physical materials. Your machine’s screen, microphone, buttons, on/off switch and camera (if applicable) are all examples of hardware features.

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…

Kindle Fire / Android Tips & Tricks: Where’s My App? Revisited, Where’s My Music? And Where’s My Audiobook?

In my last Kindle Fire Tips & Tricks post I included information on how to force a newly-purchased app to show up on your Fire when you don’t want to wait for it. I’ll just reprint that tip here, then go on to elaborate a bit more on how to force other types of content to show up. Note that some of these same methods will work on ANY Android device, so if your thingie is something other than a Kindle Fire, it still may be worth giving these tips a try. Where’s My App? If you are in the habit of downloading a new app and then immediately wanting to try it out, you’ve discovered that purchased apps don’t immediately, automatically show up on your Fire’s carousel. And you may have resigned yourself to waiting a few hours, or until the next day, for that app to show up….