News - Part 12

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…

How To Delete Apps From The Cloud On A Kindle Fire

In a past DMM post, Kindle and Kindle Fire Owners: Where Your Content Lives and Deleting, Moving and Restoring Kindle / Kindle Fire Content, I explained how to delete apps and other content from your Fire vs. from the Cloud, and what the difference is between the two. Today I’d like to update that post with some new information: how to delete an app from Amazon’s Cloud right from your Fire**—all models, from first-generation non-HD to the latest HDX line—, without logging on to the Amazon site. **UPDATE** 5/19/15: while this post reflects information that was provided by Amazon at the time the post was written, more recent tests have shown the method described here doesn’t work for first-gen Fires. For people who only own first-gen Fires, the only way to remove apps from the Cloud in on the Amazon site itself. First, I must remind you: anything you delete from the…

If You Own A Kindle, The PowerFast Charger Is A Must-Have Accessory

Regular readers know I am nothing, if not frugal. But I’m not penny-wise and pound foolish, as they say. For the longest time I refused to invest the twenty bucks (it’s priced at $19.99 as of this writing) in Amazon Kindle 9W PowerFast Adapter for Accelerated Charging, because I didn’t think it made sense to buy yet another charger when my drawers are already littered with the many that have come with the various gadgets my kids and I have accumulated over recent years. But it was always a bit of a frustration, having to babysit my charging Kindle Fire and check on it frequently to see when its battery was back up to full, so as to avoid overcharging it. And with a standard charger, it would take hours to refill that little battery indicator in the menu bar. Even so, I thought, “How much faster could the PowerFast really be?” The…

The Differences Between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Cell Connectivity

Bluetooth speakers, 4G tablets and external hard drives with Wi-Fi, oh my! Here’s how these three types of connectivity technologies differ. Wi-Fi Wi-Fi is the type of connection you need to wirelessly connect various devices to a wireless network. It could be your home network, the network at your workplace, or the biggest global network of them all: the internet. Yes, the internet is a network. It seems obvious when you realize that a network is just a collection of technology devices that are all set up to communicate with one another. So where at home, you use a network to send a document to a printer that’s located far from your computer, on the internet, computers and servers send web pages, files and messages to other computers and servers that are located as far away as the other side of the world. So if you’re considering buying some device, and…

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…

Upgrading To A New Kindle Fire: How To Copy Content From An Old Fire To A New One

In my previous post, Surviving A Kindle Fire Factory Reset – With (Most) Of Your Stuff Intact, I outlined a step-by-step process for backing up your Kindle Fire before performing a factory reset, then restoring that content after the reset. Now that the new Kindle Fire models are upon us, I’m getting this question pretty frequently: can the same method be used to transfer content from an old/pre-existing Kindle Fire to a new one? The answer is: yes, but with some tweaks to the process. When I got new Fire I was able to test this out for myself, so I can confirm that it works. A Step-By-Step Process For Relocating To A New Kindle Fire The steps below, and screenshot, are from going through this process with a Kindle Fire HD model. The process is essentially the same for all Fire models, but folder names and locations on different generations…

Audible Tip: How To Avoid Using Member Credits When Buying Sale Audiobooks

I recently picked up some deeply-discounted Kindle books on Amazon, and noticed that the companion Audible audiobooks were also being offered as add-on purchases at ridiculously low prices. I’m talking a couple of bucks for the Kindle books and another buck to two bucks for the Audible audiobook. Normally, I don’t pay much attention to the prices listed for Audible audiobooks because I’m an Audible member and I’m usually “buying” audiobooks with my Audible member credits anyway. I currently pay about $23/mo to get two Member Credits per month, which is a great deal if the audiobooks I’m “buying” with my credits are normally priced at $12 or more. And they usually are priced higher; in fact, they’re usually priced anywhere from about $17 – 25 each. Sometimes I’d like to get one of these deeply-discounted add-ons, but I don’t want to spend my Member Credits on them because then I’m not…

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.

What’s The Difference Between SD And Micro SD Memory Cards?

I won’t bore you with all the technical details of what makes a micro SD card different from a standard SD card, because I’m pretty sure all you care about is whether or not a micro SD card will work with your various devices. The answer is, so long as your device can accept a standard SD card, yes, it can accept a micro SD card — provided you have a standard SD card adapter or USB plug-in adapter (as pictured in this post). You can buy micro-to-standard SD card adapters and USB plug-in adapters on their own, but plenty of micro SD cards come bundled with adapters, too. To use a micro SD card in a device that takes standard SD cards (most digital cameras, for example), you just slide the micro SD card into the adapter’s card slot, then insert the adapter into your device the same as…