News - Part 7

Alexa Voice Service, Amazon Echo, Amazon Instant Videos, Fire TV, Kindle Fire, savvy consumer

I just posted about the new tablets for another site so I’ll reproduce that same post here, then add the new Fire TV details. Here’s the rundown on the new models, from Amazon: All-New Fire Tablet ($49.99, available for order today, ships 9/30/15): This is a groundbreaking new tablet for under $50. The new Fire tablet includes a quad-core processor, 7” IPS display, front- and rear-facing cameras, up to 128GB of expandable storage, exclusive Amazon features and services, and access to the world’s best content ecosystem—all for just $49.99. Customers can also choose to buy Fire as a six-pack for less than $250. My take: the specs on this $50 tablet are surprisingly good. Its display is a bit lower in resolution than the current HD6, and its processor speed and battery life are both a little lower than the HD6 as well. But it’s not a dramatic difference, and the new…

What’s In The October 2015 Loot Crate?

What’s Loot Crate? Loot Crate is a monthly subscription service that delivers a box filled with theme-of-the-month awesomeness to your door each month for $13.37 + S&H (which is $6 anywhere in the continental U.S., though they also ship to other countries), and the contents are guaranteed to have a minimum retail value of $40. Even though it’s a subscription service, there’s no minimum subscription period and it’s very easy to cancel your subscription at any time—the Loot Crate site’s FAQ page has a direct link to their cancellation page. Quite A Haul This Month! This month’s theme is Time, and it includes a couple of highly collectible Back to the Future items in honor of this month’s Back to the Future Day. Click or tap on image to view an enlarged version.

Disney Movies Anywhere: Link All Your Digital Video Accounts To Access ALL Your Disney Digital Editions From ANY Of Your Linked Video Libraries

Got Some Disney Digital Copies Gathering Virtual Dust In Various Accounts? If you’ve redeemed some of those “free digital copy” codes that came with Disney movies you purchased on disc, whether they’re in iTunes, Vudu (which also includes Ultraviolet now), Google Play or Microsoft Digital, it’s now possible to link up all those accounts via a free Disney Movies Anywhere account (if you already have a Disney Movie Rewards account, you can login using that username and password). While the codes for free digital copies were never redeemable on Amazon Instant Video, you can link your Amazon Instant Video account too—and you should do so, if you use Amazon Instant digital services. Here’s why: Every digital video account you link under Disney Movies Anywhere is granted access to all the digital Disney movies you own in any other linked account. Copies bearing the blue “Disney Movies Anywhere” stripe (red arrow below –…

Facebookery: The New Facebook Support Inbox

Seems like hardly a week goes by any more without Facebook rolling out some new feature or other, and this is a great one: Support Inbox. Facebook Support Is No Longer A Black Hole You know how, when you reported someone or some page on Facebook for harassment, stealing your pics to use in a fake profile or other objectionable activity, or when you reported a bug on the Facebook site, your report just seemed to go down a black hole? Maybe you’d get an email reply days or weeks later, maybe not. You just never knew if anyone was even reading your report, and that was frustrating. No more! Now there’s a Support Inbox link available in your main menu dropdown, and it takes you to a great new page on the Facebook site that’s all about improving your Facebook experience (click or tap on images below to view an enlarged…

Free App Friday For 8/21/15: Utilities

Free App Friday! The special Free App Friday posts I ran for the past two Fridays, each one focusing in on a specific type of app, have proven so popular that I’m doing it again. Today, it’s all about free utility apps. 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. Calculator Plus Free – for Fire tablet – I’m Calculator Plus – the perfect calculator for Kindle Fire. I remember everything you calculate, and let you review it anytime, making me perfect for adding up receipts, balancing checkbooks, or even calculating taxes. Calculator Free – for all Android devices – Calculator Free combines the Normal and Scientific calculator for Free! Final Countdown – Count…

Fire Tablet Keyboard Now Includes Full-Color Emoji

A recent software update has brought full-color Emoji icons to the Fire tablet and Fire phone keyboards! Note that I haven’t tested this feature on all Fire tablets, so it may not be supported in first- and second-generation models. I’ll let the pictures tell the story (tap or click on images to view an enlarged version in a new tab or window). Begin by opening your Fire keyboard. Tap the lower left-hand key (red arrow below) to open the numbers and symbols keyboard. On the numbers and symbols keyboard, tap the smiley face key (red arrow below) to open the Emoji keyboard. By default, the Emoji keyboard opens on the ‘most recently used’ tab (red arrow below), where your most recently-used Emoji will be available for your convenience. Each of the other colored arrows below points to a category of Emoji, and as you can see, there are a LOT! The selected…

Facebook Share Changes

* * * the Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240 15.6 Inch Laptop w/ 1 Terabyte Hard Drive, currently on sale at 25% off Amazon (as of 6/16/15). Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support. * * * Facebook’s Made Some Changes – AGAIN! Just about the only constant with Facebook is change, and this week I’m seeing changes to how Sharing works. I don’t really get why these changes were made, but it probably has to do with making the site more mobile-friendly. In a nutshell, the whole Sharing process now occurs right on the page of the thing you’re Sharing, and the pop-up boxes involved in the process are smaller. One thing I definitely don’t like about the new Sharing is that you can no longer see a preview of your share before sharing it, and you don’t get…

New Kindle Reader Feature: Word Wise

* * * the Kindle Paperwhite, a terrific e-reader pick for folks who want a crisp display and features like long battery life, glare-free display (even in sunlight), bookmarks, notes, the ability to change font size and so on, but who aren’t quite ready to step up to the costlier Kindle Voyage. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support. * * * Amazon has quietly rolled out another great enhancement for Kindle books on Kindle e-reader devices (but not Fire tablets or in the Kindle Reader app at this point), and you may have noticed it on some Kindle book product pages: Word Wise. Since it’s so new it’s still not common, but you will find it on new Kindle book releases more and more often as publishers get on board. In a Word Wise -enabled book,…

How To Stop Amazon From Sharing Your Phone Number With Outside Sellers

* * * Amazon’s current, limited-time sale on the Kindle (normally $79, currently $59), Kindle Paperwhite (normally $99, currently $79), Fire HD7 (normally $139, currently $99) and Fire HD Kids’ Edition (normally $149, currently $124). Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support. * * * How Did You Get This Number? I recently bought some Visage Instant Lift wrinkle serum on Amazon, and it was one of those “fulfilled by Amazon” deals where the seller is an outside company but Amazon handles the order processing. I’ve been very happy with the serum (and despite the incident that follows will most likely order it again), but about a week after it arrived I started getting calls from the seller at home, on the same phone number I have listed with Amazon. I wrote the first call off as random telemarketing, but noticed a reference to my…

Gmail’s Last Account Activity Feature Shows Who’s Been Accessing Your Account

* * * Today’s post is brought to you by ESET Smart Security, the tech security product I’ve used and trusted for many years. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support. * * * Worried Someone’s Been Mucking About In Your Gmail Account? Whether your concern is over a potential hack or a snooping partner or family member, if you use Gmail there’s an easy way to tell if anyone other than you has been accessing your email: Last Account Activity. To access this amazingly wonderful and helpful Gmail feature, scroll to the bottom of your inbox and look for the Last Account Activity Details link (tap or click on images to view an enlarged version in a new browser tab or window). When you click on that link, you’re shown a listing of the times…