News - Part 7

FreeApp Friday for 3/4/16: All Angry Birds Edition

Free App Friday! At first Angry Birds was just about firing projectile birds from slingshots to destroy towers, but now there’s racing, a role-playing game, special Star Wars and Transformers editions, and more! Angry Birds – The goal of the game is to catapult each bird toward the pigs, who hide behind a variety of destructible materials. Use each bird’s unique skills to break through crates, boards, stone, ice, snow, glass, boulders, and dynamite to vanquish the devious pigs. Angry Birds Slingshot Stella – Join Stella and her super adventurous friends on a quest to protect their home from the greedy Bad Princess and her powerful piggies! Meet this fierce new bunch, master their amazing superpowers and explore magical Golden Island! Angry Birds Seasons – Join the Angry Birds as they celebrate unique seasonal events from around the world! Angry Birds Star Wars – A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away……

Amazon’s Actually Free Apps: What’s The Catch?

Ever since Amazon launched its Underground program for apps, through which consumers can get “Actually Free” versions of popular apps, app fans have been wondering how this is possible. After all, all Actually Free apps are free to download and include in-game items like power ups, hints, extra turns and other upgrades (that the user formerly had to buy with real money) at no charge. Who’s Paying For This? Amazon. If you’re thinking the catch must be that somehow, some way, at some point you are going to be charged for using Actually Free apps, you can stop worrying about that. They are really, truly, Actually Free. With a regular, not Actually Free app the app developer makes his money through up-front purchases of apps or in-app purchases paid by app users. In an Actually Free app, the developer gets paid by Amazon on a sort of commission basis that’s tied to…

Facebook-ery: Facebook Emoticons & Emoji

FB Emoticons! You can enter specific keyboard combinations and Facebook will automatically convert them into those full-color pictures for you (though the full-color picture won’t be visible until AFTER you’ve posted the status update). Alternatively, you can copy certain symbols from one page or window and paste them into your Facebook status update to achieve the same effect. It doesn’t work with just ANY old symbol, though. There are approved character sets. Here’s an image from Symbols & Emoticons showing some of the full-color emoticons you can create on Facebook with simple keystrokes (click or tap on images to view an enlarged version in a new tab or window): And here are a few more from The Next Web:

Are RFID Blocking Wallets Necessary?

I recently posted about Smart Card technology, which prompted a reader question: once you’ve got at least one Smart Card, do you need to get one of those specially-lined wallets to block scammers from reading the data off your card through your purse or wallet? Not really. If it makes you feel safer to have one of those special wallets, then it’s probably worth the investment. But tech security analysts agree that while it’s possible for an enterprising crook to use tech devices to scan your Smart Cards’ data, it’s not worth those crooks’ while to attempt it.

FreeMusicMonday: A Spooky Halloween Soundtrack Album

Welcome To Free Music Monday! Today’s pick is just the thing to set the mood for Halloween decorating and costume planning, and for the kids’ party later this month: Unpleasantville. One Amazon reviewer says: If you like Danny Elfman, you’ll like this. A moody tingly delight. It is a soundtrack, so don’t expect any coherence between the songs, but on the other hand, each song describes a different mood. I agree with the other reviewers, despite its name and subject matter, it’s not just for Halloween. Says another: Un-Expected pleasure. Okay I admit it. I bought this (well it was free) because of the Halloween connotation to it. What a pleasant surprise! It has a very ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ feel to it and I really like it now. It even brings a smile to my face that it was free! Click here to grab your free copy of Unpleasantville.

A Year Of Amazon Prime At Thirty Per Cent Off – Even For Current Prime Members

**UPDATE 9/25/15** Sorry kids, it appears Amazon has closed the loophole by NOT allowing Gift of Prime purchases at the Transparent promo discount price. I was told just two days ago, by an Amazon customer support rep who checked with a supervisor at the time, that Gift of Prime subscriptions would be eligible for the $67 promo price, but apparently there’s been a policy change in the two days since then. This Friday, 9/25/15 only, to celebrate its 5 wins for Transparent in the 67th Emmy Awards, Amazon will be offering one year of Prime membership to new members at a reduced price of $67. That’s a $32 savings, and represents a savings of over 30%. The offer begins at 12:01am PST on 9/25/15 and ends at 11:59pm the same day, and is only applicable to new memberships. The fact that the offer specifically mentions “new members” might lead you to believe that if…

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…