Posts Tagged ‘ Web/Tech ’

Online Tips Part II: Shop Without Getting Scammed

Monday, December 8th, 2008

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Reading up on charity scams brought me to a few more tips from McAfee that, frankly, I’d feel bad not sharing. Without further ado, things to do before you shop online:
1.)    Check out the site. It’s not often that I stray from Amazon or Zappos, but if I’m hunting down, say, a vinyl-to-digital recording device that’s only available from obscure DJ equipment sites (Flashback to my dad’s gift two years ago, now they’re quite common.) I always feel a little leery ordering. If you find yourself in the same situation, get the contact info and call before ordering. You can also actually read the privacy policy (No I have never done this, but I think it’s a fantastic idea.) and make sure they have a decent refund policy posted on the site.
2.)    Pay by credit card. You’re protected by the law and liable only for $50 if your credit-card number is stolen and used. Getting cash back from debit cards is not as easy.
3.)    Make sure the site uses encryption. Look for a key or closed locked displayed in the web browser or check the URL address. It should begin with https://, not just http://. Note, that “s” won’t show up until after you click the “proceed to checkout” button, but before you enter any personal info.
4.)    Check your credit card statement and the package itself right away to make sure you got what you wanted at the right price.
Photo via.

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Good Deed Friday: Donate Without Getting Scammed

Friday, December 5th, 2008

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Well do-gooders, the cyber scrooges of the world are at it again, with fake charity phishing emails. A lot of legit charitable organizations encourage us to help out during the holidays (as we should) through emails asking for year-end donations. In fact, according to McAfee’s recent holiday survey, almost 30% of U.S. consumers plan to donate online this year. Go us!
Unfortunately holiday hackers have caught on and they’re sending emails that appear to be from well known charitable organizations, such as the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Oxfam that direct people to fake sites designed to steal their money. The sites are generally very professional with a fairly high amount of graphics. Sometimes the layout and content is copied directly from a real charity’s site, with little changed.
But don’t put your credit card away just yet. Take the extra step of going directly to your favorite organization’s web site to donate. Don’t ever click on a link sent in email, even if you’re pretty sure it’s for real (it’s still more convenient than mailing a check).
To learn more about phishing, click www.mcafee.com/advice.
Photo via.

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Cleaner Keyboard

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

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I just got over my first killer cold of the season. And if you’re like me, right after a bug like this one, you get the urge to clean everything in sight. As soon as I was back in the office I wiped my workspace down with an antibacterial cloth, but what I really wanted was to take a sudsy sponge to everything on my desk, including my keyboard. I resisted. I doubt IT would have been very happy with me had I caved. But my clean craving did lead me to Unotron, makers of washable keyboards, mice and smart card readers. Their latest product, the SpillSeal washable antibacterial keyboard, can be fully cleaned with soap under running water. It’s recommended for health care office settings; which probably makes it reasonably useful in houses inhabited by germy preschoolers. Plus, spills, crumbs and general gooeyness won’t ruin it. They have wireless versions too. I’m sold.

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Computer Booster

Monday, September 15th, 2008

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KidDesktop has come up with a delightfully simple computer program for
little kids. When your child signs on, she’ll get her own bright
screen, customized by you. She won’t be able to access (or delete) any
important documents or inappropriate websites, even by accident. You
decide ahead of time which websites she can visit, pictures she can see
and games she (and you) can play.
There’s
even a one-click photo upload capability (I can see this feature
turning the tables a bit—you using the kids’ easy photo program to
quickly upload and view the weekend’s pics).
But the biggest perk
for you is probably the timer. You set it, and an icon at the top of
the screen keeps track. For kids, the start screen and tool bar are
completely icon-driven and include spoken help, to make it easy for
even non-reading preschoolers. With that, the recommended age range is
3 and up.
So how old do you think kids should be before getting
computer time? Also, would you prefer something like this, that doesn’t
need too much direct intervention, or would you rather stick to web
sessions where you’re more actively involved?

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Tags: , , | Categories: GoodyBlog

Professional Retouchers, At Your Service

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

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I’m fairly new to Facebook, and I’m very picky about what pictures I post (Hey, I’m a beauty editor, what do you expect?). So I’m thinking of trying out this new online service, PicWash. You can basically upload any photo from your computer or  Facebook photo albums, and for $7, a master retoucher will get rid of that shiny forehead or that ugly chin pimple. Sounds worth it to me for photos from special events like weddings. The most recent addition to the website is PicWash Slim–the photo pros will actually make you look more buff in your bathing suit! That costs $15. Now, I’m not saying to cancel your gym membership, but it’s nice to know you have options when that beach photo you really wanted to come out fab, well, doesn’t.

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Tags: , , | Categories: Beauty

Good Deed Friday: Cook for a Cause

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

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Every month this year, you can go to the special Idaho Potato site and get a great new recipe. It’s all part of the Idaho Potato Commission’s "Recipes for Relief" on-line program—the goal is to celebrate the United Nation’s declaration of 2008 as the International Year of the Potato by raising awareness and $50,000 for UNICEF, an organization that provides lifesaving nutrition, clean water and education to children in more than 150 countries around the world. Every time you click on the recipe of the month, they’ll donate 10 cents to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. August’s chef is David Walzog of SW Steakhouse at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, and his recipe is Salt Crusted Baked Idaho Potato. Look out for November when the very famous Nobu Matsuhisa will be giving his recipe too!

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Spankin’ New Headlines

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

News_image_newNever leave your kid alone in the car—child safety advocates are pushing states to make this child death risk illegal. USA Today

Texting like crazy may actually be improving your kid’s English skills.
Newsweek

The competition for private kindergarten spots in New York City is as intense as ever. The New York Times

Meningitis is a fast-acting, deadly disease—so why aren’t more parents vaccinating their children against it? The Wall Street Journal

Men adopt children at a higher rate than women and only 1% of single moms put their babies up for adoption, finds the first federal survey on U.S. adoption.
Yahoo! News

Original photo via

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Introducing MimosBlog.com!

Monday, August 4th, 2008

MbLet’s give a warm GoodyBlog welcome to the newest member of our bloggy family: Our sister Spanish-language publication Ser Padres is launching their brand-new blog today! Check out MimosBlog.com for the latest parenting info en Español. I’ll go ahead and admit that I can’t technically read what my fabulous colleagues are writing (those measly 2 years of high school French were the extent of my language training), but they’re pretty awesome so I know their blog will be too. Head on over and say "Hola!" to the MimosBlog crew.

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Tags: | Categories: News