Archive for the ‘ Mobile Phone ’ Category

4 Ways Families Can Eliminate Texting While Driving

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

September 19 may have been designated No Text On Board Pledge Day, the national day for anti-texting and driving, but texting and driving can always wait. Before you get behind the wheel and think about picking up the phone to send that text, take a second to consider that you’re 23 more times more likely to be in an accident while texting.

The National Safety Council reports that texting while driving is the cause of more than 100,000 car crashes that resulted in injury and fatalities each year. Did you also know:

  • 97% of teens know that texting is driving is dangerous
  • 75% of teens indicated the texting while behind the wheel is common among friends
  • 43% of teens admit to texting while driving
  • 89% of surveyed teens expect a reply to a text or email within 5 minutes or less 77% of teens reported seeing their parents text while driving

Texting while driving takes a driver’s eyes away from the road and puts the focus on the phone. It may only take an average of 5 seconds to send a text but texting drivers are 23 more times more likely to be in an accident.

Besides the dangers of texting and driving, parents need to model proper cell phone use and provide real examples about why this is such a dangerous behavior. Teens that are reaching the driving age can’t be expected to put down the phone if mom and dad are texting behind the wheel.

How can parents broach this very important topic as a family? Here are 4 ways to work together to prevent texting while driving.

  1. Start the conversation in your family about the real consequences of texting while driving. Do your driving teens really know the potential consequences of texting? Talk about the stats. Be honest about your behavior. If you do text behind the wheel, own up to it and tell them you’re going to stop. Discuss how you can work together to ensure that everyone is safe while driving.
  2. Provide real live examples. Invincible teens with an attitude of “this will never happen to me” should watch the powerful 10 minute Don’t Text While Driving Documentary with real live examples of how a single text changed people’s lives forever. It features the story of girl named Ashley who died the day before her high school graduation because of a single text. It tells the story of a young man who crashed his car into and killed a cyclist while sending LOL. It shares how one teen hit a tree while texting and was declared dead at the scenes three times.
  3. Model proper cell phone use by putting down the phone while in the car. If it’s tempting to grab your phone, put it in the back seat or in a place where it isn’t easy to get to.  If you’re still tempted, enable safety features like AT&T Drive Mode  or Safely Go to block texts from coming in while the car is in motion and prevent you from sending them.
  4. Pledge to never text and drive. Take the pledge as a family by visiting and pledging with a single click. Share your pledge on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word and get others involved in this life saving initiative.

Teenage girl texting on cell phone while driving via Shutterstock. Statistics courtesy of AT&T and National Safety Council.


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Apple iPhone 5 Features: Will you be getting the newest iPhone?

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Yesterday’s announcement of the iPhone 5 had Apple fans watching the press event anxiously with news of the phone’s new features. Currently available for pre-order, the iPhone 5 could be in your hands on September 21. The newest iPhone follows a price structure that mirrors previous models but with all the hype, is it really worth it to get one?

The iPhone5 is a step up from the iPhone4s. While improvements were made between the 4 and 4s models, they were slight. The iPhone 5 design and technological improvements make it a sought after device. Here’s why:

  • Apple has increased the size of the screen but made a device that is lighter but with a larger screen than previous models.
  • More apps per screen. Instead of 4 rows, the iPhone 5 features five. This allows you to store more of your kids’ favorite apps through the folders on a single screen.
  • Improved battery life reportedly allows for 8 hours of talk time, 8 hours of browsing over the cellular network, and 10 hours of browsing via Wi-Fi means you can use your phone longer before the battery reaches the red zone.
  • Browsing is supposedly twice as fast as the iPhone 4s, allowing you to find the information you need faster.
  • An improved camera makes your photos even better than before. The camera is 25% smaller than the iPhone 4s, 40% faster and redesigned to work better in low light. There’s also a panoramic mode. Users can also snap photos while recording video.

Here are some of the iPhone 5’s features that are the same compared to iPhone 4s.

  • Glass and aluminum design
  • 8 MP camera
  • While iPhone 5 is taller, the width is the same so it still fits in your hand.

What are the drawbacks of iPhone 5?

  • iPhone 5 has a redesigned connector called Lightning. This means that your old plugs and accessories won’t work with it without an adapter.
  • Certainly the price. Apple devices are never inexpensive and it may not be worthwhile to break your current cell phone contract in favor of the iPhone 5.

Do the benefits of the new iPhone outweigh the drawbacks? Will you be ordering one right away or waiting?

iPhone 5 image via Apple

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Getting Started on eBay: 7 Tips from Fellow Parents

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

As you look around your house at the items your kids have outgrown or toys that don’t hold their interest, do you think about listing items on eBay? If you’ve ever thought about listing them on eBay but haven’t, it’s never too late to get started nor does it have to be daunting. With 100 million active users, eBay is the place to buy and sell but it also supports its community by providing learning opportunities for novices and experienced sellers alike.  From the content rich selling resources, YouTube videos featuring top rated sellers, and Parent Panel Ambassadors, eBay ensures that everyone learns how they can turn the items from their home into found money.

For the past year, eBay Parent Panel Ambassadors have learned tips about eBay and honed their selling techniques. The Panel is comprised of 22 blogging moms and dads who share their eBay experience through their blogs as they work, parent, and confront challenges of having enough time to do it all. While some dabbled in selling prior to working with eBay, others were quite experienced at creating listings, and others were brand new.

In the course of the year, all of the Parent Panel Ambassadors admit to learning a lot about eBay and want to share their knowledge with those who are about to jump into selling.  Here’s some helpful advice from 7 Parent Panel members who have overcome the hurdle of creating their first listing.

Sommer Poquette from Green and Clean Mom recommends taking a class or finding an instructor in your area.  Certified eBay Education Specialists are “educated and trained by eBay to show you how to sell, ship and make money….teach you everything you need to know!”

Mom Endeavors’ Sara Wellensiek of Mom Endeavors offers two tips: start small and do some research. “For your first few items, try some­thing you’re ok with not get­ting as much money for,” says Wellensiek. “So, start with items that aren’t a high dol­lar amount and don’t have a high emo­tional con­nec­tion for you!” She also recommends using eBay’s Getting Started Page, the Seller Information Center, and reviewing the Seller Policy Pages. Not only will these resources help new sellers avoid making costly mistakes but can aid you in pricing your item competitively to reach top dollar.

Not sure what to sell? Melanie Edwards ( suggests visiting eBay’s Selling Inspiration House to find top selling items you already have in your home. “Sometimes you just have to give it a try and list an item you no longer need, without giving it too much thought. You might be surprised and find that it actually sells well!”

What about what to sell and when? Little Tech Girl’s Kris Cain believes timing is everything. “If you have something that you want to sell, sell it while it is still hot,” she advises. “Don’t hold on to it until potential buyers have lost interest because they have moved on to the next hot new item.”

When you’re ready to list, make it easy. Smarty Pants Mama Caroline Murphy uses the free eBay Mobile App to create listings in under a minute. “Right from the mobile app you can take the picture, enter a description, select a price and determine shipping,” Murphy explains. “Just think while you’re sitting on the soccer practice sidelines, you could be making money. Bring a tote bag full of items you want to sell. With the app from you ipad or smart phone you can get all those items listed before practice is over!”

“Pick up some flat rate boxes and ordering free flat rate padded envelopes. Then find things that fit in them,” encourages Brittany Van der Linden of Mommy Words. Use them to clean out your closet because “those envelopes will easily fit a small pair of shoes or kids’ outfit”

But what if you’re shipping larger items that won’t fit in flat rate boxes and envelopes? Single Mom on a Budget, Jill Bender, recommends buying a scale from eBay before you get started. “I didn’t buy mine on eBay and I spent more than $40,” Bender confesses. “Right this very moment there are several shipping scales that weigh over 60 lbs that have $3.25 bids on them and 10 minutes left.”

eBay logo via eBay

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Innovative Apps and Products to Keep Kids Safe

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The safety of our kids is a high priority and luckily there are some tech savvy tools that can help. Apps and devices help parents stay on top of recalled items that could be a danger to their family, feel reassured that your little one is sleeping soundly at night, or get helpful tips via text through your baby’s first year.

Baby monitors can provide the confidence that their little one is sleeping soundly but these days monitors feature digital video and audio so parents can have a visual of their child from afar. Innovative technology means that these baby monitors also do more such as include taking the temperature of the room and displaying it on the screen, providing a clear picture even at night thanks to night vision technology, and even playing soothing lullabies. Motorola’s MBP 36 Remote Wireless Video Baby Monitor features a gorgeous 3.5” color LCD screen and a secure signal that prevents nosy neighbors from eavesdropping into your home. Not only can parents remotely zoom in for a close up of their little one but also pan the room and tilt the camera remotely. vTech’s Safe and Sound Full Color Video and Audio Monitor is an expandable system that allows families to add up to four different cameras and watch through a split screen thanks to the Quad View Split Screen from over 1000 feet away.

Recalls Plus aids busy parents in staying on top of the most recent items recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission through a free app for iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Recalls Plus provides information about products you buy at your fingertips in order to keep your family safe. View the latest recall news from the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the Home stream.  Scan the running list to get an overview of all recalled items or tap on a listing to view it in more detail. Recall details include brand, category, manufacturer, the retailer, the period during which recalled items were sold, hazard, and any reported incidents.

Text4Baby is a free service from Johnson & Johnson that provides sends critical health information via text messages to new and expectant mothers. Texts are customized and timed according to mom’s due date and through the baby’s first year of life. 1-3 text messages are sent each week about topics like prenatal care, labor signs, breastfeeding, and symptoms to provide a little extra guidance for new moms or helpful reminders for experienced parents. To enroll in the free service, text “Baby” to 511411 or Bebe al 511411 para español.

Young Attractive Ethnic Woman Holding Her Newborn Baby via Shutterstock

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4 iPhone & iPad Apps to Teach Preschoolers and Early Elementary Ages Math and Literacy Concepts with Favorite Characters

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Learning is always more fun when done with a favorite friend. New apps from Disney Publishing and PBS allow preschoolers to engage in early reading, math, and foreign language lessons with familiar Disney characters like Winnie the Pooh and the cast of Toy Story. PBS provides cross platform learning by reinforcing concepts in their shows, on, and also through apps featuring favorite characters. These 6 new apps are easy for young learners to navigate and fun at the same time. You might never get your iPhone or iPad back again!

Pooh’s Birthday Surprise

Features he beloved characters of the Hundred-Acre Woods in an interactive storybook that focuses on early literacy and pre-math skills. Kids ages 3-5 are invited to join in Pooh’s birthday party planning where they practice activities such as identifying and extending simple patterns, problem solving, vocabulary awareness, and story comprehension.  $1.99 from iTunes until September 12.

Toy Story Showtime!

Toy Story is an interactive storybook aimed at children ages 4-6.  Learners explore essential early reading concepts through engaging with content.  For example, “Toy Story Showtime!” features Buzz Lightyear as he sets out to impress Jessie the Cowgirl in a talent show. Readers can assist him with his comedy and juggling acts while they discover new vocabulary words through context and story-based repetition. $1.99 from iTunes until September 12.

SUPER WHY! ABC Adventures: Alphabet

Kids ages 3-6 can travel around the world on an alphabet adventure with SUPER WHY! friends. Young learners will enjoy an around-the-world alphabet adventure while playing an engaging collection of five mini-games with a literacy curriculum. $2.99 for iPhone and iPod touch or $3.99 for iPad.

All Aboard the Dinosaur Train!

Have some Jurassic Park fun on the iPad with All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! The Dinosaur Train is getting ready to leave and needs passengers! Children ages 3-6 are needed to match the passengers with the right train cars, challenging them to problem-solve by estimating dinosaur sizes and comparing them with the train cars’ capacity. $1.99 for iPad.

Portrait of a young child in a home interior engrossed in a game on a digital tablet via Shutterstock.

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