Archive for the ‘ Mobile Phone ’ Category

Back to School Tech Bargains on Laptops and Mobile Phones

Friday, August 10th, 2012

If you’re shopping for tech products for back to school, there are some fabulous bonuses that make it a great time to purchase new technology.  Here’s a look at the hot deals on laptops and mobile phones that you will want to take advantage of before the school year starts.


The best time to buy new computers for students is now. These deals appear towards the end of the summer and disappear once school begins.

  • Apple Computers is offering college students a $100 back to school gift card that can be used on apps, books, music, and movies with the purchase of a Mac.  Buy the new iPad and get a $50 gift card.  This offer is good on purchases until September 21 and with Apple’s education pricing, students, teachers, school staff, administrators, and even homeschool teachers can save even more. Details on Apple’s back to school pricing can be found here.
  • If you’re more of a PC person, students with a valid .edu address can get a free Xbox console when purchasing a PC over $699.  To take advantage of this special offer, visit the Microsoft Store site and type in your .edu email address to receive a promotional code with redemption instructions.

Mobile Phones

Cell phone carriers are offering free, or close to free, phones to new customers with two year contracts.  Here’s a rundown of some of the devices being offered:

  • AT&TSamsung Captivate for a 1¢
  • T-Mobile — Free Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone
  • Verizon— Back to school offers include Pantech Breakout, Pantech Marauder, LG Enlighten, and Pantech Jest 2 for free.  Visit the website to learn which offers are online only.
  • Sprint— The Samsung Galaxy S II may have just been replaced by the Samsung Galaxy S III but is still an incredible phone. If you want to upgrade your current phone and need one for another family member, Sprint is offering a buy one, get one free deal where customers can get two Samsung Galaxy S II phones for $99. This offer is good until August 18 and more information can be found on Sprint’s website
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John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted Addresses Online Safety During Today’s Livestreamed Panel

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Earlier this month Cox Communications released results from their Tweet Internet Safety Survey conducted in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

876 tweens ages 10-13 were interviewed along with their parents and findings indicated that while online safety is a major concern of parents of tweens and parents have done a good job of monitoring internet use on the computers, computers are only one way that tweens are accessing online content.  Mobile devices and gaming consoles are widely used but parental controls are rarely used, therefore leaving kids vulnerable.

What are the risks facing our kids when it comes to online behavior and the real world?

Join me and John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted today from 6-7 pm EST for a livestreamed panel where you can submit questions regarding safety issues affecting children and families.  Our conversation during the #CoxTakeCharge panel will focus on what can we do to make sure our kids are not engaging in risky behavior on social sites.

Event details:

  • Internet Safety with Cox Communications & America’s Most Wanted John Walsh
  • Thursday, June 28 from 6-7 pm EST


  • Leticia Barr, Tech Savvy Parents and
  • John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted


  • Jeanne Meserve, award-winning journalist and former CNN anchor

Participate by:

Young girl sitting down and working on the laptop with a surprised look via Shutterstock

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Help Mom Select a Mobile Phone That Fits Her Lifestyle

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

One of the best Mother’s Day gifts is the gift of keeping in touch.  A quick phone call to say hi, a text to check in, or an email with a photo featuring grandchildren is always welcome.  If your mom is in dire need of an upgrade to stay in touch but is like mine and easily overwhelmed by the many smartphone choices on the market, show how much you love her by selecting a device that is just right for her and helping her learn to use it!

But how do you go about selecting the right device?  Here’s a handy quiz to help narrow down the many smartphone and tablet choices to one that will fit the lifestyle of the very special woman in your life this Mother’s Day.

When your mom texts you it’s usually:

a)  An emoticon you’ve never seen before followed by TTYL

b)  A long paragraph followed by “Love, Mom”

c)  A handwritten card because she has no idea what a text is.

Your mom loves to share photos with:

a)  Friends, coworkers, the next door neighbor. Pretty much everybody!

b)  Immediate family only

c)  The refrigerator. She loves visiting the local drugstore to get photos printed!

A perfect game night for your mom would be:

a)   Angry birds since she loves to multitask, get to the next level, and of course win!

b)   Words with Friends because it reminds her of all those family vacations playing Scrabble or sitting on the couch sending you her latest Draw Something creations to guess.

c)    Playing charades in the living room.

If you answered mostly A…

Your mom is quite the techie! This Mother’s Day take her skills to the next level! Android familiar moms will enjoy a Samsung Galaxy Tab which is not only thin and lightweight but also features fast 4G LTE for connectivity and a beautiful HD display. Mac loving moms will appreciate the new iPad with 4G and wifi.

If you answered mostly B…

Your mom is just getting used to her smartphone so any help you can provide is a great gift.  Besides a coupon for a in-person tutorial or one via Skype if she lives far away, get her gifts that will help her accessorize her device.  Some great headphones like the iFrogz Lux Earphones in Pink, the environmentally-friendly Motorola P793 Back-Up Battery, or a smart case to protect her device are all fantastic gifts!

If you answered mostly C…

It’s time to bring your mom into the 21st century with an easy to use device that will help her text, take amazing photos, and access the internet in a simple to use style. The Nokia Lumia 900 is the perfect first smartphone for mom. The easy-to-use touchscreen Windows Phone interface features tiles that put her most used applications front and center on her phone while the incredible camera will let her share photos with you and the grandkids with ease.  If she’s an on-the-go mom who worries about her precious device, the Samsung Rugby Smart features durable Gorilla Glass, built in case, and is waterproof making it perfect for moms with an active lifestyle and need a phone that can keep up with their every move. Or if you think she needs a big glossy screen in a small package, you can’t go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy S II.

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4 iPhone Apps to Reinforce Toddler Learning

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Toddlers are like little sponges that are constantly absorbing information.  Since they’re naturally drawn to technology because they see you using it, why not allow them to play some great interactive games with a learning component to reinforce important math and reading skills along with healthy habits while also nurturing their caring side.

All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! ($1.99, iPad)— Whether playing alone or with a sibling, parent, or friend, All Aboard teaches beginning math concepts such as estimation, capacity, and matching in a game that starts off easy but becomes more challenging as players use critical thinking skills to figure out which dinosaur will properly fit in each car.  Young fans of the show will love playing with their favorite dinosaur characters in a game where visuals match up with the show. Parents will appreciate that there’s nothing tricky about navigating this game on the iPad and the fact that additional concepts like cooperation, sharing, and turn taking are also being taught by sharing the iPad in a 2 player game.  All Aboard is best for ages 3+.

D.W.’s Unicorn Adventure ($1.99, iPhone/iPod Touch)— Reinforce healthy eating habits with Arthur’s little sister, D.W. through this fun app for iPhone and iPod Touch where players fuel the adventure through the magical Forest, Castle, and Cloud worlds by feeding their unicorn healthy snacks in a rainbow of colors.  Children ages 4+ will enjoy searching for healthy fruits and vegetables to energize their unicorn over junky snacks such as sodas, chips, cookies, doughnuts, French fries, and candy.  A fun game that starts out easy and works to reinforce healthy habits through interactive play.

Super Why Alpha Boost ($1.99, iPhone/iPod Touch)— Practice letters and other beginning reading skills by being Wonder Red, Alpha Pig, Super Why, or Princess Presto as they search the sky for “super letters” and interact with content that reinforces letter recognition and letter sounds.  Kids will love the storybook adventure format that mimics the beloved show.

iMommy ($1.99, iPhone/iPad)— Young children who love to care for their dolls and stuffed animals will enjoy having their own virtual baby to take care of through the iMommy app.  Start by customizing a baby by choosing its gender, outfit, hair, eye color, and from a select number of ethnicities before selecting from six different areas where the baby can play, eat, sleep, or even take a bath. Dragging and dropping items is a way to interact with the baby in the various playrooms or bathtub and when the baby is tired, children can take their baby to the bedroom where the crib is located and tap the icon to rock it to sleep.  Another nice feature of an automated message that will appear after a certain length of time suggesting a break from game play.

Little girl checking phone via Shutterstock

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Malware 101

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Malware. Chances are you’ve heard about it in the forms of viruses and spyware but what is it and why exactly is it so bad for your computer?  Things like Trojan horses, viruses, worms, and spyware are created with the sole intent of damaging your computer.  Over time, malware can take over your computer, making it sluggish and hampering its performance.  If you’ve ever noticed that it takes a long time for files to load or your web browser seems to take forever to load a site, it could be the result of malware.

Here’s a quick rundown on the 4 most common forms of malware and how they can negatively affect your computer:

Trojan Horses get their name from Greek mythology and their deceptive nature. In the case of computer related Trojan Horses, they’re applications that might not be what it appears. Trojan Horses install themselves on your computer by clicking on a legitimate looking piece of software, an online game, or even antivirus software. Clicking on a Trojan Horse will automatically cause it to run, often erasing your hard drive in the process.

Worms are invisible files that make their way through the memory on your machine, multiplying as they go. As worms multiply, they occupy more and more of your computer’s memory and space on your hard drive. They are a form of computer virus that makes your machine sluggish.

Spyware watches as you use your computer and works to capture usernames and passwords and credit card information. This information is often sent to spyware creators over the internet who use your data as a way to make money. Like worms and viruses, spyware often comes through email attachments.  To prevent spyware from running, avoid clicking on anything suspicious.

Viruses are computer scripts that are often attached to email attachments. If an email from a friend has a strange looking subject line and contains an attachment, opening that attachment will unleash the virus on to your computer.  Viruses run silently in the background and often create, move, or erase files. They’re also memory hogs that can slow the speed of your computer, making it impossible to multitask.

How do you protect yourself and your computer against malware?  Installing antivirus software, such as the free Microsoft Security Essentials, is the first line of defense.  If you purchase antivirus software, be aware that the licenses expire so ensure that your license is current and active so it can continue to protect your PC.

Virus disaster via Shutterstock

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