Tagged: Bluetooth

Sites of the Week: April 19, 2015

“It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

– Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

Factoid: Americans are five times more likely to commit suicide with a gun than to be shot by someone else.

The Washington Post

Now on to this week’s sites. This week, I’m sending out three ‘Site of the Week’ recommendations.


I recently learned I was one of millions affected by one of the many data breaches in the past year. Even if you have not been, it is important that if you don’t already have an IRS.gov account, you create one immediately. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes and can prove invaluable. Criminals are fraudulently creating accounts in taxpayers’ names to steal tax refunds. After creating an account, the thieves gain access to all of your earlier return data. With this information, it’s easy for them to create a fake bank account in your name and file a fraudulent return. You’re unaware anything is wrong until your return submission is rejected because the IRS records indicate your return has already been filed. An added benefit of creating an account is you’ll know now if anything is amiss. This happened to one of my wife’s co-workers who wrote “When I tried to create the IRS account I was told there was already an account for us. Clicking the link to reset the password should’ve sent a link to our email account to reset the password but we received no such email. I’m confident the criminals received it at the email they had registered the account with.”

To create your account, click the above link and select “Get Transcript Online.” Under Create a Login on the next page, click “Get Started.” You’ll then complete a 6-step process to create and verify your identity. You can then view your transcripts if you’d like, but the important part is simply creating the ID verified account with the IRS before a criminal does.

Ask Bob Rankin: Are Bluetooth Beacons Tracking You?

I’ve recommended this newsletter in the past. This column on Bluetooth beacons is a “must read”.

Find My Phone

If you have an Android phone, this should be of interest to you. This won’t replace Android Device Manager, but Google has made it easier to find your misplaced, lost or stolen phone. You just need to be signed in to Google with the same credentials as Android Device Manager on your device. See the article at the above link for details. Click the Google+ image in the article to see an animate gif demo.

Ernie Orr sez “Check em out!”


Sites of the Week: March 10, 2013

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and turns into a racket.”

Eric Hoffer, American moral and social philosopher (July 25, 1902 – May 21, 1983)


Factoid: More than 41% of births were to unwed mothers compared to 33% a decade earlier. 

2013 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States

Now on to this week’s sites.  This week, I’m sending out three ‘Site of the Week’ recommendations.


I’m not ready to give up my landline, but I was tired of paying $55/month to CenturyLink. My nephew, Jacob, told me about Ooma which is a VoIP service. You can purchase the Ooma box at many locations for $150 or less. Set-up is easy and takes just minutes. We are able to use all of our existing phones and voice quality is excellent. Ooma offers both basic and premium service plans. The basis plan is FREE. You pay only applicable taxes and fees (typically $3 – $5/month). The premium plan is $100 annually or $9.99/month and offers all of the features we had with the phone company plus a few extras such as the option to simultaneously ring your mobile phone and home phone. You can also receive e-mail messages with an mp3 file attachment of voice messages. We’ve had our home phone number for years so we chose to keep it. Porting it to Ooma was free and took less than a week. You can try Ooma risk-free. The Ooma box has a 30-day return policy and Ooma offers a 60-day free trial of their premium service.



This site features three ingenious products:

Stick-N-Find: This small disc with an adhesive backing is a Bluetooth tracker with a range of about 100 feet.  It uses a standard watch battery that is good for roughly 1 year.  The product enables you to track valuable items such as luggage, smart keys or tablets using your Android or iPhone. Another nice feature is Virtual Leash.  If an item with a sticker moves away more than the specified distance from your phone, an alarm will sound to alert you. A pair of these trackers runs $49.99, but I wish I had one on my car’s smart key before I lost it and learned that a replacement was $400.

BluTracker: This is a small Bluetooth GPS locator able to track an outdoor location within less than 10 ft. With a range of over ½ mile, it is ideal for locating lost pets. The BluTracker costs $69.99 and includes a USB charger. The battery lasts for over 2 months in between charges.

MeterPlug: This device resembles a 3-prong plug adaptor. It plugs in between any appliance and the outlet. It measures your consumption and sends that information to your Android or iPhone where the app displays your real electricity costs for your location. Both live and historical data is displayed. You can program it to turn off an appliance at a specified time or when you leave, and turn back on when you return. You can also manually turn on or off any appliance connected to MeterPlug within a 100 ft. range. Although this is a cool idea and it might be worthwhile to determine whether that space heater is worthwhile, the $50 price seems hard to justify. USA, UK and European plugs are available.


Opening Themes

This fun, nostalgic site features the opening theme songs from hundreds of TV shows. Songs are organized alphabetically and by decade making it easy to replay a piece of your childhood.


Ernie Orr sez “Check em out!”