Tagged: phone

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.

IRS.gov
www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript

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?
http://askbobrankin.com/

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

Find My Phone
http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/15/google-find-my-phone-android/

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.
 
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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.

Ooma
http://www.ooma.com/

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.

 

Stick-N-Find
http://www.sticknfind.com/product/sticknfind

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
http://www.OpeningThemes.tv

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!”

Sites of the Week: July 14, 2012

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”  

Abraham Lincoln

 

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

HowToCallAbroad.com

http://www.howtocallabroad.com/ 

One of the sites cited (say that fast 5 times) in the April 14 “Sites of the Week” was World Meeting Planner which is designed to make scheduling meetings with international business partners easier by allowing you to select your meeting date and the locations of attendees and then displays the local times. HowToCallAbroad.com could be considered a companion site because it clearly and simply provides information on how to place international phone calls. Telephone country codes and international area codes are displayed by country, with additional information such as city and cellular codes, calling tips and an FAQ page. Of course, this site could appeal to everyone who has family or friends in other countries.

Last Pass

http://lastpass.com/  

I’ve written several times about the security risks associated with weak passwords. Perhaps as great is risk is using the same password for multiple sites. But how can you remember multiple, strong passwords. LastPass may be the answer. LastPass offers both free and premium versions. The premium version is $12/mo. Check out the list of features and a comparison chart here.

 

Vacations To Go

http://www.vacationstogo.com/

If you enjoy cruises or have always want to go on an ocean or river cruise but haven’t, this site may be for you. For almost 30 years, Vacations To Go has worked with the best tour operators in the world to offer up to 75% discounts on cruises and up to 50% discounts on hotels and resorts.

 

Ernie Orr sez “Check em out!”