Weekend Distraction: App Sales for Labor Day

This is a holiday weekend in the US, as people enjoy the last gasps of summer. (This summer has been so hot, I am not sorry to see it go.)

But it is also a good weekend to SAVE $$$$ on apps!

Labor Day is known among app-addicts as the weekend for LOTS of SALES! Yay! Who doesn’t like lower prices?

I’ll list a FEW here, but I would suggest dropping into the App Store at some point and checking on the price of any game on your wish list. You never know … if you are lucky, it might just be reduced this weekend.

Electronic Arts drops their prices up to 80%. Most titles are slashed to 99¢ for a short time.

Their sale is massive, and I would suggest that you go to the iTunes store and put “Electronic Arts” in the search box. There are many, many games on sale.

Here is a sample of the games you will find on sale from Electronic Arts:

Trivial Pursuit Master Edition

Yahtzee HD

Scrabble

Battleship

Monopoly

Risk

The Game of Life

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12

Dead Space

Mass Effect Infiltrator

FIFA Soccer 12

Madden NFL 12

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

NBA Jam

Bop It!

Max and the Magic Marker

Big Fish Games usually has a blow out sale on Labor Day weekend, but this year (so far) it looks very disappointing. In the past, for their big sales they cut all games to 99¢, and I still have unplayed games sitting on my iPad from last year after grabbing more than a few. This year the price cuts are not as deep and it doesn’t even look as though all games are on sale. Best plan is to look at a game you might be interested in to see if you just might catch it on sale.

How to Turn On Flashing Notifications on Your iPhone

If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S and your software is up-to-date, you can set it up so that your camera light flashes when you get a text or a phone call.

I’m not sure how useful this is, unless, of course, a person is hearing impaired. Then it would be a godsend. But for others without this need, I can’t really think of a scenario where a flashing light would be the notification of choice.

That said ….. it is still kind of cool to know that you can do it!!

Here is how to turn on the flashing light notification:

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility

Slide down until you see “LED Flash for Alerts”

Turn “LED Flash for Alerts” to “on”.

Now, when your phone is in “lock” mode, the LED light will flash.

That should do it, although my understanding is that some people require a rebooting of their phone for this to work properly. Mine worked fine with no reboot needed.

Of course, your phone has to be face down to order to see it.

So give it a try.

Put it in lock mode (push the button at the top of the phone). Set it face down on a table. Now ask someone to call or text your phone. The LED light should flash an alert that you have an incoming call/text.

Texting and Your Teen: An App that Reports Back to Mom and Dad

photo credit: poka0059 via photo pin cc

Texting while driving is horribly dangerous.

You can not multi-task when one of those tasks is driving a car.

AAA tells us that distracted driving causes 8,000 accidents a day in the US. You read that right. Eight THOUSAND a DAY. “Distracted” includes all distractions: eating, drinking, adjusting music, talking on your cell phone, reading and sending emails (email? really? while driving? good grief) and of course, texting.

photo credit: PMC 1stPix via photo pin cc

Public service announcements and other sources are doing a pretty good job of getting the word out that texting and driving don’t mix.

I found many images I could have used here. Bumper stickers, posters, billboards, all with warning messages. However, other horrible images came up as well. Cars bent in half, overturned, broken in two. Googling “texting and driving” does not bring forth happy pictures.

photo credit: vikisuzan via photo pin cc

It’s dangerous, destructive and deadly.

But, even though most people agree that texting while driving is dangerous, many people report doing it anyway.

Which brings me to the subject of this post….. teenagers. Parents warn them, they hear about the dangers in school and through all the public service announcements.

But does that stop these teens from making the wrong choices?
*

Probably some of them. But not all of them.

photo credit: liquidsunshine49 via photo pin cc

So …. let’s imagine you are the parent of a teenager, and your cell-phone-toting teen is about to drive. You have “the” conversations, you share the warnings, and away they go.

Is that good enough?

What if you had an app that would report BACK to you about your teen’s driving/texting behavior? Would you use it?

You will soon have the opportunity to make this decision.

A new app (already available for Android) will soon appear in the app store for iPhone. Called Vehawk, it will track phone usage and text messages and send this information back to the account owner (Mom and Dad). It will also record how fast the car was going and where it was when the messaging or calling occurred.

You can read about it here.

Would you use it? Is it spying? Or is it vigilant parenting?

My kids are grown, so I don’t have to tackle this issue. But I can’t help but wonder how popular (or not) this will be ……..

Gratitude365: An App That Keeps You Grounded in Gratitude

Gratitude Journals are very popular, and you can find a number of them in the iTunes store. But this new one joined the crowd a short time ago, and it is a winner.

Gratitude365 is simple, intuitive and visually attractive.

You create a daily entry and list anything that you are thankful for that day. You can also add a photo from your camera roll, or take a photo through the app. Each time you list an item that you are grateful for, it appears on a line with a bullet in front. It is designed for lists, so it’s quick and snappy. Having this app on your iPhone allows you to add to it throughout the day, rather than having to try to remember and re-wind your day later that night. (This is a great way to grab those “small things”, those everyday things and moments that are actually extraordinary treasures.)

The calendar view (below) displays the photos you have chosen individually throughout the week, giving you a lovely visual through time of all things for which your are grateful.

Gratitude365 will work on your iPhone and/or on your iPad. You can share the gratitude calendar from within the app through email, Twitter, Flicker or Facebook.

Looking back at the calendar view, and knowing what all those pictures represent, how can that do anything but make you Happy?

Gratitude365 is currently 99¢ in the iTunes store.

Amazon Press Conference: Something’s Coming, Rumors Buzzing

Amazon has made the announcement that they are holding a Press Conference on Sept 6, a little less than two weeks from now. Rumors are flying … what new goodies will be revealed?

The two most common guesses are a new Kindle with a glow-screen and a Kindle Fire 2. It is also rumored that Amazon will (some day) develop a phone of their own. But that is NOT expected at this time.

I did not jump on the Fire bandwagon. Although I am a devoted (yes, I meant to use that word :) ) Kindle fan, the Fire is not for me. I use a tablet far too much for a Fire to meet my needs. My tablet is an iPad and no one can pry that goodie from my fingers.

But, ah, a glow screen Kindle! I am hoping this is true. The glow screen has been in the rumor mill for a while now. Barnes and Noble did this with their Nook, and it has been very well received. It is expected that Amazon will have to counter with a similar product of their own.

Back-lit screens like this can interfere with sleep.

E-ink is preferred by many for nighttime reading. Science has weighed in that computer light interferes with sleep cycles, so the back-lit iPad (or Fire) screen is not a good idea if you are trying to doze off with a good book. E-ink is a much better choice to precede a good night’s sleep.

However, when reading at night with a Kindle you need a separate light. It works, but as I twist and turn to get THE most comfortable spot, my light’s flexible arm bends and twists as well. And the light has to be positioned just right so that I don’t get a glare spot on the screen.

A “glow screen” would be the best of both worlds… consistent light across the screen, with e-ink for awesome reading pleasure. Best guesses say that with a glow screen, gentle light would surround the page. If Amazon comes out with such a device, I will upgrade, no doubt.

Some clues are “out there.” Over the last few days, suspicious things have been happening on Amazon’s website. The “buy” button disappeared from the Kindle touch. Could this mean they are getting ready to launch new things? Probably. :)

We will find out on September 6.

**

photo credit: krossbow via photo pin cc

Do Not Operate This Machinery (anything Tech) When You Are Not Fully Alert!

photo credit: °Florian via photo pin cc

If you are a subscriber of mine, you probably noticed that I published a post about 12 hours ago, but when you clicked on it, you were brought to a “this page doesn’t exist” page.

Here is what happened.

I was working on my post about the most recent round of awards. I knew I was very late in acknowledging the wonderful bloggers who nominated me, and I was feeling the pressure. I wanted to put together a good and thorough post, and get it up over the weekend.

But I was tired. I’m a morning person, and I was working on this at night. Anyone who has put together an award post knows that it takes a lot of tweaking, including links and images, etc.

Several times I hit “Preview” to see how it was looking.

But through my sleepy haze, I hit the wrong button …. I hit Publish.

Panic!!!

The post was incomplete, and now it was “out there”. Yikes!!

I quickly “copied” the whole thing (to hopefully save myself from having to do a complete re-write), and then I went to “edit” and “trashed” it.

With that action I gave my readers the “page does not exist” page. Although…. I do think it is possible that some people may have received the incomplete post. Sloppy, sloppy me. I apologize if you received that bit of glop.

A lesson learned ….. Don’t do computer things when you are tired!!!

This made me think of other errors, like the famous email “send” to the wrong person. Ouch. This is bad enough in a personal situation, but at work, well, it could mean your job.

Two recent email goofs came from very public sources.

Last December the New York Times sent out an email to 8.6 MILLION people instead of the 300 subscribers it was meant for. Sent by an employee, it created of flurry of troubles and worries about hacking, spam and security. You can read about it here.
It was nothing more than an error. A “pushed the wrong button” kind of error.

Another famous email blunder happened just a few months ago at the Eastern Michigan University. A message that was meant for 100 students was sent out to the ENTIRE student body. The message? It was a notification that due to poor academic performance, the student was dismissed from the University. Out. Kaput. Gone. Vamoose.

Imagine the panic when students saw that email arrive in their mailboxes! The President issued an apology and it was determined to be an error (oops). You can read the entire text of that frightful email here.

So …. bottom line….. be careful what you do online when you are not up to par.

The results could be really, really messy. :)

A Brief Intermission for a LOT of (very late) Blog Love

I’m a bit (actually a LOT) tardy in this. I am very sorry … one moment I was a little late, and then suddenly I was very late.

I have been honored recently with four different awards and I am just now getting around to thanking the awesome bloggers who were kind enough to pass them on to me. I thoroughly appreciate the honor and I am very grateful. I don’t know how this got away from me, but let me take this opportunity to send out my gratitude and to pass these wonderful awards on to other deserving bloggers.

The Reader Appreciation Award

Nicole at NMNPHX has nominated me for the Reader Appreciation Award. Nicole is a serious writer with a thoroughly enjoyable blog. She is friendly and enthusiastic about writing and her enthusiasm spreads to other topics as well. You can (and should) visit Nicole here.

*

The qualifications for the Reader Appreciation award include telling 7 things about yourself and nominating 5 blogs.

1. I love to travel.

2. I REALLY love to travel.

3. I don’t like to fly (which makes nos. 1 and 2 a bit difficult).

4. Caffeine is not my friend.

5. I once drove for hours to find Millard Fillmore’s birthplace. It was in the middle of nowhere and easy to miss. Really. Don’t even bother to google it.

6. Guilty pleasure: Coconut smidgens from Gertrude Hawk.

7. I’m a morning person.

The Liebster Blog Award

Grandmother Musings and The Cathie Barash Blog have both nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. Jamie of Grandmother Musings is an awesome blogger covering a wide range of topics. I guarantee that you will definitely learn something with a wander through Grandmother Musings.

Cathie Barash is a life coach who’s goal is to help people find the motivation they need to make life changes. You can find her blog here.

The qualifications for the Liebster Blog Award are to answer the questions that the tagger set for you, create 11 questions for the people you tag to answer, and nominate 11 blogs. It is an award aimed at newer blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

Because I was nominated by 2 different blogger friends for this award, I’m going to mix their questions … a few from both. Here are my answers to the questions I was asked:

Name a book you would read over and over again?

Pillars of the Earth (I have read it twice). World Without End is a close second.

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?

Would it be cheating to ask for unlimited wishes? Then I only need one

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

My favorite teacher was not one of my own, but a teacher to my sons. She had them for 8th grade, and was the most phenomenal teacher I’ve ever experienced. Her compassion, dedication and extraordinary commitment was beyond description. I’ve never met another like her.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

No such thing as a bad vacation spot. But I had my best and most memorable times in London.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Cleaning the oven. I know it has a self-cleaning feature, but it gets so hot I’m afraid to use it. So I do it the old fashioned way. Yuch.

What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate chip ice cream

What is your least favorite mode of transportation?

Flying. But I’ll do it to get where I want to go.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An archaeologist

If money was no object where would you live and why?

If money was no object, I’d globe-hop. I’d love to live for a while …. everyplace!

What is your dream career?

A museum curator.

What movie do you flat-out refuse to watch, no matter how good people say it is?

Braveheart. Far too violent.

Here are 11 questions for the recipients of the Liebster Award to answer:

-What is your favorite type of book to read?
-Do you have a pet?
-If you could live in any era of the past, what era would you pick and why?
-Who is your favorite singer?
-On a free evening, would you choose TV? Movies? or Books?
-What toppings do you like on a Pizza?
-Name a food that you could eat every day.
-If money was no object, what would you buy?
-As a child, were you naughty or nice?
-What is your favorite season?
-Are you a coffee person or a tea person?

The Super Sweet Blogging Award

For dessert (just kidding), FunandmorebyKay has nominated me for the Super Sweet Award. She is a Mom with 2 young children and she writes a blog to have fun and record her life. You can find Kay here.

*

The Rules for the “Super Sweet Award” :

1. Give credit to the wonderful person who chose to nominate you.

2. Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.

3. Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen (13) blogs.

Super Sweet questions:

Cookies or Cake?

Hmmmm…. I’m going to cheat on this one and say cookies AND cake.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Vanilla

What is your favorite sweet treat?

Trader Joe’s chocolate covered cherries

When do you crave sweet things the most?

Always. I have almost no will power.

If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?

Considering all the diet soda I drink, maybe my “sweet” nickname should be “splenda”

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Misifusa’s Blog. Misifusa is a breast cancer survivor who inspires and reminds us how important it is to enjoy and make the most of every day. You can follow her blog here.

The rules for this award are as follows:

1. Link the award to the person who gave it to me.

2. Answer the questions about myself.

3. Nominate bloggers for the award.

4. Link my nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.

About Me:

1. Favorite Bad Habit: Potato chips

2. Twitter Name: sharechair

3. My Passion: A single passion? I have many. Genealogy, Tech stuff, old photographs, … I could go on..

4. Favorite Time of Year: Autumn

5. Favorite Vacation: ANY vacation!

6. Favorite Physical Activity: Walking

7. What puts a Smile on My Face: My dog is always making me smile. She is just a bundle of soft furry love and mischief.

The Beautiful Blogger Award

George at euzicasa has nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award. This is one that I have received in the past, but I am honored and grateful that George thought of me for this award. His blog is a potpourri
of information. He writes about art, artists, and their influences on his life. Sometimes nostalgic, sometimes current, George will keep you busy with his links, videos and stories. You can find George here.

In choosing my nominees, I thought I’d mix it up a bit. I selected a few blogs I love, a few new followers who I am just getting to know, and a few that are completely new to me. A bit of a scrambled omelet kind of grouping. :)

And now, a message to my nominees: I think it is important that the spirit of these awards … all goodness and sharing … be maintained, and therefore please feel NO PRESSURE to accept. But if you do, the choice is yours to take whatever Award(s) you please. Congratulations!

http://funandmorebykay.wordpress.com/

http://howardpeacock.wordpress.com/

http://mixandmatchmeme.wordpress.com/

http://geniespeaks.wordpress.com/

http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/

http://stickynotesandquotes.wordpress.com/

http://wealthymatters.com/

http://realityinprogress.wordpress.com/

http://www.sweetwaterburke.com/

http://adaisygarden.com/

http://reconstructingchristina.com/

http://peacewithmylife.com/

http://gertrygiggles.wordpress.com/

http://housewifeparttime.wordpress.com/

http://justenglish.me/

Weekend Distraction: Wordsplosion, A New and Simple (Yet Satisfying) Word Game

Wordsplosion was just released a few days ago, and as I always do, I grabbed it quickly. I’m always on the lookout for a good word game. I have several favorites which I’ll eventually share on this blog. But since this is the newest addition, I’ll probably be fiddling with Wordsplosion throughout the weekend.

A simple premise. Kind of Hang-man like. You’ll need to guess a word, given only a single letter. With each guess, you are told if any of your chosen letters appear in the word (even if in a different spot). And so, guess by guess, you will try to determine the word.

It is surprisingly difficult to guess. There is a timer, so you’ll feel a little pressure. But there is also a hint button which adds another letter to the puzzle and that is a BIG help. I try not to use it unless I’m totally stumped, but I have had to press it several times. I think that’s a good thing. The difficulty of this game is just enough to keep me coming back. Not too easy, yet not so hard that I get frustrated.

This game is FREE (hurray!) but it is supported by ads. There is an advertising video for about 15 seconds when you first launch the ap, and after that, the ads settle in up at the top of the screen. You can see these ads on my screen shots for this blogpost. They are not too intrusive, and I think that playing this free version is perfectly fine.

But if you want to eliminate the ads, you can do that by purchasing the game for $2.99.

For now I’m sticking with the free version.

Wordsplosion for iPhone and iPad: free in the iTunes store

How to Cut, Copy and Paste on Your iPad and iPhone: (part of the) Very Beginner Series

* Occasional posts will contain how-tos and/or hints for VERY new users of iPads, iPhones or Kindles. All new users welcome! Non-tech speak, not terribly detailed, just basic device-enhancing goodness. All part of this Very Beginner Series.

Please share with any beginners (Mom? Dad? Grandma?) in your life.*

photo credit semuthutan via photo pin cc

We have gotten used to “cut” “copy” and “paste” on our computers. Personally I couldn’t type without them since my typing habits include considerable rearranging of my sentences. (I was much more careful back in the days of White Out. Remember that bottle with the little brush that would get hard and gloppy?)

When we type on our iPhones and iPads, we can cut and paste there, too, and this is how to do it:

Below is a sentence. I want to remove the words at the end. To remove large portions of text, the “cut” feature is much more efficient than the delete key.

Touch the word you want to remove, or single word among the words you want to remove. A little menu will pop up, with choices. Here we have “select” and “select all”.

Touch “select” (unless you want to choose ALL the text, then you would touch the “select all” option). A new menu will appear with more choices, including “cut” “copy” and “paste”.

You will also see your word highlighted with a little bar on either side. Notice the little blue dots on the bars.

Grab a dot and slide the bars to include all of the text that you want to either copy or cut. Once you have highlighted all your text, touch the action word of your choice. “Cut” will remove it. “Copy” will allow you to paste it somewhere else.

I chose “cut” and POOF! unwanted text is gone.

To paste, just touch a place where you would like to see the text. Touch and hold. Select “paste”. Whatever text you LAST “copied” or “cut” will be pasted in the spot where your cursor is positioned.

Note to Beginners: Look over to the right side of this blog. Find the list under “Categories”. Click on “Very Beginner Series” for other Very Beginner “how to” instructions.

Tech Trivia: The Very First YouTube Video

photo credit: RayMorris1 via photo pin cc

I have always enjoyed history … origins, old architecture, historic places, and beginnings.

If you think about it, we are actually LIVING the beginning of all things internet. While this may be very recent history, it is history.

Everything has to start sometime. We all enjoy falling into YouTube now and then. (Two recent YouTube related posts are here and here.) But when did YouTube start? What was first?

Let’s look wayyyyyyy back in time to 2005.

Specifically, April 23, 2005.

Here it is. The very first YouTube video. It’s title is “Me at the zoo” and it is just 18 seconds long.

Pretty underwhelming. But it is the first. And that makes it special.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 723 other followers