Donate your old stuff in an Amazon Box …. it mails for FREE!

screen-shot-2016-12-25-at-4-19-22-pm Sometimes there are ideas and initiatives that are ok. Sometimes they’re good. And sometimes they’re GREAT. In my opinion, this is the latter. Simply GREAT!

You know those Amazon boxes that pile up at your house around the holidays? The ones you scratch your head to dispose of, or break down to save, or whatever?

Well, now you can put them to REALLY good use!

Once your box is empty, fill it full of things you want to donate to Goodwill. Just fill it up. Then, go the the website givebackbox.com, and print a FREE shipping label.

That’s it!
(except for the physically taking it to the post office part 🙂 )

What a super initiative. And Amazon is not the only participating retailer. There are quite a few others, as well. “Give Back Box® has also teamed up with some of the biggest retailers in the U.S., including Overstock, Amazon, Loft, REI, Levi’s, Asics, Ann Taylor, Uncommongoods, Bon-Ton, Viva Terra, Ecru, Bonobos, Scrubs & Beyond, eBags, Lou & Grey and Cherry Mad.”

I haven’t tried this yet, but I am anxious to give it a whirl, and I suspect I will become a regular user!

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Amazon Prime = Free Books and Magazines = Yay!

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-13-23-pm Even though I’m not a big magazine reader, I do enjoy them when I have one in hand. However, I buy them rarely (sticker shock!).

But now, to my delight, with your Amazon Prime membership you can enjoy a good number of magazines … for free!

I just downloaded one of my favorites, Real Simple, to my iPad, and it is a wonderful experience. (I prefer the iPad over the Kindle for a magazine because of the color screen.) Easy to navigate, to read, to enjoy.

Only a few clicks!

Just sign into your Amazon account, and roll your cursor over “your account.”

You’ll see a drop down menu, and click on “your Prime membership.”

This will bring you to a page full of information, and there you will see “Prime Reading” and a link marked “learn more.”

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-7-47-50-pmYes! Learn more! After that click you will see many magazines. Select one that interests you. At that point, the same window will pop up that you always use for buying Kindle books. Just select the device that you want to use to read your FREE magazine. These are CURRENT magazines, and you may read as many as you like!

Now here’s even BETTER news….

You can also select from many BOOKS … unlimited and also FREE.

and you don’t need a Kindle. A Kindle app will do.

Prime just got SO much better! Unlimited books and magazines. Wow.

From Amazon: “Prime members can now read as much as they want from over a thousand books, magazines, comics, Kindle singles and more. With fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, shorts works and magazines right off the newsstand, you’ll always find something to read.”

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I Lost My Kindle ….. Now what?

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 11.15.35 AM Yes, I did. I lost it. The new one. The new, very expensive one. I have only had it a few weeks…… and yes, I’m so sad.

But this post is not about my stupidity or my angst (although I could rant about both!). This is to tell you about the experience I had with Amazon after losing the Kindle …..

My first thought (well, ALMOST my first thought, after a good hour or so of spouting un-repeatable words directed at myself and my carelessness) was to protect my account. After all, you can buy books directly from your Kindle by tapping on any book in the store. If someone had my Kindle, I worried that they could ring up some massive bills by downloading a boatload of books.

And so, once I could think rationally, again, I took several steps to protect myself. I hope you never need this information, but in case you also lose your Kindle some day,
here is what you should do:

First, go to your Amazon account, then drill down a bit. Go to “Manage Your Content and Devices” and then “Your Devices”.

Select your Kindle (If you have more than one registered, make sure you select the one that is missing.)

Click on that Kindle. You will then see an option to “deregister” that device. Go ahead and deregister it. Now it is no longer connected to Amazon, and no one can buy anything from it.

But you’re not done, yet.

You absolutely should call Amazon: 1 (888) 280-4331

I connected with a very nice fellow who kindly sympathized with me for a few minutes before getting down to the nitty gritty.

He told me that deregistering it was exactly the right thing to do (although he could have also handled that in the phone call).

Beyond the deregistering of the Kindle, Amazon then takes it a step further. He explained to me that because of my call, he would flag my Kindle. This means that if anyone “finds” my Kindle and tries to register it, they will be unable to. (YAY!) He said that Amazon will tell the person that this particular Kindle has been reported as lost or stolen, and, NOPE, it can NOT be registered. So the “new owner” of my Kindle will own a brick, not a reading device.

And finally, I asked that IF my Kindle is returned, would I be able to register it again, myself? They have that covered, too. He sent me an email while I was still on the phone, with confirmation that I’ve reported it missing, and with a number to use to re-register it if it is found, proving that I am the owner. Well done, Amazon.

I still can’t believe I was so careless…….. ARGH!

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Amazon releases the Newest Kindle: Oasis

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This morning Amazon went “live” with it’s newest Kindle, available now to pre-order.

Improvements seem to be mostly the hardware: It’s thinner and lighter. It’s shaped differently, giving you a wider side on one edge to hold it. It comes WITH a cover, and that cover acts as an additional charging source for the Kindle, giving it the battery power of months (yes…months).

It’s pricey, and so it will be interesting to see if this model flies off the shelves ….

I’ve been reading on the Kindle Voyage, and it hasn’t been my happiest experience. The improvements on the new Oasis seem to have addressed the shortcomings of the Voyage. The price tag gives me pause, but I’m such a new-tech-stuff nerd ………. I just might……. (and if I do, I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂 )

Reviews are coming out, and they are looking good.

This short video, made by my favorite Kindle podcaster, Len Edgerly, examines the new Oasis.

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Amazon Prime on SALE for the Weekend

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 6.21.57 PMAmazon Prime usually costs $99 for the year. For the cost of your membership, you get free two day shipping on all prime-eligible items on Amazon. You also get oodles (and I do mean OODLES i.e. thousands) of movies to stream with Amazon Prime. Also TV shows. And Music. LOTS of unlimited, ad-free music. And ….. Unlimited Photo storage.

(With the Amazon Video app, you can instantly stream all your Amazon Prime movies/tv shows right to your iPad.)

For this weekend, Prime will cost only $73 dollars for NEW members. Starting 9 PM Pacific Time on Friday night, and ending at 11:59 PM Pacific time on Sunday night.

Why $73? (Seems like such a random number…… ?) It is in honor of the 73rd annual Golden Globes at which an original Amazon series, Mozart in the Jungle, won two awards last week.

I’ve been a member for years, so I can’t take advantage of this offer. But if you’ve been considering giving Amazon Prime a try, this weekend would be a thrifty time to jump on the bandwagon.

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How to Permanently Delete Kindle Books from your Library

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 9.01.17 PMIf you are an enthusiastic ebook reader, you have probably developed quite a library. I know I have, with oodles of books in the Cloud, and a long line of unread books waiting for me on my Kindle.

I have so many that I feel the need to do a bit of pruning. I know there are thorns among the many roses. It’s time to let some of them go.

So …… let’s be CLEAR: When you have a book on your Kindle, and you “delete from the device” ….. , you still own the book. Even though it is no longer physically sitting on your Kindle, it is alive and well and resting in your Cloud Library, just waiting for you to download it to your device whenever you would like to read it.

What we are going to talk about now is a different action. A PERMANENT action. We are going to look at deleting a book from your Cloud Library forever. That’s forever.

If you do this, it will be gone. You will no longer own the book. If you want to read it again, you’ll have to buy it again. So before you do this ..be sure!

Here is how to PERMANENTLY delete a book from your Kindle Cloud Library:

Go to the Kindle books area on the Amazon website. Look along the top of your screen. Click on “Manage your Content and Devices”. (You can also access this area through “your account”.)

There will be several tabs, one for content, one for devices, and one for settings. Tap on Content.

Now you see a list of ALL the Kindle books you own. All your books in the Cloud AND all the books on your device are listed, here.

Once you have found a book that you want to delete permanently, click on the little box with dots to the left of the title.

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Once you tap on those dots, a menu will appear. Click on “delete”.

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Once you click on “delete”, you’ll be asked…. “are you SURE??” and if you are, go ahead and delete.

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That’s it! That’s all there is to it.

Just make sure that you are paying attention as you do this, and only delete the books that you really want to toss from your library.

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YouTube w/o Ads …. for a Fee. Meet YouTube Red

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 7.47.42 AMOn October 28, Google will be launching YouTube Red for your iPhone and iPad. YouTube Red will cost you $12.99 a month. ($9.99 for Android devices)

So what is YouTube Red? Here is what you’ll get:

* Ad Free YouTube videos. (Those ads are pesky …. but is it worth $12.99 to eliminate them? Not for me.)

* The ability to download videos and watch offline. (Now, THAT is quite excellent. But still… $12.99?)

* The ability to have YouTube videos run in the background while you use other apps.

* Included is free access to Google Play Music.

Learn all the details, here, on the YouTube Red Faq page.

Apparently, Google is also planning some of their own programming for release on YouTube (following the winning examples of Netflix and Amazon).

It will be interesting to see if this takes off. It sounds expensive to me (compare Amazon Prime at $99 a year to this Google service which will cost you $158.99 a year).

Personally, I have Prime, and love it. YouTube Red does not tempt me even a tiny bit.

But I’ve been very wrong before:
(conversation with son in the late 80’s:
“look Mom, I can leave a message on the internet and someone will answer it.”
Me: “why on earth would anyone want to do THAT?”
) 😯

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