Tag Archives: IPad

“There’s an app for that” wedding

Our wedding. Destin, FL.

Our wedding. Destin, FL.

Last year at this time I was frantically finalizing all the details of our wedding. Flash forward a year and I’m being asked my opinion about certain wedding planning websites. Planning a wedding takes organization and patience. I carried around a journal type notebook as I went vendor to vendor to get price quotes. Apparently, I am far from a 2013 bride because “there’s an app for that.”

The wedding industry has gone mobile. It makes sense because every other industry is dealing with the rise in popularity of smartphones. A quick search on my iPhone brings up 1,999 apps so you can organize your wedding at your fingertips.

The survey was for a wedding website, and there were many questions about my use of mobile apps. Obviously, this is the next frontier of wedding planning.

Using an app never really crossed my mind. I was so overwhelmed by all the details and spreadsheets I had for addresses, RSVPs, gifts, and costs that I never thought about an app. I was in information overload and struggled to keep track of everything on a big computer screen. Perhaps if I had a tablet it would make more sense.

wedding websiteIn fact, I didn’t even use the website tools that many sites provide to organize items like your budget and checklist reminders. I simply used the websites to search for reviews of vendors and to create a website for our guests. I kept my checklists on Word documents and my figures on Excel documents. Nice and simple. Just like the wedding.

Plus, while I was meeting with vendors I often looked on my phone for other suggestions or answered phone calls. Since I had a destination wedding, I was juggling many appointments that were crammed into my three day visit to the town before the wedding. I needed my phone for other things. I couldn’t use it to take notes on an app. My handy paper journal worked just great.

While an app wasn’t a part of my wedding plan, it’s something to consider especially as these apps advance and become more sophisticated and user friendly. It might make your life easier. Most brides are looking to cut down on the stress.  That help may be within reach. After all, there’s an app for that. 

Apple iPad 3 and Gmail scam warning

It’s been an exciting few weeks for Apple fans with the iPhone 5 hitting the market and expectations of an iPad Mini by months end. If you’re on the hunt for an Apple product, don’t fall for a free iPad 3 giveaway making the rounds through email. It could cost you money or your identity.

 

The Better Business Bureau warned about a bogus email that claims to be from a Google Gmail provider.  The email says random Gmail users have been selected to receive a free Apple iPad 3. To claim, you need to clink a link. The link takes you to a survey site that requests personal information.

 

The BBB said if you complete the survey, you are inviting the scammers to sign you up for SMS services which will lead to more fees on your cell phone bill. The worst case scenario is that your information is used for identity theft.

 

These scams may be tempting because so many businesses give away iPads in promotions. To win a prize, though, you need to enter. In this case, you didn’t enter anything which should be the red flag. Only do business with legitimate companies to minimize your risk.

 

Say goodbye to spam text messages

I am so tired of my phone buzzing, only to find a text message telling me I can win an iPad or $1,000 cash.  Some even use local phone numbers to make you think it’s a legitimate text from a local business. All I have to do is go to a website and give up all my personal information. I get these texts on my work and personal phone. The good news – there are things you can do about it.

You can forward the text to your carrier by sending it to SPAM or 7726. That way they can investigate where the texts are coming from and help prevent them in the future. To send the message to SPAM, you won’t incur any fees.

 

iPhone 5 testers wanted?

For weeks I’ve been getting Facebook messages inviting me to an iPhone 5 testing event. In the message, you’re made host of the event. However, there’s only been speculation and no official announcement from Apple about the iPhone 5. Facebook is deleting the post from your page which is a sure sign it’s spam.

Plus, Apple doesn’t typically ask for testers of products. It’s announcement of the product is a big event and always produces speculation of what’s to come so having testers is simply not how the company works.

You know the saying — if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Naked Security says there’s also a text alert going around that reads “Apple needs iPhone5 testers! The first 1000 users who visit [LINK] and enter code 4444 will get to test & keep the new iPhone5.”

Also, a scam. Naked Security says it’s likely a way to get your personal information.

Better Business Bureau launches app in Apple store

Want to file a complaint against a business on the go, or want to find out what others think about a business at the last minute? The Better Business Bureau launched an Apple Store app that allows you to access their database of more than 4 million businesses on the go.

You’ll be able to search for local businesses by name, phone, URL, or category, your current zip code, state, city, or location. The search results can be displayed in list or map views. The app works on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

Cash for your electronics

Did you get a new cell phone this year or computer? Recycling programs that pay you cash for your old electronics are growing in popularity.  It’s a good incentive to keep this bulky electronics out of the landfill.

Cell phone carriers and independent sites are offering cash incentives for your old electronics.  It’s a good way to earn some cash and keep your plastic out of the trash.  There are websites willing to buy all these items: iPods, iPhones, cell phones, cameras, e-Readers, laptops, video games, game console, GPS, DVD, movies, MP3 players, digital cameras, calculators, laptops, external drives, and tablet eReaders.

Here’s a look at some of your options:
Ebay Instant Sale – This site, like many, ships your items for free which is a nice perk so you’re not wasting money on shipping.  I priced two items — a computer and iPhone.  A Dell Latitude D620, Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz in good condition is worth$59 and an 8GB iPhone 2G is worth $66. If the item isn’t worth anything (I guess if you calculate the condition wrong) it will be recycled for free.  The money you earn is added to your PayPal account.

Wirefly also offers free shipping and will send a check within 30 days. It offers up to $60 for an 8GB iPhone 2G.  In good condition, it pays $51.80. It offers $59.50 for the Dell Latitude.

Gazelle is another ecommerce site,  It didn’t offer to buy the 8GM iPhone 2G, but offered $40 for the 4GB.

Make sure you check out the company first, and read their FAQ so you know their policies. For example, Gazelle does not offer phone support. That may or may not be a big deal.

You Renew wanted newer iPhones and didn’t have an offer for the 2G.  It also didn’t take the Dell Latitude D620, so this is the site that offered to buy the fewest products.

The nice thing about You Renew is that the site even takes devices and pays for the shipping if your item has no value. As an added bonus, the company will either plant a tree or give a donation towards a domestic renewable energy product.

NextWorth offered $53.26 for the 8GB iPhone 2G.  NextWorth teams up with Target, and offers the same service online or in Target stores.

Flipswap takes cell phones only and requires the ESN number on the phone to track it and ensure it’s the one that arrives in the warehouse. It appears the site is offering $36.38 for the 8GB iPhone, but you don’t know for sure until you enter a bunch of information about the condition of the phone and the ESN number.

Cell for Cash, as its name suggests, only buys old cell phones. They offer a set price without asking questions, but expect the phones to be in good condition. It wasn’t entirely clear in the terms and conditions how the company handles phones that don’t meet its expectations, so it’s worth checking out before you commit. Cell for Cash will send you a check in the mail.  It offered $20 for the 8GB iPhone.

Another option is to trade in your cell phone with your carrier for money off a new plan or phone.  You can also try Amazon’s recently expanded trade in program. It works a little differently, because you’re not offered cash.  Amazon pays you with a gift card that’s added to your account. I couldn’t find the same iPhone I compared on other sites nor the Dell computer. This program seems to offer money for new technology, but it’s offering good prices so it’s worth a check.

Erase your digital footprint
Before you send your electronics to a company, check out consumer reviews and feedback to ensure you’ll get the cash you deserve.

Also, make sure you erase all your contact and personal information and perhaps remove the SIM card if possible. You may even consider taking it to your local mobile carrier to see if they can wipe everything for you for a small fee. Some websites that buy electronics also offer the service. I wouldn’t be as nervous with a regular cell phone but smartphones are full of rich information that can be used to steal your identity.

Have a favorite site that offered you cash for your electronics? Share it with our community.

Related links you may like:
Erase your digital footprint
10 consumers reports you should check
Keeping your name off a sucker list
Recovering from identity theft

Paying for the news

Headline of the New York Times June-29-1914

Image via Wikipedia

The news industry is in a state of change. Newspaper subscriptions are dwindling, and newspaper companies and even some television companies are thinking about charging you for digital content.

If you’re over 25, you’ve probably paid for news at some point in your life by paying for a newspaper subscription. I say age 25 because most young people expect free news online. This change in behavior is making it difficult to go back in time where local, comprehensive news cost you money.

Making money online is not just a goal for newspapers, but television stations as well as fewer people watch TV news.  Appointment television is no longer feasible in this mobile, 24-7 world.

Starting today, The New York Times will limit the number of stories you can get online for free.  You will need a digital subscription if you read more than 20 articles a month online, and you don’t have a paper delivered to your home. On smartphone and tablet applications, the Top News section will remain free.  You’ll be asked to pay for a digital subscription if you want access to the other sections.

The subscriptions will cost $15-35 every four weeks. If you want unlimited access to the website and smarpthone app, the cost will be $15 a month.  It’s $20 for the website and tablet application.  For unlimited access to the website, tablet, and smartphone applications the cost is $35.

A special introductory offer (99-cents for four weeks) will be available by clicking here.  If you are an avid reader of The New York Times, you’ll want to read this article from AdAge posted on Crain’s to see if you’ll be one of the 200,000 heavy readers to get a free subscription courtesy of Lincoln.

Articles will still be free if you get to that article through a link in a search, blog, or social media site like Facebook or Twitter.  You won’t have to pay even if you reached your monthly limit, but some search engines will limit the number of free links per day.

Will people pay for the news? The survey says….
According to an Adweek Media / Harris Poll conducted in December 2009, and released in early 2010, 77% of online adults said they wouldn’t pay to read the newspaper online.  Of those willing to pay, 19%would only pay $1-10 a month and only 5% would pay more than $10 a month.

The numbers are not much better a year later. According to “The State of the News Media 2011” by The Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, 23% said they would pay a small amount if a digital subscription was the only way to get full access to their local newspaper.  Half were asked if they would pay $10 and the other half of respondents were asked if they’d pay $5. According to Pew, 23% said they’d pay $5 a month, but the numbers dropped to 17% for those would pay $10 a month.

The Pew  Center points out that still 3/4 of those surveyed said they would not pay anything even if a digital subscription was the only way to see the content.

It will be interesting to see if other big news organizations follow in The New York Times, and if consumers will react positively or negatively.

What do you think about news agencies charging for the news?  Click “comment” and share your opinion.