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How Smart is Your House?

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 @ 01:56 PM
  
  
  
  

How Smart Is Your House?


How many times have you left your home and had to turn around and go back to ensure you locked the door or shut off the iron. Maybe you were on your way to a meeting or appointment or heading off on vacation and were prevented from going back home to check. Imagine being able to use your smartphone like a universal remote control for your home? Thanks to Verizon products and services, that concept is now a reality. smart house

 

You have total control of what’s going on at your connected home from anywhere using an array of products like indoor/outdoor cameras, lights, thermostats and appliances from your smartphone, computer, tablet or FiOS TV. 

This new service can provide piece of mind in many areas including safety and budget. You can monitor the inside and outside of your home as well as detect when windows or doors are opened. It can help save money as you are better able to oversee your energy usage, turn on/off lights and heat from home, work or even vacation.

Here are a few scenarios that will give you some insight into just a few ways these products can simplify your life. 

Remote Door Entry

Let your kids in the house when they forget their key or let a contractor in without having to leave a key behind, all from the convenience of your desk at work.

 

Outdoor Camera

You are working from your home office and you get a visit from a friend, you can look at the outdoor camera and unlock the door without leaving your chair. 
You are alerted that your front door has been opened in the middle of the day, you can consult the outdoor camera and see who entered.

 

Switches

Turn lamps off from work, that your kids left on.

You can shut the curling iron off from work that you may have forgotten to unplug. 

You go to the gym and realize it's gotten very hot, you can turn on the air conditioner prior to getting home.

You arrive home at night and nobody is home, the house is dark. You can turn a few lights on prior to entering.

 

Thermostat

You've been on vacation and you turned the heat down to save energy. You forgot to ask the neighbor to turn the heat up for your return. You turn it up from your phone at the airport.

Your electric bill has increased. Monitor how much electricity your appliances are using with the Energy Reader.

 

Sensors

You come in the house with your hands full of groceries in the dark, the door sensor from the garage automatically turns on a lamp in the hallway. 

You get an alert that a window sensor is triggered, you check the indoor camera to see who opened the window.

 

Indoor Camera

You go out for the evening and leave the kids with a sitter, you want to check in and make sure they are doing their homework.

smart House on Fox 61Click photo to go to video from Fox 61
 

 

Verizon offers a fully integrated and affordable solution at $9.99/mo. after the equipment purchase.  Best of all, this innovative service is built on Verizon’s reliable wireless networks. Home Monitoring and Control Services are available in three levels:

 

  • The Entry-Level (home monitoring: remote door entry and video surveillance)
  • Home Energy monitoring (thermostats, wireless (WiFi) light and appliance controllers, and even a circuit-box mounted sensor that monitors whole-home energy usage.
  • Home Monitoring Surveillance and Energy Usage Monitoring

 

There are many other products available that you can add on like baby monitors and motion detectors. Whether Verizon or another brand, they are all a testament to how your smartphone or wireless device can enhance your life.

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Smart Tips for New Smartphone/Tablet Users

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 @ 09:27 PM
  
  
  
  

So...you got a new Smartphone or Tablet?


1. Get a good case.

With today’s smartphones and tablets getting longer and thinner, they’ve become very fragile.  It’s usually the first drop that takes your phone out of commission.  However, for those who are a tad adventurous or who happen to be a bit clumsy, there are some awesome cases available.  For all makes and models of phones, and many tablets there are the ever trusty Otterbox cases that range from a pretty decent amount of protection to a hefty amount just shy of a bunker.   If you're an iPhone user and you subject your phone to dirt, water, snow or shock you’d want to look at getting a Lifeproof case.

Otterbox  Lifeproof
 Otterbox Reflex Series  Lifeproof Waterproof Case

 

 

2. Install Lookout.


I wouldn’t turn my phone on without having this app installed! There is so much goodness packed into this app!
  • Scans for bad apps that might contain malware or spyware.
  • Finds your lost phone or tablet
  • Backs up your Contacts, Photos, Call History
  • Protects your privacy
lookout lookout
 
The cost for the premium version is 2.99/mo or 29.99/year. 


3. Shut off WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS when not in use.

These services are all battery hogs because while they are turned on they are constantly searching for signal. When you aren't using them, you definitely want to shut them down or they will drain your battery in the blink of an eye. You can install individual widgets or a power control strip to turn them on and off easily. Some widgets will let you see if they are on or off without having to actually click on it, which serves as a gentle reminder that you battery will be dead in no time!
widgets

4. Dim screen slightly to save massive amount of battery.



If you are new to smartphones or tablets, you are new to how much battery is eaten up just to radiate that large screen. To find out what app or service is taking up the most battery power go to Menu>Settings>Battery and screen is usually #1 item using the most battery power. You'll be surprised at how much you can dim the screen and it is still adequately luminated. Go to your menu and bring the brightness down even 10% to save battery power throughout the day.

battery


5. Watch your data usage.


Install My Verizon or a widget to keep track of your data usage. You can set levels or alerts to let you know when you have almost reached your limit. If you are new to the smartphone arena, you didn't have to worry about this before but with smartphones and the mobile broadband you might need to supply Wi-Fi to your tablet, you are required to carry a data plan and you don't want to go over and incur extra charges.

Data usage data usage 

6. Get a car charger.

You might notice after a few days of using your new smartphone that it eats up the battery.  That’s why car chargers are always a must.  Before you know it, you’ll be out of power and if you're not home to juice up, a car charger will be the next best thing.  There are many different styles like a charger with a USB port so you can mix and match cords or with multiple USB ports so you can share the energy.  You can generally get a great charger for around $20-$30.
dUAL usb CAR CHARGER
See the video from Fox 61:

Enjoy your new device! Let us know what you got and how you are liking it. -CC

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Charity Miles. The New App in My 15 Must-Have Apps

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Mon, Nov 05, 2012 @ 12:52 PM
  
  
  
  

Recently I had the pleasure to meet and walk about six and a half miles in New York’s Central Park with Gene Gurkoff. Gene is the is the CEO and founder of Charity Miles, which is essentially a smartphone app but it goes way beyond downloading yet another app to your phone. 

Gene's grandfather has Parkinson's Disease. Like many of us, when someone we love is afflicted with a disease, we become increasingly aware of that disease and begin to notice fundraisers and walks, bracelets, etc that support the research related to finding a cure. If able, we sign up for walks or marathons and enlist our family, friends and co-workers to sponsor us and begin to try to do our part to help raise money for that cause that has become dear to us. This is exactly what Gene did and as you are probably aware, there are only so many times you can tap into your friend's and co-workers wallets.

Running Charity Miles
Gene imagined the bigger picture of tapping into the budgets of corporate sponsors, but found how difficult it is to get a corporation to back an individual in fundraising attempts. The app virtually brings large groups of people together and makes it possible for corporate sponsors to get involved in an more measureable arena. The corporate sponsors agree to spend a fixed amount and the money is then allocated to the appropriate charity. The app is only 4 months old and already has over 100,000 users. That might have something to do with the fact that it's an outstanding concept and media powerhouse Mashable has featured the Charity Miles story.



Fun Fact.
Gene had to buy the Charity Miles twitter handle from a woman named Charity Miles, a photographer in Savannah, Georgia. 

How it works.
You download the app to your Android or iPhone (Blackberry and Windows are not yet available) and before you begin your walk, run or bike ride you chose from the list below which charity you want your workout applied to. Then for walking or running $.25 per mile, biking $.10 per mile goes to the charity you selected. From there your workout impact gets posted to either Facebook or Twitter.
Charity Miles

The Charities Onboard:
Feeding America*
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
ASPCA*
Autism Speaks
Every Mother Counts (Founded by Christy Turlington)
Achilles international (They bring hope, inspiration and the joys of achievement to people with disabilities)
World Food Programme*
The Nature Conservancy*
Pencils of Promise
Habitat for Humanity*
The Global Fund 
Wounded Warrior Project

* These charities are directly involved in aid of the impact of Superstorm Sandy


Future Improvements
In November or December you will be able to use it on a treadmill. Currently the app gathers mileage with the help of your device's GPS. I don’t know where you hail from but I have two words to summarize why I will appreciate that feature...New England! They are also going to look into a way to use it on a spin bike.
Also coming in January/February will be a way to create teams. This way you can show a collective impact on a group level. This is sure to create some competitive rivalries and trash talk between Universities or colleagues, especially since the walks are generating posts on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out this video from the walk I took part in:


It was very easy to get excited about such a wonderful concept and Gene’s enthusiasm for the project is contagious. I'm talking about it everywhere! Listen to my segment with Damon Scott from Hartford's 96.5 TIC FM As Gene says, "Changing the world is a group sport."
Visit CharityMiles.org for more info.

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Smartphones Provide Safe Trick or Treating

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 @ 04:24 PM
  
  
  
  

If you read my blog, surely you know my propensity for snarkiness or I prefer to refer to it as "telling it like it is. Occasionally a subject arises that even I can't make fun of and that is safety for your children. I'd like to talk about a few options using your smartphone (and in some cases basic phone) to keep track of your family. That doesn't mean just the kids. Often times this might apply to the older generation of your family or a family member with special medical needs.
Here are some options.

VERIZON FAMILY LOCATOR
Verizon Family Locator

From your PC, phone or tablet, enjoy the comfort of knowing you can check on the location of family members’ phones. Family Locator is a simple, secure service that allows you to:

  • Receive arrival & departure updates for each family member. A Verizon Wireless exclusive!
  • Locate your family members.
  • Create scheduled location updates for each family member.
  • Now available as an Android app and Web app for iPhone (fl.vzw.com on your phone's browser).
   
Capable Phones Software available
Non Capable Phones
No software available
With the new version of Family Locator, you can locate any cell phone on your Family Account,
BUT – for best results, use the Family Locator software on a fully compatible phone. Devices are frequently added to the compatible phones list, so check back often.
Mobile Browser log in and locate capable
check check
General Area Based Location Capable
check check
More Refined Location Capable
check  
Arrival/Departure Alerts
check  
Scheduled Alerts
check check

LIFE 360

Life 360

Life 360 enables families to see where their loved ones are located, when they need help and what the threats might be around them. It creates a private family "channel" that allows real-time "Check Ins" with the tap of a button from any family member.


For example, instead of Mom needing to be constantly calling her son or daughter to ask where they are (and the kids feeling embarrassed in front of their friends), Mom can request a Check In and get the peace of mind from knowing they’re OK.


Not all kids have smartphones but you can still use this app. No matter what type of phone anyone in your family is using, Life360's On Demand Location feature allows you to access the most accurate carrier network data available. Once family members provide their permission, you will be able to pinpoint their immediate location.

Free Features
  • FAMILY GPS LOCATION-Locate people that own Android or iPhones,
  • SAFETY STATUS ALERTS Tap either the Check In or panic button to update your safety status and you’re done! Once we get your alert, we’ll immediately send it to your list of contacts.
  • NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY MONITORING-Identify Nearby Hospitals, View list of sex offenders, Find Police Stations

  • FAMILY CHANNEL™ GROUP MESSAGING-Life360 is the first to launch a cross-platform group chat dedicated specifically to families. Everyone in your Life360 network can message each other all at once whether they are using an Android device, iPhone or feature phone.
Price: 3 FREE trials, then $4.99/month. iPhone and Android devices are free. Click here for premium features
There are a lot of things this app can do, but most importantly, it can provide piece of mind when you send your kids off without you.

Don't forget, if your child is carrying their phone with this app aboard and happens to lose it, it can be tracked.

This is free for iOS and Android, $4.99
Available for iOS, Android, Blackberry

FAMILY LOCATOR +

Intelligent Digital Guardian. Highest rated family safety app.

Get an automatic alert if family member is in danger. Accurate real-time location of each child on a map. A child is reported missing every 40 seconds. Leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence to keep your family safe.
Free Features

  • SAFETY SCORE-A patented algorithm uses artificial intelligence to constantly learn, monitor and alert you about each family member's safety. It uses your child's location and information from multiple third party data sources such as local crime and weather data to calculate a real time Safety Score. The Safety Score is a predictor of the safety of your child (100 = really safe, 1 = high potential danger).
  • FAMILY LOCATOR MAP-Accurately locate each member on a map in real time. Our AcuLocate(tm) technology combines multiple location methods including GPS to quickly pinpoint location. Family locator simply works. Fast.
  • CHECKIN-A virtual thumbs-up to notify your family that you are safe with one click vs. having to make a phone call.
  • CHILD MODE-Track your minor child without notifying them using HIDDEN mode
  • FAMILY TRACKER WEB ACCESS-Access family locator map from any web browser by clicking the -LOGIN- tab at familysiren.com ( familysiren.com/login )

Price: Free 7 day Premium trial. $1.99/mo or $14.99/yr afterwards PER FAMILY.  See what premium services are available here.

This is a lot of information to take in so please hit me up if you have any questions.

-CC

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Take your iPhone Waterskiing

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Mon, May 21, 2012 @ 02:12 PM
  
  
  
  

Summer is just around the corner, I can tell because I see a deluge of bathing suits at every blasted store I have the misfortune of walking into. I may not be ready for summer but all of my gadgets are! Along with summer comes the threat of water while engaging in extreme sports, okay, maybe it is just standing in a kiddie pool to cool off, but the potential of dropping my phone is insurmountable. Have you ever seen how clumbsy I am? I am just a mishap away from needing a new phone.  I once dropped an ex-boyfriend’s phone into a cocktail. Vodka/cranberry, I think it was! The phone just barely fit in the glass to begin with and I managed to drop it straight into the glass parting the ice cubes as it submerged.


Many families are either installing or opening their pools. Then there are the lake or beach people that blike to get the hell out of dodge. There must be a plan in place as even the kids now have cell phones. You know there’s always one instigator who thrives on throwing someone in the pool or off then side of the boat.

Waterproof Your Phone or Tablet
iOttie
iOttie One time use Waterproof Skins for iPhones and iPads.for phones and tablets. Forgive my bold nature but at work we refer to these as iCondoms! These are the greatest thing since flat bread. They are pliable plastic slip covers that fit snugly around your phone. They have a seal that closes off any potential for water seapage. You get two one-time- use covers in a package for about $14.99. Tablets covers cost $19.99. A perfect way to protect your phone without having to send it out to be waterproofed or spending more on a waterproof case. Currently available foe iPhone and iPad, more models coming soon.
YouTube http://youtu.be/4AYL5-KpiPM

 

 

lifeproof iphone case

LifeProof waterproof Cases waterproof, snow proof, dirt proof, shock proof cases for your iPhone. If you are frequently around water, moisture or elements, this more permanent case is $79.99 but well worth the protection it will provide. Avail in Black, Pink, Purple or White for iPhone.
YouTube http://youtu.be/DuDerD9F3sQ

 

otterbox case

Otterbox Waterproof cases for phones and more. These cases are fantastic for boating, especially if there is the possibility of water getting  in the boat or a vessel that can flip like a canoe or kayak. There is a wide range of sizes for keeping almost anything smaller than a loaf of bread dry. (What's with all the bread references? I must need a carb fix!)
Series 2000, 2510, 2500 <$25.00
YouTube http://youtu.be/KVECLY5DQI8

 

 

Protection from shock

pure gear 360
Pure Gear PX 360 When bump, smack, strike, hit, whack, knock, bang unexpectedly come into play, the PX360˚ Extreme Protection System provides the best in design and protection for iPhone for about $50
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POUxatmfkfU

 

Ribbz iphone cases

RIBBZ Protective Shock Proof Neon Cases For under $30, you can get a funky, colorful case that sustains droppage and shock in general. In fact there is a video showing them throwing an iPhone in this case through a window, then into a stack of bricks. And it lived to record about it!

YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwohW6Tvus4

 

Phone Utility and Mounts

ikeep iphone tether

IKeep This utility clip attaches to your belt loop or purse securing your iPhone essentially by tethering it to you for safe keeping.  IKeep connects to any iPhone or iPod. There are several models available, one model has a built-in charger as well. It stays plugged into the charging port with a retractable cord so you can keep it tethered.

 

iCat iphone tether

iCat The patent pending iCat Reel It is designed to keep your iPhone or iPod close at hand while significantly reducing loss or damage. This provides the tethering principle with a simple carabiner. There is also a  lanyard type for those times you are without pockets.

 

connect iphone

Connect Case and Mobile Mount This is a great way to connect your iPhone while staying hands-free.
The case comes with a sturdy clip that easily swaps out for a number of handy adapters to attach the phone to your windshield, dashboard, a carabiner or even a wall. The most versatile is the Connect  adapter that had adjustable arms that wrap around your bicycle’s handle bars, the airvent in your car or a treadmill. They are also capable of acting as a phone stand for watching videos.
YouTube video http://youtu.be/PTayhAre0Bc

I told you all the ways to keep your phone safe, now I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you how to listen to music while you are doing all these fun things.

Monster isport

Monster iSport Livestrong Headphones are world's best sounding sports headphones. every purchase of iSport LIVESTRONG provides funding for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the fight against cancer. These are so Waterproof you can throw them in the nwashing machine!

For these and many other accessories that will help enrich the functionality of your mobile device, stop into any Wireless Zone® and tell them what your needs are.

Now GET OUT THERE and JUST DO IT,,,and all that!

Happy Summer

-CC

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Zomm: The Wireless Leash

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Mon, Mar 05, 2012 @ 02:10 PM
  
  
  
  

ZOMM

zomm wireless leash
This is where the term Wireless Leash comes from. Using Bluetooth® wireless technology, the ZOMM alerts the user when it becomes separated from his/her mobile phone by vibrating, flashing its lights and sounding an alarm. It's pretty obnoxious so you won't miss it. It gets increasingly louder. The Wireless Leash by ZOMM is also a fully-functional hands-free speakerphone with one touch answering for those times when it isn't safe to talk on your phone. It has a quick release mechanism for easy removal from the rest of your keys. The additional Car Kit has a mount that clips on your visor.

Zomm speakerphone

Additionally, The Wireless Leash by ZOMM can call emergency assistance with one press of a button if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Because it uses Bluetooth technology it will work with any phone that has Bluetooth capability. It's not just for iPhones and Androids!

Zomm

A rubber dust cover is installed to seal and protect the micro-USB charging port. This has been done to enhance Zomm’s resistance to moisture and dirt. The Zomm retails for $79.99.

I can't lie, I love mine, the only thing that would make it better is if I waited around for the pink one to come out...but no, I have to have EVERYTHING right away!


Click here to see the video segment talking to Rick Hancock from Fox 61 about Zomm.

Peace out,

-CC

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Let's Have a "Look See" at Monday Matters

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Mon, Mar 05, 2012 @ 10:13 AM
  
  
  
  

monday matters

Good Monday morning. I hope where ever you are the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and crocuses are peeking through the soil. Okay, I'll cut the #$&% I was reprimanded this weekend from a blog subscriber for slacking on the blog. So without further ado, my snarky butt is not leaving this oh-so-uncomfortable office chair until I'm done.


Looxcie

I want to tell you about the coolest gadget to come around in...oh, a few days or so. It's called Looxcie; pronounced Look-see. Get it? I had the unique opportunity to play around with it and I will share some of the video later in this post. In the meantime, let me tell you a little about it.
looxcielooxcie 2Looxcie is the first "Wear and Share" video camera that let's you share the action instantly. It weighs less than an ounce. Chosse from VGA at 30fps, 320p at 15 fps or 480p at 30fps. The resolution and frames-per-second will determine the maximum shooting time from 1 hour-5 hours. Don't forget, it's also a Blutooth Headset which will give you 10 hours of talk time. The video files are MPEG 4.

looxcie live streaming

Real-Time Personal Casting lets you share what you're seeing with family and friends in real time so they can see what's happening as it happens.

looxcie mapLooxcie helps you automatically share to Facebook, iCloud, Twitter, YouTube or email. There are apps available for iPhone nd Android that enable you to view and control video on your smartphone. If you don;t have a smartphone, it can be used as a stand-alone video camera and the clips can be downloaded to the Looxcie Desktop available for PC and Mac.

 

Looxcie Accessories

Looxcie has the ability to mount on anything you can imagine. Besides your ear, there is a baseball cap clip, windshield mount, sun visor mount, helmet (vented, snowboard, motorcycle) strap, and tripod mount. The tripod mount also assists in mounting the Looxcie to a bicycle or motorcycle handbar.
There is also a compact hard case and additional lenses (Fisheye and telephoto.)
baseball cap mount windsheild mount  bicycle mount  Looxcie telephoto lens 

To find out more about the Looxcie go to http://www.looxcie,com

Stay tuned for some of the crazy action I videotaped!

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Cellular Chloe's Must-Have Tech-cessories

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 @ 10:05 AM
  
  
  
  

Powerbag by Ful 

Powerbag sizes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Backpacks, Slingbag, laptop bags, messenger bags and briefcases that come with portable batteries which enable you to charge all your devices on the go. These bags are beautifully constructed just like Ful’s luggage line. Charge the bag at night and let the bag charge your devices once you tuck them all inside.
Powerbag by ful

  • External plug and battery level indicator on the outside of the bag
  • Mini and Micro USB plugs, Mac OS plug and an additional USB port can charge 4 devices at once
  • Removeable 6000mAh battery

 

iRadar by Cobra 

i radar detector i radar android 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radar/Laser/Camera detector that connects wirelessly to your Android device and displays visual alerts on your Android Smartphone. This system has the latest information available. The smartphone dashboard lets you see your speed digitally and look at a map of speed traps all the while connecting via Bluetooth.

 

  • Detection Unit is a fully functional detector with or without the Cobra iRadar app  
  • Combine with app to change settings, view visual alerts, and gain access to Cobra’s AURA database to receive red light camera alerts 
  • App provides up to the minute speed and red light camera alerts, known speed traps and dangerous intersection alerts updated daily 
  • Compatible with iPhone and Android devices

Kingston WiDrive 

Kingston Wi Drive

 

 

 

 

Portable wireless storage complimenting an iPod or iPad. It’s a portable drive that connects wirelessly allowing you 16 or 32 more GB of space that can be shared simultaneously between three devices. In laymen’s terms that means you can store three movies on the device and 3 people can each watch a different movie bluetoothed to 3 different devices.

 

  • Integrated Wi-Fi offers pocket-sized portable storage and easy file sharing for Apple devices
  • Add another 16GB or 32GB of space accessed wirelessly from your digital device

 

Monster Power Outlets To Go 

Monster Outlet to go

 

This device is the ultimate travel companion. If ever you’ve occupied a hotel room or stateroom on a cruise with another individual that needs to charge a phone and perhaps a laptop, you realize quickly that there are never enough plugs. This device will allow you to charge from three AC plugs and 2 USB ports. You’d have room to charge 2 laptops, a tablet and 2 smartphones.

 

  • 3 AC power outlets for travelers
  • Ultra compact design for easy packing
  • 2 quick charging, high-power USB ports for portable devices
  • Retractable plug folds in for maximum portability 

 

Monster Clarity HC 

Outrageous wireless speaker with unbelievable sound, stream music from your smartphone, tablet etc. The noise cancelling microphone makes it perfect for use on conference calls, voice/video call or hands-free calls. This is the ultimate work and play speaker.

  • Ultra compact, high performance Bluetooth speaker delivers best-in-class wireless stereo sound.
  • Built-in mic with advanced noise cancellation enables clear wireless hands-free calling and conferencing.
  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries power up to 5 hours of play time at full volume on a single charge.
  • Connects to iPod or any device with a 3.5 mm headphone port using a mini-jack cable (cable not included). 
  • iClarity model available specifically for iPhone and iPad.
 Monster Clarity

Marley Jammin’ Series Earphones

These Rasta-inspired eco-friendly, inexpensive earphones sound as good as they look. They are sporting some Jamaican color and hemp and wood-grain elements. The best part might be that the 52” fabric cord is tangle-proof.

  • Product and packaging made with natural materials and recycled plastics 
  • In-ear design for deep bass, frequency response of 20 Hz to 20+kHz for authentic sound  
  • 8-millimeter driver, 16 ohms impedance and a Dynamic micro speaker 
  • Silicone tips that come in small, medium and large, and provide comfort and perfect ear placement for the best sound 
  • 52" fabric cord reduces tangles and is specially engineered to cut down on static so you get that clear sound

Marley headphones

By the way, if anyone doesn't know what to get me for Christmas now, you're just not paying attention! Seriously, any of these would make wonderful presents for the "techie" in your life.

Peace out!

-CC

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Protect Your Phone from Hacks and Attacks

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 @ 02:30 PM
  
  
  
  

Avoid Cell Phone Hacks and Attacks

cell phone attacks

Today's cell phones do everything but let the dog out. Somehow it seems the smarter they become, the more vulnerable they allow us to be. You wouldn't open up a suspicious links on your computer, and you shouldn't do it on your cell phone. Today's mobile devices are essentially mini-computers, therefore similar precautions should be taken to avoid the possibility of having your information hijacked. The News of The World scandal of hacking into people's voicemail has raised the question of how vulnerable the rest of us are.

 

Voicemail Hacking

Many users try to keep things simple and either keep the default PIN, use a ridiculously simple one like 1111 or use something like a birthday that can be researched right from their Facebook page. Once in, the hackers could change your name and greeting and even the password. They can also listen to your messages and find out personal information about you. If you have your voicemail setup so you can bypass the password remotely, you are making it even easier to gain access to your account. 

The easiest way in, is to crack the voicemail code and all the attacker needs is access to your voicemail without you knowing they are in it. One way to get in without being noticed is to call the number and tie up the line, then call from a second number which puts them into your voicemail giving them opportunity to crack the code. 

If you have a phone on the same network as another, you can get into someone's voicemail using the "backdoor" and it essentially bypasses the routine procedure of landing in someone's voicemail. The victim has no idea you are accessing their voicemail giving them further opportunity to hack the code. 

Another way that is becoming obscure as providers require a password for entry into voicemail is called Caller ID spoofing. This is where the attacker can fake your name and call into your voicemail tricking the system into thinking you are accessing the voicemail from your device much like when you dial *86 to gain entry to your email.

Helpful Tips
  • Don't share your pin with others
  • Change your pin often
  • Use a PIN that is not likely to be discovered in a few tries

Phishing 

The way a phishing attack usually takes place is you'll get an email asking you to update your information. Mobile users are 3x more likely to submit their info than desktop users as they feel it is an immediate call to action.

The pitfalls of checking your email and web surfing on your phone is that it's not as easy to spot when you have been driven to a phishing website as it might be on a PC. The URL is not always prominently located on the top of the page and most people wouldn't go through the trouble of checking it prior to entering the site. Once on the site, there will be form fields for you to fill in your account information and password and that information is now in the wrong hands.

Helpful Tips
  • Don't open any email or SMS if you are unaware of the origin
  • Don't provide login information or update any account information using your phone
  • If you are in doubt of a link, check it's URL. Secure sites have an "S" after the http (example https://www.___.com)
  • Install an app that checks websites to make sure they are safe

 

Malware/Spyware

Another way to hijack personal information from a cell phone is through bad APPS or malicious software (thus the name mal-ware). Once they find their way onto your device they retain any information entered like passwords, credit card numbers, and account information.

The way they generally get on your device is when you install an app from a link or somewhere other than a trusted source like your Operating Systems' Marketplace. That doesn't mean all marketplace APPS are always 100% secure but if they make it into the marketplace, they are usually found pretty quickly and taken down. If you are going to install an app for your kids that allows them to color on your screen and it requires access to your contact list, your personal information, your location and your storage, it should raise a red flag.

Spyware is similar but it generally tracks your habits like sites you visit, internet searches, recent purchases etc. Spam messages sent by other cell phone users often contain spyware. Sometimes spyware piggy-backs on downloaded ringtones and music from untrusted sources. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Spyware is not always as dangerous as malware. It is generally used for marketing research and to try to influence your buying habits by redirecting advertising or home pages to things you have recently searched or purchased.

Helpful Tips
  • Be careful of the APPS you install on our phone, keep the ones already installed updated
  • Don't open links in emails or sms from an unknown origin
  • Install an app that checks for malware/spyware on your phone
  • Use only secured networks if you are banking or shopping. Free WiFi makes you very vulnerable to attack
In Conclusion
The bottom line is to use common sense. If you are suspicious of something, there is probably good reason for you to be. Don't take the chance, keep your passwords confidential, be suspicious of offers from strange websites, spend a few dollars on an app that will keep your phone and information safer. Lookout is a great all around APPthat checks the websites that you are about to visit, and blocks phishing and malware sites in real-time. If you think your phone has been attacked, contact your cell provider and/or bank immediately.

 

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If Emily Post Owned a Cell Phone

Posted by Cellular Chloe on Fri, Jul 15, 2011 @ 03:16 PM
  
  
  
  

The best way to start any article where you suggest good behavior and hope people will abide by it is to reference the Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity. One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

Some of these basic courtesies have been forgotten or ignored in an age where everyone is busy, in a hurry or just plain thinks that their struggles surpass that of those around them. Most people are trying to juggle jobs and family and tend to be headed in twelve directions at once. This is all the more reason when given the opportunity we should try to be respectful and courteous if not helpful to the people inhabiting the earth among us.

cell phone etiquette

At the conclusion of several polls. It appears that most of the cell phone annoyance experienced by the polltakers is the noise factor. Whether it be the loud talker, or the explicit ringtones, it’s the disruption that seems to be the underlying factor. 

Talking offenses

Most breaches happen in restaurants and retail stores. Perhaps a better question would have been, "which places most offend you?" In that case restrooms probably would have ranked highest.

etiquette

SILENCE.

It’s not a bad idea to keep the phone on vibrate. If it’s near you or on your person you should be able to hear or feel it. If you keep it on vibrate, there’s no need to worry about forgetting to shut off the ringer when you step into a meeting, movie, funeral, church or anywhere it‘s inappropriate to have your phone sounding off.

If your phone has a polite or etiquette mode, use it. HTC and many other phones have a setting that when the phone rings you can flip it over and it will silence either the ringer or the vibration. There is another polite mode that when the phone is in your pocket, it will ring loudly but as soon as the phone detects (using the proximity sensor) that it is no longer, it will quiet the ringer.

Explicit or obnoxious ringtones rate the worst among offenses. It might be funny on the weekend when you are hanging out with your friends, but you can be sure that it won’t be when you leave your phone on your desk and walk away.  

offensive ringtones cell etiquette

 

Loud talking is probably the worst offense. No one wants to hear you talking loud, arguing, swearing or talking about something of a personal nature. Leave the area so as not to subject everyone around you to your inconsiderate behavior. Think about the eye-rolling you do when that behavior is executed near you.

 

DON’T INTERRUPT

If you are in the company of someone who is constantly texting or taking calls, think about how offensive it feels that you are not captivating enough to keep their attention. So using the rule of reciprocity, you certainly wouldn’t want to make someone else feel that way. If you are waiting on an important call, let your company know ahead of time and excuse yourself BRIEFLY to arrange a time to re-engage with the caller.

 

You can choose to ignore the call. You can see who it is on caller ID. There are settings on many phones that will send a text when you hit ignore that will immediately send a customized text. Perhaps, “I am unable to take your call, I will call you back shortly. ”The benefit of this over an outgoing voicemail message is the person receiving it will get the sense that you are in fact unable to take the call and will call the as soon as you are able.

Just use common sense, never act as though you and your phone conversation are more important than anyone else around you.  If you have a reservation about being discourteous, then you probably are.

Click here to see some of the Pet Peeves of cell phone use listed in the survey.

Here is what people said they were guilty of doing with their cell phones.

guilty offenses

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