The new page for daily story pitches
Monday, October 1st
It’s Cyber Security Awareness Month. Today I’ll be looking at one of the things we all do that puts our information at risk of being compromised. We’ve all downloaded a free app, so have our kids. Play with them a few days and then we forget about them. But leaving an app on our phone can let hackers track our location and take our data. Here’s why you may want to clean out your phone before you go to bed tonight.
Friday, September 28th
The App of the Day: U-Consent. In light of the Kavanaugh hearing and all the talk about sex and accusations of assault, I thought I’d look at a new app that records mutual consent prior to sexual activity. If a couple decides to sleep together, they will take out the app, scan a QR code that that they mutually consent. The agreement is saved in the cloud in the event either person claims assault. Wow.
Thursday, September 27th
Did you know you can tell if a battery is good or bad by dropping it on the floor? We’ve all got drawers where batteries have been tossed but never know if they’re any good. I’ll show you how and why this simple trick will help you find out if you should try using them. I did a similar story about 4 years ago and it was a big hit.
Wednesday, September 26th
I am trying to work ahead the rest of the week so I can put away a series of stories for October while I’m recovering so I need to recycle one. This story originally aired last December. How closely have you looked at your phone bill? There may be a charge or two on there every month that you’re paying for and that you didn’t authorize. It’s a scam called “Cramming” and according to the Better Business Bureau it happens frequently to people who answer a phone call.
Tuesday, September 25th
Things you didn’t know you can do on an iPhone. Adding a home button to the screen may be a sweet hack for anyone who gets one of the new iPhones, also how to raise the volume for music (big time increase) and how to easily undo mistakes you make (or auto-correct makes) with a shake.
Monday, September 24th
For all those folks upgrading to a new iPhone or Android device, there are things you should do before you sell or trade in your old phone. A few steps to protect your privacy and identity.
Friday, September 21st
updated: 8:40am. Only 2 people were buying new phones and they didn’t have one of the larger Xs Max phones or the Apple Watch on display. So it was a total bust.
I’ll do an App of the Day story instead. Are you tired of the stale ringtones that come with the phone? You can purchase ringtones of your favorite song, but why buy those when you can make them yourself?
I’m looking at the App Ringtone Maker and how to create a custom ringtone from your favorite song, or anything else.
Rather than an App of the Day story, I thought I should cover the release of the new iPhones and Apple Watch. I’ll be out when the doors open to talk to customers and get a first look. Obviously it is best if you use this story Friday. It will be dated.
Thursday, September 20th
MoviePass showed everyone that people would go to the movies more often if they could get a good deal. It was great. Great! Now it’s not so good and millions of people have canceled their membership. What’s to do? A new subscription service is very tempting but how good is it? I’m taking a look at Sinemia, the MoviePass competitor. I subscribed for a month to see what it’s like.
Wednesday, September 19th
I went to the dentist yesterday to ask a dental hygenist to help me review a techie toothbrush. The Quip, one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2016. Oh, and I found out I had a cavity which had to be filled. Anyway, I’m looking at high-tech toothbrushes.
Tuesday, September 18th
My apologies but I need to use a story that’s previously aired. It is still topical. I had a doctor’s appointment that took up all of yesterday and a dentist appointment first thing this morning. My mouth will be numb. This story aired last November. It’s about fake Amazon reviews and how to identify them. A website called “FakeSpot” looks at any product and can spot fake reviews written by people paid to leave positive comments and . Since most Amazon purchase decisions are made after reading reviews this is a worthy story for a re-air.
Monday, September 17th
Apple releases iOS 12 today for most everybody. It has a lot of new features that I’ve covered before. One of the questions I am asked everytime an update is available is: “should I update now or wait?”. I’m going to answer that question and show you a few things you should do before installing the update.
Friday, September 14th
The app of the day: Songbot. One of my favorite apps. I did something on this in the spring of ’17 so it’s a repeat. Songbot is an app where you can search for your favorite song and the app finds a radio station somewhere in the world that’s playing it. Enter: Back to You by Selena Gomez, and it finds a station somewhere in the world that’s playing it live. You can use it as an alarm too so you’ll always wake up to your favorite song. Very cool app.
Thursday, September 13th
All the new iPhones, which one are you going to get? Apple threw caution to the wind this time with three different iPhones. Millions of people are still holding on to their iPhone 6 or 7 and it’s time to upgrade. I’ll be looking at best part of each phones, plus why the Apple Watch 4 means it’s finally time to get a smartwatch.
Wednesday, September 12th
of course today is Apple iPhone day. I’ve learned that, due to the California time zone change and lack of video, it’s best for me to do a story focused on a new feature rather than bore people with a blow-by-blow account of the announcement. The big story with these phones is the disappearance of the home button. For the millions who are debating whether they should upgrade from a 6, 7 or 8, I’m going to look at the pros and cons of Face ID.
Tuesday, September 11th
I’m sure your newscasts will be filled with hurricane coverage. I thought I’d take another look at an app that allows people to stay in touch through phone calls and text messages when the power goes out and when cell towers go down. It’s Zello. I used it last year during Hurricane Irma, and contrary to what some stations reported (that never tried it), and it worked. I’ll show what happened when I tried to talk to a friend in the path of the storm.
Monday, September 10th
By now you may have gotten one of these cryptic text messages, or you’ve seen it shared on Facebook. “Someone complimented you”. A warning is being shared on Facebook, alleging these text messages are from a sex trafficking ring and will put a tracker on your phone. Is this true? Where are these messages coming from and what can you do to stop them? The app is called “IRL” or “In Real Life”.
Friday, September 7th
The App of the Day: “Hitlist”. I love this app, and I don’t even get to travel that often. Ever been thinking of taking a few days and just getting away somewhere? Seriously, it seems the hardest part is trying to decide where to. “Hitlist” shows ideas of where you can go just by showing you the cheapest airfare at the moment. Nothing to do next weekend? Check the app and you might find a trip to New York City for under $100 or Italy for $500.
Thursday, September 6th
Serial is back. The podcast that made podcasting a serious media industry will release its first season in 2 years. If you’re unfamiliar with it, this is the podcast with nearly 200 million downloads, won a Murrow Award and resulted in a convicted murderer getting a new trial because of new evidence produced by the show. I mean, Serial is a very big deal. A new season was just announced to start in 2 weeks.
Wednesday, September 5th
Email ‘drafting’. It’s a technique some people use to hide their tracks online. Say 2 people want to communicate with each other over email but they don’t want anyone to find out. They’ll use ’email drafting’. How does it work and why have people used it in the past? And why is it nearly impossible to catch.
Tuesday, September 4th
A coloring book app is being used by people to share explicit photos and artwork. The popular app ‘Recolor’, is a nice little app where you can spend hours coloring in pictures and doodles on your phone. Several viewers have sent me photos of images they’ve found on the site which were shared by others. Pornographic photos, chat messages about sex and some bullying as well. I’m taking a look at the app again and talk with the app developer about how they moderate what’s being shared.
Monday, September 3rd (Labor Day)
Apple will introduce new iPhones next week. This should be a big year for upgrades since sales of the iPhone X have been lower than expected. It’s also an ‘S’ year. What will the next generation of iPhones look like? I’m looking at rumors and the ones most likely to be true.
Friday, August 31st
The App of the Day: Cinder. How many contacts do you have on your phone? Hundreds? Thousands? I’m guessing that many of those contacts are either outdated or unneeded. But deleting those contacts takes a long long time. 4 taps and 2 swipes. But Cinder makes deleting old contacts a little like Tinder. Swipe them away.
Thursday, August 30th
Do you use a shared computer at work? Ever use a computer at a library or hotel? Protecting your email and other accounts is critical. But don’t you get tired of having to wait on a text message with a secret code before logging in to Google, Facebook, Dropbox or anything else? There’s a quick and cool solution and Google just announced it. A security key that uses your fingerprint to log in on a computer or your phone. I’ll show you how it works and why it’s important.
Wednesday, August 29th
MoviePass. I cover this often because so many of our viewers have it. The new rules have just gone into effect for subscribers. Mine kicked in this week. A new survey shows half of MoviePass customers are thinking of canceling their membership. I have a tip on how to see the movie you want to see with your MoviePass card.
Tuesday, August 28th
College football kicks off this weekend and lots of people will be spending their Saturdays from now until Thanksgiving, at tailgate parties. Football fans will tailgate at high school, college and pro games but those parties can be better with some high tech gadgets. I’ve ‘huddled up’ a few tech products especially for football fans.
Monday, August 27th
we’ve all done it: accepted a friend request from someone we don’t know in real life. It might be time to go through your long list of Facebook friends and start the un-friending process. This story looks at some of the reasons having the wrong ‘friend’ can be dangerous.
Friday, August 24th
update: App of the Day: Airbnb. I know everyone knows about Airbnb but I’ve talked to about a dozen people who didn’t know you can do more with Airbnb than a book a room at a stranger’s house. Airbnb has “experiences” within the app that find interesting things for people to do when they’re visiting a city or in the city they’re in. Everything from taking a photo tour to learning how to paint to spending an evening in a recording session.
I have a very early doctor’s appointment but I plan to have a new app of the day piece for you. I’m not sure what it will be right now but I’ll update this page as soon as I can.
Thursday, August 23rd
Remember Samsung’s Galaxy Note? The phone/tablet that kept exploding or catching on fire a few years ago? The new Note 9 will be released tomorrow and I thought it deserves a review. There are tons of Samsung users out there. It’s huge and has a pen that’s finally useful.
Wednesday, August 22nd
Did you know that Netflix takes requests? If you don’t see your favorite movies you can ask Netflix to add it. But you have to know where to find the email address to make it happen.
This is a repeat of the story that ran August 22nd, 2017. It is still relevant and correct.
Tuesday, August 21st
I’ve seen several of my friends get locked out of their Facebook account because they can’t remember their username and password and don’t have access to the email address they used when they first signed up. Most of us just open a browser or the app where we’re already logged in. Did you know Facebook won’t help you get back into your account unless you have that email address? But some of the friends you trust most can get you back in IF you know about this Facebook sign-in secret.
Monday, August 20th
iPhone battery myths. 3 things you’ve heard that keep your iPhone battery from an early death. Is charging it overnight bad for the battery? Does closing apps you’re not using make it last longer? and the one no one seems to know: should you let the battery drain to 0% before recharging or keep it on charge throughout the day? Which myths are true and which are false?
Friday, August 17th
the app of the day is the most popular education app that you probably haven’t heard about. “Remind” is being used by over 20 million teachers and parents to communicate about what’s going on in the classroom. No more having to send notes home about field trips, snacks, parties or problems.
Thursday, August 16th
Google isn’t the only one tracking you. Most iPhone users do not know their phone is leaving a trail and if you know where to look, you can (and maybe Apple) can see your every move. I’ll show you where to check in settings, how to turn it off and how to erase or delete the saved map of your trail.
Wednesday, August 15th
Back to school help. Students, teachers, professors can benefit from these websites and apps. Whether you’re writing papers, updating a blog, or clipping recipes from the internet, these programs are life-savers. Grammarly automatically corrects grammatical errors when writing anything, Evernote organizes anything you save and create. Throw old papers away.
Tuesday, August 14th
So Google is tracking you even when you turn off location services. It was the big story happening late in the day yesterday. So can you find out what Google has done to track you and what information it stores? Yes you can. I’ll show you how to see everything Google knows about you and how to delete it.
Monday, August 13th
“Alexa! Protect my house”. Alexa can do lots of things but you probably didn’t know she can keep someone from breaking into your house. How a few Alexa skills makes it look like no one is ‘Home Alone’.
Friday, August 10th
It’s the App of the Day. With kids going back to school i thought we’d look at an app to help anyone of any age learn any subject. Quizlet is the most popular study app in the world but there are a few things you should know before looking for it in the app stores.
Thursday August 9th
You probably take dozens of pictures every week with your smartphone and we rarely think of just how good those cameras are for something other than selfies. I’m looking at this year’s winners of IPPA, the iPhone photography awards to inspire people to take better photos.
Wednesday, August 8th
If you haven’t heard, Amazon is hiring and you don’t even have to put on pants to get the job. Virtual jobs are ‘work from home’ and Amazon has quite a few openings. Here’s what you need to know if you want to go to work for the world’s largest retailer.
Tuesday, August 7th
I cannot ignore another huge change for the 3 million+ people using MoviePass. The company just announced it will put a limit on the number of movies a subscriber can see in a month. Previously it was unlimited (one a day) now 3 a month. It’s not all bad news though. I’ll break down what the change means to subscribers and do a little math to see if it’s still a good deal.
Monday, August 6th
Parents can find ways to monitor what their kids are doing online, but only when they’re home. When a teenager is out or at a friend’s house, it’s almost impossible to keep an eye on what they’re seeing. Disney has a device that does the impossible. I found a family of four using the Disney Go who’ll tell us how it works.
Friday, August 3rd
The app of the day is a follow up to the story we did Tuesday. Musical.ly has been purchased by another company and the next time you or your kids update it, Musical.ly will change its name to Tik Tok.
Thursday, August 2nd
Are you getting more telemarketer and robo-calls? It may be because of the upcoming “Open Enrollment” period for insurance. Nearly every call I’m getting is about insurance options. They’re using tactics that make it impossible to block the calls on your own. I’m looking at an app that’s best at doing the blocking for you.
Wednesday, August 1st
With the big story of MoviePass changing its price and terms, I thought it’d be a good time to look at other options. After MoviePass launched other companies released competitors. With over 3 million current MoviePass subscribers some of them will be looking to switch or cancel the service all together. Let’s look at what the other movie subscription services look like? How do they stack up with MoviePass?
Tuesday, July 31st
UPDATE: MoviePass just released new information on how it plans to stay in business. This story might be better to run today. The Musical.ly story from Monday can hold another day.Is MoviePass dead? Over the past week MoviePass users have had a number of problems trying to use the service. The app is charging an extra fee for certain movies and times while not allowing people to use the card to see some movies at all. Want to see Mission Impossible? You can’t use your MoviePass card. What MoviePass customers need to know (this week) and how much longer can we expect it to be alive.
Monday, July 30th
What parents should know about the app Musical.ly. It’s the hottest app for young kids, like 13 and younger. They’ll tell Mom and Dad it’s just innocent fun making lip-sync videos but you won’t believe what I found on it. I describe it as soft-core porn for 12 year olds
Friday, July 27th
The App of the Day. Shopping app Flipp. We normally think of shopping apps the most around Black Friday and Christmas, but Flipp specializes in your weekly trip to the grocery store.
Thursday, July 26th
Off to college gadgets. You’ve picked up the essentials; towels, sheets, clothes but college students need a few more things. I’ve got some things parents should add to their list.
Wednesday, July 25th
Do you have someone going off to college in the next few weeks? Parents are getting things in place, buying things that are needed to make a dorm room home. Parents need to buy themselves a few ‘back to school’ gadgets as well. I’m looking at some things parents are going to need for themselves when their kids leave home.
Tuesday, July 24th
This is a talker. There’s a group of people in Michigan that started a Facebook page and group to shame suspected child sex predators. The group uses a decoy, posing as an underage boy or girl, to lure men online to meet in person. When they show up, someone from the group confronts them. And they do it on a Facebook Live stream. The suspected pervs are identified and have their faces and license plates shown. There’s concern that people in other cities will launch a similar group and page.
Monday, July 23rd
The absolute worst thing about Netflix is finding something to watch. There are thousands of movies that will never show up when you’re browsing what’s available to watch. The trick I’ll show you tonight could save you hours and help you find something to watch.
Friday, July 20th
The App of the Day. It’s ‘Date Night’ only you can’t find a babysitter. The sitter you always use is out of town and none of your friends on Facebook has any suggestions. “Urban Sitter” is an app to help parents find a sitter or nanny for the evening or a long-term schedule. since most of you have some weather moving through, I’ll keep this piece to around 1:00
Thursday, July 19th
Porch pirates. Prime Day was bigger than even Amazon dreamed and over the next couple of days, FedEx and UPS are going to be delivering a lot of packages. Porch pirates are going to be cruising neighborhoods looking for some of those packages left on doorsteps. I’m looking at things you can do to keep your items from being stolen.
Wednesday, July 18th
Podcasting. Just when some thought it would whimper and die it’s still going strong and getting stronger. I’m talking with one of the first podcasters who travels around the country teaching regular people how to start their own show. I’m sure many of our viewers have thought about starting a podcast about their passion.
Tuesday, July 17th
I feel that I need to do something else on Amazon Prime Day. It continues through midnight so the story should run today and not be held. I will look at last minute deals you can find, other places that are trying to compete with Prime Day and why a glitch cost Amazon millions of dollars. I’ll have the story ready for download by 4pm Eastern and will effort even earlier.
Monday, July 16th
over 1.5 million people subscribe to MoviePass, the movie-a-day app and service. In case you’re unfamiliar with it, for $10 per month Moviepass members can see one movie per day in the theater. But since it came out last year there are new restrictions and the latest rolled out to everyone over the weekend. Now, when you want to see a popular movie on a weeknight, you’ll have to pay more. I’ll explain how this works and what another theater chain is doing to compete.
Friday, July 13th
The #1 paid app in the App Store is for selfies. Facetune helps make certain that your selfies, Insta’s, and profile pics look good. Sometimes too good. Remember this app if you are swiping on Tinder.
Thursday, July 12th
Amazon Prime Day is Monday and it’s expected to be the biggest shopping day in Amazon History. There’s a reason this year’s deals may be better than ever. Amazon is charging sellers more $$ to list items so it’s likely to lead sellers to list only their best deals. I’ll explain that and have a few things you should do before buying anything on Prime Day and make sure you’re getting the best price.
Wednesday, July 11th
updating this pitch: I just spoke with a Macy’s media representative who explained that the Macy’s security system was not breached. What happened was that a number of Macy’s customers had used their Macy’s account username and password for other accounts. The hackers stole the log-in information from those other accounts and then tried them at Macy’s. My story will be about the problems of using the same username/password on more than one account.Another big data breach, this one from Macy’s. The company recently sent out emails to customers who had their account information stolen by a third-party. It included their name, address, username and password, phone number and email AND credit card or debit card numbers. The emails likely were caught in the customer’s spam folder. My story will focus on what Macy’s customers (and everyone for that matter) need to do with their online accounts.
Tuesday, July 10th
Krazy Kickstarter projects. It’s where inventors go to launch new products and to get money for developing their crazy ideas. I’m going to take a look at a few of the most recent, and most interesting Kickstarter projects available today, including a digital ‘swear jar’ that’s always listening for dirty words.
Monday, July 9th
Apple’s App Store turns 10 years old Tuesday. I’m taking a look at how it looked back then, and the most popular apps of all time. maybe a few other interesting tidbits of how it changed everything
Friday, July 6th
The App of the Day: Tubi. Watch popular TV shows and movies you’ll find on Netflix without a Netflix subscription. Watch them for free with this app, and it’s perfectly legal.
Thursday, July 5th
There’s a new live show every night through a shopping app. “Gravy” is a competition where hundreds of people watch a show with a real live host as he sort-of auctions off high quality products. It’s brand new and is about to explode like the HQ game app.
Wednesday, July 4th
About 20% of all smartphones die in the summer from water damage. It’s the 2nd leading cause of death. Since most water accidents happen in July I thought I’d take a look at what to do in the first few minutes to save a phone that’s been dropped in the pool.
Tuesday, July 3rd
How to save data when you’re out and on the road. Today I’m looking specifically at social media apps Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, three data-hogging apps that often are to blame for going over your family’s data plan.
Monday, July 2nd
It’s way too dang hot and your phone is probably using way too dang much cellular data during the summer. Why? Because you’re likely spending more time outside and more time away from wifi. Today and tomorrow I’m going to show you a few tricks to save on your cellular data while not sacrificing too much speed. Today I’ll look at how to find out which apps are using your data and how to turn off a few settings to make your monthly data package go farther.
Friday June 29th
The app of the day. A dating app that matches people not by their likes but by the things they hate. The pkg and script is already uploaded.
Thursday, June 28th
Did you wish you’d taken a class in college? Are you thinking of changing careers or do you just want to learn something new? This app and website will take you back to the classroom. It’s a great way to advance your education or earn a degree online. It’s Coursera.
Wednesday, June 27th
You visit a website and it wants your email address. It’s happening more frequently. Giving up your email address isn’t easy to do. You’ve heard of ‘burner phones’? I’ve found a burner email address anyone can use to protect their privacy.
Tuesday, June 26th
Apple releases iOS 12 Beta on Tuesday (but they jumped the gun Monday night). It’s got all the bells and whistles that will be included in the official release this fall but some people just can’t wait until then. Anyone can download the beta version, but should you? It could break your phone and that’s the honest truth. I’ll take a look at the features we’re looking forward to the most and hopefully answer the question: “should I download it now?”
Monday, June 25th
A heads-up and warning for parents: that Fortnite game download may be a fake and installing malware on your devices. Fortnite made $100 million in 3 months on iOS devices. But it isn’t available on Android devices. That isn’t stopping people from finding a way to download it. Hackers are pushing ‘fake Fortnite’ games out there that installs malware on the phone. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing how to do it. What parents should know if their gamer kid has an Android phone.
Friday, June 22nd
The App of the Day: Are you spending too much on food every month? Entertainment? Shopping online? This app, Mvelope uses the old envelope strategy to manage a budget. It’s among the highest rate money management app and if you’ve been meaning to stick to a budget, it’s the app for you.
Thursday, June 21st
Should you use Paypal? Whenever I’ve mentioned it in a story I always get at least one comment or email from someone who says they don’t understand Paypal or they don’t trust it. What is it and how does it work? Who needs it?
Wednesday, June 20th
Is Wish shopping a scam? There are hundreds of posts asking this question on the internet. We covered it a few weeks ago when I ordered several items to see the quality of the products and how long it took to be delivered. I just received the products and thought we’d follow up on it. Don’t worry, if you didn’t run the first story I’ll make this one work.
Tuesday, June 19th
update> it’s actually the World Health OrganizationThe CDC has officially classified video game addiction as a disease. Really? Yes. It was finalized Monday and the CDC explained it is in the same classification as gambling addiction. I’ll take a look at this and the growing number of guys who neglect getting a job, live at home with their parents, play video games for hundreds of hours well into their 20s.
Monday, June 18th
How to take awesome Instagram pictures. I went to Hollywood and did this story with an aspiring actress who, instead of waiting tables, teaches a class on Instagram. Her students are mostly other aspiring actresses building a presence on social media. I found it really interesting and she shares some tips.
Friday, June 15th
The App of the day: “Calm”. Everyone’s favorite PBS artist will help you fall asleep. Apple named this app the ‘app of the year’ a couple of years ago and I featured it then, but now “Calm” has a Bob Ross bedtime story. Ross is the legendary painter who had his own show on PBS decades ago. The guy with the afro who painted a masterpiece every afternoon at 3 (or whenever). Bob’s soothing voice seems to have struck a chord with people after he passed away and now this app has a “painting with Bob Ross” bedtime story so I figured we’d take a look.
Thursday, June 14th
One last Father’s Day tech gift idea stories. A microphone cable for dads who record audio or shoot video with a smartphone, a wide-angle lens case, an inexpensive wireless charging pad and the hot new electric toothbrush.
Wednesday, June 13th
I’m going to do 2 more Father’s Day Tech Gift idea stories today and tomorrow. Today I’m showing a do-it-all remote control that can control over 270,000 devices/programs, Apple’s AirPods, Google Home and if I can squeeze it in, a blue-tooth and wifi speaker that wirelessly plays music from any source, including free radio from around the world right from your computer.You might want to run the 2 Father’s Day stories same-day since airing it Friday may not give people enough time to order them. They both will be ready for download by 5 pm ET.
Tuesday, June 12th
I am efforting a package from Hollywood with an Instagram star. She’ll give us tips on how to take awesome Insta pictures. If I can’t get it to you in time, I’ve uploaded an evergreen piece on the dangers of free wifi in hotels. How to find the safe network to keep your private information private. I’ll let you know which piece will be ready in time.
Monday, June 11th
you probably won’t be able to get your kids to totally unplug on vacation. So what do you do? Here are a few tips for family vacations when everyone wants to be plugged in.
Friday, June 8th
The App of the Day: Trover. Have you ever been burned by pictures from a brochure of a vacation destination? Ever show up to find the beach or hotel is nothing like the pictures you saw on the website? This app of the day is the best travel photo app in the app stores. Real people uploading photos and reviews.
Thursday, June 7th
Vacation time and you’re bound to be out this summer looking for a coffee shop or restaurant with free public wifi. Rather than downloading a special app that may (or probably not) list everything, an app you have on your phone right now can literally walk you straight to a front door. Deep into Facebook there is a ‘find wifi’ feature. It uses the company’s Facebook page to display a map, directions and even the safe network you can use.
Wednesday, June 6th
An invention that will wash your car with a bottle of water. While searching for some Father’s Day tech gift ideas I found this car wash/emergency flasher/battery jumpstarter device that launched on Kickstarter. It’s a very techie-gadgety gift that dads tend to like. I’m going to give it a try to see if it works.
Tuesday, June 5th
Unless you guys want to change my mind, I’m going to do something on the best new features for the iPhone that were announced yesterday. I thought there might be too much already but I think I can make my story different. That’s what I’m planning to do so it’s probably a good idea to run this story today. Unless you feel there’s already been too much coverage by now. let me know if you don’t want this one. email@example.com
Monday, June 4th
New emoji are here! Officially tomorrow (June 5th) 157 will be released that includes redheads, bald heads, a fire extinguisher and a bunch of other things you may never need to use. How do they come up with new emoji? Why? Who? There’s more to them than you might think. I’ll explain why emoji are important with the goal of establishing a global language. *this piece is an updated version of the story from February when they first announced new emoji*
Friday, June 1st
The App of the Day. It’s an adult coloring book. Not a coloring book of adult pictures (ha) but books of highly detailed artwork that you can color with your fingers or stylus. It’s called “Pigment” and if you’ve got a long vacation car ride, it may just be what you’re looking for to pass the time.
Thursday, May 31th
The FBI is quite serious about its latest warning. Re-set your router! Why is this important? Our routers are connected directly to the internet so our anti-virus/malware software doesn’t touch it and the Russians are attacking them with no defense. What happens if your router gets hacked? It could give the bad guys control over our TV, smartphones, Alexa devices and anything else connected to wifi. I’ll explain that and show how to reset your router in 30 seconds.
Wednesday, May 30th
Alexa is listening. A week or so ago a woman found out that Alexa had recorded one of her personal conversations and sent it to her friends. How does that happen? For the millions of people who have Alexa devices in their home, Alexa has recorded many of their conversations. Of course they don’t know, but I’m going to show you how to find out what conversations Alexa has recorded and how to delete them. Hmmmm, what does she hear and record?
Tuesday, May 29th
Monday, May 28th
Happy Memorial Day. I need to run an evergreen piece today. It’s from July 2016 but certainly relevant today. Virtual Private Networks, it’s something you can use if you’re worried about hackers or companies watching what you do on the internet or anywhere online. I’ll explain how it works and why you may want to consider using it.
Friday, May 25th
The App of the Day: Gas Buddy. Two things we think about on Memorial Day: the pool opens and gas prices go up. Gas Buddy may be an app you used years ago but haven’t had on your phone for awhile. Is it still the best way to find low gas prices? Or is Waze the way to go now?
Thursday, May 24th
One of the tech stories making the rounds today is a report on the most used passwords of 2017. I figure you’ll probably do something with the actual list yourself, so I’m going to show you how to find out if your passwords have been stolen. There’s one website where you can input your passwords and it will show you if it’s EVER been compromised in one of the millions of data breaches in recent years. And, how you can easily create new passwords you can remember but no one else can guess.
Wednesday, May 23rd
Have you seen the commercials for a new shopping app called “Wish”? It is billed as the way to get loooow prices on clothes, gadgets, shoes, home goods and toys. The more you buy, the more they drop prices. If you download the app you’ll see there are some large strings attached including giving up your personal information before you can browse the stores. Commercials are starting to flood cable shows so I thought it’s a good story for the last night of the book. There will be a tease.
Tuesday, May 22nd
Are you planning to spend a night in an Airbnb or rented condo this summer? If so, are you going to look for hidden cameras? It’s a thing now as some Airbnb renters have found hidden web cameras in smoke detectors, motion detectors and even placed in holes made in books on the shelf. I’m going to look into how you can find any cameras that may be sending live video of you, back to the owner.
Monday, May 21st
The Mother’s Day gift idea stories got more traffic than any other story in the past few weeks so I’m going to do more than a couple gift idea segments for Dads and Grads. The first one looks at a powered paper airplane drone and a gadget that’ll turn dad into a master mechanic.
Friday, May 18th
The App of the Day: Huddle. You know how you sometimes get on Facebook for a few minutes and it makes your blood boil with stupid comments and angry posts? Do you sometimes feel you’re being left out on Instagram? Lots of people do. There’s a new social media network now just for people who support other people. Huddle is a place people go to join groups of people who are going through the same thing. Hop on there to get encouragement and encourage other people and be as anonymous as you like.
Thursday, May 17th
This story is by request from a news team. “Your TV has been hacked”. 10 years ago a sentence like that would have made no sense at all. You already know smart TVs track what you watch. Now some TVs have microphones and cameras that are always on. Some are connected to your social media accounts and Skype. There’s proof some TVs can be hacked to become spy bugging devices. I’ll be looking at ways to ‘unsmart’ a smart TV.
Wednesday, May 16th
Is the battery on your phone running down before the work day is over? It’s likely because you use Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. I’ll show you a quick fix and if you’re always visiting the same websites on your phone, I’ll explain how to create your own app for it.
Tuesday, May 15th
Curiosity killed the cat and it’s putting everyone’s privacy at risk of being stolen. Facebook and social media is one thing, but those ancestry DNA programs are another. As you’re probably aware, police used a public DNA database to catch the Golden State Killer who eluded police for more than 40 years. How did they do it and what does it mean to you?
Monday, May 14th
Is Amazon Prime still a good deal for you? Over the weekend Amazon raised the fee to $119/year. Now that stores are matching Amazon’s prices, is Amazon Prime worth the extra 20 bucks for the 100 million people who pay for it?
Friday, May 11th
You know when you shop at Amazon what an overwhelming experience it can be? Amazon is actually a terrible place to shop if you’re just browsing. Today’s App of the Day, “Canopy” curates products at Amazon.com to make it easier to find things that never show up on the front page.
Thursday, May 10th
A story by request: did you know you can use someone’s phone to make a call without their permission? You can pick up any iPhone and use Siri to make a call. Why is this feature necessary? It can help you locate the phone’s owner or their family. During the Las Vegas shooting last October one woman found an badly injured person and used this feature to contact his family. But if you don’t like it, you have to turn it off.
Wednesday, May 9th
a police department is warning parents of 10 dangerous apps to look out for on their child’s smartphone. What are these apps and why are they dangerous? I’ll take a look at the list that includes both apps you’ve heard of and many you haven’t. (Omegle, Yubo, ask.fm, kik, hot or not, burnbook, wishbone, whisper, instagram. (I’ll explain why police think Instagram is such a problem.)
Tuesday, May 8th
Robocalls are getting worse. According to the New York Times, Americans received an estimated 3.4 billion robocalls in April alone. You get them at work, at home, in church, after you go to bed. And now with tactics like calling from a local number, robo-calls are getting harder to dodge. I’m going to look at the numbers and a couple of imperfect options to avoid getting interrupted.
Monday, May 7th
There’s still time to order mom a gift for Mother’s Day and you might be scrambling to find a graduation gift for someone else. You might not think that mom would like a tech gadget and you most likely wouldn’t expect a high school student to want a notebook, but they haven’t seen these before. I’ve got a device that puts Alexa in the car, a flashlight that will charge your phone AND jump off a dead car battery, a paper notebook you put in the microwave and maybe the best sounding small Bluetooth speaker on the market.
Friday, May 4th
The app of the day is an app that lists “gigs” or jobs you can do to pick up some real money. It’s called Gigwalk and it’s a real thing.
Thursday, May 3rd
You’re probably spending 10 or more hours staring at a computer or smartphone screen every day. That’s a lot of blue light into your eyes. Is that something to worry about long-term? I’m checking out ‘computer glasses’, those amber or bronze tinted lenses that gamers swear by. Do they protect your eyes? Do they keep you from getting headaches or prevent eyestrain? Or is it just a bunch of marketing hype?There is also a tease already in the package folders.
Wednesday, May 2nd
I ran across this interesting statistic the other day: around 4 million moms in the United States identify as bloggers. Mommy blogs are insanely popular and small businesses are getting into the ‘blog’ area to promote themselves. Today’s story is for anyone who’s ever thought about starting a blog. How to get started, what to expect and the #1 thing new bloggers should never do. I’m also launching a series of blog how-tos on my website www.whatthetech.tv. It’d be great if you would link there for the stories.
Tuesday, May 1st
It’s Small Business Week and I’m going to try to do a couple of stories for people who are their own boss. The first, today is probably the best money-saving app I’ve seen this year. For anyone who has to keep track of their mileage for tax deductions, this app detects anytime you’re moving in a car and records the day, time, distance and the to and from address. At tax time you’ve got it all in one place. No more trying to remember to write it down.and a note: my plan for tomorrow is about starting a blog. I saw a survey the other day that showed the number of women who want to start a mommy blog or money saving blog is very high. And on Thursday is a series piece about ‘computer glasses’. Those amber colored lenses made for people who stare at a computer for hours each day. Do they work?
Monday, April 30th
Over 2 million people are wondering if their too-good-to-be-true MoviePass was as short-lived as they feared. MoviePass, the ‘movie a day app’ is making some changes and no one knows if it will ever return. I’ll break down the changes and what it means for current subscribers.
Friday, April 27th
Hitting that 2pm wall at work? Having trouble rolling out of bed? When staying awake is a challenge, Wake-Out is an app that can really help. It gives you some exercises and movements you can do right at your desk at work. And, it’s the app of the day.
Thursday, April 26th
YouTube Kids is getting an update that may set many parents’ minds at ease. I’ve hit YouTube pretty hard in the past for allowing some disturbing videos into the YouTube Kids app. Starting soon, they say parents will be able to have more control over what videos their kids can see. Parents will be able to filter videos that were reviewed by real people at YouTube to make sure they’re kid friendly.
Wednesday, April 25th
The website is back up and you can get everything from here. The ftp server is still being worked on so continue to get the stories from Dropbox for the time being. Today: how does Amazon’s new trunk delivery going to work? You may have heard that delivery drivers will be able to leave your packages in the trunk of your car while you’re at work. I’m going to show how it’ll work and whether it’s going to be a safe alternative.
Monday, April 16th
Please take note: I’m having to move this website to a new server which requires GoDaddy to take control of it for about a week and do some work. I won’t be able to update this site or page for the week. I’ll be putting everything at www.jameytucker.com temporarily. Thanks for understanding. Also, you will be unable to download packages and scripts from the ftp server this week. I’ll have everything in the Dropbox folders.
Friday, April 13th
The App of the Day. Are you working on a side-hustle? Do you have skills that others will find helpful? Or are you looking for someone to do a job for you? The app Upwork puts the needing and needed folks together. If you can write, help with accounting, customer service or dozens of other things, you can make up to $100/hour.
Thursday, April 12th
One of the things sort of lost in the Zuckerberg hearing was him responding to the conspiracy theory that Facebook listens to our conversations even when we’re just talking to friends. We’re going to visit this topic and if you’re not convinced, I’ll show you how to prevent Facebook from hearing anything we say.
Wednesday, April 11th
If you ever feel unsafe walking back to your car in a parking lot or anywhere else for that matter, you can quickly call 911 with just a few taps on an iPhone. Most people don’t know about Emergency S.O.S but it’s something every parent should make sure their kids know how to use. It could save their life.
Tuesday, April 10th
Facebook is sending some of its users a notification that allows them to check whether their profile and information was shared with Cambridge Analytica. Not everyone has received their notification yet but I’m going to show you how to check now and what to do if they find their profile included among the 87 million people who were affected. Zuckerberg is also expected to testify in a Senate hearing today.
Monday, April 9th
Ever wonder what’s in the mailbox? The U.S Postal Service has just launched a very cool program where they’ll take a picture of what you’re getting and e-mail it to you while you’re at work. Just sign up, it’s free and I’m going to show you how it works. I expect to get my first email on Monday. The story may change if it rains,sleets or snows or there’s gloom of night. Kidding.
Friday, April 6th
The App of the Day: Ink Hunter. I featured this app nearly 2 years ago and it’s available for Android devices now. Ever wondered what you’d look like with a tattoo? This augmented reality app lets you try it on before it’s permanent
Thursday, April 5th
facebook, the hits keep on coming. Now we know that “most” Facebook users have had their public information scraped by ‘malicious actors’. The announcement late Wednesday has Facebook users asking “What malicious actors?” and “What’s my public information?” I’ll show you what they got from you and how to prevent them from getting more of your information. The 3 things you should do before the weekend.
Wednesday, April 4th
MoviePass (my favorite app of 2017) has a lot of people going to the theaters again. Google is making date night easier. A new feature in Google will show you every movie playing near you, what they’re about, how they rate with critics and fans, and will even show the movie trailer. It’s the best thing to come to the movie theater since buttered popcorn (or moviepass)
Tuesday, April 3rd
Thinking of getting a new smartphone? The iPhone X is likely at the top of the list of options for Apple fans but is the $1,000 phone all its cracked up to be? Sales are sluggish and it may not get better. I’m looking at the iPhone X after 5 months and find its biggest weakness.
Monday, April 2nd
Is Facebook tanking? Even before the data leak controversy and the #deletefacebook movement, Facebook was having problems. I’ve gone back to look at numbers from the end of 2017 and people were spending less time on Facebook. How much? A total of 50 million hours. Why are people spending less time on the social network and does that say anything about the future?
Friday, March 30th
The App of the Day: One Password. 150 million people had their My Fitness Pal information stolen and it’s important for everyone to change their passwords. This app makes managing passwords super easy.
Thursday, March 29th
this story should air no later than Saturday. It is dated.Saturday is one of those special ‘tech days’. World Backup Day started as an April Fool’s joke years ago but it dawned on some folks that it’s a good idea to remind people to back-up their computers and smartphones. We’ve all got hundreds or thousands of photos stored on hard drives and what happens if it gets zapped? They’re gone unless you’ve backed them up. I’ll be looking at a few easy ways to backup what’s important to you.
Wednesday, March 28th
Facebook just changed how it allows users to control their information. Brand new settings that make it easy for people to delete things from their account. Which settings should you change first? What you need to know.
Tuesday, March 27th
More malware in the Google Play Store. Google has removed several QR Code Reader apps after it was discovered they installed malware on smartphones. Some of these apps were downloaded over a half-million times. I’ll show which apps are the problems, why it’s only a problem on Android phones and what every Android user should do to keep malware from infecting their phones.
Monday, March 26th
The latest (and greatest) smartphone hit the streets. You’ve seen the commercials for the Samsung Galaxy S9. Is it the best Android phone ever? I’m taking a look and having a couple of blog-stars try out the camera and emoji maker.
Friday, March 23rd
The App of the Day: Ada. How many times have you Googled your symptoms wondering what you might have before deciding whether to go to the doctor? Search engines process billions of medical searches every year from people who type in what’s bothering them. A new app, is a bot of sorts called “Ada” which asks you questions just like your doctor might in their office. And, it uses machine learning to get to know you for future visits.
Thursday, March 22nd
Sure everyone’s talking about deleting facebook, but most of our viewers won’t think of it. They’re too invested in sharing with their old and new friends and family. So what should they do instead? Stop sharing information with companies and stop tossing your neighbor’s information out for the world to see. I’m going to look at a couple of things that EVERYONE on Facebook should do asap.
Wednesday, March 21st
Teenagers do almost everything on their phone. Depression and suicide among teens is higher than anytime in history. So a group launched Crisis Text Line, where anyone can send a text to instantly chat with a counselor about what they’re going through. We’ll talk about how many teens they’ve helped, how it works and we’ll tie it into recent school shootings.
Tuesday, March 20th
#deletefacebook has become a movement as millions of people say they’ve had enough. We’re sharing too much information about ourselves and our friends. Do you want to quit? Would you quit? I’ll tell you why Facebook makes it so hard to delete your account.
Monday, March 19th
YouTube TV. It’s one of the options of streaming TV shows. Similar to Fire TV, Apple TV and the Roku. I’ll take it for a demo and show you the pros and cons and whether this is an option worth choosing.
Friday, March 16th
Looking for a job? Even thinking about changing careers? The App of the Day will tell you what no job listing will: what people who work there think, what are the benefits like? how’s management? Even if you’re not looking for a new job, Glass Door will let you know what your co-workers make.
Thursday, March 15th
Trees are about to start blooming which means allergy season is right around the corner. Congestion, sore throat, sneezing; many of our viewers expect it. Two apps are here to help by giving allergy forecasts and alerts for when things are in the air you may want (or need) to avoid.
Wednesday, March 14th
Spring cleaning the house and yard? Don’t forget where you live on your phone and online. I’m looking at some things we all need to do to spring clean our devices and Facebook account. For safety.
Tuesday, March 13th
Is this the greatest tech invention in the last 2 years? hmmmm. maybe? and it’s a notebook. Yep, a pen and paper notebook, but this one stores what you write in the cloud then you erase everything in it by sticking it in a microwave.
Monday, March 12th
What’s working for hackers these days? McAfee just released its new security report and the numbers do not look good for the average consumer/computer user. If you use your computer on public-wifi or if you open a certain message on Facebook, you may be mining for bitcoin without even knowing it.
Friday, March 9th
The App of the Day: if you’re getting ready for Spring Break or if you’re just thinking ahead to your next trip out of town, this app will help you see the world around you. Rather than having to type in names of places or search for a certain type of restaurant, this app tells you what’s in your path. Hold up your phone and it shows you what you’re looking for.
Thursday, March 8th
Some of those gadgets you never knew you needed. Pocket-sized gadgets including maybe the best smartphone grip ever made and a device that downloads every photo on your phone so you can delete them to save space, and a simple gadget that protects your privacy.
Wednesday, March 7th
Americans send millions of text messages every day and if you find yourself always trying to tap the right letters you might find these keyboards helpful. Google has a keypad you can install on any phone that makes texting easier and more fun. I’ll take a look at G-Board and SwiftKey and how they can help you practice safe text.
Tuesday, March 6th
Are you one of the millions of people with a MoviePass card? How can they offer such a great deal and stay in business? MoviePass CEO lets it slip how much they know about the people who use the card.
Monday, March 5th
Imagine being at an event where someone takes a picture of their friends and you’re just in the background. If it happens you might get a notification from Facebook that you’re in the photo, even if you don’t know the person who took it. Facebook’s new(ish) facial recognition feature, users are seeing the announcement popping up on their newsfeed. What is it? Should you be worried? How to turn it off?
Friday, March 2nd
Since everybody’s talking about the Oscars this weekend, I’m skipping The App of the Day today to do a story about movies. A lot of us now choose to stream movies from Netflix, Amazon or Hulu but you can still find DVD rentals out there. And it’s a different experience. Are streamed movies just as good as DVD’s” Is there a difference? We’re going to take a look.
Thursday, March 1st
Facebook introduced a new Messenger for Kids a couple of months ago. FB promoted it as a way for parents to monitor and control activity on the kids’ phones and allowing children to stay in touch with friends and family, share photos and communicate with groups of people parents approve. But is it a good idea? After all we’ve found out this year about smartphone and social media addiction and the effects the devices have on children, should you give your child a Facebook Kids Messenger account?
Wednesday, February 28th
Your kid already has a smartphone huh? Or you just don’t want to go out and spend $500 on a tablet you set up as a kid’s mode only. You have options, including Samsung phones with built-in parent controls, apps for iPhones, a protected wi-fi network for the home and another device by Disney that gives parents control over what each individual members of the family can do on their smartphone or tablet.FYI, tomorrow I’ll wrap up the month-long look at parenting and smartphones with a review of Facebook’s new Messenger for Kids app.
Tuesday, February 27th
I had already planned this story for today and then CBS This Morning mentioned it today. Most everyone knows that Google tracks everything we do online, if of course you use Google. It knows everything you search, every website you browse, every place you’ve been and everything that’s in your email. If that scares the crap out of you there’s another option. A browser called Duck Duck Go. What is it and how do you use it?
Monday, February 26th
Anyone who’s ever recorded video from a smartphone realizes how bad the audio can be. Facebook Live, bloggers, podcasters, reporters anyone who records or goes live needs better video. This is true for our viewers who want to submit weather videos etc. I’ve found a wireless microphone that works with smartphones. And a group of student storm chasers will try it out.
Friday, February 23rd
How many times do you listen to a song and not understand what they’re saying? Rocket Man has always stumped me, but I sing along in my car like I know all the words. There’s an app here to help. Find out what those lyrics are and what the song means. You may be surprised you’ve been singing it all wrong for a long long time.
Thursday, February 22nd
Too sick to go to the doctor? Not sick enough and you don’t want to risk getting the flu from the sicker-than-you people in the waiting room? Twice in the past 2 weeks friends of mine were in that group but needed to see a doctor. I told them about the online doctor app, Doctor on Demand. A lot of people have never used it. I’ll show how it works, how much it costs and what you can get.
Wednesday, February 21st
Many parents are re-thinking their kids getting a smartphone, especially at a young age. Over the past several weeks I’ve looked at some of the problems they cause and at a national movement encouraging parents to wait. But parents need to be in touch with their kids and that’s a big reason they give smartphones to them. There are other options. I’m talking with a mom who found some smart watches and we’ll look at the option of flip-phones.
Tuesday, February 20th
It’s 10pm, do you know what apps your kids are using? I’m looking at several of the crazy popular messaging and social media apps being used by millions of middle and high school students. What they are and what parents should know.
Monday, February 19th
Have you noticed that over the weekend the internet got ‘quieter’? If you use Google’s Chrome Browser, and most people do, there are no more pop-up advertisements and auto-playing videos interrupting you. Google is blocking the most disruptive ads and you can uninstall those ad blocker apps.
Friday, February 16th
The app of the day: If you feel your kids may spend too much time on their phones (and we all do) there’s an app that can change that. But rather than your kids getting all upset and screaming and “WHY???”, the app Unglue kind of makes a game of it where they can earn more time.
Thursday, February 15th
What is the best age to give your kid a smartphone? I’m talking to three parents of elementary school students about what they’ve noticed since their kids got their smartphone. Cyber-bullying at 11. We’ll also mention “Wait Until the 8th”, a national program by a group of mom’s asking parents to sign a pledge promising to wait until their kid is in the 8th grade.
Wednesday, February 14th
Another look at the problem of smartphone addiction. Not many people will admit to a problem with their smartphone but how do you know? There are a few apps to let you see how much time you’re spending on your phone and one that shuts down your phone for a period of time so you can focus. And if you don’t want to download an app, I’ll show you how to do it with a couple clicks in settings.Tomorrow night I’m interviewing a panel of elementary school parents about the right age to give a kid a smartphone.
Tuesday, February 13th
The new emoji are coming! The new emoji are coming! Yep, a brand new set of 150 emoji to make us scratch our heads and ask ‘what’s that one supposed to mean?’. I’ll have a look at the new ones coming later this year (a foot? a llama?) and a quick explanation of who comes up with these things and how.
Monday, February 12th
Romance apps. Wednesday is Valentines Day and this is the month of romance. I’ll be looking at several apps for whatever stage of relationship you’re in. First, a dating app that’ll find someone who’s a friend of a friend of a friend on Facebook. An app for couples to stay in touch throughout the day, an app for couples looking to spice things up a bit (it’s clean) and an app to help find a babysitter for a last-minute date.