The new page for daily story pitches
Friday, November 15th
There’s a brand new app that helps one of life’s biggest frustrations: finding something to watch on Netflix. A survey found that on average, Netflix users spend 23 minutes just scrolling through to find something to watch. Minnow was just released this past week and it curates movies based on what you like. In the mood for a rom-com? Looking for a disaster movie? Or an underdog hero? Minnow will search through Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO to show you what’s available on the streaming services you subscribe to.
Thursday, November 14th
Walmart dropped its Black Friday sales flyer today and other major retailers have done the same recently. If you’re going to be shopping in stores you’re probably going to be using your smartphone too. You’ll use it to comparison shop, clip coupons and probably to buy things. If so, there are some things you should keep in mind when shopping with apps or websites.
Wednesday, November 13th
subscriptions for clothes. Yes, these are very popular and lots of people are going to be trying them during the holidays. The idea is, you pay a company to do your shopping for you. They send you a box of clothes they pick out just for you and you decide which ones you want to keep. To see what it’s like and how it works, I signed up and just got my first box.
Tuesday, November 12th
It’s here and every parent wants to know about Disney Plus. The streaming service launches today. How much does it cost? How do you watch it? What can you see? I’m downloading it today and signing up to show and tell you what it’s like.
Monday, November 11th
Apple Privacy. You’re being tracked everywhere. Amazon, Facebook and Google share your data with other companies willing to pay for it but Apple is going all-in on privacy. Maybe you’ve seen their new marketing campaign. So here’a a closer look at how Apple tracks you but what happens to your information.
Friday, November 8th
The App of the Day: Black Friday sales have already started so if you don’t already have a favorite shopping app, this is one to consider. Pricepulse and Pricepulse Black Friday let you add items to a wish list and then will send you an alert when the price of those items drops. You can also see the lowest price ever on items and when they were on sale. But it’s only for Amazon shoppers.
Thursday, November 7th
UPDATE: 1:17 PM Overnight many people received strange text messages from someone in their contact list. The messages seemed out of context and random and the person who allegedly sent the message knew nothing about it. Some of the messages were reportedly from people who have passed away! What are they and where did they come from? What happened exactly? We’re starting to get some answers and it’s pretty interesting. I’ll have this story posted by 4 PM Central time.
I’ll save the Apple Privacy story for another day.
Wednesday, November 6th
The one mistake people make using Venmo. I’m talking with a financial expert about the dangers of using your primary bank account with Venmo. It’s possible if someone were to steal your Venmo account information that they could gain access to your entire bank account. He shares with us what you should do instead.
Tuesday, November 5th
Nearly 60% of people say they’ve been charged by an app because they never canceled a free trial. Apps get you to download their ‘free app’ but make it likely you won’t cancel in time to keep from being charged to continue using it. And once your subscription begins it is very difficult to get your money back. Today I’m going to look deeper into the dangers of ‘free trials’ and how to cancel and keep your money where you want it.
Monday, November 4th
making the impossible possible. We all know that we should use passwords using the following parameters:
Friday, November 1st
The App of the Day: Rakuten. Turning from Halloween now folks are thinking about Christmas and shopping. Some of you know about Rakuten. Formerly Ebates, this app claims to save people money while shopping in stores or online by giving up to 5% cashback on purchases. Cashback is a very big thing these days. Does it work?
Thursday, October 31st
There’s a new iPhone update available. While most updates contain important safety improvements to fix flaws, update 13.2 contains new features every iPhone user will like. The new emoji are included, and if you have certain phones, pictures will be much better. If you have an older iPhone 5, it’s an update you need to do right away for your phone to keep working.
Wednesday, October 30th
The streaming landscape is changing. Apple TV+ comes out in a couple of days, Disney + will launch soon and one of the first big players, PS Vue is pulling the plug. What are the choices now and which one (or two or three) is right for your family? Here’s a look at what to consider.
Tuesday, October 29th
Protect yourself from Google. By now you know that Google is tracking your phone and you wherever you go in real life or in the digital world. Everywhere your phone goes, even when you turn off location history. Now Google has (finally) released a tool where you can manage what information Google has on you. Sort of.
Monday, October 28th
What is the Apple Card like after using it for 2 months? I’ve been using it almost exclusively since receiving it. This is a hands-on review of how it works, why it’s much better than a debit card for shopping, and why it’s perhaps the best ‘first credit card’ for people establishing their credit line.
Friday, October 25th
The app of the day: Gigwalk. If you’re going to spend some time shopping in brick and mortar stores this holiday season, you might want this app on your phone. Companies pitch jobs, or gigs to Gigwalk, looking for mystery shoppers who will stop by stores, take photos of products and interact with salespeople. It’s highly rated in both app stores and some people report making some real money.
Thursday, October 24th
What is your identity worth? On the dark web you’ll see passports, driver licenses, credit cards and social security numbers for sale. Almost all of it has been stolen from people who’ve posted them online somewhere. It’s amazing to see what crooks are buying and selling online. Let’s see how much your name, passport, address, driver’s license is going for on the dark web. If this doesn’t make you want to take extra steps to protect yourself, nothing will.
Wednesday, October 23rd
Can you get the flu from a smartphone? Yes! Since it’s flu season I thought I might answer that question and tell you the one thing you should do (or not do) to keep the flu from spreading in your home, at work or at school. (Don’t let anyone else touch it). I’ll also look at how to clean your phone safely and a product that rids the phone of germs.
Tuesday, October 22nd
Why you should not download the viral Gradient app. If you’ve been seeing posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook of friends posting photos of which celebrity they most look like, it’s this app Gradient which has vaulted to the top of the downloads list in both app stores. Is it harmless? Or is it like some other apps that share your information? Neither. Here’s why you shouldn’t download this app and how it can cost you money.
Monday, October 21st
Oh boy, look what Facebook is doing. The look of Facebook is changing and it’s the biggest change in the social network’s history. Everything is bigger and wider and there’s even a dark mode. I’ve got a sneak peak at what Facebook is working on
Friday, October 18th
The App of the Day: Our Pact. Just in time for Halloween I’m taking a look at an app that helps parents keep up with their kids 365 days a year. It uses GPS location to let parents see where they are, can send alerts when they get where they’re going and can also set a geo-fence where parents get alerts if they leave the area. But it also helps parents monitor what their kids are doing online.
Thursday, October 17th
You’re charging your phone in the car all wrong! I hesitated with doing this story until I started noticing that so many people use the USB port in their car to charge their phone. And, so many of them were using cheap gas station/walmart charging cables. Why you should not use the USB port to charge your phone and what to do instead.
Wednesday, October 16th
Does it seem like you’re getting more robo calls this time of year? It’s true as companies are hitting open enrollment season with calls about health care options. If you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 13 there’s a new setting that’ll stop some of those calls from interrupting your day. I’ll show you what you need to do to silence calls from robots and spammers.
Tuesday, October 15th
In case you missed it there’s a big video game thing going on. Fortnite Chapter 2 launched today and there’s lots of excitement about it. Fortnite is the #1 video game in the country and millions of kids (and adults) play it online for hours at a time. I’m looking to talk with a counselor about the very real problem of video gaming addiction.
Monday, October 14th
Your smart TV tracks you and now we learn even Roku’s and Amazon Fire TV’s will track what you watch and your other habits and send that information to other companies. I’ve got details on a new study that watched their TV’s watching them.
Friday, October 11th
The App of the Day: Turo. Would you let a stranger drive your car for a few days? Or maybe you’d like to drive a high performance Lamborghini or Maserati? Turo is a ride sharing app of a different sort. It allows regular folks to advertise and rent out their car or truck.
Thursday, October 10th
Think a $1,000 smartphone is overpriced? I’m making the case that smartphones are worth even more than that. I’ve found a Radio Shack ad from the 90s and realized almost everything in the ad is now on a smartphone. Let’s see how much adds up.
Wednesday, October 9th
Ever gone to a website for some kind of promotion and they require an email address? Or maybe you want to try some new service but don’t want to give out your primary email. You’ve heard of burner phones, this is burner email. Just add a tab to your home screen and the service will create a temporary untraceable email address.
Tuesday, October 8th
You can find and buy just about anything on Amazon. From “a” to “z” is in the company logo. I went looking for the oddest, weirdest, strangest and stupidest products for sale. You won’t believe what I found.
Monday, October 7th
A poll shows consumers underestimate their expenses each month. Phones, TV, internet and then there are the subscriptions. We may not subscribe to the paper or many magazines anymore but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by $10 per month subscriptions. I’m looking at how easy it is to spend money on things we don’t need and how to get a handle on it all.
Friday, October 4th
The app of the day: MadeFire comics. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your kids to read? Sure, some children can’t put down a good book but these days most prefer to play video games and watch YouTube. MadeFire is a comic book app with all the classics.
Thursday, October 3rd
Looking for a full time job or a part-time side hustle? Amazon has over 700 jobs open right now for people who can work from home. Virtual jobs done from wherever you want or need to be and some come with great benefits including 401k and insurance. I’ll show you how to apply and what they’re like.
Wednesday, October 2nd
What is it like shopping at Zulily? The online shopping alternative to Amazon and Walmart has thrown down the gauntlet this week by advertising it will match prices and that 97% of its products are already priced lower. Let’s go shopping to see the difference.
Tuesday, October 1st
Be careful what security camera you buy for your home. An analysis of cameras on Amazon found many that were a security risk and people could actually watch and control your camera. And these are Amazon Choice products. I’ll take a look at the troublesome cameras and the one thing you need to do anytime you buy anything that connects to the internet.
Monday, September 30th
Tech for when it’s hard to hear. Whether you have some level of hearing loss or if you’re just in a crowd trying to watch a football game, these apps and a speaker can help you hear what’s going on.
Friday, September 27th
The App of the Day: Kitchen Stories. I’ve learned people love travel and cooking apps and Kitchen Stories is one of the newest recipe apps to hit the app stores. It’s similar to others but people are going to prefer this one because of how it looks. It’s one of the top iPhone apps right now and just won a big award from Apple.
Thursday, September 26th
One of the biggest problems with shopping at Amazon is the reviews. Most people read them before making a decision on what to buy, but so many of the reviews are fakes or are paid for. What’s the solution? Amazon quietly rolled out “Vine Reviews”. These are verified reviews from people who’ve been chosen by Amazon to write them. It’s an application process and it’s Amazon’s way to fight back.
Wednesday, September 25th
This is a big time of year to get a new phone. A new iPhone, Samsung’s recently released S10 etc. How do you get the most for the phone you have now and what should you do before selling it?
Tuesday, September 24th
One of the most controversial apps for parents is shutting down. Kik, which allowed young people to chat, message and share videos with strangers was criticized by law enforcement, parent groups and child advocacy experts. It was the app sex predators would use often to meet and chat with pre-teens and was blamed for several deaths and disappearances of children. A look at the troubled history of the Kik app and what other apps parents want to be be aware of.
Monday, September 23rd
Amazon Prime Music has launched a new and improved Ultra HD option. One of the worst things about streaming music is the sound quality. Pay a little more for Amazon Music and you’re supposed to be able to hear cd quality audio of your favorite songs. How is it? Is it worth the extra money?
Friday, September 20th
The app of the day: Scholly Search. This is the time of year parents of high school students are looking for money. They’re searching high and low for scholarships. But where do you start? Scholly Search pulls together most every available scholarship and there’s a ton of them. This may be the most important app mom and dad will ever download.
Thursday, September 19th
A new operating system is out and iPhone users will be prompted to update to iOS 13. Should you do it now or wait? I’m going to take a look at why you might want to wait a few days and what you should do before starting the download.
Wednesday, September 18th
You may never want or need to sign in with Facebook or Google again. One of the highlights of iOS13, which releases tomorrow, is “Sign in With Apple”. When you download and install a new app you’ll be able to use your Apple login. Is this better than using Facebook or Google? You bet it is. I’ll explain how this works and why you’ll want to use it.
Tuesday, September 17th
And you thought it wasn’t possible for your kid to spend more time on their phone. One of the biggest announcements at last week’s Apple event was Apple Arcade. An online Netflix-type subscription service for video games. It isn’t coming out until next week but I got access to it to see what it’s all about.
Monday, September 16th
Zombie apps. We’ve all got apps on our phone that we never use. Did you know the average person has over 80 apps on their phone and uses less than half of them? Is that a problem? Could be. I’ll show you how to find and delete those accounts you never use that could potentially sell your personal information.
Friday, September 13th
The App of the Day: Just Watch. This is an app I featured a few months ago. Ever scroll through Netflix or Amazon or Hulu trying to find something to watch. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one place to you could go to see everything? Just Watch is an app that pulls together every movie and TV show available for streaming.
Thursday, September 12th
Antenna scams. Amazon is flooded with cheap antennas from Chinese manufacturers making all kinds of bogus claims about their products. Claims their antennas can get stations from 160 miles away, 4K and even cable channels. I’ll show some of these scams and explain what antennas can and cannot do.
Wednesday, September 11th
If you don’t want to spend $1,000 for the new iPhone Pro, you’ll be happy to know the phone you have now is going to be much better with lots of new features. Apple is going to release the new operating system iOS 13 on September 19th. What’s it like? I’ve been using it for the past few months and I’ll show you what to expect.
Tuesday, September 10th
Apple is expected to unveil new iPhones, Apple Watches and maybe something we don’t expect. I’m going to watch the announcement and turn something around for you. I’m going to be watching from a hotel or maybe the airport but I’ll cut a reaction piece in time for your early evening newscasts, the deadline is 4 pm eastern. It should probably run Tuesday.
Monday, September 9th
What is GoFundMe and how does it work? Millions of dollars are being raised for hurricane relief and there are some things you should know before making a donation through GoFundMe. How does it make money? Who gets the money you donate? Is your donation tax-deductible?
Friday, September 6th
The App of the Day. Facebook Dating. The company rolled it out to all users this week. What is it, how does it work? Is it safe?
Thursday, September 5th
Great. Get ready for more spam calls. The phone numbers of 412,000 people from a Facebook database were found online unprotected. That means any company or companies could have accessed those numbers which also led to the person’s Facebook profile. What can hackers do with that information. I’ll explain their SIM swapping scheme as well as explain why it also could mean you’ll get more spam calls.
Wednesday, September 4th
Facebook’s facial recognition. Most people don’t know it’s there or how it works but now Facebook is rolling out automatic facial recognition for photos to all users. What does it mean? Any time you show up in someone’s photo you’ll get a notification. It’s already turned on for some people. I’ll also show you how to turn it off.
Tuesday, September 3rd
Emergency gadgets. With everyone following coverage of Hurricane Dorian I thought it’d be a good time to take a look at some gadgets to have in case of your own emergency. Phone chargers, cables, portable power, lights. These are tech gadgets to put in your emergency kit home or away.
Monday, September 2
Happy Labor Day. I’ve got a story today about some secrets of the iPhone. If you miss the home button you can add your own, shake to erase and how to get more sound when you’re playing music. These are simple tricks a lot of people didn’t know they can do.
Friday, August 30th
breaking news: There’s a huge tech story out today that I’ll cover. Google’s team found a problem with iPhones that allowed for them to be hacked. All an iPhone user had to do was visit an exploited website. I’m still sorting it out but I’ll do a ‘talkback’ type story of what viewers need to know about this hack and what they can do to help prevent this kind of thing. It’s a story that should run today.
Thursday, August 29th
Facebook’s new scam. Maybe you’ve gotten a message in recent days from a Facebook friend asking if an attached video is from you. The BBB and others are warning people that a click will steal their login information. How does it work? I’ll explain.
Wednesday, August 28th
Instagram hashtags and your child. Instagram just deleted a number of hashtags believed to be used by pedophiles to find and contact teenagers. A British man was just found guilty of using Instagram to ‘groom’ a 15 year old girl. What parents need to know before they use hashtags on those cute pictures of their kids.
Tuesday, August 27th
Disturbing videos targeting kids will be deleted and not allowed on YouTube. I’ve covered, or uncovered, some of the intentionally disturbing videos found on YouTube and even YouTube Kids. Google-YouTube has installed a new policy where those videos will not be allowed. Disturbing videos such as Spider-Man and Disney princesses drinking from the toilet and PepaPig chasing his dad with a gun. Can’t believe it took Google this long to take action.