daily story pitches
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Friday, May 29th
The app of the day. Did you know that, on average, we spend almost a half-hour searching for something to watch whenever we go to Netflix? I imagine that time has increased since the pandemic and safe-at-home orders began. I see on Facebook all the time, friends asking for recommendations on what to watch now that they’ve finished “Tiger King”, “Dead to Me” and “Ozark”. Today’s app of the day “Minnow” can help you find something to watch on Netflix, Prime, Disney, Apple, Hulu and most other streaming services.
Thursday, May 28th
Jobless numbers are due out today and it’s expected to show some tragic figures with another 40 million people applying for unemployment. I’ve done stories on how to make money online but those have been for small amounts of money. Today I thought I’d do something about using the internet to start a permanent job and career.
Wednesday, May 27th
thredUp is one of the most popular apps for people to sell and shop second-hand clothing. Now it’s headed to Walmart. Women (the customer base is almost exclusively women) can go through their closet and put up for sale any gently-used clothes. Through the app, other users can purchase those items. Today Walmart announced a partnership where it will offer those thredUP items on its website and digital platform. This is very interesting to a huge part of our key demo.
Tuesday, May 26th
You’re probably anxious to receive your stimulus check. Someone else can’t wait for you to get it either: scammers. According to a study by the app Hiya, spam and robocalls are up over 800% and many of them are from shady companies (and people) offering to take some of that stimulus money off your hands. I’m taking a look at where a majority of these calls are coming from and what you should do to keep from being scammed.
Monday, May 25th
Antenna scams. The number of people cutting the cable cord has gone up since the stay-at-home orders began. More people are streaming through Hulu, YouTube TV, Netflix etc. They’re also shopping for antennas to watch programming for free. You have to be careful though buying an antenna on Amazon. There are many scams advertising antennas that are too-good-to-be-true. Here’s what to look out for and what an antenna can do.
Friday, May 22nd
The App of the Day. I can’t believe I haven’t included a fitness/workout app for people trying to get fit at home and away from the gym. Today’s app of the day is the #1 rated fitness app Zova.
Thursday, May 21st
Facebook took a step (this morning) to help users avoid spam and scams sent through Facebook Messenger. We’ve all gotten odd message invites from people we don’t know, or we don’t know if it’s who they say it is. Now when you receive a suspicious message Facebook will flag it and ask if you know and trust that person. Facebook says spammy messages are on the increase and they’ve been working on this tool for some time.
Wednesday, May 20th
On the lighter side today. Trying not to bombard people with scams, hacks etc. what do you do when you feel you’ve binged everything on Netflix, seen it all on TikTok, read every update on Facebook and every Insta? Why not take a peak at normal everyday life, before the ‘rona? I’m going to show one of my favorite websites that shows “never-before-seen” YouTube videos. Astronaut.io
Tuesday, May 19th
People are getting scammed when they get a new Roku and getting e-mails from fake Roku support telling them they have to pay $70-$200 to activate their Roku account or pay a subscription. As you know, millions of people are buying Roku’s and FireSticks to stream for the first time. Many don’t know how they work so they’re falling victim to these scams. The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert about this and I’ll explain plus show people what they need to know about these streaming devices and how to activate them.
Monday, May 18th
People are spending more time online and on social media, especially Facebook. And they’re taking polls, playing the “what was your first car. Who are your favorite teachers? What was your first concert?” We’ve been told it’s not a good idea, why? Over the weekend setting up a new account for a security camera I was asked many of those questions for password recovery security. I thought I’d revisit the reasons not to play along with certain games and how to trick potential hackers from ruining your day.
Friday, May 15th
The app of the day #selfcare this is a unique meditation app. It’s designed especially for people who are stressed due to COVID-19, job loss, isolation etc. it uses artificial intelligence to help anyone who’s having a tough time and study after study shows millions of people are seeking counselors and therapists for the first time.
Thursday, May 14th
If people are going to be working from home longer, hackers will be stepping up efforts to crack into their computers and networks. Employees who are using company computers and connecting to their company networks, hackers will have a better opportunity to gain access to them. Think of what can happen if someone logged into their company’s server and network click on something they shouldn’t. A hacker might be able to access that network. How to protect yourself, and your company as you WFH
Wednesday, May 13th
What if this is forever? On Tuesday,Twitter emailed its employees and told them that they could work from home “forever”, even after the pandemic and stay-at-home orders end. Technology makes this possible for millions of people who may never need to go into an office again. So maybe it’s time to re-think the space we use for our Zoom meetings. I’m going to look at some things to consider if this is a more permanent situation. Where to set up a home office in relation to the internet connection. How to improve the sound quality so your co-workers can hear you and not the screaming kids or barking dogs in the other room. Then tomorrow I’m going to look at some of the security and privacy concerns and how to make sure your protected from hackers if you’re always working from home.
By the way, I would appreciate any story ideas as it pertains to tech and gadgets etc.
Tuesday, May 12th
Graduation gift ideas. Seniors in high school and college are getting a raw deal. No graduation ceremonies, no prom, no parties, so maybe they deserve something special. I’ve rounded up some pretty cool gifts that make good gifts for young people who may be looking for jobs, need to do online interviews, do their videos etc. They include selfie lights, a smart alarm clock, phone light and a pair of noise canceling headphones.
Monday, May 11th
A smartphone or tablet may be an easy way to keep kids occupied during isolation, but do you know what they’re doing or who they’re talking to? I’m taking a look at the dangers that parents need to be aware of and which apps to look for on their phones.
Friday, May 8th
The app of the day, Restly. Lots of folks are having a tough time sleeping during isolation and the pandemic scare. I’ve tried over a dozen sleep apps and just discovered this one used by members of the military to fall asleep quickly. The app claims it helps soldiers fall asleep in as little as 7 minutes. Does it work?
Thursday, May 7th
If you’re still stuck at home after a month-plus, it may be taking a toll on your mental health. And if you were already seeing a mental health counselor you may be wondering what you can do. Today I’m going to take a look at a few apps to help you deal with the pandemic, psychologically.
Wednesday, May 6th
An app to get your kids to do their chores, and learn how the world works. Busykids is a fairly new app that teaches kids as old as 16 the value of money and how to earn it. It allows parents to set chores for their children in order to earn an allowance. Other apps do that of course, but this one also encourages kids to save some of what they earn, give some of it to charity, invest in the future and how much is left over to spend on what they want. I’m talking to the man who developed the app and a mom who’s been using it to get her young daughter to work for her allowance.
Tuesday, May 5th
More Mother’s Day gift ideas. The first piece last week got such a good response I want to do another gadget gift ideas story for today. I’ll include a mini-portable espresso maker to take on the road, the best digital picture frame on the market, best choices for earbuds that are not from Apple, and a home workout mirror (if you really want to spend a lot of money). These are gifts that you’ll need to order now to get there on time.
Monday, May 4th
Over the weekend I got several emails from viewers asking about how to improve their slow wifi. They said it’s so slow they can barely Zoom with their co-workers or watch something on YouTube or Netflix. Today, I’m going to diagnose some of the most common problems with wifi and how to improve it right now.
Friday, May 1st
The App of the Day. It’s probably the most overlooked app that comes installed on every iPhone and iPad but iTunes U should be visited while people are sheltered in place and maybe out of work. iTunes U allows anyone to take high school and college level courses for free. A computer science class from a Stanford professor, sit in on a statistics class at Harvard. Or get the basics of photography in a college or high school class. For free!
Thursday, April 30th
Jobless numbers are due out today and millions of people are trying to find a way to pay rent, food and utilities. Today I’m going to look at a few options where you can make money, maybe even earning a living beyond the pandemic. All of these options are possible now online. I will have this story done by 3 PM ET in the event you want to run it along with the jobless numbers.
Wednesday, April 29th
A non-rona story today. Mother’s Day is May 12th and if you want to make sure you get an online order on time for you to mail it out again, you can’t wait much longer. Today I’m looking at tech gifts for mom. She probably isn’t the ‘techiest’ person in the family, but I’m rounding up some tech gadgets she’ll use and love.
Tuesday, April 28th
Social Distancing Network. A couple decides families stuck at home with their kids might need some help keeping them busy and entertained while teaching them something. The couple built a TV studio in their home and started producing videos for kids of all ages. Their web-TV channel is called “social Distancing Network”. Dad shoots the videos, mom is in front of the camera.
Monday, April 27th
Everybody’s coming after Zoom. Facebook has just released Messenger Rooms, a Zoom and Skype competitor where users can meet over video. I tried it over the weekend with a high school class reunion to see how it works. I’ll explain how to use it and whether you should switch from Zoom.
Friday, April 24th
The app of the day: this app helps you find stores with toilet paper and other essential items in stock. Originally, the app Our Streets, was to protect streets and neighborhoods from things like parked cars blocking lanes and distracted drivers. When the pandemic hit and people rushed stores to buy toilet paper, developers of the app pivoted to provide information on stores that have TP, bread, milk, eggs etc. With this app you can see the current status of what’s in stock.
Thursday, April 23rd
Price gouging on Amazon. A new report shows the price of some items during this pandemic were 700% higher than normal. A law firm filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of Amazon shoppers who paid too much for hand sanitizer, wipes and other essentials. I’ll tell you what you need to know and how to add your name to the suit.
Wednesday, April 22nd
Today is Earth Day. One of the biggest challenges for people to help the planet is what to do with those electronics you no longer want or that no longer works. What should you do with them? Put them in the trash or at the end of the driveway? Where can you safely throw them away? Also, the best way to save the earth in regards to your computer and phone. NOTE: I will not mention in the package that this is Earth Day. I know some of you run the stories a day behind. I am going to move up my deadline today in case you want to run it early. I will have it uploaded by 3 PM EST.
Tuesday, April 21st
If you’re doing Zoom or Skype or Facebook Live, you may have noticed some people’s live stream looks and sounds great but yours needs some help. I’m looking today at 3 products to improve your lighting and sound that can make a huge difference, and make your Zoom virtual background pop.