daily story pitches
Friday, June 18th
Continuing today on summer shopping events. The App of the Day is “Pricepulse”. It’s a must-have for Prime Day shoppers but is helpful to anyone looking for the big price drops anytime of the year at Amazon. Search for any item to see its current, average, highest and lowest prices ever. It also lists items that are currently for sale at their lowest prices ever.
Thursday, June 17th
Prime Day is Monday and Tuesday of course. That gives you the weekend to get prepared. Amazon has some advice on how to not only find the best deals, but better your chances of getting the items you want before they sell out at their lowest prices. I’m taking a look at a few things you’ll want to do over the weekend if you plan to shop Prime Days.
Wednesday, June 16th
Amazon Prime Day has some competition. Target, Walmart and Best Buy are giving Amazon a run for its money (and yours) by offering Prime Day-type bargains. Some of the deals are even bigger than Prime Day. What to look for and how to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Tuesday, June 15th
Facebook and human trafficking. A new report shows that Facebook is being used by human traffickers to groom children and adults. The numbers are pretty scary and should give parents pause when it comes to letting their kids use social media. I’m talking with an investigator with the Human Trafficking institute about they found and what parents should know about the tactics these bad guys use to attract children.
Monday, June 14th
Amazon has made it tough on small local businesses. Some haven’t survived of course. With Amazon Prime Day coming up next week Amazon is trying to help small businesses by offering free money. Shop at a small business (local or not) on Amazon and you’ll receive a $10 credit for Prime Days. I’m interviewing the owner of a small business who says Amazon helped keep the doors open, saved the company, and actually grew sales during the pandemic.
Friday, June 11th
The App of the Day: Discogs. Tomorrow is the first of two Record Store Days (the other is next month). As someone who loves vinyl records, I’ve shared this app with several people lately who’ve asked about where to buy and sell record albums. Discogs is an app people use when buying and selling records and find out what their records are worth. You can mention Record Store Day in the lead-in if you run the story today. I won’t mention RSD in the package.
Thursday, June 10th
The Voila app, is it safe? I’ve had many people (some of you) ask if this face-shifting app is safe to use. If you haven’t seen it, you take a photo of yourself and the app turns your face into a cartoon or oil painting. I’m going to look at how this app works, how it makes money, what you need to know about what they can do with your photos. And, how our attitudes about these apps have changed over the past few months.
Wednesday, June 9th
Today I am talking with a retired FBI Special Agent who was assigned to cyber-security. He’s talking about ransomware and what the government is doing to catch the bad guys and whether companies should pay the ransom or not. He’s also pitching a plan that just might end or slow down the surge in ransomware.
Tuesday, June 8th
Ransomware and how to stop it. The FBI says it recovered millions of dollars in Bitcoin from the ransomware attack on the Colonial pipeline. It also said the reason the ransomware was able to shut down the pipeline was a single password that was compromised in a breach. One employee with either a bad password or one that was leaked. One person. So today I thought I’d look at how one employee can theoretically take down an entire company and affect the public. Things to do, things to avoid.
I’ll follow up today’s story with a retired FBI special agent tomorrow who will talk about the government response and what it can do better.
Monday, June 7th
Father’s Day gift ideas. We’re under 2 weeks til Father’s Day and I’m rounding up a few more tech gift ideas including a new desktop charger, a garage door opener, car camera and a few other things.
Friday, June 4th
The App of the Day: Chopra. You’ve probably heard of Deepak Chopra; this is his app to help people relax, kick bad habits, sleep better, be a better parent, employee, spouse and teach and guide you using meditation. This app includes all of Chopra’s tools and knowledge.
Thursday, June 3rd
Amazon Sidewalk. What is it and how to get out of it. Amazon Sidewalk is new technology that uses Echo devices, Some Ring devices and other Amazon products to create a mesh network tying homes together whether you know them or not. Amazon says the idea is that the network will ensure your cameras and other devices stay connected and online even if you lose internet connectivity. Sidewalk launches next week and you have less than a week to opt-out. I’ll try to explain how this technology works and how to opt out of participating.
Wednesday, June 2nd
The strangest products for sale at Amazon. The online retail giant suggests shoppers can find everything from A-Z on the site. Today I’m doing some window shopping to find the strangest, weirdest, craziest products you won’t believe are for sale on Amazon. Live bugs, human bones, and houses.
Tuesday, June 1st
Google is accused of hiding a setting where people could disable tracking. The setting includes a toggle where users can turn on or turn off tracking that records everywhere you go. Of course if people are presented with the option most will turn it off (we’ve seen that when Apple put the information front and center of apps we use). So…where is that setting? I’ll show you plus show you what happens if tracking is left turned on.
Monday, May 31st
Happy Memorial Day. People who use the USB port in their car to charge their phone should see this. That plug isn’t really charging your phone. At least not much. I’ll explain why and show the best way to charge your phone when you’re on the road. I did this story a couple of years ago but refreshing it.
Friday, May 28th
The unofficial start to summer! If you’re putting together any kind of summer reading list this app of they day will be your best friend. I know I’ve mentioned Libby before but a recent update adds more tools to “virtually” checking out library books from your local library. The App of the Day: Libby.
Thursday, May 27th
Upgrade everything about your computer and make it easier to work from home. Wires, wires, wires. If you’re like most people they’re strung across your desk connecting a mouse and keyboard to the computer. I’m looking at a few ideas to clear your desk of clutter while making your work space more conducive to getting &$*#% done.
Wednesday, May 26th
THE SCARIEST THING YOU’LL SEE ALL WEEK! Did you know there is a website that has all of your personal information? It’s your home address, your cellphone number and family members. Go ahead and see for yourself. FamilyTreeNow.com. It’s a stalker’s dream. I’ll show you how to find out what it has on you and how to remove this part of your digital footprint.
Tuesday, May 25th
Google photos. Millions of people upload and backup their photos on Google Photos. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s automatic. Starting June 1st it’s going to cost $$.
Google announcing that images and videos uploaded after June 1st will count toward the limit and anything over the limit will require a subscription. How many of your photos stored in Google are blurry, identical to others and ones you just don’t want to save? I’m showing a new tool how to weed out your photos storage and other possibilities to backup photos you never want to lose.
Monday, May 24th
Don’t give dad a gift card this year! These tech gadgets make superb Father’s Day gifts. I’m looking at tools to make dad a grill master or master bartender. (My long awaited dentist appointment is in the afternoon. The story should be available earlier in the day. I probably won’t be able to speak clearly late in the afternoon. Ugh.
Friday, May 21st
The App of the Day: Blossom. It’s that time of year we’re all spending more time in the garden or outside and you might run across something and wonder: “is that a plant or just a weed?”. Today’s app of the day Blossom, uses artificial intelligence, your smartphone camera and good old fashioned botany to identify just about anything growing in your yard.
Thursday, May 20th
Some changes you should make to Venmo as soon as possible. You may have seen the story that a press team discovered President Joe Biden’s Venmo account after about 10 minutes of searching. Someone could find your Venmo just as easily. This should make us all wonder how to safely use the social payment system and keep your information private.
Wednesday, May 19th
All the cool things Google announced this week. hey, everyone uses Google for something and the company made some big announcements this week about how it is advancing artificial intelligence in our searches, how it’s increasing privacy, and how it’s helping people navigating the roads and traffic. I’ll round up some of the more interesting announcements and how they’ll affect you.
Tuesday, May 18th
A Facebook group, app and Walmart’s Clearance aisle. There are a couple of Facebook groups made up of people who constantly visit the clearance aisles at Walmart and share what they find with other members. Turns out, some of the items are priced much lower than what’s on the sticker. I took the app to Walmart to see what I can find.
Monday, May 17th
I’ll be doing the story on digital real estate and how people are making lots of money buying and selling web domains. And how you can too. Even though most .com’s are taken there are other domain extensions that are still available. They actually make interesting gifts for grads, weddings, Father’s Day, Christmas and especially for baby showers. I’ll show you how to find and buy domains for websites.
Here’s the deal for today: I’ve had a toothache since Saturday morning and I’m going to the dentist this morning. I don’t know how that may affect my speech today. I’m planning a story on how to buy digital real estate (website domains) and how lucrative it can be. But, if I’m unable to keep from slurring the copy, I’ll have a piece that is re-racked from a while back. Some ideas for parents to keep an eye on the kids and their phones to keep them safe. Fingers crossed, this isn’t going to be a painful dentist visit. 🤞🏼
Friday, May 14th
The App of the Day: WOMBO. This is such a stupid app. One of those apps totally unnecessary. An app you may use only a few days but get stuck paying for the year. It’s also a lot of fun. WOMBO uses artificial intelligence to make it appear you’re singing and dancing to popular songs. I know, it’s been done before. WOMBO does it better.
Thursday, May 13th
Too many of our viewers do not have access to high-speed internet. I hear from them every week. In the interview with the FCC acting chairwoman yesterday, I asked her about the challenges to provide broadband to every person. Why would Verizon or AT&T spend millions to build infrastructure to give high-speed internet access to 5 houses in a rural area? She had some interesting things to say about this, including the use of new technologies. Today I’m looking at access to broadband and how the FCC might make it happen for everyone.
Wednesday, May 12th
UPDATE: I’m interviewing the acting chairwoman of the FCC about high-speed internet access. This is a big ‘get’. I’ll use the interview for the story but will also place the full interview on my blog.
Today is the first day people can sign up for the Broadband Benefit program for help paying for the internet. I’m hoping to interview someone with the FCC but will have step-by-step sign up information. Who’s eligible and an easier way to sign up. By the way, I’ve gotten a ton of emails about the program in recent weeks.
Tuesday, May 11th
Ransomware. I know there’s been a lot of coverage on the ransomware attack on the pipeline, but one thing I haven’t seen anywhere is how ransomware is triggered in the first place. I hope to talk with a cyber security expert who can explain, and why everything may rest in the hands of some guy on the loading dock or some secretary in the office. Checking personal email or social media could trigger the collapse.
Monday, May 10th
What you need to know about apps tracking you on your iPhone. Since iOS 14.5 came out with Apple’s new app tracking approval, 95% of users have turned it off. What does it mean by tracking? Is it as bad as it sounds? By turning it off, will Facebook not be able to track you at all? I’m going to try to answer as many questions as I can.
Friday, May 7th
The App of the Day: Happify. May is Mental Health Month and boy, do we all need it about now? How do you find some happiness? Happify isn’t just another counseling, therapy, mindfulness app, it actually promotes happiness and promises to lead to your “happy place” more often and when you need it.
Thursday, May 6th
It’s National Password Day. I know people get tired of hearing all of the warnings about weak passwords but it’s the best way to protect yourself from identity theft and other tactics from the bad guys. You may have heard of 2FA or 2 factor authentication. Why is it important and how do you set it up? Btw, I will only mention it being national password day in the anchor intro in the event you decide to run the story on Friday or Monday.
Wednesday, May 5th
I finally got an NFT. Well, sort of. It’s digital art in a cool picture frame. The company who makes them allows anyone to create their own video to be placed in a frame and sold. Infinite Objects says it “prints video”. I’m unboxing i. t to see what it’s like and how anyone can get in the business of “video art”.
Tuesday, May 4th
Broadband benefit program: an update. Over the past couple of months I received more emails and questions about the Broadband Benefit program than any other. I first did a story on how the benefit works and who qualifies. Now there is a date for people to enroll. I’ll tell you when enrollment begins (May 12th), who qualifies and how to enroll.
Monday, May 3rd
Ever had trouble finding something to watch on Netflix? Ever spend too much time trying to find something to watch that by the time you do, you can’t stay up long enough to watch the whole thing? Netflix just introduced something to help you. “Watch Something” is a new button on the screen and when you click/tap/select it, Netflix will start playing something it thinks you might want to watch. I’ll show you how it works and how Netflix tries to figure out what you like.
Friday, April 30th
The App of the Day: Strong. This is an app I use 4-5 times every week. While there are hundreds of fitness and workout apps, Strong is one of a very few that is designed for people who lift weights. It keeps track of your workouts of course and it allows you to input your own workouts or use the ones it suggests. It works with the Apple Watch and Health. I haven’t found anything similar. As people get more comfortable going back to the gym, Strong is strong fitness app.
Thursday, April 29th
Dating in the pandemic. One of the most interesting things coming from the lockdowns last year is how people feel now about recording themselves on video. Prior to the pandemic, few people who date were comfortable recording themselves or chatting live with a stranger. According to the developer of a new dating app, all that’s changed. I’m talking with the founder of the dating app, “Filter-Off” which arranges speed dating meetups where users chat live over video. Rather than swiping left or right, users talk to each other and decide if they want to continue the relationship.
Wednesday, April 28th
How slow is your internet speed? The government wants to know. The FCC is asking the public to check their internet speeds and report their findings back to the commission. The FCC wants to know so it can figure out ways to speed up the slow areas of the country. I’ll show you a simple way to check your speeds and send a report.
Tuesday, April 27th
Mother’s Day gadget gifts. I’m looking at a few things to help mom a]round the house. Better said this way: help you help mom around the house. I’m looking at a robot vacuum cleaner and a precision cooker. I’m going to try to work in an iPad and keyboard as well.
Monday, April 26th
Update: I’m going to hold off on the Mother’s Day gadgets. Roku just sent a notification that Google may remove YouTube TV and the YouTube app from Roku devices. The two can’t agree on a new contract per se. This is a glimpse at what’s sure to come in the near future as devices and content providers re-negotiate agreements which will more than likely increase costs for cutting the cord.
I’m going to look at Mother’s Day gadget gift ideas a couple of times this week.
Friday, April 23rd
The App of the day What3Words. I’ve been wanting to do this story for over a year. Now that it’s spring and people are getting back outside, it’s a good time to do it. What3Words is a freakin’ amazing navigation app. The developers mapped the entire world in 3×3 yard squares. Each square has a unique combination of words. If you need to send someone your precise location, sending those 3 words will lead them directly to where you’re standing. Great for hiking to make sure you’re never lost, and good for emergencies.
Thursday, April 22nd
Tech gift ideas for college graduates. It’s been unusual junior and senior years for sure and the job market for college grads presents a huge challenge and lots of concern. Today I’m looking at tech gift ideas for these grads as they begin navigating the real world.
Wednesday, April 21st
Is this a huge step to block annoying robocalls? The FCC announcing it will require the carriers to refuse to accept traffic from providers not listed in a new “Robocall Mitigation Database”. What does this mean and what will a database of offenders actually be able to do? I’m hoping to interview someone in the FCC office about this new effort and what it means to us all. even if I don’t get the interview I’ll explain.
Tuesday, April 20th
HApple’s got a big event today and is expected to announce new products and updates to iPad and Macs. It’s also very likely that we’ll find out the exact date iOS 14.5 will be released which could be this week, or even tomorrow. This update affects every single iPhone user so I thought it’s a good time to look at a few of its most important features and answer the question: “how long should I wait to update my phone?”
Monday, April 19th
Earth Day is later this week so I thought I’d take a look at the impact all those tech gadgets, computers, and TVs have on the environment, where to recycle them and the best way to help earth. And save yourself a lot of money.
Friday, April 16th
The App of the Day “Heard That”. This is one of the more amazing apps I’ve seen in a while. If you’ve ever struggled to hear someone over the noise of a crowded coffee shop, loud room or just with a TV or music playing this app is for you. It allows the user to place the phone in front of the person speaking and hear only them, not the noise around you. I stumbled upon this app at CES 2020 when it was in the development stage. It was just released for iPhones and Android devices. The inventor explains how it works.
Thursday, April 15th
Facebook Trusted Contacts. Before I left for vacation I put together fresh stories for each day but I ran out of time before getting a fresh one together for today. So this is a story that aired over a year ago but still relevant to anyone on Facebook.
By now we’ve all been on Facebook so long we might have forgotten or are no longer using the email address we used to sign up. If you forget your username and password, Facebook may not help you if you don’t have access to that original email address. So what do you do? Use Facebook’s Trusted Contacts feature. I’m surprised so few people know about this. Add a trusted contact and Facebook will confirm you are who you say you are by asking your friend. This shows how to do it.
There’s no on-cam tease. I ran out of time. Friday and Monday’s stories are both brand new with teases.
Wednesday, April 14th
Spring Cleaning under the desk. Over time the space under our desks or behind the computer monitors turn into one huge mangled mess of cables. I probably have more tech gadgets attached to the computer than most people and it was time to get it cleaned up. I’ve got some ideas for organizing the mess under the desk with a few items you can buy at Target or Walmart. I’m walking through the steps that are long overdue.
Tuesday, April 13th
Spring cleaning. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned and disinfected your phone. I’m looking at the safe way to do it and how to clean probably the nastiest thing on your work desk: your keyboard. Can’t wait to show you what came out of my keyboard. Yuck.
Monday, April 12th
Cleaning your Desktops. How to eliminate all the paper covering your desk and ideas on how to organize all of those files and folders on your computer screen.
Friday, April 9th
The app of the day, Uptime. This app is supposed to make you smarter and give you something to talk about. Uptake has 5-minute knowledge and insight hacks from the world’s best books, educational courses and documentaries. Clever and smart life hacks from the world’s greatest minds.
Thursday, April 8th
A new report out says 70% of homes in the US have a smart TV. And hackers are working hard to use it to their advantage. The FBI warns smart TVs are often used by hackers to “watch you”. I’ll take a look at smart TVs and why you may want to dumb them down a bit.
Wednesday, April 7th
Tech in the kitchen. The best way to cook anything is Sous Vide. I’m still surprised so many people don’t know about it. Today I’m looking at a Sous Vide precision cooker, the Anova. (If you don’t know what Sous Vide is, it’s the cooking process of using water to cook beef, chicken, fish, pork and about a hundred other things.) How to use it and how it works to get the perfect temperature every time.
Tuesday, April 6th
Facebook and phone numbers. Why does this social media company require you giving up your cell phone number before you can create an account? Many of us just offer up our phone number to open new accounts without thinking. You may be surprised why Facebook insists on getting your number and what they do with it.
Monday, April 5th
Note: this story broke over the weekend so it’s better to air this today. I’ll have it ready by 4PM ET. It can also work for tomorrow if you prefer holding it.
Your Facebook information was most likely (absolutely) stolen by hackers. Over 32 million Facebook users in the US alone had their information including their cellphone numbers, posted to a hacker website and given away for free. This is one of the worst data breaches in a longtime. I’m looking at what information was included and what every Facebook user needs to do right away.
Friday, April 2nd
The app of the day, stick me sticky notes. Many of us have been using sticky notes forever. They’re a great way to remind ourselves of something we need to do or remind someone what they need to do. These days we are all communicating with digital devices. Stick Me Sticky Notes is an app that creates digital sticky notes.
Thursday, Aril 1st,
A new report says android phones send more than 20 times the amount of data to Google than iPhones send to Apple. Google does know more about us all than most any other company. Today I’ll show you how to see everything Google knows and thinks it knows about you and how to delete what it has stored.
Wednesday, March 31st
What’s it like for a regular person to shop for and buy digital art in the form of NFT’s? I’m following up yesterday’s piece to show where you can purchase collectibles and what you’ll have to do to buy one. This one’s for the nerds, I mean art collectors.
Tuesday, March 30th
You’ve heard about NFT’s and how some artists are earning millions of $$ by selling digital versions of their work.
*edit* I’m interviewing a crypto-artist who’s work is selling for $170,000 and more about the technology and how and why people are collecting NFT’s and how it will benefit the art community. I’ll try to buy the crypto-art NFT tomorrow.
How does a regular person even buy an NFT collectible? See what happens when I tried to buy crypto-art and how much it really costs.
Monday, March 29th
Earlier we explained how cyber-criminals were using COVID-19 vaccination signups to scam people, now there’s a new warning for people who’ve already gotten the vaccine. The FTC has uncovered and now warning people about questionnaires going out promising prizes just for answering a few questions about how they’re feeling after getting the vaccine.
Friday, March 26th
The App of the Day: BandCamp. We all love streaming music on Spotify, Apple, Amazon or Pandora. Listen to any song you want any time you want to hear it. Great. But there are drawbacks. Artists don’t receive much from your plays and it’s difficult to discover new bands and tunes. BandCamp helps you find bands you’d never discover on your own and let’s you support the artists directly.
Thursday, March 25th
No, you shouldn’t post pictures of your COVID vaccination card. You might have mentioned this before but I think it deserves a bit more explanation. And I’ll also look at why you shouldn’t post a picture even if you mark out the private information before posting it.
Wednesday, March 24thn
Facebook’s “fake problem”. We all know there are fake Facebook profiles but we didn’t expect there are THIS many. Facebook just announced it had taken down 1.3 billion fake accounts. Not over the past few years but just in the last 3 months of 2020. Why are there so many fake accounts? How do you even set up a fake account? And what are the owners of these fake accounts trying to do anyway?
Tuesday, March 23rd
How to fix a slow computer. I guess we’ve all experienced the frustration of our computer slowing down. It takes longer to do basic tasks, games play slower, websites take longer to load, and uploading or viewing photos seem to take an eternity. Don’t go buy another computer. There are a few things you can do to speed up an older, slower computer that doesn’t cost any money.
Monday, March 22nd
iOS 14.5 what is it and when can you get it? The latest iPhone operating system has a few new cool features and it should be coming out any day now. I’ve gotten a sneak peek at iOS 14.5 and I’ll show you some of what it can do. Unlock iPhone while wearing a mask, selecting your favorite streaming service so Siri plays music from the right account and a couple of other cool things.
Friday, March 19th
The App of the Day: Marigold. March is Women’s History Month and today I’m featuring an app made by women for women. Marigold sends bite-sized pep talks to your phone. It’s designed to motivate women when they need it most. Marigold is a confidence building app for job interviews, raising kids, starting a business, going through a break-up.
Thursday, March 18th
What was the biggest scam during the coronavirus pandemic year of 2020? It wasn’t COVID-19 scams or tax scams or vaccine scams, it was romance scams. People falling for someone online and sending them money set a record when everyone was locked up in their homes. I’ll take a look at how these scams work and try to work “rah, rah, ah-ah-ah. Roma, Roman, rah” in the script.
Wednesday, March 17th
Tech Life Hacks. Not all hacks are bad hacks, these tips and tricks make life a little easier when it comes to computers, TVs and smartphones. These mostly deal with the every-day run-of-the-mill normal activities and how to make them easier or better.
Tuesday, March 16th
Do you qualify for the upcoming federal help to pay for broadband internet? Congress has approved discounts for families struggling to pay for internet. But millions of Americans who think they’d never qualify actually do! Individuals making less than $99,000 a year and joint filers making less than $198,000 are eligible to sign up. I’ll explain and tell you what you’ll have to do to get the discount.
Monday, March 15th
Google’s being sued and you might be part of the lawsuit. The class action suit regards Google’s Chrome browser “incognito mode”. Users claim despite using the setting, Google continued to track their internet use. How does “incognito” work? It probably isn’t what you think.
Friday, March 12th
The app of the day: Brain.fm. We’ve all been there. Sitting at the desk in front of a computer and our brain just won’t let us concentrate. Then there’s this Facebook tab open in the browser. Brain.fm is an app for all smartphones that helps you focus.
Thursday, March 11th
How to spot a vaccine scam. AARP and the federal government are warning consumers about a spike in scams offering information and signups for the COVID vaccine. I’m going to show some of the scams that have been discovered, where they’re being distributed and how to spot them.