daily story pitches
Friday, September 24th
Phont.o. What in the world is Phonto? If you like editing your photos, it’s an app you’ll be glad you know about. This app allows you to easily add captions, text bubbles and personalized graphics to any picture you take so you can post to social media or use in any other way. If you see someone else post a photo with a witty caption and wonder, “how did they do that?”, you’ll know after seeing our story.
Thursday, September 23rd
Please note: in the web story of the Gabby Petito story yesterday, 9-22. A quote in the web story was incorrectly cited as coming from “Laundrie” when it should be attributed to “Ajaeb”. I’ve made the correction but if you copy and pasted my web story yesterday, please edit the web version.
Today, I’ve changed the story if you saw the pitch below. Smishing, what is it and how does this new scam work? Well, it isn’t exactly a new scam but the Federal Trade Commission, BBB and AARP are warning people that in the past few months, Smishing attacks have surged. I have some examples delivered to my phone. I’ll show you what to watch out for, what happens when you click, and what to do instead.
The end of business cards and “text me your number”. Sharing contact information, whether for business or personal reasons isn’t all that difficult but it could be easier. I’m looking at a new business card that uses NFC technology to instantly send someone all of your information (or what you want to share) by just tapping their phone onto a plastic card, a button or bracelet. This is called a “Linq” and I’ll show you how it works and why it may be the last business card you’ll ever need.
Wednesday, September 22nd
My interview came through but very late yesterday. I’m talking with a former investigator who used social media to gather clues. amateur investigators on TikTok submitting all kinds of theories and tips on the disappearance of Gabby Petito. They are camping out at the home of Daniel’s parent’s home and sharing photos and videos from the couple’s Instagram posts. Is there a role for these amateur Sherlocks? Do investigators see their posts and photos and theories? And how unusual is it for TikTok, Instagram and YouTube to leave posts up after a crime is committed?
Tuesday, September 21st
The story on social media and they Gabby investigation isn’t going to happen today. I’ll effort it for tomorrow. I’ll need to stick with the iOS 15 story for today.
I am efforting a story on the amateur investigators on TikTok submitting all kinds of theories and tips on the disappearance of Gabby Petito. They are camping out at the home of Daniel’s parent’s home and sharing photos and videos from the couple’s Instagram posts. I am waiting on a response from one of the many criminal investigators I’ve contacted this morning. I’ll update this page as soon as I find out whether the interview can happen. If it doesn’t, I’ll do the story below.
iOS 15 is available for download and when our viewers do, they’re going to be hit with many new features they’ll like, and dislike. I’m taking a look at one of the best features (focus mode) and the one people may not like (address bar at the bottom of the screen). I’ll show how to use them and how to change them.
Monday, September 20th
How to improve your chances at getting an iPhone this week. Hours after pre-orders began Apple posted to its website that due to demand, anyone now ordering should expect their phone to arrive sometime in October. If you just have to get one of the new iPhone 13’s this week, I’m looking at a few ways to guarantee (almost) you’ll find one. And one thing everyone needs to do when buying a new phone.
Friday, September 17th
Ever wonder what you’d look like with a tattoo? Ever think about another tattoo? The App of the Day, Ink Hunter, will show you. Using your smartphone’s camera and a wide variety of tattoo designs, simply aim your camera where you want the tattoo and see what it’ll look like. It’s very accurate and you can re-size the tattoo as needed. Before getting inked, this app may save you from getting something you’ll always regret.
Thursday, September 16th
Stupid (and dangerous) TikTok challenges and what parents need to know about them. This is going to be a ‘side-bar’ type story since some of you are covering this locally. I’m hoping to talk with a family psychologist about the idiotic things kids are doing and seeing while viewing TikTok. What do you say to them? How do you spot what’s coming up in their TikTok feeds?
Wednesday, September 15th
I’ll be doing the story on the FBI warning about sextortion complaints surging since the first of the year. What to watch for, how these things work, how to protect your kids, and what to do if you or they have been targeted. By the way, this is a problem that largely goes unreported as victims are too embarrassed to report it and kids are to ashamed to tell anyone.
Tuesday, September 14th
Back on track on a backup computer until I’m able to fix the one I’ve got. #engineerskills. Today is the Apple iPhone event. Lots of people are interested in what it’s going to be and what it can do. I’ll be watching the keynote and will have everything you’ll want to know about the new iPhone 13, 12s or whatever they decide to call it. by the way, the piece isn’t dated. I don’t mention when the announcement was made and the story will work for the next couple of days.
Monday, September 13th
I am having serious computer problems that I’ve been dealing with all morning. I won’t be able to get the sextortion story done on time. This rarely happens and I’ve been pulling my hair out all morning trying different solutions.
I am putting a story in the folders today for a story that I ran a little over a year ago. How to set up Alexa as a whole-house intercom. It’s still relevant and useful today and not dated.
I do apologize. I’m usually pretty good at finding and resolving computer problems but not this time. It’ll be fixed by tomorrow I’m sure.
story pitch: By now most people have at least one Alexa device in their home and we all use them to play music, get the weather, answer a trivial question. I’m going to show you how to make Alexa even more helpful by setting up a whole house intercom.
A huge spike in sextortion attempts. The FBI is warning people of a huge increase in the number of complaints of sextortion. The FBI says people have lost a total of $8 million to sextortion scams since the first of the year. I’m taking a look at how to spot these scams and what to do.
Friday, September 10th
The App of the Day: Shazam. Wait, I know you know about this music identifying app and you’ve probably used it to find the name and artist of any song playing in the background. But there are things you don’t know Shazam can do and it might change how (and how often) you use this app. Plus, how to quickly open Shazam to name a tune before the music stops.
Thursday, September 9th
With job benefits ending soon many people are going to be looking for work. While there are plenty of opportunities everywhere, good or great jobs can be found online. I’m looking at two apps/places to go to find great opportunities to work remotely for some of the largest companies in the world and small businesses.
Wednesday, September 8th
If you have an iPhone it’s going to be worth less next week than it’s worth today. Anytime Apple unveils a new phone, older iPhones depreciates $150 or more. While you may want to hold on to your iPhone X, 11 or 12, it makes more economical sense to buy a new phone every year. I’m doing the math to show how much your iPhone will be worth next week and, how much you’re paying for that phone every day.
Tuesday, September 7th
Lots of people are looking for a new job or even a new career. But how do you search for a job without your boss finding out? LinkedIn is perhaps the best way to connect with companies looking for new employees. Your boss is on there too right? I’ll take a look at how to use LinkedIn to find a new job AND keep your boss and co-workers from finding out.
Monday, September 6th
Netflix secret codes. In ten years of What the Tech, no story has received more interest as this one. I’m looking at secret codes to help you see every movie and TV show on Netflix. As you’re probably aware, when you’re browsing Netflix, you’ll only see shows and movies it thinks you’re going to like. If you know these secret codes and how to use them, you’ll be able to see everything Netflix has to offer.
Friday, September 3rd
The App of the Day: Down Dog. One of the things that makes any workout boring is monotony. Following workout routines in an app or by watching YouTube videos is the same old exercise after another. Down Dog is a yoga app that gives you a different routine every time. It’s recommended by physicians to patients experiencing stress and in need of physical exercise.
Thursday, September 2nd
Have you noticed a change to the number of robocalls you’re getting? It’s been a month since the new technology called STIR/SHAKEN went into effect. It’s supposed to limit the number of robocalls coming from local numbers. Is it working? I’ll explain why robocalls should be easier to identify before answering the phone and what to do when you get one.
Wednesday, September 1st
Driver Licenses and IDs on iPhones and Apple Watches. Apple has confirmed that two states will soon allow people to store their DL’s on their devices to use at airports. It’s coming to GA and a couple of other states and others will be added soon. How is it going to work? Is it a good idea?
Tuesday, August 31st
This is the start of college football season with games beginning Thursday. Don’t watch the big games with the wrong TV settings. Most people’ s TVs are set up for to be displayed in the store but those are not the best settings for sports watching. I’ll show you which settings to change and why you should never use the “Game” settings to watch games.
Monday, August 30th
This page didn’t update earlier. I’ll hold the footballs story for later this week.
Cell towers are down across Louisiana due to the hurricane and I watched a local newscast from there this morning and no one could figure out why text messages would go through but phone calls couldn’t. Well, I’m explaining this and an app people are using on the coast to connect and help other people.
This is the start of college football season with games beginning Thursday. Don’t watch the big games with the wrong TV settings. Most people’ s TVs are set up for to be displayed in the store but those are not the best settings for sports watching. I’ll show you which settings to change and why you should never use the “Game” settings to watch games.
Friday, August 27th
The App of the Day: Fontmaker. This is a keyboard app that suddenly became the #4 most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store. It allows you to send messages, texts, and create Facebook and Instagram stories using your own handwriting. BUT, there’s something everyone downloading it should know: It can cost you a small fortune if you’re not careful.
Thursday, August 26th
Would you show a perfect stranger your address and a photo of your home? Chances are, you’re doing that right now. Google is sharing photos of practically every house in the world. Anyone can see your address and your house (even the back door and the cars you drive). I’ll show you how to remove photos of your home from Google Street View and why you may want to.
Wednesday, August 25th
As students get back together with their friends they’re likely sharing secrets of shortcuts they’ve discovered on their phone. One such secret is how to hide apps on their iPhone. If you’re keeping the kids from using Snapchat, TikTok or another app, they may have them on their phone but they’ve hidden the icon. So when you check their phone, you won’t see it. Tricky kids. I’ll show you how they’re doing it and what you need to do to see all the apps they’ve got on their phone.
Tuesday, August 24th
Well, I got my second COVID shot yesterday and feel terrible today. Splitting headache, can’t keep my eyes open. I’m going to try to re-work a package from last summer about YouTube videos where people who are studying, set up a camera and record themselves. Sounds boring (and it is if you’re watching for entertainment value) but these students’ videos are getting millions of views from other students looking for a “study buddy”. I’ll re-work this to freshen it up.
Monday, August 23rd
More and more we hear of restaurants, venues and other businesses requiring proof of a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination. I think I need to do something else on how to store your vaccine card on your phone. You can take a photo, which is what a lot of people are doing, but there’s another way that looks more legitimate and will likely be accepted. I’ll show you how to do it on an iPhone and Android device.
Friday, August 20th
The App of the Day: Swimply. Called by users the “Airbnb of swimming pools”, this app allows people who have pools to rent them out to people who want to enjoy one for a few hours. I found a couple who use the app to rent out their pool and it’s being rented more often than they ever dreamed. Isn’t it weird to have strangers at your house? I’ll talk to them about that and explain how this app works.
Thursday, August 19th
Gadgets for parents of kids who left home. No matter how old they get, their still our children. I’m looking at a few gadgets for parents who’s kids have gone off to college or moved out of the house. Gizmos that will protect kids, keep in touch and just give parents some piece of mind.
Wednesday, August 18th
How strangers can help locate a lost set of keys. Millions of people own Amazon Echo devices and many, if not most, are setup to help find Tile devices. Those Tile devices are used on keychains, purses, wallets, phones and other small items. If you lose or leave behind anything with a Tile attached to it, someone’s Echo will locate it and show it to you on a map. I’ll explain how to set this up and why you may want to change your Alexa settings.
Tuesday, August 17th
Where can you get good internet speeds? The FCC has released its first updated broadband map where consumers can see how fast wireless internet speeds are anywhere in the country. The commission has asked people to log their speeds so it can re-map the country. Why is this important? If you’re wireless internet is often spotty, you can search the map for your home or work to see which cellular company offers the best speeds. I’ll show you how to search the map and report your findings. This is a pretty big deal for anyone having trouble with their internet.
Monday, August 16th
The kids are going back (or are back) to school, some are returning to the office and COVID cases are rising. So it’s time to disinfect everything again. How do you disinfect that nasty phone? I’m looking at a device that kills germs on phones using UVC lights. And a couple of cheaper options.
Friday, August 13th
The app of the day: Neighbor. This is an airbnb type app for storage. Do you have some extra space? Maybe a driveway, basement, attic, garage where you’ve got unused space. Or, do you have boxes of your personal stuff that you don’t have room for, or a trailer or boat? Rather than renting a storage unit, Neighbor connects you to other people who will rent their space. Maybe you can earn some extra money by renting your own space. Neighbor has quickly become a good solution for people on both sides.
Thursday, August 12th
Welcome. I was in San Francisco last week, spending an extra day seeing some of the tourist sights. I also downloaded a travel app called Welcome that helped me discover some places off the tourist maps that are local favorites. This app plans your day, taking you from place to place based on what you enjoy doing. I highly recommend this app when you travel.
Wednesday, August 11th
A foldable phone. Samsung is going to introduce a new foldable phone today. If you’re thinking it’s just another gimmick, it is not. There are only 2 of these phones in the “wild” at this point and I got the chance to take look at one. And there’s one feature you have to see to believe. It turns your phone into a control room during live events. Allowing you to switch cameras as to what you want to see.
Tuesday, August 10th1
Amazon will pay you if a product causes injury or property damage. The online retailer announced today a new policy to pay for damages from any products sold by a third-party seller. It’s a bold move by Amazon. How is it going to work? What will you need to do and how is this going to change things for shoppers and sellers.
Monday, August 9th
Alarm Clocks. With kids going back to school a challenge for parents is always getting them out of bed and off to school on time. I’ve rounded up a few alarm clock apps that really work, because you actually HAVE to get up to turn them off.
Friday, August 6th
The app of the day: Mathway. One of the biggest challenges for parents of middle and high school students is helping with homework. Yes, it’s been years since mom and dad have sat in an algebra or calculus class but their kids need help. Mathway is an amazing app that helps parents know it all.
Thursday, August 5th
This is THE time of year high school seniors start thinking about paying for college. The average cost of college is around $35,000 but there are millions of scholarships available if you know where to look. Scholly is one of the best apps for prospective students at finding little-known scholarships worth hundreds of dollars. I’ll show you why this app may be worth $100,000 or more to families.
Wednesday, August 4th
How to clean up your email inboxes in under 5 minutes. After 10+ years of using Gmail, your inboxes likely include tens of thousands of emails; many of them are unread. (When I checked mine, I had nearly 100,000). Google will begin charging users a monthly fee if they go over the storage limit so it’s time to get rid of those emails you no longer want or need. I’m taking you through a few steps to find and delete all of those emails taking up space.
Tuesday, August 3rd
Putting your vaccine card on your smartphone II. There are a few apps that digitalize vaccination cards to store on your phone. These are gaining traction in acceptance using QR and barcodes to securely store the card in an app. At some point, we’re all going to be asked for proof of vaccination and these apps provide a way to do that without carrying the physical card with you. I’m looking at two of the best apps for this purpose.
Monday, August 2nd
Putting your vaccine card on your smartphone. Is it wise and why should you do it? It seems we’re moving in the direction that many places will require proof of vaccination. You can take that paper card with you everywhere you go or, put it on your smartphone. I’m looking at how to do that so you can find it easily if you need to show your vaccination card to someone. I’ll follow this story up on Tuesday by taking a look at a couple of apps that are gaining acceptance.
Friday, July 30th
The App of the Day: Khan Academy Kids. For all the parents who have little learners, Khan Academy Kids is intended to prepare young children (3 and up) for their first years of school. Khan apps are very popular and come highly rated and recommended by educators. As school gets ready to start again parents are thinking about how to help their children be prepared for the classroom.
Thursday, July 29th
If you can and do work remotely this is an app and tool you need. It’s happened to all of us remote workers: you’re on a laptop at a coffee shop and there’s something on your computer back home or in the office that you need. Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to access your home computer from anywhere in the world. Before the pandemic I’d forgotten about this tool and when I’ve mentioned it to some people they had never heard about it. I’ll show you how to set it up, how to use it and when you’ll be glad you did.
Wednesday, July 28th
Back to school gadgets you’d never think of. As parents look at some of the things their kids might need moving out of the house and into an apartment or dorm, there are a few tech gadgets that might not cross their minds but will be very helpful, not only to the students but to their parents. I’m rounding up a few tech gadgets for anyone leaving home for the first time.
Tuesday, July 27th
Back to school tech gadgets: middle and high school students. Plenty of parents are gathering up school supplies for their kids who’ll be going back to school soon. Tech gadgets are a necessity these days. I’m taking a look at laptops for high school and middle school kids. This time last year there was a shortage of available computers since so many students were going to school online. This year there’s more to choose from. Do they really need an expensive MacBook?
Monday, July 26th
Alexa is changing names. For anyone with an Amazon Echo device, (which is most people) you have a new option to change her/its name. Amazon just made it possible to change “Alexa” to “Ziggy”. I’ll explain and show how (and why) you can change its wake word.
Friday, July 23rd
The app of the day: Slideshow. We’ve all got a ton of photos on our phones and in the cloud and we’ve all seen friends who’ve posted amazing slideshows of their kids and adventures. How do they do that? It looks like it may be hard. It’s pretty easy with apps that not only create slideshows but format them for the different social media platforms. Slideshow Maker takes your photos and videos and creates shareable clips with music.
Thursday, July 22nd
The $20 back-to-school gadget most everyone can use. Laptops are the perfect computer for anyone who works remotely but there’s a drawback, especially for anyone doing video meetings. This gadget I bought on Amazon for less than $20 improves your remote work and may save your back and neck. I’m looking at this laptop stand and a couple other gadgets to make working on a laptop a little better.
Wednesday, July 21st
Antennas. I’ve heard from several viewers asking about TV antennas now that they’re cutting the cable cord and trying to save money. On Amazon there are lots of Chinese companies selling antennas and claiming they will get stations from hundreds of miles away, can play 4K and even get cable channels. I’m talking with the CEO of the world’s largest antenna companies who’ll shed some light on what antennas can do and what they can’t along with other information TV viewers should know before buying an antenna.
Tuesday, July 20th
iOS 15 won’t be released to the general public until later this year but I’ve had a chance to use it for the past few weeks and I’ve discovered some very useful tools many people will like. I’m rounding up a few iOS tricks coming to an iPhone near you this fall.
Monday, July 19th
The counterfeit problem. Over the weekend federal agents recovered thousands of fake Apple iPods that were coming into the U.S. If you search for iPods on Amazon you’ll see lots of comments from verified buyers reporting the earbuds they received are fakes. While Amazon has made efforts to rid its store of counterfeit products you may still be fooled into paying for them. Is it possible to find out if you’ve purchased a fake? And what should you do if the product you buy is counterfeit.
Friday, July 16th
The App of the Day: Yummly. If you like to cook or want to like to cook, smartphone apps can be your best friend. And one cooking app is not enough. There are dozens to choose from and Yummly is one of the best. Millions of recipes submitted by other users. one thing I like about this app is the ability to search for recipes that do not include a particular ingredient. Don’t like eggs? Yummly will show you only recipes that don’t include them. It’s a good app for your “recipes” folder.
Thursday, July 15th
Apple’s Do Not Track option and how it’s affecting advertisers. What does it mean to you? If you own an iPhone you’ve probably been asked to allow an app to follow you across the internet. A whopping majority of users say no and advertisers are fleeing. What difference does it really make if you say “yes” to tracking?
Wednesday, July 14th
When will your phone stop working? I’ve gotten several questions from viewers about notices they’ve received from carriers stating their phones will no longer work and they’ll have to buy another one. Is that for real? Why are the carriers going to force customers to upgrade their phone? Yes, its true. I’ll explain which phones will no longer work and how much time they have to buy a new one.
Tuesday, July 13th
The worst time of year to buy tech. If you’re in the market for a new iPhone, take a breath and wait. With new iPhones coming out in a few months this is the worst time of the year to purchase a new one. And this year, the same is true for PCs. Microsoft will release a new version of Windows in a few months so if you can wait, you can save money or buy one that isn’t already outdated.
Monday, July 12th
Is an app worth $520? Even if you don’t think so you could wind up paying for one. Many apps are tricking people into subscribing to their “premium” versions and paying hundreds of dollars. I found one app that charges $10 per week! And has earned over $100,000 in one month in revenue. Why doesn’t Apple remove these apps from the App Store? I’ll explain and show you how not to get duped.
Friday, July 9th
The App of the Day “Turo”. If you’re traveling anywhere this summer you may have heard rental car rates are through the roof! Some report that agencies are charging hundreds of dollars a day to rent the most basic car. What if you could rent a car from a real person? Turo is the Airbnb of car rentals. Search an area to find regular people willing to rent you their car.
Thursday, July 8th
So you want to quit your job? A new survey from Monster.com reveals around 95% of workers want to quit their jobs. Some say they do not want to go back to the office after working remotely for over a year. If you’re trying to convince your boss you can be productive AND work from home, you may need to make a few office/computer upgrades. I’m going to take a look at a few gadgets that will improve your work-from-home environment.
Wednesday, July 7th
Is this finally a solution to blocking Robocalls? The FCC set a deadline for all wireless providers to implement new technology called Stir/Shaken. I’ve covered that technology before. The deadline was July 1st. How’s it going? Will you suddenly stop getting robocalls? Is there something you need to do to turn it on? I interviewed the acting FCC Chairwoman a few weeks ago and asked her about their plans to rid the world of robocalls. I’ll use part of that interview and explain what you should know about robocalls going forward.
Tuesday, July 6th
As people begin traveling (see July 4th travel statistics), there are better ways to book a trip, hotel, airfare, things to do, than ever before. Rather than switching back and forth from hotel reservation sites, travel agent sites and airlines, there is one place online you can do it all. Google Travel. I’m showing how this works and one reason you may not want to use it.
Monday, July 5th
zombie apps. What are they and what can they do to your personal information and phone?
Friday, July 2nd
The app of the day: TV Guide. Used to be we all had some sort of weekly magazine or newspaper section that showed us what was going to be on television. Now we can only forward through the onscreen guide. Adding to the inconvenience is all the services we watch. What’s on Netflix? What’s on Hulu? The app of the day, TV Guide gives you one place to check to see what’s playing everywhere.
Thursday, July 1st
If you’re gearing up for the 4th of July holiday weekend, you’re going to hear about staying safe on the water and around fireworks and on the road. What you may not hear as much is how the 4th of July is the most dangerous day of the year for smartphones. More phones are stolen, lost, damaged or destroyed on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. I’m talking with someone from the device insurance company Asurion about what happens on the 4th, how to protect your device and what to do if it gets damaged.
Wednesday June 30th
I apologize for the lack of a new story Tuesday. I’m doing just fine and back on my feet. I do want to ask that you let everyone know about this page to find the daily updates. I have a Slack channel for sharing updates but no one seemed interested in using it. If you want to give that a go let me know and I’ll get that going again. It really is the best way to stay connected with any changes.
On to Wednesday:
As people hit the road again this summer they’re sure to run into a problem with staying connecting to the internet while traveling. It usually happens as the family is going down the road and suddenly “lose the internet” on their phone. My kids hate this. I’m taking a look at a solution that takes all of 2 seconds. It’s news you and your family can use.
Tuesday, June 29th
Update: I have a Drs. Appt this morning and may have to have a minor procedure. I won’t know until I get there. In the event I’m off my feet for the rest of the day can you please choose a story from the past few weeks that you may not have aired? The Dropbox has a few months worth of stories going back to April.
Monday, June 28th
GoFundMe and donating to relief efforts in Florida. Scam charities pop up every time there’s a disaster and good-hearted people wanting to help. The BBB is warning people about fake charities so should you use GoFundMe? How to help from your smartphone.
Friday, June 25th
The App of the Day: CopyPaste. How does a utility app that lets you copy and paste text on a smartphone become one of the hottest apps in the stores? A few days ago this app was downloaded more than TikTok, Instagram and other apps. What is it and why do so many people say they can’t live without it? I’m taking a look.
Thursday, June 24th
following up that scary website that lists more of your personal information than you’d ever post somewhere. You may remember a couple of weeks ago I looked at this website, familytreenow that makes it easy for anyone to find your personal information. The company said you can opt-out which I did. So what happened? Did they remove my information? What other websites publish your info without your permission?
Wednesday, June 23rd
Prime Day shipping scams. The bad guys look forward to Prime Days as much as shoppers do and now that things have been ordered and on their way, cybercriminals are upping their attempts at stealing your passwords and installing malware on your computer. I’ll take a look at some of the most common shipping scams, what they look like and how to avoid them.
Tuesday, June 22nd
Amazon Prime Day deliveries. If you shopped the big sales you may have a few questions about your Prime Day deliveries. Why do some items take longer than 2-days? Isn’t that why you pay $120 for Prime? I look at the fine print plus explain why returning items may cost you $$ and what to do with all those boxes.
Monday, June 21st
Apple wants you to store your driver’s license on your phone. The feature will become available later this year when users update to the new iOS. Apple has great security, some of the best. It might sound like a good idea since you wouldn’t have to carry a wallet (since you can pay with your phone and watch). But it is NOT a good idea. I’m going to explain what Apple plans to do, the benefits (as explained by Apple) and the reason you shouldn’t do it.
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.