The new page for daily story pitches
please note: there is a What the Tech? Slack channel https://join.slack.com/t/whatthetechteam/shared_invite/zt-cv5yeepy-l62a0VFAPF7MdmGzgxQD2Q
If you use Slack, just connect with the link and stay connected on a daily basis. You can contact me quickly. Many newsrooms are beginning to use Slack to stay connected to reporters and photogs in the field and anyone who is working from home. If your newsroom is interested in a “how-to-use” video on Slack and Zoom for reporting and planning let me know.
Friday, March 27th
I’m still unable to speak clearly. I’m hoping the swelling goes down enough to be able to be understood by Monday. In the meantime, I have an app of the day story that we ran last May. Depop is an app that lots of teenagers use to sell clothes they no longer wear. I thought this would be a good choice since we’re all stuck inside with nothing much to do. thanks for understanding.
Thursday, March 26th
I apologize but I am not able to talk today. It has nothing to do with the virus or a cold but I bit my tongue so badly I’m unable to speak well. Would you please run a Coronavirus story from the past two weeks? I suggest the how to disinfect your smartphone from March 10th or Coronavirus scam from February 19th. I apologize.
Wednesday, March 25th
Are you having trouble with internet speeds? If everyone is home and streaming, chatting, watching, listening and playing games at the same time you may be seeing problems with buffering when you try to watch Netflix etc. Internet use is booming, YouTube is reducing the stream quality. How do you improve your internet connection? I’ve got some tips that will make a big difference.
Tuesday, March 24th
Tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of people are working from home for the first time. On dining room tables and kitchen counters, people are setting up home offices. I’m taking a look at some gadgets and devices to help make a home office more productive. Wireless chargers, an Alexa device you probably haven’t seen before, a new style power strip and a web camera. How to best set up a new home office.
Monday, March 23rd
Do i have COVID-19? Apple updated the iOS over the weekend to help people learn if they have symptoms of the disease. All you have to do now is ask Siri about the symptoms and it will walk you through a series of questions and even suggest you call your doctor if you need to. I’m also going to take another look at the app ADA which can be extremely helpful going forward to review how you’re feeling and whether you have the symptoms.
Friday, March 20th
The coronavirus is having an effect on people’s mental state. I’m not talking about the toilet paper hoarders, but the people who are suddenly stuck at home with little to no social interaction. The news also seems to get grimmer with each passing day. Today’s App of the Day aims to help you get away for a few minutes and calm your mind. Headspace is a popular guided meditation app and it just released a few sessions for people who are having a difficult time with what’s going on today.
Thursday, March 19th
What’s the best way to keep in touch with your elderly relatives when they’re forced to stay home and you’re forced to stay away? There are a lot of options; Facetime, Facebook, Skype and Zoom. I’m going to look at these and show which has the best video and audio quality. (it’s Zoom, by a mile).
Wednesday, March 18th
if you think your phone is dirty, think about money and those credit and debit machines at the store and gas pump. Public health experts believe the coronavirus is transmittable through surfaces including paper money that has been handled by an infected person. And those machines? Every button is capable of containing the virus for hours once an infected person touches it. So… just pay without touching anything. I’m going to show you why Apple Pay is the safest way to pay for something using your phone or smartwatch.
Tuesday, March 17th
I’ve been in Florida since last Wednesday, the day before everything hit the fan. We struggled with the decision to either drive or use our airplane tickets. We decided to fly back from Fort Myers. I thought you might be interested in a piece from an airport showing what it’s like, how many people are wearing masks, how empty are the flights, etc. So I shot something on our trip home. I did not mention where we were flying to, only that we were leaving South Florida. If you prefer a tech story I can find one from earlier. Just let me know. BTW, no one was coughing on our flight and we all are self-quarantined at home. I’ll have stories for you each day.
Monday, March 16th
Are you working from home for a few days or so and getting a little bored? Or maybe you’re just concentrating on spring cleaning. Why not take a few minutes to spring clean your device. I’m not talking about wiping it down with an alcohol wipe, but cleaning it up as far as apps, text messages and hidden files that are taking up room.
Friday, March 13th
The app of the day. Up Work. Lots of folks, particularly freelancers are being told to go home until the coronavirus runs its course. If you’re going to be home, feeling up to being on the computer, Up Work can help you earn some extra money. Seriously.
Thursday, March 12th
Siri and strangers using your phone. Did you know if a stranger picks up your phone they can find out who’s phone it is simply by asking Siri? Apple added the feature to help people locate the owners of lost phones. I’ll show you how it works and what you might have to do to turn it on (or off).
Wednesday, March 11th
Traveling with kids and their devices. Virus or not, lots of people will be doing some traveling for Spring Break and summer. Before you hit the road with the kids in the backseat, here are a few ideas to put on your phone or tablet, or theirs, to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
Tuesday, March 10th
The proper and safe way to disinfect your phone. Apple came out and said you can clean your iPhone with a Clorox or alcohol wipe. But be careful. I know I just did something on how to clean a phone but Apple’s admission that you won’t do any damage to the screen or case is a bit surprising after all these years of hearing the chemicals are bad for the device. I’ll clean an old iPhone with Clorox.
Monday, March 9th
Companies are asking employees to work from home, conventions and travel are being canceled due to the coronavirus fears. Will this serve as the moment video conferencing becomes the norm? I’m talking to several people who work remotely using Zoom video conferencing. How does it work? Why is it better than Skype? And what is it like to have a group meeting online.
Friday, March 6th
The app of the day, Ada. Is it the flu, the corona virus, the cold or allergies? We’d all like some idea before making an appointment at the doctor’s office. Ada is a bot that runs on a smartphone app created by doctors. It asks you questions about how you’re feeling and what hurts etc, and it can suggest whether you really need to go to the doctor or take something over the counter. If you’ve ever visited WebMD or other websites to self-diagnose your symptoms, Ada does it with science.
Thursday, March 5th
Amazon delays. Prime customers pay $120 a year for free 2-day shipping but now Amazon is warning customers that because of the coronavirus, some deliveries are being delayed. The free 2-day shipping turns into 3 or 4 days. What can you do if your Amazon packages are not delivered when you expected them? If you’re polite, they’ll give you a credit. I’ll show you the steps to take when your Amazon package isn’t delivered on time and what the company will do to make things all right.
Wednesday, March 4th
The flu and corona virus has doctors and others around the country reminding everyone to wash their hands. But what about the filthiest thing we have with us all the time? If you wash your hands then immediately your filthy phone you’re defeating the purpose. Cleaning your phone is one thing but how do you disinfect your phone safely? I’ll show a couple of products that do this and give you an DIY solution.
Tuesday, March 3rd
Lots of folks will be traveling for spring break in the next couple of weeks. If you’re traveling by car someone in the backseat is probably going to say “I don’t have a connection” when they’re playing a game or watching a video on their smartphone. Today I have a very simple thing you can do to have your phone connect to the nearest cell tower. Just turn on Airplane mode for a couple of seconds and turn it off again. Simple fix.
Monday, March 2nd
Coronavirus apps. When the virus started becoming a story, app coders went to work. Now there are well over a dozen apps in the app stores that claim to keep people up to date on the virus such as where it is, the latest news etc. Some of these apps have billions of downloads already. Do you need one? Why are these free apps popping up?
Friday, February 28th
The App of the Day: Everybody loves photo apps and this is one of the best photo editing apps I have seen in quite awhile. Color Splash makes it easy to remove color from any photo on your phone. Other apps do this as well but I think Color Splash is the easiest to use and renders the highest quality. Highlight one part of your photo by removing the color of everything else.
Thursday, February 27th
The spread of the coronavirus is having effects in multiple areas now. If you watch the stock market you might see companies are either being hurt or helped by the scare. One area is remote doctor visits. People are warming up to seeing a doctor over their phone or computer rather than going into a doctor’s office with other sick people. I’m going to look at some of the most popular doctors on-demand apps and how they work.
Wednesday, February 26th
A common internet email scam is making the rounds again, threatening to release compromising photos unless the recipient sends money or bitcoin. The sextortion email says they’ve captured photos and video as the victim recently watched pornography. It threatens to send the video to everyone on their contact list and post it to their Facebook page. What makes a lot of people fall for the scam is that the email appears to have come from their own email address. And people are just paying the ransom and never contacts the police or tells anyone. It’s a scam that’s bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the scammers. Here’s what the email looks like, how the scam works, and what you should do.
Tuesday, February 25th
Fake reviews on Trip Advisor. We’re all familiar with the proliferation of fake reviews on Amazon but they’re just as common on Trip Advisor. Actually, some reports suggest it’s even worse. If you’re planning a spring break trip or summer vacation, there are some things to consider before putting a lot of stock into Trip Advisor ratings. I’m looking at how to spot fake reviews on the popular travel review site.
Monday, February 24th
Who’s listening? If you’ve got an Alexa device, Siri or Google Assistant you probably know those devices are always listening. What you might not know is how often it records your voice, even when you don’t intend to ask the voice assistants. New research shows these devices are recording us, on average 19 times a day. I’ll take a look at that plus show you how to hear what Alexa has recorded you saying and how to delete them all.
Friday, February 21st
Do you want to learn something new? Like how to recover a chair or how to apply makeup just right or how to bake biscotti or how to sell things on Instagram? This new app called Jumprope may be what you need. Released late last year it’s starting to pick up a large audience of DIYers and others who want to learn new skills by watching explainer videos that are creative and entertaining. People are using it to create their own videos and even selling things for commission.
Thursday, February 20th
A story your kids don’t want you to see. For parents of any kid addicted to the app Tik Tok, you can now set limits on how much time they can spend on the app. The crazy popular app that shows short videos uploaded by viewers has added some settings for screen time management. Parents or anyone can set time limits where, once it hits the limit, the app requires a passcode to continue. There’s also a new restricted mode that helps limit content that might not be appropriate for some audiences.
Wednesday, February 19th
Coronavirus scams. A consumer protection company has identified several email scams that warn people that the virus has spread to their city. The emails then ask for the person’s name and email address. Some ask the victim to enter a password. What happens next? The scammer has a person’s name, email address and a password they likely use on other accounts. So now, the scammer might be able to login to their social media accounts, Gmail, and any other accounts that use that login information.
Tuesday, February 18th
We all get those annoying robo-calls and there seems to be nothing we can do about them that actually works. Until now. An app that uses a robot lawyer will file a lawsuit against any company calling you. There’s a catch, you have to be on the Do Not Call list but the robot lawyer will do that for you too. Robo Revenge is part of the app Do Not Pay, a robot lawyer app that will send letters to cities to get you out of parking tickets, file complaints with your cable company and even file lawsuits. I’m taking a look at the app but will focus on the robo call revenge which just launched in the United States.
Monday, February 17th
Not a lot going on in the world of tech today so I’m doing a story I’ve been holding for a day just like this. It affects every iPhone user. What is “other” and why does it take up so much room on your phone? Most people will run out of space on their phone at some time. Maybe when they’re taking photos or trying to record video or maybe when they’re downloading a new app or installing the latest iOS. For a lot of users, “other” takes up a ton of space. I’ll explain what it is and the steps to take to delete as much of it as possible.
Friday, February 14th
The App of the Day: online claw machine. This brand new app, Sega Catcher Online is a real claw machine in Japan that you can control with your smartphone. It’s a little crazy to play but if you enjoy playing those games to win prizes you might have fun playing around with this one. The claw machines have real prizes such as Japanese figurines and plush toys. If you win one, the company will ship the prize to your home for free. The app is free but you have to pay to win prizes. Practice is kinda fun.
Thursday, February 13th
Adults are familiar with Tinder but did you know there’s a Snapchat app that allows kids as young as 12 swipe right or left on people they don’t know? Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day I thought it would be a good time to do something on Hoop, a new app that rocketed to the top of the app store charts. How does it work and should parents be concerned?
Wednesday, February 12th
One of the most confusing things you’ll ever do is try to figure out which streaming services have which channels. It isn’t like the cable or satellite you’re used to. YouTube TV, Hulu plus Live TV list the channels they offer but Sling is so very difficult with all of its packages and add-ons. The last time I did something on which streaming service is best for your family it got lots of hits and I got lots of emails from viewers with questions. Since then, a streaming service pulled the plug, prices went up and channels have changed.
Today I’m looking at which service is best for your family. I’ve put together a Google Doc spreadsheet that you can share with your viewers. I’ll have that in the web version.
Tuesday, February 11th
The absolute truth about cutting the cord. How much money will you save and what do you need to do before making the switch from cable or satellite? I’ve seen countless stories in recent months on other stations and the networks about cord-cutting and many of those stories haven’t told the whole story. I cut the cord last summer and have tried multiple streaming services, I saw my internet bill get cut, then go up and I saw how I had to improve my WiFi networks to keep everything from buffering. This is the first of a multi-part series on cord-cutting. I’ll have the 2nd piece tomorrow.
Monday, February 10th
Don’t only consider candy and flowers for your Valentine. Tech gadgets make nice Valentine’s Day gifts too. I’m going to take a look at some gift ideas for your sweetie. Or sweeties (lol). The latest in digital picture frames, smart watches, earbuds and gift cards.
Friday, February 7th
Today’s App of the Day is one of the most important apps on my phones. Pocket is for busy people who see something they want to read online but have no time at the moment. For instance, you might run across a story anywhere on the internet about the back story of the movie 1917. You’re really interested in it, but can’t read the entire thing standing in line at the grocery store. So you tap one button on your phone at it saves the article in the Pocket app. You can even organize them in folders. Even better, you can clip articles you see on the computer and read them later at GetPocket.com. It is an app I use every single day and is essential for busy people.
Thursday, February 6th
some big changes for parents of kids who use Facebook Messenger for Kids. The company released some additional security measures so that parents can keep a closer eye on what kids are doing in the app. A big problem for kids using social media is in the messages and chats they receive. Maybe strangers are trying to connect with them or friends and classmates send inappropriate messages. Facebook says the new updated Messenger for Kids app will let parents see their messages and block certain people from sending them.
Wednesday, February 5th
How safe are those Alexa devices, smart switches, thermostats and doorbells? A report out this morning shows there were vulnerabilities in some smart lights that allowed hackers to control the lights as well as install malware on the home computers! Hue lights, the #1 brand of smart lighting, stopped working a few weeks ago (mine included) and they would suddenly turn off and on. A research team discovered there was a problem with the software and a hacker could have been controlling the ones in my home. And, to top it all off, the same technology that could be hacked in those lights is being used in a vast majority of smart devices. What do you need to do now?
Tuesday, February 4th
Is a $1,500 workout mirror worth it? You’ve likely seen The Mirror advertised on socal media and across the internet. The full-size standup mirror acts as a live workout gym where you can see the instructors leading a class. By working out facing the mirror you’re able to watch yourself to make sure you’re doing the reps correctly. But is it worth it? What do you get and how does it work. I’m having someone try it out to see if it’s as great as it first appears.
Monday, February 3rd
Remembering Loretta. Millions of people saw Google’s new commercial during the Super Bowl and millions more have watched it on YouTube. It’s the one where you hear an elderly man asking Google to remember his late wife Loretta. He sees photos, hears their favorite song and sees their favorite movie. And Google shows him all of the things he wants to remember about her. Is this really possible and is it easy enough for anyone to do it? I’m going to look at the first step in capturing forever memories you can save for yourself and share with family and friends all through Google.
Friday, January 31st
The App of the Day: Double Take. This free app launched last week and it’s one newsrooms may want to download right away. It allows you to record a picture-in-picture video and share it wherever you want. Double Take records video from both the selfie-cam and primary lens to capture video of both at the same time. If you have an iPhone 11 you can record video from 4 cameras at the same time.
Thursday, January 30th
Think you’ve got a good home security system? Not like this. A brand new security system uses drones that automatically go to where the action is and sends live video to the homeowner. Sunflower Labs is taking orders now for the best home security system you’ve ever seen. I’ll show you how it works and why everyone will want one.
Wednesday, January 29th
What’s the deal with Wish? The online retailer sells items at a fraction of the price on Amazon or Wal Mart. If you’ve never shopped there, what can you expect? Is it for real? I first did a story on Wish about 3 years ago and it is by far the most clicked story on my blog getting almost all of those views from people searching for information. I thought I’d do an update and did some shopping on Wish.com around Thanksgiving for some Christmas presents. I got what I ordered Monday! 2 months later. And some items still haven’t arrived.
Tuesday, January 28th
What’s the deal with Wish? The online retailer sells items at a fraction of the price on Amazon or Wal Mart. If you’ve never shopped there, what can you expect? Is it for real? I first did a story on Wish about 3 years ago and it is by far the most clicked story on my blog getting almost all of those views from people searching for information. I thought I’d do an update and did some shopping on Wish.com around Thanksgiving for some Christmas presents. I got what I ordered Monday! 2 months later. And some items still haven’t arrived.
Monday, January 27th
A North Carolina mom opened Facebook the other day and saw a photo of her kids being used as the profile picture for a stranger some 300 miles away. Becky Smith said the man was using a photo of her kids and she had no idea who he was or why he was doing it. I’m doing an interview with her today about what happened and what you can do to prevent the same thing happening with photos of your kids. spoiler alert: if you post pics to the internet, you can’t do anything to stop it. I’ll also show you an incident where a stolen photo was far worse than this one.
Friday, January 24th
The App of the Day: After Credits. Some of us love the end credits in movies. Each time I’m at the theater I see more than a dozen people waiting as the credits roll to see if there are any bloopers, extra scenes or a brief “where are they now?” Finally, there’s an app that will let you know if a movie has ending credits or a bonus. No more waiting in vain. After Credits is an app good for the theater or Netflix.
Thursday, January 23rd
You’ve probably seen the story about utility companies warning people about a dangerous trend challenge on Tik Tok. Putting pennies behind a phone charger that’s plugged into an outlet. It’s causing fire. This is only the latest Tik Tok challenge that’s not only idiotic but dangerous and many parents don’t know what Tik Tok is. I’m going to take a look and some of the dangerous challenges that have gone viral.
Wednesday, January 22nd
Have you ever gotten locked out of Facebook and you’ve forgotten your password? You can change it of course, but some of us set up our Facebook account so long ago we no longer have access to our original account email. It happened to me and I get that question from time to time. Facebook locks down accounts pretty good but there’s something you should do ahead of time to prevent getting locked out of your account and having to wait on Facebook to let you back in. I’ll show you how to set up Facebook Trusted Contacts and why you should do it.
Tuesday, January 21st
Malware that can raise your electric bill. Is your computer running sluggish and slow? You might have malware on it that’s working overtime mining for bitcoin. All you have to do is click on a link or maybe visit a website for the computer hacker to start using your computer to make money for themselves. While your computer is just sitting there overnight, it might be churning out bitcoin cash and making your electric bill go up. How do you know if it’s happening with your computer and what can you do to stop it?
Monday, January 20th
How to improve your home’s wifi network. A new WiFi standard is out now, WiFi 6 and it may be the solution you’ve been looking for to improve those dead spots in your home. what is it and who needs it?
Friday, January 17th
The App of the Day: Motivation. This is an app that can brighten your day, make you work harder and be a better person. Once it’s installed you will receive motivational messages throughout the day designed especially for what you need to hear.
Thursday, January 16th
forget virtual reality, augmented or mixed reality is what normal (non-geeky) people are interested in seeing. In the past year, Google stopped selling its virtual reality headset while Apple is going all-in on AR or augmented reality. What’s the difference and how are police departments and government agencies using it for training?
Wednesday, January 15th
The Department of Homeland Security and now the National Security Agency have issued a warning to anyone with a Windows PC to install an update that was released yesterday due to security concerns. What does this mean and how do you install the updates? Also, what is the risk?
Tuesday, January 14th
It may not happen the next time you fly but soon your luggage will be handled by a Transformer. Sarcos was a big hit at CES last week. It’s an exoskeleton that gives men superhero strength. You strap yourself into this robot and you can lift heavy weight over and over again without effort. You’ll see this robot and hear from the CEO about why it will transform the factory yet allow people to continue working for years.
Monday, January 13th
back in the saddle with a story about Facebook and those annoying friend requests from people you don’t know. You delete them and think that should be enough right? Not exactly. What really happens when you delete those requests and why they could still pose a security threat.
Friday, January 10th
CES Day 5. Eureka! One of the best stops at CES is in a venue called Eureka Park. It is where you find hundreds of start-ups and inventors that have developed products. I found an app that blocks out all of the noise so you only hear who’s talking to you, a company making hamburgers with real meat but never harms the cows, a robot bartender and an app that creates deep fakes.
Thursday, January 9th
CES Day 4. One of the things everyone talks about at CES is the televisions. Screens have become so thin they can roll up or down into a cabinet. I’m going to look at some of the new 8K TVs and why, even if you’re not going to buy one, you’ll care.
Wednesday, January 8th
CES Day 3. In the past few years, the buzz word at CES was “connected” as every device going into our homes, cars and workplaces were connecting to the internet and our phones. This year, the focus is on “intelligence”. It isn’t enough just to give us control of those devices but making those devices so smart we don’t have to do a thing. I’m looking at a smart toilet, a smart mirror that tells us what we wore last week and a couple of other smart home gadgets. There is a tease
Tuesday, January 7th
CES Day 2. The show officially opens today with some 4,400 exhibitors showing off new products and innovations. Some areas of tech are shrinking but others are growing fast. Health tech is the fastest-growing segment of consumer technology and I’m going to be taking a look at some of the biggest innovations when it comes to not only tracking our health but helping us feel better.
Monday, January 6th,
CES Day 1. I’m in Las Vegas for CES, the consumer electronics show. The show floor doesn’t open until tomorrow but I’ve got a sneak peek at some of the products that either will launch this year or were just unveiled. I’ve got a pet fence that you don’t have to put in the ground, a drone that takes selfie pictures, furniture that charges your phone. I’ll have the piece ready by 3PM eastern
Friday, January 3rd
I normally do an App of the Day story on Fridays, today’s is the App of the Year. The best new app of the year that almost everyone can use. I featured “Just Watch” when it came out. It solves the problem of never knowing what’s playing on all the streaming services.
Thursday, January 2nd
What’s the #1 most popular new year’s resolution? Save more money. It always sounds good and we have good intentions but once the bills come in from Christmas we’re back to playing catchup. I’m going to look at how using an app can guarantee you’ll save money starting now to pay for next Christmas.
Wednesday, January 1st
The biggest tech fails of the last decade. Some of the things we might not even remember using that are no longer available.
Tuesday, December 31st
The biggest tech advances and stories of the decade. We often forget what things were like in 2010. There was no iPad, no Apple Watch, only certain cellular customers could have an iPad and if you said “Alexa” nothing would happen. I’m looking at some of the biggest tech things of the last ten years. It may run a little longer than normal. About 2 minutes.
Monday, December 30th
Amazon says one of the most popular items this year was the Echo Dot. Again. Well over 100 million Echo or Alexa devices have been sold but if you have one, there’s one feature you probably don’t know about. Alexa will protect your home from break-ins, burglaries and fire. It’s called Alexa Guard and
Friday, December 27th
The App of the Day. Thought we’d get back to the weekly App of the Day segment and today it’s an app for anyone wanting to get in better shape in 2020. SWEAT is a workout, fitness and healthy eating app that’s designed especially for women.
Thursday, December 26th
Christmas is now over and if you’re like most people, you’ve got lots of empty boxes lying around the house along with tech gadgets that were replaced with newer items. Today I’m looking at a few options of what you can do with those boxes and those tech gadgets you no longer need.
Wednesday, December 25th
Gift card returns. You may love to get them but sometimes we all get a gift card to something we don’t really want. Millions of dollars in unredeemed gift cards are sitting in kitchen drawers or are just gone forever. I’m looking at a few possibilities for those unwanted gift cards, companies that will let you trade them in or donate them to a good charity.
Tuesday, December 24th
This story has a short shelf life. Lots of people give gaming consoles, tablets, phones and smart home devices that have to be connected and registered on the internet before they work. Christmas day is historically the busiest day of the year for those servers and often times people will have trouble getting those devices online. It’s best to activate those gadgets before they’re opened on Christmas.
Monday, December 23rd
FaceTime with Santa. Remember getting a phone call from Santa? Today’s technology makes it possible to schedule a FaceTime type call with Santa Claus. A family business launched Welcome Santa last year with only 50 calls. They assemble Santa’s from around the country who connect with kids calling in on a computer, smartphone or tablet. I’m going to show how this works and how kids react to seeing Santa on their phone, and explain why it’s just as exciting to Santa.
Friday, December 20th
Turning a bit from gift ideas today to talk about one of the most important things you should do with those online Christmas presents. Change the passwords. Amazon is warning Ring doorbell users to change passwords immediately and Facebook just confirmed many users had some of their login credentials leaked.
Thursday, December 19th
Tech gift ideas for young kids K-4th grade. Parents who are nervous every time their kids ask to play on their smartphone should take a look at a couple of tablets made especially for children. Also, I’ve got a toy kids can build themselves and control with a phone.
Wednesday, December 18th
Practical tech gadgets that make great Christmas gifts. They may not look all that flashy, but these gadgets have techie features built in that make them unlike the things you’re using right now. I’m looking at a video doorbell that does something Ring and others don’t do, an alarm clock replacement and a couple of other products you didn’t know you need.
Tuesday, December 17th
Two gifts that make you go “wow!”. These two tech products are the most impressive I’ve seen this year. One is a chess set that seems straight out of a Harry Potter movie and the other is a robot that solves the biggest and nastiest problem for cat owners.
Monday, December 16th
Tech gadget stocking stuffers. Not all high-tech electronics come in a big box or take up a lot of room, these are all very useful gadgets that are small enough to fit in a Christmas stocking. I’m looking at hard drive to transfer photos from your phone to a computer, a 3-in-1 charging cable for all of your devices, computer glasses and a couple of other things.
Friday, December 13th
Continuing the tech gadget gift idea series, I’m looking at tech gadgets for him. Men get a little more exited about gadgets and they might already own some of the popular electronics we typically talk about. This story aims to find more unusual gifts especially for him.
Thursday, December 12th
Gift ideas for her. Buying a tech gadget for your wife or mother can be tricky. Women aren’t typically as interested in electronics as men. This year things are different as tech companies launched tech products with women in mind. I’m taking a look at a few tech gadgets that make great gifts for her.
Wednesday, December 11th
The gift of music is something to think about for anyone on your list. Even the ones who are almost impossible to buy for. Now that everyone can listen to their music any time on their smartphone, it opens a lot of possibilities. I’m looking at some of the best tech gadgets and gifts for the music lover in your life (or yourself).
Tuesday, December 10th
Gift ideas under $30. You’re not going to spend big $$ on everyone on your list this year. These tech gadgets all cost less than $30 but will be appreciated by anyone on your list.
Monday, December 9th
Everyone can be an aspiring movie maker with the camera on their smartphone. Most new phones shoot 4k video which is great, but you still need some gadgets to take your TikTok, YouTube or family movies to the next level. I’m looking at a couple of stabilizers and two smartphone camera lenses that will make your videos more professional.
Friday, December 6th
I’m going to forego The App of the Day segment for a couple of weeks to focus on gift ideas. Some of the hardest people to buy for are grandparents. And giving them something that’s too “techie” can be a waste of money. It’ll end up in a drawer or closet somewhere the first time they have trouble with it. Today I’m looking at a few tech gadgets that are perfect for the older ‘non-techie’ people in your life.
Thursday, December 5th
Home entertainment gift ideas. Got some people coming over and want to realllly impress them? I’m looking at a turntable that really makes a statement, a portable and mobile projector for backyard movie nights and the screen to watch them on. And if I can fit it in time-wise, an Amazon product that makes game night more fun.
Wednesday, December 4th
I’m going to start looking at gift ideas and product reviews. Lots of people are looking to buy a personal assistant that’s a step above the popular Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini. Today I’m looking at the differences between the Facebook Portal, Google Nest Hub and the Echo Show. Which one is the best choice for you?
Tuesday, December 3rd
The FBI is warning consumers about smart TVs and their ability to spy using the built-in camera. I did something on privacy and smart TV’s a while back but since the FBI has issued an official warning I thought I should update the story. What does this mean? How could hackers do this and what else could they do? Should you reconsider getting a smart TV on one of the big holiday sales?
Monday, December 2nd
Welcome to December! It’s Cyber Monday and we’ll more than likely hit a record for smartphone shopping sales. Black Friday sales broke the previous record with American consumers purchasing almost $3 billion dollars in items using their phone. That’s how people shop now. Mobile, on the go. Today I’m going to look at the importance of privacy. I won’t mention it’s cyber Monday in the package so you could run this tomorrow.
Friday, November 29th
app of the day Gift List. You’re shopping but how do you keep up with everyone’s gift list, what you bought, what you wrapped? Gift List is actually two different apps, one for iOS and another for Android. They’re essentially the same but are from two different companies. Make your list, share it with others. Keep up with what they want and where to find it.
Thursday, November 28th Thanksgiving
As you eat your Thanksgiving meal this year why not take a quick moment to help someone. This app: Share the Meal allows you to quickly make a donation to help feed people in some of the most critical areas of need
Wednesday, November 27th
You’re walking back from the mall after a day of shopping and you get the feeling someone is following you to your car. What do you do? You can call 911 without even touching your screen. Robberies pick up this time of year from opportunistic bad guys preying on shoppers. This can save your life.
Tuesday, November 26th
Facebook and Twitter have both come forward and announced that many of their users had their email, phone number and name compromised in another data breach. This time it happened to people who logged into apps using their FB and Twitter accounts. Who’s affected and what this means to everyone else.
Monday, November 25th
We’ve talked about fake reviews on Amazon, what about fake products? Amazon, Walmart, Wish and EBay all list products from 3rd parties and many of them are selling counterfeit products. But it’s hard to figure out which products are fakes, they look the same and the companies even brand them as original. How to spot counterfeit products and avoid wasting your money.
Friday, November 22nd
The App of the Day: There are dozens and dozens of recipe apps in both app stores and you probably have one on your phone. Or you might use Pinterest to plan a Thanksgiving meal. I’ve tried them all, and the app of the day is, in my opinion, slightly better than all the rest. It’s especially good for people who are just okay cooks and for people who are having to figure out how to multiply a recipe for more people. It’s called “Project Foodie” and it’s the app of the day.
Thursday, November 21st
The problem with Amazon reviews. Whether you’re shopping at Amazon or in a brick-and-mortar store, you likely read up on reviews before you decide which product to purchase. Black Friday is just a week away and I’m assuming many people are looking at reviews and making their gift lists now. There are so many fake reviews on Amazon it’s impossible to take them seriously. Right? We still do though. I’m going to look at some key things to look for when trying to decide which reviews are real and which ones are fake.
Wednesday, November 20th
Black Friday is soon but there are some tech gifts you should buy now before they sell out. These are gadgets that are so popular that either a: will sell out, or b: won’t go on sale. Apple AirPods Pro (which are already gone), the Apple Watch, Echo Dot and this year’s toy every kid will want, Juno, the interactive baby elephant.
Tuesday, November 19th
The holidays are a busy travel season and lots of people will be going through an airport between now and the end of the year. Today I’m looking at a few gadgets that are a huge help when getting through airport security and sitting for a few hours on an airplane. Mentioned: iPad and keyboard rather than a laptop, a vest with many pockets and portable chargers. I also mention the concern over public USB charging stations you see in airport waiting areas.
Monday, November 18th
I’m in Las Vegas for the annual marathon and half-marathon. I thought this would be a good time and place to do a story on tech and apps to help you get yourself off the couch and get in shape. I talked to several marathon and 5k runners who tell me which apps and tech they used to get motivated and to train to run a 10k, half and full marathon. Mentioned in the piece: the apps Strava, map my run, fleet feet and couch to 5k, also a runner talks about how her Apple Watch got her going. There is a tease from the Las Vegas strip. The marathon was Sunday night. I’ll have the story uploaded by noon Eastern
Friday, November 15th
There’s a brand new app that helps one of life’s biggest frustrations: finding something to watch on Netflix. A survey found that on average, Netflix users spend 23 minutes just scrolling through to find something to watch. Minnow was just released this past week and it curates movies based on what you like. In the mood for a rom-com? Looking for a disaster movie? Or an underdog hero? Minnow will search through Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO to show you what’s available on the streaming services you subscribe to.
Thursday, November 14th
Walmart dropped its Black Friday sales flyer today and other major retailers have done the same recently. If you’re going to be shopping in stores you’re probably going to be using your smartphone too. You’ll use it to comparison shop, clip coupons and probably to buy things. If so, there are some things you should keep in mind when shopping with apps or websites.
Wednesday, November 13th
subscriptions for clothes. Yes, these are very popular and lots of people are going to be trying them during the holidays. The idea is, you pay a company to do your shopping for you. They send you a box of clothes they pick out just for you and you decide which ones you want to keep. To see what it’s like and how it works, I signed up and just got my first box.
Tuesday, November 12th
It’s here and every parent wants to know about Disney Plus. The streaming service launches today. How much does it cost? How do you watch it? What can you see? I’m downloading it today and signing up to show and tell you what it’s like.
Monday, November 11th
Apple Privacy. You’re being tracked everywhere. Amazon, Facebook and Google share your data with other companies willing to pay for it but Apple is going all-in on privacy. Maybe you’ve seen their new marketing campaign. So here’a a closer look at how Apple tracks you but what happens to your information.
Friday, November 8th
The App of the Day: Black Friday sales have already started so if you don’t already have a favorite shopping app, this is one to consider. Pricepulse and Pricepulse Black Friday let you add items to a wish list and then will send you an alert when the price of those items drops. You can also see the lowest price ever on items and when they were on sale. But it’s only for Amazon shoppers.
Thursday, November 7th
UPDATE: 1:17 PM Overnight many people received strange text messages from someone in their contact list. The messages seemed out of context and random and the person who allegedly sent the message knew nothing about it. Some of the messages were reportedly from people who have passed away! What are they and where did they come from? What happened exactly? We’re starting to get some answers and it’s pretty interesting. I’ll have this story posted by 4 PM Central time.
I’ll save the Apple Privacy story for another day.
Wednesday, November 6th
The one mistake people make using Venmo. I’m talking with a financial expert about the dangers of using your primary bank account with Venmo. It’s possible if someone were to steal your Venmo account information that they could gain access to your entire bank account. He shares with us what you should do instead.
Tuesday, November 5th
Nearly 60% of people say they’ve been charged by an app because they never canceled a free trial. Apps get you to download their ‘free app’ but make it likely you won’t cancel in time to keep from being charged to continue using it. And once your subscription begins it is very difficult to get your money back. Today I’m going to look deeper into the dangers of ‘free trials’ and how to cancel and keep your money where you want it.
Monday, November 4th
making the impossible possible. We all know that we should use passwords using the following parameters:
Friday, November 1st
The App of the Day: Rakuten. Turning from Halloween now folks are thinking about Christmas and shopping. Some of you know about Rakuten. Formerly Ebates, this app claims to save people money while shopping in stores or online by giving up to 5% cashback on purchases. Cashback is a very big thing these days. Does it work?
Thursday, October 31st
There’s a new iPhone update available. While most updates contain important safety improvements to fix flaws, update 13.2 contains new features every iPhone user will like. The new emoji are included, and if you have certain phones, pictures will be much better. If you have an older iPhone 5, it’s an update you need to do right away for your phone to keep working.
Wednesday, October 30th
The streaming landscape is changing. Apple TV+ comes out in a couple of days, Disney + will launch soon and one of the first big players, PS Vue is pulling the plug. What are the choices now and which one (or two or three) is right for your family? Here’s a look at what to consider.
Tuesday, October 29th
Protect yourself from Google. By now you know that Google is tracking your phone and you wherever you go in real life or in the digital world. Everywhere your phone goes, even when you turn off location history. Now Google has (finally) released a tool where you can manage what information Google has on you. Sort of.
Monday, October 28th
What is the Apple Card like after using it for 2 months? I’ve been using it almost exclusively since receiving it. This is a hands-on review of how it works, why it’s much better than a debit card for shopping, and why it’s perhaps the best ‘first credit card’ for people establishing their credit line.
Friday, October 25th
The app of the day: Gigwalk. If you’re going to spend some time shopping in brick and mortar stores this holiday season, you might want this app on your phone. Companies pitch jobs, or gigs to Gigwalk, looking for mystery shoppers who will stop by stores, take photos of products and interact with salespeople. It’s highly rated in both app stores and some people report making some real money.
Thursday, October 24th
What is your identity worth? On the dark web you’ll see passports, driver licenses, credit cards and social security numbers for sale. Almost all of it has been stolen from people who’ve posted them online somewhere. It’s amazing to see what crooks are buying and selling online. Let’s see how much your name, passport, address, driver’s license is going for on the dark web. If this doesn’t make you want to take extra steps to protect yourself, nothing will.
Wednesday, October 23rd
Can you get the flu from a smartphone? Yes! Since it’s flu season I thought I might answer that question and tell you the one thing you should do (or not do) to keep the flu from spreading in your home, at work or at school. (Don’t let anyone else touch it). I’ll also look at how to clean your phone safely and a product that rids the phone of germs.
Tuesday, October 22nd
Why you should not download the viral Gradient app. If you’ve been seeing posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook of friends posting photos of which celebrity they most look like, it’s this app Gradient which has vaulted to the top of the downloads list in both app stores. Is it harmless? Or is it like some other apps that share your information? Neither. Here’s why you shouldn’t download this app and how it can cost you money.
Monday, October 21st
Oh boy, look what Facebook is doing. The look of Facebook is changing and it’s the biggest change in the social network’s history. Everything is bigger and wider and there’s even a dark mode. I’ve got a sneak peak at what Facebook is working on
Friday, October 18th
The App of the Day: Our Pact. Just in time for Halloween I’m taking a look at an app that helps parents keep up with their kids 365 days a year. It uses GPS location to let parents see where they are, can send alerts when they get where they’re going and can also set a geo-fence where parents get alerts if they leave the area. But it also helps parents monitor what their kids are doing online.
Thursday, October 17th
You’re charging your phone in the car all wrong! I hesitated with doing this story until I started noticing that so many people use the USB port in their car to charge their phone. And, so many of them were using cheap gas station/walmart charging cables. Why you should not use the USB port to charge your phone and what to do instead.
Wednesday, October 16th
Does it seem like you’re getting more robo calls this time of year? It’s true as companies are hitting open enrollment season with calls about health care options. If you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 13 there’s a new setting that’ll stop some of those calls from interrupting your day. I’ll show you what you need to do to silence calls from robots and spammers.
Tuesday, October 15th
In case you missed it there’s a big video game thing going on. Fortnite Chapter 2 launched today and there’s lots of excitement about it. Fortnite is the #1 video game in the country and millions of kids (and adults) play it online for hours at a time. I’m looking to talk with a counselor about the very real problem of video gaming addiction.
Monday, October 14th
Your smart TV tracks you and now we learn even Roku’s and Amazon Fire TV’s will track what you watch and your other habits and send that information to other companies. I’ve got details on a new study that watched their TV’s watching them.
Friday, October 11th
The App of the Day: Turo. Would you let a stranger drive your car for a few days? Or maybe you’d like to drive a high performance Lamborghini or Maserati? Turo is a ride sharing app of a different sort. It allows regular folks to advertise and rent out their car or truck.
Thursday, October 10th
Think a $1,000 smartphone is overpriced? I’m making the case that smartphones are worth even more than that. I’ve found a Radio Shack ad from the 90s and realized almost everything in the ad is now on a smartphone. Let’s see how much adds up.
Wednesday, October 9th
Ever gone to a website for some kind of promotion and they require an email address? Or maybe you want to try some new service but don’t want to give out your primary email. You’ve heard of burner phones, this is burner email. Just add a tab to your home screen and the service will create a temporary untraceable email address.
Tuesday, October 8th
You can find and buy just about anything on Amazon. From “a” to “z” is in the company logo. I went looking for the oddest, weirdest, strangest and stupidest products for sale. You won’t believe what I found.
Monday, October 7th
A poll shows consumers underestimate their expenses each month. Phones, TV, internet and then there are the subscriptions. We may not subscribe to the paper or many magazines anymore but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by $10 per month subscriptions. I’m looking at how easy it is to spend money on things we don’t need and how to get a handle on it all.
Friday, October 4th
The app of the day: MadeFire comics. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your kids to read? Sure, some children can’t put down a good book but these days most prefer to play video games and watch YouTube. MadeFire is a comic book app with all the classics.
Thursday, October 3rd
Looking for a full time job or a part-time side hustle? Amazon has over 700 jobs open right now for people who can work from home. Virtual jobs done from wherever you want or need to be and some come with great benefits including 401k and insurance. I’ll show you how to apply and what they’re like.
Wednesday, October 2nd
What is it like shopping at Zulily? The online shopping alternative to Amazon and Walmart has thrown down the gauntlet this week by advertising it will match prices and that 97% of its products are already priced lower. Let’s go shopping to see the difference.
Tuesday, October 1st
Be careful what security camera you buy for your home. An analysis of cameras on Amazon found many that were a security risk and people could actually watch and control your camera. And these are Amazon Choice products. I’ll take a look at the troublesome cameras and the one thing you need to do anytime you buy anything that connects to the internet.
Monday, September 30th
Tech for when it’s hard to hear. Whether you have some level of hearing loss or if you’re just in a crowd trying to watch a football game, these apps and a speaker can help you hear what’s going on.
Friday, September 27th
The App of the Day: Kitchen Stories. I’ve learned people love travel and cooking apps and Kitchen Stories is one of the newest recipe apps to hit the app stores. It’s similar to others but people are going to prefer this one because of how it looks. It’s one of the top iPhone apps right now and just won a big award from Apple.
Thursday, September 26th
One of the biggest problems with shopping at Amazon is the reviews. Most people read them before making a decision on what to buy, but so many of the reviews are fakes or are paid for. What’s the solution? Amazon quietly rolled out “Vine Reviews”. These are verified reviews from people who’ve been chosen by Amazon to write them. It’s an application process and it’s Amazon’s way to fight back.
Wednesday, September 25th
This is a big time of year to get a new phone. A new iPhone, Samsung’s recently released S10 etc. How do you get the most for the phone you have now and what should you do before selling it?
Tuesday, September 24th
One of the most controversial apps for parents is shutting down. Kik, which allowed young people to chat, message and share videos with strangers was criticized by law enforcement, parent groups and child advocacy experts. It was the app sex predators would use often to meet and chat with pre-teens and was blamed for several deaths and disappearances of children. A look at the troubled history of the Kik app and what other apps parents want to be be aware of.
Monday, September 23rd
Amazon Prime Music has launched a new and improved Ultra HD option. One of the worst things about streaming music is the sound quality. Pay a little more for Amazon Music and you’re supposed to be able to hear cd quality audio of your favorite songs. How is it? Is it worth the extra money?
Friday, September 20th
The app of the day: Scholly Search. This is the time of year parents of high school students are looking for money. They’re searching high and low for scholarships. But where do you start? Scholly Search pulls together most every available scholarship and there’s a ton of them. This may be the most important app mom and dad will ever download.
Thursday, September 19th
A new operating system is out and iPhone users will be prompted to update to iOS 13. Should you do it now or wait? I’m going to take a look at why you might want to wait a few days and what you should do before starting the download.
Wednesday, September 18th
You may never want or need to sign in with Facebook or Google again. One of the highlights of iOS13, which releases tomorrow, is “Sign in With Apple”. When you download and install a new app you’ll be able to use your Apple login. Is this better than using Facebook or Google? You bet it is. I’ll explain how this works and why you’ll want to use it.
Tuesday, September 17th
And you thought it wasn’t possible for your kid to spend more time on their phone. One of the biggest announcements at last week’s Apple event was Apple Arcade. An online Netflix-type subscription service for video games. It isn’t coming out until next week but I got access to it to see what it’s all about.
Monday, September 16th
Zombie apps. We’ve all got apps on our phone that we never use. Did you know the average person has over 80 apps on their phone and uses less than half of them? Is that a problem? Could be. I’ll show you how to find and delete those accounts you never use that could potentially sell your personal information.
Friday, September 13th
The App of the Day: Just Watch. This is an app I featured a few months ago. Ever scroll through Netflix or Amazon or Hulu trying to find something to watch. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one place to you could go to see everything? Just Watch is an app that pulls together every movie and TV show available for streaming.
Thursday, September 12th
Antenna scams. Amazon is flooded with cheap antennas from Chinese manufacturers making all kinds of bogus claims about their products. Claims their antennas can get stations from 160 miles away, 4K and even cable channels. I’ll show some of these scams and explain what antennas can and cannot do.
Wednesday, September 11th
If you don’t want to spend $1,000 for the new iPhone Pro, you’ll be happy to know the phone you have now is going to be much better with lots of new features. Apple is going to release the new operating system iOS 13 on September 19th. What’s it like? I’ve been using it for the past few months and I’ll show you what to expect.
Tuesday, September 10th
Apple is expected to unveil new iPhones, Apple Watches and maybe something we don’t expect. I’m going to watch the announcement and turn something around for you. I’m going to be watching from a hotel or maybe the airport but I’ll cut a reaction piece in time for your early evening newscasts, the deadline is 4 pm eastern. It should probably run Tuesday.
Monday, September 9th
What is GoFundMe and how does it work? Millions of dollars are being raised for hurricane relief and there are some things you should know before making a donation through GoFundMe. How does it make money? Who gets the money you donate? Is your donation tax-deductible?
Friday, September 6th
The App of the Day. Facebook Dating. The company rolled it out to all users this week. What is it, how does it work? Is it safe?
Thursday, September 5th
Great. Get ready for more spam calls. The phone numbers of 412,000 people from a Facebook database were found online unprotected. That means any company or companies could have accessed those numbers which also led to the person’s Facebook profile. What can hackers do with that information. I’ll explain their SIM swapping scheme as well as explain why it also could mean you’ll get more spam calls.
Wednesday, September 4th
Facebook’s facial recognition. Most people don’t know it’s there or how it works but now Facebook is rolling out automatic facial recognition for photos to all users. What does it mean? Any time you show up in someone’s photo you’ll get a notification. It’s already turned on for some people. I’ll also show you how to turn it off.
Tuesday, September 3rd
Emergency gadgets. With everyone following coverage of Hurricane Dorian I thought it’d be a good time to take a look at some gadgets to have in case of your own emergency. Phone chargers, cables, portable power, lights. These are tech gadgets to put in your emergency kit home or away.
Monday, September 2
Happy Labor Day. I’ve got a story today about some secrets of the iPhone. If you miss the home button you can add your own, shake to erase and how to get more sound when you’re playing music. These are simple tricks a lot of people didn’t know they can do.
Friday, August 30th
breaking news: There’s a huge tech story out today that I’ll cover. Google’s team found a problem with iPhones that allowed for them to be hacked. All an iPhone user had to do was visit an exploited website. I’m still sorting it out but I’ll do a ‘talkback’ type story of what viewers need to know about this hack and what they can do to help prevent this kind of thing. It’s a story that should run today.
Thursday, August 29th
Facebook’s new scam. Maybe you’ve gotten a message in recent days from a Facebook friend asking if an attached video is from you. The BBB and others are warning people that a click will steal their login information. How does it work? I’ll explain.
Wednesday, August 28th
Instagram hashtags and your child. Instagram just deleted a number of hashtags believed to be used by pedophiles to find and contact teenagers. A British man was just found guilty of using Instagram to ‘groom’ a 15 year old girl. What parents need to know before they use hashtags on those cute pictures of their kids.
Tuesday, August 27th
Disturbing videos targeting kids will be deleted and not allowed on YouTube. I’ve covered, or uncovered, some of the intentionally disturbing videos found on YouTube and even YouTube Kids. Google-YouTube has installed a new policy where those videos will not be allowed. Disturbing videos such as Spider-Man and Disney princesses drinking from the toilet and PepaPig chasing his dad with a gun. Can’t believe it took Google this long to take action.