Category Archives: Tech

Apple is #winning [infographic]

Apple is one of the most popular and in-demand names in the tech industry, selling more than 365,000,000 devices in just the last five years. The brand is building one of the most stunning financial runs in the history of corporate America, and they have done this by being innovative–completely transforming the way we view and utilize technology today–as well as seeing opportunity for growth and executing a distinct vision that Steve Jobs had for the Apple brand.

Check out the infographic below to learn just how Apple has been able to continue on their way to the top, averaging $4 billion in monthly profit, by making the most of the three major forces behind their success.

Apple is #Winning
Image source: CaliforniaPhoneLookup.net

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Graphic Design is Good for Business [infographic]

So you have a really good idea for a website. That’s great; too bad if it doesn’t look pretty few will spend more than a few seconds on it before deciding they don’t need it in their lives. When it comes to working on the internet, if your website isn’t nice to look at, no one is going to stick around waiting for you to make it right–regardless of what the website is about, if it could help people, or if it’s just good old-fashioned entertainment.

Any website must have three components: it must be functional, it must be beautiful, and it must be simple. To ensure that their startups weren’t doomed from the start, many well-known websites and services that countless people utilize today began with a co-founder who was a graphic designer. These startups include Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and more.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about why design is good for business. It outlines the different types of designers that are out there, the best places in the country for design jobs, and expected salaries for those jobs depending on where you work.

InVisionApp
Courtesy of: InVisionApp

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Holiday Shopping for the Kids in Your Life is Easy When They Use GiftBirdy

GiftBirdy

Have you ever asked your child what they were hoping to receive for a birthday or holiday only to have them rattle off a list of toys and gadgets you have never heard of? This is something I am very familiar with, having had many conversations that go a bit like this:

Me: So what are you hoping to get for Christmas this year?

I watch my stepdaughters physically ponder their most coveted toys and items, index finger pressed against pursed lips, eyes looking up towards the ceiling. They’re animated like that. They then list half a dozen things that confuse me completely. So much confusion, in fact, that by the time they are on the third item on their mental wishlist, I’m still having trouble deciphering what the first thing was.

If this situation is at all familiar to you, I have got a pretty great solution to share with you. If the kids in your life are old enough to use the internet, either alone or with moderate supervision, I highly suggest you introduce them to GiftBirdy!

GiftBirdy screenshot

Created as a solution to simplify shopping for gifts and to make sure the gifts that are received are appreciated and put to good use, GiftBirdy is a fun and absolutely free way for children, tweens, and teens to create their own gift wishlists for any occasion and easily send them to family members.

It’s very simple to create a GiftBirdy account. While they strive to make it as self-explanatory as possible, GiftBirdy has a help video that will guide you through the setup process, as well as how to browse toys on the website, add them to a wishlist, and send the wishlist out to family members in time for the holidays.

GiftBirdy is such a great resource for children, tweens, and teens who want to make sure that their family members know what they are hoping to receive for the holidays, and it really does simplify the entire holiday shopping season. Kids are solidly the most difficult people to shop for, regardless of how well you know them; my own shopping struggles for my stepdaughters is definitely proof of that!

In addition to creating and sharing wishlists, kids can have even more fun on GiftBirdy by playing games and collecting virtual pets. They even feature the wishlists of tween and teen stars like Bailee Madison, who was in the movie Just Go With It starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston.

What I like most about GiftBirdy is the fact that they are passionate about charitable giving and are taking the opportunity to open up the world of giving back and helping those in need to the kids who use their site. GiftBirdy Giveback encourages compassion and philanthropy by giving those on the site the chance to add a small donation to a children’s charity to their gift wishlist. GiftBirdy is also setting a good example themselves by pledging to donate a percentage of their profits to a variety of deserving nonprofit organizations that work tirelessly on behalf of children.

GiftBirdy is a safe space for children on the internet. Their website is secure and they have implemented safeguards to provide a level of trust and assurance for parents who are worried about what their children find online. When your child is using GiftBirdy, you don’t have to worry that they are being exposed to inappropriate content. GiftBirdy has absolutely no ads on their website and the purchases made on GiftBirdy are made through their affiliate partner Amazon.

Introduce your child to GiftBirdy and simplify holiday shopping this year for the whole family!

This is a sponsored post from One2One Network and Gift Birdy. All opinions stated are my own.

50 Influential Twitter Feeds for Women in Business and the Social Demographics of Twitter [infographic]

Twitter is a great place to get connected with influential people all over the world, but it’s especially useful for women in business. We can’t think of anywhere else where you can connect with influential women, businesses, and groups, and stay on top of the latest news all in one place.

Twitter has only become more popular and influential, amassing individuals, professionals, media organizations, mega-corporations, and even politicians and the President of the United States. The social media service has over 170 million registered users with at least 36% of them tweeting at least once per day.

Social Demographics of Twitter infographic

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This is all great of course, but where do you start? We’ve got a game plan all mapped out for you, highlighting Twitter feeds from influential women, news, groups, and resources that are essential for any woman serious about business on Twitter.

    Influential Women

    Get inspired by these ladies in business on Twitter.

  1. @gretchenrubin: Author of New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen Rubin helps to remind women in business to find their happiness.
  2. @NancyFClark: Nancy F. Clark shares her insight as an advocate for women in business. She is a Forbes contributor who was named one of Forbes’ 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter.
  3. @SmallBizLady: Named Forbes’ No. 1 Influential Woman for Entrepreneurs and host of #SmallBizChat, Melinda Emerson has lots of great inspiration for women in business.
  4. @IvankaTrump: Follow the latest developments of young entrepreneur Ivanka Trump. In addition to Twitter, she also has a strong Facebook presence.
  5. @Oprah: One of the most well-known women in business, Oprah shares her influence and passion with her millions of followers–over 14 million, in fact–on Twitter.
  6. @KairaRouda: Kaira Rouda offers a breath of fresh air and positivity for female entrepreneurs. She is also the author of books Here, Home, Hope and All the Difference.
  7. @emmaisaacs: Emma Isaacs, CEO of @businesschicks, is a major champion for female entrepreneurs and women in business.
  8. @sharonlechter: Sharon Lechter empowers women in business with excellent resources for financial literacy. Her most recent book, Three Feet from Gold shares insight with readers on turning obstacles into opportunities.
  9. @smallbiztrends: Follow Anita Campbell, author of Visual Marketing, to find out the latest in small business trends.
  10. @sandikrakowski: Get inspired by Sandi Krakowski, one of the world’s happiest female entrepreneurs.
  11. @leawoodward: Lea Woodward is a major advocate of location independent living and working for women in business.
  12. @LeadingWomen: Susan Colantuono offers lessons to support women leaders in organizations.
  13. @prosperitygal: See what Michele Price has to say about breakthrough business strategies for women. She is the founder of #Speakchat and believes women should be making a difference and a profit.
  14. @melindagates: Melinda Gates is the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is dedicated to helping all people lead healthy, productive lives.
  15. @startupprincess: Women can get inspired to start their own business from Start Up Princess, created by Kelly King Anderson and Michelle McCullough.
  16. @simplicityinc: Follow A. Michelle Blakeley to find out how she grows small businesses with simplicity.
  17. @LinkedInExpert: Host of #LinkedInChat and author of LinkedIn Marketing, Viveka vonRosen teaches businesswomen how to do more with LinkedIn.
  18. News

    Keep your ear to the ground and find out the latest developments that matter most to women in business.

  19. @TheJaneDough: The Jane Dough is all about sharing news and insight for women in the business world.
  20. @ForbesWoman: Stay on top of Forbes news for women who mean business through this Twitter account.
  21. @womenonbusiness: From the award-winning Women on Business site, this Twitter feed has loads of news and insight for women seeking success in today’s business world.
  22. @EWMagazine: Follow this women-owned magazine published exclusively for women business owners.
  23. @msmagazine: Ms. Magazine is more than just a magazine–it’s a movement. Follow their Twitter feed (and subscribe to their magazine) and blog for the latest in women’s news.
  24. @FortuneMPW: Fortune’s Most Powerful Women offers a great way to stay up to date on the most powerful women in business and beyond.
  25. @DiversityWoman: Through Diversity Woman, you’ll find editorials for female business leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.
  26. Groups

    Follow these groups to connect with other influential women in business.

  27. @wharton_women: This Twitter group focuses on women in business who have graduated from Wharton.
  28. @GWWIB: Join the George Washington University Women in Business Twitter group to learn how they’re bridging the gap between academic and professional lives for undergrad women.
  29. @DellBizWomen: Check out this Twitter group that connects women entrepreneurs and technologists to explore the impact of women-owned businesses.
  30. @ritwomen: Check out the Rochester Institute of Technology’s resource for women in business to learn about skills in leadership, business education, and life management.
  31. @HUWIB: Follow this group to see how women are being empowered in business education in Harvard’s undergraduate business courses.
  32. @women2: Follow Women 2.0 to find content, ideas, and resources for women entrepreneurs, including programs like @founderfriday mixers and the @founderlabs pre-incubators.
  33. @85Broads: Check out this network of female game-changers who invest in each other’s success. 85 Broads was named a Forbes Woman Top 100 Website for Women three years running.
  34. @ogunte: See a better world empowered by women from Ogunte as they share news about incubators for women, ladies in business making a difference, and new developments from women in business.
  35. @1000Girlfriends: These women are taking over the world, one country at a time.
  36. @NAWBONational: Check out the National Association of Women Business Owners to learn about the power of women entrepreneurs worldwide.
  37. @CatalystInc: Catalyst works globally to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business.
  38. @TWHP: Follow the White House Project to find out what this organization is doing to ignite the leadership of women in business and politics.
  39. @WomenEmployed: Women Employed has been opening doors, crashing ceilings, and creating fairer workplaces for women since 1973.
  40. @WomenBizNetwork: Find skill-building events and business and marketing ieas through the Women in Biz Network on Twitter.
  41. @womenceo: Join the Women CEO Project to find peer-to-peer brainstorming, connections, and even virtual business courses.
  42. @WomenPresidents: The Women Presidents’ Organization is a peer advisory organization that brings together women entrepreneurs with multi-million dollar businesses.
  43. @CEOWomensClub: Learn how women can empower themselves to achieve their goals and aspirations with the CEO Women’s Club.
  44. @womenontheverge: Women on the Verge is all about breaking stereotypes and being supportive of women in a diverse, global community.
  45. Resources

    Need some help? Be sure to check out these Twitter feeds.

  46. @WomenBizWerks: Women can find business information, resources, tools, and more on Women Business Werks.
  47. @BrandYou: Cindy Ratzlaff has lots of great ideas for women interested in digital brand marketing.
  48. @thenextwomen: Follow the Next Women business magazine to learn about female heroes, news, interviews, and funding.
  49. @mombizcoach: Lara Galloway offers loads of resources for mompreneurs, sharing business coaching and ideas for business social media.
  50. @Bernadeen: Bernadeen is a government grant expert sharing strategies for small business financing options for women and government grants.
  51. @NikkiPilkington: Nikki Pilkington shares social media marketing support on her Twitter account.
  52. @NinaKaufman: Business lawyer Nina Kaufman helps to demystify small business law for female entrepreneurs.
  53. @ShellyKramer: Shelly Kramer shares marketing and brand strategies for women in business.

This is a guest post by OnlineMBA, the #1 online MBA news destination.

Make it Your Business to be Profitable from Home

home business As more and more Americans look to find their way in today’s financial world, it is not uncommon to see a larger number of home-based businesses popping up.

With a national unemployment rate still hovering around 8 percent, many individuals have taken the initiative to look for work right under their own noses–the home. Whether it is a business that can cater to thousands or just a few dozen, the idea is to make some money and work from the comforts of home.

In the event you are either out of work or looking for a change of pace from your current job, there are a variety of home-based business opportunities out there if you just put your mind to it.

For starters, you want to:

  • Estimate your revenue stream – The biggest challenge to starting a home business is doing the math to see if you can truly make a go of it. Can you survive on the profits from such a business? What will be the tax implications? Will you need to meet certain local zoning requirements in order to get up and running? What potential insurance requirements will need to be met? As you can see, there are a number of issues you need to have thought through before you hang a sign out.
  • Research the needs of consumers you want to cater to – If you live in an area where there are not many children, opening a home day care would not make much sense. If you reside in an area that has many senior citizens, providing some form of care-giving services would make sense.
  • Know how to promote your business – One of the biggest challenges is letting the world know you have a business in the first place. Are you adept at public relations, blogging, social media, and business networking in general? If not, will you figure it out as you go or need to spend money on outside help? If it is the latter, it is important to see what the costs are and figure them into your business expenses.

Starting with an everything home blog to let consumers know what you will offer is a great way to get the ball rolling. The blog can be your window to the world to let people know about the product or service you plan to offer, your experience in this niche, hours of business, and much more. The blog should also be used as a tool to engage with consumers, providing them answers to their questions and more.

How Do I Know What Type of Business to Start?

So, what are some businesses to consider running out of your residence that will make you happy and potentially turn a profit?

First and foremost, you want to do something that will utilize your talents and interests, such as creating a business to make money out of your hobby.

If you are good with numbers, running a bookkeeping or tax service could be ideal. If organizational skills are your forte, there are countless individuals who could use your organization talents. If you are good with kids, running an approved day care business out of your home could be the right call.

Once you have the business theme down, the next goal is to spread the word.

If you have not created a business website yet, start here. There are two options available, designing your own or spending some money to have a professional do it. Either way, it is almost unheard of for a small business these days not to be present on the Internet in some shape or form.

Finally, what type of schedule will you keep?

One of the reasons many people like working from home is that they can pretty much set their own hours. If they want to work a traditional 9 to 5 schedule, they can. If they are not receiving clients either in person or by phone, they can alter their schedules and work some hours here and there.

Most importantly, being organized and disciplined are two key components to making a home-based business work. Without them, your business dreams can quickly turn to nightmares if you are not meeting customer expectations.

In the end, a home-based business can be profitable, enjoyable, and personally rewarding.

Making Money with Your Hobby

knitting

Women typically have many hobbies, whether it is reading, writing, knitting, exercise, or cooking. But how can you monetize your hobby so that you can be one of those people, “Making money doing what they love?”

What your hobby is will help dictate how to start going about generating income. Below are some ways that you can turn your hobby into a profitable, money-making venture.

You Have Options

Maybe you want to make money with your hobby by way of teaching others how to do it rather than selling anything. This is perfectly acceptable. This can mean creating a tutorial or writing an e-book for instance.

Perhaps you want to sell a finished product. This can be done if you’ve made the product yourself or if you bought the product already made but you did so with the agreement that you are going to put your name on it, also known as private label rights. This is popular amongst ghost writers for instance, someone else writes the article but they allow you to market it as your own.

Affiliate marketing is a nice compromise to both–you can integrate affiliate products on a site with your own products or you can create relevant content around your hobby of choice and use affiliate products. This is still making money with your hobby and is quite possibly one of the easier ways to go about it depending on your time.

Adsense and ad space, also good choices, but be forewarned that this is not as easy as it might sound. You need to market your site and have incoming traffic to see any revenue coming in. But it can be done! Find like blogs and leave genuine comments. Networking is the single best way to get your new hobby site started.

Barter Your Skills

If money is hard to come by to get started, find other bloggers to barter with by swapping talents. If you are a member on any forums, start there. If not, visit SwapTree.com and GoSwap.org which can help you find someone to trade with.

Get Hired

If you want to do something involving your hobby but you don’t particularly want to own a business or blog, you have the option of getting paid by other business owners that share your hobby or topic of interest. Going back to the ghost writing sample, find someone that needs articles and blog posts on the topic of your interest and get paid for writing.

What You Need to Get Started

What you need to get started will obviously depend on the route you’ve picked. But below are some general things to keep in mind when getting started.

  • A domain name. NameCheap.com is my favorite.
  • Hosting. Please be prepared to spend a few dollars if you really want to give this a go. A domain name and hosting are essential although free is tempting.
  • An online payment service if you are selling your own products and intend to process credit card and/or debit card payments. If you are going the route of affiliate marketing, payment services will not be a concern.
  • If you are going the affiliate marketing route, you need to research affiliate programs that match your hobby and sign up for them so that you can promote products.

Almost anything can be turned into a money-making venture if you go about it the right way. Take your time to research and then figure out what avenue will work best for you, because the beauty is there is more than one way to do it and to do it well.

This is a guest post by Melissa, a freelance writer for FundraiserInsight.org. She’s a tech geek that specializes in all things electronic and mobile. Some might say she has a slight addiction to mobile apps and social media. In her free time, which is rare, she can be found snuggled up on her over-sized chair with her Kindle in one hand and a coffee in the other.

Photo by camera shy momma/Flickr

Kid’s Party Planning for Today’s Tech-Savvy Moms #infographic

Planning a great child’s party, whether a themed party to celebrate a fun holiday like Halloween, a birthday party, or both, can quickly take on a life of its own and become a chaotic mess you’re not sure how to even begin organizing. So many small details go into planning any type of party, especially when groups of kids are involved, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and end up accidentally overlooking something.

When my fiance and I were planning his oldest daughter’s 8th birthday party, I think we went through about a dozen possible theme options before settling on something that she was completely obsessed with at the time–pirates. Then there was hunting down pirate-themed party supplies, creating a menu around the theme, and of course, the activities to keep everyone entertained. It was not easy. In fact, as we were decorating the house the night before the party, I think I declared that we would not be hosting any future parties possibly ever. Of course, my tune changed as soon as I saw just how much everyone truly enjoyed and appreciated what my fiance and I had done, and how happy my stepdaughter was with her party. The words “best birthday party ever” were exclaimed quite a few times. But my goodness, there is a whole lot of work involved in taking an idea and turning it into one really fantastic party.

Check out the following infographic from Party Pail all about how to go about planning the perfect children’s party, starting with the basics like deciding on a theme and party activities, to how you can use social media to stay connected and communicate with guests, using Pinterest to brainstorm party ideas, and sites to utilize when documenting the party afterwards, like Facebook, Flickr, and Tumblr. You are sure to find at least a few tips that you will be able to put to good use when planning your child’s next bash!


Via: Party Pail

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Blogging on a Shoestring Budget

woman typing on computer

If you blog full-time, then you are sure to have a lot more to deal with on top of writing posts, managing comments, and marketing; such as expenses associated with running your blogs.

If your blog is hobby-oriented, you likely don’t want to expend more money than necessary and have a small budget to work with. With yet another tax year behind me this is one I won’t soon forget, as it involved paying a rather large sum of money to the IRS. As you might imagine, it was quite an unpleasant experience. After recovering from the shock of it all, I started to go through my receipts and expenses to see how I could get back to blogging on a shoestring budget by determining what I really needed. Below are a few ways I was able to shave off a few bucks from my blogging expenses.

Domains & Services

I went through all my domain names and let go of quite a few that I owned but hadn’t yet used. It may not sound like much, but depending on how many you have, it’s a good idea to get rid of the ones you don’t use. Some domains may be worth selling if it’s a catchy name and you just haven’t gotten around to putting it to good use, while other names might make you ask yourself what you were thinking in the first place. Nevertheless, do some research and don’t act in haste.

When I buy a new domain name, especially if I need privacy guard, I use NameCheap because the privacy is free for the first year and minimal at renewal time. However, GoDaddy offers renewal coupons that NameCheap doesn’t, so it’s a matter of comparing the two to find which will better save you money in the long run.

For web hosting, as affiliate marketers and bloggers with multiple sites, we are often used to using a couple different hosting plans at best. Sign up as an affiliate and use the link on your website and also see if you can consolidate any of your sites onto one account, if possible.

I have an Aweber account, but truth be told, I haven’t put it to good use yet and it has been deducting $19.95 from my bank account each month. I was able to put the service I have now on hold for $4.95 a month so I can retain my current pricing that I wouldn’t get later if I was to cancel my account. Definitely a plus. Go over all your services and see which you use, which you don’t, and see if there is any way to negotiate a price different such as what I was able to do with my Aweber service. If you don’t ask, you won’t know.

As an aside, while saving money is the goal, don’t sacrifice a domain name and hosting. It might sound good to start out with a free blog, but it’s a hassle to transfer later. Having your own domain name and web hosting has more pros than cons.

Cellphone Usage

I’m a long-time BlackBerry lover and addict. My life is inside my phone, quite literally. While I don’t do a home office deduction, I do deduct the cost of my monthly BlackBerry charge on my taxes, which helps out at the end of the year.

Wi-Fi calling has helped to keep my data plan down due to my BlackBerry being a Wi-Fi calling-enabled phone. So basically, it’s free to use Wi-Fi when you are in Wi-Fi areas, including your own home, through use of your wireless router. If you are a longtime customer with your phone service provider, call them and ask if they have any new specials for longtime customers. I was recently able to switch two of my lines to unlimited minutes and it saved me money.

Skimping on the Extras

We all need a little extra sometimes. For me, that tends to be my foo-foo coffees from Starbucks, aka a Skinny Caramel Macchiato. But, they do tend to add up (in cost and calories!) so I have slowed down getting them everyday. I associate my coffee habit with my blogging because I am usually up late working and need the boost in the morning.

Another extra for me is books. I am a complete book nerd, but I have finally gotten to a point that if I don’t have an immediate reason to use the book, then I won’t buy it. And, when I really do need some books on niche topics, I use BookCloseouts due to their extremely low costs. I have books ranging from wine to blogging to write and more. While books may not be your weakness, the same thought process applies–if you don’t need it for immediate use, don’t buy it.

Surely there are several more ways to save money, but these are some of the changes that I recently made and I will continue making more. What’s the point of working so hard if more money is going out than coming in?

This is a guest post by Chrissie Cole, a freelance writer for various blogs, including Speedy Incorporation, which helps new small business owners learn everything they need to know about how to form an LLC as well as offering advice and information about running their business successfully via their small business marketing blog.

Photo by Gayle L. Falkenthal/Flickr

7 Useless Apps You Didn’t Know You Needed

PaperKarma You’d be hard pressed to find someone not carrying some type of gadget today–from smartphones to tablets to ultrabooks and much more! And that is not limited to adults; kids are walking around around with fancy gadgets at younger and younger ages.

But, for a woman in particular, there are some useless apps that can be used with the above gadgets that we are certain you didn’t realize you needed!

  1. PaperKarma App (Free)

    I’m one of those people that likes going to the mailbox and then questions, why? There are bills and junk mail lying in wait. But with this app you can stop junk mail by using your phone. Simply take a photo of the junk mail you want to stop and the app contacts the mailer to remove you from their list. The app can stop most junk mail addressed directly to you. I really wish someone would create an app that removes me from my bills, but that is not likely to happen.

  2. Urbanspoon (Free)

    We all have that one person that is frustrating to go to dinner with! They never know where they want to eat or what they want. I know this can’t just be me. Personally, I’d eat at Friday’s everyday if I could, I love their French Onion soup more than life itself. But back to the discussion at hand, if you are in a situation where you can’t decide where to eat, just shake your phone and the app will suggest a restaurant.

    This app is particularly helpful if you are away from home. You can easily see what’s nearby or compare a list of restaurants. You can also make a reservation AND check in from your phone. That alone is a great reason to use this app. But other features include free Wi-Fi, gluten-free food, live music, and more.

  3. RunPee App (Free)

    Genius I tell you! Have you taken your child or niece/nephew to the movies and they undoubtedly have to use the restroom and you keep saying “in a minute,” or “just a sec,” because you just can’t pull yourself away? This happened to me during The Avengers! My nephew used the bathroom so many times during that movie it was ridiculous. I was more excited about the movie than he was. In a nutshell, this app will tell you when the best time to run pee is so you don’t miss an important part of the movie. See, genius, right?

  4. ShopSavvy App (Free)

    Not every woman likes to shop, and I am one of those women! It drives my mother bananas that I don’t go store-to-store in search of what I need. She can’t help herself but I find it just confuses me. With this app, you can scan the product, tap one of the blue buttons, and review your order! That’s it! You ordered what you needed with the least amount of effort, but also at the cheapest price and fastest way to buy on-the-go. That’s productivity at its finest in my opinion.

  5. Starbucks App (Free)

    Check your balance, reload your card, or if you’re looking for a Starbucks, then this app is for you. Last time I went to Vegas for a conference my first question was where’s the nearest Starbucks, not what table to gamble at. Call me strange but I need to know where my coffee or Chai tea is at all times. Which begs the question–is this a useless app or a must-have app?

  6. Virtual Zippo® Lighter App (Free)

    Of all the apps outlined above, this is simply the most useless as in you really won’t ever have a need for it, but it’s fun. I don’t smoke, never have, but I’ve always had a fascination with Zippo lighters. Just flight the device backwards or swipe top open and it will spark up so you can play with the virtual flame. See, useless, but fun and it’s the only acceptable way to play with fire. You can also pick a cool lighter design. Yes, I’m aware that my nerd flag is showing.

  7. SimStapler App (Free)

    I’m not sure why I find this awesomely useless app so much fun, but I do. Simulate stapling important documents such as the Declaration of Independence and more with this virtual stapler. If you are thinking this app is utterly useless, you might be right, but don’t knock it until you try it. Everyone needs a little fun sometimes!

And there you have it, my list of useless apps. Some are more useless than others, but I like them all just the same and hope you do too.

This is a guest post by Belinda Lima, a freelance writer for andgeeks.com. She graduated from the University of Texas with her Graduate degree in Creative Writing and now uses her wordsmith talents and her love of technology to write about a variety of social media, consumer electronics, and mobile accessories topics in her articles.

Google Play Presents Steven Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Google+ Hangout and the Official “Lincoln” Trailer

Lincoln

The official trailer for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming movie Lincoln was just recently released. After watching it twice, I have to say, this is easily one of the most intriguing films of the year. I can’t wait to see it! Here’s the trailer:

One line from the trailer that really stuck out to me was when Lincoln asks, “Do we choose to be born, or are we fitted to the times we’re born into?” I think that anyone with a great deal of passion for the world, and specifically those who work towards changing it and making it better, can really find something very honest and intriguing in that question.

Not only do we have the trailer, we also have a video of a Google+ Hangout presented by Google Play of director Steven Spielberg and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as three lucky fans who were given the opportunity to ask them questions about the film, the story behind it, how they prepared to portray these influential people from history, and what we should expect to take away from the film after seeing it. You can check out the Google+ Hangout in its entirety below:

Lincoln is a DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox film, in association with Participant Media. It releases in US theaters limited release on November 9th, with expansion on November 16th.

You can also keep up with everything Lincoln by “liking” Lincoln on Facebook, follow Lincoln on Twitter, and visit the official Lincoln movie website.