Category Archives: Tech

Organize and Protect Your E-Life with the WD My Cloud Mirror #KEEPITCOMING

We’ve all been there before — we’re plugging away, working, fulfilling obligations, sharing the memories we’ve captured and cataloging the others away. It’s all very business as usual until suddenly, it isn’t. The computer crashes. Nothing was backed up. Everything is gone. I have been there a few times myself (because evidently it takes something happening more than once to teach me a lesson) and each time was devastating.

I have led an active e-life since I was a teenager, and I have been a blogger since before The Powers That Be came up with the term “blogger.” I have created, written, and managed numerous blogs, forums, and websites — Woman Tribune alone since 2008. That’s a long time, ripe with opportunity to lose a lot of important files, pictures, and data — and I did. Now, things are different, and the task of backing up your files has been completely revolutionized.

Do you remember when backing up your files meant dragging them over to a floppy disk for safe keeping? If only we knew back then that the future would bring us stylish 6-inch-tall white boxes capable of storing our entire e-life in just a few clicks. I’m talking about the WD My Cloud Mirror — a personal cloud with a built-in backup plan.

My Cloud Mirror

We all know and have come to rely on “the cloud.” We also have come to know its flaws and the security breaches that can come with utilizing it. What makes the My Cloud Mirror different is that it is your own personal cloud storage safely located in your own home.

The My Cloud Mirror comes with everything you need to start storing files in about five minutes. Plug it into your router and a power outlet, then head over to the website and follow the instructions for setting up and you’re done.

Whether you need to free up space on your phone, tablet, or computer, or just make sure everything on all of your devices is safe and sound should anything happen, the My Cloud Mirror can store all of your important files and memories away for safe keeping. Because it has a dual drive, not only do your important files get stored onto the drive, but everything is also copied onto a secondary backup for twice the protection. Hello, peace of mind!

My husband is a musician, and to keep his music files (which are ridiculously large) safe, he has taken to accumulating way too many hard drives. Talk about a headache when trying to find the right music file! With the My Cloud Mirror’s 4 terabytes of space, he can KEEPITCOMING™. What I love most about this personal cloud is that you can access your files from anywhere there’s an internet connection, so if you’re out of town and need a file on your computer back at home, if you’ve synced it up with your My Cloud Mirror, you can retrieve that file instantly. How cool is that?!

The My Cloud Mirror is available in 4 TB, 6 TB, and 8 TB, and comes with a 2-year limited warranty. It is compatible with Windows® 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 or Windows Vista®, Mac OS® X El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks™, Mountain Lion™, Lion™, as well as DLNA®/UPnP® enabled devices.

My Cloud Mirror

Forget the public cloud! Be in control of your own data with the WD My Cloud Mirror, and get anywhere access to your important content stored safely at home.

Get to Know the New Scion iA

If you’re in the market for a new car, this fall might just be the perfect time to buy, with the release of Scion’s stunning new Sedan — the Scion iA.

The Scion iA is a sleek car loaded with premium features that come standard, like crystal clear audio with voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, and music streaming services via Bluetooth wireless technology. But don’t let its luxury fool you into thinking it’s impractical. The iA is outfitted in the latest safety and security standards and impressively priced for the average customer.

Check out the infographic below to get to know the new Scion iA, where luxury isn’t based on income.

Scion iA
Learn more about the new Scion iA

How Technology is Disrupting Money Transfers — More Transparency and Lower Costs

Fast transfer of currencies across long distances has not always been the easy task it is today. And even though the industry has been completely revolutionized, there are plenty of currency transfer customers who haven’t gotten the memo.

In the old days, the only way to send currency across borders or over long distances was through the infrastructure of telegram companies. These companies spread out all over the globe in order to have a physical location wherever money might need to be sent. The process wasn’t very fast, it wasn’t very accurate, and it was very expensive. These century-old businesses are still operating today, and they have some of the best brand recognition of any currency transfer company. But in many cases, their services aren’t much improves than they were a generation ago, and they’re still among the most expensive you can find.

The alternative to these private companies is transferring currency through international banks. Banks have the infrastructure and the international presence to do this simply enough. But they also have shareholders to impress, so they charge more than the process is worth. For people who need to transfer money regularly, this is no solution at all.

Something had to change. The internet and mobile spheres helped cultivate agile new businesses organized to make currency transfer much more affordable and trustworthy. A quick search for “international currency comparison” will make it clear that it shouldn’t cost very much money to transfer money overseas in 2015, making the old guard of money transfer seem all the more antiquated. When you actually get in touch with one of the new generation of currency firms, you’ll see just how far this transparency extends.

The old way of setting up one of these deals takes a “take it or leave it” shape. Companies like Western Union position themselves in locations where people have no other options for currency transfer: prisons, airports, low income neighborhoods, etc. New companies don’t often have physical locations at all. They’re online, on your mobile device, and available over the phone. When you call one of these companies, you are assigned a dealer who works with you every time you call. It is (new) industry standard to provide customers like you with contracts that can lock down the most affordable exchange rates when they pop up. You can even haggle over the rate you are given!

You won’t get much or any of this from a big bank, or from one of the old school companies that transfer currency around the globe. That’s why the old companies spend so much money on advertising. If they had it their way, no one would know that there is a new model for this kind of service, locking them into terms and fees which are not in the best interest of the customer.

With so many excellent players in the game, there are affordable solutions for people sending small payments, regular mid-range payments, large payments for investment or property, and for just about every other purpose. Most companies favor one sort of company or another for their money transfers, but there’s something for everyone. Keep looking and you’ll find a money transfer company who can offer you excellent terms, prices, and transparency for your situation.

Top photo: epsos/Flickr

Save More When Shopping Online with Frugaa

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Frugaa. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Frugaa.com

This holiday season, more people than ever before are opting to do their shopping online. Consumers made this abundantly clear right after Thanksgiving, when the usual numbers expected from Black Friday sales dropped, while Cyber Monday had its most lucrative year to-date. The logic is simple: why brave the overcrowded, overpriced malls and limited stock of brick and mortar stores when you can find everything you’re looking for (along with some things you didn’t even know you needed) in exactly the right size, color, and style online? I am such a big fan of shopping online that I would buy my groceries via a website if a delivery service would start servicing my rural area of Northeastern, Pennsylvania.

Every Christmas, the same scenario plays out among my family as we sit together around the tree in my grandmother’s living room and open gifts. Each person is routinely chastised for doing too much, spending too much, giving too much. When the comments come around to me, my dad is quick to assure everyone that “Holly shops online, so she got a good deal.”

He’s right. When you’re an avid online shopper, you pick up some tips on how to really stretch your dollar. The golden rule, at least in my experience, is shopping online means never having to pay full price. In fact, just the other day I managed to get a $35 Christmas purchase down to $16 by seeking out the website with the lowest price and finding a valid free shipping promo code. I won Christmas.

There is a lot of money to be saved when you shop online. Making the process how to save that money easier than ever is Frugaa, an online coupon search engine.

Frugaa.com

Frugaa helps bargain hunters save an average of $25 every time they search their website for the latest coupons, discounts, free shipping deals, cash back options, rewards, and more for hundreds of online stores we’ve all heard of, and some of which you’re probably already shopping.

Using their site is simple:

When you’ve found that perfect something you need in your life (or want to gift that special someone this holiday season) run a quick search for that store on Frugaa before making your purchase. You’ll receive a list of valid coupons to choose from and apply at checkout for savings. Search results are sorted by most popular and the expiration date of each coupon is listed with each offer so you will never find yourself in the predicament of finding an awesome coupon code only to find out it has expired or doesn’t work.

If you’re still in the browsing stage of your shopping, use the Frugaa savings calculator to search for items based on category and your budget. Tap the search button and bam, you have a complete list of the best deals for what you’re looking for.

Coupons and deals are just the foundation the Frugaa website is built on. They have much more to offer, including a budding rewards system and a huge marketplace!

Frugaa seeks out manufacturers and suppliers with the fairest prices in order to pass the biggest savings onto you. With categories including clothing, home decor, gadgets, pet supplies, and even web hosting packages, you can score rock bottom prices on the things you need, the things you want, and things you didn’t even know you wanted without leaving the Frugaa website.

Want to be rewarded for your influence? Who doesn’t, right? When you visit the Frugaa website and complete challenges like watching a video, sharing a deal on your social media channels and engaging your audience, you will receive badges and rewards for your actions. When you complete enough goals, you can redeem your rewards. Such an extra special, very fun addition to an already excellent service!

Visit Frugaa and start saving big when you shop online!

Unlock Your Career Potential with Z Expressions Hospitality #ad

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Z Expressions Hospitality. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

work at home
tinafranklindg/Flickr

Choosing the perfect career now is drastically different than ever before, primarily because of the evolution of our basic, everyday technology. Not only has it spurred entire industries to change the way they operate, but it has also become the key to unlocking limitless career potential.

Entering into the workforce used to mean entering into a commute, rush hour traffic, long hours, not-so-nice competitive environments, and limited growth. This way of earning a living still applies to many, but others are taking a new route and paving their own way to a successful career that works around their lives. In a truly liberating feat, they are doing it right from their own homes.

Z Expressions Hospitality

While it is always wise to approach work-from-home opportunities with caution, there are in fact legitimate ways to earn a stable income from home on your own schedule.

Z Expressions Hospitality, Inc. is a global provider of virtual business solutions and work-from-home opportunities specializing in personal and business consulting, special events, and memorable occasions. They are partnered with Arise, a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business with an A+ rating (since 2005) and a widely-recognized industry leader for virtual job creation. With a partner like this, you know Z Expressions Hospitality is the real deal for anyone looking to enter the workforce with the freedom and flexibility of working from home.

They are currently looking for self-motivated individuals with excellent customer service and typing skills who bring a positive and professional attitude to all things they do. You will have the opportunity to service many of the nation’s top Fortune 500 companies and well-trusted brands in industries such as e-commerce, cable communications, technology, retail, telecommunications, and travel and hospitality.

The typical 9-to-5 career path lacks the one thing that has proven to be most important to average person and family today – flexibility. Whether your goal is to earn a full-time income or build up your savings on the side, Z Expressions Hospitality, Inc. is committed to offering real work for real people while you create an abundant life with additional time to spend with those you love the most.

Be your OWN boss! Get started now!

Keep, Organize, and Easily Find Everything Ever with Kifi #ad

This is a sponsored post. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Kifi

I have always been someone who has to have several different things going on at once. My mind is always racing, coming up with new ideas and projects I would like to start. Focusing on one thing has never worked for me. I get overwhelmed, I feel constricted, and I freak out. It’s like being a juggler of life paths gives me some control over how messy and chaotic my mind can get.

Because of all of this, I always have a lot going on and a lot to keep track of.

You would think that while I am well aware of how out of control my mind can feel sometimes that I would be most comfortable with everything in my life being just as messy. On the contrary, I have been known to spend a week on the cleaning and organizing of my entire house, and even my computer files are neatly organized for maximum efficiency.

So why shouldn’t my online work, research, and daily internet reads be just as neatly organized and easy to find?

Kifi is an all-in-one online organizer for everything you do, love, and are interested in. Short for keep it find it,  Kifi lets you immediately keep, tag, and save everything and anything you find online that you want to save for later. You can save it privately for your eyes and reference only, or make it public so that the Kifi community can learn from your findings. It does all of this without leaving your browser window. No opening new tabs, apps, or wasting time copying and pasting links and notes.

Setting themselves apart from other online organizers, Kifi has integrated an entire social interface right into their dashboard. When your friends join Kifi send them a friend request. When they accept, you can privately chat with them in real time without leaving the Kifi page. This is perfect for working with a group on a project for work, girlfriends planning a summer getaway, planning a wedding with your groom or wedding party, or throwing a mutual friend a surprise bridal or baby shower without her catching wind of what’s up and ruining the surprise.

Kifi also enhances the way you can search online. When you search for something, the pages your friends have publicly kept in a specific area of interest will be shown at the top of your search results. With Kifi, your friends and their expertise are your No. 1 resource for everything.

Kifi dashboard

Signing up and using Kifi is simple. Sign up for an account using Facebook, LinkedIn, or with your email address. After verifying your email and logging in you are immediately prompted to install the extension or add-on for your browser. I use Google Chrome, so I was prompted to install the Chrome browser extension. Kifi is currently available for Google Chrome and Firefox. Safari and Internet Explorer extensions are coming soon.

If you plan to use Kifi as an all-in-one organizer for everything you do, you have the option of importing your bookmarks from your browser. If you are using it to store only resources and references for work or upcoming projects, simply skip that step and begin saving to Kifi as you browse.

After installing the Kifi extension, continue browsing and going about your internet business as you normally would. When you come across something you need to save, mouse over the small grey Kifi logo badge in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Choose to send the page to a friend on Kifi through the message or chat function or keep it either privately and publicly with tags.

I have been using Kifi to keep track of things I need to reference later for writing ideas, pages I plan to include in special seasonal and weekly roundups here on Woman Tribune, and recipes I want to try out one day.

What could Kifi help you organize?

You are the Boss of Your Blog, I Promise

You may have noticed that I haven’t updated Woman Tribune in a little over a week, and you may have been starting to wonder where I’ve been. To put it simply, I’ve been busy doing other things; but I’ve never been one for putting something simply.

When you blog for so long, especially when it’s on the same space and a community develops around you, it’s easy to feel as if your blog has transformed into its own, ridiculously needy entity. Suddenly you have a to-do list a mile long to get through and your blog develops its own special to-do list. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, burnt out, and fall behind. I am guilty of them all. Sometimes you just need a break or a hiatus, a chance to switch gears and focus on something else for a little while and then come back refreshed and with a clear head. This past week was that time for me.

During my time away here, I worked on finally getting a portfolio up that showcases what I do on the internet. I have been meaning to get this site up for years. Really, years. I first registered the domain in 2008, and then all of the different projects I was working on at the time took over, and then Woman Tribune really took over. Over the past five years, I have focused on this blog and little else. That is a lot of work and a lot of energy, and when you’re a creative person who does a few different things, I can now confidently state that focusing on just one thing all the time can drive you a little out of your mind.

Holly Ord portfolio screenshot

My new portfolio launched today, and in addition to showcasing the writing, web design, and blogging work I have been doing, I will be blogging over there from time to time. You can expect to find some behind the scenes looks at whatever I happen to be working on, along with fun inspiration images and tips, blogging and design resources, and general techy know-how. It’s going to be fun, so you should join me.

This has also been a really great time for reflection for me. I was able to take a step back from the day-to-day and focus on the bigger picture of what I have been doing, and what I hope to accomplish both in the near and distant future.

I want to run Woman Tribune for as long as I am able to. This blog has been such an asset to my life and to my career, and it has come to mean a lot to me. But is Woman Tribune the only thing I want to be doing, and the only creative outlet I have for myself? No, it isn’t the only thing, and when I made this realization I had a truly bizarre experience. It was as if my blog brain had jumped up and started making declarations of neediness and expressing abandonment issues. Just like I said before, when you blog in the same space for so long, it takes on a life force of its own.

When this happens, it’s important to remind yourself that you are the boss of your blog. You’re the boss. When your blog has begun to take on its own life while taking over yours, it’s time to take a step back, reevaluate what your goals looked like when you made them, and switch gears in an effort to make your goals look a little more like you intended.

Get re-inspired, get motivated, and get moving.

Be a Master of Efficiency this Holiday Season with the @YP Mobile App and Website — Yellow Pages Giveaway [Closed]

YPMobile

We are coming down to the final week before Christmas, and for many, this will be the busiest week of the entire holiday season.

Chances are that more than a few of you out there are looking at your to-do lists and seeing a lot of things that still need to be crossed off. So much to do, so many things to buy, and so many places to go to get everything done.

We have all heard of the Yellow Pages, but what you may not know is that the Yellow Pages website recently underwent a major overhaul and introduced a brand new YPMobile app, currently available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry.

YP is the one site and app for people who wear ‘busy’ as a badge of honor. Within seconds, you can search over 19 million business listings and find that one place that has the perfect gift for the very-difficult-to-shop-for family member, nearby grocery stores running sales or special coupon days, hardware stores (something will break, Murphy’s Law says), local florists, and even where to find the cheapest gas in the area. YPMobile also gives users access to thousands of local coupons, deals, and discounts.

Check out the YP holiday app below for informative tips on how to do the holidays right, from roasting chestnuts (and keeping your fireplace clean), decorating the house (and avoiding setting fire to your tree), drinking eggnog, and more.

Yellow Pages Prize Pack Giveaway

Yellow Pages Prize Pack

To help you become a master of efficiency this holiday season, we are giving one lucky reader a YP Prize Pack: USB car charger, black cinch bag, flashlight, tape measure, notepads, pencils, and gum. Because who doesn’t love gum?

This giveaway is open to US entrants ages 18+ and will end December 21.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was made possible by Yellow Pages and PartnersHub. No incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Kids Have Never Had This Much Fun Learning: VTech InnoTab 3S Review and Giveaway #ad [Closed]

I received a VTech InnoTab 3S and free Premium Kid Connect subscription for review from VTech and the opportunity to host this giveaway. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

VTech InnoTab 3S

I have lamented here many times that while I am pretty awesome in some areas of the technological world we live in (I’m a self-taught web designer and have been blogging for over half my life!), I am still sorely lacking in others. Admittedly, I know very little about smartphones or tablets as I have never, not once, owned either one. Yes, it’s true. The universe (with the help of VTech) really drove home how sad and very bizarre this is when my soon-to-be eight-year-old stepdaughter became the owner of a tablet before me.

Well, kind of.

Tablets have amazing educational, social, and entertainment capabilities. VTech took all of that power and made it easily accessible and appropriate for kids ages 3-9, with a heaping dose of peace of mind for parents with their InnoTab 3S Wi-Fi Learning Tablet.

When you first look at the InnoTab 3S, it very much looks like a toy. It is made of thick plastic, comes in either blue or pink, has big buttons that are responsive when you press them, great for fumbling kid fingers, and the graphics once you turn the tablet on are fun, colorful, and scream of kid-friendliness. When you begin to really look at all the InnoTab 3S is capable of, however, it quickly loses its toy label. This is one powerful and very impressive tablet.

VTech InnoTab 3S setup

Setting up the InnoTab 3S for the first time was incredibly easy. It didn’t need to be charged for six hours before being able to turn it on, like you run into with most any other gadgets. Instead, you pop in the battery packs, turn it on, and the tablet walks you through the set-up process, telling you what to do every step of the way.

Knowing that this would be getting a lot — and I mean a lot — of use, I really love that the InnoTab 3S has a rechargeable battery pack with AC adapter, completely eliminating the need to buy expensive replacement batteries. Batteries are the bane of my existence.

VTech InnoTab 3S start screen

After setup, you immediately have access to 20 free apps that come pre-loaded onto the InnoTab 3S, including the interactive My Magic Beanstalk game where kids take care of a beanstalk by watering it to make it grow over time; H20 Go!, a directional pad game that teaches science concepts through an animated drop of water; and a pop-up 3D art studio where kids can create to their hearts content without going through 300 pieces of paper in the process.

There is also an MP3 player, eReader, and Wish List Maker, all accessible on the 5-inch color touch screen.

One of the best features of the InnoTab 3S is the kid-safe web browser. How many times have your children been on a computer, tablet, or phone and wandered into unacceptable internet territory? We have had this happen a couple of times and I love that the InnoTab 3S allows access to only age-appropriate websites that have been vetted by VTech’s educational experts.

Parents can add additional websites to the browser, a unique feature that really gives parents complete control over what their children are allowed access to. This parental control feature is also password protected, so you don’t have to worry about your child learning how to add websites on their own if they don’t have the password.

VTech InnoTab 3S camera

At the top of the tablet sits a 2-megapixel 180-degree rotating camera that lets you take pictures and videos. This feature in itself provides limitless entertainment. I know this because me and my fiance totally played with this camera, along with the WonderCam app, shortly after I finished setting the InnoTab 3S up. Yes, we are grownups who never really grew up. It happens.

The WonderCam app lets you add more than 55 special effects, funny faces, and frames to the pictures taken with the camera. You can keep all your favorite photos right in the photo album for easy accessibility.

VTech Learning Lodge

When you connect the InnoTab 3S to your computer via USB cord, you are immediately prompted to install the VTech Learning Lodge. This program gives parents access to purchase hundreds of games, apps, e-books, music, and videos. All of the titles are endorsed by VTech’s team of educational experts, so you can rest assured that anything you or your child accesses from the Learning Lodge is age-appropriate and beneficial.

There is also an area of the Learning Lodge that lets you see what games and educational apps your child is playing, as well as their progress in individual apps, which is really cool!

VTech InnoTab 3S Premium Kid Connect App

VTech Kid ConnectAccording to a new survey conducted on behalf of VTech by BabyCenter, the #1 pregnancy and parenting online destination worldwide, nearly 90% of moms find it stressful to be away from their children while at work, on business trips, or while fulfilling other commitments. In response, VTech created the Premium Kid Connect app, online available for the VTech InnoTab 3S, to help alleviate those feelings of anxiety by keeping parents connected to their children even while apart.

With VTech Kid Connect you and your child can share text messages, stickers, drawings, voice messages, and photos with tablet-to-smartphone or tablet-to-tablet communication. Because all interactions are made through Wi-Fi, it doesn’t matter where you or your child is, you can connect with them through this app from anywhere in the world!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPTF3NOUT7s

The InnoTab 3S comes with a one-year free subscription to the basic Kid Connect app, which allows parents and kids to send text messages and stickers. The premium version of Kid Connect (available in the Learning Lodge for $14.99) offers the enhanced features of voice messages, photos, and drawings.

The VTech InnoTab 3S normally retails for $99.99, but is on sale now for the holiday season for $79.99. After receiving the opportunity to check it out, I can honestly tell you it is worth every penny.

VTech InnoTab 3S Giveaway

TWO lucky readers will win a VTech InnoTab 3S, the perfect holiday gift for any kid ages 3-9!

This giveaway is open to US entrants ages 18+ and will end November 29.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teach Your Kids About Internet Safety with FREE #GrowingUpOnline eBook — ‘The Lorax’ DVD/Blu-Ray Giveaway [Closed]

Growing Up Online Lorax giveaway

When I was a kid, we didn’t have a home computer until I was around 12. My dad surprised us with one for Christmas and I actually wasn’t totally in favor of the computer because I was told that I wouldn’t need my encyclopedias anymore. You don’t tell an exceptionally nerdy child that she will no longer need her beloved encyclopedias. I was pretty devastated by the thought of it. Can you imagine a kid today choosing a collection of very large books over a computer?

A lot has changed over the years with technology, how we use it, and what we use it for. In an astoundingly short amount of time we’ve gone from people first being introduced to computers at 12 years old to children who have never known a world without the internet and having direct, 24/7 access to it.

When I first started going online, my dad had some regulations he quickly put into place. At the time, I thought he was being too cautious and had too many rules. Now that I’m grown and see my stepdaughters going online to play games at 7 and 9 years old, I realize that not only was my dad fair when it came to my internet usage as a kid, but he was more lenient than I want to be.

Kids going online can be a terrifying thought. So many kids think that just because they are sitting comfortably in their homes that they don’t have to be cautious of what they tell people about themselves online, and that nothing they do on the internet can affect their lives or be a threat to them. It is crucial to speak to your kids openly abut how to surf the web safely, but knowing where to start can be difficult.

The More You Know learning series has launched “Growing Up Online,” a completely FREE eBook for parents to keep kids safe on the internet. This free eBook provides easy-to-use information that addresses the growing concern about online privacy and cyberbullying in a unique and engaging way.

The complete eBook can be downloaded for free via the app below for the iBookstore, Google Play, Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.

Also available in the app below are four comic book stories that you can watch as a family to discuss real situations that may occur when your kids go online, as well as the ‘Is Your Child Internet-Ready?’ quiz.

‘The Lorax’ DVD/Blu-ray Movie Giveaway

The Lorax movie

An internet safety conversation can be a tough conversation to have for everyone involved. So what better way to end the conversation than with a great movie?

One lucky reader will win a copy of “The Lorax” on DVD/Blu-ray.

This giveaway is open to US and CAN entrants 18+ and will end September 23.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was made possible by PartnersHub. No incentive was provided and opinions are my own.