quick news

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Keeping up with the news is exhausting. I remember taking a few news writing classes in college, and it was our responsibility to be informed and in-the-know. Same with in high school, I had countless pop quizzes in my classes. These quizzes were based on current events. My teachers and professors wanted to know how we were staying informed, how well we digested information and if we deemed “news/current events” important in our daily lives.

I subscribed and read these two emails in the morning and they are great snapshots of the big news that is going on. I usually read TheSkimm first and then Need2Know. Sometimes they have similar stories, but it’s always entertaining. The breakdowns are quick and easy and you won’t feel exhausted after reading these brief snippets of news. The best part about these soruces: they are free and it’s easy to sign up, too! On similar lines, check out Newser they have an app as well and Playbook, by Politico. These four sources have been saying my life. I don’t have to spend 2 hours reading news that I generally would just sift through and I don’t have to go from news source to news source. All of the stories and facts are right there at the touch of a button.

technology

the era of apple

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Back in January, I got the internet. *gasp* I wrote an article about my time before-internet in September. Yeah, if you can do that simple math I was without the internet for quite sometime, and truly it was much longer than the noted 4 months…it was really like a year and four months. People used to give me a lot of heat about not having the internet at home, but honestly, I didn’t need it. People would hate-on me because I am part of Digital District, and how can that be possible when I’m not in the “digital age”…folks, it’s not like I don’t have a smartphone or an iPad, calm down.

The adventure started about a month ago, that’s when I turned in my computers for a shiny new model. Little did I know, getting a new computer was a much bigger deal than most people make it. After doing much research my mind was made up, and soon I would be the proud new owner of a MacBook Air.

So, I wrote that first excerpt back in March when I purchased my computer. All is going well and I am fond of my Macbook Air. It’s been a great purchase and really the best deal for me. Now that I am back in the “digital age” and actually using my technology, RE: iPad, Macbook, and iPhone I don’t feel any different than before. There are days when I still wish I didn’t have a computer at home, but that’s when I know it’s time to put the computer down and to get outside. Do you think you could live without a computer at home?

#unsubscribe

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Pesky emails are the worst. I am always saying that I need to clean up my inbox. I need to go through my unwanted subscriptions and take the time to unsubscribe, but frankly it takes too long. Finally, I found a website that helps you declutter your inbox. YAY for a respectable number of unread e-mails! Check out unroll.me it will change your life.

moments

how do you spend them?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Addicted to your iPhone? Maybe it’s not really a joke anymore. A newly released app called Moment will show us just how true that statement may be. Designed to promote a healthier balance between our real lives and those lived through the small screens of our digital devices, Moment tracks how much you use your phone each day, helps you create daily limits on that usage, and offers “occasional nudges” when you’re approaching those limits.

So what are you thoughts on this app? I feel like my personal limit will be extremely higher than others…but that doesn’t mean I am willing to change. Also consider this, who is this app for? If a twenty-somethings were to download this app, it would be to see how much they are actually on their phone, but we might not be the correct demographic for this app. Last thing I need is an app that runs in the background (draining my battery) to tell me I’m using my phone too much.

At the end of the article on TechCrunch, they put in a quote from the app’s creator, Kevin Holesh who built Moment for himself after realizing how much his digital addictions were affecting his real-world relationships. They go on to say, “for Holesh, the effect has been pronounced. He used to spend 75 minutes per day on his iPhone. Now, he spends just 40.”  Um….75 minutes? Pfft. I don’t know if I should laugh or what, how did you spend 75 minutes on your phone and now just 40 when you are a creator of an app?

 

emergency?

text 9-1-1

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Earlier this year it was released that you can now text 9-1-1 in cases of emergencies.  It seems simple, basically your text message will take place of a phone call. It’s important to note that ability to contact 911 using text is only available on a limited basis in a few markets. Right now, you should not rely on text to reach 911.

The following information is taken directly from the FCC website. This stuff is way too important to paraphrase.

How to Contact 911

IMPORTANT! If you use a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency:

  • Always contact 911 by making a voice call, if you can.
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability, use a TTY or a telecommunications relay service, if possible.
  • Remember – in most cases now, you cannot reach 911 by sending a text message.

Bounce-Back Messages

The FCC has rules to help keep consumers safe during the transition to text-to-911. These rules are intended to minimize the risk if consumers attempt to send text messages to 911 where the service is not available. Specifically, beginning September 30, 2013, all wireless telephone companies and certain other text messaging providers are required by the FCC to send an automatic “bounce-back” message to any consumer who tries to send a text message to 911 where this service is not yet available.

  • Consumers who receive this “bounce-back” message will be advised to contact emergency services by another means, such as by making a voice call or using a telecommunications relay service (the latter for consumers who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability).
  • The nation’s four largest wireless telephone companies – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon – have agreed to voluntarily begin sending these “bounce back” text messages across their networks as of June 30, 2013, a few months earlier than the September 2013 deadline established by the FCC’s rules.

When Will Text-to-911 Become Widely Available?

  • In a Policy Statement adopted January 30, 2014, the Commission expressed its belief that every wireless carrier and every provider that enables a consumer to send text messages to telephone numbers should support text-to-911 capabilities.
  • In an agreement with NENA and APCO, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have voluntarily committed to provide text-to-911 service by May 15, 2014 in all areas served by their networks where a 911 call center is prepared to receive texts.
  • The Commission encourages wireless providers and interconnected text providers that are not parties to the Carrier-NENA-APCO Agreement to work with the public safety community to develop similar commitments to support text-to-911 in a timely manner, so that all consumers will be assured access to text-to-911 regardless of what text provider they choose. The Commission has also proposed rules that would require all covered text providers to support text-to-911 by December 31, 2014.
  • The Commission has encouraged 911 call centers to begin accepting texts as text providers develop text-to-911 capability. It is up to each 911 call center to decide whether and when to begin accepting texts. Some call centers have started to accept text messages already. We expect that others will do so and that text-to-911 will become available in more areas over time.
  • Nevertheless, even where text-to-911 is available, consumers should continue to contact 911 by making a voice call if they can, and use text only if voice is not a feasible or safe option.

 

I am excited about the possibility to text 9-1-1. It’s a smart move for them to make and to get this on lock down. It will be very interesting to see what happens in the future with emergency situations. But for now, can you believe we now have the ability to send a text message to reach 911 emergency call takers from our mobile phone?

beignet

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Remember back in February when I was talking about the new goodies called croknots, cronuts, crodolis and so on? Well I am ready for a new treat, the beignet, which I am sure you’ve heard of. This treat is a New Orleans classic. Now, I’ve never had one, but I can only picture what it tastes like. To me, a beignet is a cross between a funnel cake and a donut. Beignets were also brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. These are fried fritters which are often a treat. Sometimes they may be savory dishes as well and may contain meat, vegetables, or fruits. From what I understand, the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar.

Later tonight I will be making a pit stop at the ever-famous, Café du Monde, and I am sure it is going to be a highlight of this New Orleans trip! Café du Monde is a popular New Orleans food destination that specializes in the powdered sugar beignets.

I am beyond ready to experience some New Orleans tradition!

stop calling

i’m talking to you telemarketers

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Most people have experienced that annoying ring of the phone just as dinner is put on the table, and if you haven’t I am shocked and a little jealous. You answer the phone to an unfamiliar voice of a telemarketer.

Did you know there are laws protect you and what you can do to eliminate sales calls? Shocking right? After doing a lot of research, I found much emphasis on the National Do Not Call Registry. If you remember nothing else from this post, learn there is a toll-free number and website link of the Registry and sign up right away.

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. You can register your home or mobile phone for free. Scammers have been making phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry, but understand that these calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission. You should not respond to these calls.

Here are a few things to note

If you’ve put your number on the Registry and you have verified that your number has been on it for 31 days and you’re still getting sales calls to the phone number you’ve registered, file a complaint with the FTC. This is the unfortunate part, you’ll need to provide the date of the call and the phone number or name of the company that called you.

Why I Don’t Own A Smart Phone

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Friends, take a read at this and let me know your thoughts. Before you jump to conclusions, listen to Ryan and hear him out. I love Ryan’s thought process about ditching his smartphone. Really, when it comes down to it, what’s all the rage? I’d really love to hear thoughts on ditching your smartphone or keeping on your next contract renewal. Maybe even read this article about ditching the smartphone, this is what I’m truly considering and then maybe I’ll be that person who can say I don’t own a smartphone.

wine into water

the miracle machine

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Now, we can turn wine into water. It sounds just too good to be true, but is it? I will let you decide. As an avid wine drinker (thanks family), I like searching about new wines and start-ups within that realm. Yesterday, I stumbled upon the Miracle Machine.

Almost two weeks ago, two wine industry mavens began marketing a home appliance they called “The Miracle Machine.” This machine will use concentrates, flavor packets and an various electrical sensors, transducers, heaters and pumps to make wine quickly and easily in your home.screen shot 2014-03-01 at 11.19.32 am

Thanks to NPR, I discovered that this machine isn’t as awesome as it sounds.  From NPR’s Water-To-Wine Machine Sound Too Good To Be True? Is It article, I found out this, “So we pushed and prodded and, guess what? We can now exclusively report the whole thing was a sham. Turns out, the Miracle Machine was a marketing ploy cooked up (or perhaps “fermented” would be a better word?) by, a public relations company, to promote their pro bono client of the year.”

All-in-all the machine is still in the funding stage and its inventors will soon launch a Kickstarter page to raise money. Along with the machine, the company is planning to offer all ingredients needed to create different types of wine through its website.

If you are interested in learning more about the product visit their website. Also note that the Miracle Machine is set to retail for about $500, but with bundled ingredients at only $2 a pack, it might just be worth it.

don’t touch that

snooze button!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Sometimes an alarm clock isn’t enough to wake you up, and that cup of coffee isn’t enough to get you out of bed. After losing that extra for Daylight Saving Time waking up is painful.  Thanks to Mashable, I learned about two new awesome alarm clocks. It might be worth adding gamification to your wake-up process, with the FreakyAlarm iOS app ($1.99 on iTunes). With either of these apps, pressing “snooze” won’t cut it. Each of these alarms will literally not stop ringing until you solve a series of games and scan predetermined objects (like a barcode, QR code or a photograph) around your house.

Do you use an alarm clock app? I am interested to hear your feedback. Is it easier to get up in the mornings?