Category Archives: Technology

Low Income? On Government Assistance? Amazon Prime Has A Deal for You!

*By now you’ve probably heard about Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer. But do you know about Amazon Prime? Its the membership-based section and offers perks like free shipping; streaming of videos and TV shows and more. I remember purchasing Prime and paying the annual fee of $99 around Christmas a few years ago. It sure came in handy, what with all the gifts being shipped to family and friends all over the country. And the beauty of it all is it didn’t stop there. It’s a benefit that works year-round.

Now Amazon Prime is bringing that annual membership price w-a-y so that low-income consumers can enjoy the benefits too.  According to Mashable, on Tuesday the company announced it will be offering its Prime membership at a discounted price of $5.99 a month to low-income families receiving government assistance. Continue reading

Oh No! Chipotle Hit By Hackers, Customers Payment Info Compromised

*Mexican food retailer Chipotle just can’t seem to get a break. Ever since they were hit with the whole food poisoning claim in 2015, the restaurant chain has been struggling to get their financial footing back on track and convince former customers (I was one of ’em) that it’s safe to come back. They were just beginning to recover financially before they were forced to put out a statement saying hackers have used malware to steal customer payment data from their restaurants over a three-week span.

The breach affects roughly 2,250 restaurants for varying amounts of time between March 24 and April 18, according to what spokesman Chris Arnold told Reuters via email. Continue reading

Man Sues Date For His $17.31 Movie Ticket…Because She Was Texting During Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2

Put your phone down, sweet thing, or you just might get sued.
Put your phone down, sweet thing, or you just might get sued.

*The man I’m about to tell you about and I are soulmates.  Brothers from another mother.  We share a pet peeve:  folks texting during a movie.

But my boy has taken his frustration about the rude, increasingly more common practice to the next level!

Brandon Vezmar, 37, took a first date to see Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.  According to his lawsuit — yes, he’s suing her! — his date started texting about 15 minutes into the movie.

Vezmar wasn’t having it.  Not for a single moment.

“This is…one of my biggest pet peeves,” Vezmar said.  “It was kind of a first date from hell.”

Vezmar claims that the woman “activated her phone at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages.”  He also claims that his date ignored his requests to stop texting during the show.

“I said, ‘Listen, your texting is driving me a little nuts’ and she said ‘I can’t not text my friend'” he said.  “I said ‘maybe you can take it outside to the lobby, I’ve seen people get kicked out movies for this.'”

Vezmar says the woman left the theatre and never came back, leaving him stranded as they’d driven to the theatre in her car.

So Vezmar is suing his date, for the $17.31 price of his 3D movie ticket. Continue reading

Woman Claims Her Fitbit Exploded, Burned Her

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*Wearable tech is increasingly popular these days.  You’ve seen them: those electronic devices strapped to wrists that allegedly guide users to better health and fitness.  They’re supposed to help you, not hurt you, right?  

Dina Mitchell claims she was wearing her Fitbit Flex 2 device when it spontaneously exploded, leaving her with second-degree burns on her wrist.

“It didn’t heat up at first, there was no warning, it just, it burst into flames.  It exploded,” she said.

Mitchell received treatment at an urgent care facility, where a doctor removed pieces of rubber and plastic from her arm! Continue reading

Uber Engineer Commits Suicide, Widow Says ‘Workplace Culture’ to Blame

Uber corporate office

*Joseph Thomas had actually turned down an offer at Apple to come to work for Uber six months ago. Formerly at LinkedIn, his reason wasn’t so much the $170K salary he’d receive, but he thought he would be able to grow at a faster pace, and benefit from the company’s stock options once they went public.

I doubt seriously suicide from the stress of Uber’s workplace culture was even on his radar. Yet that is exactly what happened when one afternoon, his wife Zecole, came home to find her husband sitting in his car in the garage, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. She decided to get in on the passenger side to talk, and that’s when she saw the blood. Continue reading

Facebook, Snapchat Set to Dominate Mobile Ad Market

There’s no doubt that we live in a digital world. We love our technology, as is evidenced by the 85% of Americans ages 18 to 29 who own smartphones.  Smart marketers have learned to capitalized on this sea change, shifting their focus to digital ads — specifically, those viewed on mobile devices. And while many companies strive to compete in the mobile ad arena, there’s one that continues to overshadow the rest: Facebook.

According to Business Insider, ads that originated from mobile app installations represented 17% of Facebook’s overall ad revenue in 2015. That’s an impressive increase from the company’s stats from 2012, when ad revenue from mobile devices accounted for 11% of its entire ad yields.

In fact, Facebook gets the majority of its revenue from mobile use. Consumers are steadily opting for tablet and phone use over personal computers and laptops, so it’s no surprise that mobile data consumption is at an all-time high.

But now, Snapchat is trying to hit Facebook where it hurts.

Business Insider reports that Snap, the parent company behind popular social sharing platform Snapchat, is allowing its advertisers to target Snapchat users that are likely to download apps put forth by these other companies.

The new tool is said to be a direct attack on Facebook, which has recently come under fire from advertisers who don’t want their ads placed near questionable content. Twitter, Youtube, and Google have recently received backlash over the same concerns.

Snap will use goal-based bidding in its new advertising tool, which allows marketers to target users who have interacted with ads in the past or who are more likely to install certain apps.

And while 70-80% of digital users ignore paid ads in web searches, Snap is confident that these kinds of targeted ads will pay off without alienating current Snap-lovers.

Peter Sellis, director of monetization at Snap Inc., said in a statement to Business Insider:

“We’ve been listening closely to direct-response advertisers and are excited to announce the ability to ‘bid for installs’ in our auction. This is a new, cost-efficient way to drive app installs right from Snapchat.”

On One Side Of Trump’s Proposed Wall: Tequila Rain

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*We all know that April showers bring May flowers?but I wonder what type of blooms would pop up next month if the heavens showered tequila down instead of good ol? H2O?

Well, The Weather Girls be damned: it?s raining tequila! And I?m here for it.

Mexico?s tourist board is displaying the new tequila rain-making contraption at an art gallery in Berlin, in a bid to attract German visitors. As it turns out the Germans love their tequila almost as much as Americans do, and more than our brothers and sisters in Spain, France, Japan or the UK. Continue reading

LED Lights Installed In Pavement At Crosswalk To Guide People Glued To Their Phones

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*Have you ever caught yourself glued to your smartphone while you’re walking down the street, or into a store?

One of my kids recently told me that I need to learn how to walk and text at the same time.  “You’d get more done,” she advised.

I passed on the lesson, but later learned that pedestrian injuries and deaths are up in recent years, and some have attributed that rise to the increased use of smartphones. Continue reading