Photo storage has never been easier (and free)! If you’re like me, you often get those annoying pop-ups on your iPhone that say your iCloud storage is full and to fix it you need to purchase more storage. Not so!
Google Photos is the answer that provides unlimited photo and video storage (all backed up in the cloud). All you need to do is download the Google Photos app to your device (iOS, Android) log into your Gmail account and let it do the work for you. Note: On your first login, all photos on your phone will be backed up, so this may take some time. Once done, every photo and video will available online at: https://photos.google.com/. You can then delete everything from your phone and avoid those annoying messages/alerts.
With Google Photos, you can create albums, share them with others (via email, Facebook or Twitter), make a video or keep everything for your own personal viewing pleasure. Whether working from your cell phone, iPad or desktop, all your images will be fully accessible to you anytime, anywhere (and others if you so desire).
Amazon is amazing. If you don’t have a Prime membership (2-day shipping, music, movies) you are missing out!!! The online retailer is not launching a new product call Amazon dash. To keep this very simple, brands like Tide, Glad and others are making little wi-fi enabled “buttons” that you place around your home in the typical places you use these products. When you see that you’re running low you simply tap the button and an order is placed for that product for you (in the exact configuration you initially setup) and of course there’s built-in interaction with the Amazon app on your smart phone.
Each Dash button will run you $4.99. Here’s what the buttons look like.
From the picture above, I use ALL of those brands except for Bounty (I’ma Viva paper towel kind of girl). For the brands that you are absolutely in love with and WILL NOT CHANGE NO MATTER what I can see this being useful. At the moment the Dash buttons are very limited but I’m sure with time, more retailers will sign on.
I asked Amazon what would happen if a child, or a pet, or a fully grown human being were to press a Dash Button multiple times. It turns out Dash Buttons only respond to the “first press” until your order has shipped and arrived. The Verge
Dash is a great alternative for people who may not be comfortable with the Amazon Subscribe & Save feature (though I’m sticking with that). There’s also Amazon’s Echo, the wifi enabled “Google search” type of advice that I told you about HERE. You can see what Amazon is doing is making it easier for you to buy things because yes, that’s it’s business model and how it makes money. The easier it is for you to order, the ore money they make, hence all the innovation they are introducing.
If you’re a fan of these retailers, you can check out all the dash buttons here. WATCH Dash in action.
In case you haven’t noticed, computer hackers are taking over the world! Surely you’ve heard of Anonymous, the “invisible” group threatening to release all sorts of information. I’ve said this so many times – the next “war era” will not be using bombs or grenades, it will be done online! And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s already started. Before we get into the details, here’s a simple truth: “Everything you do or say online can be used against you.” That disclaimer should be tied to every smart phone, computer or tablet issued in the entire world. People who are smart enough to know how to program a computer (and exploit it) can make all of our worst nightmares a reality. You remember – there was the Target data breach (40 million cards affected), then came Home Depot and even more recently the US Government and Ashley Madison (online affair site – those hackers made good on their promise and exposed cheater’s names, credit card numbers and home address). Even Hillary Clinton’s camp is not smart enough to know that emails CAN ALWAYS be recovered.
SIDE NOTE: I’m no fan of Hillary Clinton by the way. Charles Barkley was on Mike and Mike this morning. When asked who he would vote for at the moment, he said “No Democrat impresses me.” I agree!
Now, back to the subject at hand – I’ve always said, the dumbest criminal is the one who incriminates him or herself. Why photograph illegal activity? Or post it online? Or insinuate it? Or leave a paper / digital trail. Just not smart people!!! Even a PRIVATE Instagram account will not hold up to a WARRANT from a JUDGE. Facebook justLOST a case when it tried to challenge the legality of warrants requesting personal data from it’s members.
I ran across this article by The Verge, I knew it was worth sharing:
PSA: Everything you say and do is public: five rules for living with the internet
Assume everything you do and say will be made public.
Do not be seduced by privacy settings and passwords, which are temporary illusions that distract from the reality of the previous point.
Understand that context and data are often one in the same. When you enter information on the internet, assume that you include the who (you), the what (the data), the when (the time of data input), the where (the site on which the data is being placed), the how (the device on which you input the data), and the why (the purpose of the site).
Believe that all of your credit card transactions are being kept in a colossal, searchable ledger that one day will be made available for all to study.
Believe that data does not disappear when you delete it.
Get ready to shop until you drop on July 15th! Last week, Amazon announced plans to hold Amazon Prime Day. “Prime members can shop exclusive deals from electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more.” Amazon’s Prime membership costs $99/year but has lots of benefits, described here and they even offer a free 30-day trial for the service in case you want to “try before you buy”. I’ve told you before about the benefits of automating purchases of mundane items like toilet paper, laundry detergent, deodorant etc. to simplify your life (see Amazon Subscribe & Save). Now is as good a time as any to get in on the action! Think of this day as Black Friday in July (it also includes free shipping), mainly because Wal-Mart is also joining the party and is introducing thousands of exclusive discounts for online purchases on the very same day.
So here’s a tip if you’re not into Amazon… take FULL advantage of Wal-Marts price match policy ANY DAY of the year, including on Amazon Prime Day. The policy can be found on the retailer’s website, guarantee here. You have a few options:
Contact Wal-Mart customer care at 1-800-966-6546 before you make your purchase online
Drag yourself into the store and show the cashier the sales price on Amazon’s website
Purchase your item in-store, or online as normal, then use Wal-Mart’s Savings Catcher app and wait for the price to be matched (Savings Catcher). If you are buying a large item it’s always a good idea to take screen shots (item #, price) to have proof, just in case this process fails.
I play this price matching card ALL THE TIME and literally just got $50 refunded to me this morning from Anthropologie and J. Crew because of a little diligence (see also Price Match). This is the reason I typically buy things I want, even if they are not on sale. More likely than not, the item will go on sale – no need to wait until then as your size/color may not be available. I also ALWAYS setup price alerts on the Shop Style app (iOS, Android) at ALL stores offering the exact same item so that I don’t have to keep checking each website to see if the price has changed. If you do not have this app, GET IT NOW!!!
Happy shopping! (video below)
Here are a few of the other items Amazon is teasing:
Fire TV Stick $15 off
Kindle, $30 off
Fire HD 7, $60 off
Fire HD 7 Kids Edition, $60 off
40-inch 1080p LED TV, $115
A “brand-name 32-inch Smart HDTV” for under $200
50-inch 4K TV bundle, under $1000
Bose headphones at the lowest price ever on Amazon
Over 50% off two Nikon COOLPIX cameras
“Highly rated” binoculars, under $120
Two security camera-kits, $279.99
K’NEX 2-in-1 Ferris Wheel Building Set (Amazon Exclusive), $35.99
K’NEX Crossfire Chaos Roller Coaster Building Set (Amazon Exclusive), $23.99
The goal of this post is to share information about how you can get better deals on purchases. Most people think getting the lowest price when they make the actual purchase is the only way to great deals on merchandise – not true! Most stores have a PRICE MATCH policy which include lower prices from THEIR store and their COMPETITORS! One of my new favorite stores, Nordstrom, has a 14-day price match policy. It states:
Price matching: We will be glad to meet our competitor’s pricing if you ever find an item that we offer, in the same color and size, available from a similar retailer.
Sale Adjustment: If an item you have purchased is reduced in price within two weeks of your order date, we will happily adjust the sale price for you.
An example always helps: Thirteen days ago on April 7th, I purchased a tote from Nordstrom for $298. This morning I noticed Saks is having a Friends & Family sale, where most items are 30% off. So what did I do? Searched for this product on Saks’ website and sure enough they had the exact color I purchased from Nordstrom. So – I called Nordstrom’s customer service, alerted them of the price difference and they adjusted my price down to $208.60. That’s a savings of $89.40 that will be credited to my card just because I was diligent. So go ahead and buy what you want. Set a reminder on your calendar 14 days later to check competitor sites like Saks, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. (It may also be helpful to check back every couple of days in case they have a short-lived sale, like 1-day promotion). It does not matter if these stores are in your area or not! STAY FABULOUS!