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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Review: OtterBox Resurgence Power Case And Alpha Glass For iPhone 6

April 15th, 2015 by Christen

Are you looking to upgrade your iPhone 6 with protection and functionality?  Take a look at the newly OtterBox Resurgence Power Case and Alpha Glass for your smartphone today!


OtterBox Resurgence


OtterBox Resurgence Power Case for iPhone 6 is newly designed and allows users to unplug and go further with two-times the battery life of the device and military-grade drop protection.


OtterBox Resurgence


Must Read:  Powered Up Protection With OtterBox Resurgence (iPhone 5/5s)



The new two-piece snap design simplifies case assembly and removal. When compared to the previous model, I found that the iPhone 6 version snaps into place easier than ever before.  Resurgence is made up of a specially formulated polycarbonate to improve impact resistance and absorb energy from drops and bumps. The new design incorporates compact advanced circuitry, resulting in a smaller and slimmer fit.  (And because it’s from OtterBox, you know your device is well protected.)


OtterBox Resurgence



OtterBox Resurgence



Resurgence boasts 2,600 milliamp hours (mAh) of battery power, providing more than two-times the battery life of the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 battery case utilizes auto-stop technology, which conveniently shuts off the case when the phone has reached full charge, saving extra battery for later. Resurgence supports both wired and wireless syncing without removing the case and includes a headphone jack extender.


OtterBox Resurgence


One of my favorite features of the OtterBox Resurgence case for the iPhone 6 is the redesigned silence/vibrate toggle.  (If you’re like me, then you’ve chipped countless nails just by silencing your phone.  No more chipped nails with the extended on/off  button.)


Otterbox Resurgence



For superior protection and functionality on the go, never run out of battery life again with the OtterBox Resurgence Power Case.  The OtterBox Resurgence Series for iPhone 6 ($99.95) is available in black, glacier, cardinal, mint ice in select retail stores and online at


How would you like to WIN your very own OtterBox Resurgence and Alpha Glass protection for your iPhone 6?  We’re giving away one Resurgence Power Case and Alpha Glass screen protecter to one lucky reader!  Enter below for your chance to win today!


OtterBox Resurgence

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Time To E-File: Last Minute Tips For Digital DIY Tax Preparation Tools

April 13th, 2015 by Tech Staff

This year’s tax deadline is officially here. Last year, 40 percent of Americans chose to file their own taxes – but not all do-it-yourself tax preparation tools are created equal. For those consumers who like to sit in the driver’s seat when filing, here are five tips for what to look for when choosing at-home tax preparation products.



1. Ability to work seamlessly between devices

Filing taxes can be a lengthy process, with multiple forms and pages to complete for a thorough review. Sometimes, doing it all in one sitting just isn’t in the cards. Some tax preparation tools offer consumers the ease of switching back and forth from desktop to tablet to mobile. And for those who like to file on the go, mobile-optimized tax preparation tools makes it convenient to file with any device.



2. Real-time tracking of which entries change your refund

Unless filing with a tax preparer, it can be difficult to gauge how the final refund is calculated. Some tax preparation tools offer filers the ability to track their refund in real-time, helping users understand which calculations contributed to any increases or decreases in their return.



3. Incentives to filing 

Most DIY tax preparation tools offer filers the choice of receiving their refund by check or by direct deposit. However, a select few provide additional incentives for choosing their service when filing. For example, tax filers who file online or via software with H&R Block have the option of putting any portion of their refund on an e-gift card to one of 40 different retailers. For doing so, they can receive up to a 10 percent bonus. This special offer also can be a great way to offset some or part of the cost of filing – another reason H&R Block can help get filers the maximum refund at the lowest price.



4. Free expert advice

Almost one-third of DIY tax filers itemize. That means additional tax forms and a more complex return than the basic 1040. For those who like to file their own taxes but feel more confident with having backup, certain tax preparation tools offer a free, real-time chat option with tax professionals to guide them along the process and answer questions as they work through forms. Certain preparers also offer consumers phone and in-person support.



5. Maximum refund at the best value

When picking a tax preparation tool, make sure to choose the one that best matches your situation at the best value. These tools are often differentiated by complexity, with the cheapest offering the simplest return to the most complicated providing tax support to small business owners. For those consumers who recently purchased TurboTax’s software for their 2014 filing but learned that certain forms once included were no longer available, they can email with a proof of purchase of their 2014 TurboTax software and receive Deluxe State desktop software for free from H&R Block.

Americans filed 56 million self-prepared tax returns in 2014, leaving the market open for plenty of options at tax time. Remember to do your homework and pick the tool that best serves your filing needs.  Have you e-filed this year? What are your favorite tax-filing digital tools to use? Share your thoughts below!

Plug Into These Spring Tips This Weekend For A Smarter Home

April 10th, 2015 by Christen

smart home


The days are finally becoming longer and the weather is getting warmer, which means it’s time for spring cleaning, upgrading and refreshing your home. Consider these easy smart home tips to get your home ready for a fun, smart and cost-efficient year ahead.

Control your thermostat via smartphone apps

The weather is finally cooperating, so you may no longer need to leave the heat on all day. Now, with the touch of a button, it’s possible to control your AC/heat and lighting from a remote location. Save on your energy bills by using Wi-Fi controlled thermostats and switches, like this WiFi Honeywell Thermostat from Best Buy. Best of all, you won’t come home to a sweltering house!




Sync your home sound systems

Summer is just around the corner, which means outdoor barbecues and parties. With all the options in Bluetooth audio available today, you can eliminate unattractive, bulky speakers. New, smaller and sleek Bluetooth devices are easy to hide, while providing excellent sound. You can also sync up music in every part of your home and control it all via your smartphone. These Sonos Bluetooth speakers come in various sizes and would be a great addition to any home.


Power your home with the sun by going solar

When you’ve completed spring cleaning and upgrading, you’ll want to sit back, relax and enjoy your productive achievements without worrying about how to pay for the electricity behind all of these fun new gadgets. Thankfully, home solar is a growing trend that is going mainstream and an extremely easy option for homeowners to adopt. Sunrun, the largest dedicated residential solar company in the U.S., makes going solar simple by designing, installing, financing and maintaining customers’ solar panels. On average, Sunrun customers save 20 percent on their energy bills and spend those savings on other things they love.



usb outlet

Add charging stations throughout your home

Invest in turbo phone chargers that significantly speed up charging time – and you’ll be everyone’s new best friend. Additionally, install USB ports to your electrical outlets. This makes it much easier for everyone to charge smartphones, tablets and other devices without having to plug in to your laptop first.



Flaunt your new upgrades

Now it’s time for you to show off everything you’ve invested in, so your friends and family can see what a trendsetter you are. Many will leave your house wondering how to wirelessly sync up every screen and gadget in their own homes, while simultaneously saving money.  Feel free to share these easy smart home tips with your friends (or keep your little secret to yourself)!


Mega Multi-tasking At Its’ Finest With HP Envy Touchsmart From @BestBuy #AMDFX

April 10th, 2015 by Christen

HP ENVY TouchSmart

Have you heard about the incredible deal on the HP Envy Touchsmart AMD FX Special Edition APU?  This laptop provides extreme performance of AMD’s most powerful mobile processer to deliver exceptional Gaming and Entertainment experience– the AMD FX Special Edition APU. Easily navigate through work and play with a touch-screen display and Windows 8. This laptop also features Beats Audio, which delivers great sound for movies and games. The HP Envy TouchSmart 15.6” touch screen laptop makes mega multitasking a breeze so you can spend less time working and more entertainment time with family!

The Quick AMD FX series processor is great for daily tasks such as managing your personal life or streaming movies or videos and provides great video quality for gaming or catching up on your favorite youtube videos.



HP Envy Touchsmart

If you love taking photos and downloading new music then you’ll love the 750GB hard drive for lots of file storage space.  The AMD FX Special Edition APU holds a sizable collection of digital photos, music and HD videos and movies. It even has HP ProtectSmart to help keep your data safe when the laptop gets bumped around.



HP Envy Touchsmart


The AMD FX Special Edition APU introduces mobile systems with AMD’s highest performing APUs, exclusive at Best Buy. When you are looking for a notebook, the AMD FX Special Edition APU will provide you with unbelievable performance, gaming and productivity. And On sale for $599.99 at Best Buy, what more could you want from a gaming computer?  

Did you know that Best Buy even offers free shipping and pickup options?  You can free shipping on any order of $35 or more and instead of trolling through store aisles, you can pay online and pick it up in stores in as little as 45 minutes or less!  Now that’s what I call mega multitasking at its’ finest!




Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Top Companies Perfect For Women In Technology

April 9th, 2015 by Tech Staff

So you’re a lady that has learned to code or interested in working in the technology field but not sure where to apply.  The Anita Borg Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women in technology, has released a study on the top companies in the world for female technologists. It analyzed 35 companies with a combined workforce of more than 435,000 technical employees, 91,000 of which were women. ABI also measured the representation of women at entry, mid, senior and executive levels, as well as the recruitment and promotion of women.




This tech giant consistently finds itself on lists such as this. This year, Glassdoor named it one of the best companies to work for overall.





The ecommerce company (where you can purchase priceless Beanie Babies) was also on Glassdoor’s list this year for best internships.




Go Daddy Office

Despite years of absurdly sexist ads, GoDaddy is starting to turn its reputation around. Just this year, the website domain provider’s chief marketing officer Blake Irving told Fast Company he wants to “set a tone and an environment that women can thrive in.” Seems like he’s making good on that promise.




Google seems to always top or at least land on lists for best places to work. It was No. 1 this year on Glassdoor’s list of best companies to work for overall.


So Which one took the coveted top spot?
Though the the list isn’t ranked by order, BNY Mellon was ABI’s No. 1 pick for top companies for female technologists.






“The valued participation of women at all levels of our technical workforce drives new approaches to the industry-leading services and solutions BNY Mellon’s clients expect throughout the investment lifecycle,”- BNY CIO Lucille Mayer.


Want to look at more companies that are leading the way for women in technology?  Check out the entire list of 13 here and for great tech companies to work for (even if you’re not a girl) check out Glassdoor’s top picks here!

Are you interested in a career in technology? Which of these employers are on the top of your list?  Share your thoughts below!

The Apple Watch Reviews Are In

April 8th, 2015 by Tech Staff

If you’re as excited as the rest of the world for the new Apple Watch then chances are you’re looking to news reports, blogs and articles to discover the pros and cons of Apple’s newest device.  Several lucky reporters had the chance to review the Apple watch and many “first impression” reviews are just now surfacing online.  Although the Apple watch reviews are highly anticipated by consumers, many will be surprised to learn that not all Apple Watch reviews have been great.  Check out a few reviews that have caught our eyes online and take a look at the new Apple Watch before they hit stores later this month below.


Anyway, let’s take a closer look at some of the reviews. starting with The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo, who sums up the majority of the reviews in his opening paragraphs. The Apple Watch has a steep learning curve, it struggles to get over its vision of operation, and the UI is unnecessarily complex: 

First there was a day to learn the device’s initially complex user interface. Then another to determine how it could best fit it into my life. And still one more to figure out exactly what Apple’s first major new product in five years is trying to do — and, crucially, what it isn’t.

It was only on Day 4 that I began appreciating the ways in which the elegant $650 computer on my wrist was more than just another screen. By notifying me of digital events as soon as they happened, and letting me act on them instantly, without having to fumble for my phone, the Watch became something like a natural extension of my body — a direct link, in a way that I’ve never felt before, from the digital world to my brain.


The look of the Apple Watch still owes more to Apple’s technology focus than anything from the catwalk. The square display, for example, is a practical choice to present information, but it creates more bulk on the device, as do the sensors, battery, touch screen, and electronics. It might be a small computer on your wrist, but it still looks like a small computer. The Verge’s Nilay Patel discussed the fashion impact with his fellow writers at Racked, and they’re not impressed.

What’s most interesting to me about their reaction to the Watch as a hardware object is how much it still comes off as a gadget, despite Apple’s best efforts to make it a luxury item. It’s still a screen; it’s still a bunch of radios; it’s still technology. They were hyper-critical of the materials and finishes, particularly the leather loop, and it was incredibly obvious that while a little bit of design goes a long way in the tech world, it’s going to take a lot more time and a lot more work to play in the fashion game.

Apple has been working hard to pitch the Apple Watch as a fashion icon, but the first impressions from the gadgeteers’ friends are that it’s clearly a gadget – and Racked simply confirmed that. This is still generation one, but a lot more work needs done to get the Apple Watch up to speed.

There is no doubt that Apple is looking to define the world of wrist-based technology. There’s every chance they can do so given time. As it stands the Apple Watch appears to be a tantalising glimpse at the future, but it is far from the finished product. It’s a teaser trailer for the main attraction in a few years time.



Lot of people love the teaser trailers, and many will love the Apple Watch simply for being the first step on that path. If you’re happy on that bleeding edge of modern technology, then the Apple Watch will be money well spent.  For everyone else, the jury is still out.

What do you think? Are you going to wait for more reviews and reactions or are you already sold on buying the first Apple Watch in spite of good or bad reviews?  Share your thoughts below!


A Time Machine That Fits In Your Pocket Has Hit Kickstarter And Could Be Here Before You Know It

April 7th, 2015 by Tech Staff

If you’ve ever wanted to go back in time without that weird, nausea-inducing, time-travel aftertaste – there’s a new app that makes traveling back in time as easy as using your smartphone.  Finally, there’s a kickstarter app that we can’t wait to get our hands on! Pivot is an app that lets you see what a spot looked like in the past. Just point your phone or tablet in that direction, and the building, street or field in front of you transforms into history.


Once you download the app, you’ll get notifications whenever you’re around “pivot” points. Simply raise your phone to see what that place looked like at a certain point in time in history — probably in sepia tone. It’s not #TBT or a new Instagram filter — it’s actual history happening right in front of you, whether you’re traveling or right in your hometown.


To get all the images, Pivot sources online archives, and they’re hoping people will add photos of their own to the app as well. Pivot’s Kickstarter raised over $33,000 last month, and they’re planning to bring the app to Android and iOS in the fall starting with historic views of Cambridge, Massachussets and Palestine, then spreading to other cities. Talk about time travel that’s worth the trip!

Are you looking forward to checking out the app once it’s live or getting a first-hand look by becoming a beta tester?

For more information visit

Spring Cleaning Your Smartphone: Declutter Your Device and Free Up Memory

April 2nd, 2015 by Christen

Is your smartphone low on space? Having a hard time downloading a software update due to not having enough storage?  One too many photos of your super cute pooch eating up your memory (on your phone, that is)?

Spring Cleaning Your Smartphone

I have too many Mani Monday photos with Phoebe on my iPhone… time to clear out my device asap.


When the Spring finally (sorta, kinda) upon us – now is the perfect time for Spring Cleaning your smartphone and your favorite devices.  Here are some solutions to declutter your phone and combat those hoarder tendencies that may come with living a digital lifestyle.

Make a move

Moving video, music, photos and personal data between your mobile phone and your computer or other USB host device can be fast and convenient with a high-capacity microSD memory card reader. SanDisk’s versatile, flash microSD memory cards allow you to directly plug in a memory card for fast movement of your favorite mobile media. Direct plug-in means no card adapter is needed, and little time is spent transferring data. Plus, you get a smartphone with freed-up space without sacrificing the media that matters.


Get a memory boost

In today’s age of accessibility, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that limitations still exist. Once a smartphone has gotten its fill of music, photos, videos, apps and other data, it’s going to cry out for some attention. That attention could come in the form of additional memory.

A memory card on your phone essentially acts like the hard drive on your PC, boosting the storage capacity for files and data. So if you must have your favorite tunes, pictures of the pooch and the latest games at your fingertips, then it’s worth checking into phones that are compatible with memory cards, like the Samsung Galaxy Note® 3, which supports microSD™ cards with up to 64 GB of extra storage.


Use it or lose it

If apps abound on your phone, it may be time to clean your mobile house. Much like the clothes you haven’t worn in a year, unused or underused apps can be a real drain on space and battery. If app overload is an ongoing issue, you might try observing a “one in, one out” rule. Every time you add a new app to your device, remove one that isn’t as necessary. Your phone will return the love by providing space for what’s really important.




RECAP: Discover How To Unlock Your Potential With STEM #PotentialOfUs

March 31st, 2015 by Christen

Have you ever felt like you would have a greater impact on your community – or the world – if you could just amplify your voice, scale your business or hone your technology skills? Women hold less than 25% of our country’s STEM careers – it’s time to change that. During the 21st Annual Black Women’s Expo in Chicago – Verizon gave consumers insight into the opportunities awaiting them in tech (while celebrating the final days of Women’s History Month featuring trailblazing ladies of technology) with the “Unlock Your Potential” women in STEM panel.


The Black Women's Expo


An event designed for women by women, the Black Women’s Expo celebrates women’s aspirations and achievements and provides a platform for women to discuss solutions to the issues they confront in daily life. In its 21st year, BWE is the nation’s longest running empowerment exposition for the African American consumer, garnering attendance of more than 29,000.





Leading the conversation on innovation, the “Unlock Your Potential” panel included Lisa Laws  – Engineer/Deputy COO for City of Chicago, Luvvie Ajayi – Blogger for, and Abby Knowles – Executive Director of VZW Network in Midwest Area.  During the event, panelists generated compelling conversations that inspired the audience and informed how technology is being used and STEM opportunities available.  Guests left the panel with knowledge on how vast STEM truly is – whether it’s helping the lives of citizens in a community, building a nationally recognized blog, or operating the nation’s largest wireless network.


Check out live tweets from the #PotentialOfUs inspired panel via Storify below:





If you’ve ever wondered how to carve your own unique niche in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) you can discover ideas and innovators celebrated by Verizon by following their stories online and via social media #PotentialOfUs.

Apple Trade In Program Expanded To Android And Windows Phones

March 30th, 2015 by Tech Staff



Smartphone users now have yet another reason to take a second look at updating to the latest Apple device.  Apple has expanded its trade-in program to include Android phones, BlackBerrys and Windows Phone handsets.  That means, now using the Apple Trade in program, you can turn in any Android, Blackberry or Windows phones towards the purchase of an Apple product or Apple gift card.

Users will be able to trade in their phones from other platforms in Apple stores in the U.S., UK, Canada, France, Germany and Italy via its iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program, and receive a gift card to use at Apple stores.

Previously, Apple updated its website to include a step-by-step guide on how to ditch an Android device for an iPhone — and, most recently, CEO Tim Cook said during an earnings call that the company saw more Android users switch to iOS after the launches of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus than after the launches of the past three Apple devices. Apple does not appear to be offering the trade-in program online yet, but it’s being offered in stores.

The iPhone trade-in program launched in 2013 to encourage Apple fans to swap their old iPhones for store credit toward a newer one. Apple, which gives credit for the current value of the older device, requires users to purchase a new model on the same day as the trade.


Would you ever trade in your Android, Blackberry or Windows Phone to buy a new iPhone or Apple gift card? Share your thoughts below!




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