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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Discover What’s New For The Holidays And Your Wallet With Consumer Reports!

November 23rd, 2016 by Christen

 

DISCLOSURE:  I’ve teamed up with Consumer Reports and am proud to be one of their paid brand ambassadors; my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Consumer Reports.

 

Things have changed at Consumer Reports and as their new social brand ambassador, I got the chance to discover firsthand how they’re setting a new standard for creating a fairer, safer and healthier marketplace for you and me.

 

Consumer Reports

 

Last month, I had the special opportunity to get an inside look at Consumer Reports Headquarters and attend their Annual Meeting in NYC.  Consumer Reports is a non-profit, non-partisan and independent of corporate and advertising influence.  Which means when they’re testing all the smartphones, vacuum cleaners and food that your family enjoy, it is with standards uncompromised by advertising dollars or product influence.  Sure you know that Consumer Reports works for and with consumers to hold businesses and the government accountable, but did you know the great lengths they go through to get you prepared and informed just in time for the holidays?

 

Consumer Reports

 

Every year Consumer Reports reveals a holiday gift guide helping consumers like you and me find deals on electronics, appliances, home-related products and automotive gear. Their analysts, engineers and researchers comb through thousands of products to ensure consumers are educated, informed and saving money this holiday season!

 

Consumer Reports

 

Thinking about splurging this holiday season?  Consumer Reports has a great guide of gadgets and accessories to make anyone on your gift list feel loved and appreciated this year.  From Apple gifts to Windows products and everything in between – Consumer Reports has you covered this gift-giving season!  Want more?  For more gift ideas, check out “CR’s Daily Gift Guide”, a calendar like no other—each pick is chosen from thousands of products tried, tested to ensure you’re giving the very best.

 

Consumer Reports

 

Click here to learn more about Consumer Reports’ mission as a nonprofit organization. To help support their work, consider making a tax-deductible donation. (Giving Tuesday is November 29. If you donate to Consumer Reports, your tax-deductible gift will be doubled!) You can also show support by liking Consumer Reports on Facebook and staying connected on Twitter (@ConsumerReports).

 

Share In The Festive Holiday Fun With The Macy’s Time Traveler App!

November 19th, 2016 by Christen

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  But first, it’s time to gather your friends and family to honor the great tradition of good meals and gratitude!  Thanksgiving is here and you know what that means, the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade is on the way! This year, America’s favorite holiday tradition will mark a milestone anniversary, on Thursday, November 24th, the 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® will march down the streets of New York City as millions celebrate with family and friends.

 

Macy's Traveler app 1

 

In celebration, Macy’s has launched the Macy’s Time Traveler App and emojis to help everyone get a head start on the fun. The Macy’s Time Traveler app allows you to interact with the parade in the comfort of your own home or in your local Macy’s store. It’s a fun and interactive way to find and capture balloons in your local Macy’s store through virtual reality and make a customized parade of your own.  You can also learn about the history of the Macy’s Parade and take a vintage selfie. If you’re a serious NY history buff and in New York, you can get a 3D virtual view what the parade looked like in years past while in Herald Square.

 

macys-traveler-app-1

 

On top of that, Macy’s has provided a fun way to communicate with your friends and family whether they’re near or far. Their new free emojis are a fun way to continue your already festive conversations.  Excited for some turkey? There’s an emoji for that. Ready to see your favorite characters as floats? Express it with emojis!  Get all the holiday emojis you need, FREE on Google Play and iOS today!

The holidays are all about friends, food and family and the Macy’s Time Traveler app is a great way to take the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with you wherever you go! Download the app and get started on the fun for free on Google Play and iOS.    

 

Samsung Note 7 Users LISTEN UP! This Is What You NEED Know…

October 11th, 2016 by Tech Staff

Got a Samsung Galaxy Note 7? You could be putting yourself and everyone around you in danger. Don’t fret! Discover what steps you need to take immediately below!

There are plenty of suggestions on what to do about the Samsung Note 7 device debacle. Samsung’s Note 7 devices, after being released to much acclaim, started exploding. Then the replacement Note 7 devices exploded. And finally, after a long, dangerous and failed journey toward rectifying the battery problem, Samsung is shutting down production.

 

samsung-burning-batteries-in-note-7

 

Do you have a Samsung Note 7?  Here’s what you need to do…

Turn Off The Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Turn your Galaxy Note7 device off, now. Don’t wait. Do it now. Don’t continue using it, don’t charge it, don’t plug it into your computer. Turn it off.

 

Return Your Galaxy Note 7

Following reports of explosions, Samsung allowed Galaxy Note7 owners to exchange the devices for replacement Note7 phones. Since the situation has escalated, and reports of replacements exploding occurred, that exchange program is no longer an option.

You can now return your Galaxy Note7 and exchange it for another Samsung phone if you so choose.

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have all halted replacement sales of the device over the weekend, so they should be expecting requests for different phones upon Note 7 return.

 

Buy A New Phone

The Galaxy Note7 was expected to be main competition for the iPhone 7 Plus this fall. Now that production of the Note7 has been halted, Samsung’s unfortunate setback could wind up being Apple’s gain.

But, if you prefer Android phones, here’s a few suggestions for what phone to get next.

 

Moto Z product photography

Motorola Moto Z
The Moto Z boasts a sleek, modular design. A couple of the phone’s best features are its water resistance, responsive fingerprint scanner and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. There’s no headphone jack though — just like the iPhone 7.

 

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OnePlus 3
The OnePlus 3 is a great alternative to the Note7, and at $400, it’s much cheaper, too. The specs are at a comparable level to Nexus, Galaxy and iPhones, but without the premium price tag.

lg-v20

LG V20
The LG V20 is the first smartphone to launch with Android 7.0 Nougat pre-installed. This phone is great for photos with improved electronic image stabilization both front and rear cameras have dual lenses, and its sound quality is great boasting superior audio quality from B&O.

 

s7edge

 

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
If you still trust Samsung, go for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. It’s a bit smaller than the Note7, but it has the same curved screen design without the explosions.

 

google-pixel-phone-leaked-photos-01

Pixel Phone by Google
The Pixel and Pixel XL have not yet been released — October 13 is the pre-order date. What’s so cool about it? Google Assistant is more advanced and capable than the Google Now voice assistant on other Android phones; it’s more contextually aware to what’s happening on your devices and can tap into popular third-party apps like WhatsApp and OpenTable. To go along with the Pixel’s 12-megapixel camera — touted as the best camera in any smartphone, ever — Google has unveiled Pixel Camera. Pixel buyers get worry-free backup with Google Photos. All photos and videos (even 4K recordings) can be backed up — for free — with Google’s cloud service.

 

Got a Galaxy Note 7? Which device are you looking forward to getting next? Share your thoughts below!

Taking Relaxation To The Next Level With A Little Spa DIY And The Venta Airwasher

September 27th, 2016 by Christen
Disclaimer:  The following post is in partnership with Venta Airwasher and  I have received the following product for editorial review.  While the Venta Airwasher was provided for review, all opinions shared below are my own.

 

 

I’m not sure if it’s the countless hours on the road or the million miles I’ve racked up in the skies – all I know is that when I come home, I’m ready to relax, relate and release into a catatonic state of sweet, sweet rest.  Skip the aromatherapy candles, I’ve found the ultimate routine to take relaxation to the next level and it all starts with the Venta Airwasher!

 

Venta Airwasher aromatheraphy

 

Earlier this summer, I was fortunate enough to find and install the Venta Airwasher in my home and the benefits have been amazing!  The Venta Airwasher is the only humidifier and air purifier in one that uses the power of water to gently and powerfully rid my home of dust, dirt, odors and allergens.  Even with the numerous health benefits of cleaner and fresher air, the Venta Airwasher has aromatic accessories that literally transform my home bedroom into a relaxing spa-like experience.

 

Using a combination of aromatherapy, the Venta Airwasher infuses calming scents throughout my home that helps me relax and accomplish much needed rest.  With several fragrances to choose from, I find myself using my Venta Airwasher throughout the day and night.  After long and grueling trips on the road, the moment I walk inside my home, I activate my Venta Airwasher aromatherapy session by adding a few drops of relaxing or vanilla fragrance oil, start a warm bath and my favorite relaxation soundtrack.  (Sometimes you just need to create a soothing experience that stimulates your senses.)

 

Venta Airwasher aromatherapy

Must Read: Fight Allergies, Hydrate Your Skin And Live Your Best Life With The Venta Airwasher

 

Need a pick me up? Simply use included scents like Eucalyptus, Cinnamon or Citrus to invigorate sluggish mornings and get you in place for an amazing day.  With the Venta Airwasher, and a few DIY spa ideas, you can transform your home into a spa sanctuary and create spa-like experiences for less money that you think!

 

Venta Airwasher aromatheraphy

 

Personally, I use the Venta Airwasher to supercharge my sleep therapy routine.  Add a moisturizing night mask, some aromatherapy and get ready for the most amazing sleep ever!  The Venta Airwasher has become Europe’s number one humidifier and purifier in one and it’s trusted by thousands of doctors who have bought them for their homes and practices.  If you’re serious about fighting allergens and reclaiming cleaner and healthier air for you and your family, consider adding the Venta Airwasher to your home for a fresh air, fresh start today.

 

Venta Airwasher aromatherapy

 

Discover more details on how a Venta Airwashwer can help you live your best life with cleaner, fresher air at venta-airwasher.com.

New Apple iPhone 7 Means New Colors, Features And More (Spoiler Alert!) #iPhone7

September 7th, 2016 by Tech Staff

Interested in what’s new for the Apple 7 Launch event in Cupertino today?  The internet has been buzzing…Is the head jack gone for good?  What about the camera?  Are there new colors available or not?  Lucky for you, the internet has broken the code and we’ve got the list of the new iPhone 7 features that will have people talking.  Want to know the details behind what’s new before anyone else?  Keep reading below!

The new features were first noted by AppleInsider, and Forbes helpfully broke them down into the following list:

 

Two new colors: dark black and piano black (latter in limited quantities for 256GB model); So long space grey! That color option is long gone.

32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage tiers will replace 16GB, 64GB and 128GB

2x 12MP dual rear camera limited to iPhone 7 Plus, uses 1x wide angle and 1x telephoto lenses

 

iphone 7 black

Upgraded ambient light sensors on both new iPhone cameras for better low light shots

Camera flash LEDs doubled from two to four with warm and cool colors

3.5mm headphone jack removed

Lightning EarPods and a 3.5mm to Lightning headphone adaptor included in the box

Second external speaker and integrated amplifier for louder, richer output

Basic IPX7 water resistance – both phones can withstand splashes and full submersion for up to 30 minutes. Not quite Galaxy S7 level (one hour+), but close.

2GB RAM for iPhone 7, 3GB RAM for iPhone 7 Plus

Next generation A10 chipset sees CPUs hit 2.45GHz clock speeds and 20-30% performance gains

3D Touch 2.0 sensor with more distinct haptic feedback

Home button replaced with non-clicking touch sensor with haptic feedback

Antenna bands removed from the back of both models for cleaner look

 

Now that you’ve got the details about today’s launch, be a good pal and share the news with a friend!

Best Apps, Practices And Tips To Keep Your Kids Safe Online Using Your Smartphone

September 6th, 2016 by Christen

It’s official!  Summer has unofficially come to a close, the kids are back in school and plenty of parents are sharing growing concerns of how to keep their ever-connected children safe online!  This week is an important one!  With kids returning to school and ready to learn new and exciting things, there’s no better time than the present to re-educate yourself on the best apps, practices and tips to keep your kids safe online.

Discover just a few tips, teachings and apps that will educate you and your family on the latest tech advancements to keep everyone safe — and even a few tips on how to keep your kids safe using your smartphone below!

 

online safety

 

Now that kids are recharged and reset to absorb as much education as possible, take the time to teach your kids the ABCs about proper online use and etiquette this week.  Take the time to advise kids to never share passwords, log out of computers and have “the talk” about the importance of “online reputation”.  Open the dialogue about online safety and then take actionable steps by utilizing parental control settings for your phones, gaming devices, tablets, and all computers.

If you’re interested in taking extra precaution, utilize additional security measures and tools available online.  A great tool is the Free Norton Family tool and ios/Android apps.  Stay in the know about which websites kids visit and help avoid unsuitable content. Get emails when kids attempt to visit a blocked site, so you can start a conversation about appropriate and innapropriate content.
Stay in the loop about your kids’ online activities from your Android or iOS mobile device and adjust settings when appropriate no matter where you are.

 

Must Read:  7 Dangerous Smartphone Mistakes You’re Making Right Now (And how to fix them!)

 

Additional features available with the Free Norton Family tool include the ability to see which apps your kids have downloaded and choose which ones they can use, including YouTube and Facebook. Keep an eye on your kids’ text conversations and control who they can text. Even keep yourself in the loop about where your kids are by mapping the location of their Android or iOS mobile device.  Get a 30-day history of what your kids do on their mobile devices, so that you can clearly spot trends and emerging habits.

 

Must Read: Protect Ya Neck! Social Media Security Tips For Teens (And Adults!)

 

In addition to the Free Norton Family Tool, parents can also utilize parental monitoring apps like Teen Safe, (ios/Android) where a parent can press a simple button on their phone’s screen and can pause their child’s access to their phone for as long as they want. It’s like a mobile kill switch for your kid’s smartphone.  No matter where the kids are, the phone won’t work. It will only make calls to parents or for emergencies, ie, the cops. Millions of parents use TeenSafe to keep tabs on their kids, texts, calls, social media usage and phone location.

 

 

 

No matter which parental monitoring tool you use, it’s important to start your online safety measure by talking to your kids this week.  Get an understanding, even sign a mobile conduct agreement illustrating your expectations with your children.  It’s important that they learn the importance of proper mobile and online conduct and it’s up to you, the parent to teach them.

Have additional thoughts or apps that you may want to add to this list?  Sound off on Twitter and tag us @DivasandDorks to keep the conversation going!

Break Away From Huge Carrier Fees With The Huawei Honor 8 Unlocked Smartphone From Best Buy

August 30th, 2016 by Christen

Best_Buy

 

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.

 

Whether you’ve wanted to break away from huge carrier fees or want flexibility in the way you use your smartphone, the Huawei Honor 8 is the unlocked smartphone to give you the freedom you want and need!  The Huawei Honor 8 unlocked smartphone is Huawei’s newest addition to the Honor smartphone line and Best Buy is the only retailer that has the Honor in sapphire blue online and in-store!

 

The Honor 8: Beautiful design, game-changing camera technology, and maximum power.  You have the power to push culture forward. That’s why Honor created a phone for you — the new Honor 8. It’s the smartphone that opens your eyes to a world of possibilities.  The innovative bionic 12MP dual lenses of the Honor 8 enable you to capture crisper, more detailed photos day and night.  The premium, slick body of the Honor 8 is made with heavy dual glass—front and back. Smart Power 4.0 guarantees a long-lasting battery life and fast-charging technology charges 47% power in just 30 minutes.

So how could you unleash the power of an unlocked smartphone for you? Unlocked phones aren’t locked into a contract meaning they can help you save money on your monthly bill, they allow flexibility with carriers, and are great for international travel. Want to learn more? Checkout Best Buy’s quick educational video on unlocked phones HERE!

 

To make unlocking easier than ever, Best Buy has a sweet offer for DivasAndDorks readers today!  Earn a free $50 Best Buy Gift Card when you purchase the Huawei Honor 8 unlocked smartphone at Best Buy!  Now that’s a deal that you want to tell your friends and family about.  Walk don’t run to your local Best Buy cause I’m sure this deal won’t last long!

 

Fight Allergies, Hydrate Your Skin And Live Your Best Life With The Venta Airwasher

August 15th, 2016 by Christen

 

Disclaimer:  The following post is in partnership with Venta Airwasher and  I have received the following product for editorial review.  While the Venta Airwasher was provided for review, all opinions shared below are my own.

 

The summer heat wave is ON and the sweltering heat has no plans to chill out anytime soon.  It’s moments like this that make me appreciate my Venta Airwasher more and more each day.

 

Venta Airwasher

 

While there’s a host of humidifiers or air purifiers on the market, very few can wash and purify the air around you creating a healthier and livelier life that you deserve.  With the Venta Airwasher, you’ll feel more alert, you’ll sleep better and it practically eliminates pet odors, dandruff and allergens that could make you sick.  So what’s the technology behind how the Venta Airwasher works?  Keep reading, because the Venta Airwasher just could be the single household gadget with health and beauty benefits that’ll change your life.

 

Venta Airwasher

 

The Airwasher comes out of the box and is up-and-running in less than five minutes.  The Airwasher is also easy to use, fill and clean.  Like most humidifiers, just add water in order for the technology to activate and begin the process of air purification.  With the Venta Airwasher, the air in your home takes only the moisture it needs and no more.  The humidification stops but the purification continues.  This makes the Airwasher ideal to run 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year.

 

Venta Airwasher

 

Using the science of cold evaporation, the Venta Airwasher gently rotates the water inside pulling dust and dirt from the air inside. Once the airborne particles are drawn in and passed over the rotating disk stack to the bottom, they’re trapped inside and replaced with clean, hydrated fresh air.  (For best results, the dust and dirt trapped in the bottom of the Airwasher requires cleaning every 10-14 days)

 

Venta Airwasher

 

I’ll admit, at first I was a bit skeptical about adding a new humidifier into my home.  I’ve had my share of humidifiers that came along with vapors, mists and plenty of white residue to match.  The Venta Airwasher using the process of cold evaporation, eliminates any white residue or vapors and leaves the room feeling so fresh and so clean.

 

Venta Airwasher

 

Personally, I use the Venta Airwasher to supercharge my sleep therapy routine.  Add a moisturizing night mask, some aromatherapy and get ready for the most amazing sleep ever!  The Venta Airwasher has become Europe’s number one humidifier and purifier in one and it’s trusted by thousands of doctors who have bought them for their homes and practices.  If you’re serious about fighting allergens and reclaiming cleaner and healthier air for you and your family, consider adding the Venta Airwasher to your home for a fresh air, fresh start today.

 

Discover more details on how a Venta Airwashwer can help you live your best life with cleaner, fresher air at venta-airwasher.com.

 

 

Silent Killers: Discover The Deadliest Apps That’s Killing Your Phone Battery

August 9th, 2016 by Tech Staff

STOP what you’re doing and take a look at your phone battery right now!  If it’s looking a little faint right about now, you’ll want to pay major attention to the info that will make or break your battery life below.  We now know the 10 apps that have been draining your phone battery quicker than ever before, and chances are you’re using one of the worst battery-draining apps right this very moment!

 

Battery draining apps

 

A study, published in AVG’s Android App Performance and Trend Report, has been carried out to discover the top 10 battery-draining apps on your phone.  For this particular study, battery usage was measured on Android phones only – but a word of warning to Windows and iPhone users as well (especially since Androids are known to have better battery life than both iPhone and Windows devices.).

Here’s the top apps that will have your phone down to 1% and counting in no time…

9.  The Weather Channel – As one of the most popular apps in both Google Play and iTunes store, this app uses geo-location to give you the most accurate and updated weather information that you can use, but it also drains your battery so much, that it’s probably just  best to step outside and figure it out for yourself or do one better, just watch the morning news.

 

8.  WeChat – Chances are, you’re not a teeny-bopper or communication-obsessed pre-teen so you don’t use this app, but if you were thinking of downloading, you probably shouldn’t.

 

7.  WhatsApp – Sure it’s a great app for mass correspondence with friends and family.  I’ve used it to rally a group of colleagues/friends together for a meet up in Austin, TX for SXSW – but when it comes to receiving notifications each time someone responds to a group chat, your phone is certain to bow out of power faster than you could imagine.

 

6. Kik – Is another social communication app that lets you connect with friends, groups and the world around you through chat. Kik will kill your battery life faster than you can say “Where’s my portable charger?”

 

5. Blackberry Messenger – Starting to see a trend here?  If you have a messenger app, you’re more than likely to be sacrificing battery life just to stay connected?  Who still has a Blackberry anyways?

 

4. Instagram – We blame the filters, and Instagram stories.  The constant updates, algorithm changes and more is sure to drain your battery?  Don’t believe us?  Check out your battery usage right now, chances are Instagram is one of the top 3 apps using the most battery power on your phone at this very moment!

 

3. Facebook Messenger – Just send a text.  Can we agree, no more Facebook calls and messages in 2016? PLEASE.

 

2. Google Maps – It’s probably because we’ve become so dependent on it to get us across town or across the street.  Google Maps is constantly tracking your location, so don’t be surprised that your phone battery is dying a slow death because of it!

 

1.  Facebook – This a a great reason to stop stalking your college boyfriend’s ex-wife and maybe do something productive like go for a walk instead. (As long as you’re not playing Pokemon Go! LOL)

 

Now that you’re in the know, which of these apps have been silently killing your smartphone battery? Share which apps you’ve limited use of or have deleted altogether in the comments below!

How I’m using Instagram stories & Snapchat To Share My Journey

August 4th, 2016 by Christen

 

It came from out of nowhere, when everyone least expected it.  Just when you were getting comfortable and engaged with the short form sharing platform SnapChat, Instagram releases an update that turned the social sharing world upside down.

 

Instagram stories

So what is an Instagram story anyways?  According to the official Instagram announcement, Instagram stories a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story. According to social media savants, strategists and experts alike Instagram stories are new ways to engage with friends and followers on Instagram.  According to my brilliant blogger bae Ty Alexander of Gorgeous in Grey Instagram Stories vs SnapChat means……”Instagram kinda bodies Snapchat.

 

Instagram stories

 

Like many of you, the new update left me dazed, confused and contemplating if I really have to adapt to using either or both social platforms in the future.  After further deliberation, my conclusion is a resounding YES!  I’ve figured out how to effectively use Instagram stories and SnapChat to share my journey and hopefully it’ll inspire you to share and create authentic content in a fun and exciting new way too!

 

Instagram Stories – A little less unfiltered.    

Instagram vs snapchat

         

 

As much as I love to share my journeys, adventures and moments behind the scenes of building a brand and charging ahead in my career, I often find myself guilty of going days (sometime even weeks) without social shares on Instagram.  The solution:  Snapchat and Instagram stories!  Are you following @DivasandDorks on Instagram? If not, you might want to do that STAT.  As far as Instagram stories are concerned, I’ll be sharing moments behind the blog that’ll give insight into the life of the diva behind DivasandDorks.com.  You’ll find plenty of adventures in travel, cars and tech with a sprinkle of delectable dorkiness in between.

 

SnapChat – Absolutely Uninhibited.

snapchat

 

Want to get to know the girl behind the blog?  (This is the part where you frantically search @DivasandDorks on SnapChat and click Add!)  Snapchat is my refuge where I speak to the voices in my head OUT LOUD.  (No there aren’t real voices in my head, but I do think I’m speaking to a group of my imaginary friends, that is, until you guys snap me back and I realize that I’m sharing my boring life with my internet peeps, family and friends! LOL)  On the snap, get ready for a front row seat into the life of Christen.  Lately it’s been a hoot sharing my morning commute karaoke moments, behind the scenes of my tv diva career, family, friends and Sundays at church.

 

So now you know what to expect from ME, what should I expect to see on your snaps and Instagram stories?  Are you loving the new Instagram update or are you a snapchatter til the bitter end?  Drop your Instagram and snapchat names in the comments and let me know your story below!

 

 

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