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  5. <title>TheSocialNetworker</title>
  6. <link></link>
  7. <description>Candid commentary, screencasts, site reviews and more on social media</description>
  8. <lastBuildDate>Thu, 11 Aug 2016 15:49:14 +0000</lastBuildDate>
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  12. <copyright>2007-2012 </copyright>
  13. <managingEditor>[email protected] (Spiked Studios LLC)</managingEditor>
  14. <webMaster>[email protected] (Spiked Studios LLC)</webMaster>
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  19. <itunes:summary>Candid commentary on social media and social networking.  Site reviews of the new, top and odd social networking sites. All with interviews of the people that invent and run the sites themselves.</itunes:summary>
  20. <itunes:keywords>site reviews, social networking, social media, screencasts</itunes:keywords>
  21. <itunes:category text="Technology" />
  22. <itunes:category text="Technology">
  23. <itunes:category text="Tech News" />
  24. </itunes:category>
  25. <itunes:category text="Technology">
  26. <itunes:category text="Software How-To" />
  27. </itunes:category>
  28. <itunes:author>Spiked Studios LLC</itunes:author>
  29. <itunes:owner>
  30. <itunes:name>Spiked Studios LLC</itunes:name>
  31. <itunes:email>[email protected]</itunes:email>
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  37. <title>Apps to spy on your childrens mobile phones</title>
  38. <link></link>
  39. <comments></comments>
  40. <pubDate>Thu, 11 Aug 2016 15:42:28 +0000</pubDate>
  41. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  42. <category><![CDATA[Privacy]]></category>
  43. <category><![CDATA[Security]]></category>
  44. <category><![CDATA[Sexting]]></category>
  45. <category><![CDATA[Stalking]]></category>
  46. <category><![CDATA[app reviews]]></category>
  47. <category><![CDATA[cellphone]]></category>
  48. <category><![CDATA[mobile]]></category>
  49. <category><![CDATA[privacy]]></category>
  51. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  52. <description><![CDATA[We look at the growing number of apps that spy on the mobile phone activity of your children. While we feel it is not the best solution, it is a growing market and privacy concern.]]></description>
  53. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>We look at the growing number of apps that spy on the mobile phone activity of your children.  An increasing number of parents feel the need to spy on their children&#8217;s cell phones to keep up with who they talk to and what they share. One thing to remember is that all of the data you are tracking is being sent from your child&#8217;s phone to the Internet and then stored there. While all of these services use encryption to store the data, the fear it is out there is always on our mind.</p>
  54. <p>While we feel there are better ways, we look at the growing market of applications. A step you can take on a schedule, or even better randomly, is to sit with your child and ask to see their phone. Browse through the pictures, apps and contacts.  Learn the slang they use in texts. Check for history in the Direct Messages of Instagram, Facetime talks and more.  Compare it to how  your job owns your work email content, computer and provided phone if you are paying the bill you own theirs.</p>
  55. <blockquote><p>Remember that cyber bullying is a real issue and we are proud to be on the Board of Directors for the <a title="Megan Meier Foundation" href="" target="_blank">Megan Meier Foundation</a>. You should be involved with your kid online activity and have open communication. Do not rely only on these applications.</p></blockquote>
  56. <p>Watch me in the following video that aired Jul 2016 on KSDK (NBC) News Channel 5 about this very topic before we look at apps.  Follow me on every network as @IdoNotes (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and everything else)<br />
  57. <iframe style="border-width: 0;" src=";type=video&amp;title=Apps%20parents%20can%20use%20to%20track%20their%20kids&amp;site=63&amp;playerid=6918249996581&amp;dfpid=32805352&amp;dfpposition=Video_prestream_external§ion=home" height="360" width="580"></iframe></p>
  58. <p>Below is some of the top apps for monitoring your child&#8217;s mobile phone activity.</p>
  59. <p><span id="more-1426"></span></p>
  60. <h3>mSpy</h3>
  61. <p>mSpy is often referred to as a leader in mobile monitoring across the devices. They handle both phones and computers which makes them a great solution if your child also has a laptop or computer. Find your child with GPS tracking, see emails, check who they call and who they save as contacts and dig into apps like WhatsApp, SnapChat, Skype, Tinder and more.</p>
  62. <p>Another key feature is allowing certain apps to be installed and even blocking others. Go as far as actual key logging (seeing what they type) to remotely locking or wiping the data. My favorite is even being alerted when mSpy is removed from a device.  They have an online demo for you to see as well. Prices vary from $16-$30 a month for services.</p>
  63. <p><!-- iFrame Ad Tag: 128 --><br />
  64. <iframe src=";aff_id=4924&#038;format=iframe&#038;format=iframe" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" width="468" height="60"></iframe><br />
  65. <!-- // End Ad Tag --></p>
  66. <p>See their great online demo <a title="mSpy online demo" href="" target="_blank">right here</a> on mSpy.</p>
  67. <h3>TeenSafe</h3>
  68. <p><a title="TeenSafe" href="">TeenSafe</a> application has a large range of capabilities for iPone and Android (capabilities vary per operating system).  It reads text messages, shares location of the device, views call logs, views Instagram, views installed applications and integrates with a list of others like WhatsApp, Kik, web history and even contacts on the phone.</p>
  69. <p>Prices show as $14.95 a month after a one week free trial.</p>
  70. <p><img class="alignnone" alt="TeenSafe Monitoring versus Spying" src="" width="580" height="250" /></p>
  71. <h3>PhoneSheriff</h3>
  72. <p>PhoneSheriff offers quite a few features for tweens and teens including limiting times they can use the phone.</p>
  73. <ul>
  74. <li>Block phone numbers from calls and text messages</li>
  75. <li>Set custom time restrictions and block apps you choose</li>
  76. <li>Monitor text messages and get custom activity alerts</li>
  77. <li>Real time location tracking and lock commands</li>
  78. <li>Compatible with Android, iPhone and iPad</li>
  79. </ul>
  80. <p>Pricing was $49 for six months of service or $89 for a full year.</p>
  81. <p><img class="alignnone" alt="PhoneSheriff dashboard" src="" width="580" height="250" /></p>
  82. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  83. <p>There is quite a few more programs doing the very same thing. We wish we had time to rank and review them all. If you know of one that you want reviewed let us know. Also, give us some feedback if you monitor your kids this way.</p>
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  90. <item>
  91. <title>How to create a Pokestop for Pokemon Go. Good for businesses?</title>
  92. <link></link>
  93. <comments></comments>
  94. <pubDate>Thu, 14 Jul 2016 20:35:59 +0000</pubDate>
  95. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  96. <category><![CDATA[Site Reviews]]></category>
  97. <category><![CDATA[pokemon]]></category>
  98. <category><![CDATA[pokemongo]]></category>
  99. <category><![CDATA[pokestop]]></category>
  101. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  102. <description><![CDATA[I could go into Pokemon Go security or even how to play, but what about creating Pokestops as a way to increase foot traffic to your business? As brought up by a friend, a Pokestop can be beneficial.]]></description>
  103. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>I could go into <strong>Pokemon Go</strong> security or even how to play, but what about <strong>creating Pokestops</strong> as a way to increase foot traffic to your business? As brought up by a friend during a Facebook posting, a Pokestop can be beneficial.</p>
  104. <h3>What is a Pokestop?</h3>
  105. <p>As defined by Niantic Labs, a Pokestop is a place to collect items such as Pokeballs, eggs and a ton of other items to help you catch, grow and maintain Pokemon.  Sounds simple right? There are so many online resource right now showing you every corner of Pokemon Go you should have no trouble learning the game.</p>
  106. <h3>Why should I suggest a new Pokestop as business?</h3>
  107. <p>But how can a business benefit from Pokestops? Unless you were in a historic marker, public place or other location that Niantic knew about and had on their Ingress map (another game from Niantic Labs) you were out of luck.  Well as of July 14th 2016 they have an online form to suggest Pokestop locations.  This form can be found <a title="Suggest a new Pokestop" href="" target="_blank">right here</a> in their help system.</p>
  108. <p>Imagine now that you want to drive foot traffic to your business? Building a Pokestop forces people to come into your business range to access the stop to get the goods. While you do not control the main items that are offered, you can drop gifts or Lure Modules. What is a <em>Lure Module</em>?</p>
  109. <blockquote><p>If a player purchases one of the <a title="Lure Modules" href="" target="_blank">Lure Modules</a> from the in-game Shop, the player can place a lure at any PokeStop to increase the amount of Pokemon who will gravitate to that area &#8211; and this will benefit any other players in the area. You can even see when a PokeStop is under the influence of a Lure Module on the map by looking for the showering of pink petals, and interacting with the PokeStop will have an icon that details who used the lure.  A new Pokemon will show up approximately every 3 minutes. Lure Modules can be purchased from the Shop either one for 100 <a title="Pokecoins" href="" target="_blank">PokeCoins</a>, or 8 Modules for 680 PokeCoins. Additionally, when the trainer reaches certain levels &#8211; like level 8, they will also receive a free Lure Module. See the Level Rewards page to see which levels reward Lure Modules.</p></blockquote>
  110. <p>So as a company there may be a small investment of virtual coins to draw customers to your doorstep. This sounds like a winning investment to me no matter how you look at it. Foot traffic can at least get your name known or maybe a few dollars of business just because they are there.  Right now thousands of people are investing time in a game that makes them walk around. I think as a business taking advantage of anything to grow business is a win.  (Even make yourself a custom SnapChat geofilter for added promotion).</p>
  111. <p>It seems they may have been overwhlemed with requests for new Pokestops as the form line to request new ones is down again. You can get a feel for every stop they initially put up since it used the Ingress map. You can catch that anytime right here on the<a title="Ingress intel map" href="" target="_blank"> Ingress intel page</a></p>
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  118. <item>
  119. <title>GoGo Entertainment app review – GoGo quickly away from it</title>
  120. <link></link>
  121. <comments></comments>
  122. <pubDate>Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:16:03 +0000</pubDate>
  123. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  124. <category><![CDATA[Site Reviews]]></category>
  125. <category><![CDATA[airline]]></category>
  126. <category><![CDATA[entertianment]]></category>
  127. <category><![CDATA[GoGo]]></category>
  129. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  130. <description><![CDATA[Many airlines are turning their in-flight entertainment over to GoGo Entertainment (who also controls GoGo Internet in the flights). The use and flow of this application as an entertainment server is horrid. Here is my story.]]></description>
  131. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>Many airlines are turning their in-flight entertainment over to GoGo Entertainment (who also controls GoGo Internet in the flights). The use and flow of this application as an entertainment server is horrid. Here is my story.</p>
  132. <p>On a recent American Airlines flight (formerly US Air leg from St Louis to Charlotte) I noticed all the in seat music was disabled. The magazine and agents directed me to the GoGo Internet to then hook into the GoGo Entertainment to get the music, movies and TV shows. I presumed some would be free and some would be pay. I presumed I could use any newer device for sure. I successfully connected to the GoGo Internet and the link given to get the entertainment was invalid. Here is the link they give in the magazine</p>
  133. <p><img class="alignleft  wp-image-1417" alt="American Way Magazine entertainment" src="" width="560" height="407" /></p>
  134. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  135. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  136. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  137. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  138. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  139. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  140. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  141. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  142. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  143. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  144. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  145. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  146. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  147. <p>Now attempting to go tho that page while in fight or even here at the computer shows that it is invalid; the page could not be displayed. The real link is or to get to the right page.</p>
  148. <p><span id="more-1416"></span></p>
  149. <p><img class="alignleft  wp-image-1418" alt=" error" src="" width="560" height="515" /></p>
  150. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  151. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  152. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  153. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  154. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  155. <p>&nbsp;</p>
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  159. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  160. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  161. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  162. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  163. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  164. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  165. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  166. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  167. <p>So I found myself in a conundrum. Amazingly Google worked and I found the webpage with the links I needed. To no surprise there was an app called GoGo Entertainment (used to be GoGo Video Player) you had to download for Android or iOS.  Being in the air neither of them would download. Some reviews have said they go it to work but this just gave errors. So I decided to wait till the flights home (same path in reverse) and to get the app before I got on the plane. Side note I should mention is that this second leg down was First Class, International and over three hours and still had no entertainment.</p>
  168. <p>I successfully downloaded the app both on Android and iOS (I wanted to be sure) and headed to the flights home.  After a long delay of saying GoGo Internet had no access to the Internet it finally connected.  I was then greeted with a page that said I had no content so please browse the catalog. I happily said yes and was sent to a <strong>web browser page</strong> and not a page in the app itself.  The web then only shows some movies and a few more rentals.  Nothing for free. No music. No content that is regularly free when on board.  Nothing free like Southwest Airlines offers (both free and paid using your own device).</p>
  169. <p>So not only was the app not there the entire first flights down, but then there was no content to view or listen to for the entire way back. I do not see how AA can turn on the in flight free music channels that have been there forever. Maybe they are saving royalty payments? But to then offer an app you cannot get easily (bad links then cannot donwload) to only find limited content is a killer deal.</p>
  170. <p>I hope @AmericanAir sees this article and fixes the links and the entire process/agreement with GoGo if this is their future entertainment plans.</p>
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  176. <feedburner:origLink></feedburner:origLink></item>
  177. <item>
  178. <title>Podcasting and Videocasting with WordPress at Wordcamp 2016 in St Louis</title>
  179. <link></link>
  180. <comments></comments>
  181. <pubDate>Tue, 17 May 2016 16:58:42 +0000</pubDate>
  182. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  183. <category><![CDATA[Conferences]]></category>
  184. <category><![CDATA[Plugins]]></category>
  185. <category><![CDATA[podcasting]]></category>
  186. <category><![CDATA[videocasting]]></category>
  187. <category><![CDATA[Wordcamp]]></category>
  189. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  190. <description><![CDATA[This is Podcasting and Videocasting using Wordpress from WordCamp 2016 in St Louis]]></description>
  191. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>This is <strong>Podcasting and Videocasting using WordPress</strong> from <a title="WordCamp St Louis 2016" href="" target="_blank">WordCamp 2016 </a>in St Louis</p>
  192. <blockquote><p>Psst … How’d you like to be a famous podcaster? Even better, a famous videocaster?</p>
  193. <p>Well, before you can produce, you’re gonna need to procure.</p>
  194. <p>But what, exactly? What tools? Services? Hardware? Of course, you’ll be using WordPress.</p>
  195. <p>But that’s just the beginning. Let’s cover the basics of:</p>
  196. <ul>
  197. <li>Hosting media files.</li>
  198. <li>WordPress plugins.</li>
  199. <li>Bandwidth considerations.</li>
  200. </ul>
  201. <p>And the specific tools you’ll need to look and sound your very best.</p></blockquote>
  202. <p><iframe src="" height="465" width="580" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0"></iframe></p>
  203. <p>The slides for this sessions are also available below</p>
  204. <div class="feedflare">
  205. <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a> <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></img></a>
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  210. <item>
  211. <title>Opt Out from Behavioral Online Advertising with tools</title>
  212. <link></link>
  213. <comments></comments>
  214. <pubDate>Wed, 30 Mar 2016 19:49:20 +0000</pubDate>
  215. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  216. <category><![CDATA[Privacy]]></category>
  217. <category><![CDATA[Security]]></category>
  218. <category><![CDATA[Social Media]]></category>
  219. <category><![CDATA[Stalking]]></category>
  220. <category><![CDATA[advertising]]></category>
  221. <category><![CDATA[cookies]]></category>
  223. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  224. <description><![CDATA[Interest and online behavior advertising inundates us daily when websites use your browsing history to predict what ads you should see. Luckily, there are some free tools and participating advertisers that allow you to opt out. ]]></description>
  225. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>Interest and <strong>online behavior advertising</strong> inundates us daily when websites use your browsing history to predict what ads you should see. Luckily, there are some free tools with participating advertisers that allow you to opt out. The advertisers in question dig into your life, peeking into your browser cookies so they can tell where you recently visited and what may entice you into clicking more ads.</p>
  226. <p>The D<strong>igital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice</strong> page allows you to view over 125 participating advertising companies and have a simple tool to help you opt out. I personally have visited this page more than once because this tool needs to be used on <em>every computer you use</em> to browse the Internet.  I also make sure to visit the <strong>Your Online Choices</strong> page that offers similar services but different companies appear. Depending on your browsing habits you may need to visit both.</p>
  227. <p><a title="Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice" href="" target="_blank">Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice</a> &#8211; You can view the entire list of participating companies, see what companies have current ads customized based on your behavior and see what you have opted out from already. Use the Select All checkbox to make it even quicker to opt out.</p>
  228. <p><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-1404" alt="Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice" src="" width="580" height="382" srcset=" 580w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p>
  229. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  230. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  231. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  232. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  233. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  234. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  235. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  236. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  237. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  238. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  239. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  240. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  241. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  242. <p><a title="Your Ad Choices" href="" target="_blank">Your Online Choices</a> &#8211; this service is a bit harder to scroll through the long list, with no select all. It does offer you the ability to quickly toggle on/off each advertiser, including those that are not reporting correctly.  It was interesting to see the variance of companies found on each page.</p>
  243. <p><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-1406" alt="Your Online Choices" src="" width="580" height="555" srcset=" 580w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p>
  244. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  245. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  246. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  247. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  248. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  249. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  250. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  251. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  252. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  253. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  254. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  255. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  256. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  257. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  258. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  259. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  260. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  261. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  262. <p>I suggest you bookmark this page as I update tools or bookmark those sites themselves.  I was shocked the first time I visited to see the number of companies in the alliance that are not affiliated but share data access in the cookies for advertising.  Some would say you could also exclusively use Private Browsing services that every major browser now offers. However, it is not the default action of Internet browsers and you must actively switch to private tabs and sessions.</p>
  263. <p>Leave other tools and sites in the comments below.  I am guessing many will say to turn off all cookies or use add on tools, but those can block cookies you use for other preferences or slow your browser down.  Either way you need to take prevention steps.</p>
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  270. <item>
  271. <title>You Are the Key: Unlocking the Door Through Social Selling book review</title>
  272. <link></link>
  273. <comments></comments>
  274. <pubDate>Mon, 14 Mar 2016 16:02:36 +0000</pubDate>
  275. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  276. <category><![CDATA[Book Reviews]]></category>
  277. <category><![CDATA[book review]]></category>
  278. <category><![CDATA[selling]]></category>
  279. <category><![CDATA[social]]></category>
  281. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  282. <description><![CDATA[You Are the Key: Unlocking the Door Through Social Selling covers the entry and step by step guide of creating social personas and using the networks to start selling]]></description>
  283. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-1400" alt="You Are the Key: Unlocking Door Through Social Selling" src="" width="250" height="335" srcset=" 250w, 223w" sizes="(max-width: 250px) 100vw, 250px" /></a>I read <strong>You Are the Key: Unlocking the Door Through Social Selling</strong> cover to cover as someone that is very familiar with the content and their goals. If I stepped back and looked at it from a new comer to the ideas of using social networks as a social selling tool, they cover the basics very thoroughly and then get a bit lighter in the actual selling.</p>
  284. <p>The book only has one flaw that got in my way an that was the breaking up of the networks across the chapters causing them to repeat themselves. I think they could have covered all of the initial aspects in <a title="You Are the Key" href="" target="_blank">You Are the Key: Unlocking the Door Through Social Selling</a>, then set up each network thoroughly, then closed up with social selling as a whole. Jumping back and forth of a topic and then into each network made you have to go back and forth between them to validate what they referred to (or set it up if new).</p>
  285. <p>The book does include many screenshots of steps making that helpful to follow along. I only found a few things that had already changed since they wrote this. But, that is the nature of social networks in how fast they change the UI and possibly where you click menus.</p>
  286. <p>There are eight chapters in all with some resources at the end. I personally go against (and present in depth on it) some of what they instructed you to do in chapter 3 on setting up your social personas. I feel they have you giving too much information in some of the examples.</p>
  287. <p>Overall, readers of <a title="You Are the Key" href="" target="_blank">You Are the Key: Unlocking the Door Through Social Selling</a> can walk any C-level person through creating social network accounts and using each as a tool to reach more prospects. I would try to look for each social network in each chapter and go through the book that way. Finish a network setup and understand how to use it before going on the next one.</p>
  288. <p>Thanks to them for sending this over free for review. I had a great grasp of the total concept which made it a bit easier for me to dissect it.</p>
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  296. <title>Mobile Passport app from US Customs – review</title>
  297. <link></link>
  298. <comments></comments>
  299. <pubDate>Fri, 08 Jan 2016 19:19:13 +0000</pubDate>
  300. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  301. <category><![CDATA[Product Reviews]]></category>
  302. <category><![CDATA[Site Reviews]]></category>
  303. <category><![CDATA[app reviews]]></category>
  304. <category><![CDATA[cbp]]></category>
  305. <category><![CDATA[customs]]></category>
  306. <category><![CDATA[passport]]></category>
  308. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  309. <description><![CDATA[Recently US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched the Mobile Passport application for everyone entering through select airports. The Mobile Passport allows you to skip the lines and even the new automated kiosks and head straight to a special (hopefully quicker and shorter) line.]]></description>
  310. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>Recently <strong>US Customs and Border Protection</strong> (CBP) launched the <strong>Mobile Passport</strong> application for everyone entering through select airports. The Mobile Passport allows you to skip the lines and even the new automated kiosks and head straight to a special (hopefully quicker and shorter) line.  At the time of writing this there were five airports currently live and the ability to email them your next choices.</p>
  311. <blockquote><p>The Mobile Passport App by Airside Mobile lets you skip the line at US airports for Custom and Border Protection (CBP). Just fill out your profile and answer CBP’s questions – then go straight to the “Mobile Passport Control” express lane at the airport!</p></blockquote>
  312. <p>To get the application you can head to the official <a title="US Customs Mobile Passport" href="" target="_blank"></a> website and click the links for the <a title="iOS Mobile Passport" href=";mt=8" target="_blank">iOS</a> or <a title="Android Mobile Passport" href="" target="_blank">Android</a> versions so you know you are getting the real CBP apps.  While I did not find any fake ones yet, you will be scanning and entering your actual US Passport information so I would make sure it is the real one you are downloading.</p>
  313. <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="size-full wp-image-1392 aligncenter" alt="Us Mobile Passport setup" src="" width="580" height="544" srcset=" 580w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p>
  314. <p>Setup of the application itself was quite simple.  You enter your profile information from your official US Passport. This includes taking a picture of yourself and then scanning the barcode on your passport or entering it all manually.  I did this step both ways and like the scanning but did not get it to work every time.  Another bonus is that a single family can all use one app.  Each person needs a profile/entry into the application. but you do not all need the app on your phone.  Individuals travelling would need the app installed.</p>
  315. <p><span id="more-1387"></span></p>
  316. <p>The next part is what makes skipping the line possible.  You simply enter your flight information and answer the same basic questions you would at the automated kiosk or on the paper form.  You then submit that and will get back a receipt with an encrypted barcode.  This barcode is only good for four hours.  So for short flights you could do this right before takeoff, but it is best to wait till right when you hit the runway and can use your phone again.</p>
  317. <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1393" alt="US Mobile Passport new trip" src="" width="580" height="544" srcset=" 580w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p>
  318. <p>That QR code is extremely important and you must make sure the person you selected has the right picture.  These are official forms used so everything you answer and do is under the scrutiny of US Customs and Border Protection.  I saw a couple people have issues by not doing a step right.  YOu may ask yourself who can use this Mobile Passport app?  Directly from their help files is the following:</p>
  319. <p>US citizens with a valid US passport and Canadian citizens with both a valid Canadian passport and B1 or B2 visa status may use the Mobile Passport App. You must have an iOS or Android device that can connect to the internet.</p>
  320. <p>So you will not qualify yet under any other programs or travel Visas.  I personally use Global Entry and could not get the Mobile Passport app to approve me so I could walk with everyone else I was travelling with at the time.  A CBP rep said I should keep using Global Entry since I am approved for it making my time even shorter.</p>
  321. <p>One last note. This <strong>does not replace your actual US Passport</strong>. You still need to present your passport. This just removes the paper forms and speeds the process along.</p>
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  328. <item>
  329. <title>YouTube Red – a week in review</title>
  330. <link></link>
  331. <comments></comments>
  332. <pubDate>Tue, 10 Nov 2015 21:45:52 +0000</pubDate>
  333. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  334. <category><![CDATA[Site Reviews]]></category>
  335. <category><![CDATA[YouTube]]></category>
  337. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  338. <description><![CDATA[I had to spend some serious time with YouTube Red to really get a valid opinion. So a week of deep diving and usage and here is my review and opinions.]]></description>
  339. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>I had to spend some serious time with <strong>YouTube Red</strong> to really get a valid opinion. So a week of deep diving and usage and here is my review and opinions.  The first thing I had to take into account was how much do the ads really bother me?  Honestly I am so used to them since the start I ignore them.  Even the additions of cards, links and other monetization doesn&#8217;t dissuade me and the masses from watching.</p>
  340. <p>With <a title="YouTube Red" href="" target="_blank">YouTube Red</a> you enter a world of</p>
  341. <blockquote><p>Ad-free videos whenever you sign in to YouTube or a YouTube app—on your mobile device, desktop, or enabled TV. Take your videos on your commute or your next trip. Relax or rock out to your music without listening to ads. Watch what you want, whenever you want.</p></blockquote>
  342. <p>Now in theory that sounds great. But most YouTube videos are about 4 minutes and I am always connected when it is important.  I do not see myself worrying about 4 minute videos when on a plane.  I have movies and other media for that.  Heck they really do not even have an official YouTube Red logo yet.</p>
  343. <p><iframe src="" height="376" width="580" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0"></iframe></p>
  344. <h3>Membership</h3>
  345. <p>I was slightly shocked at the $9.99/month fee (even with the free trial period) for YouTube Red.  While I may &#8220;<em>Keep supporting artists and the people who make your favorite videos, even while watching without video ads</em>&#8221; I am sure most are making a ton of money off of ads already. How is my $9.99 subscription paid across the content creators? Number of views? Downloads? Subscribers?  What if I watch if offline 400 times, do they get more? I see a big flaw in this model if they are losing ad revenue.</p>
  346. <p><span id="more-1367"></span></p>
  347. <p>An added bonus is that you get Google Play Music subscription at no additional cost.  If you have a huge library there then the bundle is worth it. If you have Google Play Music already you now get YouTube Red.  A definite win. The same in reverse.  So how many of you would dump iTunes or other streaming service like Spotify to redo your entire library into Google Play Music? Not many. Ever. You get in that rut and never want to leave. It is the struggle of the process.  Like moving from one photo sharing service to another.  I take the ups and downs of Flickr rather than move gigs of sorted, tagged, geotagged and commented photos.</p>
  348. <p><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-1372" alt="Google Payment setup" src="" width="281" height="324" srcset=" 281w, 260w" sizes="(max-width: 281px) 100vw, 281px" />Payment is done via a Google Payment account, so you will have to establish one if you have never done so before.  It uses whatever Google account you are currently signed in under.  Make sure you are on the right one that you will also use across all your devices.</p>
  349. <p>Background playing is controversial to me at best. If it is YouTube then I am watching something.  I know a few people that actually made awesome music playlists on YouTube and play it while doing whatever. The videos mean nothing to them.  For other content you are on YouTube for the content.  YouTube Red doesn&#8217;t add much value to me there.  I want to watch YouTube.  It is not really a music service to me.  It is a video service.</p>
  350. <p>Offline viewing gets the same result from me. A giant <em>Meh</em>.  They have some interesting terms of service about where and when you can download and use offline videos. I guess video rights vary in other countries? Make sure you download them before leaving the US even with a YouTube Red subscription.</p>
  351. <blockquote><p>YouTube Red is available in the U.S. If you leave the U.S., you won’t be able to save videos offline, videos won’t play in the background, and you will see ads. Any videos that you’ve saved offline before leaving the U.S., will continue to be available offline for 30 days.</p></blockquote>
  352. <p>I also tend to watch related videos as I go along. So that becomes unavailable as well when you watch offline. There is no more video surfing which generates views and new interests. I am not sure that is taken into account for this.  I may also like the content creator so much I want to scroll their channel. Offline once again is not helpful here.</p>
  353. <p>Subscribers will also get access to exclusive content. This means paid content producers and original content found only on YouTube Red.  Online video viewers already know that Hulu and Netflix offer the same setup for subscribers. The idea being that it is a huge draw to gain subscribers.  In some shows it is like <em>Orange is the new Black</em> as an example.  We will have to see what kicks off in January on YouTube Red to make that decision.</p>
  354. <h3>The Flipside</h3>
  355. <p>YouTube has always been free and we just expect the ads. It is like our local Riverfront Times paper that comes out weekly.  You love the local and edgy content but know it is chocked full of ads to pay for it.  You will live with it.  I have always disliked Hulu for ads even though I pay.  But they balanced that with offering more content to you than free. They now have ad free. Once again I am so used to the ads I use them top get a quick drink or bathroom break and it only adds like a few minutes of total watching time. YouTube rarely had that issue as ads overlayed the screen more than the wait five seconds to skip.</p>
  356. <h3>My Opinion</h3>
  357. <p>I will not continue my subscription past the trial period until I see the exclusive content. I did not get the overall benefit or use most of it.  I never kept thinking I should download a video for offline viewing. I rarely use Google Play Music and often forget about it. I am so used to ads in YouTube videos now that I actually was waiting with my mouse to click the little X the first couple days. I didn&#8217;t breathe a sigh of relief when I was able to not wait 5 seconds before skipping a pre-roll advertisement. It just was not there for me as anything quantifiable.</p>
  358. <p>I would like more clarity on how artists and content producers get paid in the long run after they ramp up and push more premium paid content.</p>
  359. <blockquote><p>YouTube currently gives content creators 55 percent of the advertising revenue on their videos, and the company says it <a href="" target="_blank">will give YouTube Red partners a majority</a> of the subscription revenue they bring in.</p></blockquote>
  360. <p>I do not agree with the complaints of some content producers since you have been using a free platform and getting a percentage of ad revenue only. YouTube has always made money and we were lucky to be able to cash in just by being ourselves. What if they went all ad based and kept all that money and only gave us revenue based on subscriptions to our channels? Nothing can stop them from doing so. Would that destroy YouTube? No. Would it make content creators look for free platforms to monetize on? Sure.  But who would walk away from tens of thousands of subscribers. Not many.</p>
  361. <p>So we kick back and wait till January 2016 and I bet some online ads to show us what we will want to subscribe for. I am game to redo my subscription for sure if the content is right.</p>
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  368. <item>
  369. <title>Amazon Follow quietly launches for everyone</title>
  370. <link></link>
  371. <comments></comments>
  372. <pubDate>Mon, 02 Nov 2015 19:45:44 +0000</pubDate>
  373. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  374. <category><![CDATA[Site Reviews]]></category>
  375. <category><![CDATA[Amazon]]></category>
  377. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  378. <description><![CDATA[Amazon Follow quietly launched for everyone that adds content to Amazon. Previously, Amazon Follow was invite only as a way for authors to reach their readers.]]></description>
  379. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><strong>Amazon Follow</strong> quietly launched for everyone that adds content to Amazon. Previously, Amazon Follow was invite only as a way for authors to reach their readers. As a constant Amazon reviewer I can now have people follow my reviews for recommended products.</p>
  380. <p>Amazon does not go into deep detail about how many notifications you receive or how they are actually viewed other than the <a href="">web interface</a> for any outside of authors. A book author could send a short email notice to followers on upcoming book releases and other information.  I do not see them allowing reviewers to notify followers every time a review is posted.  Some reviewers happen to post multiple per day. The following is below in Amazon help:</p>
  381. <p><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-1361" alt="IdoNotes Amazon Profile" src="" width="207" height="300" srcset=" 207w, 266w" sizes="(max-width: 207px) 100vw, 207px" /></a></p>
  382. <p data-reactid=".">By choosing to share your release, a message from you may be shared with followers in e-mail notifications and will be available on their Follow Updates timeline.</p>
  383. <blockquote>
  384. <p data-reactid=".">You may receive relevant email updates about the people, brands, and interests you follow.</p>
  385. <ul data-reactid=".">
  386. <li data-reactid=".">Follow authors to receive new release alerts. You may also receive occasional personal announcements from authors you follow.</li>
  387. <li data-reactid=".">Follow customers to get occasional updates when they post new content, such as reviews or articles.</li>
  388. <li data-reactid=".">Follow interests to get occasional updates for popular products and content.</li>
  389. <li data-reactid=".">Follow brands to get occasional updates when they release products.</li>
  390. </ul>
  391. <p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote>
  392. <p>As you can see, a simple follow button for Amazon has been added below each reviewers profile. While book authors would be able to reach readers, this allow reviewers <a title="IdoNotes Amazon profile" href="">like myself</a> to alert you to our reviews and create a larger fan base.</p>
  393. <p>A downside to Amazon Follow will also come into play.  Amazon states that when someone begins to like too many of your reviews they are then tagged as a Fan and their ratings do not count for your reviewer ranking.  This makes Amazon Follow have both benefit and downside at once.</p>
  394. <p>If you are an avid Amazon shopper, keep up with <a href="">my profile</a> for all my product reviews and feel free to follow.  Also make sure to visit the <a title="Spiked Studio on You Tube" href="">Spiked Studio page</a> on YouTube for all the big review videos.</p>
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  401. <item>
  402. <title>Instagram – thank you for new Landscape, Portrait and Layouts</title>
  403. <link></link>
  404. <comments></comments>
  405. <pubDate>Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:19:36 +0000</pubDate>
  406. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Miller]]></dc:creator>
  407. <category><![CDATA[Site Reviews]]></category>
  408. <category><![CDATA[Social Media]]></category>
  409. <category><![CDATA[Instagram]]></category>
  410. <category><![CDATA[landscape]]></category>
  411. <category><![CDATA[photos]]></category>
  412. <category><![CDATA[pictures]]></category>
  413. <category><![CDATA[portrait]]></category>
  415. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  416. <description><![CDATA[Instagram has finally listened to users and now allows you to post landscape and portrait mode photos. They also added Layouts a short time ago for multiple photo collages.]]></description>
  417. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><strong>Instagram</strong> has finally listened to users and now allows you to p<strong>ost landscape and portrait mode</strong> photos. While you could previously do this using other applications, the whole act of going into another app made no sense and was obvious in the timeline.</p>
  418. <p><img alt="Instagram landscape mode" src="" width="580" height="490" /></p>
  419. <p>As you can see, the picture on the left is the old way where you had to select a specific portion of a picture and crop it down to make it fit.  With the new button in the lower left corner it easily drops the photo to the landscape or portrait size and then you can slide and zoom as needed.  The final result shows on the right of the sample image.</p>
  420. <p>Previously you had to launch a third party app that you authorize to post on Instagram under your account and do the work there.  It then tossed the picture over to Instagram for the final filters and description. This not only saves a step but removes you <a title="How to revoke and block third-party Instagram app access to your account" href="">authorizing</a> numerous third party applications.</p>
  421. <p>Instagram also took matters into it;s own hands months ago and introduced <a title="Layout by Instagram" href="" target="_blank">Layout</a>, it&#8217;s own companion app for making collages and other formatted pictures.  In Layouts you can take up to 9 photos (some 3rd party apps do 15) and choose the layout design and post to Instagram.</p>
  422. <p>Hopefully they soon add the ability to put multiple photos into a single scrollable posting like advertisers are allowed to do. This could mean uploading a few shots of an event into a single post.  I have to see the developers at <a title="How the Instagram update just brought you closer to Facebook integration" href="" target="_blank">Instagram/Facebook</a> would want this ability to come together for users as well much like they did with <a title="Instagram tagged photo feature is the next Facebook step" href="" target="_blank">tagging photos</a>.</p>
  423. <p>Let&#8217;s hope everyone gets the update and posts some great landscape shots.  Leave some links to your best ones in the comments.</p>
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