DIGITAL PHOTO FRAMES COME WITH A VARIETY OF OPTIONS, LIFESPANS

I love being in homes where I can see photos going by in a digital photo frame. But before ordering one, I asked for input from friends. One friend has had four digital photo frames since 2011, all for around $60, all eight inches in size. Each had a lifespan of about three years. By 2023,  he will have spent $240 over 12 years on frames from Aluratek and Micca. That works out to $20 a year. He says it beats spending hundreds of dollars on a frame that might not last the decade. The problem is humidity, which  affects the contacts. After a while, the frame won’t turn on. The cheapest digital frames are bare-bones, no Internet involved.  To […]

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SMARTPHONE PLANS FOR THE FRUGAL

My frugal sister will get her first smartphone when her flip phone runs out of minutes, 45 minutes from now.  That may take a while. She doesn’t make many calls on it. In the meantime, her friends keep saying: “What?” The sound quality is dreadful. I suggested the Pixel 4a for $349 with “Google Fi” cell service for $20 a month for unlimited talk and text, not counting whatever data you use. But a friend’s deal may be better. She went with Consumer Cellular’s iPhone SE for $250. Consumer Cellular is known for their friendly tech support, especially for seniors. The monthly cost is lower than Google’s “Fi” service if you use more than 500 megabytes worth of data per […]

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PICKING UP A TABLET

We bought the newest iPad model because we couldn’t stand getting iPad or iPhone questions from readers without being able to try out the solutions ourselves. We’re happy with the current model but a newer version is coming out sometime this year. The next iPad is rumored to have an anti-reflective coating on the surface. That’s what’s used in telescopes and microscopes. It improves the contrast of the image by eliminating stray light. A triple-rear camera is also expected, for extra wide photos and videos like the iPhone 11 Pro can take. But we’re happy with the current model. It sells for $249 at Amazon, down from $329 at Apple.  What we like best about our iPad is the sound […]

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COOL INVENTIONS

A reader sent us an article about contact lenses with augmented reality. Now you can be out of touch with reality all the time. Mojo Vision Contact Lenses: Though they’re like regular contacts, they also  give you the weather, a map, your heart rate, blood sugar and other info floating in the air before your eye. They remind us of Joy’s “Form Swim” goggles, which give swim statistics in front of the right or left pupil. Google is an investor in MojoVision. Availability: In two years, or so they say. Segway S-Pod: Remember how the Segway was going to revolutionize transportation? It never happened, though we do see tourists using them. Segway just announced a sit-down version, which goes up […]

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FINDING FREE ONLINE GAMES

We got a guide from Play-Free-Online-Games.com. The exact page is impossible to find in a search, so we’re giving you the gist of it here. Actually, these things are fun, and you can’t beat the price. Shooter Games. If you like to fly through space, try “Battleship Galactica” or “Ace Online.” If you prefer to fight on the ground and like monsters and werewolves, try “Wolf Team.” If you prefer mummies, try “Mission Against Terror.” If you would rather fight the military, and like World War II vintage tanks, try “World of Tanks.” If you prefer a deadly cartoon soldier, try “Lost Saga.” Role-Playing Games. If you like fantasy, join ten million others in “World of Warcraft.” If you’ve been […]

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HELP!

“Ask My Buddy” is a free app for sending an alert to everyone you know, without reaching for your phone or computer. It works just by voice on a Windows 10 computer, a Google Home device or the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. Plenty more like these are coming out soon. With Windows 10’s built-in voice recognition program, Cortana, you can say “Ask My Buddy to Alert Everyone” and everyone on your contact list will get an immediate phone call, text message and email. Or you can confine it to a single person. Cortana isn’t great unless you’ve trained it by using it a lot, but the Google and Amazon devices are quite good at recognition. For Windows, we found […]

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YOU OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES

Is it hard to believe a celebrity is really in her 60s when she looks 25 in a photo? Is there some trick to it? You bet. There are programs out there which do the touch-up automatically, no skill involved. We’re thinking of “Portrait Pro,” a $40 program now out in a new version, with a free trial available at PortraitPro.com. When last we tried “PortraitPro” Joy was so pleased with her enhanced photo, she was reluctant to accept her old look. As we noted then, she would only walk outside with the “Portrait Pro” photo pasted on her face. (This has caused some comment.) The new version is easier to use than ever. Each effect you may want to […]

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WHAT OPIOIDS AND HEROIN DO TO YOUR APPEARANCE OVER TIME

“What Opioids and Heroin Do To Your Appearance Over Time:”  See some shocking pictures of sores and aging that took place after just a few years of heavy drug use. According to Rehabs.com, showing these pictures is one of the most effective ways to discourage drug use.

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AN ALARMING SITUATION

Lots of security cameras around, but “Presence” from Netatmo won four innovation awards at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This is future stuff, because it won’t be available till next Fall at the earliest. But it is the edge of the wedge, as they say, and shows how sophisticated surveillance cameras can be.

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IT’S ACTUALLY EASY TO GET INTO THE ACT

In the 1950s, comedian and singer Jimmy Durante used to snap back at hecklers by saying “Everybody wants to get into the act.” Now, practically everybody is. Some shows are home produced, some get public funding, some copy well-known movies and TV shows. Thousands of people are out there on camera, and then they’re all Kickstarter.com is the leading site for people looking for funding to make new products, inventions and, yes, shows. Right now, this very real-life minute, 52,168 videos are still seeking or have already been funded by Kickstarter contributions. It’s happening all over the world: Bulgarians have put on an “Eat Me” song and dance show to get people to eat more vegetables. “The World of Tomorrow” […]

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