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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Tech Toys for Today’s Modern Tot… with a Traditional Twist

New technology is constantly changing and evolving the way we live. This new technology is perhaps most profoundly affecting younger generations born into this new tech world. Dolls now come with USB ports and toddlers can operate iPads better, faster, and more effectively than their adult counterparts.

Here we’re taking a special look at toys for today’s tech-driven tots with a traditional twist. These toys aim to familiarize children with the thought process behind technology without bombarding kids with the technology itself.

Traditional toy blocks in iPhone form

Photo courtesy of technabob.com

 

  1. Laurie Ipsum” is a children’s book written by Carlos Bueno, a Facebook engineer. It does not attempt to teach children any specific technical skills, but rather, how to think like a computer programmer. The main character, Laurie Ipsum, is lost in Userland and she must use logic and reason to overcome challenges and find her way home. Naturally, Laurie Ipsum is available in digital form for Nook, Kindle, and iBook, as well as in paperback.
  2. The wooden iPhone is the modern mother’s answer to the pacifier. It’s the perfect size to chewed on but not ingested—and best of all, it’s not actually the expensive technological device. The techy baby can slobber all over his/her stylish smartphone without worry that Mom might be upset.
  3. Russian dolls take a turn for the techy with this set that teaches children the sequencing from a terabyte down to a bit. The exact same form and function of a traditional set, the 6-piece tech Russian Doll set will help lay a foundation for children to think in technological scale.

What tech-inspired toy would you have liked as a child?      

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A Countdown of Our Five Favorite iPhone 5 Rumors

It seems that as soon as Apple releases a new iPhone, the whole world almost immediately begins speculating on the next generation iPhone. What will it look like? What will it do? How soon can we have it? And exactly how much will it cost?

With only five (speculated) months separating us from the iPhone 5, let’s take a look at the top five rumors circulating about the next-gen iPhone, countdown style.

Our next generation iPhone 5 rumor coundown

(Image courtesy of iphone5latest.com)

5. Bigger is not always better when it comes to cell phone technology, but apparently it is with the iPhone 5. Rumor has it the iPhone 5 may feature up to a 4.6-inch screen, compared to its predecessors’ 3.5-inch screens.

4. Of course, better is always better. The new iPhone 5 will supposedly operate on the better, faster 4G LTE network.

3. Bigger, better, and totally different. Some speculate that Apple is testing its iPhone 5 prototypes in the iPhone 4 and 4s case to avoid leaks. They believe the actual iPhone5 will take on a completely redesigned and positively mysterious form.

2. While the screen may be bigger, the docking port may be smaller. According to some speculators, this “miniaturized dock connector” will free up space in the iPhone for “other components.”

Drumroll, please.

1. Our #1 rumor about the iPhone 5 is that it will be made of Liquidmetal! Sounds very space age, right? Liquidmetal or “amorphous metal alloy” is described as a “metallic glass” and should be thinner, lighter, and tougher. Sounds good to us!

Planning on investing in the next iPhone? Don’t forget to protect your investment with a Wireless Leash (and accompanying iPhone app)—because nothing’s worse than a really cool phone…lost.

What’s your favorite rumor circulating about the iPhone 5?

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

How Much Does it Cost to Lose a Smartphone?

60 million. That’s the number of phones lost, stolen or damaged each year. If you’re lucky, you’ve never had to deal with the headaches, costs and general frustrations that come with losing a phone. To most people, losing a phone is worse than losing their keys, wallet or car. And when you break down what all replacing a lost phone entails, it makes a lot of sense.

lost smartphone
While the total costs to replace your phone will depend upon the type and the carrier you utilize, it’s not just the money that you have to worry about. Often times our smartphones hold business contacts, bank passwords and even photo galleries. So on top of the nearly $900 dollars it would take to replace an iPhone, you’ve lost valuable contacts, information and memories.

Jeanette Pavini, contributor at Market Watch, shared a story about one of her readers:

“Her iPhone was stolen while she was on public transit. She didn’t have phone insurance, her renter’s insurance didn’t cover the loss, and she was told if she canceled her phone contract, she would be liable for a hefty early termination fee. In the end, she paid a small fortune and learned a big lesson.”

 The lesson learned? Don’t lose your phone! Stories like these are exactly why Laurie and our team created the Wireless Leash—so no one would ever have to deal with the pain and struggle of replacing a lost phone. With our Wireless Leash you can make a one-time investment that will protect your phone time after time.

Have you ever lost your phone? What things did you have to deal with to replace it? Share your story by leaving a comment!

 

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The Lost Cell Phone Project

Have you ever lost your cell phone? If you found it—did someone else return it to you? Was it in the hands of a stranger for a period of time?

Apparently, most Americans would have rummaged through that lost phone of yours. Symantec recently conducted a study where they lost smartphones on purpose. The phones were bugged with tracking and logging software that kept track of where the phones went and what information was accessed.

lost phone study
From an article on MSNBC about the study:

“To spice up the test, the phones had an obvious file named ‘contacts,’ making it easy for any finder to connect with the phone’s rightful owner.   But the phones also offered tempting files, with names like ‘banking information,’ and ‘HR files.’  

Some 43 percent of finders clicked on an app labeled ‘online banking.’ And 53 percent clicked on a filed named ‘HR salaries.’ A file named ‘saved passwords’ was opened by 57 percent of finders. Social networking tools and personal e-mail were checked by 60 percent. And a folder labeled ‘private photos’ tempted 72 percent.

Collectively, 89 percent of finders clicked on something they probably shouldn’t have.

Meanwhile, only 50 percent of finders offered to return the gadgets, even though the owner’s name was listed clearly within the contacts file”

The results are pretty shocking to us—especially when you realize that most, if not all, of the lost phone finders weren’t criminals. These were normal, everyday people who found a lost phone and decided to snoop.

So how can you prevent this from happening to you? First, you can set a passcode on your phone—half to three quarters of people don’t take this simple step that adds a layer of protection. Second, you can invest in a device that prevents phone loss. Our Wireless Leash is made especially to make sure you don’t ever find yourself without your phone.

How do you protect your phone from being lost?

 

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

ZOMM Personal Concierge Sweepstakes Official Rules

1. No Purchase Necessary.
Due to Facebook policy, you must be 18 years of age to enter. Employees, directors, and/or officers (including immediate family members or members of the household) of ZOMM, LLC, its subsidiaries, affiliated companies, distributors, advertising, fulfillment and promotion agencies and all other companies or entities associated with the giveaway are not eligible to participate. Giveaway is void where prohibited or restricted by law. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement and acceptance of these Official Rules, which shall be final in all respects.

2. How to Enter.
“ZOMM Personal Concierge Sweepstakes” is a giveaway. Winner will be randomly chosen on April 1, 2012. LIMIT ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. When entering ZOMM, LLC’s giveaway, entrants must provide first and last name, and a valid e-mail address. All entries, once submitted, become the property of ZOMM, LLC. Any incomplete entries will not be eligible. Multiple entries are not allowed. GIVEAWAY IS ONLY OPEN TO RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES. The promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

3. Winning.
The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. ZOMM, LLC will be responsible for all applicable shipping and handling fees as well as applicable local taxes. If these rules differ from any promotional or other materials published in connection with the giveaway, these rules shall control.

4. Prizes.
One year subscription to the ZOMM Personal Concierge. $180 value.

5. Conditions of Participation.
ZOMM, LLC reserves the right to substitute a prize for an item of equal or greater value in the event that all or part of a prize becomes unavailable. Prizes are awarded without warranty of any kind from ZOMM, LLC, express or implied, without limitation, except where this would be contrary to federal, state, provincial, or local law or regulation. All federal, state, provincial and local laws and regulations apply. Submission of entry into this giveaway deems that entrants agree to be bound by the terms of these Official Rules and by the decisions of ZOMM, LLC, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this giveaway. Return of any prize/prize notification may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Any potential winner who cannot be contacted within 10 days of first attempted notification will forfeit his/her prize and an alternate winner will be selected at random. The intellectual and industrial property rights to the giveaway submission, if any, will remain with the participants, except that these terms do not supersede any other assignment or grant of rights according to any other separate agreements between participants and other parties. Acceptance of the prize constitutes permission for, and winners consent to, ZOMM, LLC, and its agencies to use a winner’s name and/or likeness for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law. To the extent permitted by law, entrants agree to hold ZOMM, LLC, its parent, subsidiaries, agents, directors, officers, employees, representatives and assigns harmless from any injury or damage caused or claimed to be caused by participation in the giveaway and/or use or acceptance of any prize won, except to the extent that any death or personal injury is caused by the negligence of ZOMM, LLC. A participant may be prohibited from participating in this giveaway if, in ZOMM, LLC’s sole discretion, it reasonably believes that the participant has attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of this giveaway by cheating, deception, or other unfair playing practices or annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other participants or associated agencies.

6. Liability.
By participating in this giveaway, you accept all risk and consequences of entry and participation in this giveaway, and agree to release and hold ZOMM, LLC, its officers, directors, affiliates, employees, contractors, subsidiaries, agents and partners harmless from any and all consequences, liability, losses, damages (including without limitation, consequential, punitive, incidental, special or increased damages and those related to personal injury, death or damage to property) and costs and expenses, of any kind, under any legal theory, arising from or related to this giveaway, including but limited to your entry and participation in this giveaway, the acceptance and/or use (or misuse) of any prize, printing errors, any claims based upon rights of publicity and invasion of privacy. Entrant shall indemnify ZOMM, LLC, its officers, directors, affiliates, contractors, subsidiaries, agents, employees and partners from and against all claims or suits and any damages or costs (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising from or relating to entrant’s violation or inaccuracy of any warrantees or representations made relating to this giveaway. ZOMM, LLC assumes no responsibility for errors that may occur in the transmission of entrant’s entry. ZOMM, LLC is not responsible for any fraud or misconduct on the part of the entrants. Should an entrant engage in fraud or misconduct of any nature, including but not limited to a violation of the Official Rules, such entrant shall be subject to immediate disqualification. ZOMM, LLC reserves the right to terminate, modify or amend the giveaway at any time if the fairness, integrity, and or proper administration of the giveaway are jeopardized. IN NO EVENT SHALL ETON CORPORATION BE LIABLE TO ENTRANT FOR ANY LOST PROFITS, OR FOR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR OTHER INDIRECT DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THIS GIVEAWAY. Entrant’s sole damages shall be limited to entrant’s actual out of pocket expenses, excluding attorneys’ fees. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, SUCH PRIZES ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND GIVEAWAY ENTITIES HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL SUCH WARRANTIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSES AND/OR NON-INFRINGEMENT.

7.Warranty and Indemnity.
Each entrant certifies that their entry is original and that they are the sole and exclusive owner and right holder of the submitted Entry, and that they have the right to submit the Entry in the giveaway. Each entrant agrees not to submit any Entry that (1) infringes any 3rd party proprietary, intellectual property, industrial property, personal rights or other rights, including without limitation, copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret or confidentiality obligation; or (2) otherwise violates applicable law in any countries in the world. To the maximum extent permitted by law, each entrant indemnifies and agrees to keep indemnified ZOMM, LLC, its parent, subsidiaries, agents, directors, officers, employees, representatives and assigns harmless at all times from and against any liability, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs and expenses resulting from any act, default or omission of the participant and/or a breach of any warranty set forth herein. To the maximum extent permitted by law, each participant indemnifies and agrees to keep indemnified ZOMM, LLC, its parent, subsidiaries, agents, directors, officers, employees, representatives and assigns harmless at all times from and against any liability, actions, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs and expenses for or in respect of which ZOMM, LLC will or may become liable by reason of or related or incidental to any act, default or omission by a participant under these Official Rules including without limitation resulting from or in relation to any breach, non-observance, act or omission whether negligent or otherwise, pursuant to these official rules by a participant.

8. Data Privacy.
Participants agree that personal data, especially name and address, may be processed, stored and otherwise used for the purposes and within the context of the giveaway and any other purposes outlined in these Official Rules. The data may also be used by the ZOMM, LLC in order to check participants’ identity, their postal address and telephone number, or to otherwise verify their eligibility to participate in the giveaway and to receive any prize.

9. INTERNET
ZOMM, LLC is not responsible for electronic transmission errors resulting in omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operations or transmission. ZOMM, LLC is not responsible for theft or destruction or unauthorized access to or alterations of entry materials, or for technical, network, telephone equipment, electronic, computer, hardware or software malfunctions or limitations of any kind. ZOMM, LLC is not responsible for inaccurate transmissions of or failure to receive entry information by ZOMM, LLC on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site or any combination thereof, except to the extent that any death or personal injury is caused by the negligence of ZOMM, LLC. ZOMM, LLC reserves the right to select winners from eligible entries received as of the termination date. ZOMM, LLC further reserves the right to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process. Caution: Any attempt by a giveaway to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the giveaway is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, ZOMM, LLC reserves the right to seek damages from any such giveaway to the fullest extent of the law.

10. Entire Agreement.
These terms set forth the entire agreement between the parties relating to the subject matter hereof, and supersede all prior agreements and understandings relating thereto, whether oral or written. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

BigSweeps.com – Sweepstakes & Contests
Cash Sweepstakes

CashNet Sweepstakes

 
BigSweeps.com – Sweepstakes & Contests

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

February is Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month

Each February is Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month, and while we think you should probably check behind the sofa more than once a year, we still think it’s a clever idea. There are a few reasons why you should shift your settee:

 

To clean up.  Do you clean your sofa regularly? (You don’t have to answer that) But take this opportunity to give it a good scrubbing. Fluff the cushions, get new throw pillows, and maybe even make a few bucks by gathering loose change.

To try a new look.  How long has your living room been arranged the same way? Now is the time to move things around and shake it up a bit. Adjusting the layout of the furniture in a room can make if feel like a brand new space!

To find lost things. Remember all those things that “grew legs and walked away on their own”? You just might find them in the sofa. Your car keys, favorite bracelet or even a cell phone might just turn up in there (remember, if you had a Wireless Leash, your phone wouldn’t have been lost in the first place… just saying).

Do you plan to pull your couch off the wall this month? Let us know if you find any lost items in there!

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

How to: Protect Your Phone from the Winter Weather

Even though the first day of winter isn’t officially until December 21, the temperatures are dropping in many regions of the US (doesn’t it seem like just yesterday we wrote about protecting your phone from the heat?!). Well, while you’re bracing yourself and your home for the cold, don’t forget about your phone!

According to Apple’s website, the operating temperature for an iPhone is between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. That means it’s important to keep your phone nice and warm this winter, just like you do your fingers and toes.

protect phone from cold
Here are a few tips to help:

  • Be careful of drastic temperature changes. Taking your phone from a very cold area to a warm one can cause it to form condensation. Not only will this make your device appear foggy, but it can cause hard drives and circuit boards to short circuit.
  • Don’t let it freeze. Leaving your phone in your car overnight could allow it to freeze. Prevent yourself from absent-mindedly leaving it behind by turning on your Wireless Leash.
  • Avoid makeshift warmers. Don’t attempt to keep your phone warm by placing it near pocket or glove warmers.
  • Get some protection. If you must have your phone out in the weather, invest in an all-weather or cold-resistant protective case.

Have you ever lost a phone to cold temperatures? What advice do you have for avoiding it?

Monday, December 5th, 2011

[CLOSED] Holiday Fun: Complete this “ZOMM Lib” and Win a Wireless Leash!

**Congrats to Kelli Stephenson,  the winner in our ZOMM Lib holiday contest! 

Happy Holidays!

As you might have seen on our Twitter Page, we’ve been running a “Spot the ZOMMs” contest. However, if you’re not on Twitter (or you didn’t win over there) we want to give you another chance to win! Here are three simple steps:

  1. Copy and Paste the “ZOMM Lib” below (all the red text) into a new comment under this post.
  2. Complete the “ZOMM Lib” – each hyperlinked phrase is a clue, and you can find the answer on the linked page.
  3. Submit the comment
That’s it! Here’s the ZOMM Lib – get started now:

Dear Santa,

As a self-proclaimed “person who is scared of losing his cell phone” I’m hoping for a very special gift this year. My friend “video spokesperson told me about a small device that can prevent me from ever losing my phone again—ZOMM. Have you heard of it? The creator of ZOMM, “ZOMM Mom’s real name,” is brilliant! She saw a common problem and created a simple-to use solution.

 Santa, I will be happy with any of the color options ZOMM offers – “three color options.” Since ZOMM works with any “technology that powers ZOMM”-enabled phone, it doesn’t matter what kind of phone you put in my stocking, but ZOMM does have apps for “one OS that supports myZOMM” and “another OS that supports myZOMM,” so one of those would be best. 

Thanks Santa!

Your Name

We’re taking entries until December 20, so complete your ZOMM Lib and share it with your friends! Any questions about how to enter? Tweet us @theZOMM or leave a comment below!

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Stop Losing and Forgetting Things – 6 Memory Tricks

We’ve all lost something at one time or another. Usually, we lose things because we forget what we did with them. If only there was a way to not forget things…

memory tricks

Lucky for all of us, there are lots of ways to exercise your memory. We’ve pulled together 6 tips for boosting your memory:

  1. As you do something, make a mental note of it. For example, if you put your cell phone on the bedside table, say to yourself, “I’m putting my phone on the bedside table.” Creating this clear memory will help you remember the action.
  2. Utilize repetition to remember names and numbers. When someone tells you their name for the first time, repeat it in your head at least three times. Then, make sure to use their name during conversation to ingrain it into your mind.
  3. Learn with all your senses. Look at it, touch it, hear it, smell it and even taste it if you can. Incorporating all of your senses will help you create a memory of an item.
  4. Create songs or rhymes out of information you need to remember. Think about it—how many song lyrics can you remember even though you haven’t heard the song for years? Singing and rhyming is a powerful way to increase memory.
  5. Invent mnemonic devices for lists of information. Do this by making a sentence of out words starting with the first letter of each thing on your list. For example: ROY G BIV for the color of the rainbow or HOMES for the five American Great Lakes.
  6. If something is on the tip of your tongue, recite the alphabet. When you get to the letter that starts the word, it should pop right out in your mind.

Of course, when it comes to remembering something like your cell phone, you can always use a less subtle reminder—like the alarm on our Wireless Leash.

 

What are your personal memory tricks?

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Landlines versus Cell phones: Landlines No More?

Do you remember using that old rotary phone? Or what about having to stand right next to the phone because the cord only reached a few feet? For many, these landline phones are a thing of the past. And for younger generations, they may never know what a home landline looks like!

landline vs cell phone
In 2009, the FCC released a Notice of Inquiry which discussed the possibility of transitioning to an IP-based communications network. AT&T responded, stating “with each passing day, more and more communications services migrate to broadband and IP-based services, leaving the public switched telephone network (“PSTN”) and plain-old telephone service (“POTS”) as relics of a by-gone era.” The mega-corporation said that, “it makes no sense to require service providers to operate and maintain two distinct networks when technology and consumer preferences have made one of them increasingly obsolete.”

Since that notice and response in 2009, the market for landlines has continued to decline. The findings from a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, show some of the statistics behind the declining number of landline users in the U.S.:

  • More than one-in-four U.S. homes had only a wireless phone as of June 2010, up from 13.6 percent in 2007
  • The percentage of wireless-only homes increased in every state

There are some factors that weigh into the landline vs. cellular debate and can help you make the best choice for your household:

  • Cost factor: many find that the price to keep up both a landline and cellular account is too expensive, and choose to go with a cell phone plan instead
  • Age: generally, it’s more difficult for older generations to make the transition to cellular because it’s unfamiliar technology
  • Safety/emergency situations: When a natural disaster or a nationwide emergency occur, many people use their cell phones to call and check in on loved ones. This can cause the network to run slower, or go down completely. For that reason, it may be beneficial to keep a landline.

If you are a cell phone-only household, it’s probably wise to invest in some “insurance” for that phone–what would you do if you lost it? ZOMM can not only help you keep track of your phone, but provides an easy way to call for help in an emergency.

With all this information, we have to ask: do you still have a landline? Why or why not? 

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