Google+ September 2015 ~ High Tech House Calls

Do Dogs Really Miss Us?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

T-Mobile just hugely undercut Apple's new iPhone upgrade plan By Kevin Downey

We've been telling you all about Apple's new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus smartphones, including their improved design and ramped-up performance. We also told you about a really cool, new way to buy Apple iPhones. The best part? You can replace them with newer iPhones once a year.

It's called the iPhone Upgrade Program. Starting at $32 a month, you can essentially lease an iPhone like you lease a car. For that fee, you get an unlocked iPhone, so you can shop around for the best carrier deals.

That's a great option. You no longer have to get locked into a carrier contract, so you'll no longer be stuck with an old iPhone long after everyone else has the newer, shinier and better iPhone.

But, just one day after Apple announced its iPhone Upgrade Program, cellphone carrier T-Mobile has debuted its own lease-to-buy program. Monthly, it's less expensive, too.

With its T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand, the carrier is offering the iPhone 6s for $20 a month, for 18 months, and the iPhone 6s Plus for $24 a month, for 18 months. After the 18 months are up, you can pay a fee to keep your iPhone. For example, you pay $164 to keep your iPhone 6s, bringing the total cost for it to $524. That's a nice saving over the 6s' suggested $649 retail price. AT&T and other carriers are also offering discounts.

T-Mobile is taking its offer a step further, though. It's offering the Lifetime Coverage Guarantee to T-Mobile customers who buy the 6s or 6s Plus. If you're unhappy with T-Mobile's coverage the first month, it'll give you your money back. Anytime after that, it'll unlock your iPhone so you can shop around for other carriers.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Netflix is losing some HUGE movies. Guess where they're going By Meredith Cunningham

As fall approaches, it's time to get serious about your Netflix addiction. There are lots of great movies and TV shows to choose from in September, just in time to catch up before new episodes start on cable in the fall ... "Walking Dead," I'm looking at you.

Sadly, at the end of every month it's time to say goodbye to some Netflix favorites, too. But this month, we're saying goodbye to a lot more great movies than usual. You've got days left to watch "Total Recall," "The Expendables 3," "High Fidelity," School of Rock," "Patch Adams" and lots more great titles.
But that doesn't mean you still can't see those movies. A handful of the movies set to expire on Netflix ("Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa," "Star Trek Into Darkness," "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and "World War Z") will be making their way to Hulu as part of a new deal with Epix entertainment network.

So what's coming and what's going? Keep going to see.

Here's what's coming:

September 1st
72 Dangerous Animals: Australia: Season 1
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl
Arthur: Season 17
Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
Battle Creek: Season 1
Capital C
Da Jammies: Season 1
Divorce Corp.
First Blood
Giggle and Hoot’s Best Ever!
Heather McDonald: I Don’t Mean to Brag
Lawrence of Arabia: Restored Version
The League: Season 6
Los Hombres TambiƩn Lloran: Season 1
Master of the Universe
Mississippi Damned
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: Volume 1
Mouk: Season 1
Our Man in Tehran
The Monster Squad
Pandas: The Journey Home
Person of Interest: Seasons 1-3
Puffin Rock: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rambo III: Ultimate Edition
Shake the Dust
Sleepy Hollow
Such Good People
Up in the Air
Zoo Clues: Season 1
September 2nd
Black or White
Miss Julie
September 3rd
Drumline: A New Beat
September 4th
Baby Daddy: Season 4
Bad Night
Madame Secretary: Season 1
Melissa and Joey: Season 4 (New Episodes)
September 7th
Space Dandy: Season 2
September 8th
6 Years
Love at First Sight
September 9th
Teen Beach Movie 2
September 10th
Fugitivos: Season 1
Longmire: Season 4 (Netflix Original)
September 11th
About Elly
God Bless the Child
Madame Bovary
September 12th
It Happened Here
Portlandia: Season 5
The Roughnecks
Why Did I Get Married?
September 13th
Comedy Bang! Bang!: Season 4 Part II
September 14th
Call the Midwife: Series 4
September 15th
The Bank Job
Closer to the Moon
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
Kambu: Season 1
The Road Within
Rubble Kings
Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso: Season 1
Zoobabu: Season 1
September 16th
The Blacklist: Season 2
The Fosters: Season 3
Moonrise Kingdom
Reservation Road
September 17th
The Mysteries of Laura: Season 1
September 18th
Keith Richards: Under the Influence (Netflix Original)
September 21st
Gotham: Season 1
The Following: Season 3
September 22nd
Person of Interest: Season 4
SMOSH: The Movie
September 23rd
The Loft
September 24th
September 25th
Blue Bloods: Season 5
Hawaii Five-0: Season 5
Parenthood: Season 6
VeggieTales In the House: Season One (New Episodes)
September 26th
The Canyons
September 27th
The Walking Dead: Season 5
September 29th
Bones: Season 10
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Monster High: Boo York
R.L. Stines Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls
September 30th
Agatha Christies Poirot: Series 12
Leafie: A Hen Into the Wild
Midnight’s Children
Murdoch Mysteries: Seasons 4-7
Ned Rifle

Here's what's leaving

September 1
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
Better Than Chocolate
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!
Electrick Children
FernGully: The Last Rainforest
Ink Master
Jackie Brown
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Mortal Kombat: The Movie
Patch Adams
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
Rules of Engagement
Sarah's Choice
School of Rock
She's the One
Sleepless in Seattle
The IT Crowd: Seasons 1-4
The Lost Boys
Total Recall
September 2
Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This
September 4
Delta Farce
September 5
Marilyn in Manhattan
September 9
Kicking It
September 10
100 Below Zero
Becoming Chaz
Crash & Bernstein: Seasons 1-2
War Witch
September 13
High Fidelity
September 14
Corky Romano
September 15
Best of Teletubbies
Coach: Seasons 1-9
September 16
The Slap: Season 1
September 20
September 22
National Geographic: Inside Guantanamo
National Geographic: The Battle for Midway
September 26
Lethal Force
Ron White: A Little Unprofessional
September 28
Undeclared: The Complete Series
September 29
Comic Book Men (Season 2)
September 30
*Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Apocalypse Now
If I Stay
*Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
*Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
*Star Trek Into Darkness
The Expendables 3
The Good Guy
*The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Prince
The Skeleton Twins
*The Wolf of Wall Street
*Transformers: Age of Extinction
*World War Z
(Movies with an *asterisk indicate that movie will be available on Hulu, starting in October.)

3 iPad tricks you need to know By Cailyn Finkel

You use your iPad every day, but there are hidden features buried within your trusty tablet that only a few people know about and even fewer make good use of. These features turn novice users into iPad Masters.

Now you can join that group of iPad Masters with today's helpful Apple tip. You'll discover better ways to learn new words, speed up your gadget and discover helpful settings you didn't know existed. So go grab your iPad and let's get started on some of the most helpful iPad secrets available to owners.

1. Your handy-dandy dictionary

If you didn't already know, your iPad can help you expand your vocabulary. It does this by easily letting you find the definition of unfamiliar words on your screen. It's a tool that not many people know about, let alone take advantage of.

If you want to look up an unknown word, all you have to do is hold your finger on the word to highlight it. After a second or two of keeping your finger on the word, a horizontal menu will appear. Select "define" and watch as the exact dictionary entry is pulled to the forefront of your screen.
Not only can you look up the definition of a word, but you can also download your own dictionary depending on what language you use the most.

To add a different dictionary to your iPad, press and hold down on a given word and tap "define" when the option appears. While you're in the definition screen, click the "manage" option and choose from one of the 19 available dictionary versions by selecting the cloud icon to the right of the dictionary you wish to download.

If you're still unsure about the whole thing, follow the example below.
Now you'll be able to type, search and pick out the right words when using your iPad.

2. Give your iPad a zap

After hours and hours of use and daily wear and tear, any tablet is going to experience a little slowdown. But iPads are especially vulnerable to lagging and internal slowing after a few months of use. To combat this, there are a few culprits you need to keep your eye out for.

The first issue that could be jamming up your iPad's internal system is if it's not running on the latest software. Apps and programs within your iPad are updated regularly to keep up with the newest operating system, so if your iPad is running on older iOS versions, you may be the victim of a slow gadget.

To check to see if you're running the latest version of iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, you need to open your Settings page. From there go to General>>Software Update. If your iPad is up to date with the iOS software, it will tell you so, if not you will see an option to download and install the newest version.

Another easy fix to a slow iPad is to clear your Safari data. The Web surfing app stores login information, browsing history and other data to help websites load faster. Even though the pages load more quickly, the data stored in Safari drags down iPad's speed.

To rid yourself of this data, go to your iPad's Settings page>>Safari>>Clear History and Website Data. When you tap "Clear History and Website Data," all of your browser history, cookies and any additional browsing data will be permanently erased.

Now your iPad should run much faster and you'll be able to switch apps, open new Safari pages and play games without any lagging.

3. Keep your iPad safe from sneaking children

It always happens. Your sweet little grandchild snags your iPad and before you even realize it's missing, they're clicking on everything on the screen. This can be a costly mistake since there are in-app purchases and bright ads placed all around their favorite free apps like Minecraft and Angry Birds.

Fortunately, there's a way to make certain parts of the screen "off-limits" to those adorable (and often sticky) little fingers. It's called Guided Access, and it's not a new feature but very few people realize it's there, or one of the coolest things it can do.

Go to Settings>>General>>Accessibility and turn Guided Access. You'll need to set a passcode for this function before you get started so you can confirm the changes you've made to the Guided Access settings.
Next, open up an app you want to let the little one use, and then triple-press the home button. Doing so will bring up the Guided Access tool.

Now you can draw boxes around the areas you don't want the kids to access or tap. For example, you can box off the ad section, messaging section, or anything you think they might get into.

Once you've marked off everything you need to, tap "Start" and the Guided Access tools will disappear. Your child can use the app, but nothing else or those areas you blocked off.

You can also use this function to set time limits on iPad use. Once a time limit is reached, the iPad will turn off and it can only be turned back on with the Guided Access passcode you created earlier. This will prevent keep children from spending all day using the iPad, or it can be used as a nice reminder for you to take a break from electronics.

Whatever the reason you use it, Guided Access is a hidden gem in the depths of your iPad's settings.

Trade-In Site Gazelle Promises Top Dollar For Your Old iPhone by Lance Whitney, CNET

Gazelle says it will beat the trade-in deal offered by Apple or your carrier for your old iPhone. But you'll still want to shop around.


Gazelle, which offers cash back for trading in your used electronic devices, is offering a new, limited-time deal in which it's vowing top dollars for your existing iPhone.

Running from now through September 9, when Apple introduces its new iPhone lineup, Gazelle's latest promotion promises to beat the price or credit offered by Apple as well as all four top US carriers (ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint) if you trade in your iPhone. The carrier must be your current one, so you can't use the deal to switch to a different carrier.

Trade-in deals such as the one offered by Gazelle take advantage of the hot demand for smartphones, especially for consumers who always want the latest model. Carrier plans are getting more complex, with providers gravitating away from subsidizing your phone and instead charging you the full retail price. Trading in a a phone that you've paid for in full is one way to try to recapture as much of its retail value as possible.

Here's how it works: Gazelle will offer at least $1 more than your carrier or Apple for the trade-in value of your iPhone 5S, 6 or 6 Plus. To qualify for the offer, you have to submit proof of the trade-in deal offered by Apple or your carrier via an email to You'll also need to provide your iPhone model and a copy of the price from Apple or your carrier. And whereas the carriers sometimes offer trade-in value in the form of credit, Gazelle is promising cash in return in the form of a check, Amazon gift card or PayPal credit. The promotion covers all colors and capacities of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

So is the deal worth taking? That depends on whether you want to check out other sources beyond Apple and your carrier. Gazelle specifically states that it won't try to beat the trade-in prices from third-party vendors such as, or This deal is valid only against trade-in prices from Apple, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon. Those of you who'd rather sell your phone on Amazon or eBay or check out other trade-in sites could score more cash back for your old iPhone. But the Gazelle offer is worth considering, especially if you're in a hurry to sell your existing iPhone in order to buy one of the new ones that Apple will unveil next Wednesday.

So what kind of prices can you get for trading in your old iPhone? That depends on the model and the condition. The phone can have a cracked screen or other flaws but it must be capable of powering on. A phone is considered in good condition if it works but shows normal signs of use. And it's considered flawless if it seems like it's never been used.

Here are a few examples:
  • A 16GB Verizon or AT&T iPhone 5S in broken condition will score you $60, while the same model from Sprint or T-Mobile will net you $35. 
  • A 64GB Verizon iPhone 6 in good condition will get you $401, while the same model from the other three carriers will pay you anywhere from $311 to $362. 
  • And at the top of the range, a 128GB Verizon iPhone 6 Plus in flawless shape will score you $481, while the same phone from the other carriers will go for anywhere from $371 to $388. 

Why does Gazelle pay more for Verizon iPhones? All existing iPhones are compatible with Verizon's CDMA networks and the GSM networks used by other carriers so the phones can work on both types of networks. The difference is that Verizon iPhones come with GSM unlocked, according to a Gazelle spokesman, so they can be used on any GSM network with the right SIM card installed.

Gazelle is also touting the trade-in deal as less confusing than those cooked up by the carriers.

Trade-in deals from carriers may force certain conditions on you like activating a new account or applying credits toward your bill. And the situation is trickier now that carriers are cutting back on subsidized plans in favor of plans that stick you with the full price of the phone in exchange for upgrading to a new one at anytime. Such upgrade plans may require you to return your old phone without receiving any cash back for it.

Gazelle said that it recently polled more than 500 US smartphone owners and found that 42 percent were angry about losing carrier subsidies when buying new iPhones, which retail for at least $650, an amount that has to be paid either all at once or in monthly installments.

"Consumers are frustrated by confusing carrier offers that often require a lengthy commitment or other terms and conditions," Gazelle chief marketing officer Sarah Welch said in a press release. "Unlike the carriers, Gazelle prides itself on offering a simple customer experience with no strings attached." Gazelle suggest that consumers do their homework when looking at trade-in offers. And that's always the best advice. If you're in the market to sell or trade in your iPhone, check Gazelle's offer. Check the offers from Apple and your carrier. And unless you're in a rush, check other sites where you can trade in your phone or sell it yourself. But don't wait too long. Historically, the trade-in value of an existing iPhone starts to drop once a new model is announced.