Consumer Info

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How Stupid Can a Smartphone Make You Feel?

Today smartphones are everywhere. Everyone except for my mom and 90 year old grandmother have a smartphone, wants a smartphone or will soon have a smartphone. I myself had been an iPhone user for only several months when I lost the iPhone at Walmart.

How stupid does losing your smartphone make you feel?

I have already missed a few appointments because I did not get notified since my smart iPhone was not able to alert me about my appointments.

I also feel very disconnected due to the loss of my iPhone for a few reasons. First, all my contact numbers had been stored on the iPhone, and I did not back up my contact list. Secondly, due to the ease of staying connected with the iPhone, I  have not been posting on the various social media sites such as Facebook, FourSquare, and Twitter nearly as frequently due to the loss of my iPhone. It really is sad to find out how dependent upon these devices we can become.

What Can You Do When You Lose Your iPhone?

When I discovered that I had lost my cell, I first called Walmart and asked if anyone had returned an iPhone. You just never know, there are honest people out there, but there are also many dishonest people out there. Next, I tried unsuccessfully to contact AT&T, but since it was late Sunday afternoon, there were no AT&T stores that were open, and the customer support was not answering. The following day however, I went to the AT&T store and got the phone disconnected and got a new sim card. I then went and purchased an AT&T  Go phone which I am now using as my cell..I really do hate it.

I have called Walmart multiple times to see if the missing iPhone has shown up. I also reported it as stolen to the local authorities, as I would not want it to show up having been used in some crime and not reported it stolen. I also saw online that one guy did report his stolen, and he got a call from the police later on in the week to come and pick up his phone. Recovery,  I believe is not too common.

When I was at the AT&T store, I became aware of Apple’s MobileMe program, for $99 per year, which allows you to be able to track the were about’s of your phone via GPS tracking, do a mobile erase of the data, and if the phone is on silent, enables you to override it and send out a really noisy sound to annoy those who now have your iPhone. But alas, you can not sign up for the MobileMe program after you have lost your iPhone.

Finding out about the MobileMe program after loosing my phone, really annoys me. Apple has the ability to track one of their phones, to register a phone and make it obsolete to thieves, but they choose to capitalize on the service instead of protecting their loyal iPhone costumers. My iPhone was only a 3G iPhone, so it only will run me around $300 to replace it. What do you think the odds are of that happening? As much as I like the iPhone, I am not going to run out and get another one.

Apple, like all the other smartphone manufacturers, has the GPS technology to make stolen phones unvaluable to thieves, but they choose not to do the right thing. Currently, any thief can still use my iPhone as a 8GB iPod or even as an iTouch. I have even read that cell phone companies must allow a cell phone to be unlocked for use by another carrier after it has been in use for only a year. I am not exactly sure when that would be since my phone was refurbished.(yea I try to buy used when possible)

Lastly, as the result of doing this post, I learned about and then  I  registered the lost iPhone with which means my missing iPhone is registered as lost or stolen with the authorities. So when the person who has possession of the missing iPhone tries to use it, I will get notified. I figure the guys at the AT&T store were not going to tell me about this as this is not one of the services that they are trying to sell.

Who can register with for Free?

What SmartPhone now?

I will be getting another SmartPhone in the near future, as I really need one to do sales for our latest venture, which  is key, but I need to do a little research first before I purchase a costly smartphone.  I am not sure I want to get a phone that uses the Android operating system or wait for the release of the Windows Phone 7 Series. For now, I will have to get comfortable using the old T-mobile BlackBerry,  once I get it unlocked.

Do you have a smartphone that you would recommend I try?

Written by Pixelhead on March 23rd, 2010 with 40 comments.
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Avatar vs Alvin and The Chipmunks:The Squeakquel

Last weekend I took my daughter to see Alvin and The Chipmunks:The Squeakquel. Now it might not have been a great movie, but I think I liked it better than Avatar. I think it beat out Avatar in two important areas.

First, I love any movie that uses potty humor. The bit when Theodore gets trapped in the “Dutch oven” had me rolling. I don’t remember even one yuck from Avatar.

Secondly, and more importantly, I felt more of an emotional connection to the chipmunks than I did the characters in Avatar.

I may not be the best movie critic, but I do know that I prefer movies where I am able to have some sort of connection to the characters. Emotionally empty movies tend to leave me feeling like I wish I had spent the time and money elsewhere.

How about You

What do you look for in a movie?

Written by Pixelhead on January 20th, 2010 with 36 comments.
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How Do I Get Out of Tmobile Contract?

When our Tmobile contract is up, the beginning of next year, we will be jumping ship. Where we live, to use a regular tmobile cell phone, a user needs to be in one a few certain locations, which happen to be on the outside of the home. There is one window where I can get 1 bar that wavers in and out, but this usually results in dropped calls.
We do have Vonage for our house phone, so I do have access to a phone, but my business cards use my cell, not my house phone.
When I am at home I continually have to go outside to check to see if I have missed any calls, and with winter is approaching checking my calls is going to require a bit to much exposure to the cold.

I did have a Samsung Katalyst which is one of the phones that Tmobile users can use to make calls via an Internet connection..unlimited calls for $10 a month extra.
This is okay as long as the Internet connection is stable, but all too often the Internet connection fluctuates and results in dropped calls.

Due to the poor signal quality, I want out of my Tmobile contract.

We have had people at our house that have both Verizon and Sprint, which both seem to have pretty good signals. Lizzie is not a fan of Sprint, so I believe Verizon will be our next carrier.

I will keep this post updated with my Tmobile contract status.

What cell phone carrier do you have, and would you recommend them?

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Written by Pixelhead on October 27th, 2009 with 42 comments.
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Google Popular Search Terms: Webkinz and Club Penguin

Just checking out TechCrunches post Google Announces Fastest Growing Search Terms and fount the top ten popular search terms are:

1. iphone
2. webkinz
3. tmz
4. transformers

5. youtube
6. club penguin
7. myspace

8. heroes
9. facebook
10. anna nicole smith

I was looking at the comments and one person had no idea what Webkinz or club Penguin were. I have actually been working on a post about those two, which if you did not know, are two social sites for young kids(3-10), whe

re kids can play online games and make online friends. Boy the Social sites are starting out young.

My daughter actually had a Club Penguin account and had managed to work her way up to a rather nicely equipped igloo when the 6 month membership her mother had bought her expired and her igloo vanished. Due to this occurrence, Club Penguin has left a rather bad taste in her mouth. She tells me she won’t bother with it ever again.

Club Penguin Screen ShotClub Penguin which was bought by Disney in August for $700 Million is a really fun site that starts out its users with free accounts that enable them to create penguin characters that can play all the games of the premium characters, but can not buy stuff for their characters without upgrading. After creating a Penguin character, penguins engage in playing games where by they receive coins that can be used to buy things for your character. Each Penguin comes with an igloo, but to upgrade the furnishings for it, the kids must get mom and dad to fork over $5.95 a month, $29.95 for six months or $57.95 a year. With over 700,000 paid members and well over 12 million activated accounts, that is certainly a lot of young eyeballs that Club Penguin and Disney have captured..I find it hard to believe that Anna Nicole is still in there.

Webkinz, is similar to Club Penguin in that it is a site with lots of games, and otherWebkinz Screen Shot features including Webkinz email. A user starts out by purchasing a little stuffed toy animal, which has information attached to an character id card, such as an account number, name etc. Each toy enables the the kid to extend his account another 6 months. My daughter has many of these little creatures around the house, and has managed to get me on the Webkinz site more than once.

Ganz, which is the manufacturer of the toys, has a really popular money maker here. I was in Canada not too long ago, and when I was walking down the street in one of the Ontario towns, at least a half dozen shops had Webkinz merchandise for sale, which now includes clothing, dolls, trading cards and more. Quite a little racket. I can remember the first time I heard about Webkinz…now I wish I had never heard of
Webkinz Domination

Of the two sites, I believe that Webkinz will be the more popular of the two because they seem to have established Webkinz Galorethemselves as both a dominant online presence and as an actual physical presence in stores. Webkinz has a great marketing technique were they are continuously rotating stock. Dolls that remain on shelves for too long are sent back to Ganz, and new ones are continuously being pumped out. This process of creating limited supplies of characters reminds me a lot of the Beanie Baby craze that was popular not too long ago.

Anyway, I thought I would let you know about Webkinz and Club Penguin, which happen to be two of the most popular search terms in case you were wondering. I maybe doing another post or two on these subjects, so don’t be surprised if you do.

How about you, do you have a favorite Webkinz animal. I kind of like the Panda.
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Written by Pixelhead on December 4th, 2007 with 48 comments.
Read more articles on Consumer Info and Marketing and Shopping and Uncategorized and Web 2.0.

Aqua Dots Recalled

Aqua Dots Picture
Aqua Dots, a craft type toy manufactured in China and carried in toy stores throughout the world has been recalled. Another top commentator from October, Mike of, has the latest information on the Aqua Dots recall.

The tiny dots, which are used to make various objects such as the Star Wars Storm Trooper below, are toxic when swallowed due to a chemical coating which when sprayed with water causes the dots to fuse together. So if you have bought Aqua Dots, you should immediately take the recalled toy away from children and contact Spin Master to return for free replacement beads or a toy of equal value.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Spin Master at (800) 622-8339 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.
Thanks for the breaking news information Mike.

For lots of breaking news stories on a variety of subjects, be sure to stop by

“Aqua Dots” Stormtrooper,
originally uploaded by zarzoso.

Written by Pixelhead on November 9th, 2007 with 10 comments.
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