Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon Announces the $79 Kindle

If you've been thinking about getting a Kindle but just haven't done it, it looks like procrastination is a good thing in this case.  Amazon has just announced a whole new family of Kindle readers - new, improved, and cheaper too.  You can now get the Kindle with Special Offers for only $79. ($109 without the special offers)

Also available, the Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers for $99. Never having used a Kindle, I didn't realize they didn't already have touch screens - but now they do, and they're cheaper than before.

For about $200, you can get the new Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi that takes you beyond reading to movies, apps, games, web browsing, email and more - all with a gorgeous full-color touchscreen.

The new Kindles will be available in November, but you can pre-order yours now to reserve your place in line - orders are prioritized on a first come, first serve basis.  Which one will you order?  I added that Kindle Fire to my wishlist, just in case you're thinking of getting me something....

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

No Contracts and No Surprises with Straight Talk

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you're looking for a cell phone, you might want to check out Straight Talk.  Cell phone providers are famous for requiring customers to sign contracts every time they get new phones or change their plans.  Straight Talk doesn't do that.  There are NO contracts.  There are NO credit checks, NO activation fees, and no surprises.

Straight Talk provides nationwide coverage at an affordable price.  You could even cut your cell phone bill in half by switching.  Amazing, huh?  I don't know how much you're paying for your plan, but it's probably more than $45/month.  I know mine is.  For $45/month with Straight Talk, you can get Unlimited calls, text, picture messaging, and web.  That's what I mean by no surprises - no matter how many times you Call a friend, send a text or picture message, or surf the web, you are only going to pay $45.  Even 411 is included - at no extra cost.  If you (or your husband) has ever called 411 to get a phone number, you know how fast those charges can add up!  I'd rather use that money to go see a movie or something fun.  If you don't need unlimited, they also have some options that are going to save you even more.

Straight Talk only uses trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung, so you don't have to worry about getting a sub-standard phone just because you're saving money on the plan.  Sure, you can get reconditioned phones for about $10 - great for people who are hard on their phones or as a first phone for your kids - but you can also get smart phones with  Android on Straight Talk with features like voice navigation, camera, video recorder, music player, instant messaging, and Bluetooth®.  And, since there's no contract, if you fall  Hook, line and sinker in love with a new phone, you can go ahead and upgrade without that new 2-year commitment the other providers would require.

Straight Talk customers sound like a satisfied group of people.  They're probably wondering why the rest of us actually have cell phone contracts.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rolling in the Deep - The Piano Guys

Have you heard of these guys?  I hadn't until a friend posted this on facebook (for another friend who plays the cello) - and WOW!  Seriously.  So. Good.

Watch this video and then go check out their others on YouTube.

Absolutely amazing.  Be sure to watch this one.  Really - don't miss it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Google Analytics - Don't Forget the Code

I've had Google Analytics installed on my blogs for quite a while now.  It's fun and interesting to see how many visitors I have, where they come from, what keywords they searched to find me, etc.  But, when I changed the design on this blog - way back in April - I forgot to re-install the code.  I had Google Analytics set up to email me if my traffic started dropping, but then I just ignored those emails.  I had posted something about Charlie Sheen which seemed fairly popular, and I just figured it had run its course.  Yeah, it doesn't do any good to have good tools if you don't use them!

I stopped getting the emails, and I forgot about it - until I changed the design on my other blog and started getting those emails about that blog.  For some reason, even though I had copied the code from my old template to the new one, it wasn't working - so I logged into Google Analytics and started looking for the code I needed.  That's when I realized that it hadn't been recording anything for this blog since April!

It took a bit for me to find the code, so I thought I'd share where to find your code on Google Analytics.  First of all, log into your Analytics account.  If you don't have one, you can sign up for free and start adding your own sites.  If you've already got an account and added sites, you'll see them all listed.  Next to the site you want the tracking code for, click edit - you'll find it on the far right side.  (click the image to get a better view)

On the next page- top, right side - you'll see a link that says Check Status.  Click that.  There you will find the code you need to add to your site.  You will need to edit the html of your site (under template in Blogger) and paste the code in right before the </head> tag.  Save the template, and the code should start tracking your visitors and receiving data.  As you can see (if you actually clicked that image above(, now that I've re-installed my Google Analytics tracking code, my traffic has increased 90,800%!  Well, anyway, it went from ZERO (that Google Analytics knew of) to several visitors a day - and once again I can see where they came from, how they got here, and how long they stayed.

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