Author Archive

Half of Netflix Users Connect through Gaming Consoles

Have console?  Will stream.  If you own a Wii, Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, the odds are you watch Netflix on them too.

A Nielsen survey of 12,000 online interviews finds half of all Netflix users connect through gaming consoles, such as the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or Nintendo’s Wii.

Eighty-nine percent of Hulu users  watch on their computers. Nearly three-quarters of Hulu users primarily watch TV shows, while only 11 percent of Netflix users watch TV shows.

Netflix users mostly watch video on their TVs rather on their computers, with only 42 percent watching on computers.

More than 15 billion videos were streamed in May, an all-time high.

Why You Should Fandango

fandangoThe summer blockbuster season is in full force, and you happily gather up your family for a movie outing.  Captain America has just released, and everyone is dressed up and ready to go.  All smiles and laughs until you get to the theater and realize the entire city had the same idea as you! 

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Supreme Court Says No to Video Game Law

It’s a great day for parental freedom.  The U.S. Supreme Court this morning struck down a California law that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. 

"Even where the protection of children is the object, the constitutional limits on governmental action apply," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion. The ruling was 7-2.

The Supreme Court’s ruling unambiguously reaffirms that video games, which have become increasingly complex and in some cases more expensive to produce than movies, also qualify for full First Amendment protection.

Government lawyers called attention to Postal 2, which lets players go on murderous rampages.

Scalia noted that books often viewed as suitable for high school students are full of violent material. "Certainly the books we give children to read–or read to them when they are younger–contain no shortage of gore: Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed. As her just deserts for trying to poison Snow White, the wicked queen is made to dance in red hot slippers ’till she fell dead on the floor, a sad example of envy and jealousy.’"

The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the U.S. computer and video game industry, welcomed the ruling.

"Today, the Supreme Court affirmed what we have always known–that free speech protections apply every bit as much to video games as they do to other forms of creative expression like books, movies and music," said Michael D. Gallagher, ESA’s president and CEO of the ESA, in a statement. "The Court declared forcefully that content-based restrictions on games are unconstitutional; and that parents, not government bureaucrats, have the right to decide what is appropriate for their children."

Nintendo Announces the Next Generation of Wii: Wii U

The rumors are true: Nintendo debuted its next-generation console, the touchscreen tablet Wii U, during its keynote address at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The Wii U tablet screen can be used to navigate and magnify the image displayed on your TV, which could come in handy for browsing the Web. Nintendo also showed off the ability to play your Wii U game directly from your tablet–handy in case someone else needs to use the TV.

While Nintendo was pretty coy about their upcoming game plans for the Wii U, they did show off a game they were calling New Super Mario Brothers Mii, which let your Mii avatars join in the run-n-jump fun alongside Mario and Luigi.

Check out the game play on this video from G4:

I “Lost” My Phone!

lostphone5:00 pm on a Friday afternoon is a great feeling.  Especially when you have a weekend of fun activities planned!  Most of all, the feeling of sleeping in until at least 10 am is priceless. 

In the excitement of leaving my office and transporting a fixed computer, I lost my phone.  I realized about 30 minutes into my Friday night that my phone was either in my friend’s car, in my car, or lost on a sidewalk somewhere.  The feelings of abandonment overcame me, and suddenly I felt naked.  No phone!  What will I do without it?  I couldn’t call my friend to ask her to look in her car, and even worse I didn’t know her number by heart as its stored in my phone. 

Fortunately, my Android phone is set to sync my Gmail contacts.  I had stopped by another friends house to visit on the way home, so I hopped onto her computer and logged into my Gmail.  I quickly sent a Gmail text to my hubby so he would know that I am barren and contactless while I visited my friend.  Then, I wrote down my friend’s number, and (gasp) used a LAN line phone to call her!   After a few phone calls back and forth, she gave me the bad news that it wasn’t in her car. 

An hour or so passed, and the thought of my hubby not being able to get in touch with me kept creeping up on me.  I decided I better go home and check on everyone, before I went back to visit for my Friday festivities.  Of course, everyone was fine at the house, in fact, they hadn’t even tried to message me.  I was very tempted to take my hubby’s phone with me when I went out again, but I realized it would be pointless for him to not have any sort of phone at our house.  (We turned off our LAN line years ago.) 

So, I lived without it.  I realized the phone was probably still sitting at my desk in my office.  No biggie.  I thought about going to check on it, but the thought of going into the office on the weekend, wasn’t very tempting. 

As the weekend progressed, I felt ‘free.’  Free from worrying where I put it, checking to see if I got any messages, playing a random game here and there, maintaining its charge, etc.  I didn’t call anyone on my husband’s phone either.  I embraced the feeling of being without it.  I played with the kids outside.  I worked in the garden without music plugged into my ears via my Pandora app.  If someone wanted to talk to me, they would have to physically come to my house, or get in touch with my hubby.  (He is now my newly appointed secretary!)

The freedom from this experience taught me how dependent to our phones we have become.  Remember the days when…you left the house and didn’t worry about carrying so much technology?  When you could truly be unreachable for a period of time, and no one worried about you?  When you could drive across the country without a cell phone, only to stop at a payphone a couple times on the journey just to tell your Mom & Dad that you were ok?  When you didn’t text everyone that you knew, just random forwards or one word blurbs, but actually spoke with them days later?

We’ve become so over connected.  I urge everyone to take a ‘phone fast’ for a weekend.  Plan it in advance so your loved ones are aware that they need to come by your house if they want to talk to you.  The experience is eye-opening and will open up your life to a weekend of intense relaxation!

Oh, btw, the phone was happily sitting next to my office keyboard on Monday morning.  It looked relaxed and glad to have had a break too.

Battle of the Giants: Google versus Facebook

Facebook-Places-vs-Google-Places-300x225 On Thursday, Facebook admitted to hiring a PR firm to work on an anti-Google marketing campaign.  They admitted to influencing journalists and bloggers to write negative articles about Google’s privacy practices. Facebook insists they weren’t trying to implement a ‘smear’ campaign, but rather wanted to make the public aware of people’s dissatisfaction with Google’s collection of Facebook account information.

The entire situation shines light on their rivalry and shows how much the Internet world has changed in the past 5 years.  Microsoft has recently cultivated a firmer partnership with Facebook.  YouTube went to Google.  Yahoo and Geocities dominated the web hosting and search engine world by the end of the 90s.  Now, its running close to its end-of-life.  As we look into the future, the question remains:  will competition rule out or will one giant remain standing?

A Google World

When Google began to take over the search engine market, it was one static page with a simple search box.  Now, you can get lost for hours in their endless stream of ‘beta’ products.  Google voice, Google Talk, Google apps. . . the list of products Google supplies is limitless.  In 1999, all of your applications were Microsoft Office, with a pop3 account integrated into your email program, and a simple Internet Explorer browser.  Here in 2011, you can host all your documents online, with Google if you prefer, chat with your friends, email them, and use Google chrome for your browsing pleasure.  They have truly became the leader in the world for Internet technology. 

As much as they dominate through a multiple of technologies, they lack in their social networking and seamless integration between applications. 

And Then There Was Facebook

Facebook took everyone by surprise.  When the average baby bloomer started signing up by the droves, Facebook became an unstoppable force in the Internet world.  As they move forward with third-party gaming and applications, virtual currencies, and advertising, it is apparent that the world of social networking will never go away.  They’ve spotlighted what it means to be ‘private’ and even inspired us to stop being so afraid of showing the world who you really are. 

Their simple social networking browsing experience has outshined all the other social network platforms.  While they have elevated in this arena, they are lacking in other technologies.  Facebook is marketed for your personal life and entertainment.

Who Will Win?

People use both Google and Facebook services simultaneously.  As the competition heats up, the question remains:  If left with a choice, which would you choose; Google or Facebook?  Share your thoughts in our discussion group.

Be Generous Inc.

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Geeky Moms is inspired by women who are building businesses and organizations which help others to lead better lives.  Stephanie McMinn, Executive Director and Founder of Be Generous Inc., is one of these women.  Be Generous Inc. is a non-profit organization who’s mission is to help supply families with food and living essentials.  Their current mission, in conjunction with Huggies, is to help cover “Every Little Bottom.”  Geeky Moms interviewed Stephanie McMinn about her mission and how she began her organization.

Geeky Moms: What inspired you to start Be Generous?

Stephanie:  I have always had a passion to help others and I knew early in life that it was my purpose.  In high school, I volunteered at St. Jude in Memphis where I’m originally from, along with fundraising events for other causes such as the Literacy Foundation.  A year ago, I made my "Bucket List" and as I re-read it I laughed, it read;

  • Serve the community
  • Habitat for Humanity, help build a house
  • Extreme Home Makeover
  • Travel to another country for mission
  • Visit National Disaster and help clean up
  • Visit and console women in shelter
  • Sleep in a hut in BORA BORA!  A MUST OF COURSE!
  • Work in soup kitchen
  • Road trip in RV
  • Play Hotel California by Eagles on guitar
  • Adopt a child from Haiti

And so on, you can get the picture! Everything lead to helping others.  After one night at church, hearing Lisa Bevere’s powerful speech on her "Lioness Arising" book (Must Read immediately), I was FIRED UP!  My friend Courtney and I sat in the parking lot for an hour after talking about what was our passion and what really fired us up!  We both had always wanted to do charity and really get in it .  The fire was lit that night. The Lioness had ARISEN. Thanks Lisa Bevere!  I’m not one to sit on things once I get it in my head.  I do not wait for GO, I dive in!  That’s what I did. I shared with my husband and he said I could do most of bucket list, with the exception of adopting a child from Haiti. Let me make clear that is only because we have 6 children already.  That mission must be filled later.  With support of my best friend Courtney, we started brainstorming.  We thought of a food Pantry, but knew there were several in our area.  We thought of thrift stores, but I didn’t want anyone to have to buy something if they were truly needy.  Courtney suggested we just think about it. I prayed about it and prayed about it.  When you call upon his name he will answer you!  After watching The Ellen Show one day, it came to me! I absolutely love Ellen DeGeneres and her heart for others.  She inspires me each day I watch her. I thank her.  There it was, my sign.  Ellen Pompeo, which many will know from Grey’s Anatomy, is the Ambassador for Huggies’ promotion "Every Little Bottom."  I immediately jumped on line to check it out.  My heart was filled with a passion that hit home!  Being a young mother at 16, I knew what it was to struggle and how hard it was to provide diapers for babies even though I had a wonderful support system at home. It was hard for us to provide and still today with 6; we know about struggle.  I guess I really have had a lot of reasons and passionate hearts in my path that have lead me to this but ultimately God has set this mission on my heart and I am glad to fulfill my God given purpose.

Geeky Moms: How long has Be Generous been around?

Stephanie:  Really up and running for about 7 months but the word is spreading like wild fire. We are blessed by the seeds God has planted. 

Geeky Moms:  What can others do to help with your mission?

Stephanie:  Pray for success that we cover an abundance of bottoms, young and elder, and that we are able to continue our efforts to provide clothing, food, necessities, household items etc. to families in needy.  All donations are appreciated.  Our website begenerousinc.org has a list of items we collect.  We take anything and everything.  We have big plans and ideas and with generous monetary donations we hope to be mobile one day in the near future.

Geeky Moms:  How many volunteers or employees do you have?

Stephanie: No employees, however I have a wonderful support group (Advisory Board) that helps me in decision making, spiritual lifting and brainstorming ideas.  Volunteers are far and few, but I have many organizations stepping  up to offer help in the future.  I’m a one women and baby traveling show daily right now but my efforts are not made possible from just me.  Our community is awesome and it is filled with generous hearts that have donated items to keep me in the street.  I thank them because with out them giving I could not continue these efforts.  Many blessing to all of those who help provide.

Geeky Moms:  What advice do you have for other women who are looking to start a non-profit organization like Be Generous?

Stephanie: Follow your heart.  If you have dreamed a little dream, make it BIG!  Many people tell me I can not save the world, I say to them; "I may not save the whole world but I can save My Part of the World."

Thank you for your insight Stephanie!

Basic necessities, such as diapers, are difficult for struggling families to provide. Thanks to organizations like Be Generous Inc., children and families can be assured that there is help out there. 

Want to help?  Check out their website at http://begenerousinc.org for more information on how you can get involved.

Be the Change – Duke Design for a Difference Challenge

 

Think you have the next big idea to transform the health of mothers around the world?

ABC News’ Be the Change: Save a Life and the Duke Global Health Institute are launching an open challenge for university students, designed to surface and celebrate emerging innovations in maternal health care, and to provide a launch pad to make those ideas a reality.

Around the world, 350,000 women continue to die each year of complications due to childbirth. In the vast majority of cases, they’re dying of preventable causes: severe bleeding, infection, obstructed labor and a host of other problems that can be averted with skilled care and improved technology. We believe that somewhere amidst the deep pools of knowledge, creativity and passion at work in today’s universities is a new social innovation to improve health care delivery, an innovative piece of technology designed for low-tech clinics and home delivery, or something altogether new and life-saving.

Whether you’re an undergraduate, a graduate student or a professional student, we’re inviting you to share a short video showcasing your idea, and how you plan to address one of the many causes that lead to high maternal mortality rates or lower quality of life for pregnant and postnatal women. And we’re challenging you to do it in 5 minutes or less.

All submissions must be received by midnight on April 29, 2011 to be considered. CLICK HERE for more on submission requirements, eligibility and judging criteria.

The prize? One outstanding individual or team will win $10,000 and the opportunity to work with experts to develop and test the design or idea in the field. The winner will also be invited to present his or her idea before global health experts at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health annual meeting in November in Montreal.

Together, we’ll help put an end to the countless unnecessary deaths of mothers worldwide, and introduce America to a new generation of innovators and problem-solvers.

For more on maternal health and Challenge FAQs, CLICK HERE. Please direct any questions about the Challenge or submission form to ABCSaveALife@Gmail.com.

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