Best Idea to Save on Mobile Data Plans

Shouldn’t content prividers have to pay to increase their viewership instead of penalizing consumers who run the risk of exceeding their data limits by streaming their content?

ESPN eyes subsidizing wireless plans. ESPN, the cable sports channel majority-owned by Walt Disney Co., has had discussions with at least one major U.S. carrier to subsidize wireless connectivity on behalf of its users, reports the WSJ. Under one scenario, the company would pay a carrier to guarantee that people viewing ESPN mobile content wouldn’t have that usage counted toward their monthly data caps. The talks come as Americans are watching more video delivered via mobile phone than ever before. Users in the fourth quarter were averaging five hours and 23 minutes of usage per person per month, according to Nielsen.

Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

How about it YouTube, Netflix, etc?


Looking to Buy a New Laptop?

**Maybe You Should Wait**

Spring is here and Walter Mossberg, in his Wall Street Journal column this week, published his latest Laptop Guide.  What type of laptop should you consider?  Mac or Windows? A touchscreen, a convertible, a detachable? Is it time to consider a tablet?

Recent statistics show a massive drop in laptop sales. In his article, Walter Mossberg discusses the reasons behind the drop in sales, and why you should consider waiting until the Fall, if possible.  Both Microsoft and Apple will be introducing a number of enhancements in the next few months.

If you must buy now, you should review PC Magazine’s list of “The Top Best Laptops.”  As I have indicated in previous blogs, you should consider weight, screen size, and your comfort level with the keyboard before making a purchase.

However, people are holding onto their computers longer. if your decision to purchase now is based on performance (speed) or age, perhaps all it needs is a maintenance check.

When is the last time your computer had a maintenance check? If you need some advice before investing in a new computer, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at

Why are sales of traditional computers down?

According to many sources, including an article in last week’s Wall Street Journal, sales of personal computers, both desktops and laptops, fell nearly 14% during the first quarter of this year. Hardest hit by declining sales were Microsoft and Hewlett Packard. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines in shipments for personal computers,  Here are some of the reasons for the decline:

1.  Consumers are migrating towards tablets which is having an impact on the sales of smaller laptops.

2.  In this tight economy, consumers are holding on to their equipment longer.

3.  The introduction of Microsoft’s Windows 8, which consumers have found confusing, has been a disappointment.

4.  The new mobile world has resulted in consumers spending money on smartphones (Apple’s iPhones, Google’s Android, Rim’s Blackberry) and tablet’s (Apple’s iPad, etc.)

Gartner, a leading research firm, reports that “Traditional PC Market Predicted to Decline 7.6 Percent as Change in Consumers’ Behavior Drives Transition to Tablets and Ultramobiles”.

Is your computer running slow? You might not need to run out and buy a new one. When’s the last time you had a maintenance checkup?  If you want to preserve the life of your computer, click on the logo below and check out my BlogTalkRadio program, where my guest and I offer tips on how to prolong the life of our computer.


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The Mobile World is Now – Are You Prepared?

Over 700 million smartphones (Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, RIM’s Blackberry, etc.) were shipped globally in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics. In an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal,  major companies, such as  Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon are all competing for a share of the global market. If you already own a smartphone or tablet (Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy, Microsoft’s Surface, etc.), you are probably familiar with the world of apps, which is an abbreviation for application, a piece of software which is run on your phone and tablet.

How important is it for you to be a true “road warrior?”  Well, the same article reveals that sales of smartphones were nearly double that of the traditional PC last year. Within the next two years, more people will be accessing the Internet through a mobile device than a computer.

If you find you are on the wrong side of the “Great Digital Divide,” and want to learn all about the mobile world, my e-book (pictured below) contains many useful tips. You can order it directly from Amazon by clicking on the image below.



Tech Tips For Your Home Office

Do you have the most cost efficient home office? Are you taking advantage of the many web based services that can substantially reduce your communication costs? How about a backup, maintenance, and disaster plan?

With more people working from home, it’s important to make sure that your technology supports your efforts. Here are things you need to know about working at home.

– You must have a private area that you can call your own. Do not operate on the kitchen table, play area, or living room. Make sure there are no distractions such as the family TV and dishwasher.

– There is no need for a separate Internet access account. Your modem and router can be used for both personal and business use simultaneously.

– Make sure that your signal strength from your wireless network is strong in the area that you will be working. If not, it is possible to extend the range of your wireless signal.

– If you don’t already have one, get your own computer. State of the art windows based computers are now in the $450-$500 range. Mac computers start at $999.

– Invest in an all-in-one wireless printer. It’s possible for multiple computers to print to one printer.

– All windows based computer on your network must have an anti-virus program installed. I also recommend you download a program such as to minimize the risk of having malicious software from entering your computer. At this time, these safeguards are not required for Mac computers.

– You should have a separate e-mail account for business and personal use.

– Use your cell phone as your business line. No need to pay for a separate business phone at home.

– Make sure that you understand how to use Skype. If you are in career transition and looking for a job, recruiters and employers are using it for interviewing purposes instead of flying you to their locations.

– Learn about cloud Computing. Chances are you are spending time out of your office and would love to be able to access your files from the road with either your smartphone or tablet.

– Do you have a backup and disaster strategy? Are your files backed up on an external hard drive or in The Cloud?

– Do you have someone you can call for tech support and maintenance?

If you need help with any of the points outlined above, feel free to contact me for a consultation. In addition, you  can access my radio program “Working From Home,” by clicking on the link below.

Listen to internet radio with Jim Blue on Blog Talk Radio

Why Boomers and Seniors are Embracing Technology

Book-Cover-for-Boomersweb1Contrary to common belief, Baby Boomers, born between 1946-1964, as well as seniors are embracing technology.  As a technology adviser and trainer, the one expression I hear more than any other is “Technology helps me live a fuller life.”  As long as it is kept simple, they are always looking for technology to help them discover new ways to enhance their lives.  Below is a list of some of their favorite pastimes.

1.  Video conferencing – Whether it’s Skype or I-Chat (on Macs), keeping up with parents, children and grandchildren has been the biggest incentive for elders to embrace technology.  Weekly video visits has strengthened ties between generations.  How about some of your friends in different continents?  And for FREE!

2.  Sharing photos and videos – Can’t attend a graduation, wedding, or birth of a new grandchild?  These precious memories can be sent to you as the event is occurring.

3.  Want to contact someone who is not available by phone?  Text messages are received instantaneously.  All you need is your cell phone.

4.   Social networking sites have permitted boomers and seniors to reconnect with long lost acquaintances.  Signing up for Facebook will insure that you will be up to date with your grandchildrens’ activities and see the latest pictures.

5.  Eyesight failing?  Electronic reading devices (kindles, iPads, etc,) will let you enlarge print and to listen to the audio of your favorite books, magazines, and newspapers.

6.  Want to watch Charlie Rose anytime?  Visit his website for past shows.

7.  Looking for a new job or volunteer work?  Instead of wading through the classified, try searching online.

8.  Widows and widowers are flocking to online dating services.  Gone are the days when the only way you could meet someone was at a bar, social function, or through an introduction.

9.  No need to stand on line at the bank.  Elders prefer online banking to pay bills and check balances.

10. Tracking your portfolio – No need to call your broker. All your financial information is available online.

The list is endless.  However, whether it is researching exotic travel locations, looking to buy a new car, checking movie reviews and times, seniors and boomers have more spending power than any other generation and are more than willing to spend it on new technology as long as it is simple, requiring little maintenance.

Click below to listen to my BlogTalkRadio program on What Boomers and Seniors Need to Know.

Listen to internet radio with Jim Blue on Blog Talk Radio

8 Reasons Why It’s Time to Get a Tablet

Tablets have received more attention in the past year than any other technology product.  Their popularity has been so great that many traditional computer manufacturers are scrambling to adjust to this change in demand.

Why are tablets so popular? Here are just some of the main reasons.

1.  Portability – Smaller and lighter than a laptop

2.  Ease of Use – One touch away from your favorite news services, stock reports, restaurant reviews, movie schedule, etc.

3.  Immediate Start-up – Much faster than waiting for your computer to “load up.”

4.  Video chatting – Keeping in touch with family, friends, and business associates.

5.   Reading books

6.   Online media – Music, movies, and TV

7.   Maintenance free – Tablets don’t crash

8.   Affordability – Less expensive than most laptops


Has Your E-Mail Been Hacked?

Are your friends complaining about random e-mails from you containing only a link or asking for money since you have been stranded on some remote island? If so, chances are that your e-mail program has been “hacked,” meaning that someone has accessed your contact list and sent messages to everyone on your list. Here are some simple rules to follow to minimize the risk that this will happen to you.

1. If you have been hacked, change your password immediately. Don’t use simple passwords such as birthdays, phone numbers or family names. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

2, Change your password frequently; monthly, if you are using AOL

3. Do not use the same password for your e-mail program, online banking, or shopping sites like Amazon, Ebay, etc.

4. When accessing the Internet on the road, be sure that the wi-fi location is secured. Places like hotels, parks, and coffee shops like Starbucks, are not secured since everyone has access to their networks. You do not want to enter passwords, credit card info, or other personal information in a non-secured area, since you are using a public access point.

5. If you are using a Windows computer, make sure you have installed both an anti-virus and malware program and that they have been updated.

If you any questions about “hacking” or other maintenance issues, feel free to contact me either by phone at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at




Is Microsoft’s Windows 8 for You?

The popularity of tablets, such as Apple’s iPad, has had a significant impact on the sales of personal computers. However, despite the surge in tablet sales, businesses still and will continue to rely on basic computers.

While I own a number of Apple products such as an iMac, iPhone, and iPad, I rely on a Windows based machine for my business. Several weeks ago, I bought a new computer with the new Windows 8 operating system, and after a period of getting used to the changes, have found its performance to be a significant upgrade over their previous operating systems.

Microsoft has finally addressed the need for greater integration with mobile devices.The introduction of their Suface tablet will surely have an impact during the coming months as many manufactures will be introducing tablets with the new Microsoft operating system.

Is Windows 8 for you?. As I have stated it the past, it depends on your specific needs.

This past week, my guest on my BlogTalkRadio program, “Keeping Technology Simple,” was Carl Mazzanti, the CEO of e-Mazzanti Technologies, and a Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2012. His company is one of the premier IT consulting services for businesses ranging from home office and retail clients to multinational corporations throughout the New York metropolitan area and numerous international locations. On the program, Carl discussed the importance of the launch of Windows 8, particularly to his corporate clients, and the impact it will have in the coming months.

Carl first appeared on the program shortly after the launch of Windows 8, and the number of people that have been listening to the podcast continues to grow each week. The reaction to last week’s program has also been extraordinary.

If you missed the program, you can access it anytime by clicking on the link below.

Listen to internet radio with Jim Blue on Blog Talk Radio

Want to Control Your International Telephone Costs?

Planning a business or pleasure trip overseas? Do you have a child studying abroad? Keeping in touch while traveling to other countries can be very costly. Fortunately, there are many Internet based programs that have reduced the costs of communicating substantially, and in many cases, for free, depending on the country.

If you own a smartphone, (iPhone, Android, or Blackberry) free calls are a snap. No need to worry about placing calls for as much as $3 to $4 PER MINUTE.

While there are many services available, I suggest you look at Viber, MagicJack, and Skype. All three have the ability to communicate for free from anywhere you can access the Internet through a wireless connection.

Many of you already are familiar with Skype which offers free video chatting with a computer, tablet, and a smartphone from a wireless connection. Using Skype on your smartphone or tablet from an area without a wireless connection is not free and the costs will depend on your carrier (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.) and the country who are in.

Viber offers free telephone calls and text messaging from smartphone to smartphone from a wireless area. Both you and the person you are calling need to have the app installed on your smartphone. The app is free.

MagicJack is a matchbook size device with a USB plug that is plugged into your laptop computer. The price of the MagicJack is $39.95 and the annual cost is under $20. It can be bought either at their website or at any electronics store (Best Buy, etc.). When you register, you select a local US number (where you live) and all calls, placed or received through the MagicJack, from a wireless area, are free.

There are a host of services available, however I am able to communicate with friends, family and business associates in other countries on a regular basis for FREE.

If you would like to discuss any of these services in greater detail, or if you have any other questions regarding how to control your international communication costs, I can be reached at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at

To listen to my latest BlogTalkRadio Program, “How to Control Your International Calling Costs,” click on the site below.

Listen to internet radio with Jim Blue on Blog Talk Radio
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