Archive | September 2013

Listen Up: Griffin Crayola myPhones for Kids Make Listening Fun and Safe

Volume-limiting headphones  keep sound pressure down to safe levels for young ears

You’re sitting in a restaurant with fidgety little ones, and the appetizers haven’t even been served.  You give them your iPhone or tablet, but along with all those kids games you loaded just for this situation are complete with plenty of bells, whistles and other random sound effects. 


Before your neighbors at the next table give you the evil eye, plug in Griffin Crayola myPhones so that you and everyone around you can get some peace and quiet, and you get peace of mind knowing that your kids won’t blow their ears out.  These super cute earbuds and headphones are sized for little ears – and they have built in technology to keep the volume to a safe listening level.  Compared to normal conversation at 60 dB, myPhones play at 85 dB, lower than an MP3 player at maximum volume, or by comparison, an ambulance at 120 dB.


The earbuds are shaped like the tip and end of a Crayola crayon, so kids love the illusion of wearing a crayon through their head, though the pointed tip might be a bit confusion when they are first trying to figure out which end goes into their ear!  The earbuds come with three sizes of silicone ear cushions in a carrying case shaped like a Crayola.  For more than one child, you can get different colors so they can tell their own earphones apart from their siblings and friends. The sets comes in Purple Pizazz, Cotton Candy, Caribbean Green and Blue Berry.


The over-the-head style headphones are also sized for children, featuring soft padding for comfort.  Kids can decorate the headphones using a variety or cool patterned stickers designed to fit on the headband or ear cups,  or they can customize them using the included plain stickers and three Crayola color markers.

???????????????????????????????The sets are available in pink/purple and blue/green color combinations.  Earbuds are priced at $14.95, and headphones are $24.95 at



FreedomPop Delivers Free Home Internet Access

Hi-Speed Wi Fi (Just About) Anywhere for the Cost of a Router

As more consumers are streaming their favorite TV shows, movies and other video content, Internet content providers like Netflix are getting roughed up by cable companies who want to switch to usage-based billing for broadband. For those who binge unlimited on-demand content currently available on the plethora of content providers like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, and Amazon, paying for their usage would likely significantly increase their Internet costs. For more judicious Internet users, which account for more than 70 percent of the market, this may mean ample savings from current unlimited plans to which they are forced to subscribe because this is the industry standard.


Until the battle is won, consumers who are not heavy Internet users but who still want to be connected, there is an alternative service, FreedomPop that is catching on and catching the ire of the DSL and cable industry.
Hard to believe, but for the $89 cost of its FreedomPop Hub Burst wireless modem router, FreedomPop offers 100 percent free high-speed Internet in the home or small office. FreedomPop’s new home broadband device provides speeds faster than typical DSL and comparable with most major cable carriers. The Hub Burst wireless router can be installed in just a few minutes and can connect up to 10 devices wirelessly. The s service provides up to 10 GB per month and requires no contracts or cancellation fees. For heavier data users, plans start at under $10 a month.
During my trial period with FreedomPop, my regular service, provided by AT&T, went on the blink. Lo and behold, while my neighbors were without service, I hooked up to FreedomPop and didn’t miss a beat of connection.
Before you think FreedomPop is indeed too good to be true, there are limitations. So far service is only available in select areas. When I tried my device at home in Los Angeles, the connection was instantaneous and lightning fast. I tried to travel with the router, and it seemed the service was no place where I wanted to go – to San Diego, to a suburb of Washington, D.C., even just 20 minutes away in Santa Monica, I was out of luck.
If you are in a zone, then you will be amazed at the simplicity and cost effectiveness of FreedomPop, and if you research the company, you will be equally impressed with its leadership’s attitude and objectives and its involvement with fair access groups like Connect2Compete, a non-profit dedicated to bringing affordable Internet and computers to underserved communities.

“FreedomPop was founded on the belief that the Internet is a right, not a privilege and we have a shared objective with Connect2Compete to ensure more Americans have free access to it,” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop’s CEO.
Not only is FreedomPop helping to close the digital divide for low income families, it is forcing the industry to look at innovative and competitive ways to keep the digital highway open and at full speed, like metered plans for users who are less expensive for the providers to carry, or altogether new DSL, cable and affordable alternative offerings that will keep content flowing.

FreedomPop launched its free broadband service on Clearwire’s 4G network earlier this year and continues its roll out across the nation this year. The company offers a variety of wireless internet devices including its 4G iPod Sleeve, 4G iPhone 4/4S Sleeve, mi-fi, USB device and home broadband devices, providing consumers access to free wireless data.




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