Monthly Archives: June 2011

  • 4th of July Fireworks Safety

    June 30, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    4th of July is here once again and out come the fireworks. My family and I will be camping in North Carolina and getting into all types of shenanigans. We’ll be enjoying fireworks, as are many other Americans, so I’d like to share some comical stories I’ve heard with some tips.

    This happened in my neighborhood a few years ago. All of the kids were playing with sparklers in our neighbor’s front yard during a very dry Georgia summer night. In the light of day, of the next morning it was revealed that those little sparks given out by the sparklers had left large burnt areas all over the lawn. Needless to say our neighbors were not happy with their patchy burnt lawn that stayed for the rest of the summer. The kids were lucky they didn’t burn something bigger than a lawn, so tip number 1 is to avoid dry foliage while using fireworks.

    One year on the 4th of July a friend was lighting off firecrackers throughout the night. When the big fireworks started up he looked up in awe and forgot about the firecracker in his hand. He had lit the firecracker but hadn’t thrown it yet. Luckily his hand was open so all he got was a big scare and a little bit of burning, rather than blowing his fingers off. Tip number 2 is never get distracted while using fireworks.

    This past year I was at a family friend’ party. The college age boys decided to take the roman candle fireworks and use them as dueling weapons. I don’t think I even need to finish this story for you to get the message and tip, lets just say burnt hair and clothes happened next. Tip number 3 is to never point fireworks at a person.

    I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July with no mishaps like these!

  • Saporta Report: Charitable giving in the United States beginning to recover

    June 28, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    A bit of good news regarding charitable giving.

     June 2011
    By Maria Saporta - the Saporta Report
    After a couple of bleak years, it appears that charitable giving is coming back.

    That was the message at a recent presentation by David King, a board member of the Giving USA Foundation, which conducts an annual study on philanthropic trends.

    In 2010, there was $290.89 billion in charitable giving, a 3.8 percent increase in current dollars over 2009. The total giving in 2009 was $280.30 billion.

    “Most definitely, things have turned around,” said King, managing partner and president of Alexander Haas Martin & Partners, after his presentation at Oglethorpe University. “The worst is over, but I don’t think we are going to get back to where we were in 2007 in the near future.”

    In 2007, total giving topped $300 billion.

    “We are back at the 2000 levels in inflation adjusted dollars,” King said. “We basically had a lost decade in philanthropy. But we have hit bottom, and the worst is behind us.”

    In breaking down the numbers, the Giving USA study showed that individuals are the most important source for philanthropy – giving $211. 77 billion, or 73 percent of the total.

    The next largest source of giving were foundations — $41.0 billion, or 14 percent of the total.

    Bequests represented 8 percent, giving $22.83 billion. And corporations gave a total of $15.29, 5 percent of the total.

    As to who benefitted from the giving, religion remained the largest single recipient — getting 35 percent of the total. But King said that the study shows that the market share going to religion has continued to lose ground.

    The other major recipients were: education: 14 percent; foundations: 11 percent; and human services: 9 percent. Other major categories included: public-society giving (such as United Ways): 8 percent; health: 8 percent; arts and culture: 5 percent and international affairs: 5 percent.

    International affairs increased by an estimated 15.3 percent 2010. That included $360 million that went to Haitian earthquake relief.

    Giving USA also said that in 2010, charitable giving represented 2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. That percentage has been as high as 2.3 in 2000, 2001 and 2005 and as low as 1.7 percent through much of the 1980s and 1990s.

    The number of nonprofit, charitable organizations continue to increase. In 2010, there were 1.28 million nonprofits with revenues of at least $5,000. In 2009, there were 1.24 million organizations. By comparison, in 2001, there were 865,096 nonprofit organizations.

    In summary, King said: “Giving has recovered but at a much slower rate than historical levels. It’s much like the economy.”

    http://saportareport.com/blog/2011/06/charitable-giving-in-the-united-states-beginning-to-recover/

  • zBoost State of the Signal Survey reveals 65 percent of Online Cell Phone/Smartphone Owners Experience Cell Phone Signal Issues Indoors

    June 21, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    Wave, Hop and Spin in Search of a Strong Cell Phone Signal

    New York – June 22, 2011 – According to the recent zBoost State of the Signal Survey, commissioned by Wi-Ex, a leading provider of consumer and commercial cell phone signal boosters, and conducted online by Harris Interactive in April 2011, 65 percent of online cell phone/smartphone owners experience problems with their cell phone or smartphone service including dropped calls or data, poor reception or dead zones in their home or poor signal reception or dead zones at work. Showcased this week at Pepcom Digital Experience and CEA Line Show, the survey also found that 71 percent consider their cell phone/smartphone their essential voice and/or data connection tool.

    "A strong indoor cell phone signal helps customers maximize their experience on their smartphone, iPhone, DROID, iPad or other connected devices and tablets. However, with 65 percent of smartphone/ cell phone owners still experiencing things like dropped calls, poor reception, slow data and dead zones, there are a lot of unsatisfied users" said Sharon Cuppett, vice-president of marketing at Wi-Ex. "The zBoost line of cell phone signal boosters provides a solution that will improve indoor cell phone signal, provide faster data and increase battery life. No longer will users have to go outside, stand by a window or as we learned in our recent survey crouch down in a corner, lift one leg, move around the room or wave around in air, spin in circles and hop on one leg -- all in an effort to use their smartphone or cell phone."

    From standing in one room to heading outdoors, the zBoost State of the Signal Survey found that 69 percent of online cell phone/smartphone owners who make calls indoors have done something to improve signal reception including:

    • 51 percent: Gone outside
    • 43 percent: Stood by a window
    • 29 percent: Remained in one room
    • 24 percent: Used landline instead

    The survey also revealed some interesting verbatim answers to, “What else have you done to improve signal reception when attempting to make or receive a cell phone/smartphone call indoors?”, including:

    • Stand in one spot without moving...sometimes it seems without breathing helps too!!!
    • Turned my phone upside down
    • Wandered all over the building
    • Wave around in air, spin in circles, hop on one leg
    • Lifted one leg, while holding aluminum foil fashioned into a makeshift lightening rod, standing on a three-legged chair near a window, flapping my free arm and chanting old proverbs

    The zBoost line allows consumers to take full advantage of data, voice and Internet services on their iPhones, iPads, connected devices and smartphones including 3G high-speed data and video, instant messaging, pictures and more - at home, in their personal workspace or in the office, both in the U.S and abroad.

    About Wi-Ex
    Wi-Ex (www.wi-ex.com), a leading provider of cell phone signal boosters, developed zBoost, the first consumer-priced signal booster that “extended cell zones” for the small office/home office cell phone market. Wi-Ex expanded their “extending cell zone coverage” beyond consumers to corporate enterprises and large commercial applications. From M2M applications to large commercial complexes to the rising number of teleworkers, the zBoost line provides a business-centric solution for improving poor in-door cell phone coverage domestically and internationally. The zBoost product line works with most carriers in the US and abroad including AT&T, Sprint, Vodaphone, Verizon and T-Mobile. The award-winning zBoost home and office solutions help today's connected consumers including iPhone, iPad, Android (DROID), BlackBerry, and smartphone users with dropped calls and slow data. They were awarded a 2007 and 2010 Consumer Electronics Association Innovations Honoree by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). They also were selected as a finalist for the 2007 and 2009 CTIA Emerging Technologies (E-Tech) Award. As the leader, zBoost has more awards, more sales and more locations than all their competitors combined. Wi-Ex continues to develop innovative products to meet the demands of an increasingly wireless society by enhancing wireless signals.

    About the zBoost State of the Signal Survey
    This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Wi-Ex from April 5-7, 2011 among 2,260 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Deanna Anderson at danderson@aquapr.com

    About Harris Interactive
    Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com

  • Happy Father's Day to all of the Dad's!

    June 17, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    "Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad." -- Anne Geddes

    This Father's Day weekend my family is taking my husband kayaking and fishing down the Chattachoochee River. He is truly a Dad to our children.

    Father's Day has also been special for zBoost this year. Here is a small snippet of some of the Father's Day coverage for Father's Day Gift Giving.

    Amazon.com featured the zBoost-SOHO in their Father's Day Sweepstakes as Gadget Dad.

    Splash Magazines featured the zBoost-METRO in their Father's Day Technology Gifts - Gift Guide for 2011 Over $100

    zBoost-METRO Cell Phone Signal Booster

    Description: Description: The cell phone was just named the number one gadget in America by Pew Research. The zBoost cell phone signal booster is the gadget that makes the cell phone work. Nothing more frustrating than having an iPhone, Droid, iPad2 or one of the other hot smartphones and not being able to make or receive calls in your home. Man Cave Target Audience: Men, Early to Mid-Adopters of Technology, Sport's Fans and Cave Men After a hard day's work, most men need time and a place to relax. According to a survey by Service Magic, 40 percent of responders have a Man Cave in their home. The Man Cave is often located in the basement or garage, areas that frequently experience a poor cell phone signal. According to the zBoost Cell Phone Signal Survey, 67 percent of cell phone owners experience problems with their in-door cell phone service. Give your man a zBoost cell phone signal booster this Father's Day and keep him connected while he's sitting in his favorite chair, cheering on his favorite team, enjoying a cold one. zBoost-SOHO Dual Band - $399 · Cave coverage: Up to 2,500 sq ft; · Ready for the big game: Multiple phones and carriers · Work or fun: Boosts aircards, EDGE and 3G Technology zBoost-METRO - $299 · Easy setup, a Man Cave dweller could do it · The signal you need: Boosts aircards, EDGE and 3G Technology · Good for Man Cave dwelling: Coverage up to 1,500 sq ft

  • Mommy of Two Little Monkeys zBoost Giveaway

    June 13, 2011 - Leave a Comment


    Fathers Day Gift Guide : zBoost SOHO Cell Phone Signal Booster : Giveaway Ends 7/1
    by Amanda on June 11, 2011

    Wi-Ex, www.Wi-Ex.com, is the leader in consumer cell phone signal boosters. They develop, manufacture and distribute zBoost®, a cell phone signal booster line of products for the home, office or car.

    Our men work hard and when they come home from work they need time and a place to relax. According to a survey the was done by Service Magic 40% of responders have a Man Cave in their home. A man cave is often located in the basement or garage.. you know the places that often have horrible cell phone coverage!

    zBoost SOHO Cell Phone Booster was designed with consumers in mind. zBoost not only increases signal for voice transmission it also increases signal and speed of aircards, EDGE and 3G technology!

    This means your man can now stay connected while sitting in his favorite chair, cheering on his favorite team, enjoying a cold one :)

    Check out some of the benefits of the zBoost SOHO Cell Phone Signal Boosters

    Benefits Include:

    Increases indoor signal coverage-up to 3000 sq ft
    Supports multiple users simultaneously
    Compatible with all U.S. carriers and mobile devices using 800 & 1900 MHz (except Nextel/iDEN or 4G, 2100MHz phones)
    Increases voice and data transmission
    Decreases dropped or missed calls
    Easy to set up – comes complete with everything you need
    No cradle or connections to your phone
    Extends phone battery life (uses less power when signal is stronger)
    Protects the carrier network using patented technology
    The zBoost SOHO YX545 can be purchased from their website for $399.99

    WIN IT!

    One Mommy of Two Little Monkeys reader is going to win a
    zBoost SOHO Dual Band Cell Phone Booster!

    *This Giveaway is open to US only, please*

    How To Win:

    Mandatory Entry:

    - Leave me a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win!

    *Leave me a comment and be sure to leave your email address if it isn’t in your profile*

    Additional Entries:

    You may complete any or all of these additional entries after the mandatory entry has been completed. Please leave a separate comment for each entry that you do
    Thank you and good luck!!

    2 Entries – Follow zBoost on Facebook

    1 Entry – Follow Mommy of Two Little Monkeys on Facebook

    3 Daily Entries – (Tweet can be done 3 times a day with at least an hour in between in each one) :
    Follow @momof2monkeys & @Wi_Ex on Twitter and Tweet the following:
    (Please leave your status URL to your tweet inyour comments)
    Retweet!
    #Win a zBoost SOHO Cell Phone Booster for Fathers Day! RV $399 Ends 7/1 @Wi_Ex @momof2monkeys http://is.gd/xFPaQv

    http://www.mommyoftwolittlemonkeys.com/2011/06/zboost-soho-cell-phone-signal-booster-giveaway/

  • Phones as Gifts: How to Navigate a Maze of Choices

    June 9, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    The New York Times
    ROY FURCHGOTT
    Published: June 8, 2011

    WITH the iPhone now available through two networks, a profusion of Android phones hitting the market and an abundance of apps for every phone, you might think it would be easier than ever to find the right phone to give as a gift. But the vast number of choices makes it harder than ever. I mean, what is HSPA+, anyway?

    Here is an effort to walk you through the shopping process and to demystify some of the more important features.

    CHOOSE A NETWORK
    This should be simple: you pick the fastest network with the best signal at the lowest cost. The problem is that a network with a great signal in one block of town can be terrible in the next. (May I recommend a zBoost) Ask friends and co-workers what networks they use and where they get good reception. Then consult tools like the RootMetrics Web site, which collects network data from volunteers’ phones. Most networks will let you buy a phone and return it if you don’t like it, but first ask if there are restocking fees or other costs.

    CHOOSE A SPEED All of the networks are trying to improve speed. Standard now is 3G, which stands for third generation. Most are now claiming to have “4G” networks, but it is a loose term. AT&T and T-Mobile offer HSPA+, which is a slight increase over 3G speeds, at no extra charge, but you need a special phone, like the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G or AT&T’s Motorola Atrix, to take full advantage.

    Sprint and Clearwire offer WiMax, which also requires a special phone and charges an additional fee for service about three times faster than 3G. You will need a WiMax phone, like the HTC Evo 4G.

    Verizon is the first to offer LTE, currently the fastest service, at no extra charge, but you do need a special phone like the HTC Thunderbolt. AT&T will start to roll out LTE this summer, but it has not announced if it will charge more for the service.

    CHOOSE A CONTRACT The biggest mistake people make is buying more minutes and data than they need. You almost always save money if you use all of the minutes you buy, even if they cost more per minute.

    There are companies that will analyze your bills for you, like Validas and BillShrink. You can load your bill electronically to the Web site and the company will find the best plan for you. BillShrink even considers some prepaid phone plans, a good option now that prepaid carriers offer sophisticated touch-screen phones, like the Samsung Galaxy Prevail Android phone at Boost Mobile.

    Don’t forget that contracts can be negotiated, especially at renewal. And you can often get a better deal by buying through Amazon, which offers phones and contracts through the major networks at much less than the networks themselves charge. You can also check sites like Wirefly and Best Buy.

    CHOOSE A PHONE Personal preference plays a big part. A physical keyboard is not necessarily better than a virtual “soft” keyboard (which is a picture of a keyboard on a touch screen); it’s a matter of preference.

    Among the crucial considerations are the phone’s size and operating system. Smartphones vary from small sliders like the Palm Veer, with its 2.6- inch screen, to comparative behemoths like the Dell Streak 5, a tablet/phone with a 5-inch screen. There are also big differences in thickness and heft.

    If you want a physical keyboard, you have compromises to make. You can either have a small keyboard, like that on a Blackberry Bold 9900, or a slide-out keyboard, which makes for a heavier and thicker phone, like the Samsung Epic.

    Virtual keyboard phones are noticeably thinner and lighter and they often have Swype, a different style of typing that is fast once you become used to it. Either way, be prepared for frustration — there is a learning curve.

    Although operating systems require some getting used to, the iPhone iOS is easiest to figure out. Applications are most plentiful for the iPhone, which gets most of the new apps first. But most popular apps are available for several operating systems. Another iPhone plus: it has the most accessories.

    Android may be the second easiest to operate, with a touch-screen-and-icons system similar to the iPhone’s. Android has an edge in Web browsing, with the more recent versions able to see Flash Animation, the prevalent programming behind most Web videos, animations and some online stores, which the iPhone cannot. But not all apps are available on all versions of Android — Netflix runs on only five Android phones, for instance. Make sure the apps you want run on the phone you are considering.

    Research in Motion’s BlackBerry is popular among frequent texters, who can send messages to other BlackBerry owners worldwide free using BlackBerry Messenger. Its app store is not as well stocked as iTunes or the Android Market.

    Windows Mobile 7, found in phones like the HTC Trophy, is the best Microsoft phone product yet, but the bar was not very high. Mobile 7 is easy to understand, with well-organized menus, but it does not have a merged mailbox of various e-mail accounts, and it does not thread conversations. That is why Microsoft has announced there will be 500 improvements in a coming upgrade. Two areas of superiority: it supports Microsoft Office and Xbox Live.

    Palm Web OS certainly has its fans, for its ability to multitask well and merge all of your contacts, whether in your phone file or on Facebook or Twitter. You can neatly flip through with a flick of the finger. But learning those finger motions takes some effort. It is not for impatient technophobes.

    Nokia is still a world leader in phones, but its Symbian operating system, found on the Nokia Astound in the United States, appears to be on the way out. Nokia smartphones will run mostly Windows in the future, the company has said. Unless you already have a lot of Symbian apps or have a special need for its excellent map programs, it is not the system to buy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/technology/personaltech/09SERVICE.html?_r=1

  • Yukon News: Improving Mobile Phone Signal in Your Home or Office

    June 2, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    My husband and I traveled the AlCan Highway on our honeymoon, driving from the continental US to Alaska going through the Yukon Territory. This was in 1985 the year before mobile phones were introduced to the public. It was a rough road with almost 200 miles of gravel and lumber trucks flying by so fast you had to pull off the road to let them pass or they would shoot gravel up that would break your windshield. When Andrew Robulack contacted me about testing a zBoost cell phone signal booster for the Yukon News I was quickly reminded of these memories and was excited to see how the zboost-SOHO would do in primitive conditions. Obviously the Yukon is so much more than this road and my experience. See Andrews review to learn more.

    Yukon News
    Improving Mobile Phone Signal in Your Home or Office
    by Andrew Robulack
    May 2011

    Rather than juggle the cost and hassle of multiple phone bills, most of us are dumping Ye Olde Landline in favour of pocket-friendly mobile phones.
    Unfortunately, it can sometimes be a challenge to use these devices in our homes and offices because of a weak signal from distant or hidden cell towers.

    Lucky for us, then, there are things called “cell phone signal boosters.” This device, which looks like a Wifi base station, acts like a miniature cell phone tower that you can plug in at your house or office to boost your local cell phone signal. Over the last few months in Whitehorse I’ve had a couple of friends trying out a loaner cell phone signal booster called the zBoost from Wi-Ex. Both friends live in that densely populated suburb called Riverdale, where cell phone signal is notoriously awful. (But you can get 5 bars of 3G signal way out at Helen’s Fish Camp on Lake Laberge – what’s up with that?)

    During our tests we learned that there are primarily two challenges in receiving and boosting cell phone signal. The first is geographical. If there’s very little or no cell signal outside of your home or business, a cell phone signal booster won’t have any effect on delivering signal inside. The second challenge is all about walls and ceilings. Cell signals have difficulty penetrating stuff, especially when it’s dense, and especially if the signal has already travelled a fair distance.

    This is where the zBoost becomes very effective. This thing is really good at making an existing cell phone signal stronger. And it can carry that improved signal into a house or office so you get better call quality and higher data rates. One friend who tested the zBoost lives on that stretch of Alsek that curves into the deepest recess of the cell phone signal shadow cast by Grey Mountain. There’s literally no signal at all in the general vicinity of his home. All the same, he went to great trouble with the zBoost to try and make it work, installing its antennae on the roof of his house. Unfortunately, it was to no avail. The zBoost wasn’t able to create a cell signal where there was none to begin with.

    Meanwhile, just down a bit further on Pelly Road, I have another friend who lives in a basement suite, just on the edge of that infamous Grey Mountain shadow. She gets reasonable signal outside of her house: a bar or two. But inside her digs, the signal is gone.
    This friend wasn’t quite as thorough with her installation of the zBoost antennae. She just sort of nailed it up on the side of the house above her window. In fact, her installation was entirely inconsistent with the product’s instructions. (Which, admittedly, I neglected to pass on to her.) The unit we were testing, called the SOHO, requires 15 feet of vertical separation between the antennae and the base station. In my friend’s case, there was about 5.

    But it still worked brilliantly for her. With just a few minutes of ad hoc installation she had a full 5 bars of signal in her basement suite.
    Oddly, though, she no longer seems to be receiving my calls or texts. I’m assuming that’s less a technical issue than it is related to the fact that I’m trying to get the zBoost back from her for return to the folks at Wi-Ex.

    I know that a lot of people put off cancelling their landline phone and committing fully to their mobile because they have poor signal reception in their home or office. The zBoost clearly resolves this problem. As long as you have signal outside, you can bring it inside with a zBoost, and make it stronger.

    The zBoost can support multiple devices simultaneously. And because it boosts signal, it extends your mobile device’s battery life.

    If you live or work in a place where an external antennae is impractical, there’s a zBoost unit called the Metro which just needs to be placed in a window.

    The zBoost SOHO sells for $400 (the rough equivalent of 8 months of landline service), and the Metro goes for $300.

    You can learn more about them at www.wi-ex.com.

    Originally published in the Yukon News on Friday, May 20, 2011.

  • Telecommunications Privy-cy

    June 1, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    Wi-Ex frequently hears from our customers regarding the benefits of using their zBoost cell phone signal booster, but this blog post on Woot! gave us all a good laugh. Thanks for sharing. (I think)

    Wi-Ex zBoost Cell Phone Signal Booster
    Woot by Wootbot on May 2011

    Telecommunications Privy-cy
    Where am I calling from? Well, let’s just say the king of the castle is seated on his throne.

    Yep, now that I’ve got this zBoost Cell Phone Extender, never again will I have to choose between answering phone calls and answering nature’s call. My bathroom used to be a dead zone, but with this baby perched at the living room window, I’ve got an extra 1500 square feet of coverage.

    I do have to be careful when I’m talking business, though – with the zBoost’s increased clarity, there’s no mistaking the sound of the toilet flushing.
    http://www.woot.com/Blog/ViewEntry.aspx?Id=17584

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