Posts

Inexpensive Cell Phone Service, But at What Cost? An In-Depth Review of Tello (MVNO)

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As I mentioned in a previous review, AT&T kicked my phone (Huawei P30 Pro) off of a family plan because it doesn’t support HD Voice. They are shutting down their 3G network in February, 2022 and only newer phones that support HD Voice will continue to work on their network, according to details I can find. In exchange for disabling the SIM card on my phone, they sent me the worst phone ever created. How a phone from 2017 running on 1 GB of RAM and stuck on Android 9 can still work on their new network, yet a flagship from 2019 can’t, is absurd. But it’s also besides the point. Since the one they sent me was virtually unusable (seriously, even our then four-year-old - whom we gave it to just so he can text back and forth with us - complains about how slow it is), and I wasn’t interested in dropping hundreds of dollars for a new phone, I decided to find other networks that I could use my phone on instead. Thankfully, I had actually looked into alternate carriers a few months back, be

Unbranded Holographic Scratch Art Pads (Dollar Tree)

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A fun product and a fantastic value I was at Dollar Tree a few months back when I happened to catch a sight of these in the checkout aisle. I’d heard of scratch art before, and it seemed pretty intriguing, and I’m always interested in trying new things with the family. After all, even if it sucked, I was sure it would at least keep the attention of our five-year-old for a few minutes (because that’s the maximum amount of time anything holds his attention).  For a dollar, you get a pretty impressive 50 sheets of scratch-ready cards, which are 3.625” both wide and high. Obviously, the cards aren’t very big, but they are still large enough to make some pretty cool designs on, and perfectly sized for kids to mess around with. It also comes with a bamboo stick, shaped like a pencil, although many other things lying around the house can be used as a substitute should you end up losing it (toothpicks, keys, etc.) So how do these work, for the uninitiated? Just as the name suggests, you “scrat

Make-It Blocks 100-Count Building Blocks (Dollar Tree)

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Phenomenal performance, and a phenomenal value. I’ll open things up with some pointless trivia: I have never owned a Lego set. Never. And I probably would have gone through my entire life without experiencing the allure of the famous building block had a set not been given to our five-year-old son (Jesus Christ, he’s that old?!) as a birthday gift. Even though he doesn’t really care about them yet (he really doesn’t care about anything except cars), my wife and I have gone to town on them, graduating from the suggested designs on the instruction manual, to creating our own (often terrible) projects from scratch. Honestly, I see the appeal: Even if you suck at building things, it’s still a whole lot of fun to do, especially with the rest of the family (although it does suck when you need one of those single bricks that someone else is already using). As much as I love a good off-brand, in general, there are some things that I just never would have expected to be “private labelized”, and

Get Paid Virtually Nothing to Check Your Car's Mileage in Monthly: An In-Depth Review of Parked (Web)

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WHAT IS IT? Parked is a fairly new website that pays you to “check in” your car at regular intervals, with Amazon gift cards paid out for check-ins and bonuses offered for low mileage. INTERFACE/NAVIGATION There’s pretty much only one thing you can do in Parked, and that’s checking in your car. That makes navigation a breeze. Once you sign in, you simply click on the “Check-In” button, and follow the onscreen instructions, which consist of taking a picture of your car (with the license plate visible), and then a separate picture of the odometer. That’s it. Of course, you can also access information like past check-ins, and your profile, which are offered in a navigation menu off to the left of the screen. But there’s really not much of a need to do this, well, ever. It really is that easy. SIGNING UP The sign-up process is simple and straightforward. You can sign up using an email address, or you can opt to sign up using your Google sign-in info. I went with the latter, because it make

Get Paid Pennies for Your Data: An In-Depth Review of Invisibly (Beta App)

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WHAT IS IT? Are you sick of companies stealing your data and privacy, and leaving you with nothing to show for it? Invisibly is a brand new program (still in beta) that endeavors to pay you for the data it collects, via your own voluntary actions. INTERFACE/NAVIGATION Here's your dashboard...you'll be spending most of your time here. To its credit, using Invisibly is remarkably simple. After signing up, you are then taken to your “feed”, which consists of movies, food recipes, articles, and other categories based on interests you select. At its core, it’s basically another social media site, only you’re inundated with ads and (presumably) paid content instead of rambling posts from your friends about how liberals are ruining America. There are no users you can follow, or really anything else you can do, besides “like”, “dislike” and “save” posts to read for later. The UI is much cleaner than other social media sites, since other people can’t post to your wall (or vice versa), s