We recently got our hands on the hottest wifi security camera on the market – Dropcam. If you don’t know the name, then you’re probably not in the market for a cheap wifi based security camera system. The camera retails for $150 and provides with free web-based viewing of the footage from the Dropcam website. While the live viewing service is free, most people pony up for the $10/monthly fee to be able to record the footage for up to 7 days on Dropcam servers. Afterall, what good is a security camera if you can’t show the footage to the police or other sources after something happens? In fact, there is a 14 days of the DVR service free trial for new users who set up a Dropcam account.
So does the camera live up to its hype? Let’s review our experience.
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We have the Nexus 7, the one released in 2012, which still serves as our daily e-reader and video player. However, we’re almost tempted to pick up the new one just released last week. In addition to the awesome beyond HD screen (1920×1200) that is sharper than your HD tv, it also contains the quad core process that is inside the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The interface is buttery smooth and the HD camera front and back round out the perfect package. If we didn’t already one, we would pick this up in a heartbeat for $230.
Another day another virtual mobile operator on the scene. This time from the long time unlimited text operator TextNow. They do bring some new features to the table, the service is similar to Republic Wireless, which we covered before.
The key here they also offer cell phone service with no contract for only $19 a month. In fact, they even have a better selection of phones – Nexus S or Galaxy II. The service prefers to run on Wifi but you do get coverage through Sprint’s 3G and 4G network when out of wifi range.
The caveat is that you’re limited to only 500MB data when using the Sprint network per month. Unlimited text and 750 minutes are included with the plan and the minutes do rollover month to month. While we like the phone selection, we still can’t recommend the service over Republic Wireless when Republic offer unlimited data, minutes, and text for the same monthly cost.
If you’re interested, you can check it out yourself.
Gym memberships are some of the most overpriced and restrictive contracts in the consumer world. The only offenders worse are probably the cell phone contracts. However, look like a new chain is looking to change that – Blink Fitness. Each new club in the NYC market are properly stuffed with the standard amenities with the best feature being the low monthly cost of $15-$29 for membership. There is no long-term contract and only $30 initiation fee.
While the name is new the company backing the chain isn’t – Equinox. Blink is a subsidiary branding of the pricy Equinox chain. No doubt in response to upcoming chains such as Planet Fitness. Either way, the consumers win in this battle for new members. If you’re interested and live in NYC, you can see the site for addition details and sign ups.
All of the carriers are toting their own horns about allowing subscribers to upgrade to newer phones faster than the 2 year contract. However, all of the plans are laden with fees and gotchas that raise the price of the plan or phones. Consumer Reports did an objective comparison of the two plans between AT&T and Tmobile (Next versus Jump). Their conclusion, AT&T is over charging you $300 for the privilege of the upgrading every six month.
You can read their take below. For our own recommendation, we don’t recommend any of these plans and instead buy unlock phones such as the Nexus 4 and keeping it for at least one year. You’re reap the greatest amount of saving and you’re get higher resale value by directly selling it on Ebay or Amazon when you upgrade to newer models.
Everyone deserve to have some type of home security system. However, most people forgo it due to the cost of system and maintenance. There are few companies out there that take advantage of the ubiquitous web infrastructure to develop a lower cost system – Dropcam. Today, another start up is entering the market with some unique feature sets – Canary.
While Dropcam only uses cameras for security. The Canary system integrates HD Webcam, Microphone, night vision, and most importantly passive infrared motion detection that can also detect temperature changes such as fire. They’re raising funding for an initial manufacture run now on Indiegogo. So if you’re in the market, think about supporting them and get your own Canary system for $150.
Since the Summer travel season is high swing, we thought we’ll share one great deal that travelers can take advantage of. If you’re staying at a Holiday Inn for two consecutive nights and pay with a Mastercard. You’re entitled to receive to a rebate in the form of a $50 Mastercard Giftcard. The deal information can be found here:
The deal is sponsor by IHG and Mastercard. IHG is the owner of Holiday Inn chain.
If you’re a small business looking to sell online, you had a few choices – build your own online store, sell on Amazon, or sell on Ebay. All of the options comes with pluses and minuses. However, one thing they all have in common is the per item charge and the processing fee.
Now Square, the maker of the credit card processing gadget for phones is jumping into this space. They do offer a valuable proposition – you can build an online store online and list items for free in the Square Market. The only fee is the 2.75% processing fee for selling items online. Traditionally, most of the other stores would charge this rate then a monthly fee or per item on top. This is a great deal for small business that would like to jump into online sales without any upfront cost.
New York city is getting crowded with car sharing programs. However, if there is one knock I have against all of them is the limited locations available outside Manhattan. Today, another competitor jumped into the market – Enterprise. Granted they’re well known in the car rental market, it should be easy for them to get name recognition and trust. The pricing are similar to Zipcar but with a lower annual fee – $40 instead of the $60. In addition, they waive the fee for the first year.
If you’re a NYer, you can take advantage of the special promotion by going to this link:
If you sign up through link, they’ll issue $75 driving credit you can use in your first year.
One of our favorite VOIP companies – Localphone.com is offering a incredible deal this week. If you refill an existing account or fund a new account with $10, they will provide you with 100% bonus credit worth up to $10. In other words, if you fill it with $10, they add $10 to your account and you end up with double the amount at $20. Plus, they have one of the lowest rates around for international calls so better take advantage now.
Simply use the Coupon code ECBONUS_100 when filling up your account.
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