Pick Your Head Up, There’s a World Out There

I am not the most technological person nor am I that addicted to my cell phone, but even still I find myself looking down alot during the day. Sometimes I’m staring down at my phone, or into my monitor or even now I’m looking down at my keyboard as I type this out. (I never took that computer class in high school.) We all do it, some more than others. Its become second nature. I do get a kick out of watching people with their heads in their phone seemingly oblivious to the world around them walking around and nearly running into children and doors or worse. The Japanese are so concerned they launched a public campaign. My personal favorite is a group of people sitting around a table ignoring each other in favor of their smartphone.

I was prompted to write about this after an early evening outing with my son (who’s 18 months old) earlier this month who reminded me to look up. He was busy pointing to the evening sky. The moon was shining bright. It was beautiful. Also, have you noticed the very bright shining star that accompanies the moon? Yeah, that’s Venus! Apparently, Venus appeared in bright evening twilight in early January 2014. It’ll appear in bright morning twilight in the second half of January.

Looking this up online I found the January 2014 guide to the five visible planets. Check it out, its a good page that tells you what you can see in the sky depending on which region of the states you live in and what to look for for the rest of the month. Jupiter shines all night, all month. Jupiter is the planet to watch in January 2014. It replaces Venus as the brightest beacon in the evening sky in January 2014. But, while Venus was in the west at nightfall, Jupiter is in the east. No star outshines Jupiter or Venus.

So, I guess my point is to look up once in a while or you are bound to miss something really cool and beautiful. Plus, its safer than falling into a fountain.

What has happened to you while you have been absorbed by your phone? Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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Aluratek Digital Photo Frames Awarded Best Buy by Consumers Digest

Consumers Digest Digital Frame ArticleIn the January / February issue of Consumers Digest, two of Aluratek’s Digital Photo Frames have been awarded as Best Buys. Subscribers to the magazine can see the online article now. If you do not subscribe, you can view a PDF of the article here.

For small frames in the Economy class, our ADPF07SF – 7″ Digital Photo Frame was selected. Cosumers Digest notes that this frame is the least expensive small digital frame you can buy with a 1 Year warranty and its screen resolution is higher than any other frame in its class. This frame also features a digital screen interface which means images are more accurately displayed than on analog displays.

For large frames in the Premium class, our ADMPF114F – 14″ Digital Photo Frame with 512MB Built-in Memory was selected. Consumers Digest reports that no other model delivers a better combination of screen resolution (1366 x 768), screen size and built-in memory for the price. Our 14″ frame comes with a remote control and multimedia support like DivX and AVI.

The article titled: Digital Photo Frames – Fading From View appears a bit ominous at first glance. The article is about the state and potential fate of the digital frame category. It is true that the frame category has lost a ton of steam in recent years due to the increase use of tablets, social media and image sharing websites. Some very well known brands like Sony, Kodak and Pandigital have either exited the category or went out of business as with the latter. We are proud to be one of the few manufacturers of digital frames left standing that can offer quality and affordable digital frame solutions. There’s no mystery to what a digital frame can do for you. It makes for a great gift and even a digital signage solution. Right now is a perfect time to buy a frame. Choices are simple, they are easy to operate and the costs are low.

Do you think digital frames have a place in the digital market? Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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2014 Product Offerings Looks Promising

Happy New Year to all our fans, followers, customers new and old. Hope everyone had a safe and happy new year. This is the first blog post of 2014. Its been a while since out last – yikes, December 9th – where we were promoting our 12 Days Of Christmas Giveaway. Thanks to all those who participated ans congrats to our winners. Look out for more promotional deals and contests int he new year.

This week is a time to return to some normalcy after a fun holiday season and some much needed time off. 2013 was a good year for Aluratek, our best yet thanks to our dedicated hard-working team here and of course our customers.

We expect 2014 to be even better and will continue our dedication to our customers by offering unique product solutions for your digital life while offering great customer support. Our team is attending CES this week and combing the show for future Aluratek products. Stay tuned because in the following months we will be announcing new product offerings.

To get the year off to a great start, Aluratek would like to offer our customers 10% off a future purchase at aluratek.com by entering promo code: DIGITAL at checkout. Thank you and Happy New Year!

Three cheers to a happy and healthy 2014! Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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Your Invited to Aluratek’s 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

Aluratek's 12 days of Christmas GiveawayIn the giving spirit of the season, Aluratek is promoting our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway on our Facebook page and your invited to participate! Starting December 9th, Aluratek will be raffling off a different product each day for the next 12 days with a WINNER EACH DAY! Each morning a new raffle will begin and the winner will be announced the following morning followed by the next raffle. The product of the day will be kept a secret until a winner is chosen and the prize “unwrapped” for all to see. The value of the gift will increase each day with the grand prize raffle held on December 20th with the winner announced the 21st. For a chance to win, just go to our Facebook Contests page and “LIKE” us the reveal the contest details. You can enter once every day for a chance to win. The more you enter – the better your chances to win! You will have the opportunity to share this contest with your friends and earn an extra raffle ticket for each friend that enters.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Which product would you like to win in the raffle? Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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Black Friday Fallout – Why Do We Shop Like This?

The Thanksgiving holiday has past and the crazy Black Friday shopping weekend is over. How did you fare? This morning there are reports of hundreds of incidents across the country of people behaving poorly in their retail store of choice. Stories with words and phrases like people yelling, bloody noses, paramedics wheeling stretchers, head smacking and security officers wrestling shoppers. These stories beg the question – why do we shop like this? Here are some headlines I found:

- People Beat Each Other Up Over Towels At Walmart On Black Friday
Towels? Really?

- Black Friday Marred By Violence In Several States
Incidents of pushing, shoving, shoplifting, stealing, robbing, stabbings and shootings!

- Black Friday Turns Dark as Twitter, Websites Track Injuries, Fights, Deaths
There really is a website called BlackFridayDeathCount.com set up to track the deaths and injuries caused by Black Friday violence.

Seriously, what is the allure of this late night and early morning shopping blitz? Is it really worth a person’s time to save a few bucks? Does all this illustrate a bigger question about the mindset and state of our country?

Are the retailers to blame for facilitating this kind of behavior? Major retailers were open this year on Thanksgiving day instead of the early morning hours of Friday. You would think people would value the holiday more as a day to relax and enjoy family, yet thousands still lined up to buy a TV and a XBOX rather than enjoy Thanksgiving with loved ones. Ultimately it’s the people who participate in the Black Friday madness that keeps this wheel spinning. If the retailers opened their doors on Thanksgiving and no one came would they continue to do so?

Yes, Aluratek is a tech company. Yes, we sell consumer electronics in retail and yes, we would like as many people as possible to go out to these retail environments and buy our products – but like this? Granted we know people are not spending their Thanksgiving holiday waiting in line at Best Buy to buy an Aluratek product but you get the point. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for this heightened shopping season. It’s good for companies like Aluratek and the economy but I have a problem with the way we go about it and the way the spirit of Thanksgiving is getting lost to fistfights and bloody noses.

What do you think about Black Friday? Do you stay away from the crowds or is it something you participate in and why? Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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Unbelievable Stats And Predictions For The Holiday Shopping Weekend

Black Friday Madness! Agggghghhh!

Black Friday through Cyber Monday is the biggest shopping weekend of the year that kicks off the Christmas holiday season. It seems this massive shopping event is accompanied by more hype and hoopla every year. Bigger sales, earlier open times and bigger crowds. Will you have an experience similar to the picture above? Take a look at these mind-blowing statistics and predictions for this upcoming holiday shopping weekend.

37% – percent of American adults will go shopping on Black Friday (57 % of Black Friday shoppers will “find the experience to be fun”.)

307,000,000 – total number who shopped in stores or online on Black Friday

2,470,000 – total number of Google News search results for “Black Thursday”

$59 billion -  estimated sales from Thursday – Sunday (up from $52.4B in 2011)

$247 million – total number of weekend shoppers (up from $226M in 2011)

$35 million – number of Americans who visited retailers’ stores and websites on Thanksgiving (up from $29M last year)

$89 million – number of Black Friday shoppers (up from $86M in 2011)

$423 – average spent by a shopper in 2012 (up from $398 in 2011 & $365 in 2010)

$194 – average consumer internet spending on Black Friday in 2012

41% – percent of a consumer’s online spending for the weekend

Speaking of online sales, here are the top 5 most visited online retailers:
1. Amazon.com – 7.7 million
2. Walmart.com – 3.5 million
3. Best Buy – 2.75 million
4. Target – 2.25 million
5. Apple – 1.5 million

Of course we too will be having our own Black Friday promo. Please be on the look out for our promo advertised through our social media channels. Also, those who subscribe to our eNewsletter will get the first crack at the promotional deals in their inbox tomorrow morning. Happy shopping!

How are you shopping this holiday weekend? Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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Appreciate Veterans Day With Technology

Remember Our VeteransDid you know there are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States? The men and women who serve come from all walks of life. Most of us have a family member, co-worker (our very own John C. Messenger, National Account Manager – Thanks!) or friend that has served in the military. So today, please gives thanks to those veterans who have served their country.

Technology has made for incredible advances on the war front, but how about the home front? Showing your support and appreciation for our veterans is easier than ever before. Here are a few ways you can appreciate Veterans Day with technology:

1. World War II Memorial App. This smartphone app helps you explore the World War II Memorial, sharing war stories as part of a virtual tour and offering a database to pull information up on those killed. The App is available on iTunes & Google Play.

2. The Honor Wall. This website from ancestry.com is based on more than 20 million records and personal memories uploaded by loved ones, which honors service members who served from current wars all the way back to the Revolutionary War. The Honor Wall documents letters home, photos and awards of veterans.

3. TroopTree. TroopTree is a free private video messaging platform for military families to stay in touch with their loved ones overseas. KeepTree provides the free service which allows soldiers or their family members to leave messages for each other to be viewed at any time. The videos can be stored and saved forever so families can rewatch the videos.  Message can also be made ahead of time for family to watch at a later date.

4. Cell Phones for Soldiers. This service recycles old cell phones and turns them into calling cards for soldiers. Since its inception, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided 181 million minutes of free talk time for soldiers as well as help recycle 10.8 million cell phones! Find out how you can recycle your old cell phone today.

5. Cup of Joe for a Joe. For just $2, you can send a cup of coffee to a soldier. California based coffee company Green Beans Coffee has several cafes serving soldiers at military bases in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti East Africa, Oman, and United Arab Emirates.

6. Discounts. Militarybenefits.info lists discounts, sales and everything free for vets and their families, ranging from free dinners to haircuts and oil changes. There is also a meal guide of deals for not only veterans, but also active duty and retired military. Many offers require a valid military ID or proof of military service.

How are you honoring Veterans Day? Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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Outlet Store Prices Falling Like Autumn Leaves

Outlet Store Prices Falling Like Autumn Leaves

Daylight savings is ending on November 2nd. That got me thinking about the rule to remember which way to set your clock for the time change. Fall back – Spring forward.

So in anticipation of the end of Daylight Savings, Aluratek would like you to remember to fall back Into savings on a cornucopia of product from our Outlet Store. The prices on our outlet store are falling like the Autumn leaves. Here, you can find most of our entire line of refurbished products plus some legacy items at unbelievable prices such as eReaders, Tablets, Tablet Accessories, Digital Frames, Bluetooth Audio devices, Battery Chargers, USB Accessories and more. We are talking 25% – 50% and yes even 75% off items from their regular MSRP! Why can we offer such great savings? Product in the outlet store are refurbished items that are mostly customer returns that meet original factory specifications. You can learn more about our Certified Refurbished Product here.

This is a great place to start your holiday shopping. Refurbished supply can be very limited and we often run out of inventory. We recommend that you act quickly if you see an item that you like. Below are just several of the items and savings you can expect to see. There is something for everyone. Enjoy!

Which Fall special has your eye? Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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Tips and Tricks for a High-Tech Halloween

Halloween is creeping closer and you may not have had time to even think about what to dress up as for that Halloween party or how to decorate your house or how you should carve your pumpkin. I’ve searched far and wide and came across some really great ideas to help you with your tech inspired Halloween.

Last year I wrote the blog titled Tech Costume Ideas For Halloween, Part 2 where I wrote about some awesome ideas that with a little creativity and not too much money you could be alot of fun at your Halloween party. More ideas were written for the year before in the entry Tech Costume Ideas For Halloween.

Still not sure? Let your iPhone decide. Try the Halloween Costume Generator. Just enter your gender, the kind of party you plan to attend and your mood, and the app generates a list of suggestions, along with a set of do-it-yourself directions.

If you’re choosing a costume for your child, check out the Pottery Barn Kids Costume Finder. The app lets you upload a picture of child and then get a sneak peak of how your kid will look in any of their costumes.

Pumpkin Carving:
Your pumpkin is a blank canvas – nothing is off limits when it comes to pumpkin carving inspiration, including all things tech. Here are some great ideas:

Apple vs. Android Pumpkin – It’s two of the most recognizable logos of the digital generation. Show you pride with either pumpkin that will be sure to receive tons of geeky gawking (or a smashed one).

Emotipumpkins! – You know you are guilty of using these silly faces everywhere so why not carve a playful wink or a surprised face into a pumpkin this season.

Laser Pumpkins – Bring the laser light show to your next Halloween party with these beaming jack-o’-lanterns! No high-tech haunted house will be complete without one. This is a quick tutorial showing how you can create a Laser Pumpkin.

Here are some cool  ideas for you house that will make a great addition to your Halloween decorations! If you have some time and a little tech know-how you will be able to create these spooky effects.

Make a convincing floating head hologram or haunted house eyes. For more techy decoraitions ideas, you can visit Beyond Cobwebs: Techy Halloween Decor for things that light-up, flame, smoke, fog, project and more…

How are you making Halloween fun? Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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Fall Brings Exciting New Products and Promotions

The fall season has arrived (and with it the Santa Ana winds – which if you live in Southern California – really blows!) and that means we have entered into the start of the holiday season. No doubt you’ve noticed the x-mas tree displays already. (What’s up with that? Not even Halloween yet) The timing couldn’t be better as Q4 brings out the latest additions to many of our product families.

Coming soon are new Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headphones, Portable Battery Chargers with LED Flashlights, 7″ Tablet Universal Folio Cases, something called an eQuarium, new Gaming Keyboard and mouse and a media keyboard for your TV.

Aluratek is always trying to get the word out that we have some really cool products to offer you. With the holiday season approaching, its never to early to start thinking about that perfect gift. How does 10% off sound? All you have to do is go to our Facebook page in the Promotions tab below our cover graphic and click the “LIKE” button to learn the promotional code. Then go shopping at aluratek.com and enter the promo code at checkout to receive your discount…and please, don’t keep this secret to yourself.  Tell everyone you know!

We would also like to mention out Fall Into Savings Blowout Sale on a cornucopia of product from our Outlet Store. Here, you can find most of our entire line of refurbished products plus some legacy items at unbelievable prices such as eReaders, Tablets, Tablet Accessories, Digital Frames, Bluetooth Audio devices, Battery Chargers, USB Accessories and more. We are talking 25% – 50% and yes even 75% off items from their regular MSRP! You can learn more about our Certified Refurbished Product here.

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Share your comments with us by visiting our Facebook page or leaving a comment below!

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