MousePad Travel

Travel and Tech at Your Fingertips

© 2016 Story Institute, LLC

MousePad Travel

Travelers, Techies, Story-seekers Welcome!

MousePad Travel

Traveling to other locations encourages creativity and builds the base for many stories. Technology can help you build your storyline and take lasting mementos to enhance your plots.

Our MousePad Travel site shares
ideas on destinations as well as the technology that will help enhance your adventure.

Visit and engage with us or our travel consultants to add a different spin to your travel journaling.

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Travel Top Stories

Walt Disney - Competition

I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.

~ Walt Disney

Walt Disney - Competition

Walt Disney - Sights and Sounds

Always, as you travel, assimilate the sounds and sights of the world.

~Walt Disney

#WaltDisney #quote #sights #sounds #shotoniphone

Walt Disney - Sights and Sounds

Walt Disney - Imagination is timeless

Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.

~ Walt Disney

#WaltDisney #quote #imagination #dreams

Walt Disney - Imagination is timeless

Walt Disney - Build It

You don’t build it for yourself. You know what the people want and you build it for them.

~ Walt Disney

Walt Disney - Built It

Walt Disney - Curious

When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.

~ Walt Disney

#WaltDisney #quote #curious

Walt Disney - Curious

Technology Top Stories

Verizon empowering parents with apps and safeguards

As the school year winds down and summer approaches, children will be taking part in activities across various locations. For parents with Verizon, some safeguards programs and apps are available to you. Whether you are a parent of a teenager or a younger individual who is carrying a cell phone, if you are on the Verizon network, consider checking out Verizon Wireless FamilyBase, Verizon Family Locator, and Delphi Connect for Verizon.

“As a parent myself, I know firsthand the importance of safeguarding children, while allowing them to enjoy the power of technology,” said Jerry Fountain, president of the Carolinas/Tennessee region for Verizon Wireless. “We live in a connected world and the safety of our customers and their families is fundamental to our success.”

Through Verizon Wireless FamilyBase parents can set up alerts for up to 10 lines per account. After a parent sets limits to data, text, and voice, FamilyBase sends notifications of activity across multiple mobile devices. Parents are also able to lock their child’s device on demand for some quality family time.

If you are the type of parent that likes to keep track of the location of your children, the Verizon Family Locator app will help you locate your child using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Parents can also receive automatic updates as their children arrive or leave a location. This could be good as the children change from one camp to the next or arrive at home from a summer job.

For those parents or individuals who wish to locate their vehicle, you may wish to consider Delphi Connect for Verizon. With a connected app, you can receive alerts for when the vehicle enters or leaves a specific area, see speeds and direction the vehicle is heading every five seconds, and monitor the vehicles status through an integrated dashboard.

With these apps and initiatives, Verizon will help keep you family safe and located this year. Enjoy the technology and enjoy the warmer weather.

The Backbeat Fit delivers on high quality Bluetooth headphones

The Backbeat Fit provides a quality experience for anyone looking for a Bluetooth headset. With a solid connection from pocket to ear, strong volume, and a comfortable fit, this pair of headphones can provide a better experience than many corded headphones. The Backbeat Fit comes in light blue and green and is available at many retailers both online and local.

The form and function of the Backbeat Fit is very comfortable, especially for those who want in-ear headphones without needing to cover the entire ear canal. The ear pieces are similar to the Jawbone Era in how it fits into your ear. However, it adds the extra fit of a loop to better hug the outer ear and not fall out while you are running. The fit will depend on your ears, of course, but seemed right for many of the individuals who shared they owned the headphones.

Pairing was fairly easy with an most portable music devices. After pairing the device with an iPhone, it indicated that an app was available to upgrade firmware and check the status of the Backbeat Fit. Downloading the apps was easy and the headphones were identified quickly. The Backbeat Fit is said to be able to connect with up to 8 different devices.

Testing the connection for distance was great. The connection remained solid even from across the room. The quality of the audio was also positive. For some, there may not be enough bass. However, for the average consumer, the audio will be of very good quality. It may not be better than those Bose MIE2 connected headphones, but the Backbeat Fit is one of the better Bluetooth headphones out there.

The earbuds themselves contain the controls to adjusting volume, moving to the next track, and answering calls. The controls took a bit of getting used to, but it was fairly easy after a short adjustment time. The volume is a little bump on the left earbud. Tapping it will increase the volume, holding it down will decrease the volume. You do not need to push too hard to adjust the settings. However, be careful not to push too hard into your ear.

For battery life, the Backbeat Fit is supposed to get 8 hours of A2DP playback or 6 hours of talk time on a full charge. Charging time was around 2 hours total using a micro USB cable connected to a computer’s USB port. The Backbeat Fit also has a Deep Sleep mode that will allow it keep a charge and ready to connect for up to 6 months. Time will tell how long the usage time remains this good.

Overall, the Backbeat Fit delivers a great Bluetooth headphones experience. Whether you are listening to music, podcasts, having a phone conversation, this is a good device to use with your favorite Bluetooth-enabled music player. Since this is a sport headphone, it is also good for running or lighter activity. In fact, the Backbeat Fit also comes with a smartphone armband and carrying case so you do not have to worry about the phone bouncing around in your pocket.

Visit your local retail outlets, such as AT&T or order it online. Enjoy the Bluetooth-connected freedom.

Since writing this initial review, I have used my Backbeat Fit almost every day. From mowing the grass, to working in the office, to listening to Audible books, these headphones have been a consistently good pair of earbuds. They have been worth the price and seem to be in better shape than the wired BOSE headset I was using before. This is a great gift idea for birthdays, random presents, and the holidays.

The BlackBerry Classic is a mix of touch and tradition

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The BlackBerry Classic is a mix of traditional BlackBerry with a modern touchscreen. The physical QWERTY keyboard will draw in those dedicated to their favorite first devices. The responsive touchscreen and navigation tools, will draw in others looking for something different in a smartphone. It is available now at AT&T for $49.99 on a 2-year contract, through their Next installment plan, and without a contract.

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The BlackBerry Classic is a mix of traditional BlackBerry with a modern touchscreen. The physical QWERTY keyboard will draw in those dedicated to their favorite first devices. The responsive touchscreen and navigation tools, will draw in others looking for something different in a smartphone. It is available now at AT&T for $49.99 on a 2-year contract, through their Next installment plan, and without a contract.


The lure to the BlackBerry Classic is what makes a BlackBerry a BlackBerry, the QWERTY keyboard. While the keyboard is similar to previous devices, the keys slant toward the left or the right to help with the comfort of texting with both thumbs. It does take a bit of getting used to if you are using one hand to send messages. Another aspect of the keyboard that may take some getting use to is the location of the numbers and symbols. If you are familiar with a touchscreen, finding the keys will take a little time before you are comfortable at reaching top typing speeds.

Part of the key area is a small navigation nub. This key helps you reach those tightly aligned links, click on items a little too small for your larger finger, and move around a web page with ease. The navigation nub can also be used to scroll through pages of information, which can also be done by swiping across the screen.
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The touchscreen is a nice addition to the BlackBerry line of phones. It is responsive form many angles and provides enough brightness indoors and out. The BlackBerry Classic has a 3.5-inch square 720p screen. The size and dimensions make it a bit awkward when it comes to viewing apps other than the stock BlackBerry apps.


Speaking of apps, the BlackBerry Classic allows you to install Android apps from the Amazon appstore. While this could provide for a good transition for those looking to switch from an Android device, any previous purchases will need to have come from Amazon as the Google Play store is not supported on this device. With the smaller and square screen, the apps do appear different than on larger, typical Android device.
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Some other specifications on the BlackBerry Classic include:
  • 2515 mAh battery which enables 22 hours of power
  • Rear-facing 8MP auto-focus camera with image & video stabilization and 5 element F2.2 lens
  • Front-facing 2MP and 3x digital zoom with 720p image and video stabilization
  • Image capture ratios setting of 1:1, 4:3, or 16:9
  • Webkit, BlackBerry® 10 web browser
  • Internal memory storage of up to 16GB
  • Expandable memory storage of up to 128GB with microSD card
  • 2GB of RAM
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
  • Bluetooth 4.0


Some additional summary points and reflections on the BlackBerry Classic are basic but may not sway the devoted BlackBerry user. The camera is OK, but not great. It seems slow to focus, especially with the flash on. The battery is great and can last for a couple of days with basic usage. The call quality seemed OK in the Nashville market.

If you are in the market for a new phone, especially on focused on business and the BlackBerry universe, stop by your local AT&T store to try out the device yourself.

Verizon offering free smartphone and tablet workshops


Verizon is helping smartphone and tablet users master their technology through in-store wireless workshops. This is good news to those consumers who received or purchased a new device during the recent holidays. Subscribers of all wireless carriers can participate at their nearby Verizon Wireless retail store.

“Verizon’s wireless workshops are a great way for every smartphone and tablet owner to get the most out of their mobile devices and to learn how to be comfortable using these new devices,” said Jerry Fountain, president for Verizon Wireless in the Carolinas and Tennessee. “Whether you want to learn how to better manage emails, take full advantage of streaming video and audio, access the Internet, manage social media accounts or use apps on the go, our wireless workshops allow you to tailor your wireless experience to suit your individual lifestyle and technology needs.”

The workshops are designed to be interactive and allow participants to learn timesaving tips and tricks through hands-on education. Verizon experts answer questions and provide training for Android and Apple devices, as well as connected devices.
While the workshops are free, it is requested that those interested register through the Verizon website. If you need a little extra assistance or just some insight into the technology you have at your disposal, check out these free workshops.

Redesigned BlackBerry Passport arriving exclusively at AT&T


Photo courtesy of AT&T Wireless

BlackBerry has new devices coming soon and AT&T will carry them. AT&T and Blackberry have announced an exclusive launch of the newly redesigned BlackBerry Passport. A BlackBerry Classic will also be coming soon to AT&T stores and online.

The BlackBerry Passport has a large 4.5-inch square, full HD touch screen and a touch-enabled QWERTY keyboard, a 13 MP camera, and 32 GB of storage. The BlackBerry Passport will be available in the near future for $0 down on an AT&T Next plan at $21.67 per month with AT&T Next 24,3 $27.09 with AT&T Next 183 or $32.50 per month with AT&T Next 12.3 You can also get the smartphone for $199.99 with a two-year agreement4 or at no annual commitment for $649.99.

“The BlackBerry Passport is ideal for the power professional who wants an innovative wireless device focused on productivity,” said Jeff Bradley, SVP, Device Marketing and Developer Services, AT&T.
Ron Louks, President, Devices and Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry said, “Built with security at its core, the BlackBerry Passport stands apart from the rectangular-screen, all-touch devices in the market today, offering users more than a full day of battery life and new innovations, including the industry’s first touch-enabled QWERTY keyboard.”

The BlackBerry Classic is designed for speed and accuracy and includes Blackberry’s iconic keyboard. It is equipped with a 2MP front- and 8MP rear-facing camera with enhanced optics and upgraded imaging sensors. You can purchase the BlackBerry Classic for $0 down on an AT&T Next plan at $14.00 per month with AT&T Next 24,3 $17.50 per month with Next 183 or $21.00 per month with AT&T Next 12.3 You can also get the smartphone for $49.99 with a two-year agreement4 or at no annual commitment for $419.99.

AT&T was the first wireless carrier to launch a BlackBerry device in the U.S. with the BlackBerry 950 in 1999; first with a GSM enabled product with the BlackBerry 5810 and 5820 in 2002; and the first and only to launch the exclusive BlackBerry Torch with full QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen in 2011. The BlackBerry Z10 was the first BlackBerry smartphone to run on AT&T’s 4G LTE network.

If you are a fan of BlackBerry, stop by your local AT&T store or watch for the release date online.

Disclosure: At Story Institute and MousePad Travel, we receive compensation through iTunes, Amazon, HostMonster, and Google affiliate programs by linking to products. We are independently owned and share only our personal opinions.