About Stephen

Stephen Ebbett has more than 10 years of experience spearheading innovative product and communication initiatives for corporations looking to gain a competitive edge when entering a new market. Stephen attended Durham University and holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Theology, as well as a postgraduate degree in Marketing. Outside of his work with Protect Your Bubble, Stephen enjoys rugby, film and photography.

Top 10 Safety Tips When Renting a Rental Car

rental car

Part of your travels may involve renting a car which can certainly be enjoyable as it allows you to get around just like you would at home. However, driving a rental car comes with its own complications as this is generally not the typical vehicle that you drive. Even if the car is the same make and model as the one you own, there are still differences in the way it is going to handle.

 

Plus, getting involved in an accident or worse can not only cost you a great deal of money, it can put you in a serious bind being so far from home. First things first, when you rent a vehicle, be sure to protect yourself with rental car insurance. It adds that extra layer of protection that you will need in case the unexpected should happen while you are far away from home.

 

Once you have taken care of the insurance, here are the 10 best safety tips to help keep you safe when driving a rental vehicle. You cannot eliminate the chance that an accident will occur, but you can reduce the odds significantly which may make all the difference.

 

1. Rent a Vehicle with which You are Familiar Withcar rental

If you’ve never driven a large van before, this is not the time to learn. You’ll want to rent the basic type of vehicle that you have driven before. It is much easier to go from driving a large vehicle to a smaller one than the other way around. Large vehicles are more cumbersome and do not respond as quickly as smaller cars.

 

Also, while it may be tempting to rent a high performance sports car, if you’ve never driven anything fancier than a standard mid-size vehicle, you should leave the racing to someone else.

 

2. Check the Outside of the Vehicle

Before you get in, take a minute to check the outside of the vehicle first and pay particular attention to the tires. Even a tire that is just a few pounds under the recommended level can cause your vehicle to turn in unexpected ways, so have it taken care of before you leave the rental car agency.

 

car scratches3. Report any Scratches, Dents or Other Significant Imperfections Before you Leave

In many cases, the rental agency will send a representative with you to the vehicle so that both of you can check it out to report any dents, dings, scratches and the like before you leave so that it is fully reported. The failure to do so means that you might be charged for a ding or dent that you did not cause. So take the time to go over the vehicle so that everything gets reported.

 

4. Check the Inside of the Vehicle

Before you start the vehicle, you will want to locate the following;

-       Speedometer

-       Lights

-       Windshield Wipers

-       Indicators like the Temperature Gauge, Check Engine Light and so forth

-       Gas Gauge

-       Radio and other features that you will use

Basically, you’ll want to get familiar with the car before you even move it from its parking space. Turn on the vehicle and check to see that all the lights and windshield wipers work properly. A sudden rain storm can greatly reduce your visibility quickly and you don’t want to fumble around looking for the windshield wipers.

 

5. Check the Trunkspare-tire-trunk

There should be a fully inflated spare tire or a smaller, solid rubber tire and jack so that you can change your own flat if needed. Plus, the rental agency should have an emergency service vehicle in case of mechanical difficulties, so have that number handy when driving.

 

6. If you have a GPS, Program your Destination

This can save you a great deal of time and effort in trying to find your location. So before you leave the parking area, be sure to program your first destination which can save you from becoming distracted while driving. This is especially true if you are traveling in densely packed urban areas where accidents are more likely to happen.

 

7. Test the Vehicle as You Drive

If the rental agency has a large parking area, take the vehicle around a couple of time to get the feel of it. You’ll want to test the brakes and steering as well so that way you can know what to expect. You only need a minute or two, but if you notice something really odd or even wrong with how the vehicle operates, immediately take it back to the rental agency.

 

8. Limit Distractions

This is arguably the toughest piece of advice to follow since it is very easy to become distracted when driving in a place that you have never visited. However, distractions are one of the leading causes of accidents so if you should see something so interesting that you must keep looking, pull the vehicle over to a safe place so you can view it without putting you and any of your passengers in danger.

 

9. Stay at a Safe Speed

Driving the speed limit will help you keep out of trouble with law enforcement and also allow you more reaction time if something should occur which requires you to apply the brakes or change lanes. It can be easy on long stretches of the highway to let the speed creep up. Just keep in mind that the faster you go, the less likely you are to avoid a potential accident.

75-mph-speed-limit-sign

10. Read the Map when the Car is Stopped

While reading a map has been the source of high comedy in television series and films, it is no laughing matter to get distracted by a map or anything else while driving your rental car. If you need to find a location, talk or text on your phone, or have to take your eyes off the road for something else it is best if you pull over the vehicle first.

 

By following these simple tips, you can significantly decrease the odds of having an accident while driving a rental vehicle and keep you and your passengers safer which makes for a much more enjoyable trip.

 


 

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Top 10 Celebrity iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S Phone Users

Celebrities are certainly like the rest of us in one respect, they love their smartphones. In fact, we often see them showing off their latest phone in paparazzi pictures and when promoting their TV shows or movies. Naturally, just as their fans are so interested in their activities, they also are interested in their phones as well.

david beckham iphone

David Beckham expresses his enjoyment of the Lakers game.

Unsurprisingly, it was easy to find the top ten celebrities who use the iPhone and those that use Samsung as their primary smartphones. Staying in touch with their fans is certainly part of their job and it’s no surprise that each celebrity has their own taste in smartphones.

iphone vs galaxy

Which celebrities prefer the iPhone over the Galaxy S?

Whether you are a celebrity or just someone who has yet to be discovered, your iPhone is a valuable investment that needs to be protected. Having iPhone Insurance will mean having it repaired or replaced more quickly and with less out of pocket expense.

 

Top 10 Celebrity iPhone Users

 

victoria-beckham-iphone

Victoria Beckham listening to her husband's text.

David & Victoria Beckham  – Arguably the greatest football player of our generation, David Beckham has thrilled sports fans around the world with his incredible talents as well as his stunning looks. What is also true is that you’ll see many photographs of Beckham using his iPhone which has become a valuable part of his personal gear. Needless to say, his wife Victoria Beckham also uses the iPhone as well.

 

Brad Pitt – Still one of the world’s sexiest men and huge movie star, Brad Pitt is a proud owner of the iPhone and is frequently photographed by paparazzi while using it.

 

Ellen Degeneres – America’s #1 daytime talk show host and now twice hosting the Academy Awards, Ellen has legions of fans around the world thanks to her sharp wit and wonderful sense of humor. There is little doubt that Ellen is a big iPhone fan as well, tweeting back in September upon the release of the iPhone 5C, “You guys, I just heard the new iPhone can read your mind. I didn’t even type this. I thought it.”

 

Jon Cryer – The star of the long-time running hit sitcom “Two and a Half Men” is also seen frequently with his iPhone.

 

Halle Berry – This Oscar-winning actress is also a recent fan of the iPhone, having recently shifted from a Blackberry.  Needless to say, she is certainly pleased and is often seen around Hollywood talking on her new iPhone.

 

Jessica Alba – Still one of the hottest stars on the planet is another actress who has recently left her Blackberry behind for the iPhone.

 

kanye-kim

Taking a picture x 3.

Kanye West & Kim Kardashian: Another “two-fer” as they are avid iPhone users with Kim recently showing off her figure in a tight bikini thanks to the photo capabilities of her iPhone. Kanye also keeps his iPhone close by as well, frequently being photographed talking to his friends and family on this device.

 

Miley Cyrus – When she’s not shocking the world, Miley is posting new photos or creating tweets with her iPhone. In fact, her iPhone is arguably one reason why she has stayed in the news to support her new found fame.

 

Jimmy Fallon – The new host of the Tonight Show is also a big iPhone fan as well. In fact, he recently joked on Twitter, “There’s a new iPhone app that breaks up with your significant other. It’s called ‘Words with Let’s Just Be Friends.”

 

Lindsay Lohan – Although her recent troubles have garnered more news than her movies, Lindsay is also a well known iPhone fan as well.

 

Top 10 Celebrity Samsung Galaxy S Users

 

ellen oscar selfie

Bradley Cooper is excited to have friends.

Ellen Degeneres – Yes, she is also a very famous customer of Samsung Galaxy series as well. After all, it was a Samsung smartphone that took the most retweeted selfie in history at the last Oscar ceremony. Samsung actually just sponsored the Oscar selfie as Ellen still has her iPhone, but it was close enough.

 

Ewan McGregor – The star of the recent Star Wars trilogy is also a well known user of Samsung smartphones as well.

 

Jay-Z & Beyonce – Arguably one of the biggest music stars in the world, rapper Jay-Z has also built a powerful brand that has branched out to the fashion world and beyond. Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce are well known fans of the Samsung for their smartphone needs.

martha stewart and jay-z galaxy phone

Martha Stewart and Jay-Z using the Galaxy S phone in the afterlife.

Martha Stewart – Still one of the most recognizable celebrities on the planet, Martha is also a proud owner of a Samsung.

 

LeBron James – The most popular basketball player since Michael Jordan, LeBron is also an avid Samsung smartphone user as well. While a spokesperson for Samsung as well, LeBron is certainly one of the most recognizable stars to use this brand.

 

Evan Rachel Wood – One of the hottest actresses today, Even Rachel Wood has also been photographed on the set of her latest films using a Samsung.

 

Nicole Sherzinger Cord Phone

Nicole Sherzinger uses a cord phone after losing her Galaxy S.

Nicole Scherzinger – Recording artist who also uses a Samsung as well representing the new wave of smartphone users who prefer this brand.

 

The Saturdays – This British/Irish all-girl group has certainly made its mark as well while also being known for using Samsung as their smartphone of choice.

 

David Ferrer – This Spanish tennis star got into a little hot water with Samsung when he tweeted its praises from his iPhone. Still, he officially uses a Samsung it seems.

 

All in all, the celebrities who use either iPhone or Samsung are often sponsored to do so, much like golfers use clubs and golf balls from particular brands as well. The power of celebrity when it comes to product promotion is certainly potent and whatever these celebrities personal preference may really be, it does come down to if they have a sponsorship or not.

Still, we will no doubt see more Samsung and iPhones being used by celebrities as long as they take photos of themselves or the paparazzi is present.

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Top 10 iPhone 5s Protective Cases on the Market

Your iPhone represents a valuable investment that does more than just provide phone and internet services. For many, the iPhone 5 is the center of organizing their daily lives which means that protecting this device from damage is paramount for many people.

 

While the iPhone 5 is a sturdy device, it is also somewhat fragile as well. The iPhone can be dented, scratched and even broken by the bumps, scrapes and drops that can happen when travelling with the phone. It is fairly easy to crack the screen and even bust open the plastic covering.

 

This is why having a iPhone 5 protective case is vital towards keeping your phone operational. A simple, inexpensive protective case can absorb the bumps, scrapes and drops that can occur to this device, adding years to its life and keeping you from having to repair or replace it.

 

When it comes to protecting your iPhone 5, having a solid case is not enough. You need effective iPhone 5 insurance to ensure that your phone is covered whether it needs repair or replacement. You simply cannot afford to be without your iPhone, so get it fully protected with iPhone insurance.

 

What follows are the Top 10 iPhone 5s Protective Cases on the Market. By using one of these cases, you can help protect your investment and save you time and energy in getting it repaired or replaced.

 

10. Lifeproof fre Series

 

The Lifeproof iPhone 5 case provides excellent protection from the bumps and hits that iPhones tend to take over time. The case fits tight over the iPhone and is shock, water, scratch, dirt and even snow resistant. For those who actively use their iPhones in all types of weather, the Lifeproof is one of the best cases around.

 

9. Elago’s S5 Glide Case

 

A slim, slide-on case that protects your iPhone from numerous bumps and scrapes, the advantage of this particular version is that you can change out either the top or bottom piece to create a two-toned look while still providing excellent protection. Finally, this particular case is very inexpensive compared to many others on the list, making it the perfect choice for the budget-minded.

 

8. Speck CandyShell Grip Case

 

This is the perfect case for those who have butterfingers as it provides plenty of grip thanks to the rubberized textures on the back. A hard plastic case that resists dust, scratches and drops, this is the perfect case for those on the go who tend to drop their iPhones because they are slippery. There is no slip with the Speck CandyShell Grip Case.

 

7. Otterbox Defender

 

Certainly one of the best iPhone cases on the market today, this particular case is not the most fashionable, but it does feature extra-thick protection around the vulnerable corners of your iPhone in a sleek, black case. The extra protection around all the edges also pays off as well when bumped or scraped.  Dust, dirt, scratch, drop and impact resistant, the Otterbox Defender is arguably the toughest, most durable and impact-resistant case on this list.

 

6. CM4 iPhone Wallet Q Card Case

 

This not only protects your iPhone, but stores up to three credits cards and cash as well. The lay-flat design provides maximum protection for the screen which is the most vulnerable part of the iPhone 5. Dust, dirt, scratch and impact resistant, the soft-touch finish allows for easy gripping as you pull it from your pocket as well.

 

5. Spigen Slim Armor Case

 

While not offering as much protection as some other cases on this list, the Spigen Slim Armor Case does do one interesting thing. It makes it appear that you are not using a case at all. The thin design actually mimics the features of the iPhone so that it looks like you are not using a case. Plus, it comes in different colors and has a relatively low price as well.

 

4. Hitcase Pro Waterproof Case

 

This is a unique case that offers maximum, complete protection, yet allows you to use the camera function of the iPhone 5. In addition to being dust, dirt, scratch and impact resistant, this case is also waterproof up to 10 meters. The GoPro mount compatibility is just another outstanding feature of this remarkably durable case.

 

3. Carved

 

This is a uniquely designed case that gives the appearance of being made from real wood, but it isn’t. In fact, this unique case from Carved has an elegant intricate design that mimics the best of wooden cases, but retains the protective, sleek hard plastic that offers great protection. Cool, memorable, protective and affordable, the Carved case is certainly one of the most interesting available.

 

2. Twelve South Book

This is certainly one of the most interesting iPhone cases on the market today. Created in the shape and feel of a small vintage book, this case adds to its considerable protection elements by making the iPhone 5 look like something else entirely which helps make it resistant to thieves as well. In addition to protecting your iPhone, this unique case can also double as a wallet with pockets for your credit cards, ID, receipts, cash and whatever else you need to carry. This is certainly one of the most remarkable cases you can buy.

 

1. Otterbox Commuter Series

 

One of the best iPhone cases on the market today, the OtterBox Commuter Series offers plenty of overall protection starting with the self-adhesive screen protection that resists scratches and scrapes while all the ports are covered to prevent dust, dirt and debris from entering. The OtterBox also offers two layers of protection to protect against drops, bumps and shocks as well. Elegantly designed to slide easily in and out of your pocket, the OtterBox Commuter Series is certainly one to take note.

 

These are the Top 10 iPhone 5s Protective Cases on the Market today. Each of them bring their own, unique attributes which makes each of them a great choice for protection, style and comfort in using your iPhone while on the go.

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10 Things You Never Knew Your iPhone Could Do

Your iPhone is quite a remarkable device. Everyday, millions of people use their iPhones to call, text, take photos and surf the web. However, there are quite a number of features that most people either seldom or never use because they were not aware that their iPhone had that capacity.

 

Considering how much an iPhone costs and what you pay each month to keep it in service, it pays to get the most out of your iPhone. This is particularly true if you see other devices that have features that you don’t think are part of your iPhone, only to discover after much expense that they do. Plus, your iPhone represents a significant financial investment. Do leave your device unprotected, get iPhone insurance so you can either fix or replace your iPhone sooner at less out of pocket expense.

 

So here are 10 things you never knew your iPhone could do. In fact, there may be many more as well, but you may find these 10 quite startling.

 

Color Matching: Thanks to advances in screen technology, the colors that are present are a real looking and accurate as those from actual paint swatches. So you can use your iPhone to find the right color of pain you want for a room or have throw pillows a particular shade of green. In fact, the pictures you take can be used to represent the colors that you want as well, such as the deep, blue sky. This can be quite the time saver, especially if you are looking for a particular color as well.

 

Talk to Siri in Private: Carrying on a conversation with Siri can be a little embarrassing for some in public, especially the way that Siri “speaks” and the careful responses that you have to give. However, you can at least listen to Siri without having to turn the sound up if you go to Settings>General>Siri and select “Raise to Speak”. This means that all you have to do is put the phone to your ear and Siri is summoned.

 

Level the Shelves: Why go digging through the garage for that leveler when you can simply use your iPhone. The free iHandy Level App is one of five handy tools in the iHandy Carpenter toolkit that you can use to level your shelves, picture frames and even measure angles correctly. This App can be quite handy, especially if you are away from home and need a leveler to help a friend or on the job site. You can imagine the time saved by pulling out the iPhone rather than having to travel or purchase a leveling tool.

 

Text Shortcuts: While it seems that kids today can text a mile a minute, those of us with less than nimble fingers have a more difficult time getting out sentences in such a short time. However, if you use certain sentences or phrases quite a bit, then you can use a shortcut to get to them quickly. Just go to Settings>General>Keyboard and then scroll down to Shortcuts where you can enter a particular phrase and the shortcut needed to access it. This way, the next time you text you can simply enter the shortcut and the phrase will appear.

 

Start the Car: This is one that is becoming more known, but it still can catch some people off guard. The Viper Smart Start will let you start your car remotely which can be quite handy on those really cold days. Now you can warm up the engine while you are still in the house with the car doors safely locked. Finish what you need to do and the car will be nice, warm and ready when you are finally ready to brave the cold.

 

Brighten Your Alerts: If you are having trouble catching your alerts, then try switching them to LED flashes instead. In today’s world, many sounds and even the vibrations of the iPhone may not be caught. But having a bright LED flash is unmistakable. Go to Settings>General>Accessibility and switch on the LED Flash for Alerts.

 

Measure: Are you tired of buying a new tape measure after finding that you misplaced the old one or simply do not have one with you? If so, you can actually measure quite a few things with your iPhone if you use the right Apps. All you need to do is bring up the App and use your camera lens as the viewer. The Smart Measure Pro is just one of several Apps for the job.

 

Narrow Down the Weather Forecast: While there are plenty of Weather Apps, you can not only find out about the weather two days from now, but two hours from now as well. Basically, you can tap anywhere in the forecast on the day you want and it will expand to show you hour by hour what is expected. This way, you will know how to dress when leaving for work or heading out on that trip.

 

Monitor Your Heart Rate: Thanks to Azumio’s Instant Heart Rate, you can measure your heartbeats simply by putting your finger to the screen for a few seconds. This particular app actually won a Best Health & Fitness App Award in 2011 at the Mobile Fitness Awards. Today, you can find many health-oriented Apps that can be used to measure your heart rate as well as other related items.

 

Change the Color of the Light Bulbs: Thanks to the Philips Hue App, you can now change the color of your “smart” light bulbs all from your iPhone. This way, you can create a special atmosphere for your home whenever you want. Also, you can remotely turn on your lights if you are working late and want your home to appear to be occupied.

 

These are just 10 of the many fascinating things you can do with your iPhone. Given the sheer number of Apps that are now available, it is well worth checking out all the amazing things that your iPhone can now do.

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5 Greatest Electronic Inventions Since 2010

Technology keeps advancing at an astounding rate as new electronic devices and gadgets seemingly arrive in stores on a daily basis. Today, with the rapid acceleration of computer and mobile technology, the way we live our lives has dramatically changed since the end of the 20th century.

 

If you have purchased a valuable electronic device or gadget, then you can protect that investment by having gadget insurance. Protecting your electronic devices in this manner means faster replacement or repair with less out of pocket expense.

 

Here are the five greatest electronic inventions since 2010. Each of these devices were chosen based on their usefulness, practicality and ability to serve the needs of everyone.

 

The BodyGuard (2011)

 

Essentially, this is an all-in-one crime fighting glove that is armored and contains a camera and wrist-mounted stunner for additional protection. Invented by David Brown who came up with the idea while talking to actor Kevin Costner (hence the name), the BodyGuard is sleek, easy to use and contains enough room for future improvements. It is certainly an impressive non-lethal, self-defense weapon.

 

Bed Bug Device (2011)

 

This is a remarkably simple device that mimics the function of a dog’s nose to sniff out the presence of bedbugs. Normally, bedbugs are difficult to see and most people do not detect them until they have been bitten. This device can detect bedbugs very quickly and inventor Chris Goggin plans to build similar devices for other types of pests.

 

Eliodomestico Solar Water Distiller (2012)

 

Designed by Gabriele Diamanti, this creative combination of electronics and solar power has created a water distiller that can be used for coastal areas that have no sources of fresh water. It’s simple design and robust features means it is far more efficient than similar devices while costing only half as much. This simple product may change the lives of millions of people for the better in the next few years.

 

Enable Talk Gloves (2012)

 

Now you can literally “talk to the hand” in a positive way. Developed by Ukrainian students as a way to allow the speech and hearing impaired to communicate with those who don’t understand sign language, The gloves have sensors which recognize sign language and translates it into text on a smart phone which in turn speaks those words to the person. This wonderful device helps bridge the gap between the speech and hearing impaired to the rest of the world.

 

Motion Activated Screwdriver (2012)

 

By using sensors found in Nintendo’s Wii controller and smart phones, Black & Decker has made a cordless motorized drill that uses the motion of your hand to either tighten or loosen screws. This labor-saving device doesn’t just cut the time necessary to make the adjustments manually, it also saves energy along with wear and tear on the user as well. This is a remarkably brilliant invention for carpenters and other professionals.

 

These five electronic inventions may help change the lives of millions of people in both small and large ways. It will be interesting to see what the future brings in terms of new inventions that may help everyone.

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