Healthline.com is a top site for medical information and they’ve recently launched a new tool called “FundRazr.” It provides a way for cancer patients to “crowd-fund” money to cover their medical bills. Read more about it at healthline.com/health/cancer-crowdfunding.
ScienceStudio.org is a collection of science videos, radio programs, animations and photos on the web. They range from well-known programs like National PublicRadio’s “RadioLab” to bloggers at NASA. We especially liked the subject “Why Is It Dark At Night.” (Remember: No matter how silly the research, somebody got a grant for it.)
“Autism Learning Games: CampDiscovery” is an app for autistic kids who want to go to summer camp but may not be ready. It teaches over 50 common household and community objects, helping kids who have trouble telling the difference between living and nonliving things. Graphs track the child’s progress. Works with iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.
“Lightt” is a video-making iPhone app with some impressive features. Make your own stop-motion movie, like Wallace and Gromit or for you baby boomers, Gumby. Have a video play in reverse so that water pouring out of a pitcher appears to pour back in. Shake the phone to undo the effect you just created. All this is impressive, and it’s free. But we found it a little difficult to figure out.
–Got an email you want to share or save? You can send text from an email to an online storage account, by highlighting it and tapping “share.”
– Don’t feel stuck with whatever browser came with your Android phone. Android lets you download Firefox, Chrome or other web browsers.
–Hate the keyboard? Use “Swype,” a popular virtual keyboard available only on Android phones. (For iPhone users, a new $5 app called “Nintype,” is a cross between Swype and a regular keyboard, and may offer the best of both worlds.)
We used to have one of those “nature sounds” machines that played rain or waves to lull you to sleep. It worked well for a few years but finally started making very odd sounds (we must have gotten the alien version). So we went to the library and got three CDs full of nature sounds.
They had lots of tracks of nature sounds, not all sleep inducing. So we copied our favorite. To do that in Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, stick a blank CD into your drive and open up Windows Media Player. (XP users can download it from Microsoft.) You’ll see a message “Disk is empty, open burn list.” Click that and then drag the songs you want into the burn list until you’ve filled 80 minutes worth. Then click “burn.” Now in this case we just wanted to burn one track over and over, so to do that just keep dragging that same track onto the play list. This makes for a very boring CD, but in this situation that’s just what we wanted.
If you want that CD to play all night, your CD player has to have a “repeat” feature. Your player or boom box may already have that but you don’t know how to trigger it. But who still has the manual for these things? Nobody, right? You can get one, however, by typing the brand and the serial number for your machine in Google. Mother Google will find it for you.
Or, better yet, use Bluetooth speakers to wirelessly play nature sounds from a free smartphone app, such as “Nature Sounds.”
Readers were glad we wrote about CCleaner, a free program from Piriform.com; it has a tool for shutting off programs in the background that slow your machine.
But that’s not all you get! (Where have we heard that phrase before?) This little wonder also speeds up your web browsing. Start up the program and click “Tools.” Then look at the browser tab. You can speed up Chrome, Internet Explorer or Firefox.
Finally, it comes with a “Drive Wiper.” This is for that moment when you’re about to give away you machine and want to get rid of the personal stuff on board.
It has a link to “System Restore,” as well, though you don’t need CCleaner to get to that; it can be found under “system tools” on any PC. This little program has saved us many times when our computer loses its way in the woods. It is a teensy, weensy time machine that returns everything to a golden age when all was well.
“Ken Burns American History” app for iPhones/iPads with iOS 7, the latest operating system. The app brings you highlights from 136 hours worth of Ken Burns videos. A timeline lets you tap a given year. For example, 1930 has clips on jazz, Prohibition, Huey Long, the Great Depression and baseball. Starts out free, then ten bucks.