MEDICAL APPS

A reader asked us to find her a blood pressure app for the iPhone. There are several of these for both iPhone and Android. Unlike the kind you see at the doctor’s office, the apps do not use a compression band that temporarily cuts off your circulation. They measure the slight pulsing from placing your finger on the phone. We tried “Finger Blood Pressure! Free” on our Android phone, and compared it with the reading we got on the $35 Omron 3 Series Blood Pressure monitor with a pressure cuff. The Omron is battery operated, so you’re not tethered to the wall plug. Omron said Joy’s systolic pressure was 118, her diastolic reading was 74 and her pulse was 46. […]

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A BRIGHT BULB

Now there are light bulbs that respond to apps on your smartphone. You can control the lighting from anywhere in the world.

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WHAT’S REALLY WARMING THE WORLD?

“What’s Really Warming the World?” Search on that phrase and you’ll come up with an interactive chart put together by Bloomberg Business. It’s a view of temperature changes in air and water over the last 135 years, plotted against things like volcanic activity, deforestation, changes in solar radiation, etc. The strongest correlation is seen with so-called “greenhouse gases.”

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WHAT’S NEW IN ELECTRIC CARS

Electric cars are hot, so to speak, and the latest entry comes from the Morgan Motor Car Company in Malvern Links, Wales. Bob drove a Morgan for more than 20 years and it remains his all-time favorite car. It’s very British: They made one car a day.

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DESK LIGHTS

Okay we’re caving in – a little bit — to the desire for gift suggestions:

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THIN-FILM SOLAR CELLS

Making solar cells can get expensive. What if you could just stick them on, or perhaps even spay them on?

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GETTING A CHARGE

Another day, another charger. We’ve been flooded with these things, but some are unusual.

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PRINTER FRIENDLY

Many websites have a “printer friendly” option, to allow the printing of an article without all the ads. But say you want to capture the home page of the website, not an individual piece? Then it’s best to use the free app, PrintFriendly.

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SOLAR ROADWAYS

Gadzooks! The first thing Bob thought about while watching the YouTube video on “Solar Freakin’ Roadways,” was not, “let’s be an investor in this new kind of road,” but “let’s invest in the Canadian guy who made the video.” Very cool video; nearly 14 million people have seen it.

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THE INTERNET OF SHARING

Forty years ago, Bob wrote about an idea that may finally be gaining adherents. As a homeowner, he thought it was ridiculous that everybody on the block had their own lawnmower. Why not just have one and pass it around? Why try to own everything if you can share it? To pay for repairs or replacement, you would all contribute to a common fund, maybe monthly or once a year. It took the Internet to move this idea along.

People are now sharing tools and toys using apps like “Freecycle,” amounting to 700 million pounds of used items last year, according to a recent report by author Jeremy Rifkin. If those items were stacked …

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