WASHING YOUR PHONE

In a recent survey, the manufacturer of a sanitizer called PhoneSoap, asked people which they thought was dirtier: the soles of their shoes, a toilet seat or a cellphone: Most chose the toilet seat, but it’s actually the phone. Most cellphones have 18 times more bacteria than the toilet in a public restroom, they say.

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LUMOID LETS YOU TRY LOTS OF FITNESS TRACKERS AT ONCE

Fitness trackers are a hot topic right now. It’s hard to pick the one you might like, but here’s a novel way to choose: try them all.

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WHAT TO DO IF YOUR KID IS SICK

“KidsDoc,” a $2 app, helps you determine what to do if your kid is sick. It is the top iPhone app recommended by the 65,000 doctors at HealthTap.com. The doctors’ favorite Android app  is “First Aid American Red Cross.” You can see the whole list at healthtap.com/top_health_apps_2014.

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FINDING THE CORRECT DIAGNOSIS

At Crowdmed.com, doctors, patients and researchers offer opinions on the correct diagnosis for medical conditions that have hitherto defied analysis and treatment. This is, in its way, the ultimate value of the Internet: the idea that if you can query the whole world, someone, somewhere, may know the answers to very difficult questions.

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IT’S A BLAST

Fitness tracking has hit basketball. Now you can measure the height of your jump and how long you hang in the air before dunking that shot. Users say cheers are in order if you can climb air for .7 of a second; one user claimed doing 1.2 seconds. Sign that kid up.

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TALKING TEDS

“TED talks” are widely popular 18-minute talks you can watch on the web. We once listened to a woman’s talk on shyness – and so did ten million other people. Having lost our shyness after this talk, we wondered what if we want to give a TED talk? TED is an acronym for “Technology, Entertainment and Design,” which were the initial subjects offered. But the range has gone way beyond that now and talks on virtually any subject can now be called up and sometimes the audience is as large as 12 million. How do you become a TED talk speaker? Go to Ted.com/nominate/speaker to nominate yourself or someone else. If it’s someone else, you don’t have to give their […]

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COMPUTERS: AN ALTERNATIVE

Back in the days when the world was young and computers were new, we had an editor who claimed he had developed an alternative technology that was both cheaper and had storage that lasted longer than disks.

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SMARTY PANTS

“Athos,” is a $99 pair of pants coming out in November that will analyze athletic performance. The pants can tell whether your squats are using your left leg more than your right and also take your blood pressure. They can even tell you whether you’re using your muscles correctly on a stationary bike. The smart phone app glows green when you’re at your maximum. There are a couple of negatives here: one user said it feels like a wetsuit, and you can’t wear men’s underwear (interferes with the sensors). The maker claims they’re machine washable. (No bleach, no starch.) More info at LiveAthos.com.

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ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD INGREDIENTS

  TellSpecopedia.com  This website has one of those hard to remember names that usually spell doom. But if you go there, you’ll find info on a thousand common food ingredients. Click on an ingredient like propylene glycol, Vitamin H or chicory root fiber and find the benefits or harms. This is an exhaustive site.

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BLOCKING THE BLUES

There’s a growing body of research warning about too much blue light, the kind that comes out of our phone and computer screens. In short, it appears to be bad for the eyes. It could lead to macular degeneration, headaches, wrinkles and other problems. It can also make it harder to fall asleep if you use your device at bedtime. Bob feels it’s like staring into a light bulb.

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