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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TIME TO SUNBURN

“Time to Sunburn” from Wolfram Alpha tells you how long you can stay in the sun, based on your skin type, time of day and location. Search “Time to Sunburn” to find it.

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SMOKING

“Smokefree TXT” is a free app to help you quit smoking. You get texts with helpful advice from other quitters, progress updates and other tips.

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COMPLAINING ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE

YourHealthInsuranceCompanySucksWhen.org has complaints about insurance companies and invites you to tell yours. One guy’s policy was cancelled after 12 years because he missed a payment when the premium doubled.

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