AUTISM APP FOR CHILDREN

“This for That: Visual Schedules” is designed to help children with autism. It’s free through April for iPhone/iPad or 99 cents for Android. It helps break down tasks into easy-to-follow steps, helps ease the transition between activities, and gives them rewards for good behavior.

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APP HAPPY

We spotted some great recipes in a “WebMD” magazine in the doctor’s office, including one for “Tofu-Pineapple Stir Fry.” (OK, Joy thought it sounded great, Bob still prefers grilled cheese.) But when we tried to subscribe, we discovered that the print version is only available in doctor’s offices. (We think rioting in the streets might be appropriate here.)

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APP HAPPY HEALTH

We were burned when we signed up for the “prime” version of Health Tap, after they offered us a free two-week trial of their doctor on demand service. We didn’t remember that they had our credit card, so it was a big shock to learn we’d been dinged $109 per month for three months. This has become a “business model,” as they say, and it’s a nasty practice.

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KEEP BREATHING –‘SPIRE’ HELPS COLUMNIST BREATH EASY

Joy is a mouth breather and was wondering if she breathes irregularly. So she got one these new $150 fitness tracker “Spire” to monitor her breathing and emotions — stress levels — as well as her steps. It has notions: When Joy did a backbend today, a pop-up message immediately suggested she calm down. The Spire said she hadn’t been calm for hours. “Who says I’m not calm!” Joy is demanding as we type. Spire looks like one of those smooth flat stones you pick up on river bottoms; it has a clip to attach to your shirt or pants. It goes with an app for your iPhone or iPad. (Android app coming up soon.) The app shows three flower […]

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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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