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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ONE SMALL STEP FOR ALIEN KIND

A little fitness tracker, about the size of a thick quarter, arrived in a package that looked like a spaceship. It was somebody’s really clever idea, and what we’ve noticed over the years is that people who make these clever packages have never tried to open them.

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WE DO THE ROKU

The other day, our smart TV got dumber. It stopped giving us channels like Amazon and Netflix. Using the “reset” command fixed it, but in the meantime, we had a chance to explore the $49 Roku Streaming Stick and we took it.

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SEE YOUR DOC IN AN APP

“MDLive” for Android and iPhone, lets you visit a doctor from your phone, through video chatting, phone or email. It’s $10 a month and $49 per consultation, 24 hours a day, every day. The first consultation is free.

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BLOOD PRESSURE WILL TELL

Twenty-five percent of the world’s population has high blood pressure (we love statistics). We suspect some of it is “white coat” syndrome, the kind you get in doctor’s offices. This was once an annoyance to Joy, but her home monitor shows her pressure is normally 110 over 70, with a heart rate of 48 or 50. (Very fit, Joy.)

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ONE RING TO READ THEM ALL

A “FingerReader” under development at MIT is a scanner on a ring. With that, the computer will read to you as you pass your finger over a page or a book title. The computer speaks the words in a voice like a robot from an old sci-fi movie. You — know — it — sounds — like — this.

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HELP

While you’re up, how about solving a problem or two? “World Community Grid” is a free program that harnesses the power of linking thousands of computers to solve problems. (We are proud to say we first suggested doing this in a column written more than thirty years ago.)

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TRACKING YOUR BABY’S MOVEMENTS

The “Bellabeat Tracking System” for Android or iPhone lets expecting parents listen to their unborn baby’s heartbeat. It also has tracking tools for things like fetal movement and pregnancy weight gain.

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RAISING MONEY TO PAY FOR CANCER TREATMENTS

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.

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YOUR OWN RAIN MACHINE

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.

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