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. […]

Read more

DROPPING CABLE

We’re going into this again because it seems that all the world wants to get rid of their cable service. Another reader writes to say that he wants to drop Comcast, and short of taking to the streets with flaming torches, he can’t seem to shake them. All he cares about is local channels and HBO.

Read more

CAPTURING VIDEO AND PICTURES

Both Windows and Mac come with free tools for capturing whatever you see on your screen and attaching it to an email or using it elsewhere. But if you need high resolution screenshots, or want to capture video, add voice over or turn it into a brief animation, the new Ashampoo Snap 9 is a handy Windows program for doing that. Basically anything you see on your computer screen can be captured in up to 4K resolution, which is quite sharp. Add special effects, or time the video capture for a precise start and stop, or even pause it. The program can also do “OCR” (optical character recognition). So if you want to capture a news article off the screen, […]

Read more

REUTERS TV

Reuters TV is a free app for Android and iPhone, as well as iPad, Apple TV and the web. On the web, go to Reuters.TV for what looked to us like even-handed coverage; they are especially strong on international news.

Read more

NEWS FROM THE DRONES CLUB

Recently we wrote about taking our drone to the park and seeing it waft miles away from us in a few seconds. Afterward, a reader wrote us with his solution. It does not involve hours of practice flying.

Read more

THE DRONES CLUB: BEWARE TINY SCREWS AND INSTANT LIFTOFF

Gone in 60 Seconds. Not the movie. Our drone. It was bouncing along the grass, struggling for liftoff, so Joy handed the controller to Bob, and said, “You try it.” Bob naturally pushed the lift lever all the way up and the drone climbed like a socialite at a garden party. Within three seconds it was out of sight. We couldn’t have been more surprised if we’d launched a pocket rocket. “There,” Joy said. “I think it came down over there.”  This was all wishful thinking, of course. As we went through the grass and the nearby woods, the odds were growing that it came down in the next county. Maybe. Bob had made the most common mistake in droning, […]

Read more

WATCHING AMAZON VIDEO OFFLINE

“Amazon Instant Video,” for Android phones and tablets, allows you to download a movie for offline viewing, great for when you’re on a plane or train or otherwise out of range of a Wi-Fi signal.  Go to Amazon.com/GetAndroidVideo for detailed instructions.

Read more

WHEN YOU CAN’T TALK, VIDEO TEXT

“Yahoo LiveText” is for those situations where you want to see the other person you’re texting and you can’t talk. Maybe you’re at the library. You know how they are about people like you. With this app, you can text each other while also looking and batting your eyes.

Read more

FLASHBACK: THE VISION THING

The 20th anniversary of the first news broadcast on the Internet is coming up on November 23. In 1995, our friend Victor Dorff made history by talking ABC TV News into letting him put “World News Now” on the web. They thought he was crazy, but gave it a try.

Read more

ROKU PLAYER VERSUS ROKU STICK

Why pay $130 for the “Roku 4 Player” when the Roku stick only costs $47?

Read more