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Unboxing Live 079: FitBit Ultra fitness tracker

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Accessories, Features, Videocasts

In this episode we open up the FitBit Ultra. The FitBit Ultra is a tiny gadget that you wear on your belt, hip, or wrist that monitors how many steps you take, how many flights of stairs you climb, and how many calories you've burned during a day. It even monitors your sleep patterns, giving you information on how well you actually sleep during the night. The device is one of those fitness gadgets that are currently all the rage, helping you to keep better track of your activities, diet, and overall fitness. We open up the FitBit Ultra while at CES 2012. You can pick one up for $99.

Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! GoToMeeting with HDFaces provides rich, super-simple collaborative virtual meetings. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.


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Are the Steve Jobs death watch fears unwarranted?

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Editorial, Features, Rumors

steve jobs cancer treatmentA story broke late yesterday about Steve Jobs being seen attending the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California, the same center where actor Patrick Swayze sought treatment before his death. The source: The National Enquirer.

Given the source, the claim is questionable, though the Enquirer has been right about matters surrounding secretive public figures before (as former presidential candidate John Edwards can attest). Radar Online says it has confirmed the story, but it didn't say how.

Given that we know Jobs is currently on medical leave from Apple, and that he's had cancer before, the report that Jobs may be seeking treatment at a cancer center isn't surprising. The Enquirer even has photos of what it says is Jobs, supposedly looking extremely thin. A few sites have posted some of the photos, though it's hard to tell how thin the person is, or if he's just wearing baggy clothing.

The Enquirer report takes some big leaps, however, on the scant evidence. Enlisting two doctors, who have never even met Jobs, to make a diagnosis based on what's in the photos, the Enquirer says Jobs may have lost large portion of his muscle mass and probably has just "weeks to live."

Click to continue reading Are the Steve Jobs death watch fears unwarranted?


Nintendo warns against allowing kids to use Nintendo 3DS 3D functions

 

 Nintendo 3DS hazard children 

Those thinking about buying the upcoming Nintendo 3DS for your pre-schooler might want to wait a few years. In advance of its Nintendo World 2011 demo, Nintendo posted a warning that suggests children under the age of six should not use its 3D functions.

"Vision of children under the age of six has been said [to be in the] developmental stage," according to a note posted to Nintendo's Japanese site. 3D content, including the 3DS, "delivers 3D images with different left and right eye images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes."

Nintendo recommended the use of parental controls to only allow younger gamers to play in 2D. There is "enough for everyone to enjoy," Nintendo said.

Nintendo recommended that players of all ages take breaks from 3D content every 30 minutes - or if you feel sick.


3D video and gaming hazardous to your health

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Displays, HDTV, Movies

3D HDTV health hazard

When announced the 3DS, they made sure to make the press aware that children should have the 3D effect disabled if they were going to use the handheld console. Manufacturers of 3D HDTV sets have also included warnings that stated that there is a possible health risk to certain viewers, and have provided guidance that children should be limited in their 3D exposure. Year ago, Sega was going to release a 3D virtual reality headset that was quickly and quietly shelved, despite being seen as the future of gaming 15 years ago. Now news has come out that all of these warnings are based on years of research cover ups, and the details are finally being brought out now that 3D entertainment is much more readily available than it was in years past.

In a nutshell, the problem is that children under 7 are still developing their vision, and the 3D effect actually forces you into strabismus, essentially giving yourself temporary lazy eye. Since children are still developing, you run a severe risk of having them end up with permanent strabismus (or, lazy eye.) This is the reason that so many manufacturers want to be overly cautious with the use of 3D as it pertains to children, and it’s also a good reason for parents to sit up and take notice as well. Now that 3D HDTVs are on the market, we’ve gone from having super rare opportunity to view 3D content, to a bunch of animated movies incorporating it (so, 2-6 hours per month, depending on how often you go to those,) to potentially having 3D on in your home on a constant basis.

A lot of higher-ups within the consumer electronics industry point to the fact that the data is 15 years old, and that they may be new factors since the technology has advanced. However, the fact remains that all content that shows a different image to each eye (which is all 3D) forces you into strabismus. More research is needed to find out if 3D HDTV is safe for children, as well as adults, especially for prolonged lengths of time.

Read More | Audioholics

Fitbit measures your fitness activity anywhere, doing anything

FitBit calorie tracker

We’ve been waiting for the Fitbit to drop for over a year now, and just when we thought it was going to turn out to be vaporware, the company has announced that this little fitness device is shipping. The Fitbit is a device that clips to your clothes, and it monitors many daily activities including distances traveled, exercise intensity, sleep patterns, as well as calorie consumption.  The device contains a 3D motion sensor to obtain this certain information, and will transmit that data to the wireless base station when you are near it. You can then log on to the Fitbit site, and take a look at all sorts of data. The Fitbit has an display with a battery life for about 10 days, and costs $99. 

Read More | Fitbit

Wi-Fi-enabled pacemaker updates your doctor with your stats, wirelessly

Wi-Fi PacemakerThese days, everything from our mobile phones to our s have WiFi capability, so why not put it in a device where it really matters, like a pacemaker?  Apparently, a New York woman was the first to receive such a device, and it is designed to upload any troubling stats tol her doctor should it pick up anything abnormal. 

We like seeing technology used to keep people safe, and this saves time as well, since most of her normal tests are now done on the fly, with results delivered without an appointment needing to be made.

Read More | Daily Tech

Haier America Trainer is an MP3 Player for the Physically Fit

Haier AmericaSure, MP3 Players are a dime a dozen (in variety, not price).  And sure, they usually have the same features such as loading tunes via , the FM Tuner, and small ones usually hold about 2GB worth of memory. 

In fact, the only thing that makes the Haier America Trainer stand out is the fact that it has a built-in clip, a heart-rate monitor, a pedometer, plus a stop watch.  So for those who are interested in taking tunes with their workout, you might want to give this one a try.  It is available now for a price range of about $55-65. 

Read More | CNET Reviews

Nintendo announces Wii Vitality Sensor

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Accessories, Nintendo, Wii

Wii Vitality Sensor

During their Media Briefing, Nintendo announced the Wii Vitality Sensor. Yet another add-on peripheral for , the Wii Vitality Sensor clips on to your finger and monitors your heart rate, transmitting it to Wii and whatever game you happen to be playing. Obviously this fits in to Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus in some form, and could be used in interested ways for other games, but in all honesty, it just looks kind of annoying.

[Photo Credit]


Free PIGFLU Updates by Text

Swine Flu Cartoon

Is there no end of the ways to remind us that the Swine Flu (H1N1) exists? Apparently not, as this one will give you free updates with SMS messages on your cell phone. Text “PIGFLU” to 41411 and you will receive news that included CDC/WHO updates, new outbreak alerts, travel warnings and health authority information. Messages are sent one to 3 times daily and you may have to pay for text charges, depending on your phone plan.

 

Read More | Cellphones.org

Sad Scale Medical App

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Healthcare & Fitness, $0.99

Sad ScaleThe Sad Scale app from Deep Pockets assesses your emotional state, even if you think you are already aware of it. Created by a physician, answer a series of 20 Zung standardized questions that will be scored and you will be told where you stand on a Depression, Geriatric or Post Partum Scale. While this is not a substitute for real therapy, it will save the last 30 entries that can be e-d to your doctor. The iPhone and iPod touch application is available at the App Store for $.99.

Read More | Sad Scale

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