GNC-2012-03-22 #752 The Crud Strikes!

Hey folks have a serious case of the crud but the show must go on.. Probably better to listen to this one versus watch ;). Minor schedule changes on my Indy trip but a log going on here getting ready for the new quarter.

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Download the Audio Show File

Links to all the articles talked about in this Podcast are on the GNC Show Notes Page [Click Here]

Nothing But Nets – A surprising visit to our booth

Todd and Steve get a surprise visit from a funny bug with a serious message. Even though it was Friday afternoon, and everyone was a bit punchy (including the tricaster operator in the studio) they managed to get the word out on this very important issue.

Nothing but Nets is a charity that sends mosquito nets to people in Africa. In Africa 1000’s of people die of mosquito-born illness. Nothing but nets will send a long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed net, distribute it, and educate communities on its use, all for $10. 100 percent of every $10 contribution to cover the costs.

You can donate by going to www.nothingbutnets.net

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Gunnar Digital Performance Eyewear

Gunnar Phenom EyewareGunnar‘s digital performance eyewear is a range of spectacles designed for people who spend too much time in front of a screen. Typically stylish and yellow-lensed, Todd occasionally wears a pair of Gunnars while doing the GNC show.

Joe Croft dropped in to show off the latest specs and Gunnar currently has a four-way line-up with Advanced Computer, Advanced Gaming, Premium 3D and Advanced Outdoor eyewear. As you might guess, three out of the four are primarily for indoor use only.

The Advanced Computer eyewear is for those people who use computer screens all day and the glasses help with the typical symptoms of prolonged computer use, such as a lowering in the blink rate leading to dry eyes, tired eye muscles from short range focussing and poor light quality from fluorescent lights. The technology in Gunnar glasses addresses each of those issues to make the eyes more comfortable while using a computer screen.

The new Spring 2012 collection is now out at Gunnars. Prices from $80 – $300 for standard lenses. Budget up to $700 for custom prescription lenses from Zeiss.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Steve Lee of Netcast Studio for the TechPodcast Network.

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Hearing Loss Help From ClearSounds

ClearSounds LogoSurprisingly, one in five Americans over the age of 12 has hearing loss severe enough to affect communication and in over a third of the cases, the loss is from noise exposure, not age. ClearSounds produces a range of stylish products that help people overcome their hearing loss and communicate again. Andy and Courtney talk to company president, Michele Alman of ClearSounds.

Suffering from a hearing loss is less about the physical impairment and more about the isolation and withdrawal that occurs when it becomes difficult to hear what’s going on. The problem doesn’t only affect the afflicted; friends and family stop calling and phoning because it’s simply too hard to have a conversation. In turn, the lack of contact leads people into depression.

ClearSounds have a range of products aimed at remedying everyday situations – people with hearing loss want to use cool tech too. The ClearSounds i700 iCreations Phone is combination landline and iPhone dock. The enhanced handset combines a DECT cordless phone with a Bluetooth receiver so only one handset is needed to take both landline and mobile phone calls.

For watching TV, the ClearBlue Bluetooth TV/Audio Listening System is a Bluetooth transmitter and headphones receiver. Rather than turning the TV volume up until it rocks the house, the headphones let the individual set the volume just right for them.

Interview by Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

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Kidz Gear Volume Limiting Headphones

Volume Limiting Headphones

CES regular Jack Peterson talks with Todd and Don on the latest headphones for children from Kidz Gear.

Kidz Gear produces headphones with smaller headbands and ear cups to fit the smaller heads of children. This year they’ve brought to the market new wired headphones that have a built-in volume limiter that prevents children’s hearing becoming damaged through excessive sound levels. The headphones reduce the maximum sound level by about 20% into the 80-95 decibel range.

The new headphones are compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iPod ranges and include an inline remote  and mic control. They’re available from the Apple Store or direct from Kidz Gear for $29.99.

An additional new product in the same vein is a volume limit cable which can be added to already-purchased headphones to make them safer for children. Priced at only $9.99, there’s currently a special price of $5.99 showing on-line.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Don Baine, the Gadget Professor for the TechPodcast Network.

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Careverge Takes A Social Approach To Health

Careverge logoThe fast pace of modern Western life doesn’t lend itself to a healthy lifestyle and many of us struggle to keep on top of the weight and exercise regularly, including myself. Careverge can help as a one-stop health and well-being site that brings together fitness, health and support in one place. Careverge’s Henry de Phillips talks to Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Nursing Show about what the site can offer.

Careverge’s approach is to create a social networking environment to encourage good health behaviours rather than to simply sell a product or a plan. The site brings networking, gaming and recommendations together so that within only a few moments of starting to use the site, the individual is given personalised suggestions on reading and possible activities. The focus of Careverge is to encourage people to health through fun while providing quality health information and support to reach their goals.

Careverge is free to use for consumers.

Interview by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Nursing Show.

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LifeStation Web managed Pill box

From the CES 2012 floor, Jamie Davis from Promed Network talks with David from LifeStation about their new web enabled pill box for people on daily medications. The pill box had compartments for up to 4 doses a day and once full holds a week’s worth of pills. The pillbox doors flash when it’s time for that dose and if after a time, the door isn’t opened it starts beeping. If the person still doesn’t take their meds, it sends and email, text and automated phone call to the patient and their care giver. In tests, the pill box got a medication compliance of up to 92% (which is very good)

For more information go to medicationstation.com or lifestation.com

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Basis Portable Health Monitoring

Todd talked to Jeff from Basis at the digital experience event at CES 2012 about their new product for health monitoring.

Basis is coming this spring with a wrist wearable health monitoring system to help you keep track of your overall activity level. Different from the heart monitors you would wear for working out, this new system will track your heart rate, temperature, perspiration, sleep and activity level as you go about your daily life. It will take that information and upload it to Basis’ cloud service and give you all the data along with some recommendations of things you need to do to get into better overall health.

The device and service will be available in early 2012 for $199. This includes a lifetime membership to the cloud service.

For more information, go to www.mybasis.com

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Withings Internet Connected Baby Scale

At CES in Las Vegas, Withings has announced its wireless Internet-connected baby and toddle scale, winner of a 2012 CES Innovations Award. Developed by the French company, the Smart Baby Scale incorporates WiFi, Bluetooth and the low power Bluetooth Smart connectivity and allows parents to accurately record their child’s weight from birth.

Withings Smart Baby Scale

Using the Smart Baby Scale, parents can view the weight readings from any net connected device, such as PC, laptop, iPad, iPhone or iPod touch using the already available WiScale app. Parents can easily pass on their child’s weight profile to their doctor, family and friends and the scale can also update Facebook and Twitter. Messages can be sent to email addresses with new readings and, if desired, parents can put together a scrapbook with notes and photos to create a story of their child’s growth.

Cédric Hutchings, Withings co-founder says, “We are very excited to announce our Smart Baby Scale and offer parents an amazing new way to take care of their newborn or young child. The success of our WiFi Body Scale has proven the benefits of connected weight tracking on adults and we were eager to also bring these benefits to babies and children. We are thrilled that our Smart Baby Scale was awarded the prestigious CES Innovation Award and this further reinforces our vision of designing smart communicating devices that help families take better charge of their health”.

The Smart Baby Scale complements other Withings products such as the adult Withings WiFi body scale and the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor. Parents are able to monitor their child’s weight on the same dashboard they view their own weight and blood pressure. (Hmm, I wonder if parents are as inclined to put their own weight on Facebook!)

No news on pricing but the Smart Baby Scale will be available from Q2 of 2012. The WiScale app is available now for iOS devices from the App Store for free.

Gamer Dies From DVT

The BBC is highlighting a campaign to warn gamers of the risk of deep vein thrombosis caused by long gaming sessions in a sitting position. Chris Staniford died earlier in May from a blood clot which formed in his leg before moving to his lungs. Chris was a keen gamer and would play his Xbox 360 for up to 12 hours at a time.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can happen when people stay still for long periods, typically sitting, and there have been several cases involving long-haul flights. It’s easy to see that certain games and consoles can lead to prolonged sitting and presumably the motion-controlled games are suitable antidote.

Chris was 20 when he died and DVT is easily avoided by short breaks and exercise, so it makes sense to highlight the risks to the millions of gamers out there. Microsoft also has a website, Play Smart, Play Safe that provides guidance to parents and gamers on a range of issues that can affect players.