5 Things - Week Ending 8/31/12

This is the 22nd post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

An iPad Review

Joe Posnanski:

It’s not a big story, of course. It’s not really a story about anything at all, except a middle-aged goofball who is losing his memory and faculties and leaves behind expensive electronics. I can buy another iPad … and knowing my obsession with new Apple technology, I probably will as soon as the new comes out. Still it was just a nice reminder that a lot of people will try … not just John and Fran, but also the woman who thought she found it and the people at the Jackson airport who went out of their way and the various others who made an extra call just to help out an idiot who left his iPad on a plane.

When I started reading this blog post I was expecting to read a review about the iPad. Instead, I got something much better.

The blog post is about a man who lost his iPad on a plane. Along the way we encounter his hopeful daughter, some helpful and not so helpful airport employees, and a good Samaritan. We get to experience dread, excitement, joy, disappointment, and hope with the characters in the story.

I would encourage you to take five minutes and click the link to this blog post and read it for yourselves. I really enjoyed it and I think you will too.


Insomnia? Your iPad Could Be The Culprit

Ryan Faas:

The researchers discovered that two hours of tablet use before bed can suppress melatonin production by up to 22%. Reduced melatonin production has been associated with various physical health conditions, most notably trouble falling and staying asleep without disturbance (particularly in teens). It has also been associated with increased risk for conditions like diabetes and obesity as well as some mental health disorders – seasonal affective disorder (also known as seasonal depression) being the most notable.

I suspect many of us find ourselves using various electronics late into the evening. I know that I am guilty of this. Between watching Netflix on my iPad or checking emails on my iPhone I probably spend too much time in front of a screen before bed.

I am going to try and be more diligent about cutting back on screen time in the two hours prior to bed time.


The connected home: why your fridge may soon be sending you messages

In a couple of years’ time – probably around 2014, according to Siemens – your fridge will be able to send that information to an app on your smartphone, and from that list of ingredients, offer you a choice of recipes for what you might fancy for supper. If you haven’t got everything the recipe needs, it will also generate a shopping list so that you can stop off at the supermarket on the way home and pick up the remaining ingredients.

I believe that in the next decade we are going to see an explosion of new technology. As microprocessors and wireless chips become smaller and cheaper, everything in your home will be able to connect to the Internet and talk to each another. This will open up a whole new world of possibilities like your refrigerator communicating with your cell phone.


Cardiio

Transient
Transient

This is a crazy cool app. It uses the front facing camera on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to measure the light reflected off of your face to determine your heart rate. I have been using it the past few days and I have to say that I am very impressed. It normally cost $4.99 but is on sale for $.99 for Labor Day Weekend. Download from the App Store.


Next Draft

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David Pell shares The Day's Most Fascinatiing News in bite sized chunks and includes some of his own commentary on each item. I am often too busy to pay attention to the news, but ever since I have discovered this app I make it a point to spend a few minutes catching up with current events. The app is free so there is no harm in checking it out! Download from the App Store.