Archive for December, 2009

Wow, I’ve been so busy that I didn’t even notice this release until my phone reminded me this morning.  If you’ve done anything “hacky” on your phone (including letting me mess with it), it might be worth it for you to read this post from Precentral.net (link to the post below).

webOS 1.3.5 is upon us! It brings with it a new way of handling apps.

For the non-nerds, er, non-homebrewers: the big news here is that Palm is now storing apps in a new place – the USB partition – so you are limited only by the 8 gigs of onboard storage. Install away, friends! While you’re at it, rejoice in the knowledge that the Official App Catalog is no longer tagged “Beta.” Now we’ve hit the big time.

via Apps, Homebrew, and webOS 1.3.5 | PreCentral.net.

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Congratulations to Evernote, for reaching 2 million users.  I personally love the service, and I’ve been with them since they were in Beta.  Techcrunch reviews the numbers, and I’m personally really happy to see this company succeed, because I’m hoping the company sticks around! 🙂

The idea of a life recorder that captures every moments of your life on video is still a bit of a tech fantasy, but an early version of the life recorder already exists. It is called Evernote, the popular iPhone (and now Android) app which lets you record your memories by snapping geo-tagged photos, making voice notes, or just text notes and making it easy to search through them. Evernote does not yet support video recording other than as an attachment (for premium subscribers), but when that becomes more practical it will.

“Evernote is definitely positioned to be the lifelogging tool of choice,” says CEO Phil Libin. “That ambient video capture was my original plan for Evernote—always recording, not storing, you bookmark it—that is exactly what we want to do.” Next year Evernote will introduce voice search, which will be a big step towards that ultimate vision (if you can search audio, you can search through what was said in videos). But full life recording is still a few years out. For now, Libin is more focussed on polishing his current product as it enters the mainstream.

Evernote just reached 2 million unique users, only 7 months after reaching its first million. It took Evernote half the time (233 days) to get to the second million milestone than it did the first million (433 days). These numbers are total unique logins over the life of the service.

via Evernote Reaches Two Million Lifeloggers, Half Of Them Are On The iPhone.

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A solid answer to a very relevant question nowadays…

It’s chilly in most of the US right now, so we’ll assume you’re worried about the interior of the window fogging up. The fogging occurs because of the temperature and moisture differential between the inside of the car and the outside of the car. Outside it’s cold and dry—it might not seem dry with all the snow and slush but winter air has very low humidity—and inside it’s warmer and moister thanks to your body heat and the moisture from your breath being trapped inside.

In an emergency, when you need the window defogged right now, the fastest way to do so is to rapidly lower the inside temperature so that the moisture stops condensing on the glass. Turning the defrost vent on without heat or opening the windows is the fastest way to dissipate the fog on the window. While fast, it isn’t very comfortable for the occupants of the car so it’s best reserved for times where you find the window suddenly fogging up and you need to see out in a hurry.

It’s significantly more comfortable to use your heater and employ other tricks to manage the moisture than it is to keep your car freezing cold. Warming the inside of the car and blowing warm air across the windshield using the defrost setting will evaporate the moisture. Skip using the recirculate feature if your car has it, you want to push the humid air out of the car and bring dry air in from the outside. You might be conditioned to use the recirculate feature to make the most of your AC in the summer but in the winter it doesn’t matter—your engine has more than enough excess heat to go around.

via How Can I Defog My Car Windows Quicker? – Cars – Lifehacker.

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Yikes, even the AT&T Customer Reps are saying they having trouble with their wireless coverage.  Luckily it is the boonies where nobody lives (New York City)…

“Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone,” the AT&T customer service rep told Consumerist. “You don’t have enough towers to handle the phone.”

We checked with our contacts at AT&T to verify the situation and asked for an explanation, though we didn’t get much. “We periodically modify our promotions and distribution channels,” AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom told Ars. However, he said, “the iPhone is available in our New York retail stores and those of our partners.” We verified that New York-area Apple Stores are also not affected by this change; customers with New York-area ZIP codes can still sign up for service there as well.

via AT&T dancing around mysterious New York iPhone issue (Updated).

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An article from Ars, summarizing a recent finding regarding the use of telemedicine in the ICU.  The discussion is especially telling, and points a common problem.  Technology is part of, but not the entire answer, and unless applied intelligently, is just an expensive white whale.

To an extent, this implementation of telemedicine was a high-tech solution suffering from some low-tech limits, primarily the lack of a unified medical records system. Although data from monitoring equipment was displayed in real-time, other electronic records couldn’t be shared between the ICUs and the central facility. As a result, progress notes were faxed in daily, and orders had to be printed out from an electronic copy before the facilities hosting a patient can act on them.

The fact that other studies of tele-ICU arrangements cited by the authors have shown some benefits lends some credence to the suggestion that the specifics of this arrangement had a strong influence on the patient outcomes.

The mixed results suggest the actual mechanics of implementing telemedicine in the ICU may have a profound influence on its effectiveness. It’s a useful result, in that it should direct further research into identifying the practical considerations that determine how to make the most of the opportunities technology is providing. But it also serves as a caution that simply throwing new technology at a problem can’t be expected to bring about a satisfying solution.

JAMA, 2009. 302(24) DOI unavailable.

via Bringing telemedicine to the ICU gives mixed results.

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