Sunday, May 22, 2011

10 iPhone Health Apps to keep you in good shape

Using a phone app is an easy way to track your health -- and even improve it. But with so many flooding the market, it’s tough to figure out which ones are actually useful. So we got busy testing. Here are our top iPhone health app picks for simplicity, convenience and ease of use. (They are all available for iTouch and iPad as well.) Most are free -- and none costs more than $3.99. Better health is just a download away.

Sun Alert Lite: This app lets you know when to reapply sunscreen based on your skin type, weather conditions, and your sunscreen’s SPF. By retrieving the current data of the UV radiation for your location, Sun Alert then calculates the time you can safely expose your skin to the sun before getting burned.
Cost: Free at iTunes

Lose It!: Set fitness and nutrition goals -- and actually feel accountable for keeping them. Like a mobile food diary, this app allows you to keep track of your daily caloric intake, as well as your exercise and other activities. It comes with an extensive database of foods that’s complete with calorie, fat, carb, fiber and protein counts. Monitor your progress by printing out custom reports, or sign up for weekly email updates. And for an extra motivational push, join the online community to earn badges and share your progress with other users.
Cost: Free at iTunes

GymGoal: With 280 exercises illustrated with animations and organized into 52 suggested workouts, this easy-to-use app is like having a personal trainer at the gym -- minus the pricey hourly fee. Track your workouts, body measurements, target heart rate and more. The app also provides progress reports and, for fitness fiends, gives you helpful suggestions of muscle groups you’ve been missing.
Cost: $3.99 at iTunes (a lite version is available for $1.99)

Cavity Free 3D: Perfect your brushing and flossing techniques with realistic (and strangely beautiful) animations that guide you step-by-step. The app even makes it fun for kids to learn how to care for their teeth, especially if they have braces.
Cost: Free at iTunes

Mayo Clinic Meditation: Learning to meditate might seem like it requires a lot of patience, but it’s really as simple as opening this app. Developed by the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic, the application guides you through a five-minute or fifteen-minute session that’s designed to teach breathing and meditation techniques to soothe stress. We felt more centered from our very first try.
Cost: $2.99 at iTunes

Epocrates Rx: If you take any kind of prescription drug, you’ve got to have this app. It lists data for more than 3,000 brand-name and generic medications, including common dosages, possible side effects, and interactions. It even has photos of pills -- so you can make sure your pharmacist gave you the right Rx.
Cost: Free at iTunes (visit for BlackBerry and Android versions)

Dosecast: Can’t take your daily meds at the same time without setting an awkward phone alarm? Avoid the disruption with this app, which keeps track of all your meds and vitamins, including daily dosage and pill strength, and sends you a text notification when it’s time for your daily dose. Bonus: It adjusts for time-zone changes when you travel.
Cost: Free at iTunes

CPR & Choking: Even if you’ve taken a CPR class in the past, chances are you’ll find it tough to recall the steps in an emergency situation. Featuring step-by-step instructions for adults, children and infants, this app could be a true lifesaver.
Cost: $0.99 at iTunes

Emergency Aid: Whether you have to deal with a sprain, chest pain, or dozens of other unpredictable emergencies, this app gives you simple first aid instructions on the spot based on standards from the Red Cross and other national health and emergency associations.
Cost: $1.99 at iTunes

ICE: The name of this app stands for “In Case of Emergency.” Should there be one, it will help first responders identify you and your emergency contacts, and alert them to your medical conditions and medications.
Cost: $0.99 at iTunes

Brought to you in association with Charge Up For Good Health...written by Nancy Kalish, Certified Health Coach.

A look at the kind of car accessories which will attract the women

The accessories you choose depend on the kind of lady you’re looking to attract. If a girl likes to be chauffeured in a car or taken out, she’ll want to look good when she arrives.

The car needs to have a nice set of wheels that’s not too gaudy, chrome-y or flashy. Look for something that is clean and elegant -- something that screams quality. ( is a good place to start.)

Leather seats are also nice for this lady. They just make her feel like you’re more sophisticated.

It’s also nice to have good sound system, but nothing outrageous. No bazooka tubes or exposed particle-board speaker boxes that your cousin made. Alpine  is a very well-known brand, but it’s also very high-schoolish. You’ll want something slightly off the mainstream that sounds cleaner. A head unit from Memphis Car Audio  or Pioneer Electronics could work because they’re not too big or cheesy, and they crank out clean, crisp tunes.

Having a good GPS system in your car is also a good idea. When women see a guy with a GPS, like a new Garmin, it makes them think he’s well-prepared, responsible and not too macho to take instruction.

A powerful-sounding exhaust is also a nice touch. A lot of girls will be impressed if your car sounds tough. Plus, that’s how you one-up your pals: by having your car sound cooler than theirs. You can’t go wrong with mufflers from MagnaFlow  or AEM , companies that do exhausts and intakes. They’re not expensive, and they really add to the sound and look of your car.

For old-school style, I think a nice hula girl would be a big hit because it shows you have a sense of humor. If you take yourself too seriously -- and wear driving gloves and aviators like you’re Burt Reynolds -- that’s a big turnoff for women. It’s like you’re telling her your car and driving are more important than she is. Even if that’s true for you, remember to keep it on the down-low.

Brought to you in association with Style and Tech for Men.

The best sources for Videos for your Smartphone

Getting video on phones doesn’t make headlines anymore, but the companies delivering it are getting more sophisticated and offering an amazing array of both live and stored content. Eric Schlissel, owner and CEO of Los Angeles-based GeekTek IT Services Inc. , offers his insights into the best options in the world of mobile video. “There are really four major sources for mobile video right now,” says Schlissel. Here’s how they stack up:

MobiTV is available on all major U.S. carriers and featured on more than 400 devices with video-supporting operating systems, including iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and others. According to Schlissel, all the carrier-channel lineups include a variety of popular news, sports and entertainment brands, but can vary slightly from company to company. So make sure to check out what your carrier is offering. Typical subscription fees are $9.99 per month -- except for Sprint, which offers its basic Sprint TV product to customers with a full data plan at no extra charge. You’ll also have the option of purchasing an additional 25 premium channels for $9.99 per month.
Schlissel says this is the most expensive way to go, since iTunes doesn’t have a subscription-based service and you pay for each item you watch separately. However, iPhone and iPad users can rent newly released movies for $3.99. Library-category titles start at just $0.99. Bear in mind that even though you have 30 days to watch the movie after downloading it, you only have 24 hours to finish viewing it after you click “Play.”
ITunes does offer some free TV episodes, and others that you can rent for $0.99 each. In this case, you have 30 days to download and 48 hours to watch. Another option? Buy them for $1.99 in standard analog format or for $2.99 in HD. Full-season purchase prices start at $24.99 per show.

Hulu Plus
Coming soon to Android, and already available to iPhone and iPad users, Hulu Plus offers access to movies and thousands of TV episodes through its mobile application with a monthly subscription cost of just $7.99. Even though this is a paid service, Schlissel cautions that some of the shows contain advertising, which may be a deal-breaker for purists who are sick of those freakin’ Geico commercials.
If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or a Windows Phone 7, you can already use your existing subscription to access Netflix after you’ve downloaded the mobile app. There have been delays in creating a Netflix app for Android-based phones as the company struggles to overcome security and content-protection issues with the platform. But according to Schlissel, they should start distributing Netflix for select Android devices later this year. Netflix subscriptions start at $7.99.
If you’re looking for the mother lode of video for your phone, this may be it. This gadget pretty much lets you stuff your home theatre system in your pocket. (Make sure it doesn’t get gum all over it!) With the Solo model ($179.99) or the Pro-HD version ($299.99) plugged in at home and the Player ($29.99) installed on your smartphone, Slingbox apps are compatible with all major operating systems. You can watch and control anything that’s available through your cable system, including on-demand features and your DVD player.
Whatever source you choose, the experience of watching TV on your phone is --unfortunately -- limited not only by the screen size, but also the sound and bandwidth. “Mobile video has a lot of mitigating factors you need to consider,” says Schlissel. “But it’s definitely moving quickly in the right direction.”

Photo: Getty Images
Brought to you in association with Style and Tech for Men.

Safety tips while using Free Public Wi-Fi

You already have plenty on your plate, whether you are implementing and maintaining technology, helping to resolve technical issues or ensuring your company’s data is safe and secure. Now, you can add the proliferation of rogue free public Wi-Fi networks to that list.
Free Wi-Fi connections can be tempting for traveling employees. And hey, you can’t blame them, as one less item on an expense report can make them look better -- especially if your company is tightening its belt. But talking to them about the risks can help protect them -- and you.

How Rogue Free Public Wi-Fi Works
Tech-savvy thieves are taking advantage of users’ thirst for constant connectivity. “The basic idea is someone in vicinity has created a ‘free Wi-Fi network’ that you connect to, but in doing so, you’re allowing them to tap into your info, access your files and possibly steal your personal identity too,” says Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a tech consultancy in Campbell, Calif.

“These ‘rogue’ networks are really individuals who have software to hack into your systems -- and because the majority of people’s laptops are not protected, they’re a lot more susceptible than they think.”

In fact, New York-based independent security consultant Dino A. Dai Zovi says he and a colleague, Shane Macaulay, authored a tool called KARMA to demonstrate the risk of unprotected wireless networks. 

“KARMA acts as a promiscuous access point that masquerades itself as a wireless network,” explains Dai Zovi. “It makes the victim connect to our rogue wireless network automatically.”

Rogue operators will often craft network names similar to the name of the hotel or the coffee shop where your end user is attempting to connect. One careless click and your data is exposed.

Scary stuff. So, what to do?

Tips for Safer Surfing on Free Public Wi-Fi
You’ve got your work cut out for you, and it starts with employee awareness, say the experts. Consider these steps:
  • Avoid free public Wi-Fi. Caution employees to steer clear of freebies. “When I go to hotel, I make sure they have a wired [Ethernet] connection,” says Bajarin. “And if I want to go wireless on my laptop or other devices in my hotel room, I bring an Airport Express with me,” he adds, referring to Apple’s compact wireless router.
  • Be efficient. If you or your end users can’t avoid a free public Wi-Fi network, “get on, get what you need and get off -- and don’t do any financial things until you’re back at home," cautions Bajarin.
  • Use VPN. Only use free public Wi-Fi if you have VPN (Virtual Private Network) access, says Dai Zovi. “Otherwise, everything you do can be easily monitored by anyone nearby.” Citing recent Firesheep attacks, Zovi says that even password-based networks can be attacked by malicious types. Firesheep is an extension for the Firefox browser that can grab your login credentials for sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Give employees your own connection. Another option for mobile workers is to use WAN-enabled laptops, USB sticks with cellular connectivity or to create a mobile hotspot through a smartphone or tablet.
  • Use security software. Make sure all security software is updated regularly, enable firewalls and give employees a means to encrypt sensitive data.
Only through education, secured connections and some common sense can your employees keep personal and professional data safe from cyber-snoopers, waiting to attack through a free public Wi-Fi.
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Brought to you in association with IT Insider Online