Posts By Andy Orr

Roadside assistance service OnStar is expanding its capabilities and beta testing new social features.  Soon drivers will hear their incoming text messages and Facebook wall posts read aloud, and they will be able to send text messages or post to Facebook.  The posts include transcriptions using voice recognition technology as well as a link to an audio file.  There were…

Just saw on Techcrunch that our favorite fitness gadget, the Fitbit Tracker, is going to integrate with Google Health.  In addition, the mobile app CardioTrainer (Android-only for now) will also send its data into Google Health. The public has been very slow to adopt Personal Health Records, not only for privacy reasons but also for lack of convenience in getting…

We have blogged about fitness apps in the past, and one of the best has updated its main web site.  MapMyRun’s new site can be found at beta.mapmyrun.com and a great place to learn about it is here: http://beta.mapmyrun.com/new_features. iMapMy, their companion mobile app, now works on iPhones, Android-based devices and many BlackBerrys (read the fine print).  MapMyRun has many social…

CNBC recently ran a piece about counterfeit products in the marketplace highlighting the growing problem of counterfeit medicines.  While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes that counterfeits threaten the safe drug supply in the United States (see the FDA’s Counterfeit Medicine web page), the problem is even more acute outside the U.S. and other countries where medications are highly…

While Bastille Day is a decidedly French holiday, it is celebrated in many parts of the world.  According to Wikipedia, Belgium, Hungary, South Africa and the UK all have events scheduled. Here in the United States, over 50 cities participate, and one can even see them listed on an interactive Bastille Day map.  My favorite, not to be too parochial,…

Fees for U.S. Passports increase substantially in less than a week.  Currently, adult fees for the standard Passport Book are $100 for a new one and $75 for renewals.  These fees rise to $135 and $110, respectively.  For children the increases are also large.  Current fees are $85 for new passports or renewals; this will go up to $105. Some…

As we start thinking about summer vacation plans (ok, I am a little behind schedule here), I thought it might be helpful to post some links to a couple of interesting articles I read recently. The first introduced me to the word “mancation,” a term that is new to me, but supposedly coined back in 2002.  My first reaction to…

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