Showing posts with label e-commerce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label e-commerce. Show all posts

The Witness Of Fitness: Health Apps Want Your Hot Body (Of Data)

Do you have a smartphone, smartwatch, or otherwise e-enabled device that you use to keep track of your health and fitness habits?  That's good, in the sense that you care enough about yourself to hopefully not totally devolve into a donut-demolishing dumpster.  It's bad, however, that all of your fitness data might not just be kept solely between you and your get-buff gadgetry.

"Sweet, I just beat my best 5K time!
But what's with all these ads to join the army?"
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Bitcoins And Biohacks: Dermally-Implant Your Dough?

Body modifications have been around as long as humanity.  We are constantly seeking new ways to embellish, improve, and artistically distinguish ourselves by pimping our corporeal rides, and now, technological innovations may be added to that mix.

As reported by the Telegraph UK, Dutchman Martijn Wismeijer has had 12mm NFC (near-field communication) computer chips embedded in his hands as a sort of human upgrade. On these chips, he stores the keys to his bitcoin wallet, as well as a personalized alarm clock where the chips must be held to a sensor to shut off his daily alarm.  

Easier than carrying around a sack of doubloons, for sure...but not as secure.
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The 888-byte chips were installed via a ready-made syringe which delivered them to the fatty subdermal flesh.  While Wismeijer admitted that many doctors were recalcitrant to perform the modification, other body artists such as tattooists or piercers may be more amenable (although regardless of the surgeon, sterile conditions are still a must.)

The founder of Mr. Bitcoin, a company that deals in crypto-currency ATMs, Wismeijer says the chips are not secure enough to permanently carry the codes at the moment, but that his experiment in embedding them was a success.  He eventually would like the technology to include wireless key access for his home.  Wismeijer feels this type of "bio-hacking" is just the fingertip of the bigger body of possible uses for the technology.

In the beginning, there was the byte.
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Wismeijer explained, “The reason I did take the implants is that I have real-world uses for it today, my phones and tablets are all compatible. I personally feel that by supporting these bio-hacking developments we can learn what works and what doesn't and that some day, in the not so distant future we will be able to implant more functionality like sub dermal glucose sensors or heart rate monitors and other vital health monitoring devices. Imagine a normally invisible tattoo on your arm glowing red when you get a heart attack, swipe your phone and your phone will notify doctor.

“By supporting these bio-hacking initiatives I believe we are paving the way for social acceptance while at the same time we support the bio-hacking technology that drives it.”

Bodymodding biohackers, use your new powers for good.
(Image courtesy,)

No Funds, My Babe, No Funds: Money Management Apps To Streamline Your Spending (And Stop Your Stress)

Keeping track of your finances takes analysis and effort.  With all of the various things to buy and ways to buy them these days, it can be difficult to properly budget for all of your wants and needs (while still managing to save enough to keep the lights on.)  Now, a money management app may be just what you need to keep from tanking all of your banking.

Designed to make you acutely aware of your expenditures as well as the effectiveness of your savings, a money management app is kind of like a calorie/exercise tracker for your financial fitness.  Through an app's smartphone interface, the user enters all of their transactions, providing them with an accurate (sometimes frighteningly so) account of what's going in and out of your bank account.  This can enable better budgeting, bank account balancing, and more.

In the modern culture of "buy now, pay later", we can sometimes forget how quickly expenses add up.  Loans, mortgages, bills, and incidentals shouldn't be juggled so much as they should be justly dealt with.  According to, there are a number of good apps tailored to a variety of spending situations.

Expensify is one app that allows for the photographing and easy categorization of receipts, perfect for creating a professional expense report with little hassle.  For freelancers, a "Track Distance" and "Track Time" option clocks how much you've traveled and can bill additionally for your boutique pug grooming business or artisanal hedge sculpting or whatever.  Tags for "billable" or "reimbursable" goods and services factor into your financial statements.

Check is an app that deals exclusively with your bills, consolidating them onto one manageable place and using your credit or debit card to deal with each as needed (so no more forgetting to call the cable company until your internet zaps out.)  A pie chart and alerts show you your current bank balance, impending bills, and even a warning if you spend enough to endanger your credit (that tenth round of top-shelf tequila at the fancy bar is no excuse'll know what's up when your funds are down.)

For those little expenditures that add up surprisingly quickly, there is the Daily Cost app, to help you factor exactly how many times a week you can afford that fancy coffee before it means taking cash out of your kid's college fund (it's really rather fast, especially during Pumpkin Spice season.)  The "simple, elegant, and intuitive" interface uses spool-style counter keeps track of items, days, and cost, and it is available in a host of international currencies.

Another popular option for cash control is the Mint personal finance app, which combines many of the above apps' features (such as alerts, budgets, and visible cash flow indicators) as well as the ability to join multiple accounts (say, for a married couple, or a very protective trust fund benefactor.)  Checking, savings, credit, and investments can all be handled here.  They offer "bank-level security" and show how it might be possible to save your way solvent.

Keeping your cash-flow woes in check is now easily handled by apps.  You'll understand your own budget better, and maybe surprise yourself with what could be eliminated from your supposed "needs."  Fill your wallet and chill your worries with some simple smartphone software.

Money management apps make it easy to decide whether you get Manolos or meals this month.
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Sunday US Mail Delivery for Amazon

From the Washington Post:
Amazon is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays.  The Seattle company says Sunday delivery will be available this week to customers in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. Amazon and the Postal Service plan to roll out service to “a large portion of the U.S. population” next year, including the cities of Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix.
Mail on Sunday?!