Greg's bite: CES, iPhone EKG, MalcrosoftTV?
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Greg's bite: CES, iPhone EKG, MalcrosoftTV?

By Greg Mills

While I took an EMT-1 course, some years ago, I have never worked a single day as a paramedic. I thought it would be cool to be able to deliver babies or restart someone's heart if the emergency situation ever came up.  

My wife, being a nurse, and I talk a bit about medical care issues around here. My wife was blown away when I told her about a new iPhone app that converts an iPhone into an EKG device with an added $100 attachment mounted on the back of the iPhone. The iPhone is held against the chest and run an electro cardiogram test on the person's heart. The iPhone can then email the EKG trace to your doctor, who can look at it on his iPhone, iPad or computer.  See http://alivecor.com/ .

What a neat solution for people with heart issues that need monitoring. The phrase, "there's an app for that" never ceases to amaze. The wisdom of setting up over 100,000 intelligent people and companies to develop apps for the iOS has spawned considerable innovation. Imagine fire department paramedics armed with iPhone EKG devices resounding to heart attack emergencies. The medical industry has taken to iPhone and iPad for amazing solutions to medical issues.

Speaking of innovation, some brilliant soul at Malcrosoft came up with the bright idea of building a small black box that hooks up to a TV set to stream digital TV from Microsoft's cloud. Gosh, if Apple ever got wind of that idea, they might put out a similar device and perhaps call it "Apple TV."  I sure hope the folks at Apple are paying attention to the constant innovation coming out of Redmond. The new TV box is running a stripped down version of Windows. Can malware to attack it be far behind?  

Dumb as a bag of hammers, Microsoft continues to sell its monopoly PC OS with so many security holes in it that they support an entire industry of companies selling malware protection.  Reminds me of the mob situation in Chicago. If you don't buy protection the thugs will kneecap you. Apple pretty much protects its own OS and provides world class security updates automatically. Then everything Apple does, Microsoft tries to follow and bungles it.  

The RIM "PlayBook" slate computer might have battery issues despite press releases to the contrary. Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, supports his conclusion based upon a number of issues RIM is dealing with prior to the actual release of the anticipated slate device.  Wu mentions the battery issues relate to running Flash, a known energy hog, the QNX OS it runs was not designed for mobile use and is hard on battery life and, finally, the power management system on the PlayBook isn't nearly as sophisticated or well designed as Apple's iOS devices.  Wu suggests that to get the actual 10 hours of battery life required to match iPad, the PlayBook would require twice the amp hours of battery. Mr. Wu has proven correct on such issues in the past.

The notion of Apple entering the HDTV market has been bandied about again. To me, the notion is cool but very unlikely for one main reason. Large screen TVs are in a price free fall. We bought a 55-inch LCD Visio at Sam's Club for $889 on Black Friday. There isn't enough money left in manufacturing TVs to tempt Apple to get into a commodity type market. Could Apple build the coolest TV around? Yeah, but Apple will follow the money, and there isn't a good financial reason to get into that market. If they did, I would expect them to buy an up-and-coming HDTV company such as Visio. With USS$60 billion or so in the bank, such an outlandish idea might fly. Expect Apple to begin to act like the giant company they have become and do the unexpected.  

Google has been working on an Android OS specifically designed for slate computers. They call it Honeycomb and rumors are that Motorola has an exclusive on it for at least 90 days. As I have stated in this space before, Google has stepped up and filled in the OS blank space Microsoft and its CEO Steve Ballmer have failed to fill.  

The 3D display screens showing up on HDTVs, computers and video game devices seem to be prone to create vision issues both temporary and possibly permanently.  Nintendo has launched a portable game system in Japan that carries with it a warning not to allow kids under six to use it in the 3D mode. Reminds me of the drug advertisements on TV for some minor ailment that carry a warning that using the wonder drug Xuygramph can cause heart attack, stoke, blindness, shrunken testicles, migraine headaches, suicide and hardening of the arteries.  

Gee, I guess I will put up with ingrown toenails that the wonder drug Xuygramph might prevent.  Seriously, why buy a product that can harm you? The volume of iPods can be turned down, but a 3D screen on a video game device that comes at a premium price that has to be turned down to 2D to be safe for kids sounds like a very risky product. I know a lot of personal injury lawyers are waiting for Nintendo to step into their trap.

The iPhone Clockgate issue seems to have a simple fix.  According to what I read, simply doing a soft reset once or twice is likely to fix the issue. That means hold down both the home button and the on and off button on iPhone until the screen goes black and the Apple logo shows up.  THIS IS NOT USING ITUNES TO RESTORE THE IPHONE TO FACTORY SETTINGS. If a soft reset will do the job that is great as restarting iPhone also sometimes helps poor reception issues.  

That's Greg's bite for today.

(Greg Mills, is a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; his email is gregmills@mac.com )

 
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