Does Data Collection Mean Better Health?

There is a burgeoning industry in wearable technology that can monitor and record things like blood pressure, blood sugar levels and so on. Does all this "self data" actually lead to possibly better health though? The video below from PBS's Idea Channel, while full of staccato delivery and random and rapid editing, speaks to the subject.

Hey, Wanna Feel Really Old?

Take a look at these kids trying to figure out the quintessential 80's music delivery device - the Sony Walkman! Are your bones creaking yet?


The Soundtrack Of Your Life

Music can make a big difference in movies, and also in real life. One of the enjoyable things about today's streaming music services is how easy it can be to pull up music for every occasion. 8Tracks is a service that allows you to readily select a style of music for whatever you are doing; studying, meditating, partying, trying to get yourself going in the morning - whatever. Like most good things, it's supremely easy to use; click a few buttons on the menu to "guide" the service to find what you want or need, and you will be presented with playlists reflecting your taste. For example, if I click "Folk", "Acoustic" and "Happy", I get a result of over 100 playlists, including the one below. It's free, and there are also iPhone, Android and Windows app versions available.


So, What's The Deal With Heartbleed?

You have likely heard of Heartbleed by now, and may be curious or confused as to what it is, what it does and if you should worry about it. The Cliff Notes version is that it is a nasty bug (programming error) that has been lurking around the OpenSSL version of the SSL encryption protocol for perhaps the past two years. In effect that means is that a vital part of the security apparatus used in the majority of Internet servers has a big problem, and therefore so do all of us. It's not the whole Internet, and it's not clear how much mischief may have been afoot before this was brought to light, but it could be pretty horrible.

Here are some links to explain the problem, the potential issues, and the best ways to protect yourself. This definitely seems like something we should all be proactive about.

I would also be on the lookout for the usual flood of spam regarding this, both via email and social media - we all should know by know how those cretins hate to let a good crisis go to waste...


Microsoft Patch Tuesday - aka Requiem For Windows XP

Microsoft Patch Tuesday is the second Tuesday of each month (April 8th this time), and is the scheduled release date for security updates affecting Windows and other Microsoft products. It is also the scheduled release day for security updates for Adobe products, through an agreement between Microsoft and Adobe. 

If the April 8th date sounds familiar, it should - Microsoft ends support for Windows XP and Office 2003 after this update (except for some larger companies who have opted to pay through the nose to continue support for a bit longer). Microsoft has only 4 "bulletins" this month, but that includes one "critical" patch for Internet Explorer. Following on a few flaky Windows Updates recently, you may even want to wait 24 or 48 hours to download them and install the patches - in case there are any serious problems with the updates. See how to configure Windows Updates here.


Technology, And Us Old Coots

America’s seniors have historically been late adopters to the world of technology compared to their younger compatriots, but their movement into digital life continues to deepen, according to newly released data from the Pew Research Center. In this report, we take advantage of a particularly large survey to conduct a unique exploration not only of technology use between Americans ages 65 or older and the rest of the population, but within the senior population as well.

Two different groups of older Americans emerge. The first group (which leans toward younger, more highly educated, or more affluent seniors) has relatively substantial technology assets, and also has a positive view toward the benefits of online platforms. The other (which tends to be older and less affluent, often with significant challenges with health or disability) is largely disconnected from the world of digital tools and services, both physically and psychologically.

Read the rest of "Older Adults And Technology Use" at PewInternet