Friday, October 28, 2011

Is the Kobo Vox the Next Good Cheap iPad Alternative?

As HP proved a couple months ago, Americans LOVE powerful and cheap tablet computers. Now sales of the new $200 Amazon Kindle Fire are literally exploding through the roof... despite the fact that it's significantly less powerful than the top-selling Apple iPad tablet. Now there's a new low-cost iPad alternative that some experts are predicting could be the best of them all: the Kobo Vox!

This new affordable tablet has a 7-inch display and will sell for just $199. It's more of a traditional Android-based tablet than the Kindle Fire, with the normal app icon interface. It weighs just over 14 ounces, features a SD memory card slot, and has a new type of anti-reflective screen that's based on the material used for airplane cockpits.  This first version does not come with a camera, external microphone, or 3G internet connectivity. But it does come with a nice low price that consumers are sure to love!

According to Kobo the Vox's main advantage over the Kindle Fire is its software. It's much more "open" than the Amazon tablet's apps and allows you to take purchased content off of the device. So, for example, you can transfer an ebook to another Android device if you choose to do so. It also features some pretty cool "social reading" functionality that allows users to easily communicate about a piece of content.

We say: The Kobo Vox sounds freaking GREAT! A cheap iPad-alternative tablet that doesn't have all the pain-in-the-butt issues associated with the Amazon Kindle Fire. More competition is always good and we're sure the "ultimate" $99 buy-one-for-every-room tablet will soon be on the market!

Learn some mo': Kobo Vox, Social-Reading Android Competitor to the Kindle Fire w/ Photos

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Las Vegas Houses Get Cheaper: Back to 1998 Levels!

Do you ever wish you'd bought a cheap house in sunny Las Vegas back before the city's real estate market started exploding in the early 2000's? Well you're in luck! Home prices have dropped like a rock since the Great Recession began and over a decade's worth of value growth has basically been wiped out!

In fact, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price indices report, average home values in the Las Vegas Valley have dropped back to the same levels they were at in October 1998. A single family home is now going for about $123,000... about 60% below their August 2006 peak.  It's a post-recession low in the nation's epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. While almost every other big US city is seeing slight increases in home values, Las Vegas dwellings are still worth less and less every day.

This is not real great news for a city that's dealing with huge numbers of "underwater" mortgages and about 14% unemployment rate. Las Vegas's economic boom of the late 90's and early 2000's has turned into an absolute nightmare with no end in sight, especially considering that Las Vegas only has 2 real industries -- casinos and construction -- and 95% of new building has ground to a halt.

We say: Vegas home values need to hurry up and bottom out. Harry Reid and Co. need to get some major construction project going (high-speed rail to LA anyone??) to help out all these out-of-work construction guys. And Vegas needs to do some quick and dirty development of small new industries that will lead to job growth. Until those things happen Vegas is going to remain in big, big, BIG economic trouble!

Learn some mo': Las Vegas home prices dip to October 1998 level

Monday, October 24, 2011

ASUS Reveals High-Power Transformer Prime Android Tablet

In just a few short years ASUS has become a pretty cool computer company with some REALLY cool, high-value computing products. Now they've just revealed a "next-generation" tablet called the Transformer Prime. Some are calling it the mostly highly anticipated Android tablet device every to be released!

Why? Because it's really, really, really powerful. It runs the new version of Android -- 4.0 aka "Ice Cream Sandwich" -- and features the freakishly high-performance NVidia quad-core Kal-El Tegra 3 microprocessor. This new chip somehow provides much better performance while using less power and significantly extending battery life!

Maybe the coolest thing about the Transformer Prime is how it looks. It's less than 8 and a half millimeters thick and has a brushed aluminum body said to resist fingerprints and stop certain handgun bullets. It has a 10-inch screen, an SD card slot, mini-HDMI port, and over 14-hours of battery life when it's fresh. It's expected to be available before the end of the year.

We say: Good stuff! We need more ultra powerful, battery-life-extending, shiny metalic tablet computers. Somebody needs to give the damn iPad a run for its money...

Learn some mo': ASUS' Jonney Shih unveils Transformer Prime Android tablet: 10-inch, 8.3mm, quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some Fake "Natural" Weight Loss Supplements Contain Dangerous Drug

A BUNCH of popular "natural" weight loss/diet supplements contain a powerful prescription appetite suppressant drug that was taken off the market by the FDA, according to a new US consumer warning. 20 brands of so-called natural weight loss aids were found to contain sibutramine, known as "Meridia" in the United States. The FDA took it off the market last year because it may cause some nasty side effects... like strokes and heart attacks!

The FDA says consumers should stop taking the supplements (see list below) and throw away the bottles ASAP. Anyone experiencing any strange health symptoms should see a doctor immediately. FDA lab tests uncovered the supplement scam. Experts say that unscrupulous marketers are willing to market weight loss products as "natural" alternatives to prescription drugs in order to make them seem safer to consumers and boost sales. Most of the products below are sold online in capsule form, but some are also tea and coffee versions.

List of sibutramine-spiked diet supplements:

: “Slender Slim 11”
: “Advanced Slim 5”
: “A-Slim 100% Natural Slimming Capsule”
: “Dream Body Slimming Capsule”
: “Ja Dera 100% Natural Weight Loss Supplement”
: “Leisure 18 Slimming Coffee”
: “Lishou”
: “Magic Slim Tea”
: “Magic Slim Weight Reduction Capsule”
: “P57 Hoodia”
: “PhentraBurn Slimming Capsules”
: “Sheng Yuan Fang”
: “Tengda”
: “Acai Berry Soft Gel ABC”
: “Botanical Slimming”
:  “DaiDaiHuaJiaoNang”
: “Fruit Plant Loosing Fat Capsule”
: “Health Slimming Coffee”
: “Lose Weight Coffee”
: “Pai You Guo Slim Tea”
: "Slim Forte Slimming Capsules," "Slim Forte Slimming Coffee," and Botanical Slimming Soft Gel"
: "Slim Forte Slimming Capsule" and "Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules"
: “Slim Xtreme Herbal Slimming Capsule”
: “Celerite Slimming Capsules”
: Fruta Planta weight loss products

We say: It sounds like someone was trying to get rid of a bunch of banned Meridia so they sold it ultra cheap to some shady-ass supplement makers!

Learn some mo': FDA: 20 weight-loss supplements contain undeclared drug

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blood Oxygenation Treatment Might Cure Severe Swine Flu Infections

Using a special medical treatment that oxygenates the blood may save the lives of people with severe H1N1 flu ("swine flu") infections, according to new research from Britain. The procedure, called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, basically involves adding oxygen to a person's blood outside of the body and then returning it to the body. It's a powerful (but expensive) technology that's already used to treat patients with severe respiratory problems, including newborn babies born prematurely.

Researchers took a close look at cases where patients developed breathing problems due to H1N1 infections. They noticed that people who received the oxygenation treatment were much less likely -- about 50% less likely in fact -- to die from the viral infection than those who didn't get the treatment.

There are already several types of mainstream oxygen therapies used to treat a variety of ailments. Also, many alternative health practitioners consider oxygen-boosting treatments -- such as hydrogen peroxide and ozone treatments -- to be among the best "natural" health treatments out there. The study's authors say that factors other than the oxygenation procedure might be responsible for the decreased risk of death, but it's reasonable to believe that significantly boosting oxygen levels in the blood directly or indirectly killed the H1N1 virus and saved lives.

Learn some mo': Oxygenating Blood of Hospitalized H1N1 Flu Patients Saved Lives

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple Releases New iPod Nano Fitness Watch

Apple has released a new version of its popular iPod Nano music player. It runs new software that basically turns it into a "fitness watch" with capabilities far beyond the old pedometer function of the 2010 Nano. In fact, it has built-in support for the Nike+ workout tracking software that allows you to run some pretty cool walking and running programs while syncing data with the Nike+ website.

The new Nano is basically the same hardware as the 6th-generation model released last year. But it's cheaper, selling for just $129 for the 8GB model and $149 for the 16 gigabyte model. The improvements come from software. Updated touch-screen software includes 16 new virtual clock face designs, which should increase its popularity as a geek watch. A new scrolling touch user interface is said to be much better than the old grid UI.

We say: Too bad Apple didn't include a GPS-enabled version of the iPod Nano. That would have made it the ultimate fitness/workout watch for geeks who like to hike/run/bike while listening to their Rocky-theme playlist!

Learn some mo': New iPod Nano Is Clock and Fitness Watch in One