A baby monitor is essentially a radio transmitter on a fixed frequency that puts out a nice FM signal so long as it is on. Most baby monitors transmit on a fixed frequency of 49.300, 49.830, 49.845, 49.860, 49.875, or 49.890 MHz (some have an A/B switch that lets you pick one of two of these). If the monitor is in an upstairs bedroom, in a house not covered with aluminum siding, even the simplest radio scanner can easily hear all sounds from that room. The receiver in a radio scanner is typically quite a bit more sensitive than the receiver portion of your baby monitor, and the scanner can pick up the transmission from perhaps half a mile away. Radio scanners are relatively easy to find at consumer electronics stores. Many if not all the current models include the 49-50 MHz range. The frequencies used are just above the frequencies used by the conventional analog cordless telephones sold in the '80s and '90s, and just below the frequency that VHF TV channel 2 uses. To avoid … [Read more...] about Can anyone hear my baby monitor?
A close-up of a credit report from Equifax. In September 2017, a data breach at Equifax exposed the personal information of thousands of customers. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images Equifax, one of the "big three" credit monitoring bureaus, became the latest victim of a major data breach, in which cyber criminals gained access to names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses for 143 million Americans, and credit card numbers for 209,000 especially unlucky folks. The Equifax mess follows in the wake of a string of high-profile hacks on companies like Yahoo!, Target and Home Depot. By now we know the public relations drill. The humbled company issues an apology, promises to investigate and patch the security hole, and offers customers a year of free credit-monitoring services. So far, Equifax is sticking to the script, setting up a website in which consumers can get free access to Equifax's TrustedID Premier fraud-protection service, usually a paid subscription service. … [Read more...] about After the Equifax Breach, Does Credit Fraud Monitoring Really Help?
This smart bandage shows the wound covering component (right), which encompasses sensors and a drug carrier, as well as the microprocessor component, at left, that interprets the collected data, triggering drug delivery. Nano Lab, Sameer Sonkusale, Tufts University Sometimes a wound requires a bandage, but what if that bandage wasn't just a passive way to prevent infection? What if a bandage could play an active role in diagnosis and recovery? This idea, that bandages can be "smart," is behind a new invention by a team of engineers at Tufts University. The team developed a flexible bandage less than 3 millimeters (around an eighth of an inch) thick that actively monitors chronic wounds and then responds by delivering wound-specific drug treatments to promote healing. "We've been able to take a new approach to bandages because of the emergence of flexible electronics," said Sameer Sonkusale, Ph.D., co-author and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Tufts University's … [Read more...] about Smart Bandages Can Monitor, Treat Chronic Wounds
FitBit for babies? Can tracking devices improve your baby's health? Pola Damonte/Getty Images Taking a baby home from the hospital is one of the most glorious yet terrifying experiences of a parent's life. So it's no wonder that vital signs monitors for infants have popped up over the last few years. These are manufactured under brand names like Owlet, Baby Vida and MonBaby and are designed to work in tandem with smartphone apps to measure a baby's bodily functions like pulse rate, blood oxygen saturation and respiration. The apps get their data straight from sensors built into baby paraphernalia, like diaper clips, onesies, socks and buttons. https://www.instagram.com/p/BP3aMMHAKYc/ Some scientists recently took a long, hard look at these monitoring devices to determine whether they were warranted. Their report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "These devices are marketed aggressively to parents of healthy babies, promising peace of mind … [Read more...] about Baby Body Monitors Have Little Benefit for Healthy Infants, Say Experts
Tire pressure monitoring systems are meant to help drivers catch underinflated tires before they become a hazard. Want to learn more? Check out these car safety pictures! Thinkstock/Comstock Images/Getty Images If you own a car built after 2007, you have a tire pressure monitor system at work. You know it best as the horseshoe-shaped light (it's actually a stylized, flattened tread and sidewall of a tire) with an exclamation point in the center. It's also the light that can plague you by coming on and going off at inexplicable times, and sometimes signaling an expensive trip to the dealership. But this indicator light is the visible part of a larger pressure monitoring system, and it's there to help. When it's on, it's telling you that your tires need air. The various tire pressure monitoring systems (or TPMS) used by auto makers are designed to monitor the air pressure in a car's tires. The idea behind a TPMS is primarily safety-related -- underinflated tires offer a less … [Read more...] about How Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Work