Does technology designed to get us fit actually work? Digital Vision/Thinkstock If you asked me to divide technology up into categories, I think the four largest ones would be transportation, entertainment, ways to kill each other, and weight loss or fitness devices. But the proliferation of weight loss gadgets doesn't necessarily mean they're effective. Will technology help you shed those unwanted pounds? The question is too broad for a simple answer. Some technology can be extremely useful if you want to lose weight. A scale, for example, is instrumental in keeping track of your progress -- or lack thereof. Other types of technology might not live up to the promises made by the manufacturer. A product that claims to reduce fat in a specific part of your body is one to view with skepticism -- studies show that such spot-reduction techniques are, at best, minimally effective. Let's take the weight loss technology category and divide it into subcategories. There are gadgets … [Read more...] about Can technology help me lose weight?
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Cell phones are just one form of wireless technology that can fight crime. See more cell phone pictures. Nick Rowe/Getty Images One early fall morning, an Oklahoma woman came close to death. Soon after Shannon Haight pulled her car into the company parking lot, a man approached her and asked for directions. The next thing she knew, she was fighting for her life. The man, wanted in another state for rape and kidnapping charges, shoved Haight into his trunk and drove away. Luckily, Haight was prepared. She had a weapon. Still in the trunk, she reached into her purse and pulled out -- a cell phone? Thanks to her quick thinking, the frantic woman was able to get help by dialing her boyfriend, who notified 911. Less than an hour after being forced into a strange car, Haight was safe, and the criminal was on his way to prison. Stories like Haight's are popping up all around the world. Wireless technology isn't just a convenient luxury anymore; it's a powerful tool for … [Read more...] about Can wireless technology help fight crime?
Until your hero can come home, it's easier than ever to keep in touch. Hemera/Thinkstock The notion of a soldier stationed in a foreign country writing letters to family back home is nothing new. What is new are some of the technologies available to military families that allow them to connect with their loved ones overseas beyond the written word. These days, postcards and hand written letters from exotic ports of call are a thing of the past. For starters, e-mail has all but replaced old-fashioned letter writing in most areas of society, military life being no exception. E-mail is more accessible and instantaneous, making it much more convenient and popular for soldiers stationed overseas. Another technological advance that has helped military families stay in touch is the advent of affordable and accessible hi-def video recorders. Pocket-sized high-definition cameras, as well as smartphones equipped with HD video, make it quick and easy to send short movies to loved ones. … [Read more...] about How is technology helping military families?
Technologies like iChat and Skype help keep distant family members together. Creatas/Thinkstock Thanks to developments in communication technology, the ways that parents keep in touch with their children has changed dramatically. According to a Pew Internet survey, 42 percent of parents contact their children everyday on their cell phones while 53 percent said that technology strengthened their contact with distant family members [source: BBC]. So although we might assume that technology is breaking down our ability to communicate in a meaningful ways, it can strengthen communication within families. In particular, it can help communication between two-household families, such as those with divorced parents. Divorced parents who don't have primary custody of their children often face challenges when trying to maintain contact with their kids. They might live far away from their children and not see them often. Speaking to the ex-spouse on the phone about arranging visitation … [Read more...] about How is technology helping two-household families?
Astronaut Image Gallery Material used to insulate astronauts' space suits later formed the basis of the space blanket. See more astronaut pictures. Hemera/Thinkstock Outer space can be very cold or very hot -- or both. Solar radiation is intense, but objects in the dark lose heat quickly. The temperature can vary by 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius) from one side of an object to the other [source: NASA Temperature]. As a result, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have had to come up with ways to warm, cool and insulate people and equipment. The law requires NASA to promote the technologies it invents and develops for commercial use. Over the years, more than 1,300 NASA spinoffs have gone into commercial products. NASA engineers' efforts to tame the temperature extremes of space have created technologies that help keep us warm right here on earth. The space blanket is probably the best-known NASA spinoff for keeping you warm. It was … [Read more...] about What NASA technology helps keep you warm?