Noggin + Babysmash = One Happy Baby! (windows)

Noggin + Babysmash = One Happy Baby! (Windows) image thumb68I reviewed a program called Babysmash a while back and I have been using it (well my daughter has really been using it) ever since. In a nut shell Babysmash locks the screen and lets little ones type and move the mouse. They are greeted by sounds and images.

This is awesome on its own but recently I discovered that you can make Babysmash have a transparant window. This lets whatever is on the desktop show through. I started with using pictures of my daughter and she went on happily clicking away staring at herself.

You can find the option within the settings page – the second option from the bottom.

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While using Babysmash and having it read the letters and numbers you are typing is pretty cool.

But how long do you really think this could hold the attention of a 16 month old? When she was 8 or 9 months old it would last 10 minutes or 15 minutes on a good day. As time went on she got distracted by other things much quicker (like piles of CD’s and DVD’s). I happened onto this magic combination by accident.

You see I was checking out websites for my daughter to listen to some music on and she came running over to the computer. I picked her up and launched Babysmash out of habit.

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What I wound up with was a looping playback of kids music videos playing in the background. She was able to smash away at the keyboard and mouse and some very child friendly music and music videos played away. My daughter got very excited and sat here for almost 20 minutes this time!

That is huge for a little girl!

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We experimented with the different shows and it turned out that Jack’s Big Music Show was her favorite. But Pinky Dinky Doo and The Backyardigans also kept her mighty entertained!

When it was time to eat I had problems pulling her away from it. But that is a whole different story!

I went looking around the Noggin website and it is chock full of free activities for kids as well as music and links to other kid friendly stuff. So if you have a baby, are about to have a baby or are thinking about having a baby store this site away and you will thank me!

If any of you out there have other good tech tips for keeping kids happy please put us on in the comments!

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With Notifyme 2 And Bills [giveaway]

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With NotifyMe 2 and Bills [Giveaway] giveawaypowerybaseLife on the fast track can be taxing. With the ever-growing list of responsibilities, we have more and more bills to pay and an even longer set of reminders and tasks there is to keep track of. Life on the fast track can be taxing.

In order to help reduce the burden of remembering the things you need to do and actually focus on the task at hand; we have two great iPhone apps to recommend, both of which have been featured on MakeUseOf before: NotifyMe and Bills.

This week, we will be giving away 5 promo codes for each application. Find out how you can get one, after the jump.

NotifyMe 2

NotifyMe 2 is the updated version of NotifyMe and only supports iOS4. At the very core, it is still a reminder application. You create tasks/reminders which are synced over the air to NotifyMe’s servers. When your tasks are due, you receive a push notification sent to your iPhone.

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With NotifyMe 2 and Bills [Giveaway] notifyme2a

All tasks/reminders can also be accessed online via the cloud server, notifymecloud.com and can be used to track your list of reminders easily.

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With NotifyMe 2 and Bills [Giveaway] NotifyMeCloud web access

In this updated version, you can also create local reminders which are stored on your device. This is a huge help you are only looking to create short-term reminders without internet access.

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With NotifyMe 2 and Bills [Giveaway] NotifyMeCloud diagram

NotifyMe 2 also supports task sharing — any reminder can be shared with any authorised NotifyMe 2 user and will appear on their upcoming screen.

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With NotifyMe 2 and Bills [Giveaway] notifyme2

Bills

Bills (also known as Bills ~ on your table) is a simple payment tracking application. This app helps you track pending bills and their corresponding due dates efficiently and elegantly as well.

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With NotifyMe 2 and Bills [Giveaway] bills1

Bills can be set to automatically repeat daily, weekly, monthly or annually. When a payment is due, you’ll receive a push notification with a gentle reminder (or pre-reminder, which you can set to occur days prior).

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With NotifyMe 2 and Bills [Giveaway] bills2

How do I win a copy?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions.


STEP 1
Join our Facebook page by clicking the Like button or you can follow us on Twitter, if you prefer. If you’re already following us, you may skip this step.

If you can’t see the fanbox, click on this link.

Here’s our giveaway form. Please fill it in accurately. Be sure to enter your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. Click here if you can’t view the form.

STEP 2

Share it on Facebook

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With NotifyMe 2 and Bills [Giveaway] facebook

Or on Twitter

Never Forget Anything Ever Again With NotifyMe 2 and Bills [Giveaway] twitterbutton

STEP 3
You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post. There are 2 options to choose from or you can do both!
And that’s it! You’re done!

 

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, 30th July at 2100hrs PST. The winners will be selected at random and announced via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

MakeUseOf would like to thank Dominik from Powerybase for his generosity while participating in this giveaway. Interesting in sponsoring? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via email.

Prolonged Sitting Linked To Breast And Colon Cancers

WASHINGTON Our culture of sitting may be responsible for 173,000 cases of cancer each year, according to new estimates.

Physical inactivity is linked to as many as 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer a year in the United States, said Christine Friedenreich, an epidemiologist at Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada.

Breast and colon cancer appear to be the cancers most influenced by physical activity, according to the research we have to date, Friedenreich said, in presenting her findings here today (Nov. 3) at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) conference.

But her findings also suggested that an estimated 37,200 cases of lung cancer, 30,600 cases of prostate cancer, 12,000 cases of endometrial cancer and 1,800 cases of ovarian cancer could be prevented if people were more physically active.

The work adds to a growing body of research indicating that prolonged sitting has lethal consequences , regardless of how active people are the rest of the day.

“It seems highly likely that the longer you sit, the higher your risk [of cancer],” said Neville Owen, head of behavioral epidemiology at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia, who also presented findings at the meeting. Owen’s study showed that U.S. adults, on average, sit 15.5 hours a day.

The amount of time we spend standing up and walking “makes up such a tiny sliver of a person’s waking hours,” Owen said.

However, there’s good news. It seems that long, uninterrupted periods of sitting are what is most unhealthy, and that by frequently breaking up long bouts of sitting with just a few minutes of light exercise, a person can lower his or her cancer risk. Owen’s study found that one- to two-minute breaks from sitting can reduce levels of molecules in the body that are linked with cancer risk.

[Don’t Sit Tight: 6 Ways to Make a Deadly Activity Healthier ]

This research reveals that there’s more to physical activity than working out on a treadmill. Alice Bender, a spokeswoman for AICR, noted that someone who exercises 30 minutes a day the recommended amount of physical activity is really only active for 3 percent of his or her day.

While getting to the gym or doing other regular exercise is still important, it is not the whole story, Bender said. The AICR recommends we take small breaks from sitting during our day to “infuse the remaining 97 percent of [our] day with short periods of activity that can protect against many cancers,” she said.

Exercise and cancer

In Friedenreich’s study, postmenopausal women who engaged in moderate to vigorous daily exercise had lower levels of C-reactive protein in their bodies after one year compared with women who did not engage in this level of activity. Low levels of this protein have been linked to reduced breast cancer risk.

C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation, an immune response that normally helps your body fight off infection. Chronically high levels of inflammation may damage cells and possibly increase cancer risk.

Using data from her study and previous work on cancer indicators, Friedenreich estimated that daily exercise reduced the risk of breast and colon cancer by 25 to 30 percent.

“For many of the most common cancers, it seems like something as simple as a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day can help reduce cancer risk,” Friedenreich said.

Owen’s study suggested that even very brief exercise may reduce cancer risk. In the study, the one- to two-minute breaks were associated with smaller waists, less insulin resistance (an early sign of diabetes) and lower levels of inflammation all risk factors for cancer.

Get up and move

The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends the following tips for breaking up your sitting sessions:

  • Set a timer on your computer to remind you every hour that it’s time to step away from your desk, and take a short walk down the hall.
  • Instead of emailing a co-worker, chat with him or her over a walk.
  • If possible, stand up and walk around during phone calls and meetings.
  • Keep light hand weights in your office to use while reading email or talking on the phone.

Pass it on: Sitting down for prolonged periods may increase cancer risk, researchers say.

Follow MyHealthNewsDaily staff writer Rachael Rettner on Twitter @RachaelRettner. Like us on Facebook.