|Generic is really AUKEY|
Saturday, September 2, 2023
Saturday, November 12, 2022
|Roche Pilot home COVID test|
Previous post: Rapid COVID Test
Roche Pilot at home COVID test at CVS
- Previously available in Europe and U.S. government distribution.
- Clinical study results [excellent]:
- False-negative rate of 6.8%.
- False-positive rate of 0%.
- CVS to stock it.
- New #1 recommendation, dropping ACON FlowFlex to (close) #2.
Sunday, March 27, 2022
Panasonic makes two great large (1") sensor Lumix bridge cameras with excellent Leica-branded superzoom lenses:
- DMC-FZ1000: great stills camera that also does very good video.
- DMC-FZ2500: great video camera that also does very good stills.
Action Sports Recommendations
- MP4 LPCM FHD 50M 60p
- Recording Format. Choose either MP4 LPCM or MOV (which are essentially identical) based on your own workflow. If in doubt, choose MP4 LPCM.
- Frame Rate. For action video, 60 fps (frames per second) gives smoother results than lower frame rates. That limits resolution to 1080p Full HD (FHD, not 4K), but that's usually sufficient for most purposes.
- Bitrate. 100M (Mbps) gives highest quality, but 50M is probably fine if you won't be doing heavy post-processing. 200M ALL-I is not recommended because quality is actually lower than 100M.
- Mode. For smooth video, use a shutter speed twice the frame rate, so with 60 fps, use a shutter speed of 1/125 sec in Shutter Priority (S) mode.
- Aperture. Unfortunately, the FZ2500 lens suffers increasingly from diffraction softness at apertures smaller than f/5.6, so aperture should be no smaller than f/8.
- ND. Thankfully, the FZ2500 has built-in ND (neutral density) filters that can be used to keep the aperture large enough for sharp images. In general, 1/4 works well in outdoor sunlight with 1/125 sec shutter speed. Unfortunately, the viewfinder does not display the aperture in "S" Creative Video Mode, so either shoot video in Shutter Priority (S) mode, or switch temporarily to S mode to check the aperture set by the camera.
- Sample video with these settings: SailGP Practice, San Francisco Bay, 25 Mar 2022 - YouTube
- Stills. Shutter speed of 1/125 sec is often too slow for action sports. For different settings:
- Use Shutter Priority (S) with ND on for video.
- Use Aperture Priority (A) with ND off for stills, with lens wide open.
- Unfortunately, unlike FZ1000, FZ2500 has only one Mode dial setting for Custom mode, so switching between Custom modes is a clumsy menu operation.
- Except as noted, default settings are recommended.
- Continuous Autofocus (AFC) works well in tracking moving subjects.
- i.Dynamic Auto can help on dynamic range.
- Diffraction Compensation is just extra sharpening and should not be used.
- AF/AE Lock can help when lighting is variable.
Friday, December 24, 2021
|Flowflex COVID test|
Rapid COVID tests help prevent transmission and community spread.To do your own rapid COVID test at home, there are two tricky parts:
- Choosing a test that can detect the new omicron variant.
We don't yet have enough data to be sure, but these seem the best bets based on what we know now (in priority order):
- Flowflex. Latest technology, only a single test required, just $10. Recommended.
- iHealth. Two tests required, $18 on Amazon.
- QuickVue. Two tests required, $24 for a kit.
- BinaxNOW. Similar to QuickVue,
- Finding them in stock.
- Open test product page on CVS website; e.g., Flowflex.
- Click Check nearby stores.
- Enter ZIP code and select Show stores where this item is available.
- Call store to be sure, ideally when it first opens.
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
While (genuine) N95 (USA) and KN95 (China) masks are still recommended, another good option is KF94, the Korean equivalent to N95 and KN95. Important reasons:
- Readily available
- Designed for extended wear
- High filtration
- Good fit and sealing (excellent nose wire, adjustable earloops)
- Easy breathing and talking
- 3D shape (will not collapse onto nose or mouth)
- Does not fog glasses
- Inexpensive (reusable, replace weekly)
References & Data (lots of data):
- Some Covid masks are better than others. I know – I’m the Mask Nerd | Aaron Collins | The Guardian
- Aaron Collins - YouTube (A mechanical engineer by day, Collins’ master’s degree research focused on aerosols)
- KF94/KN95 Mask Test and Review - Bluna FaceFit, LG Airwasher, Dr. Puri Black and More! - YouTube
- Current Top Mask Picks & Kids Masks - YouTube
- Master Mask Testing Data Set
Friday, August 27, 2021
|TalentCell SL3400 Mini UPS|
Unfortunately, conventional 110VAC UPS units won't provide extended runtime. (They are typically good for only 2-4 hours even with a small load.) What will work is a "mini" UPS designed to directly power 12VDC equipment; e.g., modem, ONT, VoIP adapter, and/or wireless router.
Monday, July 19, 2021
|KeePass Password Safe|
Use a Password Manager on PC, Android, and more.
The best way to protect against this risk is to use different, strong passwords for different uses, so the compromise of any one use affects only that one use. That may sound like a huge hassle, but it doesn't need to be: a Password Manager can easily generate and manage lots of strong unique passwords. Then you only have to remember one strong master password that you don't use for anything else. Your other passwords are safely stored in a securely encrypted file. You can also increase security with multi-factor authentication.
Note: Be skeptical of reviews and ratings, especially on the Internet.
Most are not written by real experts. Many are just paid promotions.
This site receives no consideration for its recommendations.
Best Password Managers (FOSS)
- KeePass. Limited native functionality, but rich in plugins and ports.
- Keepass2Android. Best Android implementation of KeePass.
- AuthPass. Compatible with KeePass. Has potential, but suffers from teething issues.
- Bitwarden. Slick, feature rich, and open source, but freemium and dependent on Bitwarden servers.
Better than Third Party
- On the Security of Password Managers - Schneier on Security
Bruce Schneier is an internationally recognized security expert.
- Before You Use a Password Manager | by Stuart Schechter | Medium
- FOSSHUB | Password Managers Software.
Strongly recommended. Do it. Today.
Sunday, July 18, 2021
- Deter. Encourage them to hit someone else instead.
- Defend. Make it harder for them to do you harm.
You don’t have to run faster than the bear to get away.
You just have to run faster than the guy next to you.
Recommended Outdoor Security Cameras
- Amcrest UltraHD 4K (8MP) Dome POE IP Camera Security, 3840x2160, 98ft NightVision, 2.8mm Lens, 105° FOV, IP67 Weatherproof, IK10 Vandal Resistance, Supports up to 256GB MicroSD Recording, White (IP8M-2493EW-V2)
- Amcrest UltraHD 4K (8MP) Outdoor Bullet POE IP Camera, 3840x2160, 105º FOV, 98ft NightVision, 2.8mm Lens, IP67 Weatherproof, MicroSD Recording, White (IP8M-2496EW-V2)
Recommended Memory Card
Friday, May 28, 2021
There are so many allergy relief products on the market with extravagant and competing claims, often at high prices, that it's hard to figure out what really works and is still a good value. Part of the problem is that so many online recommendations are essentially just paid promotions. By comparison, no incentives, fees or commissions are earned from these recommendations.
- This is not medical advice. Check with your own doctor.
- Different products may work better for you.
- Generics work just as well as branded but cost less.
- OTC: over the counter, available without prescription.
- Prices current as of May 2021.
- Buy online only from reputable major sellers because counterfeits are a huge problem.
- Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever) (OTC)
- Fexofenadine (generic Allegra™): 180 mg tablet gives non-drowsy 24-hour relief.
- Welmate Allergy Relief 100 Count at Amazon.com for $16.95
- MHL Allergy Relief 100 Count at Amazon.com for $17.95
- Fluticasone (generic Flonase™): nasal spray gives 24-hour relief from nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and runny nose.
- Kirkland Signature Aller-Flo 50mcg Allergy Spray, 5 Bottles at Costco.com for $22.99 (no membership required)
- Ketotifen (generic Zaditor™): 12-hour eye itch relief.
- Alaway Eye Itch Relief Antihistamine Eye Drops 0.34 fl oz at Walgreens for $13.99 (discount coupons may be available)
- Skin Allergies (OTC)
- Hydrocortisone Cream
- Kirkland Signature Hydrocortisone 1% PLUS Anti-Itch Cream, 8oz (4 2oz tubes) at Costco.com for $7.49 (no membership required)
- Allergic Asthma (prescription only)
- Fluticasone (generic AirDuo™): 12-hour relief, 30-day supply (60 doses), very effective, excellent inhaler.
- Albuterol (generic now available): treat and prevent bronchospasm,
Monday, April 19, 2021
Managing hypertension can help ensure a long healthy life.
Why It's Important
From the CDC: "High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, both of which are leading causes of death in the US. Nearly one-third of all American adults have high blood pressure and more than half of them don’t have it under control..."
When your blood pressure is high:
- You are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke
- You are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease
While your doctor should help you manage your blood pressure on every regular visit, it can actually be more effective to keep track of your blood pressure at home.
What To Know
- Most of the many devices on the market are not validated for accuracy.
- Validation standard is ±10mm hg, which is seriously unhelpful.
- Stick to established brands with a reputation for accuracy.
- For best results, take 3 consecutive readings at 1 minute intervals, and average them.
- Supermarket and drugstore machines are often not maintained for accuracy.
- Doctor's office readings are often too high (white coat hypertension) or too low (masked hypertension).
What To Look For
- Automatic (rather than manual) operation.
- Ease of use.
- Flexible, comfortable cuff with good fit.
- Quiet, gentle operation.
- Averaging of 3 readings.
- Omron. Validated accurate to ±3mm hg. Recommended in Consumer Reports. Series 7 is the sweet spot.
- BP6350. Wrist model. Compact, comfortable, quiet, and accurate. Prior model BP652N is as good and may be less expensive.
- BP5250 (Silver). Upper arm model.
- Equate. Walmart brand, Check eBay for best prices.
- High Blood Pressure | CDC
- Understanding Blood Pressure Readings | American Heart Association
- Best Blood Pressure Monitor Reviews – Consumer Reports
- Blood Pressure Monitors - Medaval (Irish medical device certification)
- Your Blood Pressure Machine Readings are Garbage. Here is How To Fix Them. | Dr. Mike Kuna's Blog