Monday, April 19, 2021

Blood Pressure

Managing hypertension can help ensure a long healthy life.

Omron BP652N
Omron BP652N

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

  1. Most of the many devices on the market are not validated for accuracy.
  2. Validation standard is ±10mm hg, which is seriously unhelpful.
  3. Stick to established brands with a reputation for accuracy.
  4. For best results, take 3 consecutive readings at 1 minute intervals, and average them.
  5. Supermarket and drugstore machines are often not maintained for accuracy.
  6. Doctor's office readings are often too high (white coat hypertension) or too low (masked hypertension).

What To Look For

  1. Accuracy.
  2. Automatic (rather than manual) operation.
  3. Ease of use.
  4. Flexible, comfortable cuff with good fit.
  5. Quiet, gentle operation.
  6. Averaging of 3 readings.

Recommended Devices

Recommended Reading

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Google Voice Ringtone

Beta, thy name is Google.

FIX: Google Voice using Notification sound instead of Ringtone on Android

If you use Google Voice on your Android device, and
incoming calls are not using your desired ringtone, then
here's how to fix the problem:

  1. Open phone Settings.
  2. Select Apps & notifications.
  3. Select Voice (in All apps if not visible).
  4. Select Notifications.
  5. Under OTHER, select Incoming call.
  6. Expand Advanced.
  7. Select Sound
  8. Select desired ringtone sound (which should then play) and close Settings.
NOTE: Sound will still show "Default notification sound" (a bug), but correct Ringtone should now play.

YouTube Video

Sunday, January 17, 2021

COVID-19 Masks

UPDATE: Genuine made in USA NIOSH approved N95 masks now available:

Face masks are a crucial part of minimizing the spread of deadly COVID-19 infection, but poor, fake masks have flooded the market and are a huge problem, thanks to incompetence of the Trump administration, which:
  • Failed to update early temporary mask guidance. (Ordinary cloth masks are not terribly effective.)
  • Provided little guidance to consumers on how to obtain affordable high-quality masks.

The good news is that genuine, affordable, high-quality masks are now readily available. The bad news is that it's hard to distinguish good from bad.

  • The best masks meet the USA N95 standard, but those are still in short supply.
  • Good alternatives are those that meet the comparable Chinese KN95 standard.

How to Tell Genuine KN95 Masks

  1. Manufacturer appears on the FDA PPE EUA list.
  2. Masks (not just packaging) are branded with a China KN95 standard:
    • Medical: GB19083-2010
    • Non-medical (but still effective against COVID-19): GB2626-2006, GB2626-2019

How to Avoid Fake Masks

  1. Manufacturer does not appear on the FDA PPE EUA list.
  2. Masks are not branded with a China KN95 standard (listed above).
  3. Masks claimed to be GB19083-2010 but "non-medical" (since that is a medical standard).


  • Best filtration is melt-blown fabric in a multi-layer sandwich.
  • Carbon filtering is not effective against COVID-19.
  • Avoid masks with valves, because they are less effective against spreading infection.

Genuine KN95 Masks

  1. Powecom KN95 Protective Face Mask (10-Pack) (white)
  2. Chengde Technology KN95 Face Mask 20Pcs (white)
  3. ChiSpi KN95 Face Mask 20Pcs (colors)
  4. ChiSpi KN95 Face Mask 60Pcs (white)
  5. Hotodeal KN95 Face Mask 40 PCs (white)
Disclaimer: Provided as public service, accuracy not guaranteed.