The 404 1,429: Where it's good enough to snoop through (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- If portrait video is wrong, these artists don't want to be right.

- iPhone app invites strangers to eavesdrop and solicit advice.

- Tinder flaw may have exposed members' exact whereabouts for months.

- E-cigarette meets Bluetooth speaker: a perfect pair.… Read more

An e-cigarette packed with Bluetooth? Talk to the hand

The scenario is all too typical -- you're walking down the street puffing on an e-cigarette, just wishing you could use the little metal nicotine stick to make a phone call... How handy would that be?

Well, dreams can come true.

A company called Supersmoker has come up with an e-cigarette it claims is the world's first to double as a Bluetooth headset and device that streams MP3s from a smartphone. That's right, a musical cell phone cigarette.

"Never seen before! An electronic cigarette with Bluetooth functionality," the company writes on its Web site. "… Read more

Friends don't let friends smoke (says e-cigarette company)

How good a friend are you?

If your friend is dating someone you consider to be unworthy, do you say something?

If your friend is spending too much money, drinking too much wine, or talking too much nonsense, do you call a halt?

And if your friend is a smoker, do you say: "Oh, please don't do that anymore. Not now that there are fabulous NJoy e-cigarettes which are obviously so much healthier and will make you eternally happy"?

I ask only because an e-cigarette brand called NJoy has just released an ad with the immortal line: &… Read more

Woman claims e-cigarette blew up, shot 4-foot flames

Some smokers seek every possible way to kick their rather smelly habit.

Many wear patches. Others desperately keep away from their Camels and just get angry at every human around them.

However, the makers of e-cigarettes claim theirs is a wonderful breakthrough.

Not everyone is convinced that it's quite so wonderful or even quite so much healthier than a pack of 20.

One Atlanta woman, for example, claims she's happy to be alive enough to -- who knows? -- smoke a Marlboro Light after a very difficult electronic smoking experience.

As WSB-TV reports, Elizabeth Wilkowski is sure that … Read more

New app could curb underage drinking by spotting fake IDs

Kids these days. It just keeps getting harder for them to misbehave without being spotted.

A new iPhone app released in July aims to help stop underage drinking by making it easier for bartenders and bouncers to spot fake IDs. Users with the barZapp app simply point their iPhone cameras at the bar code on an ID to find out where it's legit. The app also offer up a lot of additional info, including the owner's date of birth, height, weight, and eye and hair color as well as the card's expiration date. They can even see … Read more

Always On Future Tech: Smoking goes high-tech (and smokeless!)

Future tech takes all kinds of forms, and some of those forms are the kind that let you smoke without the guilt or the cancer!

I recently visited Thermo Essence Technologies, which is a Silicon Valley company that makes high-tech "vaporizers" for inhaling nicotine, medical marijuana, or other herbs. They're kind of like electronic cigarettes, but much more premium in terms of construction (and cost). They come in multiple varieties, and they both look cool and keep you from getting cancer, no matter what you're smoking.

The vaporizers use a (rechargeable) battery-powered kiln to conduct super-heated … Read more

Electronic cigarette blows up in man's mouth

From the age of dot, we're all told not to put gadgets in our mouths.

But along came electric toothbrushes--and then electronic cigarettes. Some will wonder how safe they might be after a 57-year-old Florida man was taken to hospital Monday night when his electronic smoke exploded while he was smoking it.

He ended up in an Alabama hospital, facing burns, the loss of part of his tongue and his front teeth.

Joseph Parker, division chief for the North Bay Fire Department, offered a graphic analogy to the Associated Press: "It was trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth when it went off. The battery flew out of the tube and set the closet on fire."… Read more

Want to quit smoking? Try text message support

A study of almost 6,000 people trying to quit smoking cigarettes finds that those who receive regular motivational text messages are twice as likely to quit than those who receive neutral text messages thanking them for participating in the study.

The txt2stop trial, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, measured cotinine (a chemical in tobacco) levels in the participants six months after participants reported to try quitting.

The randomly selected txt2stop group received five text messages a day for five weeks and then three a week for the following 26 weeks, with encouragements such as: "Cravings last less than 5 minutes on average. To help distract yourself, try sipping a drink slowly until the craving is over."

The txt2stop group was also able to text words such as "crave" and "lapse" to receive a motivating message during episodes of weakness and craving.

The control group, meanwhile, received only one message every two weeks thanking participants for being part of the trial.

Only 4.9 percent of the control group abstained from smoking throughout the six months, as determined through cotinine testing, while more than twice as many members (10.7 percent) of the txt2stop group succeeded.

"We are delighted with the results and hope that text motivation will now become a standard part of the quitting process," says Glyn Mcintosh of QUIT, which helped develop the text messages and find volunteers for the study.

The researchers, whose findings appear in The Lancet this week, say that txt2stop worked well across all age and social groups in the study.… Read more

Breathe in Blu's social-networking cigarette pack

Smoking these days can be lonely business, what with smoking now banned in many bars and other traditional smokers' hangouts. But a new handheld device is designed to help smokers find each other--and it might even help them kick the habit.

Meet the "blu Smart Pack," the world's first social-networking cigarette package.

The rechargeable package--scheduled to go on sale in June for $80--connects wirelessly to social-networking sites and even flashes a blue light and vibrates if it detects other packages within 50 feet.

"You'll meet more people than ever, just because of the wow factor," Jason Healy, the company's founder, told The New York Times.

Not everyone's as convinced it's such a great idea. … Read more

T-shirt reminds you how polluted the air is

We all know pollution can be quite unhealthy, and the Warning Signs carbon monoxide-detecting T-shirt serves as a fashionable reminder of that.

Developed by two New York University graduate students, Nien Lam and Sue Ngo, the functional shirt turns from pink to blue when the offending gas comes into contact with it. In the two designs created--a heart and pair of lungs--blue, vein-like patterns appear on the pink organs whenever levels of the poisonous gas get high.

Related link • Air-purifying gown supposedly soaks up pollutants

While we're not sure if the shirts still work after a few washes, this odd invention could be quite popular, should it ever be sold. Of course, the question remains: What do you do once the shirt tells you you're breathing in unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide? Presumably, it's then time to put on a gas mask--or this air-purifying gown. … Read more