Fitbit Force rash debacle leads to possible class-action lawsuit

Could this be the beginning of a Fitbit rash-gate? After company apologies, medical investigations, a full recall, and putting an end to sales of the Fitbit Force activity-tracking device -- some users still aren't satisfied.

A lawsuit against Fitbit, which is seeking class-action status, was filed on Monday in the Superior Court of California in San Diego County, according to The Wall Street Journal. The suit alleges that Fitbit didn't do a good enough job at alerting consumers about possible rashes caused by the Force in its promotional and advertising material.

The suit is being led by aviation … Read more

Fitbit Force users report roughly 10,000 cases of skin irritation

Some side effects can come with activity monitoring with a Fitbit Force health tracker, but they're not sore muscles or an accelerated heart rate -- rather, they involve skin irritation around the wrist.

More than 10,000 people have reported skin irritation -- including redness, rashes, itchy and dry patches, and blistering -- from their Fitbit Force, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Because of these issues, the CPSC posted Fitbit's official recall notice on its site on Wednesday. Now, all Force owners can get a full refund for their device.

The $129 Force, which is … Read more

Sony tempts Xperia smartphone owners with snazzy themes

Love your new Xperia phone's waterproof design but not so much its software UI? Apparently Sony feels your pain. The company has been at it again, touting the virtues of its Xperia Theme Android skins. First announced as part of Sony's Xperia phone upgrade to Android 4.3, the device maker used its official blog today to drum up buzz around the Xperia Theme engine. … Read more

Ah, Vanity: Wrinkle videos trump cancer vids in getting teens to bust out the sunscreen

Want to get kids to wear sunscreen more often? Teaching them about skin cancer and death apparently doesn't cut it; compare their face to a grape soon to be shriveled up like a raisin, however, and sunscreen becomes their new best friend.

It probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise that appealing to our vanity works better than a biology lecture, but the extent to which the approach increases sunscreen use is sizable.

Reporting in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers at the University of California, Davis, say they showed 50 11th graders in … Read more

What's a zit's life span? ScanZ aims to help clear that up

Zits. It's easy to forget how devastating their sudden emergence -- always at the most inopportune moments -- can be. But surely everyone remembers at least one time when a zit was, at least for a day, the single most mortifying thing that ever happened.

ScanZ to the rescue! The patented imaging device developed by mySkin connects to a smartphone to help track the oh-so-unpredictable life of acne.

The device projects light of different wavelengths onto the skin to take transdermal images of the acne, sends that data to a connected smartphone, and the SmartZ app for iPhone uses … Read more

Themer offers a radical new look for your Android phone

Some folks really like to take advantage of Android's customizability, as evidenced by the 48,763 (and counting) different home screens that people have uploaded to the MyColorscreen site. Now the company has begun trying to make an app business out of the idea.

On Thursday, it launched Themer, an app that can replace the standard Android home screen. With the app, you can browse and rapidly install a wide variety of new looks for your phone. Express your enthusiasm for "Breaking Bad," glance at a heads-up display from a sci-fi movie, pare back your gaudy jumble … Read more

$24 sticker kit makes your iPhone 5 look like an iPhone 5S

A gold iPhone 5S may be difficult to get at the moment, but making your old iPhone look like one is proving to be far easier.

A new set of vinyl kits from MobileFun that run around $23.49 (plus shipping) can make an iPhone 5 look like a gold iPhone 5S, or one of the other two colors -- silver and space Gray.

It's not as drastic (or pricey) as something like AnoStyle, which actually changes the color finish of the aluminum, but also means you're not voiding your warranty. … Read more

Painless microneedle patch could test for TB

Today, one of the standard tests for tuberculosis involves inserting a hypodermic needle into a person's arm using a very precise angle and depth -- thereby requiring a certain level of skill on the part of the tester and chutzpah on the part of the patient.

Researchers at the University of Washington hope to replace this test with a painless, near-automated alternative -- a microneedle patch that they say is more precise and even biodegradable.… Read more

Pixlgun 3D lets you play a Minecraft-like first-person shooter

Pixlgun 3D is a Minecraft-themed (though not affiliated with Mojang in any way) first-person shooter for both iOS and Android that recently updated with multiplayer, perhaps explaining its meteoric rise to No. 1 at the App Store (at the time of this review). But be warned that multiplayer is only offered over local Wi-Fi.

If you don't have friends sharing the same Wi-Fi, this means you'll be playing the campaign survival mode. In this mode you enter a series of levels where you'll need to kill every zombie on a map in order to move on to … Read more

Crave Ep. 130: Thirsty? Drink your own sweat from the Sweat Machine

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Sweden has invented The Sweat Machine for purifying body sweat into drinkable water. The Improv Anywhere group makes 7,000 people follow commands. And NASA goes out of its way to make us feel small and insignificant. Thanks a lot, NASA! … Read more