Minecraft 'Fear Clinic' does battle with smoking

Trying to quit smoking but feeling the urge? Maybe talking to a psychologist before lighting up will help you resist.

It's easy to do in Minecraft. Swedish nonprofit A Non Smoking Generation, which aims to prevent young people from smoking, has set up what it calls a Fear Clinic inside the popular indie sandbox game.

Young Swedes are invited to swing by the virtual clinic to talk about smoking-related concerns and struggles with a psychologist on standby for three hours daily -- from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Swedish time. … 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

Google to buy Nest for $3.2B in quest for the 'conscious home'

Google said Monday it will acquire Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash.

In a statement by Nest, the maker of the Learning Thermostat and the Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector said that the company will continue to be run by current CEO Tony Fadell. "In other words, Nest will stay Nest," the company said.

"Why did we decide to partner with Google?" Fadell wrote in a blog post. "Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could … 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

5 apps to help you stick to your New Year's resolutions

Lose weight, stop smoking, save for a new house, organize your life: Your resolutions are set, and you have every intention of keeping them -- at least until life gets in the way. Don't give up on your goals before February, instead download a few apps that can nudge you in the right direction and coach you to stay on track.

I've rounded up five apps that can help you keep your resolutions, from quitting smoking to whipping your budget or body into shape. Share your favorite goal-oriented apps in the comments below.

Mint (Free) For managing your … Read more

10 must-see videos of the week

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and boy do we have a lot of tech awesomeness to be thankful for this week. Hot on the heels of the PS4 release, Microsoft has just launched the Xbox One. It might have the higher price tag, but does it matter? We get our mitts on the shiny new gaming console and offer up some of our highs and lows. We also checked out the world's first (deeply) curved display smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Round. Crazy, gimmicky, or brilliant? We'll let you decide for yourselves.

You know what else we're … Read more

Nest Protect is the smoke/CO detector to beat

How do you make a smoke detector cool? It's hard, and more difficult still to glamorize a carbon monoxide detector. Under ideal circumstances, you'll never hear a peep out of either.

Nest took a crack at reinventing the boring old smoke alarm anyway. The upstart company, famous for its five-star Nest Learning Thermostat, aims to reimagine the dull, annoying, or dysfunctional white-label products around your house. As such, Nest took the passive wall wart of yesterday and transformed it into the Nest Protect, a Wi-Fi-ready smoke alarm and CO monitor. And while the Nest Protect doesn't necessarily … Read more

The dirty little secret behind smoking cessation apps

One in five deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control, amounting to roughly 440,000 deaths a year. (That's 1,205 a day, or 50 an hour.)

Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that smoking cessation apps are all the rage. More than 700,000 such downloads are averaged for the Android OS alone each month, according to Lorien C. Abroms, assistant professor at the George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services, and they enjoy a minimal level of regulation given the Food and Drug … Read more

Nest app 4.0 improves thermostat, makes room for smoke detector

If you have a Nest Learning Thermostat, you may have noticed a software update this morning. That's Nest 4.0. It's a total redesign of the Android and iOS mobile apps (the Web app got a makeover, too). And here's what it means for you.

The first thing you'll notice is that you no longer will you have to switch your phone from portrait to landscape mode to view your settings or turn your thermostat to Away.

You will be able to see the outside temperature in the top-left corner, complete with images depicting the current … Read more

10 must-see videos of the week

We've got another great batch of hot video picks for you this week!

CNET Editor at Large Tim Stevens checks out Avegant's Virtual Retinal Display prototype, which takes Oculus Rift-style immersion to the next level. You'll have to see for yourself. In an all-new episode of Next Big Thing, Brian Cooley explains why self-driving cars are making more sense, and how 3D gesture tech could forever change computing.

To satisfy Android and Apple fans alike, we're also serving up new episodes of Googlicious and Apple Byte where we offer a sneak peek at Android 4.4 … Read more