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Thursday, May 29, 2014

App Review - CameraZOOM


So, on May 16th, Amazon Appstore put 9 camera/photo editing apps on sale for free. Each app gave 100 Amazon coins with purchase, so I bought a few to feed my Candy Crush addiction.

One that I initially fell in love with, but came to abhor is the CameraZOOM FX app. This app is a camera replacement app, with Instagram-like filters built in.

Some of the included filters. Others include light flares, different types of exposures and 'Buddy Skins,' which allow you to add celebs to your photos.

The app interface. Tap the bottom left to get to your gallery. Drag the transparent circle next to the shutter to zoom in and out. Tap the camera with the arrows to use the front-facing camera.

Tapping the upper right corner will allow you to use the video recorder. However, when I tapped it, it took me to my stock camera app. This is STRICTLY a still-camera app.

As I said, the first few days I had this app on my Motorola Photon Q phone, it was awesome. I loved the different filters and it seemed to take quicker pictures. Then reality set in.

I noticed my phone battery was draining even quicker than normal. I can USUALLY get a 12-14 hour use on one charge. Granted, MOST of that was in standby mode, but I could go all day and still have about 25%-40% of the battery left when I plugged it in to charge. I am NOT sure what could have been causing the drainage, but I was averaging 8 hours of use before the battery was completely drained... to the point of the phone shutting off.

I have to say the WORSE thing about this app was the quality of photos it took. The shots were dull and blurry, even when stabilized.

^^image scaled -- please click this link: http://i.imgur.com/jIwBRY6.jpg for full size

Both of these photos are taken with a Motorola Photon Q phone. The camera is an 8MP camera, stabilized in the same position (using a phone tripod) and unedited with the exception of adding a border and the text.

As you can see, the photo of my keyboard is crisp and clear with the default Motorola app on the left. The photo shot with the CameraZOOM app is blurred and the perception seems to be skewed. It wasn't just this particular photo either. I took a photo of my adoptive mom holding a cat we rescued, and the photo was also blurry, just not as bad. Another photo I took for another review I plan to do has a grainy and washed out look to it.

I did not try it out personally, but I'm sure you can 'import' your gallery or camera roll photos into the app to use the filters it has. You can also upload to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and more through the app, along with being able to order prints directly from the app.

Disabled people will need enough motor control to steady the device to hit the shutter button without blurring the photo, although even steady photos won't be very clear. You also need a decent amount of control to apply the filters. I have a good amount of motor control and even I was hitting filters I did not want to select.

CameraZOOM FX is available on Google Play & Amazon Appstore for $2.99 & iTunes for $3.99, if you want to try it yourself.

(SIDE NOTE: If you ARE going to purchase this app for Android, please use the Google Play link. The Amazon Appstore versions of apps seem to be outdated.)

If you're looking to add filters other than what Instagram offers, then it's great. But if you're looking to replace the default/stock camera app, I would look elsewhere.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Breathe Right Nasal Strips

Breathe Right Nasal Strips

I snore something awful, according to my friends and family. I sound like Chewbacca running a buzz rig on a freight train. So, I tried a sample of these strips.

The Breathe Right nasal strip is a drug-free, nonprescription device that works mechanically - from the outside - to gently open nasal passages. This reduces the resistance to air flowing through the nasal passages and improves the ability to breathe through the nose.

How does it work?
Within each Breathe Right strip are flexible, "spring-like" bands. On the underside is a special adhesive that, when placed properly on the nose, gently sticks to the area right above the flare of each nostril. As the bands attempt to straighten back to their original shape, they gently lift the sides of the nose and open the nasal passages, providing immediate and continual relief.

Positioning these correctly are going to be the MOST difficult thing for a disabled person. It took me 3 tries to get a decent positioning. It was either too high or too low.

Attempt at positioning -- it was STILL wrong, as you can see.

These work really well, if positioned correctly. My snoring was cut drastically. I also slept deeper and I felt more rested the next morning.

Breathe Right strips are available from most retailers starting at $4.99 and up. However, you can get a sample of these strips right from the Breathe Right website.

Breathe Right strips work great, once positioned correctly. Breathing was easier and snoring was lessened drastically.

Monday, May 12, 2014

BzzAgent -- Children's Claritin

BzzAgent- Children's Claritin

Up to 4 out of 10 school children are affected by allergies

So it’s really no surprise that every year, two million school days are missed due to seasonal and indoor allergies. Furthermore, the effects of allergies can be much more significant than a lost day of school:

  • Symptoms during the day can impede focus and result in learning problems
  • Symptoms at night can cause sleep loss and lead to daytime drowsiness, making it more difficult for your child to perform well during the school day
Fortunately, non-drowsy Children’s Claritin® Grape Chewables provide all-day relief from runny noses, itchy, watery eyes and sneezing.

I got this Bzzkit, after doing some research and seeing adults CAN take this at DOUBLE the dose. Mama Melissa has 'Seasonal Asthmatic Allergies' and her doctor told her to take OTC Claritin for her itchy eyes.

But it's so expensive.

Unfortunately, I LOST the pics I snapped of this campaign, so no pics for this one, But in the Bzzkit, I received
  • A 10-count box on Children's Claritin Chewable tablets - Grape flavor
  • A 2 oz bottle of Children's Claritin syrup - Grape flavor
  • 8 coupons for $3 of any Children's Claritin product
Mama Melissa used the tablets, while I tried the syrup. She said that the taste of the tablets reminded her of the chewable vitamins (Flintstones, Scooby Doo, etc) we all took as children. Even though the adult dosage was 2 tablets, Mama Melissa said they didn't help as much as the out-right Adult tablets do. She still suffered with the itchy and watery eyes.

The Children's Claritin syrup is downright disgusting. I, as well, took the adult dosage (2 tablespoons, I do believe) and it left a very strange and bitter after taste in my mouth. I usually have no real issues with medicine after tastes, but this syrup left kind of an 'acid' taste in my throat. The grape taste itself is yummy, but then the after taste hits and ruins it.

I didn't see much of an improvement myself. I still felt loopy and clouded.

Children's Claritin may be okay for children, but personally speaking, I would just buy the adult ones and halve them.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

BAN Total Refesh Cooling Body Cloths

BAN Total Refesh Cooling Body Cloths

Anyone with a disability should know the story of The Spoon Theory and how it's pretty relevant to disabilities.

I took a shower last night, and even though I had my stool with me, I still wiped out 90% of the spoons I had yesterday and a few spoons from today.

Enter Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body cloths.

^^Sample I recieved^^

In a normal box, you get 10 individually packaged wipes, each good for one use. They are initially designed for 'on-the-go' people... Those who hit the gym before work/another event and don't have time to hit the shower. They are individually wrapped, so you can toss a packet in your purse or gym bag and go.

I tried this the day before I took my shower. I wiped it over my neck, chest and underarm area, and I felt instantly cleaner and fresher. I didn't have that 'night time sweat' smell that can come from being under warm covers all night. It left a light and fresh scent. It almost smelled like it had some sort of deodorant on it.

These would be GREAT for people with disabilities to keep feeling fresh between spoon-draining bathing sessions. It covers any 'body odor' scent extremely well. As long as you can wipe your mouth with a paper towel/napkin, You'll be able to use these. Scissors may be needed to open the wrapper.

These come in 3 scents, Enliven, Restore and Invigorate and are available from Wal-mart for $2.97 a package.

BAN Total Refresh Cooling Cloths are a great way to keep from smelling nasty in between baths/showers.
STARS: ​​​​​​​​​​​