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Dan Dascalescu

Dan Dascalescu

CTO Blueseed, the first startup community on a cruise ship, in international waters outside US jurisdiction, 30 minutes by ferry from Silicon Valley. Tracking body composition, exercise, food intake, sleep.

Tags: Android, fitness, productivity, sleep, Android, fitness, productivity, sleep, learning, food, health, gadget, web app, social, lifestyle, relationships

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Location: Silicon Valley, California, United States



2011-05-25 05:48:17
Contrary to what Michael says, you can get directions on OSM, both using online maps, or with offline software (apps). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenStreetMap#Routing_.28directions.2C_navigation.29

OpenSourceMaps is great that you can make changes yourself with an easy-to-you editor, and your changes will appear in the map right away. The level of detail is incredible: you can add benches, post boxes, traffic lights, traffic signs, and even trees.

Google, by comparison, took ages to fix an issue that you'd report. Recently, they opened their US maps to edits from users, so this may improve.

OSM suffers from fewer POIs compared to Google. You're more likely to find the closes Blockbuster on Google than on OSM.

Another big advantage of OSM is their license, which lets app developers reuse the maps in a lot of ways. Google's maps are proprietary.


2011-05-25 05:48:17
The learning method itself, Spaced Repetition, is excellent.

Anki is a an open source implementation, and a pretty good one. However, the interface is somewhat confusing, and a 2.0 release is expecting to address that. In the meantime, the current release, 1.2.8, can be used with good success.

Anki is discussed in some more detail on the QS Wiki at http://qswiki.com/index.php/Cognition

Omron full-body composition monitor HBF-516B

2011-05-25 05:48:17
I've been using this scale for two months and I'm overall very satisfied with it. Pros:

* Appears very accurate for weight: within 1% of what the scale at the gym showed last night, but that can be easily accounted for by garments or how much I had eaten.

* Appears very accurate for body fat - within 3.5% of two Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry body composition scans I did two weeks ago. Note that a deviation of 3.5% means that for body fat in the 20% area, a $60 DXA scan will give you a result of +/- 0.7% of body fat, vs. the scale. Also, I had the DXA tests two weeks ago, and variations may well have occurred within that time. I think the scale is again very accurate on measuring body fat.

After using this scale for two months, I can say that its accuracy is OK, but it won't help you in the short term. It's quite common for the scale to indicate 18% body fat in the morning and 20% in the afternoon. The point is you should use it under controlled conditions, at the same time of the day, a constant number of hours before/after a meal etc.. Also, expect changes in your body composition to develop over months, rather than weeks.

* I weighed myself 4 times, and got the same result 3 times, and 0.2lbs less one time. Therefore the scale appears to be highly consistent as well. After weighing myself while holding a 10lb dumbbell plate, the scale showed 10.2 more pounds. Who is right, the scale or the dumbbell plate manufacturer? It doesn't really matter. The scale's precision is around 0.1% (0.2lbs/160lbs).

* Calculates BMI (don't mind it much), body fat (the manual doesn't mention if this includes bone marrow, which can account for +0.8%), muscle percentage, visceral fat, Resting Metabolic rate, and body age. It got my age within 10% of the real age.

* Solid construction. No tilt whatsoever when you step with only one foot on it.

* Matte surface. Doesn't show fingerprints or foot marks. The monitor, though, is shiny and will show fingerprints. It also takes a few seconds to clean it.

* Easy to use once you've spent 10 minutes reading the instruction manual. The "On" switch can easily be pressed with your toe.

* Uses 4 standard AA batteries and comes with them included.

* Supports both metric and the idiosyncratic US measurement system.


* Minus one star for not getting on the computer-integration bandwagon and providing a USB slot or wireless data upload feature like the famous Withings scale. However, if you don't obsess about your body composition, measuring it once a week makes recording data manually acceptable enough.

* The memory function is pretty primitive. For instance, if you weighed yourself but didn't get a chance to record the results, you can't view your last weight and body composition (!).

The problem with the Withings scale is that it doesn't use a full-body scan (it has no hand grips), and foot-to-foot scans are necessarily less accurate than the foot-to-palm scans in this Omron model.

More reviews at http://www.amazon.com/Omron-Body-Composition-Monitor-Scale/dp/B001803OS6