Booklet helps seniorsnavigate the Internet
"Getting CyberSavvy, A New User's Guide to Going Online" is a new, 20-page booklet jointly published by AARP and the Direct Marketing Association. Designed to help older people "safely navigate the online terrain," the booklet offers basic information on getting hooked up to the Internet, how to choose Internet service providers and how to surf through cyberspace while protecting one's privacy.
The booklet outlines the benefits of going online and some detail on how to use e-mail and search for information. Two pages are devoted to online shopping tips, with another two pages on "Being Careful."
There also are more than two dozen Web sites of interest to older consumers listed.
To have a free copy of the booklet sent to you, write to The Direct Marketing Association, Attn: Getting CyberSavvy, 1111 19th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036. If you already have Internet access, you can download a copy by going to http://www.cybersavvy.org/
Double eyeglass case
The eyeglass case just isn't enough when you've got multiple eyeglasses to deal with. The "Optic Racer" holds two pairs of eyeglasses at the same time, with separate padded compartments for each. The case is made of full-grain leather, with nylon zippers and belt loops, and comes in five colors.
The Optic Racer is available from the Levenger catalog, and costs $47 including shipping and handling.
To order call (800) 544-0880 or go to http://www.levenger.com/
IBM has started a recycling service for old personal computers. For $30, which includes shipping and handling, you can box and send any brand of PC -- including monitors, printers and optional attachments -- to be refurbished, stripped for usable parts or responsibly recycled. Usable units will be donated to needy organizations.
For more information, call (800) 711-6010, Ext. 231.
FTC warns makers ofultrasound pest control
Ultrasonic pest-control devices, one of which was featured in Consumer Line a couple of years ago, may not control either insects or rodents, says the Federal Trade Commission. It has sent warning letters to more than 60 manufacturers and retailers of ultrasonic pest-control devices. Claims that these products eliminate rodents or repel insects may constitute false and deceptive advertising, the trade commission says.
"Any reaction by rodents to ultrasound would be temporary at best because rodents become accustomed to ultrasound," says the trade commission in a warning issued earlier this month. "Furthermore, previous FTC complaints alleged that ultrasound devices do not control insects."
Manufacturers of these devices have been urged to either change their advertising or supply "competent and reliable scientific evidence" to support their claims.
High-tech breath test
Let's hear it for modern technology. In days of yore you checked your breath by breathing into a cupped hand held close to your nose. Not anymore. Now you can employ an electronic Fresh-Breath Tester that measures "the level of sulfur compounds and gases in your breath."
You blow into the tester's vent for five seconds, and the LCD screen tells you your breath's "freshness."
"Hearts and faces are displayed as a ratings scale," explain the Sharper Image copywriters. "The more hearts and happier faces mean your breath is fresh. Fewer hearts and unhappy faces mean your breath could use some refreshing."
The Fresh-Breath Tester costs $39.95 and is available at Sharper Image.
The tester runs on two AAA batteries.