A Story Before Bed lets you read to your children when you're not there

The folks from A Story Before Bed contacted us and have offered a coupon code that allows users to try the site including sharing a story for free. The code is good until the end of November. Just enter MT9C-WN6Y-TF6J at the point of checkout, when you’re asked to pay for the story you recorded.

Having to be away from your young children at bedtime is probably the absolute worst part of having a job that requires travel. Worse, sometimes it’s not practical to call and talk to them before bed. A Story Before Bed is a site that is looking to solve this problem for traveling parents.

The idea behind A Story Before Bed is that you choose one of the stories in their library, then you record yourself reading it using a webcam. You can then send a link to your child’s caregiver, who can then open the book on their computer, and watch as you read the story to them. They see the full pages of the book with your face inset, and the experience even includes animated page turns. To make sure that what you are reading relates to the page being displayed, the video of you reading is actually split up on a page-by-page basis, so you can only ever be listening to the correct voiceover for a given page.

A Story Before Bed is not a free service, but recording a story is free. The service charges $6.95US if you want to keep your recording so that you can pass it along to the young people in your life.

(Source: Download Squad)


Transforming Sofa Turns Into a Bunk Bed

More than just a sofa bed, the Mobelform Doc transforms into a bunk bed, complete with two mattresses and a set of pillows. Unfortunately, pricing and availability have not yet been announced.

(Source: TechEBlog)

Top 10 Homemade Remedies for What Ails You

Feeling under the weather? Thinking—as you look around your office—that you might be soon? Hone your home remedy skill set with a look at 10 of our favorite DIY cures for illnesses and your body’s annoyances.
10. Honey for rough coughs
When you’ve got a bad cough, it feels like your own body is fighting against you—your throat dries out, your lungs spasm beyond your control, and it all makes a bad illness experience feel even worse. Before reaching for the over-the-counter stuff, consider a spoonful of honey. It did better in studies of children’s coughs than any of the expensive elixirs, and it very likely elicits fewer taste complaints. Even better? An Ayurvedic-style honey-lemon-ginger infusion drink, or our readers’ cold and cough remedies from their grandparents
9. Toothpaste for bee stings
late’s William Brantley tried out all the pharmaceutical and home remedies he could find for bee stings, including the well-regarded sliced onion. Brantley said the onion made his sting feel worse, actually, and pulls for the acid-neutralizing, itch-reducing properties of toothpaste. If that doesn’t seem to work for you, Caladryl with an analgesic is the preferred store-bought solution.
8. Olive oil for children’s earaches
When a tyke has an earache, everybody knows about it. To soothe the pain until you can get to the doctor, a Columbia University Medical Center pediatrician recommends using a syringe or something similar to put 2 to 4 drops of warm oil in a small child’s ear, age 2 and older, or 5 to 10 drops in your own if you’re the one with the aches
7. Vick’s VapoRub or thyme oil for toenail fungus
It’s not the most pleasant of afflictions to discuss, but nobody wants to keep dealing with yellowed, brittle toenails if they don’t have to. Vick’s VapoRub has thymol in it, a derivative of the herb that reasearchers have found effective in combating fungus, and it’s much cheaper than the prescription treatments. eHow explains the step by step of applying Vick’s to infected feet, and the Times suggests adding essential oil of thyme, found at health and natural food stores, to a bath is a strong supplement.
6. Vinegar, oatmeal, and others for sunburns
Ever get the feeling that the makers of sunburn treatments kind of have you in a painful price position? If your bottle of the green goopy stuff doesn’t seem to work, or you don’t have any, the Wise Bread blog’s natural recommendations might do the trick: vinegar, crushed-up aspirin, tea, milk, and straight-up aloe vera. We’ve also heard that an oatmeal paste can do the trick.
5. DIY elixirs for colds and flu

KniQuil from Hot Knivez on Vimeo.

The Hot Knives blogger loves an excuse to hit the grocery store, and when stricken with a cold (or maybe the flu), he found his muse: a DIY, Southern-Comfort-based elixir to make sleeping, resting, and feeling better much easier. If SoCo’s not your poison of choice, the comments thread is full of formulas that won the day for many formerly ill readers.
4. Duct tape for warts
There’s not a lot we can add to this amazing little mash-up of modern life, other than to say that, while a double-blind, placebo-matched study isn’t available to assuage the uncertainty, many Lifehacker readers swear by the gray stuff’s wart-healing powers.
3. Clear nail polish or hot water for bug bites
Gil Grissom on CSI claims its true, but the crime scene scientist has a lot of fellow believers in the air-blocking, itch-reducing power of a small drop of clear nail polish on especially bad bites. Using Ben Gay can also work, and some commenters suggest close-but-not-direct contact with heat to draw off the need to scratch.
2. Baby or talcum powder for greasy hair
When you’re traveling, pressed for time, or otherwise unable to shower on your regular schedule, your hair can end up looking a bit, well, greasy and unwieldy. The simplest solution we’ve found is running baby powder through it. That link comes from eHow, but the testing is, sadly, rigorously vetted by a certain Lifehacker editor whose morning blogging sometimes leaves him little time to get presentable in a rush. If your baby powder leaves you smelling like a changing station, consider talcum powder, or a little cover-up scent
1. Bacon sandwich for hangovers
The morning after a long night out, your brain is depleted of neurotransmitters, and your stomach is in need of something calm and steady. A bacon sandwich, according to British researchers, is just what the hangover doctor ordered. The bread has the carbohydrates you’re hungry for, while the bacon’s protein (made more appealing by tasty fat) breaks down into amino acids, which your brain has been starving for ever since happy hour started.

(Source: LifeHacker)


Hurricane season has lots of people glued to the Weather Channel to catch the latest updates on developing storms. But why wait for the weatherman to tell you what is going on when you can check for yourself online? One of the best places to do that is Stormpulse.

You can turn on layers to show projected paths and historical tracks. The severity of the storm is color coded from Tropical Depression to Category 5 Hurricane. You can see all active hurricanes at once, drag the map around, or click on a specific storm.

(Source: Presurfer)

Anti-violence site urges you to 'hit the bitch'

There are subtle ways to raise awareness about relationship violence. And then there’s “Hit the Bitch,” a Web campaign by a Danish advocacy group. Setting up an interface where you’re encouraged to slap and punch a woman seems pretty extreme. It’s almost like an advergame, except you’re delivering an adverbeating! (You can use the mouse, or connect with your Webcam and swing at the girl with your hand.) Getting called a “100% idiot” at the end doesn’t feel like much of a rebuke. Perhaps you’re supposed to feel guilty, like a real-life abuser might, for continuing to hit the woman just to see what happens next? Who knows. Maybe something’s getting lost in translation from the Danish.

(Source: AdFreak)

USB TV Card Player

This USB TV Card Player might be a super easy way to play photos, music or downloaded videos on your big-screen TV, but don’t expect greatness from it. On the plus side it has a built-in card reader for non CF-sized flash card formats as well as a USB port for connecting flash drives or even external card readers, which is the only way it will read an SDHC card. It supports the most common media formats like DIVX, MP3, WMA, JPGs etc. and even comes with a compact IR remote for “long distance operation abilities.” However, on the negative side the fact that it only has a composite video connection means no hi-def for you, which then also makes the $53.99 price tag seem a bit unreasonable.

(Source: Oh Gizmo!!)

Windows 7 already bigger than Snow Leopard and Linux combined

It’s only been a couple of weeks since Windows 7 was released, but Microsoft’s new OS has already captured a larger percentage of the market than Apple’s OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Linux (yes, all of Linux). This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, considering how many Windows users were clamoring for Win7 after the flop that is Vista. Microsoft says Windows 7’s launch outdid Vista’s by 234%. Those brisk sales have already netted Windows a 2% share of the world’s OS business, compared to just over 1% for Snow Leopard, and just under 1% for Linux.
Despite the strong sales of Win7, Windows as a whole dropped a quarter of a percentage point in October, with Mac and Linux both making small gains. That quarter of a point hardly matters when you’ve got 90% of the OS market and your new operating system is being adopted quickly, though.

I expect to see Windows swing back up after Windows 7’s been available for a while. I mean, we’re talking about an operating system that outsold Harry Potter in the UK. Right now, it’s only got a 2% share, compared to 19% for Vista and 70% for XP, but that’s after only two weeks. Expect that number to zoom upward by the end of November.

(Source: Download Squad)