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Tiny devices assess body fat of user...


Tiny devices assess body fat of user and provide wake-ups

When the Oregon Scientific Alarm Clock/Body Fat Meter (Model PFA112) rings, it's either time to get out of bed, or time to lay down that chili dog.

From the company that excels in innovative applications such as home weather monitors, sport watches and radio-controlled clocks (we especially like their clock that projects the time in giant digits on a ceiling), this $100 device is full of little chrome buttons.

Hold the Clock/Meter with the two finger-holds on the top corners, and the meter zaps you with a small electric charge that measures your body-fat percentage, in increments, from 5 percent to 60 percent.

Feeling more ambitious? There's Oregon's Altimeter Watch, $99, with a constantly updating heart-rate monitor that is transmitted to the display on the watch from a wireless chest strap.

Other features of the watch measure altitude from 1,312 feet below sea level to more than 30,000 feet, vertical speed, and elapsed workout time, along with constant temperature and barometric pressure readings. Special PC software and a docking station allow for uploading data.


Information: 503-639-8883 or Newsday

Saitek game controller makes Xbox play easier

The bulky, hard-to-hold controller has been the biggest disappointment of Microsoft's Xbox videogame console. The best graphics and smoothest play of any console mean little if your hands cramp from the controller.

Saitek, which created two of the best joystick/throttle combinations ever for the PC, offers the Adrenalin Pad ($25), a slimmed-down version of the Xbox controller that has all of the buttons and none of the bulk.

In much the way that the controller for the Sony PlayStation 2 fits your hands nicely, the Adrenalin Pad allows you to hit all of the buttons including the trigger without feeling a strain on your fingers.

The Adrenalin Pad comes with two expansion slots for extra memory and a 10-foot cord so you don't have to sit next to your Xbox to play.

Information: 800-452-4377 or Kevin Washington

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