Google

  1. Cell phone game targeted at kids promotes plastic surgery

    Foul phone app pushes plastic surgery on kids

    When I was a kid when you wanted to make a phone call, you needed a bicycle and a dime. These days you can check your e-mail on your cell phone while playing blackjack against some guy in Indonesia.

    And now, it turns out, you can even electronically bully fat kids!

    At least you used to be able to. The culturally sensitive wiz kids at Google and Apple have just announced that maybe it wasn't such a hot idea to sell an app that lets kids perform plastic surgery on an overweight peer.

    In an age where bullied obese kids are offing themselves in record numbers, Apple and Google decided to sell "Plastic Surgery for Barbie" for kids as young as 9 years old. Fourth graders were presented with an "ugly" blonde girl who is so plump "no diet can help her" and were asked to liposuction the fat from her problem areas.

    Now I don't know what the devil paid for mainstream medicine's soul, but it isn't worth a nickel to me. Remember how up in arms we were when the tobacco companies were supposedly marketing cigarettes to kids? Where's the outrage about this game that's trying to sell elementary-aged kids on the merits of dangerous -- and sometimes deadly -- plastic surgery?

    No my friend, overweight kids aren't "ugly," they're just in need of some good old fashioned diet advice (hint, it's the same "diet" I always recommend) and a kick in the butt to get up and get moving.

    Google on the other hand is hideous, spying on us and snapping pics of our homes and posting them on the internet. Apple is obnoxious, with its founder who reportedly got a hoot out of leaving his Mercedes in handicapped parking spots. And the mainstream is revolting, telling overweight kids that no diet in the world can ever help them -- but a knife-wielding surgeon can.

    Next to these three repulsive pigs, every child or grandchild in the world, no matter what they weigh, is an absolute stunner to me.

  2. Paging Dr. Google

    How patients misdiagnose themselves online

    You have cancer!

    Well, Google thinks you do anyway -- because no matter what symptoms you type into the search engine, the results will connect it to cancer.

    Headaches? Cancer!

    Blurry vision? Cancer!

    Pain? Cancer!

    Got an itch? Cancer!

    Tired all the time? Do you even have to ask?

    If you've ever used Google yourself to track down medical information (and who hasn't?) you've probably had your own search engine-induced cancer scare at some point.

    Obviously, you're not alone. In fact, a new survey out of the UK finds that a quarter of all women have thought they had a disease they didn't really have thanks to "Dr. Google" -- and number one on the list was breast cancer.

    Number two? All other cancers.

    I'm surprised the number was so low -- because it seems like 100 percent of men and women alike end up convinced they have cancer and any number of other diseases (often rare and deadly ones) after a Google search.

    What makes this self-diagnosis so much worse than just a false disease scare is that many people take the next step and medicate themselves based on what Dr. Google says -- and at least 10 percent of women in the survey experienced side effects because of the drugs they took for a condition they didn't even have.

    (Again, that number sounds low to me.)

    The survey was funded by the maker of a drug for bacterial vaginosis, a condition women often mistakenly believe is thrush based on search engine results. And indeed, thrush was the number three condition on the list.

    But really, you shouldn't be self-diagnosing -- and certainly not self-medicating -- for thrush, vaginosis, cancer, or anything else Dr. Google thinks you have.

    The Internet is a tool to inform and empower patients. You can use the information you find online to question your doctor's diagnoses and treatments -- but you can't question him if you don't see him in the first place.

    For a good example of something to question your own doctor about, keep reading.

  3. Computers can mess up prescriptions, too

    Doctors' chicken scratch isn't the only reason for prescription screw-ups: A new study finds that computers are just as likely to lay an egg when it comes to your meds.
  4. Google to predict flu outbreaks by spying on users

    As much as I love the incredible advancements of technology, I have to admit that there are some emerging trends of the Internet age that are giving me the creeps.
  5. Gene testing reaches the masses

    A company backed by Internet search-engine giant Google is now marketing direct-to-consumer genetic testing for about $400 bucks.
  6. Should Internet companies handle your medical records?

    The New England Journal of Medicine has sounded the alarm about Internet companies such as Microsoft and Google that are now offering web-based personal health records.

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