There are all sorts of wellness apps for mobile. Some record how much you workout. Some record how much you eat. And so on and so forth. In the aggregate, I think wellness is a great category for mobile. Your phone is a watchdog and a reminder and recommender. I think wellness apps can and will make a difference in living healthier lives.

But there aren't many wellness apps that are focused on the impact of mobile phones on our health. There are a number of things that mobile phones bring into the equation that may not be good for us. Listening to loud music on our headphones may be harmful to our hearing. Texting while driving, biking, or walking may be harmful to us and others. And then there's the issue of the radiation that mobile phones produce.

This last issue is where Tawkon has been focused. Tawkon is a bunch of smart Israeli scientists and engineers who have built algorithms that run on a mobile phone and predict the amount of radiation your phone is emitting in real time (and over time). They've been around for a few years and they have correlated their algorithms with real laboratory testing to insure that their predictions are accurate.

I met with the founder, Gil Friedlander, last week and during our meeting I downloaded Tawkon to my Android phone. I've been using it since. Most of the time it just runs in the background and I forget it is there. But every once in a while, it wakes up and alerts me to take the phone away from my head, put it on speaker, or put on a headset.

On friday afternoon, I was in my apartment where I get poor reception, and I was doing a few conference calls. In each case, Tawkon alerted me to the fact that I should not do the call without a headset and I took  the advice.

Tawkon also aggregates my radiation exposure and phone activity over time and keeps a record of it. This is what last week looked like for me:


You can also track family members so you can be a nagging spouse or parent. I suggested that the Gotham Gal download Tawkon for that exact reason.

Unfortunately Tawkon is not available on iOS. Take what you want from that fact. So I can't get my kids on Tawkon as much as I'd like to. I really can't understand why Apple would not approve a wellness app like this but iOS is Apple's world and they can decide who gets to play in it and who doesn't.

As with any app that runs in the background, I've been concerned about its impact on battery life. I look at what apps are using battery regularly and have not seen Tawkon on that list and I also have not noticed any difference in battery life since I have installed Tawkon. Of course, I've only been using it for a week so I can't say with 100% confidence that this is not an issue.

Here's a picture of me in the meeting with Gil practicing good cell phone hygiene. I have one of those handsets in my office and my home. I use them all the time.

Fred on headset

Tawkon is available on Android and most Blackberry phones. You can also put it on jailbroken iPhones. Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

#health care#mobile

Comments (Archived):

  1. hn531

    First! Just wanted to say this. πŸ™‚

    1. kidmercury

      first is one of my favorite internet memes. congrats!

    2. fredwilson

      is this spam?

      1. hn531

        Not really. Read the post, didn’t have much to say. Was wondering what was their business model, since it looks like the app is free. Would be interested in an app to “first” a bunch of blogs I follow. The “first” thing is a internet trend.

        1. fredwilson

          Why the spambot name in your email? It threw me

        2. Donna Brewington White

          “Not really.”?

      2. kidmercury

        no way man! a compliment in that your blog is so popular that being the first to comment is an achievement of sorts. i suppose it could be a more careful form of spam in which a compliment is given that is later transformed into spam, although that is paranoid even by my standards. πŸ™‚

  2. falicon

    Great picture! Love the handset :-)One random idea I’ve had for mobile lately is a ‘healthy food suggestion’…I would love to have my phone set up to know when it’s time for me to eat/snack (fairly easy initial setup process)…and just make a specific recommendation of what to eat (so of course the key is to have it seeded with a ton of great choices for me).It might already exist (suggestions anyone?)…in any case, this (and tawkon) are the type of push notifications that I think mobile is perfect for…

    1. Dale Allyn

      Like reminders to get up from your desk (or mine) to go walk around a bit? Instead of those looooonnnnnngggg sessions? πŸ˜‰

      1. falicon

        Yeah – that would be a great addition to it…a wellness app as a whole…

        1. Dale Allyn

          On the moving around thing: a number of the team where my daughter works (tech startup) bought Nike+ Fuelbands and they share their “daily fuel” online to motivate each other. It seems to have caused everyone to get up more often and move around a bit because of the feedback and comparison.

    2. awaldstein

      Wanna be healthy through nutrition?I’m finding for our not-quite-ready-for-primetime green smoothie company is delivery consistently over time of the right food is an answer.We don’t have scads of customers yet as we are not really set up but the number we do have (actually quite a few) buy and have delivered consistently. Like twice a week, enough to have a green shake every morning and mid afternoon snack.

      1. falicon

        Cool…my problem is I want variety, easy, healthy, and tasty…and of course I want it to find me (not the other way around)…when it comes to nutrition, I have horrible habits and very weak self-controll…

        1. awaldstein

          My way is not everyone’s way of course.What we do is: Only non alergenic, organic, no wheat, little dairy in the house. And of course, green smoothies and raw deserts all the time.Bunch of times a week we go out. Amazing pizza at ABC Kitchens or Artichokes, Balaboosta, on and on. I let the amazing cooks break the pure stuff at home with great stuff out.I don’t need reminders. I needed motivation like health. That did it for me.

  3. William Mougayar

    Ah, now I’ve got a better reason to jailbreak my iPhone.But that picture with the big handset looks so retro. If it wasn’t from the android on the table, it looks like it could have been 1995.

    1. John Revay

      I particularly like the color – is it blue or purple#ColorBlind

    2. Amit Lubovsky

      check out the following – :-)Celebrity cell phone awareness, courtesy of Anderson Cooper – http://www.tawkon.com/blog/

      1. William Mougayar

        Cool. That’s the next trend it seems? Where do you buy them. I want one for my car when I’m in the passenger seat and want to see the look on people’s faces.

          1. William Mougayar

            Kewl. $30 in the US. I wonder if the Apple Store carries them.

          2. Amit Lubovsky

            they should …:-)

    3. LE

      “big handset looks so retro.”The real handsets by Western Electric subsidiary were made of bakelite and could be used as a weapon they were so solid. Weighed over a pound.The entire phone, maybe 10 lbs.

      1. William Mougayar

        We have a couple of those at my parent’s home :), one still working.

  4. matthughes

    A recent string of frustrating posts on AVC for iOS users – ugh.Come on Apple.

    1. fredwilson

      subliminally intentional i think

      1. William Mougayar

        You were at the Apple Store a few days ago, and you’ve a few other Apple toys, so it can’t be all that bad except for the iPhone part πŸ™‚

        1. fredwilson

          I am headed to the Apple Store now. I’ve been setting up Gotham Gals new office. Apple’s open/general purpose computers like Mac mini, iMac, macbook, and Air are staples in our family. I can run any software I want on them and connect them to any network. I just wish they approached mobile the way they approach the Macintosh

          1. Dale Allyn

            I’m a big fan of Apple products (was a stockholder, etc.), but I boycotted the iPhone for a long time because of their lack of option (together with ATT) to buy and unlock for international travel. I didn’t want to have to break the T.O.S. just to use my phone in Asia. It was a principle thing, not a tech one. ATT has unlocked my phones for years, but this pissed me off.Now I’m provided a legitimate option, so a little less pissed.

          2. William Mougayar

            Got it. Maybe there’s some hope for iOS 7.

      2. Dale Allyn

        It would be interesting to better understand why it was rejected by Apple. Some of the reasons for rejection are valid, from a user perspective – some not so much. The closed system has its issues, but wide-open isn’t perfect either. I am definitely not arguing for a closed system, just curious what the rub is on this app (and others) with Apple.Edit: I see from Charlie’s post below that it may be the issue of it being a background app. Duh. Need more coffee.I’m not sure if Apple rejects such apps for battery life issues (afraid to look like the battery is short-lived) or if they have other issues with them.

        1. Amit Lubovsky

          the official reason was “private APIs”, since in order to calculate exposure we need to extract different RF (radio frequency ) parameters from the phone in addition to the phone usage. but as you know Apple open new APIs moving from one release to the other…. while Apple didn’t want us in we found a warm house in Android…!!!Amit Lubovsky, VP Marketing tawkon

          1. Dale Allyn


      3. LE

        But like Fox news you do offer a sliver of balance to the bias.

  5. Mike Kijewski

    From a physics point of view, I have a hard time believing the cell phone radiation actually has any physiological impact on the body / brain. The energy of the radiation is really low. That said, it’s good to see apps focused on improving users’ health.

    1. tawkon

      Hi Mike. If you’re interested, you can read more about why we made the app, the current radiation concerns and of course – the Debate (yep, capital D).

      1. William Mougayar

        Are there links you could share?

    2. Amit Lubovsky

      “We would like to be able to say that cell phones are safe, but we can’t. The most recent science, while not conclusive, raises serious issues about the cancer risk of cell phone use that must be addressed through further research. In the meantime, consumers can take steps to reduce exposure.” Olga Naidenko, Ph.D.Environmental Working Group Senior Scientist (EWG, September 2009)This is just one quotes of many… guess you have see the publication from the WHO (World Health Organization) as well: β€œWHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use.” (May 2011)…My take, better be safe then sorry !!!

  6. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    more on @facebook-619657181:disqus point – I was under the impression that the whole mobile radiation/health connection was not scientifically proven. Still, it is good to be extra cautious I suppose

  7. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    love how fun the interface looks like. It is dealing with reporting radiation which scares most people but presents it in a fun way – It reminded me of the Japanese nuclear reactor explanation via ‘poops and farts’ cartoon http://www.youtube.com/watc… (watch video if you have time – it is really funny)

  8. kidmercury

    fred, sincere thanks for the subtle and not so subtle jabs at crapple and iOS. it brings me much joy.i still don’t understand how apps like this are going to be financed and find their fit. a marketing tool for other apps? are people really going to download this? (well, not on iOS obviously!) are apps like these similar to some adsense business models, in which app developers can churn out a factory of these types of apps that each generate a little amount of money, but collectively generate a lot?props to disqus for their image upload implementation. very nice all around. attached is an image i thought would be fun for this post.

    1. LE

      “a marketing tool for other apps?”I got it all figured out so I can save you the time.The idea behind all of these things w/o revenue (and even some with revenue) is they are simply employment interviews for teams to be hired by a big fish. A giant farm team financed by angels. [2]Sparrow [1] acquired by google last week and now in “maintenance mode” is an example.http://sprw.me/“We had an amazing ride and can’t thank you enough.” Ah, the entitled generation. It’s all about you and your ride.[1] – Next time make sure you get a .com when you start a company, not a .me. It might have helped you a bit with adoption. Also don’t do things like this “sprw”. The use of “sparrow” as a name is arbitrary. You don’t have to compromise and make it hard for people to find you.[2] We also want to thank our advisors and investors β€” Loren Brichter, Dave Morin, John Maeda, Xavier Niel, JΓ©rΓ©mie Berrebi β€” as well as our friends and family: Simon Istolainen, JΓ©rΓ©mie Kanza, Sacha Cayre, Cedric Gepner, Laurent Merlinot, Didier Kuhn, Tariq Krim, Christophe Baillon, Laurent Cerveau, Christophe Giaume, Sebastien Maury, Manuel Colom, Bertrand Guiheneuf and all of you who have helped us along the way.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Exactly. I’d acquire this team if I had the resources to. They’d fit well into my 10-40 year long plans. πŸ™‚ I think too far ahead… alwell.

  9. awaldstein

    There have been cell phone radiation type of scares around since I got my first which was ‘the’ first phone available.Never paid attention.I and the times are different now.This app sounds really useful as I and all of us need a kick in head to just be smarter about our lives and our health.Of course, I have an iphone…

    1. Cam MacRae

      This literature review paper is accessible reading.My old man ended up with an acoustic neuroma on the phone side of his head after nearly 20 years of cell phone usage — mostly analogue, and then CDMA in the later years. His neurosurgeon certainly believed there was a causal link.

      1. awaldstein

        Now I’m worried…

        1. Cam MacRae

          Yeah… I’m at 19 years myself, 9 of which were analogue.Edit: 7, not 9.

      2. Richard

        If we see the first wave of cancers in 25 year olds after 20 years of cell phone use..this will get some attention.

        1. Cam MacRae

          Yep, although twice the odds of developing a rare tumour probably won’t look like a wave.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Which is why I’d argue we’ve already had the first wave, which is where all of the studies and results are coming from.

        2. ShanaC

          we might not though – as I keep saying, my age group likes texting more than talking on the phone

          1. Donna Brewington White

            I was thinking this. The only thing my kids use on their phones is messaging/data — maybe one actual call a week.They are a bit younger than your age group, but I don’t imagine this will change in their 20s.

          2. markslater

            and the generation after you wont be talking on the phone at all

          3. ShanaC

            we’ll see. They’re just being born now, who knows what their lives will be like

      3. Dale Allyn

        In Thailand it was very common to label mobile phones with a sticker that said “3 Watts” as a marketing package – suggesting that some of the cheaper phones were of lower wattage. My first GSM phone purchased in Thailand was a Nokia (6160 I think) that cost me over $1,000 with the phone number (42,000 baht = $1,326 today) and it boasted the 3-Watt label. This was a “feature” for years.I have no idea what the real output is or was (as I understand it it depends on signal conditions of the moment), but what I’m really curious about is whether countries like Thailand where certain health issues take back-seat to function provided for more “dangerous” handsets than say in the U.S. or elsewhere. U.S. and Euro regulations are strict, not so much in parts of Asia and elsewhere.Thoughts?

        1. Cam MacRae

          I don’t think Nokia would be making special 3W editions for Thailand, but you’re right it’s hard to know what you’re getting if goods are uncertified.

          1. Dale Allyn

            The 3-Watt claim was a big deal and a big part of AIS products. AIS was the big carrier (now there are a few more, including Orange, Hutch, etc.). Their products were always touted and recognized as “genuine” and true (and a bit more costly than gray market imports). AIS was the company owned by Taksin Shinawatra, later to be prime minister, etc.I’m not suggesting Nokia would make Thailand-only editions (although it’s a huge market for mobile phones), but perhaps parts of Asia and other regions where restrictions were different?It could all be B.S., but “sahm watt” (3-watt) was a big deal for a very long time when considering which phones to buy in Thailand.

          2. Cam MacRae

            I think 3W was probably a hangover from analogue. And more watts is better, right? πŸ˜‰

          3. Dale Allyn

            In Thailand, one must beware of marketing claims, certainly.

        2. Amit Lubovsky

          San-Francisco is the first city in the US to come out with a bill called “Cell Phone Right to Know”, required cell phone retailers to publish the SAR of each phone, the bill was supposed to go into effect Sep 1st 2010, but it was pushed back repeatedly by the CTIA … its still in court and the next discussion is Aug 9th…In terms of power coming out of mobile phones, max power for a 2G phone is 2 Watts and for 3G phone 250 mWatt

          1. Dale Allyn

            Interesting info. Thanks. I don’t see the 3 watt claims in Thailand any longer, and in fact Thai people are concerned with radiation issues, whether supported by good science or not.Several years ago there was a huge wave of headsets being put to use because of concern. Lots of people (I mean lots) sit and talk for hours on mobile phones there, and mostly by use of headsets due to this concern (and obvious convenience). But in the late 1990’s it was a source of pride to sell or own the “3 watt” phones.

        3. Vasudev Ram

          Speaking about India (which is in Asia), I must say that the Indian government (specifically the telecom / mobile department) has been doing a lot for the last many years on improving the situation from the point of view of consumers – legislation to bring down tariffs, etc. – (except for the somewhat recent and ongoing 2G scam involving zillions, due to which senior politicians / officials were prosecuted / jailed). A contradiction, I know – contradictions sort of define India … Currently the mobile tariffs for users are said to be the lowest in the world, though may creep up soon, and India is one of, or _the_, fastest growing mobile market (a startup opportunity for some); I also read in one of the mobile safety news links on the tawkon site that India may make it compulsory for mobile makers to display more radiation safety information, etc.BTW, great photos on your site.

          1. Dale Allyn

            I have heard the same from friends in India, vasudevram.Mobile tariffs in S.E. Asia are quite acceptable in my opinion such that it’s widely affordable for much of the population. Nowadays there is enough competition that pricing plans have moved down (over the last several years), rather than upwards. I expect that inflation and corruption may change that at times though.Thank you for your kind words regarding my photos.

      4. Akshay Mishra

        I find this a bit unconvincing – in the data they’ve presented, the OR decreases in many cases with increased cell-phone use – e.g., the glioma data (surprisingly decreases even more for the ipsilateral case), the Japanese study. The only convincing case is made for acoustic neuroma and even then blaming it on radiation would be a fallacy – it could just be an effect of increased exposure to loud sounds at close range. Besides, RF radiation is non-ionizing – which decreases its potency to cause carcinogenic mutations (I’m not saying it can’t but it’s highly unlikely). I mean you’d get exposed to more radiation (both in an ionizing sense and in a total “wattage” sense) if you just walked around in the sun.

        1. Cam MacRae

          Yep, more research is required.

  10. mike

    Great app! Will install it…as for battery life, shouldn’t the founders be able to tell you what kind of processing goes in the background, and estimate use of batt life?

    1. Amit Lubovsky

      no battery issues, we kick in only during a call …

  11. LIAD

    Remeber the old joke – NASA spent billions developing a pen which works in space. The Russians used a pencil.For me this is the same. It’s cool technology looking for a problem.we all know radiation from phones can be damaging and we should best limit our exposure. Do we really need a complex algorithm developed over years by brainiacs just to remind us?

    1. tawkon

      Hi LIAD. We’re working off the idea that a lot of people don’t pay close attention or consider using easy alternative methods for speaking on their phones. And most of the time, it’s not much of an issue. But when the radiation level does go high, a subtle alert with a quick tip for making an instant change doesn’t cost much in time or energy, and considering the cell phone radiation debate, may go a long way in the long run. We’ve presented the debate and why we made the app here: http://tawkon.com/why-we-ma

      1. LIAD

        I’m sure it’s a problem just surprised you chose to crack it with sch a tech intensive hammer

        1. Amit Lubovsky

          take into consideration the following factors… around 90-95% of the time radiation from mobile phones is low due to good network conditions… while in the remaining 5-10% radiation levels spike – so 1 min in “high exposure” equals around 5 hours of “low exposure” -> don’t you find it helpful if you could be alerted when when your exposure spikes ???Amit Lubovsky,VP Marketing tawkon.

          1. LIAD

            If the core value prop was explained that succinct on your about page, I probably wouldn’t have made my initial comment.

          2. Amit Lubovsky

            alway open for suggestions… feel free to approach directly, will be happy to discuss – [email protected]

          3. Richard

            Trust but verify: tell us about your algorithms.

          4. Amit Lubovsky

            I won’t be able to go into details but check out web site http://www.tawkon.com/how-i… where you could see thatIn order to validate our tool, we contracted with Satimo (a fully accredited test lab – see certificate below) to provide SAR measurement services on various phones according to the IEEE standard required by the FCC for any phone made available on the commercial market. The testing process used an extremely precise sensor and a β€œSAM Phantom” (designed to simulate the human body) to assess the amount of radiation absorbed into the body.The results of our recent testing (Jan 2012) clearly confirmed Tawkon’s effectiveness as an accurate tool to predict SAR levels and recommend changes to reduce users risk.–Amit.

          5. Richard

            It seems like you have to few location variables / parameters to measure accurately?

      2. Dan

        What’s your current thought on the business model? Are you looking to provide solutions for users to limit their exposure (ear pieces, etc) or is there a grant/other academic or industry market for the data? I just downloaded the app and conceptually agree with your approach to modifying user behavior…just curious what the end game is.

      3. Matt A. Myers

        This app just sealed the deal for me with getting an Android phone.I’m very much aware of the energy around me in the environment, always have been, though many people are less sensitive and this is perfect for making something more tangible/physical to alert them, to increase their awareness.It’s a wonderful tool for facilitating self-awareness / awareness of your environment.

        1. Dale Allyn

          No problem with choosing an Android phone. They’re obviously very effective tools, but are you sure you want to have a simple utility[1] be the “deal sealer”? You’re a very health-conscious person and I would guess that you’ll be keeping the device at a distance as a matter of habit when appropriate – just in case. For me, I’d want to look at the whole ecosystem of apps or other tools, interface and sync options to direct the decision.Just sayin’ ;)[1] When I say “simple utility” I mean no disrespect to Tawkon. Just referring to the narrow nature of what the utility addresses.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            It’s not the only thing though I was still on the fence. I don’t really do applications on my current iPhone anyway. I downloaded a few, though I mostly use it for texting, taking notes, etc.. Very minimalistic use. That may change as I organize my life more and more and get into specific routines, though I shall see. πŸ™‚

          2. Dale Allyn

            There are certainly advantages to each platform. I was just playing a little “devil’s advocate” for some fun. Happy Sunday to you, Matt.

          3. Matt A. Myers

            No worries, I’m in la-la land right now – not being so analytical, etc.. πŸ™‚ Happy Sunday to you too.

        2. fredwilson

          if the cost isn’t an issue get this unlocked unsubsidized phone running jelly bean. it is superb.https://play.google.com/sto

          1. Vasudev Ram

            I was interested and checked it, but got this message:Sorry! Devices on Google Play is not available in your country yet.We’re working to bring devices to more countries as quickly as possible.Please check back again soon.

          2. Abdallah Al-Hakim

            you are making it very difficult for me to stick to my decision of getting an iPhone5. The Nexus is looking better and better everyday. is Jelly Bean already released for Galaxy nexus. The google page still says ‘soon with Android 4.1″?

          3. William Mougayar

            I wouldn’t count the iPhone 5 as inferior to this Nexus yet. Android’s are still catching up in terms of h-w & s-w. The 5 will leapfrog again is my bet.

          4. Abdallah Al-Hakim

            I am definitely waiting for the iPhone5 first before making decision. The main advantage for iPhone is that it is still preferred first-to-market destination for apps. The major disadvantage is the inability to swap batteries (this is really annoying and I am hoping Apple can move away from their locked-battery design)

          5. Matt A. Myers

            I will see what providers will/do offer it. Looks sexier than the S3 – and I would like the latest to develop for..

          6. Matt A. Myers

            Just saw this wonderful story ad – http://www.youtube.com/watc… – though it’s not the Smartphone? A bit of confusion happening this morning for me, re: smartphone vs tablet…

    2. John Revay

      Pencil – sounds so simple

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Phone that plugs in / doesn’t need to pump out a strong signal to reach a tower “very” far away; Sounds so simple too.. Oh wait, wifi. Though we do very high bandwidth on wifi at times too.A culture aware of energy pollution? Sounds lovely, and difficult to see the path of.

      2. ShanaC

        not really, but then, you’re talking to someone with a collection of pencils.

    3. LE

      I agree. I was just thinking a simple timer that goes off after a set amount of time when the phone is in a certain position w/o speaker on, or jack in use, (or bt) would suffice. I think this is health “theater”.”NASA spent billions developing a pen which works in space. The Russians used a pencil.”I thought the person who came up with that solution is actually the same kid who said to let out the air on the truck that was stuck under the bridge?

      1. Vasudev Ram

        Good one – the truck story. Reminds me of a story that’s almost the opposite, but still similar, in a sense:There was an engineer who was an expert on a complex machine. He had worked on it for many years – had been part of inventing / developing / improving it, etc. Then he retired.Some time later he was called in to consult on a problem involving one of those machines not working. Many people had tried to solve it but could not.He spent two minutes walking around the machine and tapping it in a few places. Then he bent down, wrote an “X” with chalk on one corner of the machine, and said “that’s where the problem is”.Sure enough, they opened the machine and found a problem at the place marked X. It was quickly fixed.Then they asked him what his fee was. He said: “$50,000.” They said: “$50,000 for writing an X with chalk on the box?” He answered: “No. $50,000 for knowing where to write it.”

    4. Rohan

      Hmm. I completely disagree with you on this, Liad.We all know exercising is good for health. Does it mean we do enough of it?We know reading is good for our mind/body/soul. Does it mean we read enough?We live in a time when we need reminders for everything and given the phone is turning out to be the ultimate organizer (we carry it along wherever we go..), why not have it remind us of overuse?Of course, having a technology reminding us of overuse within a technology we overuse screams of many things – most bad.But it’s a fact. There’s no running away from it.And I’m glad they’re attempting to solve the problem. Easy for us to sit back and comment..

      1. LIAD

        I’m not talking about the need to be reminded. I’m asking why the reminder needs to involve deep tech and not something far simpler yet probably equally compelling

        1. Rohan

          Ah. that makes absolute sense to me.We love data. We gain motivation/encouragement from seeing progress.That’s why apps like runkeeper do so well. We like beating our old records. or in this case, even those of our friends/family. (see how excited Fred is to track GG and kids. I bet they’ll have a competition amongst them soon!)So, Fred averaged 50% out of his call time this week (hypotethical) in ‘ideal’ circumstances i.e. keeping phone away from his ear.I’m sure he’s motivated to take that up to 60% next week.It’s gamify-ing a problem. In total alignment with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s principles on Flow. He would be proud..

          1. ShanaC

            At what point does Gamifying stop working? I mean, I use runkeeper, and I am trying to push myself to keep my times down while extending my distance. Still, at some point I will peak. Looking at other people to get me to not (competition) may not be enough

          2. Rohan

            My view is that gamifying never stops working if it’s games we design which involve competing with ourselves!Let me give you an example – 3 years ago, with inspiration from a wiser friend, I put together a ‘game’ for every weekday as a way to ‘keep score’ of my days and as a way of making sure I do a few things that are important to me (reading 30 minutes, exercising 3 times a week, writing to, and speaking to family, close friends etc).The game has gone on to take a life of it’s own and is one I enjoy playing every week because I get to see data on my productivity and keep wanting to do better, do more etc.Essentially, what I’m alluding to is that a lot matters on how we design the game – if the goal of your game is top notch fitness, then we need to revisit what that means to us, how we want to achieve it etc.An idea could be mutiple levels of fitness, for example. Level 1 = 5km, Level 2= 10km etc. And once you reach top level fitness, it might be time to do the same in a new game.. trying new things, getting better, learning more, playing (!) and probably most importantly, staying fit!

          3. ShanaC

            Maybe – I still think we hit points where we can’t compete with ourselves. We peak out, we have limits

      2. panterosa,

        Rohan, don’t you think it is simply not ‘making time’ for something?I used to say I didn’t have time to read the news. The fact was I was not interested enough to ‘make’ time. We all have the same 24 hours per day. It how we spend it that we need to be accountable for, to ourselves, more than outwardly. When your schedule is in line with your priorities, obligations, and desired activities is when you achieve your inner and outer balance.

        1. Rohan

          I don’t disagree with the essence of what you are saying. (I have a problem with the use of ‘time’ but more about that in a moment).I just think if that’s the case, we don’t need any tools or apps at all to help us be productive and be in balance.But, my view about balance is that balance is never achieved. Even if it is achieved, it isn’t for long. Balance is a pursuit, like happiness. The moment you think you’ve achieved it, you’ve lost it.Our pursuit of balance (a.k.a.) life is a bit like an ECG – we are swerving up and down about this straight line. Too high or too low – and we’ve got real problem. Flat line = Serious problem. And moving up and down about this point of balance, we need all the help we can to make sure the amplitude of our ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ are not too large.That’s where tools, apps, hacks come in. We use calendars so we still manage to keep appointments on bad days.Sure, you can choose to go in with the assumption that we will always be in balance because we are committed and accountable. But, I can take a bet that we will fail.. and fall.That’s what makes us human. And that’s what makes life special.That point aside, on a side note, I don’t agree about not making time. It’s either a energy problem or a commitment problem. Never a time problem.TIme is just an excuse we like using..Phew. Rant over. πŸ™‚

          1. panterosa,

            “I don’t agree about not making time. It’s either a energy problem or a commitment problem. Never a time problem.TIme is just an excuse we like using..”Rohan, you are young, and have fewer commitments and possibly more energy. As a single 40’s mom, launching a start up, I can tell you it’s not just about energy or commitments – it’s more than that. But I urge you to enjoy life before you reach this stage of life!

          2. Rohan

            Can’t argue with experience.Will get back to you in 20 years on where I stand. πŸ˜‰

          3. LE

            @rrohan189:disqus @panterosa:disqus”It’s either a energy problem or a commitment problem. Never a time problem.”One of the things I have done my entire life is follow the principle that people who try and get you to do things that are important to them (which take time) are not generally going to be around to clean up the mess when something goes wrong because you spent time on something that they felt you should do or that benefits their belief system.While I was in high school and college I was always fighting people trying to tell me how to spend my time on what was important to them. I was very stubborn in simply doing what I thought was best unless there was a compelling argument. In general my parents supported this. I remember when my father was in the hospital after suffering a (heart related issue). My sister was there at his bedside the entire time. I was the person who found him and called the EMT’s. Anyway at the hospital I left and said “I have to get back to school”. Coldly, just like that. That was a long time ago. He is still alive. Maybe that’s extreme but I never got any flack for doing it. School is important. Business is important. My sister hassled me because I wouldn’t fly to Texas for a family wedding or something like that. And I wouldn’t fly to Israel for her daughters bat mitzvah. I don’t like people second guessing my obligations and what is good for me unless they are willing to clean up the mess later. Which of course they aren’t going to do.People will always drag you in the direction they want because there is no cost to them at all.

          4. panterosa,

            @domainregistry:disqus in responding to @rrohan189:disqus I was actually trying to pin down making time for one’s own things mainly – read newspaper, book, learn to hang glide, make art daily, play music, etc. I find making the time for one’s own activities is hardest. Especially when they seem like expendable activities by you or others, they get demoted.School is different, as well as job. I totally agree with LE on others’ easy use of one’s time (as expendable) as a major problem where the ‘no muscle’ needs to be flexed.At the end of the day, people who embrace and are able to follow their own passions, who flex the ‘me muscle”, often are great role models. I wish I flexed me more often. It is way harder as a parent, and way harder when starting a new venture or in a crap economy. It’s all about choices.Jerry Colonna did a post on three thirds – inner you, outer you, and other, each as one third. The inner you needing nourishing is the me muscle, so vital in supporting the outer you and other you activities. If the three aren’t balanced the ship sinks.

        2. ShanaC

          Finding that balance is the difficult. It seems like society almost pushes back on the idea of balance.

      3. Matt A. Myers

        You bring a good point up. People need to be incentivized to do what is good for them, mainly because when you’re unhealthy or not driven to care about your health, you will not give the attention needed to it; It’s the attention your parents should be giving you, and the responsibility you should take on as an adult, it’s apart of being an adult. Many people do not act like adults though, even that are 30+ years old.

    5. Matt A. Myers

      Yes, we do need it. The industry isn’t promoting the awareness needed.Do you want to have brain cancer from its use, or less likely to have brain cancer from its use? Argue either way that it’s more important if you are in a socialized healthcare nation, where what other people do to harm themselves (should) matters to you too.

    6. fredwilson

      it helped me a few times last week. so for me the answer is yes.

  12. Jan Schultink

    Have they done lab tests on iOS radiation versus other devices?

  13. Dan Goldin

    I’d love to understand more about the science behind this. Every month there are articles describing how unhealthy cell phone usage is but it never sticks. Is the radiation from cell phones really that significant? Especially when sitting in front of a computer all day or frequently flying.

    1. Amit Lubovsky

      Check out tawkon’s web site for more data from the WHO (world health organization), other leading researchers worldwide and the debate around this topic – http://www.tawkon.com/why-w…Generally speaking, mobile radiation is in the range of high frequency or what’s called Micro (few hundred Mhz up to few Ghz) low power energy which cause “non ionizing” radiation. the main problem is proximity of the mobile to our body (head…) while in the case of laptop (WiFi) its high frequency but much much lower power… the SAR (specific absorption rate) in the case of WiFi is only around 10-20% from the resultant in the case of cellular.

  14. tawkon

    Thanks Fred. Glad you’re finding the app helpful so far. And kudos for taking the advice! Shame the kids can’t join your family stats.For anyone who has feedback, questions, radiation doubts – don’t be shy! Get us on Twitter via @tawkon or shoot us an email (http://tawkon.com/about#Con….

  15. Brian Levine

    Fred, is that handset you are using made by YUBZ? http://www.yubz.com/classic… Anyone else try one of these? Seems pretty cool

  16. RichardF

    I have no use for this as I hardly use my mobile for talking. Although, very cool handset you are using there, I love it.If someone would like to build an app where I can either scan a bar code on a wine bottle or simply take a photo of the label and then get it to ask me at intervals through the night how many glasses I have drunk and show me how many units this equates to I’d buy it!a) I get a record of what wine I’m drinking b) I get a subtle reminder of how much wine I am drinking.

    1. Charlie O'Keefe

      I’d love to see a more across-the-board solution to this. We already have standard document types for money spent (receipts) and food/drink consumed (nutrition labels). How about some standard QR codes to represent that same information, printed right next to the human-readable version? Then mobile apps could easily read it and track it.

      1. RichardF

        great idea

    2. ShanaC

      All I can think is how useful this would be for tracking drunk driving from/to bars

    3. JamesHRH

      Thank goodness Richard!Total geekapalooza here this w/e – I was thinking than I was going to go thru the entire set of comments & not have anyone mention the outrageously hip handset.@fredwilson – what is thatblue bad boy & where do I get my hands on one (it’s even my fave colour! ).With the AV club reunion yesterday, it was going from geeky to ……. What’s the next level?

  17. Druce

    The posture with the retro-phone receiver might be more damaging to the back than the radiation is to the brain LOL. A nice wired headset for iPhone, perhaps? FWIW, I think Bluetooth radiation is milliwatts since it has range of just a few feet, vs. watts for cell phones.http://store.apple.com/us/phttp://store.apple.com/us/p

    1. Druce

      also, not sure which is more weird, the fact that Apple feels the need to ban an app like this from the app store, or that I live in a country where people weigh 400 lbs and need an electric scooter to get around, and will pay for an app to tell them how much cell phone radiation their fat heads are absorbing

  18. Guest

    One cookie left on a plate all by its self….why do we all feel guilty about eating the last cookie left on the plate?With all the advancement mobile has made in our lives we still feel what? Nostalgia for the past when we buy handsets like that for our mobile phones….Nothing says, “I am on the phone” more than a bright blue, bulky old handset….

    1. LE

      “why do we all feel guilty about eating the last cookie left on the plate?”That’s a great ping question for an interview or to otherwise determine where someone’s head is at. While I don’t eat cookies, I wouldn’t have any guilt about eating the proverbial last cookie on the plate.@disqus – nice feature to have would be the ability to swap words.So if you typed “ability to words swap” and selected “words swap” you could click and flip to “swap words” instead of having to cut and paste or retype.

  19. Elia Freedman

    I love the handset! Seems like something straight out of a B movie from the 1960s. “Quick! Someone call Fred on the blue phone!”

  20. John Revay

    ” I was in my apartment where I get poor reception”I know it is generally carrier specific – signal boosters – Not sure if they work.Here is a link to a T-Mobile device (odd, no where to buy, or other – just some community notes/docs) T-Mobile Cel-Fi Signal Boosterhttp://t-mo.co/O8wxhGI think the ATT version (micro cell) – actually plugs into your broadband connection and talks w/ their towers/network.

    1. Dan

      To throw out a little iOS love, there is an app call CarrierCompare (only on iOS) that will pull back current and historic carrier performance and signal information for a given location. If your current carrier is struggling in your apt, you could figure out if another carrier might serve you better.http://itunes.apple.com/us/

    2. Amit Lubovsky

      that’s right, the better the reception signal the less power the phone emits… many technologies out there e.g. analogue repeaters, femto-cells, etc.

  21. Richard

    Fred, really enjoying the mobile focus as of late. Β Keep it going!Β 

  22. kirklove

    Blue old school handset… worthy choice for a pimp.

    1. John Revay

      So it was blue

  23. John Revay

    “There are all sorts of wellness apps for mobile.”Yes there are – I was meaning to go back to the Fun Friday post about whats on your mobile home screen.I looked through most of the images…..and I was surprised that I did not see many , health, wellness or fitness apps on screens ( I did not recall seeing any related apps).I often read tweets from @Bfeld, @Bijan & @Dens with tweets from their related fitness apps (I even see weighins from Dennis when he hops on his Withings wifi scale). I think both Brad and Bijan have portfolio companies in this space (Fitbit & Runkeeper)

  24. Trish Fontanilla

    Ah thanks for the reminder! I was just reading about them in a Conduit blog on lifestyle apps. Is it horrible that I’m especially attracted to the app since I know it doesn’t take up a lot of battery life?Anyway, I remember reading about them and wondering why they didn’t have any competitors and then saw this article: http://www.wired.co.uk/news… Apparently, and Fred might have heard this already, the app was originally built for iOS and was rejected last year. The reasoning? “No interest.” Wondering if maybe it’ll be a part of the iPhone makeup somewhere down the line?

  25. ErikSchwartz

    Are there any randomized testing on the dangers of cell phone radiation or are these all observational studies? Are there any relative risk numbers?Drawing cause and effect relationships out of observational studies is flawed. All observational studies can show is an association and associations can be very misleading.

    1. tawkon

      Hey Erik – check out our collection of articles here: http://tawkon.com/why-we-ma…We also cover latest studies on our blog. As we all know, there’s been no conclusive study that can absolutely say for sure whether or not (or how) cell phone radiation has a hazardous effect on our health. We aim to provide a precautionary option for the time until we do know.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        God help us, media reports on science.It turns out there are some relative risk numbers out there in pubmed. So we can actually wrap some actual data around this.There’s a relative risk in this case of about 2. So that means if there’s a 1 in 30,000 chance of getting a brain tumor in the general population then if you hold a cell phone next to your head for 3.5 hours a day every day for 10 years then there’s a 2 in 30,000 chance of getting a brain tumor. Just for comparison sake, the relative risk of smoking on lung cancer is 30. So basically we have a weak association.The media reporting things like “twice as likely” is utterly meaningless without knowing how likely something is in the first place.So to play the media’s game…According to the national weather service your chance of being struck by lightening in your lifetime is 1 in 5000. So if you use your cell phone 3.5 hours a day for 10 years you are still 3X more likely to be struck by lightening than get a brain tumor.

        1. ShanaC

          It may matter more if you are already in a high risk group though!

          1. ErikSchwartz

            Totally. If your baseline risk is 1 in 100 rather than 1 in 30,000 it’s a whole different story.That’s why “twice as likely” is utterly meaningless without knowing how likely something is in the first place.

          2. ShanaC

            right, but that is the way preventive care seems to work in the US. No one really has a full picture of risk, so we screen to death

        2. Vasudev Ram

          I agree with you about media reports on science, but:So to play your game (as you say about the media):Where are your facts to substantiate all the different probabilities you mention?Except for saying “out there in pubmed”. Just saying “pubmed” is not enough. Links please.And I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you, want to see data.

    2. Rohan

      Agree 100%. I’d like to see something like this infographic that inspired me to switch to a standing desk.http://lifehacker.com/58007

  26. LE

    obihi. This device allows you to take a google voice number and connect a traditional pots phone to it. I just bought one. Or you can take a legacy landline number and use it at home w/o paying for phone service. [1]So what you do is sign up for a free google voice number or [1]. Then you configure the device to connect to gv. You then hook up a traditional pots phone (or obviously a wireless pots phone with multiple handsets) to it. You can then take the device anywhere and do the same thing. So you could take the device home and the number would ring there. (Or I guess you could buy a 2nd device – they are cheap) and simply reconfig. Or you can take the phone to your hotel room etc. or anywhere there is wifi or connectivity.. Like your beach house (everyone has one of those, right?)http://obihai.com/I’m going to hook one up today that I just bought but I have every expectation from reading the reviews that it works as described.Advantage over using a cell phone -1) You can hook any pots device (phone recorder should work although I haven’t tried)2) You can use your legacy phones which if wireless will ring in multiple places3) No batteries to run out4) Should sound better because of headset traditional handset.5) Should be less tumor risk using a traditional wireless6) Google voice is free (well for now anyway @fakegrimlockDisadvantage over pots phone in your house or office:1) No 911 service2) If your internet goes down so does this phone.3) If the power goes out so does this phone (pots are powered by 5v phone wires and generally remain on as long as the copper isn’t cut. If you are getting your pots service through fiber though you will loose it after the battery backup on your demarc fails of course.[1] – Move the legacy phone number to a family plan at your current cell phone provider. Then port it to google voice. You can’t take a landline to google voice but you can take any cell line and port it to GV. So you have to do that in between step. Once a number is on google voice you hook up the obihi device.

  27. alphaG77

    There is substantial more non-ionizing radiation coming from the microwave in your apt. or house.; do you fear for your health everytime you’ve ever stood in front of it waiting for popcorn? American Cancer Society doesnt see a link – I’ll go with that:http://www.cancer.org/Cance

    1. Amit Lubovsky

      check out http://www.tawkon.com/why-w… as you do when getting a second opinion before a medical procedure ….you will find few opposite thoughts in addition see the following that was just published a couple of days ago http://healthland.time.com/

    2. alphaG77

      Also why would it be any worse operating next to your head versus in your pocket — maybe too close to your privates. We probably should be more worried about that!

      1. LE

        With respect to the issue you raised about microwaves it has to do with exposure times (and obviously power but I’m sure most people don’t spend much time in front of a microwave). How often do you make popcorn vs. talk on the cell phone.With respect to pocket vs. next to head the issue is proximity. There’s more stuff to mess up in your head at close range to the radiation then in proximity to your pocket.Where would you rather have a tumor?

        1. alphaG77

          fair point on exposure time, perhaps…but as to where I would prefer to get a tumor? what? I dont think anyone with malignant tumor would say it’s preferrable to have one in your head versus uterus or testes — sorry, that’s never going to be a winning argument.

          1. LE

            My pocket is about 4 or 5 inches from my privates. The issue of radiation drops dramatically with distance.http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00…While it doesn’t cover small distances based on the amount of energy in a cell phone inches matter. (Some of the advice given is to keep the phone away and not next to your ear to limit exposure in other documents of which I don’t have time to provide a link).As an aside by the way it is generally better to have a tumor in your leg or even in your testes then in your head which would require brain surgery. But that doesn’t even take into account the distance argument.

        2. ShanaC

          I find I talk less on a cellphone than when I was younger because of the growth of alternative ways to communicate. For talking to at least some of my friends, text, chat, and video is much preferred. And more and more of my friends are moving in that direction too.Voice by itself is overrated

          1. LE

            Back in the day the att picture phone did not work.One of the reasons I believe was that people liked the fact that you didn’t have to worry how you looked when you were on the phone. Now people can be a goofball and people don’t care. [1]Plus of course you could multitask better if someone didn’t see how you were distracting yourself. And you could be in your underwear or on the toilet (if you had a phone in the bathroom that is). Now you can be in your underwear in public if you make enough money. [1]When you looked at other things that were true way back this makes sense. People always got dressed up when they went out and certainly at a restaurant. I remember even in college it was really not acceptable to go to a nice restaurant dressed in jeans. There was no casual fridays at work either. People pretty much always wore what would be considered their “sunday best”. I’m talking 70’s and even part of the early 80’s. Prior to that even more so (just look at old newsreels.)Fred still has that semi business dressed up look. So does JLM at least from his pictures in the anniversary video. Paul Graham on the other hand wore sandals in one video that I saw him in recently. Some people take this to far though. [2]I wore a suit and dressed nicely for a few years at my first business. Looking back on it I think it was probably to gain respect and look grown up since I was younger than everyone else.To me the best thing about text, chat (and email) is the queued nature. There is no expectation of immediate attention that occurs with either video or voice which is really an interruption.[1] Andrew Mason doing yoga in his underwear.[2] Zuckerberg and the hoodie when going to meet investors.

          2. ShanaC

            I maintain a semi-dressed up look, and people keep telling me I’m overdressed! *sigh*

      2. ShanaC

        at this moment boy am I glad I am a girl #hurrayforpurses

    3. fredwilson

      Yeah. I don’t go near the microwave when its on

    4. alphaG77

      despite the reason of science, I am apparently in the minority opinion on this one…so I think we should all go one step further and start carrying around our phones in aluminum pouches and wearing aluminum helmets just to be sure. Either way, I think a better use for tawkon’s technology would be better battery management – assuming it works by detecting orientation and movement of the phone. I have an iphone so am outta luck regardless.

  28. Ben Lang

    Excellent app and team!

  29. Girish Rao

    Love this idea. We lack a quantitative analysis of mobile phone radiation on the body. I would like to see them take it a step further. While our phones are sitting in our pocket they are continuously beaming data signals in and out. I wonder what impact this has on our body? Any single data transfer is probably negligible but over time the impact could be noticeable.

  30. William Mougayar

    One day, we’ll all be tinkering with our old smartphones and other electronic devices. See this incredible TED talk by Vinay Venkatraman about “technology crafts,” through which a mobile phone, a lunchbox and a flashlight can become a digital projector for a village school, or an alarm clock and a mouse can be melded into a medical device for local triage. on.ted.com/Vinay

  31. andyidsinga

    Fred – put your phone in your shirt or jacket pocket with that handset attached .. and get someone to talk a vid of you walking down the street talking into it πŸ™‚ #winningI smell a music video πŸ˜‰

    1. Dale Allyn

      Andy, I totally saw this as a great phone for walking on the street. And phone and handset in a messenger bag seems perfect. Just reach in the bag and answer the call. πŸ˜‰

      1. andyidsinga

        Yeah man – I’m totally with you .. this is a thing now.

      1. andyidsinga

        Love that kind of crazy. just need to come up with some sort of headgear like thingy …so it can be completely hands free :)I was cracking up looking at the “customer action shots” at that link hahaha.[edit: customer action shot of guy with the handset stuck in his hat! http://www.thinkgeek.com/pr… ]

  32. John Revay

    Fred – looks like you ate your cookie, Gil did not yet as of this photo taking

    1. Gil Friedlander

      Actually I received warm hospitality from the Union SquareVenture folks, including several cookies before the meeting πŸ™‚

      1. ShanaC

        were they good cookies?

      2. fredwilson

        Good. That’s how it should be

      3. John Revay

        I once worked for VC firm.We had a well stocked kitchen and refrigerator.

    2. fredwilson

      It went uneaten

  33. jason wright

    Brewster is initially only available on iOS but Tawkon is out on Android first. I don’t get it. What leads developers to decide which platform to release on first?

    1. ErikSchwartz

      If you’re building it for yourself first (as is often the case) then the driving factor is which phone you personally use.

    2. Gil Friedlander

      tawkon developed the solution 3 years ago, initially for iPhone. UnfortunatelyApple’s “Closed Garden” and Steve Jobs personal stance did not enableto upload on the App store. The Google Play market provides a warm home fortawkon and the right to choose for Android phone users

      1. ShanaC

        thank you for coming in and explaining!

  34. jason wright

    At Fukashima a contractor has encouraged its cleanup workers to cover their radiation badges with covers made from lead to ‘limit’ exposure.

  35. Eran Galperin

    In Israel, we have a lot of awareness for cellular phone radiation. Even though nobody knows for certain how harmful it is, most experts concur it cannot be healthy to keep such devices close to your head for lengthy periods of time.I was with one of the other founders, Amit Lubovsky, on a startup tour in the U.S about 2 years ago, as a bunch of Israeli startups went around and showcased what they do at tech conventions and universities. Amazingly, the awareness Americans have for cellular radiation is barely non-existent. Most of them don’t even know what kind of phones they have (some said they have ‘T-mobile’ or ‘AT&T’ but couldn’t tell the brand or model). The absolute low was when we visited a university in Washington, and one of the professors asked if this app could detect ‘dirty bombs’. I kid you not. A university professor (I don’t know in what field though) could not tell the difference between cellular radiation and nuclear radiation.If you’re wondering why it’s not available on the iPhone – in order to access some of the parameters needed for measuring the phone radiation level, the Tawkon team used what Apple refers to as “undocumented APIs”. Basically they got information about the device that Apple doesn’t want devs to know they can get, and it this it was rejected from the appstore. They used that to get quite a bit of PR at the time, so it wasn’t all bad.

    1. ShanaC

      Very true – also interesting is the US is very NIMBY when it comes to the attena. If we actually added more of them in the US, we would have less of a cell phone radiation problem

  36. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    I am seeing a slight US vs. rest of the world – cultural divide in the comments so far.When I see Americans have omelettes from egg whites only it is finally a step too far. The best bit of a fried egg is the runny glorious yellow bit! – Note there is no good part of much of your fast food ! – the first two ounces of coke per day do you little harm (even in New York) !Excessive-pretty-much-anything is bad for you – period.So if people want an app on their phone to tell them not to use it how it is built that’s fine by me. I wear a safety belt while driving – also fine.But, where I live, if you slip and fall you maybe swear, but it sure as heck is no-one else’s fault.Life itself seems pretty much fatal:If I had not got on a skateboard as a kid my elbow would work better now. If I had not tried a particular ski-jump, I would never have detached my retina or damaged my cervical vertebrae.If I had not eaten too much I would be slimmer.And if I got up right now and walked instead of typing to you guys I would be healthier – admittedly at a dreadful cost to humanity :)Now that’s a price I am prepared to pay – so catch you all later !…

    1. ErikSchwartz

      “On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero”

      1. William Mougayar

        Otherwise said as “Don’t take life too seriously. No one comes out alive.”

  37. pointsnfigures

    Does Tawkon work for cookie consumption too?

    1. ShanaC

      or cake!

      1. pointsnfigures

        I just noticed there was only one cookie left on the plate in the photo. Was there cake their too?

        1. ShanaC

          no, just thinking about my own addiction to sugary baked goods (yum)

          1. pointsnfigures

            next time you make a pie, use vodka in the crust recipe, and substitute actual leaf lard for some of the butter. My wife does that and it’s amazing. Chemistry works which is why I am a good home cook and a really bad baker. http://pointsandfigures.com

          2. ShanaC

            I actually have been trying for years to ace pie crusts. What is this lead lard you speak of, and what is the best way to cut it into piecrusts. And why vodka?

          3. pointsnfigures

            click the link, explains the lard. You use a combo of vodka and water. Because vodka is a liquid, but NOT water, when you blend it with the dough the gluten strands in the dough don’t get tough, and they stay supple. This makes for a tender crust. The combo of leaf lard and butter-two melting points-flakier crust.

  38. Itav Topaz

    super app by a super great team.

  39. ShanaC

    Why don’t you get a femtoscell in order to increase single strength?

  40. JimHirshfield

    Nice handset. Where’d ya get it?

    1. fredwilson


  41. John Revay

    hummm…When I think about warnings for cell phones, I think about the surgeon general warnings on Cigarettes http://bit.ly/AuSIPPIf you are 50+ – you may remember when this was first required to be posted on cigarette packs (My parents smoked while we were growing up – so I remember this first hand).If we fast forward 10 more years – maybe all cell phones will carry a similar warning.Re: My children – the good news it that it seems like they txt much more than they talk.Still maybe time to think about getting one of those blue hand sets.

  42. markslater

    love that handset – gotta get me one of those.People are texting more and talking less.Our CTO’s daughter who is 14 texted 3,000 times last month and talked for 4 minutes – probably to her dad. the youngsters aren’t talking so it wont be a problem for them – for us who grew up with a “phone” it seems like a good idea.

  43. Deepak Gupta

    I have been using this app for less than a day, with very less voice usage (7 mins in the whole day). So I can’t comment if I’ve been hit by any radiation or not. But the battery usage of Tawkon on my Nexus S with Android Jelly Bean has been quite different from what @fredwilson:disqus mentioned in this post.For now I’m assuming that the app might not be optimized yet for Jelly Bean and will let it stay on my phone and monitor how much radiation my phone produces.

    1. Ori Goshen

      Hey Deepak,Thanks for the feedback.As you’ve mentioned the version isn’t optimized and fully tested on Jelly Bean yet. We did release a version today ( including many enhancements and optimized battery usage that may reduce the extensive battery usage you’re experiencing. Would love to hear about your experience with the new version and general thoughts about the product & concept.Thanks in advance,Ori.

  44. Terry

    Not on iOS is very suspicious.

  45. paramendra

    That is just the cutest picture, cuter for being real, as in that is how you prefer to take calls. My intuition has long told me there has got to be a radiation issue with cells. But they release study after study saying not really. As in, the science is vague on the topic. Industrytalk. The tobacco industry also spinkled FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) on the harm from tobacco decades back. Although I don’t think the two are in the same league. But your “headset” looks kinda big. Perhaps there is a market for something much smaller. πŸ™‚

  46. Prokofy

    This sounds like a really great produce, and useful. I wish it were on the i-phone. Eventually surely it will be. I worry about this a lot, having had two friends who talked on their cell phones all the time die of brain cancer.You know what’s funny is seeing you with that old-fashioned phone handset that looks like it’s from the 1970s or something. At least it looks comfortable! Wouldn’t you want to have a kind of hands free headset? Would a wireless headset make sense? Or is that just bringing the radiation back to your head?

    1. fredwilson

      I just bought a Bluetooth version of it. Should get it this week

      1. John

        Can you send me a link to the handset you bought? I’d like to get one like the one in the picture. Bluetooth is fine though. I’m turning off the LAN line, but would like a better handset for my wife and I to talk for long periods.

        1. fredwilson

          The one I bought is not good

          1. John

            Ok, I’ll do some searching and let you know if I find a good one.

  47. falicon

    I am lazy…so I would love for the app to give me specific items, quantities, and times to eat…the less thinking I have to do the better πŸ™‚ And you are right, it should be gawkable…once I get the right blogs to install it (gothamgal is a good start on tis front…even the pictures of the food she says is average looks ten times more tasty than my current average meal).

  48. Amit Lubovsky

    landline would be the best… only problem is that its not mobile πŸ™‚ Btw – also DECT phones are problematic as they are working on the same frequency as mobile…:-(

  49. Dale Allyn

    I prefer the sound quality of a landline, too, Charlie. There’s a reduced “tension” to me, and duplex functions better (usually).

  50. panterosa,

    I love my land line. I have A rotary in my studio. I found a pushbutton at the local rummage, both have the old handset. I’m on an island where everyone has an old landline, and many have the original phones, and yes the old lines are nice.

  51. panterosa,

    In the old days this food delivery of variety app you are looking for was called wife.

  52. ShanaC

    a lot of the food she cooks is fairly one pot too/easy cleanup too. You should take a closer look at the recipes as well πŸ™‚

  53. falicon

    Nice! My wife is actually busier than I am…but she does do a GREAT job of this for the kids (I just need to be better about getting on thier schedule I guess). Still ‘wife’ would be a great name for the app πŸ™‚

  54. panterosa,

    Wives are usually busier, with everything, even when they don’t ‘work’ outside the home. My proposal is that wives should also have wives.When I divorced, and thankfully was no longer a wife, but a single startup mom, the only thing I wanted was a wife. Don’t need another husband!!When you find the wife app, please do let me know!

  55. Dale Allyn

    My wife would love to have a wife… or two. She works her butt off (without being employed). I have heard her say on more than one occasion “I need a wife”.

  56. ShanaC

    homelabor is way underrated/underpaid if you mean and all my friends are all saying the same thing.I’m not sure what is going to happen with the Second Shift – it still exists, but it seems to be cropping up as a problem that needs better solutions for more and more types of people.

  57. panterosa,

    I first hear it 30 years ago from my mother when she was widowed. Everyone asked her at 49 when would she remarry. Remarry? Why, she asked, to live with another person who left the cap of the toothpaste? She said she’d rather have a wife.I reached that point at 40.

  58. Dale Allyn


  59. panterosa,

    That’s so cool.We are watching Sabrina (daughter and I), and I am explaining Linus Larrabee’s toys and how cool they were for back then.

  60. Rohan

    I guess…If the principle is ‘everything in moderation’, perhaps moderation should be in moderation, too? πŸ™‚