New Gadget Claims to De-Itch Your Mosquito Bites

Bite Helper
Bite Helper

Summer can be an itchy time for anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors. Mosquitos are everywhere, and some people are particularly susceptible to their bites and the itching that comes with them. A new product aims to stop the suffering. Bite Helper, reviewed by Mashable, is designed to stop your bites from itching.

Place the pen-like device over your swollen bite and it will begin to emit heat and vibrations designed to quell the itch. It’s meant to increase blood flow around the area to alleviate your pain, heating your skin up to 120°F for up to 45 seconds. It’s the size of a thin tube of sunscreen and is battery powered.

Most dermatologists advise applying cold to alleviate itching from insect bites, so the question is: Will heating up your skin really work? Bite Helper hasn’t been clinically tested, so it’s hard to say for certain how effective it would be. There has been some research to suggest that heat can help increase blood flow in general, but decrease histamine-induced blood flow in the skin (part of the body’s normal response to allergens) and reduce itching overall. In a German study of wasp, mosquito, and bee stings, concentrated heat led to a significant improvement in symptoms, though the researchers focused mostly on pain reduction rather than itching.

Bite Helper’s technique "seems like a legitimate claim" when it comes to localized itching, Tasuku Akiyama, who studies the mechanisms of itching at the University of Miami, tells Mental Floss. "The increase in the blood flow may increase the rate of elimination of itch mediator from the area." However, before that happens, the heat might also make the itch a little worse in the short-term, he cautions. This seems to be borne out by user experience: While Mashable's reviewer found that using the device didn’t hurt at all, his daughter found it too hot to bear for more than a few seconds.

If the device does in fact relieve itching, though, a few seconds of pain may be worth it.

Bite Helper is $25 on Amazon.

[h/t Mashable]

Tesla Drivers Now Have Access to a Library of Fart Sounds in Their Car

Spencer Platt, Getty Images
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Tesla’s latest software update includes more than just a few technical tweaks. It also turns the electric vehicles into on-demand fart machines, according to Inverse.

Tesla’s Emissions Testing Mode lets drivers choose different fart sounds from the car’s touchscreen, giving electric-car owners a good sense of Elon Musk’s sense of toilet humor. There’s “Short Shorts Ripper,” “Falcon Heavy,” Ludicrous Fart,” Neurastink,” “Boring Fart,” and “Not a Fart,” all of which are named after some Musky in-joke. (The last one is a play on the Boring Company’s Not a Flamethrower.) Should drivers find it impossible to choose between all the sound effects, the “I’m so random” will shuffle through them automatically.

Users can program the fart sounds to play when a turn signal is activated or when the driver touches the left-side steering scroll wheel. You can see/hear it in action in a Tesla Model S here.

Farting functionality isn’t the only whimsical edition to the software. At this point, Tesla's in-car software comes with a variety of Easter eggs for users to unlock, including games, special lighting effects, and more. In addition to all the flatulence, this update includes a Romance Mode that brings up video of a cozy, crackling fire on the central console and prompts the car to blast the heat and turn on some sensual tunes.

[h/t Inverse]

Warning: Don't Fall for the New Netflix Phishing Scam Going Around

iStock.com/wutwhanfoto
iStock.com/wutwhanfoto

In addition to catching up on Stranger Things and kicking ex-roommates off your account, you now have something else to worry about if you're a Netflix user. As WYFF 4 reports, there's a phishing scam circulating through email that targets subscribers to the streaming service.

The email is formatted to look like an official message from Netflix, with the company's logo at the top. It informs you that "your account is on hold," and that you need to update your payment information before service can resume.

But law officials are warning web users not to click the link in the email, or in any emails that come from unfamiliar sources. "Criminals want you to click the links, so that you voluntarily give your personal identifying information away. It is very successful," the Solon, Ohio police department shared in a Facebook post. "Don't click the links. The links could also be a way to install malware on your computer."

The phishing email contains a few clues that it's not legitimate: It lists an international phone number, uses the British spelling of centre, and opens with the unusual greeting "Hi Dear."

But even without these giveaways, you should always be wary of emails that ask for personal information, even if they appear to come from companies that you trust. According to Netflix, communications emails will always come from the address info@mailer.netflix.com. If you receive a message from this address (or an address that looks like it), and aren't sure if it's trustworthy, you can always go to Netflix and reach out to customer service about the problem directly.

[h/t WYFF 4]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER