Boyd Industries, Inc is a company that makes products for Orthodontics, Oral Surgery, and Pediatric Dentistry. These products include (but are not limited to) patient chairs, lighting, delivery units, cabinets, doctor/assistant seating, etc.
However, the bright minds at Boyd have now come up with a pretty nifty idea for patient entertainment. I first saw this at the California Dental Association meeting in San Francisco this last September and was blown away at the concept. Now I'm happy and excited to give you a hands-on review.
The photo above shows the Boyd Console Gaming Platform. This system is designed to provide a video game entertainment in the reception area without the worry of the system being broken, parts being lost or damaged, and eliminates the spaghetti of cords that accompanies any game system. Basically what the people at Boyd have done is to create an arcade type cabinet that can stand up to the wear and tear of use by lots of kids while providing the games that they know, love, and may very well have at home. The cabinet is designed to hold today's most popular gaming systems. The choices are PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, XBOX 360, and Wii. The system shown above (being used in the game room of my home) is running the Sony PlayStation 3 and playing the game Star Wars Legos.
In the upper portion of the console, you can see two key locks. Unlocking these allows the front to fold out on a hinge revealing the game system so that you can change the game disk.
The monitor is a high resolution Samsung that features excellent viewing, vivid color, and great sound. The cabinet comes with a surge suppressor power strip, a fan to cool the interior, and all the necessary connectors to make everything work. The front of the cabinet is wood grain and the rest is a very sturdy metal.
The controller wires are run through flexible corrugated plastic pipe and are securely attached to the pipe by a metal mounting system. This allows the kids to be able to move the controllers without pulling or putting undue stress on the cords. The controllers remain easy to use and can easily be used by 2 players for simultaneous play in games that allow that.
Over the years I’ve given serious consideration to putting in a game system several times but the idea of it being destroyed by over zealous players always made the decision a difficult one. With this Boyd system, I feel that any worries about the safety of the system have been properly put to rest.
The system in these photos has been put through its paces recently by the Flucke family and I have gotten nothing but rave reviews about it. I’m confident it will be just as big a hit in your office.
For the company website, click here. The system is available from dental dealers. In the Midwest, you can contact my preferred dealer Goetze Dental at 800.692.0804.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
If you've been having trouble with Apple Mail on your Mac since updating to OS X 10.5.6, read on. For you non-Mac folks out there, don't let your Mac friends smirk when you have problems. We Mac people have them too, its usually just not as often.
A couple of weeks ago, I updated my OS X to the latest version 10.5.6 Immediately following the update, I noticed a problem with Mail. Whenever I would attempt to open a message with an attachment, the program would hang for a minute and then just shut down... poof!
I tried deleting the offending message and everything else I could think of, but no joy. I was forced to use Thunderbird to read messages with attachments and, of course, any message I had saved that had an attachment could no longer be read. Needless to say, it was a pain.
However, last night I had some free time and decided to try and tackle the issue again. I found that the OS X update was supposed to update Mail to version 3.5, but for some reason my Mail program was reporting it was version 3.1 which I found weird. I tried running the full Mac combo update and even that didn't help. No matter what I tried, Mail kept reporting it was version 3.1
Finally I decided to see where the Mail 3.5 version might be and did a Spotlight search for the term "mail.app". Lo and behold I had two Mail.app on the hard drive! One was for version 3.1 and one was for version 3..5
Clicking on the icon for 3.5 allowed all mail functions with no problems. I deleted the offending application and the problem is gone.
I'm not sure why or how the problem started, but I hope this post is helpful to anyone stuck with the same situation.
Monday, December 29, 2008
I was nosing around the Internet the other day when I came across this interesting concept. Although currently aimed at the younger generation (and probably teenagers more specifically) I can see this concept having advantages in business although with less "cartoony"type hardware.
The idea behind Poken is networking. The Poken is a small USB device that you enter your contact info into. When you meet someone that also has one, you press their hands together in a "high five" and your info is swapped. RF technology moves the info. When you get home and connect the device to the USB port of your computer, the new contact info is transferred automatically. You don't need to write down e-mail addresses, exchange phone numbers, etc. It makes all contact info electronic. The device can hold 64 contacts before its memory is full and it needs to be connected to your computer to transfer the info and empty the memory.
The info is transferred to the doyoupoken website where you can access it.
Back in the day, we geeky types were doing this sort of thing with IR swapping of business cards via PDA's. If this technology catches on, I can see it being helpful in the business world, but only with a more mature appearing device.
The cost is only around $15 for the Poken. More info from the website.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Well, even though it meant I risked being sent to The Doghouse, this Christmas I gave my wife the gift of a vacuum cleaner. Now before anyone (ladies) gets upset with me, let me state up front that my wife had requested this gift.
On Christmas Eve, my lovely bride opened the gift of a Roomba model 560 by iRobot. It was purchased via my Amazon Prime account (thanks again Ben!) and arrived without my having to even sniff the mall.
Let me say, as someone who really loves and lives technology, this thing is amazing! All you do is give it a full charge and then hit the "Clean" button. The device leaves its base/charging station and immediately begins to clean the room. When it has finished, it locates and returns to the charging base station, parks itself, and begins to recharge.
After turning it loose in 2 different rooms, my wife has declared it "one of the best Christmas gifts ever!" It leaves no dirt behind, does a great job along the baseboards, and requires no user intervention at all. You can even program it to clean on a schedule if you so desire.
We have a black lab and for those of you familiar with the breed you know that shedding is a real problem. Now with the Roomba our rooms can be vacuumed as often as we'd like with no effort on our part. If you've been considering purchasing one of these devices, I say get out the credit card. You'll be very glad you did!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
This is straight from the Patterson Technology Center:
"Patterson EagleSoft 16.00 will require that users have at least one computer with a high speed Internet connection available in the office. Please contact you Hardware provider for more information or assistance on Internet service providers."
Flucke's perspective: 15.0 was just released this fall, so you've got some time. If you've been holding out on putting high speed in your office, now is the time. I can't imagine anyone no wanting it, but I know there are a few of you out there. There are lots of ways to keep your data safe and to keep your employees from inadvertently downloading viruses and spyware.
Friday, December 26, 2008
My buddies at Lexi-Comp have an incredible deal for those looking to purchase before the new year. Here are the details:
For a limited time, receive 30% off the retail price of Lexi-Comp ONLINE for Dentistry! Offer expires 12-31-08. Simply enter coupon code LEX30D at checkout!
With Lexi-Comp ONLINE for Dentistry –
* Implement patient-specific drug interaction analysis in your office workflow
* Save customized office regimens with OFFICE Rx for quick interaction screening
* Obtain immediate DENTAL ALERTS on medications that may influence treatment or cause harmful effects to the patient
* Access Dental Lexi-Drugs®, the industry's leading dental-specific pharmacology resource
* Enjoy clear, concise, point-of-care content – updated daily!
Lexi-Comp ONLINE for Dentistry includes 16 dental databases & modules:
* Dental Lexi-Drugs
* Dental Alerts/Lexi-Interact
* Oral Soft Tissue Diseases
* Oral Hard Tissue Diseases
* Oral Surgery
* Clinical Dentistry
* ...and more!
Retail price is $399, but with the discount code the price is $280!
For more info or to order, click here!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Today, instead of a tech post, I'm going to wish all of my readers a sincere Merry Christmas. May you and your loved ones be incredibly blessed this holiday season and throughout the New Year. I am truly honored that so many of you take the time out of your busy schedules to read and e-mail me. I hope you all got what you wanted!
Now go spend some time with your family! That's the best thing about the holidays!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
For those of you who are wondering where Santa is this Christmas Eve, let me give you a helping hand. Actually this helping hand is courtesy of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command). This has been a popular site for the Flucke family for several years.
NORAD uses their special radar and computers to track the jolly old elf as he delivers presents all over the world, complete with videos.
We keep this site up throughout Christmas eve.
NORAD began this as a service to kids in the late 1950's via phone calls and have continued to evolve and improve the service into the cyberspace age.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Foxit has entered the ebook market. The company developed a software alternative to Adobe's PDF viewer and has now expanded the "viewing" market to include an ebook reader to compete with the Sony PRS-500 and PRS-700 as well as the Amazon Kindle. The eSlick reader is available via preorder for $229.99.
Reading material is loaded via USB from a computer (as opposed to wireless CDMA service on the Kindle). It is lighter than both the Sony models and the Kindle while featuring a lighter overall weight. The screen is 600x800 and uses the same E Ink that its competitors also use. It comes with an MP3 player built-in, 128MB of memory, and an SD slot.
Rising tides float all boats and this is one more indication that reading books on an electronically formatted device is starting to catch on. If you want more info, you can read more on the company website.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Let's face it, passwords are a necessary evil in today's computing world. We all know the rules of security such as: don't use the same password for everything, use random numbers & letters, don't use your pet's name, etc, but it's tough to come up with all these different combinations and then remember them all, let alone enter them correctly when you visit the site.
To the rescue comes Large Software with their product Password Manager. Rather than letting your browser remember the passwords, this product will work with a variety of browsers. It can also be used with other applications such as chat clients.
It can be loaded on a jump drive and taken to any Windows PC and won't leave a trace on the host computer. You can use the program and access all of your sites with no fear of leaving information behind for someone else to find.
- Password Manager remembers usernames and passwords for ANY web page or application.
- Password Manager prevents password theft. Passwords that are automatically stored by Internet Explorer or Foxfire are potentially available to other users, but with Password Manager, login information and passwords are only available when the password storage database is unlocked by an authorized user.
- Password Manager allows you to travel anywhere and rely on its innovative technology, even in unsecured places like Internet cafés and other public areas.
- Password Manager has the capability of managing multiple passwords for a single website or application.
- Password Manager protects you from phishing scams. Password Manager’s intelligent form filler will only auto fill your login information for sites it recognizes, protecting your highly confidential information from predator websites.
- Password Manager also protects you from keylogging (the unauthorized monitoring of your key strokes by a third party).
- Large Software’s Password Manager always keeps your personal information confidential, thus providing you reassurance and security when online.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
This morning I read an excellent article detailing more info on the service, it's history, competition, and the reasons for WiMax. Rather than quote it, I'll provide the link to the CNN Money article. Enjoy!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Earlier in the year, Sprint announced the launch of XOHM, their WiMax network in Baltimore with the rollout continuing throughout 2009 to cover the US. What is WiMax, you ask? It is the 4th generation of wireless Internet connectivity with speeds of 2Mbps to 4 Mbps. Since its 4th generation, it's referred to as 4G while current speeds are referred to as 3G. The USB modem pictured above will access 4G if it is available and default to 3G if 4G is not.
Not long ago, Sprint merged XOHM with Clearwire's network. The combined initiative is being called "Clear".
The USB modem pictured above is the u3000 and is currently available only in Baltimore, but will be sold in other markets as the "Clear" 4G network is rolled out across the U.S. The network is rumored to be partially operational in Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.
The price is $149 after a $50 dollar rebate and a 2 year contract on the service. The service itself is said to be available for $79.99 per month.
WiMax may very well change the way we access the 'Net. Imagine T-1 speeds with no wires!
Friday, December 19, 2008
My good friends at Dentrix sent me this info and asked me to share it with all of you. So here it is! G4 is here and ready to roll. Read on for more info on the next version of Dentrix practice management software.
MELVILLE, N.Y., December 17, 2008 --Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the largest distributor of healthcare products and services in the combined North American and European markets, today announced the release of DENTRIX G4, the latest upgrade to its market leading practice management software system. DENTRIX is the most widely used practice management system for dental professionals and is currently used by 26,000 practices in the United States.
“Practitioners will greatly benefit from the numerous enhancements to our system, which reflect a year of designing and testing based on customer feedback and our leading technology expertise,” said Kevin Bunker, Vice-President and General Manager of Henry Schein’s Practice Solutions division. “We believe that our customers are our best resource for input in helping us to develop the most effective practice management tools to help the doctor improve efficiency and focus more on patient care and satisfaction.”
There are many time saving, productivity enhancements in the new version of DENTRIX G4, including:
* Family Alerts: A practice can now choose to apply an alert to the patient’s entire family or to specific family members, so only one alert is created. Other time-saving features include custom alert note templates and the ability to insert alert datelines and creation dates.
* Default Payment Allocations and Payments: The practice can set a default payment allocation to either the guarantor’s provider or a split payment option, allowing this task to be completed
quicker than ever before. And for faster searching, the practice can now search for specific payments by check number, amount, date, insurance carrier, or guarantor, and a report of the results can be printed.
· Billing Statements and Insurance Claims: Administrators can now specify whether to send billing statements to batch and print at anytime or electronically, as well as send insurance claims electronically by default and receive a real-time notice when submitting real-time electronic claims.
* Personal Preference Customization: Create and manage custom procedure button sets for the Tooth Chart as well as personal preferences that will appear on any computer in the network.
* Quick Access to Training Resources: Customers subscribed to a customer service plan now have one-click access to41 different topics that are perfect for new staff that may need basic training at www.dentrix.com and access the online knowledgebase for technical assistance 24/7.
DENTRIX G4 will be automatically shipped to customers subscribed to a customer service plan. Unlimited, toll-free technical support, upgrades, electronic backup, a basic Website, access to knowledgebase resources, online training courses, discounts, and more are included with the DENTRIX customer service plan. Practices that are not subscribed to a customer service plan can call 1-800-DENTRIX to learn how they can upgrade.
About Henry Schein
Henry Schein, a Fortune 500® company and a member of the NASDAQ 100® Index, is recognized for its excellent customer service and highly competitive prices. The Company's four business groups – Dental, Medical, International and Technology – serve more than 550,000 customers worldwide, including dental practitioners and laboratories, physician practices and animal health clinics, as well as government and other institutions. The Company operates through a centralized and automated distribution network, which provides customers in more than 200 countries with a comprehensive selection of more than 90,000 national and Henry Schein private-brand products in stock, as well as more than 100,000 additional products available as special-order items.
Henry Schein also offers a wide range of innovative value-added practice solutions for healthcare professionals, such as ArubA®, the Company’s electronic catalog and ordering system. Its leading practice-management software solutions have a user base of more than 52,000 practices, including DENTRIX®, Easy Dental®, Oasis® and EXACT® for dental practices, MicroMD® for physician practices, and AVImark® for animal health clinics. Headquartered in Melville, N.Y., Henry Schein employs over 12,000 people and has operations or affiliates in 20 countries. The Company's net sales reached a record $5.9 billion in 2007. For more information, visit the Henry Schein Web site atwww.henryschein.com.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Whether in the office or at home, there can be a need for emergency oxygen. This user friendly device is the Oxyquik. It's a self contained unit that is designed to be easy to use by anyone. Here is the press release:
Westlake, OH (PRWEB) December 6, 2008 -- Western announces the launch in the U.S. and Canada of the oxyQuik Emergency Oxygen Unit. "It is a revolutionary one-touch, easy-to-use unit and is a major advancement in the delivery of oxygen for emergency situations" - announced Julia M. Fisher, Western Medical Product Manager.
The self-contained unit requires no complicated assembly and can be used or administered by any individual with minimal training, which is provided with the product. It is the easiest to use Emergency Oxygen Unit in the market today.
"oxyQuik bridges the gap between the 911 call and the arrival of first response."
- For use at home or public area
- Up to 25 minutes of continuous oxygen flow
- User-Friendly, one-touch design
- Kink resistant hose - will ensure oxygen pressure remains strong
- Adult/Pediatric mask
- No prescription required, when administered by properly trained personnel
- Emergency oxygen training included
- Dedicated customer support
The average response time for EMS to arrive is 10 to 12 minutes. If oxygen flow is restricted, permanent damage to the brain tissue occurs in just 3 minutes. oxyQuik will provide a victim with continuous oxygen flow, for up to 25 minutes. For more information, visit the oxyQuik website at http://www.oxyquik.com
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Here is an interesting idea form RegenTec. It's a mold-able matrix for bone repair. I can envision this being something that could be adapted for use in ridge augmentation and other similar dental procedures. Here is the info from the company website:
RegenTec’s patented injectable polymer scaffolds are also designed to deliver cells, adhesion peptides and growth factors directly to the tissue repair site if required. The scaffolds can be either injected or moulded and solidify within minutes of delivery, creating a space-filling material with an architecture and environment suitable for efficient tissue repair. This injectable macroporous 3D scaffold represents a novel approach to in situ tissue repair and includes the following advantages:
- An open pore structure which aids cell attachment, migration, and tissue development
- Scaffold solidification occurs at body temperature, is non-toxic, and can be used to encapsulate and deliver cells at the site of injection
- Growth factors can be incorporated into the system for controlled release
- A system readily adaptable for its end application (e.g. porosity, architecture, protein encapsulation, material composites)
When a tissue develops or repairs itself a “regenerative niche” is formed comprising cells, 3D template, extracellular matrix and growth factors. RegenTec’s scaffold technology is able to combine the all these key components into one environment which is optimal for tissue repair. In simple applications the cells, extracellular matrix and growth factors are provided by the patient’s own tissue neighbouring the repair site. In such applications, RegenTec’s scaffolds provide the 3D template within which the body’s own response can be orchestrated. In more challenging applications, stem cells, matrix and/or growth factors must be provided within the 3D template. The versatility of RegenTec’s scaffolds ensures compatibility with these requirements.
RegenTec is building a diverse product portfolio by enhancing our injectable scaffold platform with a range of add-on technologies with specific benefits. These patent protected methods include:
Protein Loaded Particles for Controlled Delivery
The incorporation of growth factors within the particles results in a scaffold that serves as both a structural support and a matrix for tissue growth. One preferred method of particle manufacture involves the use of a novel Supercritical Fluid (SCF) technique. This approach provides a low temperature, solvent-free process for incorporating delicate protein therapeutics into polymers.
Controlled Cell Aggregation
Stem cells need to be held in complex 3D colonies to promote functionality. RegenTec has a method of controlling the formation of cell-rich 3D structures. This allows cells to assemble into dense structures with controlled internal architecture. This technology may be used as an additional component of our injectable platform.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Lexi-Comp has an online component of particular interest to dentistry. Lexi-Comp Online for Dentistry is a fully functional database with the following info available:
Drug Information for Dentistry
Dental Office Medical Emergencies
Clinician’s Endodontic Handbook
Oral Soft Tissue Diseases
Oral Hard Tissue Diseases
Manual of Dental Implants
Manual of Clinical Periodontics
Oral Surgery for the General Dentist
Illustrated Handbook of Clinical Dentistry
Your Roadmap to Financial Integrity in the Dental Practice
nline access to drug information including:
Instant DENTAL ALERTS that warn of patient medications/natural products that could influence treatment or cause harmful effects
Up to 55 fields of information for over 1600 drugs including "Effects on Dental Treatment" and "Local Anesthetic/Vasoconstrictor Precautions"
Dental treatment of medically-compromised patients
Treatment of patients with specific oral conditions
Lexi-Interact – Review all interactions and dental alerts for a selected medication or enter a patient-specific regimen to analyze for potential interactions/alerts.
Adult & Pediatric Patient Advisory Leaflets – Designed to be printed out for patients/consumers to educate them regarding their medications, written in a question-and-answer format, and available in up to 18 different languages.
Drug Identification – Lexi-Drug ID allows you to search over 6000 images based on the following descriptors: form, color, shape, and markings.
Web Search – Enhances the searching capabilities by including other medically-based web sites.
And now, Lexi has the "Office Rx" button available in the Online product. You can now:
Click the button within Lexi-Interact to compare various medication categories to drugs patients are taking. Medication categories are customizable, allowing dental professionals to store lists of drugs commonly used within the office.
Get more info by clicking here.
Monday, December 15, 2008
TARZANA, Calif. (December 16, 2008) – InfoStreet Inc., (www.infostreet.com) SaaS pioneer and provider of StreetSmart, a suite of Web-based, IT productivity software, announced today that it is responding to market demand for improved workplace efficiencies with an enhanced software suite that will target small- to mid-sized businesses. Much as email has become an absolute “must have” for today's businesses, InfoStreet executives predict that the company’s new Smart Email solution will become the next wave in email efficiency. Email is the ultimate delivery mechanism, however, tagging, categorizing, prioritizing and organizing conversation threads has become a new challenge, in particular when it is concerning tasks within an office. With StreetSmart's workflow, smart emails are generated that identify the task at hand, its due date, the person who it is assigned to, those involved in the task’s development, the category, priority, and most importantly its status. In addition, users can look at their task inbox and tend to them based on priority, category, status and age. Big projects or small tasks can be tracked through their process without loosing a single step making workers more efficient and jobs easier to trace and finalize.
“As pioneers of SaaS, we feel confident that users of this new system will leave their old ways of getting work done and use - StreetSmart to improve work efficiency,” explains Siamak Farah, CEO for InfoStreet. “We often hear from our customers that they are looking for every advantage to stay ahead of the competition and offer excellent services or goods to their customers even though most or doing more with less.”
Farah continued, “one of the things that we can offer with our new AJAX-enabled platform is a stronger workflow that improves effectiveness and efficiency. By streamlining the operations of companies and increasing communication and collaboration amongst employees, StreetSmart can significantly lower traditional IT cost, leaving budget dollars for other functions that help growth. This is a definite competitive advantage.”
In addition, InfoStreet will offer these StreetSmart upgrades at no additional charge to the company’s current customers. With InfoStreet’s ongoing commitment to Web 2.0 SaaS functionality, StreetSmart’s diverse user base will routinely receive the latest in applications and tools.
InfoStreet is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider. Widely regarded as a SaaS pioneer, as early as 1994, InfoStreet began shaping a vision, a team and a technology which is now transforming the way business gets done. InfoStreet fully delivers the benefits of SaaS to tens of thousands through its rich, web-based, IT, Productivity and Groupware oriented software applications.
InfoStreet’s SaaS platform, StreetSmart, complete with functions such as Virus and SPAM protected Email, Email Archiving, Calendar, Tasks, CRM, File Sharing, Knowledge Base, Mailing Lists, Portal, Web Site Publishing and more, is fully hosted and managed, enabling it to seamlessly blend with or become any organization's IT infrastructure.
For more information, go to www.infostreet.com or call 818-776-8080.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Here is an article from Reuters that I was frankly blown away to read. With the market penetration of software to run dental practices, you would think that similar numbers would exist for physicians. Perhaps my perception is tainted due to my love of technology (been chartless for a long time) and because Kansas City is the home to Cerner. Anyway read on. I find this story fascinating. From Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just under than 40 percent of U.S. doctors useand many say the system they use is only minimally functional, according to federal survey results released on Thursday.
Only 4 percent of the 2,000 doctors surveyed by thesaid their systems were fully functional -- a clear indication of just how many U.S. physicians rely on outdated paper records.
President-elect Barack Obama has said he would make electronic medical records a central part of his healthcare reform plan and promised to spend $50 billion doing so over five years.
But Obama, who named former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle to be his healthcare reform czar and Health and Human Services secretary on Thursday, also said he is not sure how to fund his initiatives given the recession, growing unemployment and other aspects of the economic crisis.
The NCHS, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sent a mail survey to 2,000 office-based doctors between April and August 2008.
"In the 2008 mail survey, 38.4 percent of the physicians reported using full or partial electronic medical record systems, not including billing records, in their office-based practices," the NCHS said in a statement.
"About 20.4 percent reported using a system described as minimally functional and including the following features: orders for prescriptions, orders for tests, viewing laboratory or imaging results, and clinical notes."
Many experts agree that having electronic medical records would improve healthcare, prevent errors and save costs.
The nonprofitfound in a report issued in July that 98 percent of doctors in the Netherlands and 89 percent in Britain use electronic medical records, compared to 28 percent in the United States.
Obstacles include creating a system that would work for various doctors' offices and insurers, and that would also protect patient privacy.
(Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Bill Trott)
Saturday, December 13, 2008
For years now, I've been advocating using portable hard drives to provide fast and easy backups that you can take offsite when you leave at the end of the day. A good solution is several drives that you rotate in use. Of course the problem is that if the drive fails, you run the risk of losing one day's worth of data.
That problem becomes much less of a worry with the device pictured above. The Western Digital MyBook Mirror Edition has 2 drives that use a RAID configuration to mirror each other. In a nutshell this means that when you put info on one drive, the other automatically copies it over to itself. This gives you a redundant backup system in one box. A system of these that you rotate provides that extra bit of redundency that I love! The box pictured here has 2 1 TB drives in it. Imagine a Terabyte of mirrored storage! I'm salivating just thinking about it.
The cost? Less than $300. Santa, I've been a very good boy this year.
Here is some info from the company website:
WD's My Book Mirror Edition dual-drive storage system automatically mirrors your valuable data for extra protection. The USB 2.0 interface and a powerful combination of features make this system the storage solution of choice for photographers, home users, small offices, and anyone looking for extra assurance that their data is safe.
* Tests based on comparison between a 1 TB dual-drive system using 7200 RPM drives and a 1 TB dual-drive system using WD's GreenPower drives.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Good news for fans of ePocrates! The folks at ePocrates made the program available for the iPhone in July. Since then 50,000 professionals have downloaded the application. Now ePocrates essentials is coming to the iPhone!
Readers of my blog have been offered a generous 25% discount if you order before December 19th just click on the links and follow the instructions. Enjoy!
You can learn more at:
The following are links that automatically give the discount:
1-year subscription: https://www.epocrates.com/referral.do?partner_referral_id=2308&CID=EMIPHONEPRESALE_Blog
2-year subscription: https://www.epocrates.com/referral.do?partner_referral_id=2307&CID=EMIPHONEPRESALE_Blog
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I've had a Tivo for the past few years and have nothing but good things to say about the experience. I was never much of a TV watcher, but Tivo has made it so much easier to see exactly what I want when I want. I can grab just the shows I'd like to see and watch them when I have the time. I've been recommending them as the best DVR on the market for quite a while.
However, now comes a press release that states Tivo is planning on showing advertisements during pausing of shows. One of the big reasons I love Tivo is due to its ability to speed past commercials.
Now, I haven't seen this new format yet, so these may be innocuous static icons that you can click for more info. If that's the case, I have no problem with them. I just don't want to be force fed commercials. That's one of the reasons I got Tivo to start with.
Here is the press release:
- Mercedes-Benz and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are First Advertisers to Begin Using New 'Pause Menu' Feature -
Using the TiVo Pause Menu, advertisers can, for the first time, reach audiences with targeted product messages displayed within the pause screen of a Live or Timeshifted program. The new feature can be particularly impactful for traditional TV and non-television advertisers that have product integration or a significant media investment in a specific TV show. Alternatively, they can opt to cast a wider net by targeting entire genres or keywords within a program description.
The feature provides an original solution for advertisers seeking to capture the fast-forwarding viewer. It's another example of how TiVo offers unique and different solutions for advertisers looking to get viewers to watch advertisements who avoid traditional spots.
The new Pause Menu also provides broadband connected TiVo subscribers with a direct link to TiVo's Swivel Search feature, allowing subscribers to easily find program information, related shows and downloads when they click on the "pause" button on the TiVo remote.
Esteemed brands already have plans to launch Pause Menu campaigns. Mercedes-Benz USA, one of the first to sign on, plans to use the feature to help promote its new GLK SUV early next year by targeting football viewers. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is taking advantage of Pause Menu for their Dr Seuss'
Sandford continued, "It's important to note that our interactive ad solutions have been so well received because they are non-intrusive and actually enhance the viewing experience. For example, our research tells us that linking the Pause Menu to our popular Swivel Search feature gets very positive viewer reaction. This creates value for viewers and effectiveness for advertisers -- a win, win situation."
Promotions on the Pause Menu will be displayed as a single line of text and another line will link the viewer directly to TiVo's Universal Swivel Search, allowing TiVo users to explore content without missing a second of their favorite show and creating a seamless, integrated experience.
The new feature is available today to all TiVo(R) Series2 subscribers.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In case you haven't noticed, most new Windows machines come pre-loaded with all kinds of stuff that you didn't ask for and chances are... you don't want. The tech slang is "crapware" although I prefer to call it bloat. Either way, you get all these programs that consume disk space, memory resources, and nag at you to buy the "full version" of the program.
Getting rid of this stuff can be difficult and time consuming. Some manufacturers will sell you a machine without the stuff, but they want to be compensated for that. What? Well it boils down to money. These software companies are paying the computer manufacturer to place their programs on these machines. It lowers the price to the end consumer, but it also impedes new computer performance. Then, of course, their is the heartburn of the user trying to remove all the garbage that they didn't want on there in the first place.
To the rescue comes Support.com They have a special offer for the holidays that is just plain amazing. They will remove all of this unwanted junk for FREE. It's nice to know that the consumer finally has a way to deal with this. Nice job support.com!!! Read on for the offer from the website.
Here's the deal: Most new computers come loaded with as much as 300 MB of free software and trials.
Gartner estimates that 293 million computers will be shipped worldwide in 2008, so that is more than 92 million gigabtyes of system-clogging bloatware delivered this year alone.
On the surface, free software may seem like a good deal—until you dig deeper and realize that most of it quickly expires or provides limited functionality, takes up valuable disk space and may even interfere with other programs. We've removed nearly 8.5 million gigabytes of unwanted software from personal and small business computers this year alone, and are on a mission to double that by the end of 2008.
So, we are offering to remove the crap from systems for FREE. Just call 1-800-PC-Support or log on to www.support.com, and a friendly, North America-based solutions engineer will “seek and destroy” the offenders while you sit back and watch. Simple as that.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
It's amazing how much jump drives have changed our lives. At one point they were an easy to keep handy 64 or 128mb option for tiny amounts of info. Now they are a must have for us techie types and occupy everything from jewelry, to keychains, to decorations... anything to make sure you always have one by your side.
Of course having the ability to carry lots of data with you presents its own problems. Namely the problem of security. With these drives being so small and potentially easy to misplace, how does one ensure your data stays your data.
SanDisk has been giving Windows users the option of encryption for some time now. A standard USB encryption makes sure that the data can only be accessed by the proper individual. Great for Windows users, not so much for the Mac lovers.
Now it doesn't matter whether you run Windows, Mac, or (like me) a combination of both operating systems. SanDisk is making their Cruzer Enterprise drives with encryption for both.
This is a really great idea. You can get more info below:
December 4, 2008 -- SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) today announced that the SanDisk Cruzer® Enterprise is the first secure USB flash drive to fully support Apple Mac OS X computers. Available now, SanDisk Cruzer Enterprise helps IT professionals more effectively protect information on company-issued secure USB drives in Macintosh environments.
The researchers compared Wikipedia to Medscape Drug Reference (MDR), a peer-reviewed, free site, by looking for answers to 80 different questions covering eight categories of drug information, for example adverse drug events, dosages, and mechanism of action.
While MDR provided answers to 82.5 percent of the questions, Wikipedia could only answer 40 percent. Answers were less likely to be complete for Wikipedia, as well. Of the answers the researchers found on Wikipedia, none were factually inaccurate, while there were four inaccurate answers in MDR. But the researchers spotted 48 errors of omission in the Wikipedia entries, compared to 14 for MDR.
"I think that these errors of omission can be just as dangerous" as inaccuracies, Clauson told Reuters Health. He pointed out that drug company representatives have been caught deleting information from Wikipedia entries that make their drugs look unsafe.
The researchers did find that after 90 days, the Wikipedia entries showed a "marked improvement" in scope.
Wikipedia can be a good jumping-off point for Internet research, Clauson said, but shouldn't be seen as the last word on any topic-and should certainly not be used as a resource by medical professionals. "You still probably want to go to medlineplus.gov or medscape.com for good quality information that you can feel confident in," he said.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I spend a fair amount of time on the road doing consulting, lecturing, meeting with manufacturers, and recently shooting videos for Catapult (more on that at a later date).
Of course, one of the problems with travel (and there are a few!) is luggage. Most of the luggage we carry has a standard design that hasn't changed much in the last 20 or more years. However, there is a forward thinking company called Zuca that has designed luggage for the post 9-11 and frequently delayed traveler. Here is some info from the company:
Developed for the seasoned road warrior, the ZÜCA Pro is a PATENTED new concept in travel that protects your valuable gear and provides a place to sit. You can also use the seat as a platform for carrying additional gear. Measuring 19" x 13" x 10" the Pro fits in the overhead compartment of standard commercial aircraft from 737's up. Easily roll down narrow aircraft aisles with an adult friendly 41 1/2" telescoping ergonomic handle. With the ZÜCA Pro, you will always have the best seat in the house.
That's right, you can actually sit on your luggage and not worry about tipping or damaging it. Pretty neat huh? The bag is priced at $285 and can be ordered from the website.