Monday, November 30, 2009

Fireworks on the Ceiling?

I saw this and thought to myself, there are some dental applications for this thing...


What we have here is a device made by Sega that actually projects exploding fireworks on a wall or ceiling. It even comes complete with the sound effects, although for what I envision, I'd turn them off. The projector is around $200 so it's not completely outrageous as far a price goes.

Here's my dental application. I can see something like this as a nice distraction and patient entertainment. Imagine keeping kids distracted in a pediatric setting or giving someone a nice relaxing view while they are immobilized for an hour or so with in office bleaching.

If you don't have over the patient monitors, you could place this on the floor of the treatment area and create your own show. They are not currently available in the U.S., but I'd keep my eyes peeled for it. It could be a great way to set your office apart.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Enjoy the Weekend

Some things in life are more important. I'm taking the rest of the weekend off for family and other things. I'll be back to delivering tech news and notes on Monday.

Please make sure to hug those around you and appreciate all that you have been given. The curse of mortal man is to not appreciate the present.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you all on Monday!

Friday, November 27, 2009

iTivo - You CAN Take it With You



I'm a raving Tivo fan. Not just a fan of the DVR in general, although any DVR is better than none at all, but I'm especially fanatical about my Tivo. It does things other DVRs don't and it has completely changed the way the Flucke's watch TV. Rarely do we watch anything live other than sports. Everything else is time shifted for our convenience. However, the one drawback to DVRs is that you have to be in front of the TV to watch. Now there are some hardware options that will stream from your home to wherever you are, but they can set you back a few dollars and there are still occasional snags such as cabling, etc.

Imagine my delight when I came across the open source program iTivo. It's a Mac program that allows you to access your Tivo with your Mac and download the programs to your computer. Not only that, but it formats them for your preferred device and then drops them into iTunes.

What this means is that I can grab a show I want to see, automatically add it to iTunes, synch my Video iPod, and then watch it wherever I am. How cool is that? The best thing is, the program is 100% free.

I'm downloading 2 shows while I write this post. The software is very intuitive and easy to setup and use. This is highly recommended.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What I'm Thankful For

At times like this it's great to think of all the wonderful blessings and gifts I'm thankful for.

Faith, family, employee, patients, friends, relationships, baseball on warm summer days, technology, and a nutty labrador retriever are just a few of the things that make my life special.

Thanks too, to all of you who read the blog and e-mail.

I hope you all have a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

OralDNA Labs Introduces Two Salivary DNA Tests to Support Dentists’ Fight Against Periodontal Disease

DNA analysis is changing lots of things. From genetic screening to police forensics, DNA is a buzz term. Now there's a way for DNA to help dental professionals help their patients. Read on!


Molecular DNA Tests Positioning Dental Professionals at the Forefront of Oral Medicine - Company Planning the Launch of HPV/Oral Cancer DNA Test in 2010

Nashville, TN – November 16, 2009 – OralDNA Labs™ Inc. (www.OralDNA.com), 
a specialty diagnostics subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics® Incorporated (NYSE: DGX) focused on bringing advanced laboratory testing to the dental community, today announced the availability of two revolutionary molecular tests to help periodontists and general dentists identify patients with and at risk for periodontal disease. MyPerioPathsm detects the presence and quantity of specific bacteria associated with periodontal disease, while MyPerioIDsm PST®, which the company licenses from Interleukin Genetics, provides a means of quickly and accurately1 assessing an individual’s genetic risk for periodontal disease.

Used together, the new salivary DNA diagnostic tests can help dental professionals reduce patient incidence of periodontal disease. MyPerioPathsm provides early and accurate1 diagnosis of existing periodontal disease by identifying and measuring specific types of bacteria, while MyPerioIDsm PST® assesses a patient’s genetic predisposition to developing periodontal disease well before physical symptoms occur. The company has launched a national dental industry awareness and training program to support the profession’s understanding and effective use of the new tools.

According to OralDNA Inc. senior vice president and general manager Robert Walker,
the company has been introducing the tests to leading dental industry practitioners
during the past year. “Leading periodontists and general dentists are already relying 
on the MyPerioPathsm and MyPerioIDsm PST® salivary diagnostic tests to provide valuable insights for enhanced patient care, and as important tools in the fight against periodontal disease. We believe these tests will not only help put dental professionals at the forefront of oral medicine, but also enable them to provide more comprehensive and accurate treatment plans for their patients.”

According to the American Dental Association, an estimated 75% of all Americans over the age of 35 have some form of periodontal disease2 and research conducted during the past 10 years has provided insight into the Perio / Systemic Connection and the link between chronic periodontal infections and heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer.3,4

Within the next year, OralDNA expects to add the clinician-administered oral DNA HPV test, OraRisksm HPV, for use in assessing the risks associated with certain types of oral cancer, and intends to continue to broaden its menu of salivary diagnostic tests for use in oral medicine.

For more information, education, and training related to OralDNA’s salivary DNA diagnostic tests, dental professionals, including periodontists, general dentists, and dental hygienists, should visit www.OralDNAtraining.com or call (877) 577-9055.

About OralDNA Labs™ Inc. (www.OralDNA.com)
OralDNA Labs Inc., a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), is a specialty diagnostics company created to advance clinical testing in the dental community. The company’s goal is to help the dental profession achieve better clinical outcomes by providing reliable, definitive, and cost-effective clinical tests that drive the detection and prognosis of disease at an earlier, more treatable stage, with an initial focus on periodontal disease. OralDNA offers two DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for periodontal disease diagnosis and genetic susceptibility: MyPerioPath detects the presence and quantity of specific bacteria associated with periodontal disease, while MyPerioIDsm PST®, which is licensed through a marketing, sales, and distribution agreement with Interleukin Genetics, provides a means of assessing an individual’s genetic risk for periodontal disease. The company has also developed an oral HPV test named OraRisksm HPV for use in assessing the risks associated with certain types of oral cancer.

About Quest Diagnostics®
Quest Diagnostics is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information, and services that patients and clinicians need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative new diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

REFERENCES:
1. Data on file, OralDNA Labs Inc.
2. Genco R, Offenbacher S, Beck J. Periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease: epidemiology and possible mechanisms. JADA 2002;133(Suppl.):14S-22S.
3. Friedewald VE, Kornman KS, Beck JD, et al. The American Journal of Cardiology and Journal of Periodontology editors’ consensus: periodontitis and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. J Periodontol 2009;80:1021-1032.
4. Van Dyke TE. The management of inflammation in periodontal disease. J Periodontol 2008;79:1601-1608.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TI revolutionizes design of wireless networking applications with eZ430-Chronos,


Every once in a while I stumble across a product that is so geeky, I just can't resist posting about it. The eZ-430 is one of those products. It's only $49 and is a sports watch with a heart rate monitor, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. It's also a developer's kit for wireless! Read on for all the details:

$49 CC430 MCU development kit propels innovation through portability, leading integration, software support and ultra-low power consumption

DALLAS, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Representing a new era in development, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced the eZ430-Chronos, the world's first customizable development environment within a sports watch. Taking the popular line of eZ430(TM) development tools to the next level, the kit allows developers to easily harness the leading integration, ultra-low power and wireless capabilities of TI's CC430 microcontroller (MCU). Priced at $49, Chronos is designed to provide customers with all of the hardware and software needed to immediately begin development of wireless networking applications, regardless of programming expertise. It is equipped with sensors for measurement and motion-based control and can serve as a central hub for nearby wireless sensors so that users have remote access to real-time data from devices such as pedometers and heart rate monitors. Additionally, Chronos includes a USB-RF access point for wireless set-up and PC connectivity, as well as multiple production-ready open source projects to foster easy evaluation, design and community collaboration. For more information, please visit www.ti.com/chronos-pr.

Key features and benefits of the eZ430-Chronos

  • Wearable form factor allows customers to conveniently develop in remote locations
  • TI's SimpliciTI and BM Innovations' Blue Robin(TM) RF protocols enable developers to easily establish wireless links regardless of RF knowledge, right out of the box
  • Available in three different RF frequency bands - 915, 868, and 433 MHz - allowing for worldwide usage
  • Integrated 3-axis accelerometer for motion sensitive control as well as sensors for measurement, including altimeter, temperature and battery voltage
  • Internal CC430 memory available for data storage, holding up to 11 hours of data such as heart rate
  • eZ430 emulator for simplified programming and debugging on top of base software framework and RF functions
  • USB-RF access point for PC communication and automation, supported by production-ready source projects, including, but not limited to, motion-based mouse control, sensor data logging with wireless PC download, keyboard and presentation control as well as time and calendar sync
  • Large 96 segment LCD display driven directly by CC430
  • Low cost system includes all supporting hardware and software, increasing accessibility and reducing development cost

Monday, November 23, 2009

Imation Now Selling Wireless USB Hard Drive


This is one of the coolest things I've come across lately that can be useful for any high tech office/individual. The device pictured above is a wireless hard drive that only communicates to the USB dongle attached to the computer. Your computer sees the drive, but no one else with wireless capability can, so it's similar to having a USB drive wired to your computer.

It's also fast with a transfer speed of 15MBs/second! The price isn't bad either. The 1.5Tb drive is $449.99. Here is all the info from Imiation:

Built on Imation’s award-winning platform of external hard drive products, the Imation Pro WX drive is the world’s first Wireless USB external hard drive. Offering the convenience of fast data transfer rates, speed and capacity required in today’s graphics and data intensive environments, the Imation Pro WX hard drive provides 1.5TB of storage capacity to backup your important files, gain additional storage space, and experience the convenience of wireless products.

With a fast Wireless USB data transfer rate of up to 15MBs/second, you can back up a typical CD in under fifty seconds, and store up to 300,000 of your photos or 750 hours of video. Inherent in its Wireless USB technology, the Pro WX Wireless hard drive offers an innovative one-to-one connection that limits the possibility of signal interception and securely backs up data whenever it is in range up to 30 feet, similar to a direct attached storage device.

The Imation Pro WX Wireless USB hard drive comes complete with an integrated stand for vertical or horizontal orientation; low capacity/data activity indicator lights for easy identification of data processes with built-in sleep mode for energy conservation; and one-touch, backup sync buttons for easy-to-use automatic backup of your important data, photos, music and videos.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grey Market Sales Taken on by GC

The grey market for dental products has been a growing problem for several years. Dealers or individuals find product that should be sold in other areas and sell it where they shouldn't. This can lead to expired products being used and a host of other problems as detailed by my friend the Dental Insider. Now GC is doing something about it:

Alsip, Illinois-based GC America is the exclusive licensee of Trademark Holdings of Illinois in connection with a variety of well-known brands including MI Paste, KALORE, GC FUJI, EXAFAST and many others. Using the Tariff Act, a federal statute designed to prevent the unauthorized importation, distribution and dealing in products bearing U.S. trademark registrations, Trademark Holdings of Illinois brought suit against AR Dental in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and King's Two Dental Supply in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. In each case, the defendant entered into a consent judgment enjoining its sale, distribution or importation of unauthorized GC products.

“Trademark Holdings of Illinois has performed a great service,” said John O'Neill, Vice President - Sales of GC America. “These suits have demonstrated that these actions are wrong, and that the illegal importation of GC branded products can be stopped.”

GC America Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of GC Corporation, is a worldwide market leader in the manufacture and sale of dental materials and supplies. The company, based in Alsip, Illinois, sells a number of well-known products in the dental marketplace, including items sold under the trademarks GC FUJICEM, GC FUJI PLUS, GC FUJI IX EXTRA, GC FUJI II LC, KALORE, EXA’LENCE, G-CEM, GC FUJI ORTHO, EXAMIX, EXAFAST, EXAFLEX, GC FUJI I, GC FUJI II, GC FUJI LINING, MIRACLE MIX and many others.

Trademark Holdings of Illinois, LLC is based in Naperville, Illinois.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Red Box iPhone App Saves Money - With a Single Click

If you are a video renter (and who isn't these days?) and you use or are thinking about using Red Box, here is a great idea. From what I understand, it works on the iPod Touch as well. Just check the codes on a Wifi connection before going to rent. Check it out!

PHOENIX (November 23, 2009) – Neese Products (www.neeseproducts.com), creators of tools and products that improve everyday household life, today launched their newest innovation, a handy iPhone application (app) that serves up money-saving promo codes for the popular Redbox video rental self-service kiosks found nationwide. Priced at just 99 cents, the easy-to-use app provides the latest promo codes for obtaining free DVD rentals at participating kiosks. Codes are updated twice daily and also feature a ranking system to ensure the validity and usefulness of each promo offered. The app allows users to quickly rate the successful use of each code, further improving the quality of those offered. This app pays for itself after one successful use.

How it Works
Consumers simply launch the application or update/refresh the codes before leaving to rent a movie and they will be presented with the latest collection of ranked promotion codes for free DVD rentals at Redbox self-service kiosks. After selecting a movie, click “Enter Promo Code” on the Redbox checkout screen and enter one of the promo codes provided by the app. The Redbox will confirm the FREE rental before you finish.

Where to Get it
The Neese Products app can be found in the iTunes store by searching for keyword “red box free rental promo codes” or “Neese products”.

Users can also find it directly with the following link:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/red-box-free-rental-promo-codes/id339521804?mt=8


About Neese Products
Neese Products LLC was founded to create new and innovative products that solve everyday household problems. The company’s first product, QuickSeals®, was born from a common vacation dilemma—how to salvage all of those half-started snacks and other food items instead of throwing them out. Today, this problem is solved with QuickSeals® which transforms any opened food, bag or box into a zip-sealed container. The patented product is being manufactured for sale and distribution in the US with international distribution to follow. Other Neese Products include Sha-Co!, a learning tool to teach children shapes and colors, as well as a host of other products currently in development. For more information on Neese Products, visit the company Web site at www.NeeseProducts.com or call 800-705-4000.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Curious about Google's Chrome OS?


For a while now there has been speculation and a fair amount of discussion of Google Chrome the Operating System. Google released its Chrome browser earlier in the year, but the Chrome OS has continued be worked on under cover with some select folks being given access to use/evaluate it. Now we're finally beginning to see what Google is thinking about., although they say Chrome won't be available for a year. When it does arrive, at this point, it looks like it will be loaded on netbooks at first. However, Google is asking the hardware providers to make netbooks bigger with full sized keyboards.

The idea of Chrome is an interesting one. A lot of our computing is now done "in the cloud" which means over the Internet itself. Lots of people have gmail, hotmail, yahoo mail, or others where the e-mail is never downloaded to your computer but simply used off of the providing server. Applications like Google Docs give access to word processing, spreadsheets, etc while storing all of the files online.

Take a look at these 2 videos and let me know your opinions. I've been pretty web centric for a while now. I've done it by using some applications like Evernote, Sugarsync, Lexi-comp, and others that keep my data in the cloud where I can access it from anywhere. So, to me this Google idea makes a lot of sense, but I'm really interested in what you, the reader, thinks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

YouMail Now OFFICIALLY Free for Sprint Users

OK, it's been a week or so, but now YouMail is free for Sprint users (like me). Woo-hoo!!!

The conditional call forwarding has been done away with. Here are all the details from YouMail:


It’s official! Sprint conditional call forwarding is now free of charge. Sprint customers can now utilize YouMail without incurring the previous $.20/minute for conditional call forwarding – normal airtime applies. Or in other words – for free.
If you’re new to YouMail, simply sign up for YouMail at www.youmail.com. Once you have a YouMail account, you can activate YouMail by dialing *289095106169 and pressing ‘Send” from your Sprint phone. This causes your busy and unanswered calls to be forwarded to YouMail instead of your old Sprint voicemail (this is the “conditional call forwarding” part)..

Existing YouMail customers with Sprint conditional call forwarding are not required to take any action at this time as the Sprint changes are automatic.

Sprint customers with a BlackBerry or the new HTC Hero can experience YouMail with our great, FREE phone apps . You can download the YouMail Visual Voicemail app from the Android Market or BlackBerry App World.

Note that unconditional (immediate) call forwarding (set up using *72) still incurs a $.20/min fee – but this doesn’t affect users using conditional call forwarding to replace Sprint voicemail with YouMail.

Thanks,

The YouMail Team

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kerr Expands Tissue Management Line with Hemostasyl

When you're doing cosmetic dentistry, your enemy is contamination. Keeping the field dry and free or any contaminants, biological or otherwise, should be a primary concern. To that end Kerr has released Hemostasyl. A product designed to provide hemostasis with no discoloration that will affect shading in the aesthetic zone. Read on for all the details:


ORANGE, CA – October 15, 2009 – Kerr introduces the latest innovation in tissue management, HemostasylTM—a highly efficient hemostatic agent that stops bleeding with precision and ease. When moderate bleeding occurs and gingival retraction is not required, Hemostasyl is an ideal choice. This product is exceptionally easy to place, and less material is required compared to other similar hemostatic agents on the market.
Product Manager James Lobsenz said, “With Hemostasyl, doctors now have a material that is incredibly easy to dispense using a convenient syringe delivery and a viscosity that stays in place and controls blood and other fluids well.”
Hemostasyl is brightly colored, so it is easy to see and clean up, and its composition helps adhere to soft and hard tissue with ease, making placement a breeze. With a concentration of 15% aluminum chloride, this material is an effective way to stop bleeding in many clinical applications such as Class V composite placement, cementation, and scaling in perio cases. Compromising esthetics of the procedure is not a worry—Hemostasyl contains no ferric sulfate, unlike similar products on the market, which can stain proteins a black color, including soft tissue and dentin.
For gingival retraction needs, the Kerr Tissue Management line also offers ExpasylTM, an atraumatic gingival retraction paste, now in a pleasant new strawberry taste.
To learn more about Hemostasyl or our broad portfolio of products, visit kerrdental.com/hemostasyl or call 800.KERR.123. To find out more about continuing education online and free CE credit, visit Kerr University at kerrdental.com/education for upcoming live webcasts, on-demand video, and the latest CE articles.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Pair of Holiday Ideas from Epocrates

The good folks at Epocrates have put together 2 offers for those on your healthcare "nice" list.

The first is a brand spanking new handheld with a whole bunch of types to choose from. Epocrates and pdaMD have partnered to offer a way that you can get a new state of the art device and have it come fully loaded with Epocrates software. Here are all the details.

The second offer is for those in group practices that would like to offer Epocrates to anyone who wants it. Discoutns are available on Epocrates premium products for hospitals, schools, residency programs, medical groups, and government agencies. Your group can even save up to an additional 10% when you mention the Epocrates Holiday promotion through December 15! Here are all the details.

As far as those who are on your "naughty" list, might I suggest a nice, thick, heavy, out of date... book.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cardiac Science Voluntary AED Medical Device Correction

Courtesy of IMEP (Institute of Medical Emergency Prepardeness)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Bothell, WA – November 13, 2009 – Cardiac Science Corporation [NASDAQ: CSCX] is initiating a voluntary field correction after it was determined certain automated external defibrillators (AEDs) may experience a rare product issue in which the AED may not be able to deliver therapy during a resuscitation attempt. Device failure may affect resuscitation of the patient, which could lead to serious adverse events or death. These AEDs have electronic components which may fail and the failure may not be detected by the device's periodic self-tests. The affected models include the Powerheart 9300A, 9300C, 9300D, 9300E, 9300P, 9390A, 9390E, and CardioVive 92531, 92532, and 92533 devices.

Cardiac Science has received a total of 64 complaints concerning four resistors within certain AEDs. Two of these complaints were associated with a failure to deliver therapy. This issue is predicted to occur in approximately one in 75,000 AEDs manufactured between August 2003 and August 2009. The company has also received 114 complaints regarding "Service Required" messages resulting from a specific relay switch failure. There have been no reported instances where this issue has resulted in an inability to deliver therapy.

Until a correction is available in May, 2010, the company strongly advises customers to check the status indicator on the front of the AED and follow the procedures documented in the materials accompanying the AED. The company advises that customers leave their AEDs in service.

"When customers choose a product from Cardiac Science, they expect outstanding reliability," said Dave Marver, president and chief executive officer. "We understand the role our products play in public health and are taking appropriate measures to further improve the performance of our products."

The company has implemented more stringent testing of the components and all AEDs produced since August, 2009 are unaffected. Customers in possession of an AED that may exhibit either of these issues will be notified immediately. A software update to address the resistor issue will be available by May, 2010. This software update will enhance the AED's self-test capabilities and improve detection of the issue. In the interim, the company advises customers to keep their AEDs in service and follow the normal testing and maintenance procedures found in the Operator and Service Manual. A copy of these procedures is available at www.cardiacscience.com/AED175. At this site, customers may confirm if their AED is affected and register for automatic e-mail reminders to conduct scheduled maintenance.

If the AED is not rescue ready (the indicator is red) customers should contact the company immediately at 425.402.2000 (option 1) within the United States. Outside the US contact +44.161.926.0011 or the local Cardiac Science representative. Customers can also email the company at AED175@cardiacscience.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. The word "believe," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," variations of such words, and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, but their absence does not mean that the statement is not forward-looking. Forward looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, predictions of AED component failure rates, the availability of software updates to improve detection of the component issue, and the effectiveness of the planned software update. These are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results and performance may vary significantly from those expressed or implied in such statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such varying results and other risks are more fully described in the Annual Report on Form 10-K filed by Cardiac Science Corporation for the year ended December 31, 2008, as updated by subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Cardiac Science Corporation undertakes no duty or obligation to update the information provided herein.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

18 Buttons on the Open Office Mouse - We Can Learn From This

The picture above has not been photoshopped. This is an 18 button mouse. That's right eighteen buttons!!! Now besides the fact that it's funny, let's take a look at this from another angle. Hopefully I can help developers learn something from this.


It's a frequent occurrence in technology that it would be "really cool if our product did..."

However, you have have to stop and think of "why is it a good idea" and "who would use this new idea". I frequently see or advise on products that have what the developers/engineers think are good ideas, but unfortunately they are the only ones who think that way.

It's important to design with the end in mind. In dentistry, we're trained to envision the end process and then work toward that goal. I've seen devices and software (like the mouse here) that are made incredibly complicated to use because developers thought that having every option available would be good thing.

Keep in mind that most users only use 20% of features in a given program! It's much more important to provide a quality experience than to provide an avalanche of features. Sometimes less really is more.

In a very short amount of time, the mouse above will be in bargain bins and then a few years from now it will be in some article with the "remember when" slant. I don't care that the buttons are fully programmable; this is a bad product no matter how much lipstick you put on it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

DoubleTwist for Managing Your Media Files

doubletwist_logo.jpg
For the next few weeks, I'll be tinkering with a new (to me) media manager called DoubleTwist. The program is an open source endeavor that runs on both Mac and Windows.

The idea is a nice one. Basically iTunes has wonderful functionality for managing your media files, but it only works with Apple devices. This leaves those of us with other media capable devices (Palm Pre, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, etc) out in the cold as far as getting our media libraries onto our non-Apple devices.

I personally fell in love with iTunes in the early days of the iPod, but I've become tired of the cat and mouse game between Palm and Apple as Palm builds iTunes functionality into my Pre and then Apple breaks it... then Palm updates its OS to connect with iTunes, Apple breaks it... you get the idea.

Well now I've got a solution that works and nobody wants to break. DoubleTwist functions with the idea of getting your gadgets to all work together without unnecessary hassles thrown into the mix by the gadget companies.

Recently, the latest iTunes update eliminated my Palm Pre from connecting to iTunes. However, I downloaded DoubleTwist, installed it, and my Pre connected immediately. Moving music, movies, and photos to the Pre or from the Pre to the Mac is a simple matter of dragging and dropping. I didn't even need to import my libraries. During the install, DoubleTwist found all the files and added them automatically.

The company's philosophy is a simple one "We started doubleTwist because we were disappointed by the quality of software applications offered by the major device manufacturers.
Our vision is simple: to create a unifying media platform that connects consumers with all their media and all their devices, regardless of whether they are online or offline.
We feel that just like you don't use a different browser for every web site you visit (Firefox to read the NY Times, IE to stream Hulu, Chrome to browse YouTube, etc) you shouldn't have to use iTunes for Apple products, Nokia software for Nokia phones, Sony software for Sony products, etc. The typical household today has many such devices and there is a need for a simple and powerful software that connects them."

So far I've been impressed with my initial interactions. I'll report back in a few weeks with my overall user experience.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Palm Updates WebOS to 1.3.1

For those of you who are using a Palm Pre or Pixi, there is a new update for the WebOS that runs these devices. Here is the lowdown from the folks at Palm:


If you use a Palm Pre on the Sprint or Bell networks, you'll be getting an automatic over-the-air update to webOS 1.3.1. (Ditto for folks picking up a Palm Pixi on Sunday.)

With this update, your Yahoo! information (such as contacts and calendar events, and messaging) is now integrated with Palm Synergy, along with info from your Outlook EAS, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn accounts. If you use Yahoo! to manage your contacts and calendar events, it will be integrated into your Contacts and Calendar applications on your Palm Pre. On Sprint, you can also now use Yahoo! IM in the webOS Messaging app. For specifics about webOS on your carrier, check the release notes for Sprint here and Bell here.

In your email, you'll also see improved formatting in forwarded messages and find several new shortcuts for common actions such as marking messages as unread. And with webOS 1.3.1, you can now forward and copy individual text messages and IM messages, a feature request we heard from many of you (we welcome your input at www.palm.com/feedback).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kworld Introduces Two New Products for the Growing Number of Television Fans that view their Favorite Shows via the Web

The computer is, for many of us, the center of our lives. I absolutely love my Exorvision monitor with its cable TV input. It allows me to use my computer monitor as a TV so that I can keep up with sporting events or a show that I really want to see live (If I want to time shift, I'll use my Tivo). The point, though, is that being able to watch TV on your computer screen is a huge convenience for lots of us.

However, it's also a huge luxury. Many monitors do not have inputs that allow for a connection from any video device other than a VGA cable. If you have one of those monitors, you really have to jump through some hoops to get TV on that monitor.

Ahem, let me rephrase that to you used to have to jump through hoops. Now Kworld has some devices coming to market that make getting TV on your computer monitor easy. Oh, did I mention that these devices let you watch TV in HD? That's right, a simple way to get an HD signal to your computer monitor or a non-HD television. Here are all the details:

IRVINE, Calif. (November 17, 2009) – KWorld Computer Co. Ltd. (www.kworldcomputer.com), a manufacturer of digital entertainment technology for consumers, today announced two new products aimed at making TV entertainment more convenient and accessible for all consumers. The External ATSC/QAM TVBox comes in two models, the SA290-Q LE and the SA295-Q DE. Priced at $99 and $109, respectively, both models support “digital free-to-air vestigial TV” as well as unencrypted QAM cable TV. Using these devices, consumers can view their favorite programs in high quality 16:9 aspect ratio in addition to 1080i or 720p video quality. Ideal for students and the growing number of viewers who are now watching their favorite television shows via the Web, these new TVBox products will be in high demand over the Holiday season. Additionally, for those with older analog TVs, rather than disposing of them, consumers can now use the YPbPr 1080i or Composite RCA output on the External ATSC/QAM TVBox to transform their analog TV into an HDTV-ready digital TV. Both models will begin shipping immediately.

Key Features
Both models offer advanced Power Smart energy-saving technology which can automatically power-off the TVBox when it has been idle for more than a user-determined period of time, adjustable from 30-minutes to 4-hours. In addition, for added flexibility, both models support MP3 and JPEG photo and video playback, effectively turning an LCD monitor into a digital photo frame. For total convenience, the SA290-Q LE and the SA295-Q DE both come with a full function infrared remote control for channel flipping and changing box settings, including a one-click PC/TV changeover switch. The SA290-Q LE supports VGA output while deluxe SA295-Q DE model supports VGA, DVI and HDMI output – for total connectivity and compatibility (cables included).

SALES/PURCHASE
All KWorld products can be purchased from authorized resellers, DMRs, VARs, and distributors including: Ingram Micro, NewEgg, Fry’s Electronics, TigerDirect, PC Bay and many others. For additional information, please contact KWorld at sales@kworldcomputer.com.


ABOUT KWORLD
Since its establishment in 1999, KWorld Computer Co., Ltd. has undergone dramatic transformation and is now fully dedicated to its current mission – to become a leader in digital entertainment technology for consumers. From an OEM-oriented company to a brand-focused corporation, KWorld foresees infinite possibilities brought about by the birth of multimedia and looks forward to playing a role in how this industry revolutionizes the interaction between consumers and computers. For additional information, please visit the corporate Web site at: www.kworldcomputer.com.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Amazon Debuts Kindle Reader Software for PC's

This whole e-book reader thing is really starting to gain traction. It seems to me that I can hardly go more than 2 weeks without finding a reason to make a post about one of the electronic reading devices. Today, Amazon upped the ante once again by making available a software download that will allow Kindle users to read their books directly from a PC.

By going to the Kindle for PC webpage, you can download the program. Once installed, you simply input your Kindle username and password. Once the system recognizes your signon, you can download books you've already purchased or buy new ones and read them on your computer.

One of the coolest features is the ability to synch bookmarks across multiple devices. Basically this means you can be reading a book on your Kindle, synch your bookmark, and pick up reading on your computer right where you left off on the Kindle. To me that is one of the best features.

Why is this important? Well for people like me, I sometimes read over my lunch time. This will allow me to be able to do that even if I have forgotten my Kindle at home. This is also a great adjunct for people that have netbooks or Tablet PC's.

If you are a Kindle owner, download the software and let me know what you think. It may not be for everyone, but for some of us it's just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baby Bottles Cleaned by Ultraviolet Light


UV light can be a great adjunct to removal of bacteria. Sonicare has been using the idea for a while now with the Flexcare toothbrush that comes with a UV sterilizer built into the charging base. Earlier this year the VioLight company came to market with a counter top sterilizer unit that fits all toothbrushes.

Now I've come across this great idea for using UV light to sterilize baby bottles. Called the Pureray, the idea is simple. After the bottle is washed, it fits onto a stand that floods the chamber with UV light thus killing the bacteria.

No word on the availability, but this is a pretty interesting idea. Parents or parents to be, take note! Check the website for more info.

Monday, November 9, 2009

YouMail Update

I received the following e-mail from the YouMail folks a few minutes ago to clarify some things from their previous announcement:

We recently sent out an e-mail that YouMail is free to Sprint users because Sprint dropped call forwarding charges.
We need to clarify.

First, Sprint is dropping “conditional call forwarding” charges – charges for calls are forwarded when they are busy or unanswered. This is the conditional call forwarding that YouMail users need, so it’s good news. However:

As Sprint has announced officially, this will be happening in mid-November. However, the exact date has not been finalized or announced by Sprint.
Sprint is making no changes to immediate/unconditional call forwarding (which uses *72 on the handset to set up) - this usage will continue to cost 20c/minute.
Second, the special dialing codes for turning on conditional call forwarding, like *28, may work now from your handset, but they are not officially guaranteed to work until mid-November. If it doesn’t work on your handset, please do not call or contact Sprint customer care, but wait for the follow up from YouMail when the final announcement by Sprint is made.

We’re excited Sprint is making this change – perhaps too excited, since we have jumped the gun with our announcement. We’re sorry for any inconvenience that this has caused.

Regards,

Alex

CEO, YouMail

YouMail Now Free for Sprint Users


I've got great news for fellow Sprint customers! For over a year now, I've been using (and blogging about) a service called YouMail. The principle behind the service is one of those "better mousetraps" that I love finding. YouMail is a web based voice mail service. When you call my wireless and get voice mail, you aren't actually leaving the message with Sprint, you're leaving it with YouMail.

The service uses an address book that you setup and Caller I.D. to recognize incoming callers. They can be greeted with custom greetings in your own voice or humorous ones that are available. The messages are stored online and accessible via any phone or with a web browser. On the web the messages can be saved and sorted into folders and are NEVER deleted until you do so yourself.

The messages can be forwarded to others just like a PBX business system also, only it's done as an attachment via e-mail.

The best part for me is the notifications. Have you ever missed a call only to receive a voice mail several days later that you never knew about? It's happened to me on more than one occasion and it's embarrassing to call someone and say, "I just got your voice mail." YouMail beats this by sending you both a text message and an e-mail with notification of a call within seconds after the caller hangs up. The text message comes complete with a link to call the service and the e-mail provides a link for you to listen to the message on your computer.

The service is very reasonably priced and has worked without a glitch for me. The only thing I didn't like about it was that Sprint was charging me 20¢ for every minute of voice mail forwarding I used. Now I'm delighted to hear from YouMail that Sprint has eliminated the charge making the cost of using YouMail more affordable!

Here is the press release. You can check out the YouMail website to see if the service is right for you.

Great news! Sprint has removed the 20c/minute charge for call forwarding. This means that as a Sprint customer using YouMail, you will no longer need to pay additional call forwarding fees.

Sprint customers just dial a simple code to forward their unanswered calls to YouMail.

If you ever need to re-activate your phone with YouMail, dial *289095106169 and press ‘Talk/Send’ right from your mobile phone. If you're unsuccessful activating call forwarding, contact Sprint Technical Support at 888-211-4727 for assistance.

YouMail is available online and through your phone. Users with a BlackBerry or the new HTC Hero with Android can download and start using YouMail Visual Voicemail mobile applications. Download Visual Voicemail for FREE from the Android Market or BlackBerry App World.

And make sure to sign up for a completely free 7-day trial of YouMail’s voice-to-text transcriptions – no credit card required.

For questions about YouMail send us an email at sprint@youmail.com or check out our online help

Thanks for being a loyal Youmail user!

The YouMail Team

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fiatlux Announces Their Visualize Software is Now Available for Free Download!

3D imaging is changing the practice of dentistry. I'm routinely doing cone beam scans on many of my patients using my Gendex CB-500 and am grateful for the amount of info I get from the scans.

If you own a machine, viewing the scans is easy since the device will come with software, but if you don't own a machine and still want to view scans, you need software. In my case, any scan that I burn to a CD and send to a referring doctor will automatically have a copy of iCat Vision software burned onto the CD along with the scan, it's just the way my system works.

However, if you aren't lucky enough to have that type of situation, you'll still need software. There are lots of good packages on the market, but most are expensive. Don't get me wrong I don't begrudge software companies charging for their products, they deserve to be compensated. However, if you don't view a lot of scans, spending lots of money may not be the smartest business decision.

To that end, Fiatlux is now giving away their software!!! The program is available for download here. The software is a Windows only program and is cleared by the FDA for clinical use in the United States.

Here is the press release:

(Redmond, WA, November 3, 2009) FiatLux Imaging, Inc. a medical software company in Redmond, WA, announces the availability of FiatLux Visualize™ Free, advanced visualization software for CT and MRI medical imaging data. The free software is available via download from www.FiatLuxImaging.com for any healthcare professional. There is no charge for download or use of the software.

“There is tremendous unrealized potential in medical imaging data,” stated Quentin Dewolf, CEO of FiatLux Imaging.

“CT and MRI scanners are generating huge amounts of data every day, yet the vast majority of that data is never seen outside of the radiology suite. If it were, we believe referring physicians could make better decisions, patients could gain insight into their conditions, and the expense and inconvenience of duplicate scans could be avoided.

We deliver advanced visualization to any healthcare professional, not just the small number of radiologists who use expensive software on high-end workstations.”

FiatLux Visualize Free is the only free advanced visualization software for CT and MRI medical imaging data that runs on virtually any modern Windows PC/laptop/notebook/tablet – including Windows 7 - and is cleared by the FDA for clinical use in the United States. FiatLux Visualize Free is a fully-featured 2D/3D visualization application – not a demo - for any healthcare professional needing an easy-to-use means of reformatting and viewing DICOM-compatible imaging data.

The software is useful for any healthcare professional, including specialists such as surgeons and cardiologists, primary care physicians, radiologists and radiologic technologists, physician’s assistants, and clinical nurse specialists. Medical students and residents will find FiatLux Visualize Free invaluable for studying anatomy, identifying pathology, and reviewing cases.

Typical uses of FiatLux Visualize Free include an easy-to-use, 2D/3D viewer of images on CD or DVD, radiologist report verification, patient education, and procedure planning.

According to Dewolf, “We are releasing a free version of our software because we believe that democratizing medical imaging data is important in the context of healthcare reform and because it is the fastest way to build a user community. We plan to add valuable features based on the input of those users. A number of features will remain free and some will be available for a fee, referred to as the “freemium” approach.”

FiatLux Imaging, founded in 2007, is dedicated to transforming medical imaging data into insight…for anyone.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What a Hedge Trimmer can Teach about Technology

Echo Hedge Trimmer.jpg
This is going to be one of those posts where I make an oddball point. A couple of years ago, I needed to trim several bushes in the yard. I went to the local home depot and purchased a cordless electric hedge trimmer for $80.

I had a wide choice of models, but I didn't really do much comparison shopping. I wanted a hedge trimmer, it was a name brand, and it didn't require a cord. Case closed.

However, over the time I had it, I noticed many times it would struggle to cut thicker branches and severely bog down when cutting through very thick bushes with thin branches. Occasionally it would become completely locked up on something and force me to wedge the branch back out of the blades. It would also sometimes slow down and die as I exhausted the battery, forcing me to postpone finishing the yard work. Finally a little over 2 years into ownership, the thing just died. I figured that even though I wasn't really abusing it, it just wasn't made to trim the plants I was using it on.

So today I headed back to the Home Depot. This time I decided to take a closer look at the models available and to compare them a bit. I especially compared the blades as that seemed to be the problem that I'd had with the original trimmer.

What I left with was a gas powered Echo hedge trimmer that was a significant amount more than the $80 I paid originally. I came home, fired it up, and proceeded to attack the bushes and plants that needed fall trimming and cleanup.

The result? The Echo sliced through the foliage like a Hideki Matsui home run ball slices through the New York night. In less than 30 minutes I was done with the cutting. Previously it would take between 1-2 hours. The plants seemed to endure less trauma and I wasn't struggling to complete the task.

So, what can this teach us about technology in general and dental technology in particular? It's the simple fact that cutting corners or trying to save money isn't always the most fiscally smart thing to do. By buying a $80 device that didn't hold up, I actually wasted $80 that I didn't need to. The Echo was more money, but by not purchasing it in the first place, I added $80 to its purchase price.

Also by trying to save money, I bought something that wouldn't really do what I wanted it to do. I, of course, told myself that I was "just fine" with it, but I knew I was kidding myself.

In the end I wasted my time and my money by not making the smart purchasing decision in the first place. When one considers the steep overhead of running a dental practice it's easy to see how wasting your time as well as your patient's time can be a bad business decision on multiple levels.

The moral? Buy the best and only cry once.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Motorola Droid is now in the Wild!

The much anticipated Droid is now available. AAMOF, I saw reports on the web where it was available last night. The Droid has received a lot of promotion as the head to head competitor with the iPhone and it will be interesting to see how it fares.

It runs Google's Android 2.0 OS and has a slide out keyboard (pictured above). It is reported to be smokin' fast. Supposedly Google was very involved with Motorola as the design was built and the folks at G insisted on speed.

You can get it from Verizon stores, Best Buy, Walmart, and even some Target stores. If you happen to grab one, let me know. I'd love to hear what you think.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In Case You handn't Noticed, It's a Mobile World Now

In case you have been in a pasta induced comma for the last 2 years, Apple's iPhone has pretty much taken over the mobile phone world. The iPhone is easily the most popular handheld communication device on the planet, bring untold revenues and riches to AT&T and Apple.

However, there are others that are getting their fair share of revenue from the iPhone as well. One of the big players in now Pizza Hut. According to MobileMarketer, the Pizza Hut iPhone app has generated $1,000,000 in sales in the 3 months since its release.

That's right... Pizza Hut created an app that allows customers to create and order pizza directly from their iPhone, and they've sold over a million dollars worth of product with it! The free app is downloaded and installed over the network and then the customer has all the tools at their mobile fingertips to order and then have it delivered or picked up.

This is a great example of technology meeting an untapped demand. Kudos to Pizza Hut. Now about that Palm Pre app...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

DentalEZ® Group’s NuTorque™ Programmable Electric Handpiece System Receives Highest Ratings from THE DENTAL ADVISOR


Malvern, PA (November 3, 2009) — DentalEZ® Group, a supplier of innovative products and services for dental health professionals worldwide, is pleased to announce that its NuTorque™ programmable electric handpiece received the highest ratings possible from THE DENTAL ADVISOR, a leading evaluation organization and research publication.

Specifically, the NuTorque received a 5+ rating and the prestigious Editors’ Choice award from THE DENTAL ADVISOR. Moreover, the NuTorque received a 98% clinical approval rating from THE DENTAL ADVISOR’s team of professional evaluators.

“We are extremely pleased with the positive feedback we have received from dental professionals for this innovative product,” remarked Randy Arner, VP of Marketing for the DentalEZ Group. “This outstanding DENTAL ADVISOR evaluation report confirms that the NuTorque is a user-friendly and versatile handpiece, providing maximum flexibility for a variety of procedures.”

The full DENTAL ADVISOR review is available by visiting www.dentaladvisor.com.

The NuTorque system is a highly intuitive electric handpiece. Dental professionals will experience maximum control with minimum effort through NuTorque’s unique, easy-to-use touch screen display. The system’s touch screen capabilities make every procedure more efficient and productive.

Benefits of the NuTorque system include:

• Auto-reverse, auto-reverse forward, and auto-forward stop
• Torque control ranges from 0.1-3.0 Ncm with capabilities of 384 Ncm
• 29 possible reduction ratios
• Fully customizable presets
• Flat screen easily wipes clean for better asepsis and a sharp display

The NuTorque system provides maximum flexibility for a wide variety of individual solutions. The customizable touch screen display includes numerous useful options, such as three general procedure memory presets for common practices such as cavity preparation, caries removal, and polishing; a speed/RPM display; an FO light; an on/off water spray; and an attachment gear ratio indicator.

Moreover, the main display also provides a detailed and customizable Set-up Mode and ENDO Mode, which includes five endo memory presets that can be individually designed and tailored to fit various endodontic procedures.

The NuTorque is also equipped with a brushless motor that is extremely compact and lighter than existing electric motors currently on the market. Measuring in at a mere 4 inches and weighing less than 99 grams, the balanced, lightweight micromotor of the NuTorque enables the dental professional to maneuver comfortably and effectively throughout the oral region.

With the NuTorque system, dental professionals are provided the freedom to perform various individual procedures while delivering consistent speed and powerful torque on both high and low speed settings. The 50 dBa whisper-quiet, vibration-free motor system is also easily adaptable to existing standard delivery units. Moreover, NuTorque’s micromotor is fully autoclavable.

In addition, NuTorque attachments feature lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant titanium housings that provide a firm, tactile grip. The light weight grants the handpiece exceptional balance and helps reduce hand and wrist fatigue, while the slender angulation of NuTorque attachments permits excellent intraoral access and superior sight lines.

StarDental’s NuTorque system has a three-year warranty on the control box unit, a one-year warranty on the motor, tubing, and attachments, and a one-year warranty on the transformer. For more information on the NuTorque electric handpiece system and a full listing of attachments, please call 866-DTE-INFO, or log onto www.dentalez.com.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Barnes & Noble in Lawsuit over Nook


It seems there may be more to the story of the Barnes & Noble Nook e-book reader than just the device itself. Yesterday, a company called Spring Design filed a lawsuit claiming that they showed their design to Barnes & Noble before B&N designed the Nook.

While the devices function quite differently, they do look a lot alike. And when you combine the looks with the fact that Spring Design had Barnes & Noble signing Non-Disclosure Agreements so regarding their Alex device... well it certainly looks suspicious. They even both run the Android operating system.

Of course, that's what the courts are for. This is definitely something I'll be following.

For all the details, check out this article from Reuters.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Keep Track of Your Kids for $100

Over the past few years, I've seen a few GPS devices come on the market that can keep track of children. The idea is a good one. Put a GPS device in a pocket or in a backpack and if a youngster wanders off, they can be located. It's a nice thing to give parents some piece of mind.

The main drawback to these devices has been cost. Now Best Buy is selling a device called the "Little Buddy" that retails for a more affordable $100. The device uses a combination of GPS and cell phone towers to help locate itself. The device can be located using a special webpage, which should (although I'm not sure) require a user name and password.

The device will even send text messages when the device leaves a certain area or doesn't arrive at a certain area by a specified time.

This is an interesting idea. I'd love to get a device to try out.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Don't say I didin't tell you first! :-)

Whether it's here on the blog or in the pages of Dental Products Report, I'm frequently asked (or forced) to make predictions. That's just the nature of being involved in technology writing and teaching. Sometimes I can make predictions based on evolving trends, such as 3D imaging and my passion for my Gendex CB-500, but other times I need to take a good old fashioned guess.

Of course as regular readers know, some of my guesses have been way off. I've probably predicted the Beatles catalog on iTunes about 5 times now. Anyway, because predictions are just glorified guesses, I like to celebrate when I report on something and see it go mainstream. So with that in mind, here's today's post.

In December of 2008 I came across a product that I thought you deserved to know about. It's a little device called a Poken which lets you trade your contact info with others. At the time, the company was looking at the younger hipper demographic as a way to easily get the contact of new people you might meet in a college bar, party, etc. However at the time I thought it also could have a business application.

Well today I found an article on Foxnews.com that lists 8 tech trends to watch in 2010 and the Poken is among them. The article states:

6. You'll burn your business cards

Salespeople hand them out at trade shows and they might help you win a free lunch. That's right: business cards just won't die. Several iPhone apps – such as Beezcard and SnapDat – allow you to share contact details, but not everyone has an iPhone. A Swiss company has made the PokenZoo, a cute, inexpensive device you touch to another Poken to swap contacts.

Why the trend is important: Saves paper, but also finally alleviates business workers from having to carry these annoying cards around whether they go.


So let the celebration begin! The full text of the trends article on Foxnews can be read here. As somebody who has to predict, I'm anxious to see how many they get right! :-)