Thursday, December 31, 2009

Palm Releases Latest WebOS Update for Pre & Pixi

Palm webOS 1.3.5 has been released by Palm and is available for download.Users can either download it directly or the network will download it automatically over the next few days.

The launch is initially for Sprint Palm Pre and Palm Pixi customers in the US, but will roll out to other areas shortly.

This update has quite a few improvements and because of this takes a fair amount of time to download and install. Make sure you either have a good charge on the battery or have your device plugged in before selecting "Updates" from the device.

Direct from Palm, here is the lowdown on this latest new version of the operating system:

Version information

  • Version: webOS 1.3.5
  • Release date: 28 December 2009

New applications

NONE

Feature changes to existing applications

App Catalog

  • App Catalog significantly improves the application download experience.
  • A user can now download multiple applications simultaneously.
  • Downloads continue in the background if the user moves away from the download screen.
  • A user can manually pause, resume, and cancel downloads.
  • A user can also download all available updates for the user’s downloaded applications with a single tap.
  • App Catalog automatically resumes downloads in cases where a download was paused because it was interrupted—for example, if a user moves out of network coverage and then moves back into coverage.
  • Users can now take advantage of the full storage capacity of the phone for downloading applications. This gives the user more control over how to allocate the phone’s storage space across applications, music, photos, and other media. Downloaded applications are now stored on the phone’s USB drive.
  • App Catalog lists search results based on an improved search algorithm.
  • Locations from which users can purchase paid apps from App Catalog now include U.S. territories.

Calendar

  • In Day view, switching between days happens more quickly.

Date & Time

  • When the user has network time zone enabled, a city and country are no longer displayed.

Device Info

  • A user can perform a full erase by pressing and holding Sym + the orange/Option key + power for 10 seconds.

Email

  • A user can now edit forwarded text for all email account types.
  • When the user sets up more than one Yahoo! email account, the account names displayed in Account List view include the associated email address so that the user can distinguish them.
  • If an account mailbox is too full to send messages, after the user frees up space in the mailbox on the server, the user can send the messages successfully.
  • The default email signature no longer includes the macron over the “e” in “Pre,” so that the product name shows correctly on a recipient’s phone.

Messaging

  • If a user deletes a conversation with a contact, new conversations with that contact are now correctly displayed in Conversations view.

Screen & Lock

  • When the screen is locked, the time displays in a new font.

Sprint Navigation

  • A user can launch Sprint Navigation from an address in an open contact entry in Contacts.

System

  • Users can now take advantage of the full storage capacity of the phone for downloading applications. This gives the user more control over how to allocate the phone’s storage space across applications, music, photos, and other media. Downloaded applications are now stored on the phone’s USB drive.
  • This update improves battery life in areas of poor wireless network coverage.
  • If the user is working in an application that supports landscape mode (such as Web or Videos), notifications now appear at the bottom of the landscape screen.
  • After a user signs in to an existing Palm profile, applications the user installed from App Catalog are restored in the background. The user can use other features of the phone while the apps are being restored.
  • Swiping to delete a list item that contains a link no longer causes the link to open in the web browser.

Updates

  • After taking the 1.3.5 update, users can download future updates over a 2G (1xRTT 1x title bar icon, GPRS 1x title bar icon, EDGE 1x title bar icon) data connection by opening Updates and tapping Download Now.

Web

  • The web browser now supports the display of animated GIFs.
  • Audio files with a .3g2 extension play correctly as audio files, not video files.

Security

This release includes a security fix to the dev portal. Credit to Kris Siegal for reporting the issue.

Individuals interested in contacting Palm to report suspected security issues can find more information at palm.com/security .

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A 24 Port USB Hub

I truly doubt anyone reading this routinely connects 24 USB devices, but hey you can't really have too many ports... can you? This powered USB hub actually delivers 24 ports that will not only deliver USB 2.0 speed, but will also charge any of your USB devices since it has AC power. That's a nice feature because sometimes all you want to do is just charge and not necessarily access the device.

The little 24 port wonder can be had for only $69.99 from USBfever. If you are needing some extra ports, this is the gizmo for you!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Powermat Wirelessly Charges Your Devices




Magnetic induction charging has been around for a while now. Most recently it has been seen in the Sprint Touchstone charger for the Palm Pre. However, up until this point the idea has been device specific with a manufacturer creating a charging station for one device at a time.

The concept of magnetic induction charging is a good one. If you've ever charged a powered toothbrush (Sonicare or Oral B) you get the idea. You simply place the device in/on the charger without connecting the cords and the recharge power is delivered to the device wirelessly.

Well, the Powermat has upped the ante on that concept considerably. Imagine coming home with your iPhone or iPod touch which is badly in need of a drink of juice. You just walk in the door, place it on the Powermat, and... PRESTO you're getting a charge. It's just about that simple.

You plug the mat into AC power, place the properly equipped devices on the mat and they charge.

Over the Christmas break I decided to brave the Dante's Inferno of the local Best Buy (I could do a whole blog post on their concept of "how not to run a consumer electronics store", but I digress) to spend some of my gift dollars and gift cards on a Powermat Portable.

The device comes in 2 models which are basically identical except for the fact that the portable has hinges that let it fold up to 1/3 its normal size for easy packing. That seemed a much better choice for me since they are both the same price and I spend so much time on the road. The portable also comes with a sturdy travel case.

Since the device uses magnetic induction, there is an induction component that must be used on the device. This requires either putting a new case/back on the device with an induction component attached (manufactured by Powermat and purchased separately) or plugging your device into a module that sits on the Powermat called the Powercube (one supplied with the device).


The Powercube pictured above, comes with a variety of plugs that attach to your device where the normal power adapter would connect. The white square portion is placed on the Powermat and your device begins charging.

You can charge 3 devices simultaneously, all with one AC connection. The company also claims greater efficiency and less waste of electricity as the three individual areas of the mat shut down independently when the device using them is fully charged.

In my short exposure to the Powermat I've been impressed. There is something to be said for the efficiency of simply setting your device on the mat and knowing it's charging. I also like the "greener" aspect of the charging, although how significant that is, that's harder to tell.

Overall the device performs as advertised, is easy to use, and it looks like it will simplify my charging regimen. Unless something completely unexpected shows up, I can't imagine why this won't become one of those better ideas I just can't do without.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Curve Dental Announces Release of New, Web-based Dental Software

Curve logo.jpg

Curve Hero: A Fresh, Web-based Alternative to Dental Software

In September, I got a chance to spend a few days with the good people at Curve dental. The whole point of my visit was to show myself and some other dental educators, editors, etc what Curve Dental is all about. It was also an opportunity to see and tinker with their signature product Curve Hero.

I came away impressed, both with the company and the product that they are building. I think that Curve Dental is definitely on the right track to building the next generation of dental software. They still have a ways to go to get to the point that power users like myself will have all the functionality they need, but for the majority of practices looking to go digital or if you are a new start-up practice, I think you owe it to yourself to check out Curve Hero. Here is some brand new info from the company.

OREM, UT—Curve Dental, Inc. announced the release of Curve Hero, a new web- based alternative to dental software designed for simple operation, lifestyle flexibility and better business value. In development for more than five years, Curve Hero’s advanced technology is designed only for the web for the contemporary dental practice, providing key features, such as scheduling, billing, clinical and perio charting, reporting, imaging, clinical notes, patient education, and more.

“Curve Hero is a fresh alternative to dental software,” said Matt Dorey, founder of Curve Dental, Inc. “Our primary objective was to take a different approach to dental software, beginning with the web. As a result, Curve Hero is dreamy simple. Doctors and their staff will find that we’ve taken a cleaner, smoother approach to helping them accomplish their tasks and responsibilities in less time and with more efficiency. Curve Hero is an extension of their style of working. Our customers prefer Curve Hero for the same reasons they bank on-line, book a vacation on-line or shop on-line: It’s more convenient and it’s faster—and less expensive.”

As web-based dental software Curve Hero offers advantages over traditional client/server applications with respect to implementation costs, convenience and data security. Because the software only requires a browser and an Internet connection, expensive investments in
hardware, servers and IT services are not required. The convenience of the web allows the practice to access patient data from any location at any time, which is more flexible to varying lifestyle preferences. With patient data stored off-site at redundant and secure data centers, the practice is not threatened by theft, natural disaster or local hardware failure, greatly simplifying business continuity and disaster planning. Further, the practice also benefits by fully complying with all HIPAA or PIPEDA requirements pertaining to data security.

“Data security is substantially improved with web-based software than it is for legacy client-server software,” Dorey said. “Our encryption process meets or exceeds all government standards and our data centers are secured physically. On-line banking, on- line trading, on-line shopping, and on-line travel reservations have shown that doing business on the Internet is safe and much more convenient. A practice can now manage their practice on-line, too, with Curve Hero and not have to worry about data backup or IT assistance.”

Curve Hero’s web-based simplicity and flexibility makes it the perfect choice for dentists looking for an alternative to traditional, legacy client-server software. The seamless work style extension and business value in Curve Hero will help dentists better brand and manage their practices.

About Curve Dental, Inc.
Founded in 2005 Curve Dental provides web-based practice management software and related services to dental practices within the United States and Canada. The company is privately-held, based in the USA in Orem, Utah with offices in Calgary, Canada and Dunedin, New Zealand. Dentists can call 888-910-4376 or visit www.curvedental.com for more information.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

All I Want for Christmas is a ScotteVest



For years (and I *mean* years) I've been a huge fan of products from Scottevest. In the early days of the tech boom, Scott Jordan was looking for a way to carry all his portable devices and keep them connected so that he could use them. What he came up with was nothing short of amazing. He developed a vest with tons of pockets and channels between the pockets to run your wires. Now several years later, Scottevest is a full fledged company with an entire clothing line of jackets, shirts, pants, hats, etc all designed with tons of pockets that allow you to keep all your gear with you.

For those of you who have attended my lectures over the years, some of you (depending on the subject) have actually had a chance to see some of the Scottevest gear I've purchased over the years.

So, you can bet that the Soft Shell Jacket I received for Christmas this year was incredibly well received.

Now let me tell you a quick story about what makes the Scottevest company so unique. Owner Scott Jordan, being geeky like me, is connected on most social networking sites. Well, I tweeted about my Soft Shell Jacket, and in a few minutes I received a personal thank you from Scott as well as a voice mail thanking me for my purchase. Have you ever had that happen before?

Scottevest is a great company with high quality groundbreaking products. If you are looking for some new clothing, you owe it to yourself to check them out! This is a company where every product they make comes with my highest recommendation!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!!!

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To all my friends, co-horts, colleagues, and partners in geekiness, I'd like to wish you a most blessed of holiday seasons. To those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, I hope your special holiday brings you joy, cheer, and happiness. My wish is for all of you to have good health for you and your families, good food, and a roof over your heads.

In the big picture, that's all we really need.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Follow Santa Around the World with the NORAD Santa Tracker



Since the 1950's our men and women in uniform who work at NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) have been tracking Santa with their advanced radar as he treks around the world.

Every year, I follow him on the computer and this year you can also track his updates via Twitter and have them sent directly to your mobile phone.

This is a great service... check it out. Santa is already on his journey since it's nighttime in the far east. The site is available in several languages and even has some videos they capture of Santa as he travels around the world.

Merry Christmas to ALL!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Barnes & Noble Experiences Delays in Shipping Nook but Offers $100 as Compensation

It seems B&N has been having some trouble meeting the demand for its new Nook e-book reader. Recently the company notified customers that those that had ordered them in time for Christmas may not get them by December 24th. As an apology, B&N has said that users who don't receive their devices will receive a $100 gift card for the inconvenience. That's not a bad deal and shows they are trying to make the best of a bad situation.


Here's what Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating had to say last Saturday:

"The vast majority of customers who pre-ordered nooks and were given a pre-holiday estimated shipping date should receive their devices in time for the holidays. We are working very hard to keep up with the demand and to get all nook orders out the door and to customers on or before Dec. 24. Unfortunately, there may be a very small percentage of customers who may not receive their nooks before the holiday. We communicated with this handful of customers yesterday, offering our sincere apologies and providing them with the following: a nook holiday gift certificate so that they have something to wrap and give if it was bought as a gift as well as a bn.com gift certificate that can be used online. Any customer who has not yet received their device but whose ship date prior to the holidays has changed in anyway was notified yesterday of updated timing."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Greater New York Dental Meeting Surpasses All Goals


I had the honor of speaking at the Greater New York Dental Meeting the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It's a great meeting with the holiday excitement of Manhattan combined with the camaraderie of dental professionals committed to making our profession the best it can be. This year the floor was hopping on Sunday. I did a lecture in a classroom on the show floor and then spent the rest of the day wandering through the exhibits. There was lots of traffic and it seemed lots of products were moving as well.

Today I received the following from the Greater New York Dental Meeting giving some info on the meeting. I was impressed with these numbers.

Total registration was enormous and Dentists appeared in waves to continue to make the Greater New York Dental Meeting the largest and best dental products and technology buying event and educational forum of its kind in the United States. Total registration in 2009 was a record breaking 59,166. While we welcomed 17,710 Dentists in 2008, this year we registered 19,488 of our colleagues, an increase of 10%. International registration grew from 4,889 individuals in 2008 to 5,705 in 2009, a rise of 16%. Attendees traveled from 124 countries. Even in this challenging economy, the organization committee planned an event which proved to be successful for all dental professionals and the entire dental trade.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kindle Continues to Sell like Hotcakes and Amazon has a Special Deal for Christmas!

The Amazon Kindle was the first really successful ebook reader. There were others that tried, but when the Kindle came along, it was an instant blazing success. There are currently challenges and competition, which is good. Competition keeps companies from getting lax about their product and their customer base.


To that end, most people can no longer get their hands on the Sony readers or the Barnes & Noble Nook. They are sold out all over. So the good folks at Amazon decided to take advantage of the shortage.

Amazon has announced they have a great supply of Kindles and, here's the good part, they are offering a great sale for the Christmas season. You can get a Kindle for $259 and get expedited two day shipping. If you haven't gotten that special gift for someone, this is it. Even if you are a procrastinator, 2 day shipping means you can have it on Christmas eve if you order is this Tuesday. Is that great or what?

Amazon has also announced that the Kindle set a new sales record in November. They have also stated that the Kindle is the number one selling gift on Amazon. So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Advanced Palm Pre Gestures

For you Palm Pre users out there, I found this on the Palm blog and thought it was a great thing to know about. I've had the Pre for about 6 months now and love it (except for the battery life, but at least I can carry a spare). However, I've been so busy I really haven't had the time to research and find all the advanced things you can do. Here are a few tips from Palm I think you'll find useful.


Using your Palm webOS phone is even easier and more fun when you learn a few simple advanced gestures. Here are a few good ones to get you started:

  • Full screen app switching! Go to the Screen & Lock icon, scroll down to Advanced Gestures and turn on Switch Applications. Now you can swap between full screen open apps with a long swipe left or right in the gesture area. No need to go into card view.
  • Open top left and right menus with one swipe. Let's say you want to quickly disable Bluetooth on your phone. Instead of tapping the screen to pull down the menu, just swipe down from the top right corner of your screen. To view the menu in an application, swipe down from the top left corner.
  • Resize cards and card order. Tap and hold a card while in card view to resize the card. Drag cards to change the order.
  • Quickly end a phone call. In card view, throw the Phone app card off the top of the screen to end a call.

Click here to learn more about using gestures.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

DoubleTwist Media Player does it Right!

For the last month or so, I've been experimenting with a media player program called DoubleTwist. I tried it because I was tired of iTunes fighting my access with my Palm Pre. I don't have a ton of music on my Pre, but from time to time I add and change the songs I listen to.


When I first got the Pre, the folks at Palm had written in access to iTunes. Of course Apple was having none of that and quickly updated iTunes to eliminate the access. In a week or so, Palm released an update that once again allowed access and, of course, soon Apple released an update. This went on a few times and I got tired of it.

It's my music!!! I'm not exactly sure when companies started thinking I was renting the tunes and they could tell me what devices I could use and what songs I could play. Can you tell I'm frustrated?

So along came DoubleTwist. The program is a program independent of the big companies. I connected my Palm Pre and guess what? It was recognized immediately and I could just drag and drop songs onto it. It plays all my media files and connects to any USB device you can connect including iPods and iPhones.

Oh, did I mention it's FREE?

If you want to download, go to the website and tell them Flucke sent you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Still Geeky & Still Green - My Chevy Tahoe Hybrid Experience

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I've had the Tahoe Hybrid for 2 months now and I think I have enough time with it to give some good impressions about the vehicle and the whole "driving to be green" idea in general.

The Tahoe has been an outstanding vehicle. Tons of power (when you need it) due to the 6.2L V8. This is the only Tahoe model that is equipped with this large engine due mainly to the additional weight of the hybrid battery system. Although, one of the really slick parts of the design is that the engine will automatically shut down 4 of the cylinders and go to a V4 whenever it can. It's pretty amazing to be cruising on the highway and watch the instant miles per gallon jump by 10 or so when the V8 kicks over to V4 mode.

The hybrid mode which can use both gas and electric motors is seamless and provides plenty of power while allowing the driver to keep a light foot which helps fuel economy.

At low speeds, if I'm careful with my foot, I can run on battery alone up to about 20 MPH. Needless to say that is a *huge* economy booster.

I'm currently averaging about 21 or 22 on the highway and 20 in the city which is pretty amazing for a vehicle of this size and weight. My previous vehicle, a Dodge Durango, was getting 12 in the city and about 14 highway on a good day.

The amenities are very nice, but as I said in my original post about the Tahoe, I haven't had a new vehicle in quite some time so things that I find amazing have been standard fare for some time. However, OnStar with its live updates of traffic is a great aid. It would be even more so if I lived somewhere with nightmare traffic.

One thing I've noticed since having access to the economy info that the hybrid provides from a couple of screens is how poorly most of us drive when considering fuel economy. Most people tend to put their foot down as the light turns green, accelerate hard, and then have to brake at the next intersection due to a red light. I find that coming off the line slower and easing up to speed is much more fuel efficient and I usually coast up next to the aggressive driver at the next light 15 seconds after they have arrived and slammed on the breaks.

On the highway I see much the same thing. Many drivers fail to watch far ahead and therefore accelerate and break repeatedly when they wouldn't have to if they were really paying attention.

So if you are driving a gas only vehicle, just try driving with a tad less aggression. We'll all breathe easier as a result. As for me? I'm thrilled with being greener. Being geekier is just an added benefit. Got questions on the Tahoe? Just let me know.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Flip MinoHD Camcorder Sale

Here's a really good deal on a fun device that is becoming all the rage. The Flip line of HD digital video cameras are becoming all the rage. They are small, easy to use, connect directly to your computer with a built-in USB connecton, I've had one for about 3 months and love it.


The best part? While supplies last, you can order one from Amazon for only $119.99 If you've been wondering what to get the geek on your list, this will definitely do the trick!

Here are more technical details:

Product Features

  • Holds 60 minutes of HD-quality video (1280 x 720 resolution at 30 frames per second; 16:9 widescreen) on 4 GB of built-in memory
  • Weighs only 3.3 ounces; Super-slim, super-sleek design, fits into your pocket or purse
  • Features one-touch recording and digital zoom
  • Flip-out USB arm plugs directly into your computer to launch built-in FlipShare software
  • FlipShare software lets you save and organize your videos, edit individual clips, make custom movies, email your videos, and upload them

Technical Details

  • Sensor: 2.2 Megapixel
  • Size: 1/4.5" HD CMOS Sensor
  • Image Resolution: 1280 x 720
  • Movie Resolution: 1280 x720
  • Recording Definition: High Definition
  • Storage Media Type: Flash Memory
  • Compressed Format: H.264
  • Movie File Format: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
  • Optical Zoom: 2.0x
  • LCD Monitor: 1.5 inches
  • Height: 3.94 inches
  • Width: 1.97 inches
  • Depth: 0.63 inch
  • Weight: 3.3 oz.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

LaCie Introduces the Smallest 2.5" Drive - Rikki

LaCie makes some pretty slick products and they also make them look good. Style points count, after all, and your portable backup drive should say something about you. Needless to say, this one screams "sleek and efficient". I'd like to have people say that about me! The new Rikki line gives the portable drive a good dose of supermodel make over.


The drives are USB 2.0 and are powered from the USB BUS so that a power cable is not needed. They come in 250GB, 500GB, and 640GB capacities which sell for $75, $109, and $149 respectively. I'm continually amazed at how the prices of these portable drives continue to fall.

Here is more info:

The Smallest of its Species: LaCie Rikiki
Size does matter--resistance too.


December 15, 2009

  • Ultra compact, high capacity
  • Aluminum exterior for sturdy data protection
  • USB Boost and backup software included
  • Plug & play on Mac® and PC
Today, LaCie introduced the most compact 2.5" hard drive on the market – LaCie Rikiki, in metal. Measuring just a mere 110cm3, its sophisticated form factor holds up to 640GB of media that you won’t mind storing in a pocket or purse.

Encased in brushed, sturdy aluminum, the LaCie Rikiki, which means "tiny" in French, represents a resilient aesthetic that protects your media from everyday blunders and unwelcome fingerprints. Its lightweight design makes it a perfect companion for keeping your digital world close at hand.

"We are part of a generation that wants more from our electronics, but in the smallest form factor possible, and with a competitive price," said Anne-Sophie Marchand, Consumer Product Manager. "With the LaCie Rikiki, we have done just that by fitting high-performance and high-capacity in the palm of your hand, for under $100."

Leveraging the versatile USB 2.0 interface, the LaCie Rikiki is instantly compatible with your PC or Mac. Simply plug it in and you’re ready to store and share your favorite media with high-speed performance. LaCie Rikiki also offers USB Boost software for enhancing speeds up to 33% (Windows® only).

LaCie Rikiki also comes with a simplified software suite – for quick setup and easy-to-use backup management – enabling complete configuration in just a few clicks. The LaCie Rikiki is an all-in-one solution for storage mobility.

Availability
The LaCie Rikiki will be available in 250GB, 500GB, and 640GB capacities through the LaCie Online Store, LaCie Reseller+, and LaCie Corner, starting at the suggested retail price of $74.99 (excluding VAT). For more information, visit www.lacie.com.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Google Releases Chrome Browser for Mac OS

For a few months now I've been using the Google Chrome browser on my Windows machines. I've found it to be efficient and pretty stable. In the Windows world I very rarely use Internet Explorer any more. It's hard to believe that about 10 years ago, IE put Netscape under with it's amazing forward thinking and development.


So, getting back to Chrome, I use it and Firefox on the Windows machine and really haven't found either to be a bad choice. Firefox has been around longer and has lots of add-ons, but Google continues to evolve the Chrome software.

I was happy to see that Google has finally released Google Chrome for the Mac OS. I've never been a big fan of Safari much to the chagrin of my Macophile buddies. So it's been a Firefox world on the Mac for me. However, the lastest update seems to have made Firefox a little less stable for me than in the past.

I installed Chrome on the Mac last night and am making this blog post using it. So far so good. I understand that Google wants to make sure the Windows world is happy since they have a huge market share compared to Mac, but I wish they could have gotten this out earlier.

The interface is clean, slick, and things load quickly. It imported all my Firefox settings so it hasn't really been much of a change at all. After a few weeks I'll report back on my experience.

Monday, December 14, 2009

NIght Vision Camera

Sorry for no posts over the weekend. A combination of a cold and a busy schedule came between the blog and myself.

However, for those of you looking for the perfect gift for the geek on your list, my I present the Night Vision Digital Camera. This baby will record with no light up to 40 feet away. The best part is the price which is $99. It has an onboard memory of 32mb expandable with SD up to 2GB (and that can be a lot of video). It's light at 9.3oz and is powered by 4 AA batteries so there is no reason to worry about running out of juice from a built-in rechargeable.

Interested? It can be purchased from Think Geek.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action!


It's been a busy week for me. On Tuesday and Wednesday I was in Cleveland/Canton, Ohio with Dental Technology Solutions doing a couple of seminars for the Comprehensive Dental Excellence Forum. I returned home to Kansas City Wednesday night.

Today, we're shooting a couple of videos in the office. The video guys from Dental Compare are here and we'll be working pretty much all day. First on the agenda is the training video for Air Techniques Spectra. The Spectra is a visual caries detection system that works using fluorescence technology applied to a photo of the tooth which allows the caries to be seen visually by both doctors and patients. It was approved by the FDA in September.

Soon, when you purchase a Spectra, you'll receive a CD with myself and Jon from Air Techniques taking you through installation, clinical usage, etc. It should really help the new user go from un-boxing to implementation in a very short amount of time.

The second video is for Pentron Clinical Technologies. I'm going to be doing a hands-on demonstration of their FibreKleer posts and their Build-it core material. We'll also be demonstrating their Core Forms core build-up caps that help create proper prep form with a minimal amount of stress.

I'll be taking some photos and posting them to Flickr and/or Twitpic throughout the day.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Samsung Announces Memory Cards that Take a Beating

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When you have data, photos, whatever on a memory card, you expect it to stay there. The last thing you want is to have your important stuff missing when you need it most.

Thanks to Samsung, that's a lot less likely. They have a new generation of SD memory cards that are rugged and can take a beating and still deliver their payload. They are water-proof, shock-proof and magnet-proof, and that means they can take a lot more abuse than any other card. They are not currently available in the US, but my gut tells me it's only a matter of time. Here is the press release:

Samsung memory card features for consumers include:

Water-proof* – Innovative Epoxy Moulding Compound technology helps withstand over 24 hours in sea water.

Shock-proof – Survives high pressure, including the crush of a 1.6-ton automobile.

Magnet-proof – Resists over 13 times the magnetic force of home theater speakers.

Fast & superb data recovery – Free proprietary software assists with up to 3 times faster recovery.

Up to 10 years’ data retention – Capable of storing priceless data for longer without a refresh.

*Not applicable for Samsung Compact Flash Cards.

Samsung Now Offers Consumer Memory Cards

Global leader in memory components links up with Kondor to launch its first branded memory cards – storage designed to ensure that data is safe from everyday hazards

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the general availability of its premium Samsung memory cards for sale to the UK market. The global leader in memory components also announced a partnership with Kondor for the distribution of the premium memory cards to consumers in the UK market. While the local distribution partner will focus on the channel, Samsung is driving the strategy behind consumer marketing, communication and brand management.

“The creation of new premium memory cards under the Samsung brand are a perfect fit for our existing portfolio of consumer products,” commented Rob Haycock Managing Director at Kondor “We believe that the partnership will be a great success for us and our clients”.

“The market for memory cards continues to grow in leaps and bounds as consumers push for added storage in smart phones and other mobile devices,” said Stefanie Summerfield – Head of Business Development, Samsung Semiconductor.

“Our well-established leadership in the digital memory card space provides an ideal footing from which to launch premium memory cards that can match rapidly evolving, high-end premium devices such as smart phones and high-performance digital still cameras,” Stefanie explained. “Our cards also provide consumers with more of the outstanding reliability that they have come to expect from Samsung semiconductor products.”

Today’s consumer electronics market is fast evolving to include more and more multifunctional, content-oriented applications and devices. Samsung already has a strong branded presence in these consumer markets, a presence that will provide a lot of synergy for the new card products.

The NAND flash-memory retail market is estimated to already have reached $12 billion in revenues annually worldwide. As a result of continued dramatic growth in the mobile phone market, digital memory card demand is projected to more than double between 2008 and 2011. According to iSuppli, by 2011 more than 61 percent of mobile phones will include a card slot for additional flash card storage, compared to 51 percent of mobile phones with card slots in 2008.

In previous years, Samsung manufactured “white-label” digital memory cards for a variety of leading electronics companies and memory card companies. The company’s new line, aimed at the discerning consumer, is designed to ensure that valuable data is not lost, Samsung memory cards are shock-resistant, water-resistant and protected from damage caused by magnetic interference.

In addition, Samsung memory cards feature a modern brushed silver metallic design or a natural beige epoxy compound casing, and full compatibility with devices that have memory card slots. Most of the premium Plus memory cards can read data at 17MB/s (megabytes per second), though the CF cards provide read speeds of up to 45MB/s.

Samsung’s new premium “Plus” memory cards, which comply with the Secure Digital class 6 ratings for performance, are available in SD, microSD and Compact Flash (CF) formats with densities of 4-gigabytes (GBs) and 8GBs, with a 16GB density for an SD Plus card.

The new Samsung memory cards are currently available in France, Germany and UK, with other select countries likely to follow at a later date.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Luidia Brings the Whiteboard to the Kindle

eBeam_Kindle.jpg
As I've said before, I love my Amazon Kindle. I find myself reading more and reading a wider variety of info than ever before, simply because I now have access to a huge library of content. Of course the Kindle is a solitary device... until now.

Now, Luidia is bringing a new angle to the idea of the persoanl e-book reader. Luidia is the manufacturer of interactive whiteboards that allow computer presentations to be mocked up with dry erase markers, etc. These types of mock ups can then be saved for later and viewed on desktop and laptop PC's. This type of material is really great for brainstorming sessions or when you're doing a demo of clinical treatment, etc.

Now, Luidia is making it possible to take these marked up images and send them to an Amazon Kindle. This allows an attendee to receive all their notes wirelessly and more importantly *paperlessly* straight to the Kindle.

Imagine attending a lecture where all the custom notes will be sent to your device wirelessly before you leave. That is a serious advantage of digital technology! For the whole story, click here.

Seagate Enters SSD Market with Pulsar LIne

I've been following with great interest the continuing proliferation of SSD's (Solid State Drives) as they continue to make market penetration. In the last year we've seen prices drop while capacities have continued to increase. Now we're seeing another major blip on the timeline as big time player Seagate is announcing their line of SSD's.


Seagate is a major hard drive manufacturer. Their entrance into the market is not a surprise, but it does mean there is now more competition which will bring prices down while capacities continue to increase.

I've been a Seagate fan for several years now and I'm excited to see them make this announcement. Here is the info from the company website.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

IDC Makes 2010 Predictions - Bullish on Apple Tablet

Think tank/research firm IDC has come out with some predictions for 2010. I really like IDC. They have their finger on the pulse of the tech sector and can be counted on for some insightful predictions and recommendations.

What I find really interesting about this years predictions in the following regarding the oft rumored Apple Tablet: "This year, however, we predict that Apple will finally introduce this new device family, which is more of an oversized (8in., 10in.) iPod Touch than a downsized Mac -- and if you look at the developer energy around the iPhone/Touch platform, this should be no surprise at all," IDC claimed. "This prediction is a no-brainer: there's enormous appeal in sizing up the iPhone/Touch for a variety of applications and activities that people already use those devices for but would jump at the chance to have a larger screen -- watching videos/movies, reading books/magazines/newspapers (it would take a big bite from the Kindle), surfing the Web, videophone, and online gaming. Look for Apple's "iPad" by year-end 2010. Oh, and don't be surprised to see Microsoft also announce its own device in this space."

Now, from a user standpoint, I own a Tablet PC and I also own an iPod Touch. If I could have the ease of use and the design forethought of the Touch combined with a "real" computer like the Tablet PC, I'd be an incredibly happy camper. I don't use the Tablet PC as my main portable device, but it's incredibly handy at meetings and seminars where I need to take notes and still have a computer handy.

If Apple can come up with something like that, and not just a bigger Touch, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. While I think a large Touch would be marketable, what I want is computing horsepower in that form factor and not just a bigger screen for a weaker device.

BTW, for those of you old enough to remember, today is the day that John Lennon was assassinated. It's a very sad day for me still...

Monday, December 7, 2009

A New Prosthetic on the Horizon?

Take a look at the lower left of the photo above. The device pictured is a functioning prototype of a prosthetic hand. The device is a project funded by the EU with 3 million dollars put into the project. The device is actually controlled by the thoughts of the person wearing it.

I don't have a lot of info on it at this time, but if this continues to develop, this could help upgrade the quality of life for a lot of disabled people. Check out this video from the AP:


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cool Lego Mouse

For those of you re-living your childhood or if you're like me, never left it, this is a great way to let your inner child loose while still getting something done in a work environment. This Lego brick mouse is a fully functional mouse that lets you do everything a regular mouse can do and still lets you show the world you refuse to take everything so seriously.

It can be yours for $31.96. It's a USB mouse with left and right buttons as well as scroll wheel.

Interested in one for the holidays? You can order here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Airplane Seat Back Valet

If you travel on a regular basis you know how tough it can get to be organized while on a flight. Usually your gear is either in the overhead and out of reach or under your seat which requires the flexibility of an Olympic gymnast to retrieve. The Airplane Seat Back Valet solves that problem by giving you a device that lets you keep all the things you need within an arms reach.
It's available from Hammacher Schlemmer for only $39.95.

If you're looking to stay organized while in the air or in your car. This just might be the device you've been looking for. Here's what the website has to say:

This tote attaches to the back of an airline seat and keeps travel necessities organized and close at hand. The bag simply slides over an airline tray table in the upright position and remains open for convenient access, yet will not inhibit normal use of the tray table. The organizer has dedicated storage for an airline ticket, passport, water bottle, an iPod, and memory cards. Three zippered pockets accommodate newspapers, magazines, a netbook, and maps, while a hidden compartment with six credit card slots keeps money out of sight. When not in use, the organizer folds in half to form a convenient bag you can tote with the included shoulder strap or integrated handles. Can also fasten to an automobile headrest or be hung on a baby stroller. Made from durable, water-resistant microfiber. Open: 11 3/4" H x 19 1/4" W; Closed: 11 3/4" H x 8" W. (1 lb.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

AT&T and Verizon Drop Lawsuits Against Each Other - Let the Ads Begin

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that Verizon was running ads that stated "there's a map for that" which outlined how much more coverage the company has than competitor AT&T. Obviously that didn't set well with the iPhone king and they quickly filed suit against Verizon to stop the ads from airing or being printed, etc.

Not to be outdone, Verizon than fired off a lawsuit against AT&T. The Verizon ad was clearly a shot at the iPhone and the fact that it's only available from AT&T. Verizon who, of course, touts it's coverage in most of it's commercials and print ads is trying to sway customers with the "we have a better network" instead of "we have a better phone".

So now the "there's a map for that" advertising campaign will commence. I'm curious to see if it really has an impact. I'd love to hear your opinions on this little spat.

The article from PC World with all the specifics, is here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fighting Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a terrible and debilitating disease. There are about 30,000 cases diagnosed each year and the 5 year survival rate has been basically unchanged since the 1960's. It's a disease that those of us in dentistry screen for constantly. It's also the reason that advanced screening devices have come to market.

In my office we're currently using the Trimara Identafi Ultra on our recare exams.

However now there is a new epidemiological twist to the oral cancer statistics. It seems the disease is increasing in its incidence in younger patients (teens-30). The thought process is that it is related to the human papilloma virus. There was an interesting article on the CNN website this week that discussed why younger women are the fastest growing group of suffers.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lexi for Palm Pre Coming in the Next Few Days

I have it direct from the source, Lexi-comp. If you are a Palm Pre owner (like me) you'll soon be able to get the Pre version of the Lexi software. No more having to use a web browser to access drug info (which can be a bit cumbersome on your phone). Simply tapping the Lexi icon will bring up the fully functional software.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first drug database software available for the Pre. If you are currently looking for a drug app and a Pre user, you should definitely check this out.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

12 Cyber Scams - Good Advice for the Holidays and Always

The folks at FoxNews have a nice article on ways to help guard your identity, bank accounts, and cash while dealing in the online world. There' always the risk of fraud... both online and in the real world (you hand you credit cards to lots of individuals in a single week), but the holidays are especially a risky time. Scammers work on your "goodwill toward men" attitude to try and get what's not theirs.

This article lists things you need to be aware of. It was written with help from McAffee and is a good thing to read to ensure you don't fall prey to any of these situations.

Read the article here.