Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Samsung Brings the Galaxy S II to the U.S. Market

 

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We keep hearing the people describe the next great mobile phone as "The iPhone Killer".  I suppose that's what happens when, like Apple, everyone wants a slice of the pie that you have created.  Jobs & company managed to create the 800 pound gorilla of the smartphone market and, really, no one has challenged them since they brought the original iPhone to the market.
Frequent readers of this blog know that I don't have in iPhone and the longer I go without one, the more I become convinced that I can survive without one.
First things first.  I live in the Kansas City area which is the world headquarters of Sprint.  Because of my location I have quite a few Sprint employees as patients.  Since Sprint does not currently offer the iPhone, I feel that it is the right thing to do to support those who support me.  That means, even though I am the iPhone target market, I continue to be a Sprint customer and I, more often than not, carry their top of the line smart phone.
Up until last year, I knew I was always carrying an also ran device.  However, last October I decided to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy (for some reason, Sprint calls it the Epic, but even the splash screen says Galaxy).  It was my first Android device and I went into the experience with no pre-conceived notions.  I just wanted a reliable & intelligent smartphone.  From day one I was very impressed.  The  OS was stable, the phone worked well, and the app store had most of the apps I needed to run my life.  I wasn't quite the same as the iPhone, but it was close enough for me.
As I continued to use it, I became more and more impressed with it.  A slide-out keyboard made it easier for me to type.  A replaceable battery meant that on those occasions where I had used a lot of power, I could just throw in a new battery and continue  instead of trying like  heck to find an outlet.
Sure, it wasn't quite as slick or as elegant as the iPhone, but it did everything I wanted it to do and it let me keep my loyalty to Sprint.  However, let me stress that I really love this device.  Given the rumors swirling around the Internet that Sprint may soon get the iPhone... I'm just not convinced now that I'd make the jump.  I'm that impressed with my Samsung.
Now, Samsung has released in the U.S. (or at least announced the release in the U.S.) of the next generation of the Galaxy, the Galaxy S II.  This device has been selling like crazy all over the planet and is now poised to do the same here in the states.  The specs are amazing, although it is hard to compare to the next generation of iPhone since Apple always does such a good job of keeping all their info from the public.
However, you can rest assured that this phone will be amazing.  It's already sold over 5 million devices world wide.  Oh, and it will be available from Sprint on September 16 for $199 with a 2 year contract!

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Valo Cordless Now Undergoing Clinical Testing

 

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I'm always in the market for a better curing light.  Because of that, we tend to replace them on a regular basis... as long as the science is right.  I have several lights currently that are doing a nice job.  However, one of the lights that has me really intrigued me lately is the Valo Cordless from Ultradent.
The Valo light has been around since 2008, but that version required an A/C cord.   Since almost all LED curing lights are cordless, why did Ultradent have one that required AC power?  The answer was really a simple one.  The original Valo had so much power and was so bright from an intensity standpoint that there just wasn't a way to maintain the intensity of the light without the use of a constant power supply.
However, now all that has changed.  The engineers at Ultradent have now figured out how to provide the same amazing intensity while doing it with a battery powered device.
We're going to be putting the Valo Cordless through our everyday protocol which includes beating the device up on a regular basis.  We love trying to break things and this wont' be an exception.  i"ll report back in a few weeks and let you know how it all worked out.
Here are a few of the advantages of the new design:
Batteries: Inexpensive and able to be purchased from many different retailers.
Custom LED Pack: The LED array provides curing from 395-480nm.  This means that the light not only cures CPQ, but also proprietary initiators as well.
Optics: The optics are refined with means that the beam is more focused.  This allows the Valo to provide a good depth of cure when using it with the new "packable type" composite materials on the market.
Ergonomics: The device weighs just 6 ounces or 170 grams!!! That makes it easy to use and easy to place.
Low Profile Head: The idea of the LED array built into the head means the lights are built-into the area where they are needed.  Getting the light to the restoration is easy & allows the light to be perpendicular to the restoration which is the ideal position.
3 Curing Modes: Standard, High Power, and Plasma Emulation allows the user the flexibility necessary to perform the needed treatments.
Near Uni-Body Construction: Aircraft grade aluminum is milled and then the electronics are fed through the body.  This means that the electronics are resistant to cleaning materials.

 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Could WIMM Labs Be the One to Get the "Smart Watch" to Stick?

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Ever since the days of Dick Tracy we've been waiting for the "2 Way Wrist TV" that Chester Gould drew way back then.  Unfortunately no one has been able to make these things stick.
Now don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of tries.  The most famous of which was the SPOT Watch from Microsoft. Yet no one has come up with an idea that both works well and sells to the buying public.  Theories on the failures abound.  My personal theory is that most of us are so used to having our mobile phones run our lives that we don't need a watch to do that also... or as a backup, no matter how cool the technology is.
Watches always start out in the space of "Personal Digital Assistant" at a disadvantage.  While many of us (myself included) always wear watches, the screen size is a serious limitation.  There's also the issue of battery life.  While most of us have grown accustomed to charging our mobile phones every night,  that isnt' the same for watches.  Most watch batteries now will run for 5 years or so... it's a completely different mindset to charge your watch every night.
However, with those 2 points being made, I'd still like to have a watch that would carry the same info as my Samsung Epic.  I don't know that I would wear this watch every day, but on business trips where I need access to all of my travel data, I'd gladly carry it as a backup to my phone.
So, the good news is that a company called WIMM Labs is now bringing a device to market that can be worn as a watch or other types of fashion, but will also function as a "smart device".  By that I mean that the little device pictured above will have a smartphone type CPU, BlueTooth, WiFi, GPS, as well as other functions.  It also is designed to sync with Anndroid, Blackberry, and iOS phones via its BlueTooth connection.
The device is designed to be easy on the battery and will run some type of Android OS (this makes it similar to my Epic).  The cool idea behind this is that WIMM is not actually bringing the device to market.  They are designing it and then will allow other companies to partner with them and license the device.  The result could be WIMM devcies that are branded by major electronic manufacturers.
WIMM is hoping to see their devices used in sporting markets (GPS run tracking comes to mind), health care (lots of ways to monitor patients outside of an office or hospital), maybe even delivery services or repair services where the schedule is a highly fluid situation.
I've got to admit, this intrigues me.  It would be a nice redundant backup to my critical information that would be a nice, easy to access, backup when I'm on the road.  This is one of those things I'm going to be paying attention to...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Curve Dental Wins Pride "Best of Class 2011" for Digital Imaging in the Cloud

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As a member of the Pride Institute's Technology Panel, I've been honored the past 2 years to help determine the winners in the "Best of Class" technology awards.  It's never easy to decide on the winners.  I frequently think to myself about magazines like Car & Driver who have to pick the "Car of the Year" out of dozens of amazing automobiles.
It's a similar situation with the Pride Tech Panel.  We frequently argue, tease each other, and sometimes glare at each  other as we debate the topics & products.  I was discussing our meeting recently with the president of Pride Institute, Dr. Lou Shuman.  I told him that this coming year we should set up a video camera, mic all of us, and just record the whole thing which we could then post to the web.  It may just happen... who knows?
However, that's a post for another day.  Today's post is about winner Curve Dental.  They have been working on the idea of a "Fresh Web Based Alternative to Dental Software" for a while now and they continue to make improvements to the whole genre of "software as service".  This past February they showed me their imaging module that allowed a sensor connected to a laptop to send the captured radiograph to the cloud.  They followed that up later in the spring with a pano taken by a digital machine and sending that to the cloud as well.
These 2 experiments/demonstrations show that Curve is overcoming several of the potential problems with  a non-server based solution.  This was just one of the things we discussed as we decided to honor Curve.  Here is their press release about receiving the award:

Orem, UT (PRWEB) August 15, 2011

Curve Dental, developers of Web-based dental softwareannounced its new digital imaging technology has received Pride Institute’s Best of Class Technology Award for 2011 in the Emerging Technologies category.

“We’re honored to have been selected by the Pride Institute and recognized for the revolutionary digital imaging technology we’ve developed,” said Jim Pack, CEO of Curve Dental. “We are confident that our newdigital imaging features will change the way dentists capture and store x-ray, intraoral and panographic images. Because our technology leverages the many advantages of the cloud, a dentist doesn’t need a server to capture images, doesn’t need to worry about backups, and doesn’t have to deal with storage hassles. We’re honored to have been recognized by the Pride Institute for our accomplishments.”

A panel of dental technology experts, organized by the Pride Institute, a dental practice management consulting firm based in Novato, California, selected this year’s winning products through an unbiased, rigorous assessment selection process. The winning technologies were selected by majority vote and divided into four categories: Foundational, Diagnostic, Therapeutic, and Emerging.

The Pride Institute Best of Class Technology awards were launched in 2009 as a new concept to provide an unbiased, non-profit assessment of available technologies in the dental space. Winners of the award are invited to participate in a technology fair showcased at the American Dental Association’s annual meeting. “We deeply felt a gap in the area of technology education and integration," said Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, President of the Pride Institute. “We feel the technology awards and fair were an ideal model to fill that gap. Pride Institute’s commitment is to provide the finest information and counsel in all areas of practice management.”

The panel consists of seven dentists with significant knowledge of and experience in dental technology, including Dr. Shuman; John Flucke, DDS, writer, speaker and Technology Editor for Dental Products Report; Paul Feuerstein, DMD, writer, speaker and Technology Editor for Dental Economics; Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Dental Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine; Marty Jablow, DMD, technology writer and speaker; Para Kachalia, DDS, Director of New Technology at the University of the Pacific, School of Dentistry; and Larry Emmott, DDS, technology writer, speaker and dental marketing consulting. “I feel very fortunate that a panel of this magnitude has agreed to contribute to the selection process,” said Dr. Shuman.

About Curve Dental, Inc. 
Founded in 2005, Curve Dental provides web-based dental software and related services to dental practices within the United States and Canada. The company is privately-held, headquartered in Orem, Utah with offices in Calgary, Canada and Dunedin, New Zealand. The company strives to make dental software less about computers and more about the user experience. Their creative thinking can be seen in the design of their software, that’s easy to use and Web-based. Dentists can call 888-910-4376 or visit http://www.curvedental.com for more information.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Keeping Track of the Emergency Services During a Hurricaine

If you're curious as to what is going on as Irene approaches the East Coast, you might want to take a look at RadioReference.com

This site allows you select, by zip, city, state, etc and then listen in on transmissions by Fire, Police, EMS, etc.

The idea is that it is the Internet equivalent of listening to a police scanner.  You can hear the transmissions and follow along to learn of problems with weather, crime, traffic, and the like.  If you are interested in how things are in the areas affected by the hurricane, this will probably give you a much better indication than watching the news networks.

My prayers are with those that will be affected by this beast of a storm...

Friday, August 26, 2011

OtterBox Utility Series Latch

 

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I'm a fan of products from Otterbox.  The company has some really forward  thinking products... usually based on protecting your expensive electronic gadgets.
The company started in 1998 by designing cases for phones and PDA's (remember those?) that were waterproof.  As the success of the company's products grew, Otterbox expanded into providing all kinds of protective cases for all kinds of gadgets.  As a point of clarification, not all Otterbox products are waterproof. They currently make protective cases for tons of cool electronic gear.  I personally have a Defender model for my Apple iPad, Motorola Xoom, and Samsung Galaxy.  These tough cases truly can take everything I dish out, and that means being dropped, shoved into backpacks, toted around in dental offices, and occasionally being beaten around in airport security.
However, this particular post isn't about a rigid plastic case that keeps your device from being destroyed.  No, it's about a way that might make the use of a tablet like the iPad or Xoom easier and/or more common in a healthcare environment.
Otterbox has developed a system called the "Utility Series Latch" which allows the owner to hang, handle, and deploy the tablet device in a variety of ways that you might not have considered.  I have a couple of photos above that show the system in action, but that is a small representation of what it will do for you.  Whether it's a strap that would allow the tablet to be displayed at various points in the treatment area or a true handle that would keep the device from being dropped while being carried or used, Otterbox has spent a good amount of time thinking of alternative ways to use tablets.
I don't know that dual monitor systems in dentistry will disappear anytime soon, but tablets are making inroads & are continuing to gain traction.  If I was someone looking to upgrade my treatment areas on a budget & didn't already  have a dual monitor system in place, I think you could definitely use something like this to allow tablets to "buy some time" until you could complete the operatory with dual monitors.  Heck, even if you have dual monitors already, using tablets can make sense for some things such as Lexicomp's suite of electronic references, patient entertainment, patient education like Guru, and other things.
The Utility Series Latch just makes sense.  Here's more info from the company website:
ƒ LATCH with ADJUSTABLE HANDSTRAP: The Latch fits onto an iPad by itself and when it is protected by the Defender Series® or Commuter Series® cases. The padded strap is adjustable for a comfortable fit on all hand sizes.ƒ
ADJUSTABLE ELASTIC STRAP: This wide elastic strap with heavy duty Velcro secures the iPad to your leg while sitting or kneeling on one leg. It is also doubles as a fixture for strapping the iPad to the back of a car seat headrest. ƒ
ACCESSORY STORAGE BAG: This versatile feature keeps all of your straps neatly stored in one place. It also doubles as a stand for the iPad.ƒ
ADJUSTABLE LANYARD: The lanyard attaches to the corners on the back of the Latch and can be adjusted to your desired length to hang the iPad in either landscape or portrait orientation.ƒ
S-BINER UTILITY CLIP: Attach the clip to the loop strap on the back side of the Latch and then clip it to your belt to keep the iPad secure while you walk and maneuver between work sites.ƒ
SCREEN COVER: This lightweight cover provides momentary protection from the elements. This shield is not waterproof, but provides quick coverage from unexpected weather.

 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple

 

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In case you haven't heard yet... Steve Jobs is no longer CEO of Apple.  The "King of Cupertino" reigned for 14 years at the helm of the company that he co-founded with Steve Wozniak in the early days of the personal computer revolution.
This move, while appearing to be a shocker, is actually not as big a deal as many will make it out to be... at least in my opinion.  Jobs has been ill for the last few years having beaten pancreatic cancer, receiving a liver transplant, and has been on medical leave since January of this year for an undisclosed medical condition.
Why don't I foresee this as a big deal?  Well, the number one reason is that Jobs will stay on as Chairman of the Board.  That means he still will wield substantial clout in all things Apple, while allowing him to be more distant from the day to day things that could perhaps adversely affect the his health.  The other reason is that his successor, Tim Cook, has been Apple's COO for some time and has already been the Apple CEO.  Many probably don't remember, but Cook filled in for Jobs as Interim CEO in 2004 when Jobs was in the recovery phase of this cancer surgery.  My point is that he's done the job before and has been with Apple since 1998, so he obviously is trusted as well as knowing what he's doing.
So hopefully now you're not as concerned either.  Now if, God forbid, Jobs passes away... that changes things greatly.  However, at this point I'm willing to believe in letting Jobs be a bit more hands-off while Cook drives the machine in Cupertino.
Here is the text of Steve's resignation letter:

August 24, 2011–To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dentrix Continues to Evolve

I'm finally back home in The Land of Oz!  The second leg of the recent trip took me to Park City, Utah where I spent 2 days with the brain trust from Dentrix.

 

Dentrix routinely holds a Summit where they bring in lots of folks to talk about software and where this whole technology thing is headed.  What I saw there was a company that is definitely interested in being the center of their users clinical and business world.

 

I can't tell you what's coming next, but expect to see some things that will change the idea of dental software about the time of the ADA, but for sure during the fourth quarter this year.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kerr Continues Efforts to Improve/Invent Products

Sorry for the delay in posts.  I've been traveling a bit lately and that always affects my ability to post.

 

I've just returned from a couple of meetings.  The first of which was with Sybron Kerr.  The restorative company just completed their Roundtable meeting.  While i'm not a liberty to discuss what I saw or discussed at the meeting, suffice it to say that Kerr has some amazing things in the product pipeline that look to make the practice of dentistry easier while allowing us to provide better care for our patients.

 

They also reported that their SonicFill product has done extremely well and has received a tremendous response from the industry.  Almost 2 years in development, SonicFill is selling very well and the company is receiving great feedback from dentists using it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

HP Takes Itself Out of the PC Game

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In a stunning move today, HP announced they are getting out of the PC business.  The company that, in the 90's, devoured Compac today took itself completely out of the game.
With the introduction & market penetration of tablets & iPads, HP saw a continuing drop in revenue from their market of Windows & Intel based PC's.  "The tablet effect is real," HP CEO Leo Apotheker said Thursday on a conference call with analysts. "Consumers are changing how they use PCs."
Some estimate the PC market has grown only 6% world wide & has dropped 2% in the U.S.
When a company the size of HP makes a decision like this, you'd better believe they've seen the future.  Just last year, HP purchased Palm for the possession of their Web OS software to make tablets.  When they get out of the PC business... that means something.

Friday, August 19, 2011

ResQMe Allows Trapped Drivers Safety from Seat Belts & Windows

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In an emergency, your seat belt buckle may jam and you may be unable to open your car's window.  To help with that problem comes ResQMe.
This device functions as a keychain, but can be easily removed and used as a combination seatbelt cutting tool and center punch car window breaker.
This could very well be one of the best ways for a driver or a rescuer to remove someone... or themselves from a car.
It's amazing and affordable.  Get all the details from the company website!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

DirecTV Puts the NFL Sunday Ticket on the PS3 and Android Tablet Devices

Interesting idea here from DirectTV

 

DIRECTV's Playbook Includes New Options For Its Exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ Service

Popular Sports Subscription Service Available On More Portable Devices; Fans to have On-Screen access to NFL.com Fantasy Football TV App; New Mix Channel to Debut


EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- With the NFL season just weeks away from kickoff, DIRECTV is making its exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ service available to even more fans and has added new features to its most popular sports subscription package that will make the experience of being able to watch every out-of-market game every Sunday better than ever.

DIRECTV customers in the U.S. will continue to enjoy live streaming games with NFL SUNDAY TICKET To-Go on more mobile platforms including for the first time, Motorola's XOOM and Samsung Galaxy tablets; Motorola's Android phones; the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry devices with 3G or wifi, Palm Pre/Pixi, and other Droid-branded phones.

New this year, both current DIRECTV NFL SUNDAY TICKET customers and fans who can't get DIRECTV will have the option of watching their favorite team play every Sunday on TV through the PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system.

Also new this year, DIRECTV is partnering with NFL.com to launch an NFL.com Fantasy Football TV app that will allow NFL.com fantasy players with connected set-top boxes the unprecedented opportunity to view their NFL.com Fantasy Football teams and scores directly on their TV screen while watching every game every Sunday afternoon on DIRECTV.

Fans can view their fantasy lineups and review their head-to-head fantasy scores - all on their TV screen. And by selecting an on-screen "Watch Now" icon assigned to their fantasy player, the viewer can jump to that player's game in progress.

Also this season, fans can tune to a new Mix Channel format for late afternoon games. DIRECTV will continue to display its innovative eight-channel Mix when there is a full schedule of Sunday games, but when there are four or fewer games in the afternoon TV window, DIRECTV will display a new four-channel mix featuring larger video cells for enhanced viewing. For more information on NFL SUNDAY TICKET visit www.directv.com/nfl.

"We are constantly looking at new ways to enhance the NFL viewing experience and create more value for the loyal fans who continue to make this our most popular and dynamic sports subscription service," said Tony Goncalves, senior vice president, Product Management for DIRECTV. "With the growth in mobile and connected consumer electronics devices, we believe it makes sense to enable viewers to watch their favorite team on more of those devices, like gaming consoles, whose users include legions of NFL fans."

With NFL SUNDAY TICKET To-Go, fans will be able to watch their favorite team's out-of-market games every Sunday, no matter where they are. The browser service is available through directv.com, and is compatible with PC and Mac computers. In addition to live streaming video of up to 14 NFL SUNDAY TICKET games every Sunday, the broadband service will also offer DIRECTV's RED ZONE CHANNEL®, game highlights and detailed stats.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Amazon Introduces Cloud Reader

 

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I've got to hand it to Amazon.  They just keep pushing the limits.
They first shook things up with their Cloud Player, beating Apple & Google to the punch with online storage of your music collection.  Because of that, a larger & larger portion of my music now sits on Amazon's servers.
Now they have done the same with their KIndle Store & eReader.  The Amazon Cloud Reader stores your ebooks, allows you to read them, & remembers where you left off with them.
Why is this a big deal?  It circumvents the Apple App stranglehold.  Previously you needed an App to read & buy for your KIndle account if  you had an iPod.  That meant that any purchases had to go through Apple which resulted in a 30% charge that went straight to the iPad maker.
By making the Cloud Reader available through the browser, it makes the store & storage universally available through any browser whether the browser is on your iPad or your computer.
So Amazon has taught something to the brains at Cupertino.  That deserves at least this blog post!

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google Buys Motorola Mobility for 12.5 Billion

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In a move that rocked several worlds this morning, Google announced that they are buying Motorola's handset division, Motorola Mobility.  The 12.5 Billion dollar transaction will give everything cell phone to Google.
It's an interesting move.  Google has said they don't want to actually make handsets, they want to partner with other companies.  That's why the Android operating system is the most popular in the world.  However, Google may not want Motorola for anything other than their huge inventory of patents.  It seems lots of companies are routinely filing lawsuits against Google.  This is an attempt to get a small piece of revenue for someone every time an Android handset is sold.
Google may be buying just to get the patents in their possession.
Motorola, who invented the cell phone, has struggled for the last few years and their latest tabloid, the Xoom has not sold like expected.
There may be more to this than meets the eye currently, but trust me when I say that Google has a plan...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Temporary Tooth Tattoos Take Over Japan

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I'm all for individual expression, but this is taking it a little too far.  It seems that the latest fashion trend in Japan, is temporary tattoos for the teeth.
While Japan is often on the cutting edge of fashion, this just strikes me as taking things a bit too far.
According to "japantrends.com":
The process of the teeth art is simple and safe enough according to the magazine, chosen items are attached to the tooth by a special glue, using LED light which simply fastens and dries the glue. The “tattoo” is easily removed after a few days (according to the information given at “Heart Dental Clinic” in Minato Ward in Tokyo) and in this way, you can freely design your personal combination and display different and unique smiles whenever you want.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Google Video Player for Android now Available

It's been available for Honeycomb for a while now, but the new Google video player is now available for anyone using Android 2.2 or higher.

 

Here is the lowdown from the Android Market:

 

Official video player for Android Market movie rentals.

Official player for the movies you rent from Android Market. Select from thousands of movie titles in Android Market and begin watching instantly -- no wires, no syncing, no hassle! Make your movie rentals available for offline use on your supported Android device so you can watch even when you're not connected.

Also get quick access to your personal video collection, including those you’ve taken yourself using your phone or tablet camera.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Experience Gendex - The Bus Visits my Office!

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The bus parked in front of my office.
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Bus Driver Matt was setting up the outside part of the experience when we snapped this photo.
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Some of the gang from Goetze Dental get a close look at the DP-700 digital pan, ceph, 3D device.
My "second job" can be a lot of fun.  I really love being a dentist and I'm grateful for the ability I have to help people and their families.  Changing lives for the better is really something I feel blessed to be able to do, and I thank God every day for the gift of being a doctor.  I'm also incredibly grateful to my patients who put their trust in me and allow me to be a doctor for them.
However, the "second job" is something I get a kick out of for completely different reasons.  The most important one is that if I, in some small way, can help a doctor help their patients, then I've been able to help more than just the folks who I see in my office.  I find that very rewarding.  But, I also get to do some fun things in job 2 and one of the coolest things about that job rolled into my parking lot on Friday August 12th at about 11:00 a.m.
We looked up and saw the bus being expertly backed into the lot and tucked into the front four parking spaces in our lot.
The "Experience Gendex" bus is a rolling showroom that is traveling the country to show the industry the latest and greatest from Gendex.  I do some consulting for them and so the company was nice enough to send the bus to my office for the first "official" stop on the tour.  The bus had been announced & shown to the sales force at the national sales meeting in the middle of July, but everyone was sworn to secrecy about it.  When the bus appeared at the Henry Schein national sales meeting last Thursday, "Experience Gendex" officially began.
We had a great time with Ashley, the marketing specialist, and Matt, the driver of the bus.  They are the  full time staff that operates the bus and gets it from one location to another.
The bus features Gendex products in an environment where you can actually touch them and learn about them.
We shot a segment for DPR Friday that will appearing sometime soon and I had a good time with that since I had the bus as my "set".
I've got to hand it to the marketing people at Gendex.   They are doing an entire social media campaign around the bus with Twitter, Facebook, and their own website about the bus tour.
If there is a tour stop in your area or if you get a chance to see the bus at a major meeting (and they plan on being at those) make sure you take advantage of seeing it.  This is one of those things that you really have to see.  I could type here on the Mac for another hour and not be able to give you a really appreciation for the experience.  I'd also like to take this chance to say a big "Thank You" to Gendex, Ashley, and Matt.  It was a great day!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Firefox 8 Doing Away with "Self Installing" Add-Ons

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In the continuing war of cat  & mouse played be developers and the more nefarious individuals out there, Mozilla has announced a change in Firefox 8.
If you use Firefox, you know that one of the big and really cool advantages of the browser is the ability to download & install 3rd party plugins that allow you to do all kinds of cool things.  Well it turns out that some of the darker sides of the Internet would like your computer to other types of things and they have been using Firefox plugins to help accomplish that goal.
The basic idea is that some plugins are being installed without the user's knowledge or permission.  This of course can lead to all kinds of problems for the user who has no idea that something has been installed in the background.
To prevent this, Firefox 8 disables add-ons added to Firefox by other programs.  After an add-on has been installed, when you start/restart Firefox, it will warn you in a notification window that lets the user either activate the add-on or ignore it.
The other nice feature happens after you upgrade to Firefox 8.  The install will run through existing add-ons  & create 2 categories, one that the user has installed and the second add-ons from third party programs.  Any add-ons that the user has installed will be kept active, but the third party ones will be deactivated until the user chooses to reactivate them.
I've got to give hats off to the Mozilla Foundation (the ones who create Firefox).  They are always diligently working to make the browsing experience better & safer.  I'm a Firefox user on all of my devcies (including my Samsung Epic running Android) and there's a reason for that.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Experience Gendex at My Office!

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You know, if this dentistry thing doesn't work out, I can always go to my second job of public transportation.  Actually driving the bus is a lot harder than it looks.  Personally I'd rather perform a root canal on a second molar than drive this bad boy through busy city traffic.
Last week I blogged about the new Experience Gendex bus and campaign that Gendex has just launched. Now I'm looking forward to having the bus make a stop at my office in Lee's Summit, MO tomorrow, August 12th!!!
The bus will be arriving just before noon and we're setting up for lunch and tours of all the great new Gendex equipment that is there to see!
We'll also be filming a spot for an upcoming issue of DPR Friday. If you happen to be in the area and would like to see the bus, give the office a call  816-525-7373!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Curve Dental's New Web-based Digital Imaging Technology Poised to Change How Dentists Capture, Store and Access Patient Information

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Here is a cool bit of info that you will only be able to get from myself & my buddy Dr. Marty Jablow until later this evening.  The folks at Curve Dental who are the ones behind the "Fresh Web Based Alternative to Dental Software" want you to move to the cloud with your dental practice management software  One of the things that has been holding people back has been the lack of imaging in the Curve Hero software.  However, Curve has been hard at work developing an imaging platform for their product.
I first saw the imaging product at the Chicago MidWinter Meeting this past February.  Curve was actually sending images from a sensor over the web to the cloud through the browser.  I was amazed.
Then, in the past couple of months, they announced they had the technology to send a pan to the cloud.  Once again... impressive.
Now comes the following press release:
OREM, UT— Curve Dental, developers of Web-based dental software, announced the completion of new digital imaging features, which allow doctors and staff to capture x-ray and intraoral images directly to the cloud. The technology developed by Curve Dental, which is the first of its kind in dentistry, provides doctors with a digital imaging solution that is entirely web-based. Using the cloud to capture and store patient images eliminates the need for a server, affords unlimited storage and a proven backup and business continuity solution, and provides the dentist with access to the data from any computer with Internet access at anytime from anywhere.

“Our digital imaging features are revolutionary within the dental profession,” said Matt Dorey, Founder and Managing Director of Curve Dental. “With our software a doctor only needs a computer with Internet access and a browser to capture digital images. They don’t need a server, powerful and expensive hardware, nor do they need to worry about backups or space limitations. Moreover, our strategy is to allow doctors to connect any digital x-ray sensor, intraoral camera, or digital panoramic imaging system to our software, which is an advantage to the dentist because most dental professionals already have these types of digital devices in their practices. Switching to our software shouldn’t require the dentist to invest in new digital devices; that is our goal.”

Compatibility with as many different digital devices as possible is Curve Dental’s strategy. Currently the software is compatible with the Schick, Suni, Gendex, Eva, and Owandy digital x-ray sensors and will soon be compatible with the Kodak sensor. Additional compatibility will be added as quickly as possible. TWAIN-compatible intraoral cameras and panographs will connect directly with the software now, but may require the dentist to install additional drivers supplied by the manufacturer.

Curve Dental’s imaging software is native to its practice management software using a single database and set of code, which provides the doctor and staff with a consistent look and feel throughout the software. Native code also makes the software easier to learn and less demanding on a practice that must train new team members. A stand-alone version of the imaging software will also be available in the near future. “Because our imaging software is ‘native’ to our practice management software it is more efficient and more stable than an integrated or bridged solution,” says Dorey. “‘Integrated’ or ‘bridged’ solutions equate to separate databases, separate sources for technical support and two applications that may work and look differently from each other.”

Curve Dental recommends a DSL or faster Internet connection. “With digital imaging the user experience is enjoyable on almost any high-speed Internet connection,” says Dorey. “We focused our attention on processes and efficiencies to make sure the image could be compressed quickly, without changing or degrading quality, and uploaded to the cloud instantly. We’re happy with the results and our customers are finding the experience to be comparable to capturing and saving an image locally.”

Like the company’s practice management features the imaging features are sold on a subscription basis with an additional setup fee. Introductory pricing is being offered until the end of the year. Interested parties should call for additional information. Although Curve Dental has received FDA approval for US dentists, Health Canada approval is still pending. Canadian dentists are not able to use the imaging features yet.

About Curve Dental, Inc.

Founded in 2005, Curve Dental provides web-based dental software and related services to dental practices within the United States and Canada. The company is privately-held, headquartered in Orem, Utah with offices in Calgary, Canada and Dunedin, New Zealand. The company strives to make dental software less about computers and more about the user experience. Their creative thinking can be seen in the design of their software, that’s easy to use and Web-based. Dentists can call 888-910-4376 or visit www.curvedental.com for more information.

Toshiba Qosmio F755 Notebook Offers 3D Viewing... Without the Glasses!!!

 

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For the past 15 months or so, I've been seeing some interesting monitor technology that is being developed.  The images are pretty cool with the concept of "glasses free" 3D b viewing.
For lack of a better description, the monitor has the ability to project images at different angles that hit each eye at a different angle.  For those of you who are my age, you may remember the old toy called the GAF Viewmaster that allowed to look through a binocular type device and see images on "slides" there appeared to be in 3D.  The concept here is somewhat the same.
The monitor produces more than one image that strikes each eye a bit differently... giving the appearance of 3D.  It's a lot more complicated than that, but in a nutshell, that's how the idea works.
Now, Toshiba is putting this technology into laptops.  I've never been a fan of 3D that utilizes glasses.  Heck, I often cant' find the remote, let alone expensive glasses that could easily get misplaced.  Instead, I like the idea of just watching and letting the hardware do the work for me.
The price is rumored to be $1700 when it is available later this month.  Here are the details from Toshiba:

 

Qosmio F755 3D Ushers in New Way of Experiencing 3D Entertainment; First Laptop to Simultaneously Display 2D and Glasses-Free 3D Content on a Single Screen

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced U.S. pricing and availability for the Qosmio® F755 3D laptop, the world’s first laptop capable of displaying glasses-free 3D and 2D content at the same time on one screen1. Beginning in mid-August, 3D entertainment enthusiasts will have the opportunity to “ditch the glasses” and enjoy the latest in 3D content while enjoying all the amenities of a premium, high-performance laptop.

“The Qosmio F755 3D laptop is not just a breakthrough in mobile entertainment, but a great example of Toshiba’s ongoing commitment to turning technology innovation into real, usable products”
“The Qosmio F755 3D laptop is not just a breakthrough in mobile entertainment, but a great example of Toshiba’s ongoing commitment to turning technology innovation into real, usable products,” said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. “We are excited to bring this cutting-edge technology to consumers, as there’s really nothing like it. The unique capabilities of the laptop’s 3D display make enjoying 3D content both convenient and hassle-free. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before.”

A Breakthrough in Consumer 3D Technology

To achieve a 3D viewpoint without the aid of special glasses, the new Qosmio F755 3D laptop uses the latest in auto-stereoscopic display technology. Equipped with a brilliant 15.6-inch diagonal full HD TruBrite® display with Active Lens technology, the double parallax image display is able to project two sets of images at the same time, splitting them between the left and right eyes to create the 3D effect. Toshiba’s intuitive Face Tracking technology then taps into the laptop’s built-in webcam to further perfect the projection of the image by reacting to the motion and position of the viewer, delivering a broad viewing zone from which to view 3D content. The end result for consumers is the ability to view and enjoy real 3D – no glasses needed.

2D or 3D? The Choice Is Yours

The Qosmio F755 3D laptop offers up two displays in one, giving users the freedom to view content in either 2D or 3D – or both at the same time. As the only laptop of its kind to offer a simultaneous viewing of 2D and 3D content on a single screen, it provides users with the option to watch 3D content in a full-screen or condense it to a smaller window, preserving the 2D desktop to browse the Web or do other tasks. The included Toshiba Blu-ray Player2 adds to the laptop’s flexibility by delivering easy “one-click” 2D-to-3D content conversion3 for DVDs and videos, giving users the opportunity to enjoy the latest Blu-ray™ 3D movies or experience their existing 2D movie library in a whole new way.

Robust Performance for Demanding HD Entertainment

In addition to its 3D capabilities, the Qosmio F755 3D is equipped with the latest in processor technology and premium components. Powered by the visibly smart Intel® Core™ i7 processor4, NVIDIA® GeForce® 540M graphics processor5, as well as fast RAM and a spacious 750GB hard drive6, the Qosmio F755 3D laptop is built to deliver robust multimedia performance. Built-in harman/kardon® speakers, a suite of sound enhancement technologies from Dolby® and Waves Audio deliver booming cinematic sound to movies, music and games. An integrated Blu-ray Disc™ rewriteable drive offers record and play capabilities, while an HDMI® port supports output of video (up to 1080p) to a 3D-ready TV or display. An elegant Fusion 3D Finish in Brilliant Red delivers standout styling.

 

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lares Laser Update

On July 28th, I posted about Technology 4 Medicine being the exclusive distributors of the Fotona LIghtwalker line of lasers.

 

It turns out the info I received was close, but not exactly spot on.  So, to make sure that there are no misunderstandings, I wanted to post a clarification.

 

The complete info is the following which I received from Craig Lares, President of Lares Research:

 

Lares Research is still in the laser business, but our sole (and very limited) role is now importer and wholesaler of Fotona lasers.  Technology 4 Medicine is now our exclusive sub-distributor that will perform all retail sales and service to dentists.


 

Air Techniques’ Spectra™ Caries Detection Aid Wins Pride Institute’s Technology Award for a Second Year!

 

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I'm proud to be part of the Pride Institute"s "Best of Class" Panel.  For the past couple of years we've convened to work, challenge, cajole, tease, and... eventually emerge with the products that we feel are truly the "best in class" for their particular type.  It's a fun project to be a part of, and I hope that, in some small way, we're helping to change the profession for the better.
In the end, everyone in this amazing profession  is given one single task.  That task is "to improve the lives of those who trust us to provide their care".  Stated more simply, it's "to serve the patients to the best of our ability".
Hopefully by highlighting products that can improve the care our patients receive, I can, in some way, improve the care a patient receives and, because of that, hopefully improve their quality of life as well.
I'll be covering more about the Panel in future posts, but today, I want to focus on one product that won 'Best in Class".  That product is Spectra from Air techniques.  I've been using the Spectra for over 3 years now and have been/continue to be impressed with its performance.  It is a digital caries detection system which, for you non-dentists, means a digital way to locate decay/cavities.  The simple explanation of how it works is that the wand in the first picture above is used to take a closeup picture of a tooth.  A special light is used by the wand that makes decay glow.  The glow is analyzed by a computer algorithm and if any decay is present, it is shown in the picture like Doppler weather radar.
Here is what Air Techniques had to say about Spectra and the Pride Best in Class Technology Awards in a press release dated August 8, 2011:

 

MELVILLE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Air Techniques, Inc., a leading dental equipment manufacturer and developers of Spectra Caries Detection Aid, has been recognized as one of 16 companies to receive the Pride Institute’s Best of Class Technology Award for 2011. Air Techniques’ Spectra was an honoree in the Clinical/Diagnostic category for Caries Detection, and was one of two companies to win this award two years in a row.

“I feel very fortunate that a panel of this magnitude has agreed to contribute to the selection process”

”We are extremely happy that our Spectra Caries Detection Aid has won such a prestigious award—two years in a row,” said Joe Zekoski, Vice President, Product Management at Air Techniques. “It is a great honor to have our product recognized by the Pride Institute and top experts within the dental field.” Spectra offer’s a simple, non-invasive approach to detecting caries while providing both visual and quantitative data.

A panel of dental technology experts, organized by the Pride Institute, a dental practice management consulting firm based in Novato, California, selected this year’s winning products through an unbiased, rigorous assessment selection process. The winning technologies were selected by majority vote and divided into four categories: Foundational, Diagnostic, Therapeutic, and Emerging.

The Pride Institute Best of Class Technology awards were launched in 2009 as a new concept to provide an unbiased, non-profit assessment of available technologies in the dental space. Winners of the award are invited to participate in a technology fair showcased at the American Dental Association’s annual meeting. “We deeply felt a gap in the area of technology education and integration, said Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, President of the Pride Institute. “We feel the technology awards and fair were an ideal model to fill that gap. Pride Institute’s commitment is to provide the finest information and counsel in all areas of practice management.”

The panel consists of seven dentists with significant knowledge of and experience in dental technology, including Dr. Shuman; John Flucke, DDS, writer, speaker and Technology Editor for Dental Products Report; Paul Feuerstein, DMD, writer, speaker and Technology Editor for Dental Economics; Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Dental Informatics at the University of Pittsburg, School of Dental Medicine; Marty Jablow, DMD, technology writer and speaker; Parag Kachalia, DDS, Director of New Technology at the University of the Pacific, School of Dentistry; and Larry Emmott, DDS, technology writer, speaker and dental marketing consulting. “I feel very fortunate that a panel of this magnitude has agreed to contribute to the selection process,” said Dr. Shuman.

For more information on Air Techniques, visit www.airtechniques.com, click on the “news envelop” icon to subscribe to AT Connection. Become a fan of Air Techniques on facebookand follow us on twitter.

 

Contacts

Air Techniques Inc. Kelly Menekou, 516-214-5584 Marketing Communications Coordinator kmenekou@airtechniques.com

 

 

Monday, August 8, 2011

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The long awaited successor to the Sony Play Station Portable (PSP) is due out this fall.  Dubbed the PlayStation Vita, it should be available this fall with an expected price of $249.00 for a WiFi only model.
The amazing thing is that this handheld gaming system is almost as powerful as Sony's full sized PS3 system.  Packing that much horsepower into this small footprint is truly amazing!
The device has a touchscreen and also has an accelerometer which makes it motion sensitive.
It will let owners connect with other PS Vita owners via WiFi & wireless phone networks, but in the U.S. Sony will only be working with AT&T.  Of course, if you have a wireless hotspot or a wireless hotspot  phone, then you'll only ned the WiFi version no matter whose network you are on.  I bought a WiFi only iPad & use my Sprint Passport mobile hotspot to get a 4G connection when I'm on the go.
It will also sport front & rear facing cameras with a touchpad on the back to complement the touchscreen on the front.
It's definitely a step up from the PSP, which it will be replacing.  The cameras & touchscreen area a great addition and the price isn't bad either.
Anyone interested?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wrist Charger for Extra Power to Your Gadgets

 

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Ever have need of more battery than your gadgets can deliver?  Me too.  It always seems those flight delays or long road trips exhaust the batteries in your p hone, MP3 player, or cell phone long before you're at your destination.
To the rescue comes the Wrist Charger.  It's a device that you wear on your wrist, similar to a watch, only it provides power to your gadgets after their internal battery has raised the white flag.
Here are all the details:

Product Specifications

  • Wristband battery charger will charge your device while you use it!
  • Great for extending the battery life of your handheld game system or cell phone while traveling.
  • Features:
    • Rechargeable Lithium ion Battery (1,500mAh, 5.5V)
    • Capacity: 1,500mAh, 5.5V
    • Input: DC 5V
    • LED Indicators - Power-On and 4 Levels Power Meter
    • On/Off button design
    • Dimension: 256 x 34 x 12mm (approx.)
    • Weight: 82g
  • Connectors:
    • iPhone
    • Nokia II (2mm)
    • Nokia I (3.5mm)
    • Mini USB (for Motorola/HTC/Dopod/MP3/MP4)
    • LG
    • Samsung i900
    • Sony Ericsson
    • Sony PSP
    • NDS Lite
    • Nintendo DSi
  • Package Contents:
    • 1 x USB Wrist Band Battery
    • 1 x Mini USB Cable
    • 1 x Charger Output Cable
    • 9 x Connectors

 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Google Removes 3rd Party Reviews...

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When I was a kid, there was a pretty popular commercial for Chiffon Margarine where an actress playing "Mother Nature" was given a tub of something to taste.  She immediately identified it as "my sweet, creamy butter".  When told it was Chiffon and that "it tastes so good, it even fooled you", the actress immediately looked angry.  The promo ended with thunder, lightening, and the actress uttering the now famous tagline "it's not nice to fool mother nature".
The same can be said for a certain search engine company in Mountain View, California.  You really don't want to anger The Big G... especially if they are doing you a favor.
It seems that some rating sites began to complain that Google was taking their data and displaying it without their permission.  These rankings were being displayed on Google's "Places" pages or when you searched on a location on Google such as (in my case) "Lee's Summit Dentist".  In the past when this type of search was performed, a map of the general area was displayed along with the names of the business type.  Next to the names would be a series of stars showing the average rating  amassed by sites such as Demandforce, Yelp, Vitals, Angie's List, or CitySearch.
So, when many of these types of sites began to complain of the way Google was using their data, Google simply quite using it and quit listing the stars for most businesses as they had been.
This is interesting to me since I wouldn't go to a bunch of individual sites to see their rankings of a business, but I might check out a business on Google and then go to these other sites to check the business rankings or to read some of the reviews.  So, in my opinion, these sites sort of "shot themselves in the foot" by their complaints of Google using their data without permission.   By doing so, they forced Google to choose not to include this data and, consequently, eliminated a major way that consumers learned of the sites in the first place.
It's not nice to fool mother nature...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Experience Gendex as the Bus Hits the Road!!!

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Sometimes I'm sworn to secrecy on certain things in the industry and it is so difficult to keep things to myself.  This is one of those moments and I'm glad I can finally let you readers know.
I'm proud to say that this is the first place you'll read the following announcement!!!
Starting today, Gendex is beginning their "Experience Gendex" campaign.  The centerpiece of which will be the "Gendex Bus" which is pictured above.   The bus debuted at the Gendex National Sales Meeting last month and will be making an appearance at the Henry Schein National Sales Meeting next week.  Oh yes, that's also me in the bus driver's uniform.  While I don't actually get to drive the bus, I will be making some appearances with the bus at different dental meetings.
The bus is amazing! It is completely outfitted with a dental operatory and all the Gendex equipment  you can imagine... including the latest pan and 3D technology.  It will be touring across America, making stops at major meetings and at select dental offices as well.  In fact, at the ADA meeting in Las Vegas, the bus will be on the show floor as part of the Gendex booth!
Gendex is a great company with a long track record of superior products and superior service.  That's why I've chosen to help them in some of their endeavors.  If you are looking for imaging products, you owe it to yourself to check out Gendex.
You can follow the adventures & travels of the bus by going to Experiencegendex.com There will be regular updates on Facebook, Twitter, and a real time GPS map to tell you where the bus is at any given moment.
Next Friday, August 12th, the bus will have a tour stop at my office in Lee's Summit, MO.  We'll be posting photos & videos of the visit here.  In closing I'd like to to tell you to "experience Gendex", you won't be disappointed!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Google Attempting to Spur Tablet Apps with Workshops

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I mentioned on Saturday that Motorola has sold only 440K of the Xoom Android tablet.  As I'm sure  you remember, one of the reasons that I feel Android tablets are selling way less than the iPad is the fact that the just aren't a large number of apps available for the Android tablet market.
I think the OS for both Apple & Android perform well, but the real difference for Apple is the huge number of quality apps that Apple has had, pretty much since the day the iPad launched.  I mean, at last count the Android App Store featured just under 300 apps that were formatted for Honeycomb, which is the Android OS version for tablets.  I'm not sure how many iPad specific apps that Apple has in their app store, but I'd wager it's easily more than 75,000.
Well, to help with that problem, Google is now hosting workshops that are designed to help developers bring apps to the Android platform.  These workshops are being called ADLs (Android Developer Labs).  The whole point is to teach coders ways to get their apps up and running on the tablet interface.  So Google is hoping to spur development by helping the coders better cope with the Google environment.
Here is the info on how to become involved with one of the ADLs:

Android Developer Labs 2011

 

We in Android Developer Relations have been cooking up a rather special set of Android Developer Labs (ADLs) for the second half of 2011, and we’re ready to start the ball rolling.

Here’s the schedule. These are one-day events, so in Seattle and New York we’re running it twice for two audiences.

This ADL series isn’t another set of introduction-to-Android sessions, nor any other kind of general overview. It's specifically aimed at optimizing Android apps for tablets, in particular creating high-quality tablet apps with an emphasis on polish and user-experience.

Registration is a two-step process. Anyone can register, but we can only accommodate a relatively small number of attendees from among the registrants, based on whether they already have an Android app with the potential to be a top-tier tablet app in terms of quality, fit, and finish. The goal is to bring your app to the ADL, and leave equipped to make it into one that makes Android tablet users smile.

Do you think you qualify? Sign up and show us!