Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Tile Promises to Put an End to the Process of "Lost"

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Ever lose something really important… yeah me too.  Who would you like to never have to deal with that again?  Yeah me too.
That's why I was so happy to discover a little device called "The Tile".  This is one of those devices that is a brilliant piece of hardware engineering, yet you almost feel the need to slap yourself in the forehead because you didn't think of it.  The Tile, attached to what you don't want to lose, allows you to track your belongings.
Here is the concept.  The tile is a small, unobtrusive square piece of hardware (see the pic above) that measures 36mm X 36mm X 4.2mm.  It has rounded edges so it won't snag on things or poke you in your pocket.  The tile is attached to the object you'd like to track; which can be done using a keyring or some type of adhesive like sticky back velcro.  Once attached, the Tile transmits its location via Bluetooth 4.0, which is specifically used because it has a very low power demand.  How low?  So low that the Tile will last an entire YEAR without the need to recharge or change the battery.
The signal is picked up by an iOS app (no Android version… yet) and the app tells the user how close they are to the object.
Now you diehard geeks out there are immediately going to know that the range on Bluetooth is not great.  I'm sure you are wondering, with a limited range, how in the world can Tile help you find something that is lost that is any distance from you?  Well, to start with, the app will give you an idea of how close the Tile is to you.  If it is pretty close, you can actually use the app to cause the Tile to beep so that if you can hear it, you can find it.  However, the really cool part of this starts to happen when you really aren't' that close to the Tile...
 The  concept for this is that Tile users can use other Tile users in an interconnected “web” to help each other locate their items. The basic idea is when your Tile is within 150 feet of another user, that user's App will transmit the signal from your Tile out to the network and your app will then be relayed the location. Basically, as long as any of your Tiles are within a 150 foot range of another tile user, you have the location. And then even if the other user moves away from your Tile, the last known location will still be relayed to you.
The drawback? This idea only really works on a grand scale if you have lots of other users. The idea of all users basically working together to help each other locate their items is pretty cool. This will obviously work well in metro areas if the device gets mass-market penetration. However, for those in less populated areas not so much. Something else that I think bears mentioning is that the company says that your devices are secure. By that,  they mean that only you can see your Tiles even though other users are helping you located. Those other users will not be able to see your device on their app.
After a year the battery in the device will fail any will replace it with a new one.
Tiles are fairly inexpensive. They can be pre-ordered for $19 and if you order 4 or more the price drops to $14 per unit. The company is saying devices will begin to ship this winter. In my opinion, not a high price to pay to know where things valuable to you are.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Discovery May Lead to Fastest Processors Yet...

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Would you like all of your devices to run even faster?
 
If so, your wish may just be granted.  It seems that the folks doing research at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered something that allows electrical switching (the on/off or 1/0 computing is based on) that is literally thousands of times faster than current processors allow.  This could mean really screaming speeds in our electronics.
 
It seems that the new way of doing this involves, not silicon, but a material called magnetite.  Getting this material to switch on/off took only 1 trillionth of a second.  Don't even ask me how they measured the time...
 
The idea, of course, is that the transistor, which has ruled the integrated circuit since its invention, is based on silicon.  If a new transistor could be created using magnetite, all bets are off on speeds of our devices.
 
I found a pretty good explanation of this at PCmag.com if you'd like more details.  This may turn out to be HUGE in our future!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Don't Give Away Your Phone's Location with Your Camera's GPS

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We all love our smartphones right?  And one of the best things about your smartphone is the camera.
 
Whether it's Twitter, Instatgram, or Facebook we are pushing more photos out to sites into the cloud than ever before.
 
The problem with all of this? Your phone is probably giving away your exact location due to embedded GPS data.
 
Earlier this year, John McAfee had his location given away while he was on the run by something as simple as a photo published with an iPhone.
 
If giving away your position is something you'd rather not do, there is a great article on the Wired website.
 
Check it out here as it has all the information you need to disable GPS tagging your  smart phone photos. Whether it's Apple or Android this article will have you covered.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Build a Home Media Server

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A short post today, because the article I'm referencing really says it all.
 
With the world of digital media all around us, you need a great place to keep the content you download & create.  Sure, there's lots of stuff on The Cloud, but you've got stuff you own or created too, right?
 
Foxnews.com has a really nice article about a DIY media server which sounds like fun if you have the time and the inclination.
 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Google Brings Internet to Your TV with Google Chromecast

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Can  you imagine bringing the Internet to your TV for $35?  Well you don't have to imagine it.  The device exists and it is called Google Chromecast.
 
The $35 device is a HDMI dongle, which means it will plug into the USB port on your TV in a similar way that a USB jump drive  plugs into your USB port.
 
The dongle is controlled by an Internet connected device (tablet, laptop, PC, phone) and it is not specific to Android but will work with iOS (Apple) devcies as well.  Once the controlling device tells the website or provider what to play through the Chromecast, the dongle takes over and the controlling device is out of the loop.
 
It currently will work with YouTube, Netfiix, Pandora, and some other content.
 
Pretty cool & pretty slick if you ask me.
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dental Hygiene Thought Leader Patti DiGangi, RDH, BS Publishes Useful Pocket Guide for Correct Periodontal Coding

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DentalCodeology: More than Pocket Change Debuts in Print and Digital Formats

 

Addison, IL – July 10, 2013 –  Patti DiGangi, RDH, BS, a prominent dental hygiene thought leader, recently published a dental insurance coding guide entitled, DentalCodeology: More than Pocket Change. 

 

“This book is intended to be used by the entire dental team, including hygienists, dentists and office managers,” explained DiGangi. It is intended to answer any questions regarding proper periodontal care CDT coding by the dental hygiene department in a general dental practice, which should result in better patient outcomes and expedited insurance reimbursement.”

 

“DentalCodeology is not a reference book that will collect dust on a shelf,” DiGangi adds. “It’s designed to be on the front lines of patient care, whether in its hardcopy, pocket-sized booklet, or the downloadable digital version for smartphones.”

 

As part of her book launch, Ms. DiGangi is significantly reducing her $16.95 retail price. “For every book purchased at the discounted price of $12.00, I will also give the digital version for free,” explains DiGangi.  “Buy two print books for $20.00, and you can share one print copy and one digital copy.  My hope is that the hygienists who are attending RDH Under One Roof will share a copy with their colleagues who weren’t able to make the event.”

 

DentalCodeology: More than Pocket Change is the first book of a series designed to guide dental clinicians into the coding and electronic health records world. As dentistry moves from a

treatment-centered model to a diagnostic-centered model, consistent and accurate coding will be vital to ensure interoperability with the rest of healthcare industry.”

 


 

The book covers four of the twelve sections of CDT code related to periodontal care, including: 

 

•D0100 - 0999   I. Diagnosis

•D1000 - 0199   II Preventative

•D4000 - 0499   V. Periodontics

•D9000 - 9999  XII Adjunctive Services

 

DiGangi’s other upcoming books on dental insurance coding will include: DentalCodeology: Diagnostic Coding & Medical Necessity co-written with Christine Taxin fall 2013, followed by DentalCodeology: CAMBRA and DentalCodeology: Oral Cancer in 2014. The books will also have a corresponding web seminar component as well.

 

For more information and to order, visit www.DentalCodeology.com. Follow DentalCodeologyon Facebook. Inquire about bulk discount pricing for manufacturers, schools and associations by contacting sales@DentalCodeology.com.

 

About Patti DiGangi, RDH, BS

 

Patti DiGangi is a futurist finding strength and direction from her inner convictions. Her energetic, thought provoking and successful program development shines a bright light for others to preview the future and find their place in it. As a still practicing clinician, she brings experience and news-you-can-use to her work. Patti is a National Speaker’s Association Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) candidate and a key opinion leader for multiple manufacturers. Patti is a certified Health Information Technology trainer and a member of the American Health Information Management Association and the Dental Software Advisor advisory board taking an active role in our shaping the changes in our electronic world. Patti holds a publishing license with the American Dental Association for Current Dental Terminology and is an ADA Evidence Based Champion. Most recently, Patti is the recipient of the 2013 Sonicare Mentor of Distinction of Award and the author of the “DentalCodeology” series of mini books on correct CDT coding for the general practice dental team.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

COSMEDENT INTRODUCES A NEW TEMPORARY CROWN & BRIDGE MATERIAL Featuring Faster Working & Setting Times

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MirrorImage is part of an exciting new product line that creates beautiful temporary crown & bridge restorations with special features for both dentists and patients. MirrorImage has faster working and setting times, superior handling, strength and durability, a low exothermic reaction, excellent esthetics and a natural fluorescence that your patients will appreciate. This product is available in a 50ml, 10:1 automix cartridge in the following 5 VITA shades: A1, A2, A3, B1 and Bleach (OM2). For more information contact a Knowledgeable Cosmedent Customer Care Representative at 800-621-6729 or visit us online at www.cosmedent.com. Try MirrorImage risk-free with Cosmedent’s 30 day free-trial guarantee. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mobile Phone SIM Vulnerability Could Allow Easy Hack of Phones

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It seems every time you turn around these days, there is another security threat of some kind looming.
 
Today comes word of one that I find incredibly serious.  It seems that according to the New York Times, there is a defect in the encryption of many mobile phones with SIM cards that can allow nefarious types to create a malware infection that could cause all kinds of security problems from your mobile phone.
 
According to Karsten Nohl, who is a security expert in Germany, "We can remotely install software on a handset that operates completely independently from your phone," warned Nohl, who said he managed the entire operation in less than two minutes using a standard PC. "We can spy on you. We know your encryption keys for calls. We can read your SMSs. More than just spying, we can steal data from the SIM card, your mobile identity, and charge to your account."



Friday, July 12, 2013

SCIENTISTS PRESENT KEY FINDINGS ON NEW APPLICATIONS FOR THE CANARY SYSTEM


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Quantum Dental Technologies (QDT) announced the findings from two key presentations last week at the 60th Congress of the European Organization for Caries Research (ORCA) in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

In the first study, lesion depth of natural caries was correlated with the readings from The Canary System, DIAGNOdent (DD), and the ICDAS II (a visual ranking system). Using polarized light microscopy to examine the tooth samples, investigators found that the Canary Numbers produced a more accurate correlation with lesion depth than either the DD or ICDAS II. This strong correlation may be explained by the ability of The Canary System to measure changes in the crystal structure of the tooth.  In contrast, other caries detection devices rely on fluorescence technology.  Fluorescence can detect the presence of bacterial porphyrins but is not capable of identifying changes in tooth crystal structure.

“With an overall Pearson’s Correlation coefficient of 0.84, The Canary System can be a great tool to aid dental professionals in the diagnosis of caries and estimation of lesion depth”, said Dr. Bennett Amaechi, Professor and Director of Cariology at the University of Texas San Antonio. “This is a very exciting development in dentistry and in the management of tooth decay”.

In the second study, the energy conversion technology PTR-LUM that powers The Canary System enabled investigators to accurately detect caries around the intact margins of ceramic crown restorations. In contrast, most of the DIAGNOdent readings did not reveal the presence of tooth decay. This study showed that The Canary System may be a valuable addition to conventional methods for detecting tooth decay that develops around ceramic crowns.

“The Canary System now provides dentists with the ability to detect tooth decay beneath the edges of fillings, crowns and bridges; one of the most common conditions that lead to the clinical failure of these restorations”, said Dr. Stephen Abrams, co-founder of Quantum Dental Technologies.  “Early detection of tooth decay, before it is seen on an x-ray or detected with visual inspection, means that dentists can treat problems before the decay has destroyed significant amounts of tooth structure”. 

The Canary System is a low-powered laser-based device that uses a novel combination of heat and light to directly examine the crystal structure of teeth. The Canary System can detect, map and monitor carious lesions on any tooth surface earlier and more accurately than other existing modalities.

For those who did not attend the ORCA meeting, please visit www.thecanarysystem.com  or email info@thecanarysystem.com to request additional information.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Women's Phone Receiver Bracelet

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For the gal's out there who enjoy the blog, this one is for you!

The device shown above is a pretty cool looking (sorry, I'm a guy after all) accessory that also doubles as a way to keep up with what's happening when someone calls your mobile phone.  

This Bluetooth enabled device has a black screen which discreetly shows the name or phone number of the caller when your mobile rings.  The black screen simply looks like part of the bracelet, but in actuality it is a 128 x 32 pixel OLED display with the size of 14 mm x 35mm's.

While it is handy to know who is calling without having to look at your phone, this nifty little device does more than that. It also functions as a Bluetooth enabled hands-free device. So, instead of having a Bluetooth earbud ladies can now use a stylish bracelet instead. The device has a built-in microphone as well as a speaker. The only drawback in my opinion would be the fact that when others are around  they came here both sides of the conversation. However in a situation such as being in your car, this could be a really great solution.

It also has a nice feature that prevents you from walking away and leaving your phone behind. Whenever you and your phone are more than 16 feet apart the device vibrates warning you.

I frequently see ladies digging frantically through their purse desperately trying to find a ringing mobile phone. This device seems like the perfect answer for those types of situations. Not only can you answer your phone without digging through your purse, you can also know who's calling and decide whether to take the call or not.

The device charges in 2 hours and has 72 hours of standby time.

The retail price is $109.99 and is available at the Sky Mall website. If you think this might be for you click here to go to the page order.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

MicroMax LED Pocket Microscope… It Magnifies 100X and Works with Your iPhone

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I was nosing around one of my favorite sites for geeky gear, Thinkgeek.com and I came across this pretty cool little device.
 
I don't have any experience with it, but I thought I'd make a post about it as it seems like a pretty interesting device… and I *love* the price.
 
The photos above show the MicroMax LED Pocket 100x Microscope for iPhone (quite the name, I know).  But I'm intrigued by this little device as a way to get photos out quick and easily during those moments when you need to magnify something and then have it digital.
 
I truly *love* the intraoral cameras in my practice.  We have one in each treatment area and we reach for them multiple times a day.  They magnify about 30x and allow us to show things to patients that they've never seen before.
 
If you're in dentistry and you've never used the camera to look at every day objects, you're really missing out.  Take a look at the intricacy of a dollar bill sometime… or better yet a $100 dollar bill and you'll see what I'm talking about.
 
However, with those devices you're limited to a computer, but with the MicroMax LED Pocket Microscope you're only limited by what you look at with it.  I can see some dental applications for, perhaps, sending images of a crown margin on the die to a lab or maybe taking pics of an impression that you'd like someone to take a look at.  Of course, you can do that with the intraoral camera, but e-mailing the pics is more difficult if you don't have everything configured correctly.
 
Yet, where I think this could really shine would be in everyday use of just exploring things and teaching your children.  Imaging finding a dead bug in the windowsill at home and being able to show your kids what it looks like magnified 100x.  Cool?  You bet!
 
As I said above, I'm also impressed with the price.  The little gadget is only $19.95!  For that price, it's almost an impulse item.
 
To restate, I don't have any experience with it, but it sure looks cool.  
 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

IRS Admits to Accidentally Posting 100K SSNs on Website

Wow!  Talk about your tax dollars at work...
It seems that in a move that reeks of “shouldn't someone have known better?” the IRS recently posted the Social Security numbers of up to 100,000 individuals on a government website.
According to a story on Foxnews.com the numbers were posted to an IRS database for tax-exempt political groups. What individuals Social Security numbers are doing in a database of tax-exempt political groups is as big a mystery to me as it is to you.
Needless to say, with all the concern about data security nowadays you'd think that someone would have figured out that posting that kind of information on a public website would be completely unacceptable.
Data security is everybody's job and this is an example of a situation where someone probably inadvertently entered the information and then someone else with no knowledge of what was in the database posted that info online.
While I don't agree with what happened, I do think that as much is possible we should try to learn from others mistakes. To that end review your own security policies and try to prevent something like this from happening to you. Just as pilots are continually assessing even their best landings, you can learn from even minute mistakes. Don't ever think something like this couldn't happen to you.

Monday, July 8, 2013

More Info on Prism

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I absolutely love F-Secure. They have been my go to antivirus and security software providers for several years now.
 
From time to time the company also sends out an e-mail with interesting info on viruses and other sorts of security issues that are in the headlines.
 
Over the weekend, I received your latest e-mail where they discuss the impact of the NSA Prism project.
 
If you would like to visit the F-Secure website for more information or to purchase their software you can do so by clicking here.
 
Here is what they have to say about  Prism. I think you'll find it a very interesting read.  I'm very grateful to them for providing this info.  You should be too!
 

You have all heard about PRISM, maybe the most significant spying machine in the world’s history. And certainly one of the most significant disclosures about the United States’ intelligence operations. But how does this affect us ordinary netizens?

Let’s look at PRISM from a couple of different angles. The PRISM system is a gigantic intelligence network that gives NSA access to data in Google (Gmail, YouTube etc.), Facebook, Microsoft (Skydrive, Live, Skype etc.), Yahoo!, PalTalk, AOL and Apple. These companies are naturally denying it all, but it means nothing as that is what they would say anyway. The PRISM disclosure is backed up by leaked documents, and whistleblower Edward Snowden’s brave decision to come out under his own name makes it even more credible.

The disclosure of PRISM is hardly surprising for people familiar with IT security and privacy issues. It is not the only known intelligence program, data about Internet traffic is gathered in many other ways too. But it is still significant in many ways. It should first of all act as an eye-opener for ordinary people and politicians. It is no longer possible to dismiss people who talk about spying governments as paranoid tin foil hats.

US is not the worst country on earth when it comes to freedom on the net. But it is however a country that has made a strong promise about democracy, freedom of speech and integrity. It also aggressively fights many other countries that don’t live up to western ideals. The disclosure of a spying network that would make Stasi green of envy is of course much bigger news in a country like this.

And last but not least. US has a central role in the Internet of today. This makes PRISM a global issue and not just a local privacy threat in US. Many popular services, like Facebook, are US-based and your only options are to participate and live with PRISM, or quit. The authorities claim that they aren’t targeting US citizens, just communications involving foreigners. But that is about 95% of the world’s population. And can we believe them about not spying on the remaining 5%? So PRISM is really an issue for all of us, US citizen or not.

OK, but should I be worried? I’m no terrorist and not even criminal. I have nothing to hide. Will this really affect me?

Yes and no.

The immediate impact on your life is probably zero. These intelligence systems sift through and store huge amounts of data and it is impossible to read every single message. They use automatic filters that trigger on certain secret keywords, and flag these messages for closer examination. A message to or from you may trigger a filter once in a while, but its harmless nature will be apparent in the manual examination. There are of course a lot of private secrets that shouldn’t leak to others, but they are of no interest to authorities. The risk that such secrets leak through PRISM is close to zero. Most ordinary people fly under the radar of these systems and will not really notice them at all. What’s more scary is the stored data. We have no clue about how it will be used in the future and who will have access to it. To cite Snowden: “Even if you are not doing anything wrong, you are being watched and recorded. … You don’t have to have done anything wrong. You just have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody. Even by a wrong call.  And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you ever made.  Every friend you ever discussed something with and attack you on that basis to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context f a wrongdoer.”

So you should be very worried on a principal level. Have you ever thrown away something, just to later realize how much you would have needed it? This is what’s happening to privacy today. Many claim that they have nothing to hide and that the loss of privacy is a fair price for security. There are however two fundamental problems with that reasoning. Very few have any idea about what price we really pay, i.e. what impact the loss of privacy may have on our future lives. And nobody knows what security we get in return, if we get any at all.

The price. Today we live in a world where Internet still isn’t fully integrated in our lives. The development is fast but the net is still often seen as an alternative to handling your business in the traditional way. Any privacy issue will naturally be magnified by the day Internet is our mainstream way to communicate with other people and businesses. The intelligence systems of today are also fully capable of collecting data for any purpose, even if the official reason for building them is the fight against crime and terrorism. Today we are building more and more capable systems that tap into something that is becoming the backbone in our society. And all this with a blatant lack of openness and very rudimentary control of the purpose and use of these systems. I call this a recipe for disaster. Future misuse is inevitable, unless we change direction.

Can there for example be fair democratic elections in a country where one of the parties control the intelligence agencies, which in turn can intercept all electronic communications, including those of their political enemies?

And the upside, the benefit? Security? Sure, it sounds nice and easy to tap into the mail traffic between terrorists, wait until you have enough evidence and then bust in to arrest them all before they strike. But it’s not that easy. You can defeat these systems by using encryption, like PGP. This will still leave metadata about the communication and does not protect your identity. But you can use anonymity networks like TOR to access a webmail account. The groups that pose a real threat is no doubt competent enough to do this, so PRISM won’t catch them.  Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 in Norway in July 2011. He acted alone and didn’t need to plan the attack with anybody else. Here again, nothing to catch for PRISM. So what are we left with? A couple of lunatics who work together but aren’t skilled enough to protect their communications. The authorities will catch some of these every now and then, and proudly present the catch to prove how necessary their intelligence system is. We will never know if these lunatics really were capable to perform the strikes they were detained for. So it all boils down to something that won’t catch the real threats, but still is a privacy problem for ordinary people who aren’t motivated to use all the countermeasures.

But is there anything we can do? Some claim that we have lost the battle and privacy is dead. I disagree. Privacy is fatally wounded but not dead. It needs CPR to survive, but there is a chance if enough people realize that we shouldn’t throw privacy away.

Here’s tree concrete advices about how you can deal with government intelligence and the privacy threat it poses.

  1. The fight for our future privacy is not about technology, it’s about politics. Prerequisites for privacy are a strong protection in the legislation as well as openness and clear rules for the inevitable cases where privacy must be breached to fight crime. Vote for candidates who share the concern about privacy and are motivated to join the fight. Get familiar with EFF.
  2. Should I avoid services that participate in PRISM? You can if you like, but it may not make much difference. And some PRISM-systems are hard to avoid. But as mentioned above, we don’t know how the PRISM-data will be (mis)used in the future. If you want to minimize your exposure to intelligence, prefer cloud services located in your own country. They are not perfectly safe either, but you do at least know what legislation applies to them. Things always get complicated when you communicate over borders. The legislation and secret practices in other countries may differ significantly from your own country, and a cloud service provider must naturally obey the authorities in the country where their server farm is located.
  3. You can safely assume that if a government wants your unprotected data, they will get it. No matter where you live and whom you communicate with. And no matter if it’s your own government or some other. There are numerous known intelligence programs that target both stored data and data in transit, and even more that have remained secret. You really need to use strong cryptography and other means of protection if you have secrets that is of interest to authorities. You need to pay attention to a lot of different factors so go through your case with a trustworthy expert. Remember that intelligence systems can be used for industrial espionage as well, so relevant business secrets should be protected too. Criminals and terrorist are not the only ones who have a reason to hide.

http://safeandsavvy.f-secure.com/2013/06/11/should-i-be-worried-about-prism/?ecid=4767&nlcid=4767

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dell "Exploring" Wearable Computing Options...

I've written here before about the shrinking market for PCs as smart phones and tablets continue to take more and more of the market.

 

Now comes word that computer maker Dell is “exploring” the market of wearable computing.

 

Obviously as PC sales continue to go down, Dell is looking for a way to increase sales and to help offset the decreasing market for PCs.

 

Google  Glass has made a lot of folks really stop to consider the idea of a device worn on the body that can connect and communicate in real-time.

 

While Dell has made no statement regarding what kind of hardware they would be looking at, the idea that they are considering a move to wearable devices shows that the company feels that's where the market is headed.

 

There will obviously be lots of growing pains as these devices hit the market as no one really knows the repercussions of devices such as this. However, I certainly feel that at some point in time this will be a major part of the technology market.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sometimes You Just Gotta Reboot...

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Although this doesn't particularly deal with a PC, the lesson still applies.
 
I came home from my vacation in Moab, Utah to find that my home entertainment system had gone flaky.
 
We had suffered a pretty nasty storm while I was gone and even though I have my entire  home on a giant surge suppressor, the PC on the home system wouldn't power on and  the  complete entertainment system would only power on but do nothing else when accessed by the remote control.
 
The PC problem was easily rectified by installing a new power supply. That took about 20 min. and the machine was back online.
 
The entertainment system, however, was a much different story. I checked the remote control in a couple of different geeky ways and found that it was functioning normally. Yet, I still couldn't get the system to recognize it other than the on and off power buttons.
 
I spent at least an hour checking connections, tinkering with the remote, and a myriad of other things… All to no avail.
 
Finally as I was crawling through the rack where all the components are mounted, I noticed something I hadn't seen before. There was a small master power switch that would turn the entire system off and power it down. The remote control power down only shot off the components and left the rack itself still on.
 
About the time I noticed the master on off button I also noticed that even when the entire system was powered off by the remote control the remote control receiver was still left in the on position. By powering down using the master switch I was able to completely turn everything off including the remote receiver.
 
After waiting a couple of minutes I powered the system back on to find that the remote receiver simply needed a reboot. Everything was working perfectly.
 
The moral to the story is before you begin calling experts or trying complicated repair solutions, try shutting the whole thing off and powering it back on. Had I not noticed the small not so obvious master power switch, I'd be looking for expert help right now. Sometimes you just gotta reboot…
 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!!!

No post today as I'm spending time with family & friends.

 

I hope you are doing the same & enjoying the celebration of what America is all about!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Feedly On Your iPad… *and* in The Cloud

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I thought I'd mention this as it's been something I've been using lately and have been very happy with.
 
As you know from last Thursday's post (and at least a few other places around the Internet), on July 1st Google shut down their Reader RSS program.  As soon as the announcement was made, diehard nerds like myself began scouring  and searching in an effort to find something to replace it with.
 
I'm glad I did, as this morning when I went to use a third party program for my iPad called "Reader" I discovered that it must have been setup to simply pull info directly from Google.  How did I know?  Opening the App showed all of my headlines from Monday, but none since...
 
However, opening Feedly immediately brought about all of the new headlines and feeds that had occurred since.
 
If I had not prepared for the RSS zombie apocalypse, I would've been left without any way to gather my news and I would've lost access to all of my favorite feeds from some of the smaller and harder to find sites that don't always update on a daily basis.  Because I had taken the time to prepare for the worst (and I am the first to admit… I'm way too Type A) I managed to avoid a "no news worst case scenario".
 
So… I'm now using Digg and Feedly, however I've got to admit that at this point I am liking Feedly more.  So far it Feedly just seems a bit more user friendly and they have even attempted to adapt some of the viewing experience to hep this of us who had grown accustomed to the look of Google Reader.
 
One of the other things I've been impressed by is the Feedly Cloud.  Not only are my RSS feeds available to me on my iOS & Android devices, but all of those same feeds are available to me via a simple and clean browser interface directly from Feedly Cloud.  At this point I'm as able to get my feeds now as I ever was with Google.
 
Add to that the fact that Feedly also allows me to quickly share stuff via Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and email (among others) and this is a flat out winner.  If you are looking for a good way to make viewing the remnants of your Google Reader stellar, checkout Feedly.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Triodent Announces the V4 System

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 As of July 1, the products pictured above are officially available.
 
Behold the next generation sectional matrix system from Triodent, called the V4.
 
Triodent rocked the dental world when they released the V3 sectional matrix system a while back, and the V4 continues the company's tradition of forward thinking products that make dentists' lives easier.
 
I had the good fortune of testing the V4 clinically and I can tell you from personal experience the it is a game changer.  The band, the wedge, and the ring all allow for curing the composite through the entire system.  That includes the band which features small holes filled with a resin that allow light to penetrate, but keep the restorative surface smooth.
 
Note also that the ring has been designed for durability and easy cleaning.
 
As a baseball fan, I'm declaring the V4 a total home run!
 
I'll be posting more on the V4 in the next few days...
 
If you'd like to order, the V4 is available in the US exclusively through Ultradent so call your Ultradent rep or see the Ultradent website for all the details.  This product is highly recommended!!!  

Monday, July 1, 2013

BlackBerry Chooses to End Manufacture of PlayBook Tablet

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As the iPad and Android tablets grew in popularity, many companies jumped on the idea of tablet based computing.  Of course the operating system is very, very important to consumers.
 
Thus it was interesting to me when BlackBerry originally announced that they were entering the tablet market.  Their device, called the BlackBerry Playbook, ran the BlackBerry OS (of course).  At the time (and really even now) BlackBerry was struggling with sales of their smartphone as iOS and Android gained more and more marketshare while their App Stores sold an ever increasing number of apps that allowed users to do tons of things we never dreamed we could do with phones & tablets.
 
Lots of people, myself included, wondered what the heck BlackBerry was doing.  They were struggling selling handsets and *now* they wanted to sell tablets too?  It just didn't make much sense.
 
It turned out that it wasn't the best decision.  While BlackBerry had (and continues to have) a pretty diehard and dedicated user base, no one really seemed interested in a BlackBerry OS based tablet device.  To make that point as clearly as I can, in the first quarter of 2013 BlackBerry sold 100,000 Playbooks.  During that same time period, Apple sold 19,500,000 iPads.  That's quite a difference.
 
So… it comes as no surprise that BlackBerry CEO Thorstein Heins announced that the company has pulled the plug on the PlayBook.  This despite a recent announcement from the company that the devices would receive a BlackBerry OS 10 update.  However, now the company has reversed that decision and made the difficult call to end the manufacture of a device that just wasn't going to be a competitor.
 
I applaud them for this move.  While it is always difficult to admit something isn't working, it also shows dedication and smart business sense.  I also like competition and I think this makes them a more viable company for the long haul.
 
If you happen to have been one of the folks who purchased a Playbook, they will still support the devices, they just won't be making any more.