Friday, July 31, 2009

Amazon Offers 50 Albums for $5 Each

That's right, an album for $5. Some of them are classics such as Bryan Adams "Cuts Like a Knife" and David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs".

Amazon's digital downloads are unencrypted MP3's so they will play on any digital music player with no limits. You can also use Amazon's downloader software that automates the download process and drops the music right into iTunes; even adding the songs to the iTunes database.

The full list of albums is here. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Plustek offers full line of hard card scanners

In an effort to be a truly digital and paperless office, you need to find a way to keep efficient digital records of things that don't start out as digital. By that I mean things lilke driver's licenses, insurance cards, etc. But how do you convert them? Good question. There are devices that are designed to actually scan small items such as these. Read on for the press release from Plustek:

Scanning of items up to credit card thick, with true color and high-speed scans, the hard card scanner series is perfect for hospitals, mobile offices
and any work environment

CERRITOS (July 30, 2009) – Plustek Technology Inc. (, a manufacturer of consumer, prosumer, professional and office imaging devices (including portable scanners, sheet fed/flat bed scanners, wide format scanners and IP cameras), is pleased to offer a complete line of hard card scanner solutions to fulfill nearly any user need. Perfect for their ability to scan any media up to the thickness of a credit card, these scanners are designed to digitally capture copies of important items, for hospitals, offices, and business large or small.

Plustek’s extensive line of hard card scanners includes the OptiCard 821, MobileOffice D600, Mobile Office D28, SmartOffice PS282 and SmartOffice PL2546. Each of these scanners has the ability to scan any paper or plastic hard card up to 1.2mm thick, including ID cards, insurance cards, drivers' licenses, and plastic cards with embossed characters. The scanners also include advanced software to create searchable PDF files, allowing users to quickly search documents for occurrences of a specific word or phrase (the D28 scanner is the only exception, which scans to “image” PDF format). The scanners all use an USB interface and are extremely easy to set up and use. Applications for the scanners also include scanning of color photos and the OptiCard 821, MobileOffice D600, and SmartOffice PS282 come with BCR software to convert business cards into readable contact database.
The OptiCard 821 is an A6 Size multi-purpose sheetfed document color scanner, offering high-resolution scanning in an ultra-compact package. The scanner incorporates a high-speed USB 2.0 interface that provides fast scanning and the power source, so no external power supply is necessary, easily making any space a mobile office. The MobileOffice D600 is an A6-size scanner similar to the OptiCard 821, but has a few more features. The MobileOffice D600 can scan duplex color copies at 300dpi in 6.5 seconds and simplex copies in 3.1 seconds, making it the fastest of its kind.

The MobileOffice D28 scanner is the ideal solution for busy front desk areas such as hospitals, clinical administration, hotel reception desks, banks, post offices, police departments and rental car agencies. Additionally, the MobileOffice D28 scans at a speed of 2.2 seconds per page (28-ppm), making it the fastest scanner for its small size in the market.

The SmartOffice PS282 scanner is a collapsible, integrated high-speed sheetfed scanner that is ideal for anyone looking to go paperless within a budget. The SmartOffice PS282 and SmartOffice PL2546 both have an automatic document feeder that accommodates up to 50 sheets of paper, with a duplex scan speed of 25 images per minute. The SmartOffice PL2546 scanner also has a flatbed to scan bounded materials making it ideal for government departments, institutions, enterprises, organizations and distributed branch offices to help handle the day-to-day tasks of digitizing paper and hard card data.

All five Plustek hard card scanners are ideal solutions for every user need. The scanners are available now and priced affordably at USD $149 (OptiCard 821), $299 (MobileOffice D600 & MobileOffice D28), $349 (SmartOffice PS282) and $699 (SmartOffice PL2546), making Plustek the best choice for any personal or business matter.


Plustek products are in full distribution with Ingram Micro & D&H. All Plustek scanners can be purchased from TigerDirect, New Egg, CDW, Insight, PC mall, and other major e-tailers. Stores and other vendors interested in carrying Plustek’s award-winning line-up of products may contact Plustek directly at

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FDA Reaffirms Amalgam Safety

Yesterday the Food and Drug Administration made their final ruling on dental amalgam. The FDA has classified amalgam as a Class II medical device. Here is the info sent out yesterday by the American Dental Association after the announcement:

After years of careful investigation and the review of some 200 scientific studies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today reaffirmed its view that dental amalgam is a safe, effective material for use in dental restorations.

The FDA ruling classifies encapsulated amalgam as a class II medical device, which places it in the same class as gold and composite fillings. The ADA has supported a class II designation for amalgam since the FDA first proposed it in 2002.

"The FDA has left the decision about dental treatment right where it needs to be—between the dentist and the patient," said Dr. John S. Findley, ADA president.

Speaking for the FDA today at a lunchtime news conference was Dr. Susan Runner, acting director of the agency's Division of Anesthesiology, General Hospital, Infection Control and Dental Devices, FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

"The best available scientific evidence supports the conclusion that patients with dental amalgam fillings are not at risk for mercury-associated adverse health effects," said Dr. Runner.

She went on to say that "long-term clinical studies in adults and children aged 6 and older with dental amalgam fillings have not established a causal link between dental amalgam and adverse health effects."

Dr. Runner noted, too, that the FDA explored potential health effects of dental amalgam in developing fetuses, breast-fed infants and children under age six. Although the research on these populations is more limited, she said, "the scientific evidence that is available suggests that these populations also are not at risk."

Some patients, she noted, have an allergy or sensitivity to the mercury or other metals in dental amalgam. Such patients may develop "contact reactions" within the oral cavity.

To address the needs of these patients, said Dr. Runner, the FDA is placing special controls on dental amalgam to help provide "reasonable assurance" of its safety and effectiveness. These special controls include recommended performance tests to ensure that essential information is provided to the FDA when devices are submitted for evaluation.

The special controls also instruct manufacturers to add language to their product labeling tTo read the FDA's complete media statement on dental amalgam, please visit

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rumors of Mac Tablet Begin to Heat Up

For quite some time now, the rumors have swirled that Apple is working on some type of tablet. These rumors have been met with either denials or silence by the gang in Cuperino, but now new rumors indicate the much anticipated device could be on the near horizon.

The idea is a device that is larger than an iPod Touch and carries more functionality while maintaining the Touch's ease of use and touchscreen. Apple is said to also be in discussion with publishers to create content to be read on the device ( a la the Kindle). It will not have a phone connection but should be able to support wireless broadband adapters that are used on laptops.

Speculation is that the device will be announced in September when Apple normally announces new iPods and will be available for the Christmas buying season.

I'm inclined to believe this one since the rumors are so rampant at this point. Even the Financial Times of London has entered the speculation game on this one. No word on price, memory, or anything else yet. I'm persoanlly ready to call this one confirmed.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New York Traffic Cameras Stolen then Sold

This is a story that's so strange it's hard to believe, but it does deal with some technology so I thought I'd pass it along. It seems that New York City has traffic cameras that photograph cars running red lights. These traffic cams snap photos of the offending vehicles which includes the license plate and are used to issue traffic citations.

The boxes that hold the cameras don't let you see what kind of hardware is inside, but I was amazed to find out that the NYC system was using Nikon D2X DSLR's. Although when you think about it, you want to make sure the evidence photo is crisp and clear.

It seems that these devices started disappearing. A total of 22 cameras were stolen over a one month period before the thieves were apprehended. Get a load of this: the cameras were stolen by a guy and gal with a cherry picker who were pawning the cameras to finance heroin habits!

Not only that, but the cameras were being sold for only $300. I guess they had no idea what the value was. This definitely falls under one of those "strange but true" categories.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pre once again syncs with iTunes

Well, I called this one... sort of. This week, Palm issued an update to the Pre OS and one of the things it did was to allow the Pre to again sync with iTunes.

As you may remember for a previous post here, when the Pre was released it could sync with iTunes. The device even showed up in the iTunes software as an iPod icon but with the name "Pre" associated with it. Apple then released an update to the iTunes software last week that effectively removed the ability of the Pre to synch with iTunes.

Now Palm has made the "third move" in this chess match. How long this will go on is anyone's guess. Several execs at Palm were previously high level execs at Apple so one would surmise they have intimate knowledge of iTunes.

However, Jobs and Apple are well known for their tenacity in such things so I am now looking for a counter-move by Apple in their next update. As for now, if you have a Palm Pre you can update your iTunes software with no worries.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Epocrates Essentials Details

epocrates logo.jpg

Epocrates continues to evolve and improve their database products for healthcare professionals. Their iPhone product, in particular, has been updated and expanded several times since its launch. Here is the latest rundown of features and benefits. If you have an iPhone, you should check this out.

Epocrates Essentials for iPhone OS includes:

Medication Information — Review continually updated prescribing and safety information on over 3,300 branded and generic prescription drugs, hundreds of over-the-counter products, and hundreds of alternative (herbal) medicines and dietary supplements.

InteractionCheck — tap the "Interactions" tab and enter up to 30 drugs to check for interactions.

Disease Information and Images — Access in-depth diagnostic and evidence-based treatment information for hundreds of diseases and conditions, including high-resolution disease images. This peer-reviewed content was developed in collaboration with the BMJ Group.

Pill ID — Identify a mystery drug by tapping the "Pill ID" tab and entering its physical characteristics such as color and size.
Infectious Disease Treatment Guide — gives you treatment guidelines and recommendations for hundreds of infectious diseases, linked to drug monographs.

Diagnostic and Lab Tests — Get help with lab preparation, interpretation, and next steps.

Search by Class — Search for a drug by its name or tap “Browse Drugs, Diseases, Labs…” and choose “Drug by Class” to find a drug by its classification.

Tables/Calcs — Additional association guidelines, references and medical calculators to help you every day.

Formularies — click on "My Account" at and select "Edit Formularies" to add free health plan, hospital, and Medicare Part D insurance formularies.

Landscape mode viewing

DocAlert® messages — timely clinical news appears each time you sync.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Align Technology Provides Update on Patent Litigation with Ormco Corporation

For those of you following the litigation of Ormco against Align Technologies (makers of Invisalign) here is a recent update. I know lots of you have been following Align as of late according to your comments and e-mails I've received. This is the latest public knowledge on the ongoing litigation. Maybe Align's whole "10 cases or get lost" policy has something to do with this or maybe not. Anyway, here is the info:

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Align Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGN) today provided an update on the a lawsuit brought by Ormco Corporation (Ormco) against Align Technology, Inc. (Align) in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (District Court), which was tried by jury June 9 through June 25, 2009.

As previously disclosed, on June 26, 2009, the jury delivered a verdict against Align. Ormco alleged that Align infringed claims of Ormco's 6,616,444 patent. Align claimed non-infringement, invalidity, as well as unenforceability of the patent and equitable defenses. The jury found the claims asserted by Ormco in the 6,616,444 patent to be infringed and valid. The jury also issued an advisory verdict that Ormco did not engage in prosecution laches or unclean hands, equitable defenses raised by Align. The jury only determined liability. Any monetary damages will be determined in a later trial, which has not been schedule, but would likely occur in early 2010. The jury verdict does not preclude Align from selling its Invisalign System. We have not accrued any liability for the judgment related to the Ormco litigation as such amounts are not reasonably estimable at this time. This is due to a number of factors, including: that the Court has not yet entered judgment; that discovery regarding possible damages is a lengthy and time consuming process involving testimony of experts and has not yet begun; and that determining a reasonable royalty rate is highly fact specific and there are many complicated factors to consider in this case.

The Court requested and has received briefing on the equitable defenses raised by Align and is expected to rule on the equitable defenses later this week. Align believes the facts and the law do not support the jury's findings of infringement and validity and therefore has filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law on all issues seeking to set aside the jury's verdict of liability. The Court has set a hearing on our motion for August 3, 2009, after which the Court is expected to enter judgment. Depending on the judgment entered by the Court, we may file various post-trial motions and if unsuccessful, we intend to appeal the liability decision and request a stay of the damages phase of the case pending appeal

On July 13, 2009, Ormco filed a motion for permanent injunction against Align seeking to enjoin the sale of the Invisalign System through the January 2010 expiration of the 6,616,444 patent, as well as other injunctive relief including the destruction of all material, including software, created by Align from September 2003 to the present, the discontinuation of certification programs and the decertification of doctors certified from September 2003 to the present and the destruction of sales representatives' records developed during this time period. The Court has scheduled a hearing on the motion for permanent injunction for August 17, 2009. Ormco seeks unusual injunctive relief that we believe is unwarranted and not supported by the law or facts of the case. Align will contend that an injunction would cause irreparable harm to Align, its employees and those doctors who include Invisalign as a large part of their practice, and would interrupt patient treatment and services currently underway. In addition, a balancing of hardships weighs heavily in Align's favor as the issuance of the injunction would require Align the cease the sale of its sole product, the Invisalign System, while the denial of the injunction does not harm Ormco. Finally, any harm Ormco claims to have suffered would be sufficiently compensated by money damage. For these reasons, we strongly believe that Ormco's motion for a permanent injunction should be denied and we will vigorously oppose the motion. In the unlikely event that the Court grants a permanent injunction, we would immediately appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and seek to stay the injunction.

Ormco Patent Litigation Background Previously Disclosed:

Align has had ongoing patent litigation with Ormco, since 2003 when Ormco sued Align for patent infringement and Align won a sweeping summary judgment. Ormco appealed that decision and in August 2007 the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that 86 of Ormco's 92 claims (related to 6,616,432, '243, '861 and '444 patents) were invalid and not infringed by Align. Ormco pursued the six remaining claims, which relate generally to a process of gathering and organizing tooth data, in the lawsuit against Align in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New BRUSH & SCULPT Composite™ from Cosmedent

Cosmedent’s Brush & Sculpt is a virtually colorless liquid resin that is specially formulated for dentists who utilize the Brush and Sculpt technique. This composite
material is easy to smooth and manipulate with a brush and is great for preventing
pullback of composite. Plus, Brush & Sculpt does not contain HEMA so there will
be no discoloration of the composite resin. Brush & Sculpt is 36% filled and is avail-
able in 1 gram syringes.

To order Brush & Sculpt call Cosmedent toll-free at 1-800-621-6729 or visit

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Apple "fixes" iTunes to not Sync with Palm Pre

Well, I knew this had to be coming. When I got my Palm Pre I was stunned that when I plugged it into my MacBook Pro, iTunes saw the device as an iPod. I can use iTunes to transfer and manage the music on the Pre.

I figured as soon as Apple saw that, they'd have a conniption, and I was right. The latest update to iTunes (version 8.2.1) removes the Pre's ability to connect. Apple calls this "addresses an issue of verification of Apple devices" which is Applespeak for "we're not letting anyone else have access to iTunes".

If you have a Palm Pre and like the iTunes integration, refuse the iTunes update (I did). However that are lots of ways to get the music on your Pre so if you want to or already have updated, you can simply connect to your computer and drag and drop the files into the music folder.

Will Palm now provide a Pre update that will once again allow access? This could be an ongoing battle.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Can Nanotechnology Improve the Lives of Denture Wearers?

Have you ever been one of those people that looks at nanotech and says, "what good is that stuff ever going to do?" The answer is, "lots of stuff are/will be better because of it", but here is a great thing that can improve the quality of life for those patients who wear complete dentures. Here is the press release:

Prize winning research could bring relief to 3.5million denture stomatis sufferers

Liverpool, UK - 16 June 2009: A University of Liverpool research project, which has the potential to bring relief to the estimated 3.5 million UK sufferers of oral thrush, has won the £25,000 Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize. This will allow the project to proceed to clinical evaluation.

According to the most recent adult dental survey, 28 percent of the UK population wears dentures and a quarter of these are likely to develop denture stomatitis or fungal induced stomatitis (mainly Candida albicans), commonly known as oral thrush. This is a significant problem for denture wearers and is seemingly on the increase.

The Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize, which is awarded in the form of an investment, enables the winner to engage in the early commercialisation of promising research and has been won by a team of scientists from the University of Liverpool. This team is led by senior lecturer and material scientist, Dr Rachel Williams, and senior lecturer in oral surgery, Dr Luke Dawson.

The project’s idea is based on a cost effective nanoparticle silica coating which inhibits the adhesion and proliferation of cells and micro-organisms. Laboratory tests show that the nanoparticulate silica coating can inhibit the build up of virulent oral thrush (Candida albicans). Using Proof of Concept (POC) funds awarded by the University technology transfer company, Ulive, the team has developed a transparent solution containing the nanoparticles with adhesive patches on each particle which promote attachment to the denture. This solution can be used by denture wearers as part of their normal cleaning procedure and provides a renewable, tasteless nanoparticulate coating on the dentures which will prevent oral thrush infections.

“Our approach will reduce the need for sufferers of oral thrush to be treated by drug therapy. This is important as these drugs cannot be used in all patients”, said Dr Williams. “Our product aims to prevent the occurrence of oral thrush and maintain a healthy mouth via continual renewal of the nanoparticle coating.”

“Having proved the principle in the laboratory using the Ulive POC funding we now need to assess this product in a clinical setting,” continued Dr Williams. “The prize win will go towards carrying out clinical trials and evaluation in key patient groups.”

“This product is a very worthy winner,” explained Professor Bill Bonfield chairman of the Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize judging panel. “Our aim is to stimulate and encourage materials science development and Dr Williams and her team is, by exploiting materials technology that inhibits cell-surface interactions, using a science that will have a highly significant bearing on the development of materials and surfaces in healthcare.”

Alongside Professor Bonfield on the judging panel were Cambridge based material scientist Professor Colin Humphreys, representatives from First Ventures which invests and advises high potential technology companies and representatives from the Armourers and Brasiers Company.

“We see significant potential for this product as a regular denture cleaning product,” said Dr Williams. “Worldwide market opportunities are significant especially in the developed world due to an aging population leading to an increasing number of denture wearers.”

The Liverpool University team comprises Dr Rachel Williams (lead; School of Clinical Sciences), Dr Luke Dawson (School of Dental Sciences), colloid scientist Dr. Mike Garvey (Department of Physics), microbiologist Dr. Heather Allison (School of Biological Sciences) and business manager Dr. Gillian Murray (Ulive Enterprises)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wii CPR Trianing May be On the Horizon

The folks at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have come up with a great idea. The Nintendo Wii has accelerometers in the controller, so why not use them to help teach the ideal way to do CPR? This is one of those great ideas that come from thinking outside the box. The American Heart Association has even said it will make the program open source and available for free from their website when it is completed.

UAB Engineering Students use the Wii for CPR from uabnews on Vimeo.

Here is all the info from the press release:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The American Heart Association has pledged $50,000 to fund the work of University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) biomedical engineering undergraduate students who are working to develop a computer program that teaches CPR using hand-held remote controls from the Nintendo® Wii video game console.

Students James McKee, Jack Wimbish, Haisam Islam and Zach Clark began work on the project as seniors at UAB. Along with faculty advisers Greg Walcott, M.D., associate professor of medicine, and Jack Rogers, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering, the team has been developing the Wii CPR technology for the last seven months. Based on an idea initiated by Walcott, the technology is a computer program that can be downloaded on home computers and synched with the wireless technology of the Wii remote to teach users proper CPR technique.

"We began talking about the possibility of using the Nintendo Wii to teach CPR last January, and that is when we initially contacted the American Heart Association about the idea," Walcott said. "The Heart Association wanted a better sense of how it might work, so we assigned the research to our senior year biomedical engineering students this past spring semester for their senior project."

The UAB team worked on the Wii CPR project for its Design in BME biomedical engineering course, which required the students to successfully design and construct a prototype of the technology for real-world use in order to pass the course. After a successful class presentation in May, which showed the students' progress and the real potential for the technology, the American Heart Association contacted UAB to offer the education grant, Rogers said.

"The Heart Association's high interest in our students' innovations points to potential of this project and how it fits in with its desire to deliver reliable CPR education to the masses," Rogers said.

When completed, the UAB Wii CPR program will become available on the American Heart Association Web site as an open source code download, which would make it free and available to anyone with Internet access. The UAB team says it could complete its program development by early fall of 2009.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nintendo to Give Wii a Facelift with a New Color

Although the rumors are that nothing internally has changed, Nintendo is about to release this new Wii in Japan. Speculation is that the device will show up on Japanese shelves on August 1st.

You have to admit the Wii in all black instead of its famous all white is pretty cool. My thinking is that all the other game systems I can think of are dark colored so at the initial launch, Nintendo wanted something that looked completely different and stood out. Now that market penetration is so high, they've gone back and offered the "cool" black.

Of course, just because it's in Japan doesn't guarantee that it will be available in the US, but let's face it... this would sell pretty well in the states, don't you think?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Trimira™ Offers Online Library of Oral Cancer Images

Trimira, manufacturer of the Identifi 3000 oral cancer screening device has now placed a library of clinical images online. The idea, of course, is to help in the identification of lesions that the clinician may come across. I also suggest the online clinical library of oral pathology images available with a subscription to Lexi-Comp online.

Oral cancer incidence is growing; up over 11% in 2007 in the U.S.

Here is the info from the Trimira press release:

HOUSTON, TX: July 15, 2009 Trimira™ LLC, manufacturers of the Identafi 3000™ Oral Cancer Screening Device, have developed the Trimira Clinical Image Library, a comprehensive online catalog of clinical photographs taken by leading scientists and researchers. The images show a diverse array of lesions in various locations in the oral cavity. Access to the library is free and available at A demo version can be accessed by anyone; the full library is available only to registered Trimira customers.

Photographs in the Trimira Clinical Image Library were taken under the three proprietary multispectral lights produced by the Identafi 3000, providing optimal visualization of the lesions. Images are categorized by location in the mouth, type of dysplasia, and appearance under each light wavelength. Trimira plans to increase the number and diversity of photographs in the coming months.

The Trimira Identafi 3000 is a small, cordless, affordable handheld device that helps clinicians effectively detect early cancers not visible to the naked eye. The device uses a three-wavelength optical fluorescence and reflectance technology patented by Trimira LLC of Houston. The Identafi 3000 was developed in collaboration with scientists at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Rice University, and British Columbia Cancer Research Center, and is now available through dealers nationwide. Trimira LLC is a subsidiary of Remicalm LLC, a privately held medical device and optical imaging company.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Orascoptic Discovery LED Evaluation Complete

Orascoptic Discovery LED.jpg
For years I've used the Orascoptic Zeon LumenArc system which is an auxiliary lighting system composed of the LumenArc light box and a fiber optic cord that led from the box to a light situated on my Orascoptic 4.8 TTL surgical telescopes.

However, for the last month I've been seeing patients using the device pictured above, the Orascoptic Zeon Discovery LED. Here are my impressions:

  • Brightness: Amazing. 7000 foot candles at high power. This is 2000 foot candles brighter than the LumenArc bulb system.
  • Ease of use: 3 brightness settings with buttons that can be found easily by feel and an orange curing filter means my light doesn't set my composites and I always have just the right amount of light.
  • Convenience: Not being tethered is a huge factor. Also the cord is light and easily tolerated; much more so than the fiber optic cable I was using previously.
  • Battery pack: I bit heavy at 8.5 oz but well worth it since it provides all day power for the system. I wear cargo pant scrubs and the battery pack is easy to place into one of the leg pockets. The pack comes with an included clip so that it can also be worn on the waist.
  • Battery life: It's as bright at the end of the day as at the beginning. The battery will power the light (even at its brightest setting) for up to 7 hours.
  • Recharging: Battery pack recharges in 3 hours or less and the unit can be used while the battery pack is attached to an outlet in a worst case scenario. At the end of the day I remove the LED cord to my glasses and plug the pack into its charger.
Overall: A home run product and highly recommended. If you came and took it away from me, I'd need another one tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New ProDrive Handpiece now Undergoing Clinical Testing

Yesterday I received the new handpiece branded by ProDrive. The device is a joint venture between ProDrive Systems and Sirona. It features the ProDrive triangular chuck system that I've fallen in love with through the upgrades to my Kavo highspeeds.

This new handpiece can be purchased through your regular ProDrive dealer. I'm excited to see what this thing can do.

Obviously the company will continue to manufacture replacement turbines for Star, Midwest, and Kavo (others will be coming), but if you need new handpieces this may be the way to go.

I'll report back on my impressions after a few days of clinical testing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New SimpleTOUGH Portable Hard Drives from Hitachi - Tough and Cool

Hitachi is a name well known to consumers. The company makes countless products for both consumers and business. The device pictured above is from their line of portable hard drives. The SimpleTOUGH line is designed to be exactly what the name implies. The USB 2.0 drives are simple to setup and use while being tough and durable.

Anyone who carries a portable hard drive (and I've been known to carry a few) will tell you the number one fear for data loss is dropping the device or having it bang around inside a bag or backpack. The constant wear and tear these things can receive simply by being transported is much more than most people imagine.

Hitachi has designed the SimpleTOUGH line to be able to stand up to these rigors and more. My favorite part is the integrated USB cable so you don't have to worry about carrying one with you wherever you go. The newest drives have 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB capacities. Here is what the company has to say:

  • Plug n‘ play simple for instant USB drive access
  • Automatic backups with Hitachi Local Backup™
  • Complete, unbeatable protection with Hitachi Ultimate Backup™ online service (2 GB free)
  • Joggle™ digital content manager for easy tracking, sharing and publishing of photos, music, and videos
  • Rugged pocket-sized design
  • Drop and spill resistant
  • Velvety smooth texture for a secure grip
  • Durable and made for travel
  • Integrated USB cable
  • Free technical support
  • 3-year warranty
We live in a rough world so why not take your data with you? SimpleTOUGH is the ultimate in durability and data safety, all in a ruggedly handsome design. Made with a rough and tumble lifestyle in mind, SimpleTOUGH features ergonomic sides for easy carrying, velvety smooth rubberized body, an integrated, flexible USB cable (you’ll never forget the cable again!) and a cool topside LED.

But don‘t be fooled by its stylish exterior! Designed and constructed for an active lifestyle, SimpleTOUGH won’t let you down. Award-winning Hitachi disk drives ensure that your data is safe and sound. Just plug one in, and inside you’ll find smart ways to protect and manage all your precious stuff. SimpleTOUGH features both local and online backup for unbeatable, total protection. With Hitachi Local Backup software, you can set up automatic backups from your computer to your SimpleTOUGH, while Hitachi Ultimate Backup (2 GB fee) provides secure, online backup that’s safe from real world mishaps. It works in the background, for constant, near-real time protection without bogging down your computer.

You’ll not find tougher or more stylish portable storage than SimpleTOUGH. Backed by the Hitachi brand of reliable and fast hard disk drives, SimpleTOUGH delivers on its promise to “Inspire the Next”. Now you can rest assured that your valuable data is protected by the leader in storage.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Epocrates Provides New OTC Module

Epocrates continues to evolve. They are now offering a new OTC module for all platforms. Read on for all the details.

Questions about OTCs? Reach for Epocrates! With access to the latest information on hundreds of brand name over-the-counter drugs, you’ll quickly find effective OTC treatments for your patients. Each product-specific monograph answers questions such as:
What's the dose for my patient’s age?
What flavors are available?
Does the product contain alcohol, sugar, or dyes?
Is there another product with the same active ingredients, but in a chewable or liquid form?
Is this product covered by my patient’s health insurance?
It’s available with any of our premium products. Choose your platform and pick the one that’s right for you!

Already subscribe to a premium product? There’s no additional cost to get OTC's.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Zila Board Finds the Intelident Proposal Not Superior to Tolmar Offer

Interesting news on Zila, maker of ViziLite:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zila, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZILA) today announced that its Board of Directors has carefully reviewed a non-binding contingent proposal submitted by Intelident Solutions Inc. (Intelident) to Zila on July 7, 2009 to acquire all of Zila’s common stock for $0.42 per share. The Board concluded that the Intelident proposal is not superior to Zila’s existing agreement to be acquired by Tolmar Holding, Inc. (Tolmar).

As previously announced on June 25, 2009, Zila entered into a definitive merger agreement with Tolmar. Under terms of the agreement, Tolmar agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Zila for a cash purchase price of $0.38 per share, representing an approximate premium of 18% over the closing price of Zila’s shares on June 24, 2009. Total consideration paid by Tolmar includes the purchase of Zila’s existing $12 million senior secured convertible debt from the note holders for $5 million pursuant to a Note Purchase Agreement entered into by Tolmar and the note holders.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Amazon drops price of Kindle 2 to $299

Kindle now 299.jpg
For those of you who have been considering a Kindle, but didn't want to part with the cash, here's a deal that may make it a bit easier for you. Amazon has just dropped the price of the latest Kindle version (2.0) to $299.

My only complaint with the new device is that it doesn't have an SD slot like version 1.0. Other than that it's a better and much thinner device.

By ordering now you'll have saved about $100 over the price of those who ordered the day it became available. The Kindle is an amazing thing to own. I absolutely love mine and can't imagine being without it. Add to that the point that I was actually skeptical about owning one until I got my hands on mine. I thought it would be a "toy" and not much else, but now I carry mine with me almost anywhere.

The Amazon Kindle is highly recommended!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Genius Launches 2 New Dual-Platform Graphics Tablets and They're Less Than $100 Each!

If you like using a graphics tablet or if you have a patient education system that allows drawing like Guru, this is a great way to get more out of that software for a reasonable price!

The EasyPen i405 and MousePen i608 are perfect for summer play and on-the-go work environments

MIAMI (July 7, 2009)– Genius (, a brand division of KYE Systems Corp., today announced new additions to the company’s extensive line up of digital tablets, the EasyPen i405 and MousePen i608, for business professionals, graphic designers and artists on-the-go. The tablets are dual-platform, working on both MACs and PCs, and come with a variety of useful software.

The EasyPen i405 has 28 programmable “Hot-Keys”, while the MousePen i608 has 29, for instant and easy access to common Office and Internet functions. The cordless pen features 1024-level pressure sensitivity and two buttons for controlling shapes and thickness while drawing or writing. The EasyPen i405 has a 4” x 5.5” working area for easy transport and use in a car, coffee shop or any type of mobile office. The MousePen i608 has a larger 8”x6” working area and comes with a cordless mouse with integrated scroll wheel for ease and convenience while using the tablet.

Both tablets can be used to write, draw, sketch and/or sign documents, saving time and creating a great solution to paper waste. Users have the ability to edit their photos, make comments, personalize documents and navigate their workspace for the perfect personal touch. It is ideal for creative types who like drawing, bloggers, artists, and anyone craving a digital pen as opposed to a keyboard, which only allows typing.

Priced at $79 MSRP (EasyPen i405) and $99 MSRP (MousePen i608), both tablets come bundled with PenNotice, Annotate for Word, Commander, PenMail, and PenSigner, providing useful and convenient functions for presentations or handwritten notes. Interested shoppers can go to,, Tiger Direct, or other retailers and distributors listed at

More information on all of Genius’ tablets visit

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google Announces it is working on Operating System

google logo.jpg
Sources now indicate that Google has announced it is working on an Operating System and is already working with PC manufacturers. This amazing news leaked onto the web last night.

The search giant is currently going after the netbook market and is basing the OS in part on its browser Chrome which has been available for free download for several months.

The Net is abuzz with all kinds of stories about it. One from PC World can be seen here.

This looks to be a major story for the long run. Google is now in direct competition with Microsoft and is known for innovation. Where this heads is anyone's guess right now.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sonicare Announces New Sonicare for Kids

The good people at Sonicare have done it again! They've built a sonic toothbrush designed specifically for kids and it's designed to grow with them. The device is designed for the grip of a child's hand. It has a quadpacer which gradually increases in time so that the child will enjoy brushing with it and not realize that soon they are brushing for the recommended 2 minutes.

The faceplate is interchangeable and comes in 3 different styles so that they can be easily switched out whenever you child wants.

I've had my evaluation unit be tested by a reliable child and the response has been phenomenal. The testimonial is "This toothbrush rocks! It's the best toothbrush I've ever used!"

The Sonicare for Kids should be available now. I'm recommending them to my kid patients and I think you should too! The device is currently available only to dental professionals, but should be available to consumers in late August.

Monday, July 6, 2009

F-Secure now offers Online Backup

I'm really fond of F-Secure. The company provides excellent antivirus and anti-spyware software. I've used them for several years and have always been very happy.

I'm now even happier, as F-Secure has announced they have a new service for online backups. It's affordable at an early bird special of $29.99 per computer and is available for PC's and Macs. I'm currently using the version for Mac and will be installing the PC version on 2 of my Windows machines shortly. Here is all the info from the company:

F-Secure® Online Backup™ is an easy-to-use and fully automated backup and
restore solution. All your important files are stored securely online, with no limit
on the amount of data. The intuitive web portal enables safe and easy access
to your backed-up pictures, documents and other digital content over the

We all take regular backups of our important files, right?
Wrong. Everyone knows that taking regular backups is important but few of us
have the time or the expertise required to set up a working system to take
care of this important aspect of data security.

Let us do it for you - automatically
F-Secure Online Backup relieves you from having to remember to take frequent
backups of your pictures, music and other important documents. It works
automatically in the background, whenever you are connected to the Internet,
backing up all your important data safely online. You can easily restore your
files, either automatically or by selecting the files you need.
F-Secure® Online Backup™ is an easy-to-use and fully automated backup and
restore solution. All your important files are stored securely online, with no limit
on the amount of data. The intuitive web portal enables safe and easy access
to your backed-up pictures, documents and other digital content over the

We all take regular backups of our important files, right?
Wrong. Everyone knows that taking regular backups is important but few of us
have the time or the expertise required to set up a working system to take
care of this important aspect of data security.
Let us do it for you - automatically
F-Secure Online Backup relieves you from having to remember to take frequent
backups of your pictures, music and other important documents. It works
automatically in the background, whenever you are connected to the Internet,
backing up all your important data safely online. You can easily restore your
files, either automatically or by selecting the files you need.

Key Features
Unlimited, secure online backup
All important files on your PC are
stored securely online, with no limit
on the amount of data. The files
are first encrypted locally (3DES)
and then transferred securely (SSL)
to online data centers. Because
F-Secure Online Backup stores your
data online, you also safeguard
your files against possible PC
failure and property damage.
Making backup DVDs or using
external hard drives do not offer
this added benefit.

Fully automatic operation
Simply install and connect to the
Internet, F-Secure Online Backup
will take care of the rest. You will
also receive regular e-mail reports
on your backup status.

Easy personal access
The intuitive web portal enables
safe and easy access to your
backed-up pictures, documents and
other digital content over the
Internet. You can also view your
digital photos or play your music
or videos with the built in media

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sprint Announces its Desire to be First with 3G Femtocell

The device pictured above is something that Sprint is hoping to have available to users before any other wireless carrier according to rumors circulating on the Net. The device is a femtocell.
It's usage is pretty simple. You plug this device into your broadband connection and it allows you to use a 3G device over broadband. If you don't have a good mobile signal in your home or office, this device works as a booster allowing you to get great coverage and using broadband instead of a wireless signal.

The neat thing about this device is that it not only works with voice, but with 3G data as well which is a big plus if you need a data connection on your phone as well as voice.

No announcement on exactly when it will debut or how much it will cost, but Sprint has stated publicly they will be the first to market. Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Could Periodontal Disease be linked to Erectile Dysfunction?

Although there are many different specialties in medicine, our goal is all the same... the optimum health of the patient. To that end, the old adage of "the knee bone is connected to the ankle bone" holds true. All bodily parts are connected and frequently when one has a problem, it can affect others.

In recent years researchers have begun to find the pathogens that are linked to periodontal disease in other parts of the body such as atherosclerotic plaque in the blood vessels of those suffering from coronary artery disease. While this does not necessarily mean that having periodontal disease predisposes one to have coronary artery disease, it is interesting that oral bugs are in the heart, and the subject continues to be researched. Perhaps one day there will be evidence that a healthy mouth means a more healthy heart, but those of us who love science will let the researchers determine that.

Along these same lines however, comes another thought about how all our parts are connected. The theory goes like this: "IF there is a possible link between periodontal disease and the narrowing of blood vessels in the heart, then could there also be a link between periodontal disease and narrowing of the blood vessels in parts of the male anatomy?"

While it's just a theory, it's an interesting thought. One group of researchers is already looking into this problem. For all the details, click here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dental Trade Alliance Launches "Oral Healthcare Can't Wait" Awareness Campaign

Although I'm convinced (through analysis on multiple factors) that the economic downturn has passed and things are already improving, not everyone shares my optimism. Many folks are concerned enough about the economic situation that they are delaying needed dental care due to concerns over costs. I'd like to point out that financing options such as CareCredit can take the fear out of costs, but I'd also like to applaud the Dental Trade Alliance for their "Oral Healthcare Can't Wait" campaign. Here is the press release:


ARLINGTON, VA – JULY 1ST, 2009 – The Dental Trade Alliance (DTA), a nonprofit trade association representing leading dental manufacturers, distributors, and laboratories, recently launched its “Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait™” awareness campaign ( in an effort to warn consumers about the risks of postponing regular dental checkups and recommended treatment. According to DTA chief executive officer Gary Price, “The current economic climate is causing many people to either postpone the treatment plans recommended by their dentists, or to put off dental visits altogether.”

The potential health risks of postponing oral healthcare treatment can be significant, with more and more published research supporting the existence of a strong link between optimum oral health and overall well-being – especially in the area of periodontal disease. “But it doesn’t have to be this way,” explains Price. “Although we face economic challenges on a national basis, the majority of Americans still have the ability to make continued and comprehensive oral care an integrated part of their lives.”

Therefore, the DTA is launching a multifaceted Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait awareness campaign to dental professionals and consumers alike. Lanmark Group, the dental industry’s leading advertising, marketing, and public relations agency, will be spearheading this effort by developing the overall strategy, creative concepts, and tactical execution on a pro bono basis. The following is just a partial outline of the campaign marketing components that Lanmark is currently providing:

• Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait logo and slogan
• Dedicated Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait website for dental professionals ( and consumers (
• Dental trade and consumer print and online advertising
• Professional and consumer public relations program
• Public service announcements
• Patient education brochures and posters
• Dental practice marketing tool kit to promote “Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait” campaign in local markets
• Online video for distribution via YouTube, etc.

“Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait promises to be a very ambitious campaign, with the ultimate goal being to sustain and improve oral health in America,” explained Price. “I’m very grateful for the level of commitment and agency resources that Lanmark president Howard Klein has pledged to this campaign, as well as the support of our leading dental industry publications, such as Compendium, Dental Economics, Dental Products Report, Dental Product Shopper, Dentistry Today, Dental Tribune, DentalTown, Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, Inside Dentistry, and RDH Magazine. In addition, the leading dental distributors Benco Dental, Burkhart Dental Supply, Darby Dental Supply, Henry Schein, Iowa Dental Supply and Patterson Dental have pledged their support to help launch this important initiative. We will also be counting on the support of DTA members in other areas, such as funding for direct-to-consumer advertising in national newspapers, television, and radio, etc. If we work together, we can make a difference.” For more information regarding the Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait Campaign, visit To pledge support, contact Dental Trade Alliance CEO Gary Price at 703-379-7755.
About the Dental Trade Alliance
The Dental Trade Alliance is an association of companies that provide dental equipment, supplies, materials, and services to dentists and other oral care professionals. Its member companies are distributors, dental laboratories, and manufacturers located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. By providing the best equipment, materials, and services to dentists and oral care professionals, they are partners in improving the oral health of everyone. For more information, visit

Thursday, July 2, 2009

High Tech Watch with a Real Retro Look

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a gadget guy. And what's a better gadget than a watch? Obviously because of my gadget infatuation, I've also got a serious watch infatuation as well.

Here's a watch that has a great look and a great story behind it as well. It seems that in 1942 in Italy, the Officine Fotana worked up some designs for watches that could be easily read in the low light conditions of the country's U-boat commanders. Although the watches were never actually created that late in World War II, the designs were kept. Now after all that time, the watches are being manufactured and sold.

The design above is the K24 3300 and it retails for about $900.

For more details on all the designs go to Welder America.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oxysure Portable and Safe Emergency Oxygen System

As health care providers, we dentists know the importance of being able to deliver positive pressure oxygen quickly and reliably in a medical emergency.

In the past 2-3 years society has seen a rapid increase in the proliferation of public AED's (Automated Electronic Defibrilators) to help those experiencing a cardiac crisis. I can imagine if you were able to pair that with a readily available supply of oxygen that it would increase the afflicted person's chance of survival.

The other problem with oxygen as it is commonly used today is that it is normally stored in pressurized cylinders (sometimes called tanks). These can be dangerous for a lay person to use as they must be handled carefully to avoid injury/disaster. If you don't believe me, take a look at this video from the Mythbusters.

What makes Oxysure such a smart idea is that the Oxygen is not stored in a cylinder but is created by a chemical reaction. The unit will provide oxygen for 15 minutes at a flow rate of 6 liters per minute.

The price of the unit is $349 and all the info can be read here.