Saturday, June 30, 2012

Help Save Lives While Getting a Chance to Go to the All-Star Game in Kansas City

There are many things in my life that I love… however this post deals with 2 specific elements in that group.  Those 2 elements are Baseball and My Sister.


For regular followers of my Twitter Feed, you know I love baseball.  I don't splurge on much in my life, but one of the things I treat myself to every year is renewing my season ticket package so that I can watch my beloved Kansas City Royals.  Now before you start with the jokes, no one knows better than I their history since 1986.  However, they are MY team and it's MY hometown, so I suffer… but I still watch.


However, for this post, the other element is my sister.  I only have one sibling… at it's her.  I won't get into *all* the details, but here is a brief overview. About 6 years ago she noticed a small lump and went to the doctor for an exam, a mammogram followed.  She was told to speak with her doctor who told her to "get her affairs in order".  What followed was a roller coaster ride that encompassed about 3 months.  Panic and fear, hugs and tears.  It was a time the family struggled through.


Long story short… she beat it.  My sister is a survivor!!!  Because of what we went through as a family, I've "gotten in touch with my inner pink".  I've become passionate about helping other families not have to go through what we did.  It's probably one of the reasons that I'm so passionate about helping detect oral cancer at its earliest stages as well.


So, when I saw the info below, I knew I had to pass it along to all of you.  This is a great opportunity to help someone less fortunate and to also have a chance to see the MidSummer Classic here in KC.  If you have the means, it would mean a great deal to me if you could help.  Even if you don't love baseball like I do, I'm sure there's a woman in your life that you love as much as I love my sister.  Do it for them!



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All Star Game

Your chance to Win 2 Tickets to the 2012 All-Star Game!

Kansas City is heating up with All-Star Fever. Want to be a part of the excitement? If you are one of the first 160 people to make a $160 donation by clicking here, your name will be entered in a drawing for 2012 All-Star Game tickets!

Why $160 Dollars?  This is the average cost for a clinical breast exam and a mammogram in Kansas City. 

We know that there are uninsured or underinsured women who cannot afford to get screened. Your donation could be used to provide someone right here in Greater Kansas City a potentially life-saving screening through our community grants program.

Regular screenings like clinical breast exams and mammograms help find breast cancer early, when it is the most responsive to treatment. When breast cancer is caught before it spreads beyond the breast, the five year survival rate is 99%. This is up from just 74% in 1982.  

This special opportunity ends once we have received 160 donations. So don't delay, make your donation today

Three winners will be drawn on Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 10AM. Prizes are:
  • (2) Two tickets for the Kansas City All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at Kauffman Stadium (for the first name drawn)
  • (2) Two tickets for the Home Run Derby on Monday, July 9, 2012 (for the second name drawn)
  • (2) Two tickets for the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Tournament on Sunday, July 8, 2012 (for the third name drawn)

Know someone else who might be interested? Please feel free to forward this message to a friend.

To avoid receiving duplicate emails, please remember to login to website using your user and password: please email me my password at the top of the page.



 AllStar 5K


Want to do more? Register for the All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run on Sunday, July 8th at 7:30AM indowntown Kansas City. Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked and Glee) as well as many MLB Legends will be in attendance. Your registration supports Komen Kansas City as well as two other cancer charities. Through July 3, use the code "Promise" to save $5 when you join Team Komen. All participants who cross the finish line will receive a MLB medal and the official All-Star Game Charity 5K and Fun Run t-shirt.




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Friday, June 29, 2012

Nationwide Text Messaging for Dangerous Weather Coming from FEMA

As someone who lives in the Midwest, I know a thing or two about the dangers of living in "Tornado Alley".


Every year, we have multiple tornado watches that bring tension and worries to residents all over the area.  As someone who lives about 160 miles north of Joplin, MO it's easy to understand and fear the power that nature can unleash.


It seems no matter what area of the country you live in, there really isn't an area that is safe from natural disasters.  If it's not tornados (which seem to be much more common the last 2 or 3 years in multiple parts of the US), then it's hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wild fires, or some other type of deadly occurrence of nature.


One of the biggest problems authorities face with these dangers is how to properly warn people.  Frequently the only way to do so is by siren, radio, and television.  However, now the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed a high tech way to let lots of people know of imminent danger the moment they need to know.  FEMA is partnering with wireless carriers to provide free text messages that warn of approaching tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards; among other things.


There is no sign up necessary and you can opt out of the service if you'd like, but really, who would want to do that?


It's nice to see our tax dollars finally being spent on something that looks like it will help to save lives.


The full story on this service can be read at  Head on over if you want the all the details.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Amazon Brings Full Cloud Storage to Market with Amazon Cloud Drive

amazon cloud drive.jpg
 Over the weekend, I installed the Amazon Cloud Drive app on my MacBook Pro.  The app allows me to simply drag a file onto the icon and the file goes to the Cloud for storage.  It's quick, easy, and efficient to use.
It seems that recently many players have entered the Cloud storage market, with the 2 largest being Google and Amazon.
I got hooked on Amazon's Cloud capabilities when they debuted their Cloud Player last year.  The premise of that was a good one.  Any purchase from the Amazon MP3 store is automatically stored on their Cloud servers and any MP3 file you own can be uploaded to the Cloud server as well.  This means that you can store all of your MP3's in the Cloud which is a great way of backing them up.  Add to that, the Cloud player which allows you to stream your music in and listen to it on any device that has an Internet connection.
So… due to the above success with their Cloud Player and storage, I was excited to be able to also use their Cloud Drive.  This allows me to store, more or less, any digital file in the Cloud.  So, I'm no longer limited to just music.  I can store documents, images, presentations, you name it.  Oh, and my storage of Cloud Drive is different from the Cloud Player.  I have unlimited music storage and have a variety of choices for the Cloud Drive size.
The normal starting size of an account is 5GB, but somehow I ended up with 20GB which may be because I am an Amazon Prime member.  However, the 20GB account is only free for one month.  After that I need to pay $20 a year for it.  This is really my only complaint.  It seems that everyone that has some type of storage offering, is making it fairly expensive to have more than the minimum amount.  Amazon offers up to 1 Terabyte of storage, but no matter what the size, it costs you one dollar per Gigabyte per year.  So, 100GB is $100/year, 200GB is $200/year, and so on.
I understand the need to turn a profit.  I also understand that there are hardware costs, employee costs, etc that go along with the service.  However, that being said, a 1 Terabyte drive can be purchased pretty much anywhere for under $100.  That price even applies to portable drives that can fit in your pocket.  So when I think of a portable 1TB drive that I can carry with me for $100 or the same storage in the Cloud for $1000, the cost outweighs the convenience for me.
What I think we'll see is that as this concept of offsite always accessible storage matures, prices will fall as they always do.  At that point, especially with the proliferation of high speed wireless networks either through Wifi or the mobile phone companies, we'll see a huge surge of usage as the prices fall and bandwidth becomes everywhere and cheap.
Years ago, Scott McNeely said "The network *is* the computer."  He missed it by a few years, but we're definitely headed in that direction.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The 30 Best iPhone Apps… According to Fox

iPhone 4s.jpeg
I'm personally not a huge fan of Top "Anything" Lists as I find them to be entirely too subjective.  However, they are great jumping off points to deal with whatever subject they happen to be covering.  So you won't find me doing one any time soon.  About the closest I ever get to it is doing my Top 5 or Top 10 Test Drives for Dental Products Report and that's only based on things I've seen that year.
So, since I don't really do Top Lists, I thought I'd share a link to one from the Foxnews website.  Oh, and while I don't really like Top Lists, I've got to say that this is a pretty good one.  I agree with most of their selections and I even found a couple that I didn't have that I proceeded to download.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Google Maps to be in iOS 6 After All

Google Maps Next Dimension.jpg
At the beginning of the month, I posted about Google holding an event to show their new Maps features before Apple had a chance to hold an event announcing that Google Maps would be replaced in iOS 6.
It turns out, the rumors of the Google Maps demise was greatly exaggerated.
It turns out the Google Maps *will* be back in iOS 6.  According to a quote from Jeff Huber, who is an executive at Google "We look forward to providing amazing Google Maps experiences on iOS."  This from his Google + page.

So, despite all the hoopla from Apple, it looks like Google will be back.  

There is no direct word on how, when, or anything else, but this wouldn't have been put out in public if it wasn't going to happen.

As I find out more, I'll let you know.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Millennium Dental Technologies Releases New Comparative Study

For years now, interest has been growing regarding the subject of using lasers to treat periodontal disease.  Since its birth over 10 years ago, Millennium Dental Technologies has been at the forefront of encouraging doctors to consider lasers in the treatment of this disease.  Here is the latest press release from them:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            



10-Year Peer-Reviewed Retrospective Comparative LANAP® Study by Lloyd V. Tilt, DDS, MS was published in the 2012 March/April General Dentistry 


CERRITOS, Calif. (June 13, 2012) – Millennium Dental Technologies announces more peer-reviewed results of the LANAP® protocol will be presented by periodontist Lloyd V. Tilt, DDS, MS, on Friday June 22nd, 2012 at the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Annual session in Philadelphia, PA. The study, published in the 2012 March/April issue of the AGD- refereed journal, General Dentistry, supports the use of the FDA-cleared LANAP protocol as an effective long-term gum disease treatment. The published study documents a 10-year retrospective on the LANAP protocol in private practice, showing the effectiveness of the LANAP protocol as measured by tooth loss, a key success metric.

                “Dr. Tilt’s thorough research adds to the growing arsenal of peer-reviewed published evidence that supports the clinical results of the LANAP protocol,” says Robert H. Gregg II, DDS, president and chairman of the board at MDT. “LANAP clinicians are able to consistently reproduce preferred clinical healing outcomes – including regeneration of periodontal tissues, and regrowth of bone. Dr. Tilt’s 10-year retrospective underscores that these cases are not isolated results in the fight against gum disease, also called periodontitis. The LANAP protocol achieves consistent, predictable, regenerative outcomes and tooth retention over time.”

“This data highlights the LANAP protocol as a treatment that contributes to the long-term survival of natural dentition, and helps to avoid implant procedures,” reports Delwin K. McCarthy, DDS, chief information officer at Millennium Dental Technologies.

                Dr. Tilt’s study follows 107 patients’ treatment over the course of ten years – 68% of whom were suffering from severe case IV periodontitis, measuring tooth survival as the benchmark. The retrospective study compares Tilt’s research to three other tooth survival studies of conventional periodontitis surgery. The ultimate goal of any periodontal treatment is to keep teeth in good health, comfort and function. Dr. Tilt’s research shows the LANAP protocol was at least or more effective than other treatment modalities in retaining teeth in patients with periodontal disease.

“As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, the LANAP® protocol yields consistent, predictable results, and is a preferred method of treating periodontitis,” concludes Dr. Tilt.

The full report of Dr. Tilt’s research is featured in the 2012 March/April issue of General Dentistry. An educational webinar is available at:


ABOUT MILLENNIUM DENTAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC. Headquartered in Cerritos, Calif., Millennium Dental Technologies, Inc. is the developer of the LANAP® protocol for the treatment of gum disease and the manufacturer of the PerioLase® MVP-7™ digital dental laser. By providing a simple and comfortable experience with unique bone-building clinical results, MDT’s FDA-cleared LANAP protocol removes the fear from gum disease treatment, offering a vastly less painful and less invasive regenerative treatment alternative to conventional scalpel/suture flap surgery; its PerioLase® MVP-7™ is a 6-watt free-running variable pulsed Nd:YAG dental laser featuring digital technology and 7 pulse durations—the most available on the market—giving it the power and versatility to perform a wide range of soft- and hard-tissue laser procedures. Established in 1990, the company’s founding clinicians, Robert H. Gregg, II, D.D.S. and Delwin K. McCarthy, D.D.S., continue to operate the company with a shared vision and purpose: To create better clinical outcomes in periodontal disease patients—and to remain true to the guiding principle—“It’s all about the patient.”  For more information, visit

Saturday, June 23, 2012

US FDA Announces "Benzocaine and Babies: Not a Good Mix"

Usually I blog about technology and life, but sometimes things are more important.  I was  planning on a post about the Amazon Cloud Drive today, but that will have to wait.  This is an important announcement from the FDA.  


For the full story with pertinent links, visit the FDA web page.  


When a baby is teething, many a mom or dad reaches for a pain remedy containing benzocaine to help soothe sore gums.  Benzocaine is a local anesthetic and can be found in such over-the-counter (OTC) products as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase.

But the use of benzocaine gels and liquids for mouth and gum pain can lead to a rare but serious—and sometimes fatal—condition called methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced.  In the most severe cases, says FDA pharmacist Mary Ghods, R.Ph., methemoglobinemia can result in death.

And children under 2 years old appear to be at particular risk.

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first warned about potential dangers in 2006, the agency has received 29 reports of benzocaine gel-related cases of methemoglobinemia.  Nineteen of those cases occurred in children, and 15 of the 19 cases occurred in children under 2 years of age, says FDA pharmacist Kellie Taylor, Pharm.D., MPH. 

The agency repeated the warning in April 2011 and remains particularly concerned about the use of OTC benzocaine products in children for relief of pain from teething, says Taylor. This concern is fueled by the serious potential outcomes and the difficulty parents may have recognizing the signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia when using these products at home. These symptoms may not always be evident or attributed to the condition.

For these reasons, FDA recommends that parents and caregivers not use benzocaine products for children younger than 2 years, except under the advice and supervision of a health care professional.

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Danger Signs

Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include:

  • pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • confusion
  • headache
  • light-headedness
  • rapid heart rate

“Symptoms can occur within minutes to hours after benzocaine use,” Ghods says. “They can occur after using the drug for the first time, as well as after several uses.”

If your child has any of these symptoms after using benzocaine, she adds, stop using the product and seek medical help immediately by calling 911.  

Methemoglobinemia caused by benzocaine may require treatment with medications and admission to a hospital. Serious cases should be treated right away. If left untreated or if treatment is delayed, methemoglobinemia may cause permanent injury to the brain and body tissues, and even death, from the insufficient amount of oxygen in the blood.

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Teething: What’s a Parent to Do?

As for the crying baby, what’s a mom or dad to do? The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some alternatives for treating teething pain:

  • Give the child a teething ring chilled in the refrigerator.
  • Gently rub or massage the child’s gums with your finger.

If these remedies don’t provide relief, contact your health care professional for advice on other treatments.

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Adults Can Be Affected Too

Benzocaine products—which are sold as gels, liquids, sprays and lozenges—are also widely used by adults.  Doctors and dentists often use sprays containing benzocaine to numb the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat during such procedures as transesophageal  echocardiograms, endoscopy, intubation, and feeding tube replacements. 

Even though children are more at risk, it’s still a good idea to talk to your health care professional about using benzocaine, especially if you have heart disease; are a smoker; or have breathing problems such as asthma, bronchitis or emphysema. These conditions put you at greater risk for complications relating to methemoglobinemia, says Taylor.

FDA advises consumers to:

  • store any products containing benzocaine out of the reach of children.
  • use benzocaine gels and liquids sparingly and only when needed. Do not use them more than 4 times a day.
  • read the label to see if benzocaine is an active ingredient when buying OTC products. Labels on OTC products containing benzocaine are not currently required to carry warnings about the risk of methemoglobinemia.  If you have any concerns, talk to your health care professional before using them.

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Friday, June 22, 2012

F-Secure Presents 5 Ways to Connect Safely on Vacation

F-Secure Logo.jpg
I've been a fan of F-Secure for years now.  I discovered them when they helped discover and eliminate the Sony Root Kit and I've been a big promoter of them ever since.
The company makes a great security suite for Windows PCs and they also make a tremendous anti-virus program for the Mac OS.  In fact, last year my friends & I on the Pride Institute Best of Class Technology Panel gave a Best of Class award to the company for their superior products.  Not only does F-Secure protect your computer, it also doesn't bot it down with bloatware or make itself impossible to uninstall (although why you would want to is beyond me).
The company also does a nice job of communicating with their customers via email and also through a great blog that is full of info on how to keep your computer secure.
Recently, they notified me of an article they had posted on the blog about 5 ways to connect safely on vacation.  Here are the 5 recommendations.  If you'd like to head over to the blog for more info and the complete article, here is the link.  I think you'll get tons of info from reading the blog.

1. Update your devices before you go.
Make your system software is updated on your PC, smartphone and tablet at home on your safe and secure network. A patched and protected system along with updated security software is your best protection against threats. (Our free Health Check makes that easy.) Avoid taking software updates while on the road, especially while using hotel Wi-Fi. Criminals have used faked updates on hotel Wi-Fi to infect users with malware. If you follow Krebs’s Number One Rule for Staying Safe Online–“If you didn’t go looking for it, don’t install it!”—you’ll be fine.

2. Back up your hard drives and put a remote lock on your phone.
Traveling with the only digital copy of irreplaceable data or media is not a wise choice. Before you leave your house, back up your devices hard drives. (If you don’t have a backup option, you can try our Online Backup for free.) You should also put a software on your phone that gives you the ability to lock a lost phone and erase it if necessary. (Our free Anti-Theft for Mobile does this for Android and Symbian phones.)

3. Use direct DSL or cable connection when you can; if not, use encrypted Wi-Fi with a VPN.
If free public Wi-Fi is your only option and you do not have a VPN, consider yourself watched. Try to use one-time passwords for services that offer them such as Facebook and Hotmail. Using free Wi-Fi or a public computer for shopping and banking is definitely not recommended.

4. Don’t click on links or attachments in email, especially from email you were not expecting.
This is a piece of advice from the Labs that we keep repeating because everyone knows the attachment but the link part is new. Links can lead to scams, which on your phone especially may look as official as any bank website.

5. Be careful about sharing your location.
Most of the fear about sharing location online comes from a very few examples of people being robbed by Facebook friends. The basic rule is don’t tell anyone online that you’re not home who you wouldn’t tell in real life. So you probably don’t want to broadcast your vacation on your public social networks. Why not use email—like we did in the olden days?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sesame Announces GPS

What’s a Sesame “GPS”? We’re launching the Sesame Guides to Practice Success as a response to the wild success of the “365 Days of Facebook ideas” document that we published late last year. The idea behind this new offering is to drive an educational, “DIY” message to dental professionals. They can also think of these as their practice’s digital compass. Subjects will focus on hot topics in dental marketing and practice efficiency, and give the reader actionable information and guidance to improve their practice. Sesame Guides to Practice Success are the central force behind our new content marketing efforts, and you’ll start hearing this label mentioned more in our upcoming articles, email campaigns, and social media.

For a closer look, head on over to Sesame.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lighthouse Wins Pride Best of Class Technology Award 2012


Pride Best of Class.jpg

One of the really cool things I get to do as the Dentistry's Technology Evangelist, is getting to work on the Pride Institute's Best of Class Awards.


Every February, we get together at the Chicago MidWinter Meeting and figure out our choices for leading technologies.  One of the things I'm going to be doing with the blog this year is to feature each of the winners.


The first is Lighthouse, which is a company that provides electronic communication between doctor's offices and their patients.  They also provide electronic confirmations, patient satisfaction surveys, and much, much more.  Here is their press release on winning the Pride Award:



Lighthouse 360 Wins The Pride Institue's Best of Class Technology Award 2012

Lighthouse PMG, developers of Lighthouse 360, an automated patient communications system for dental practices, has been recognized as one of 16 companies to receive the Pride Institute’s Best of Class Technology Award for 2012. The award highlights the products and technologies driving the changes that will shape the future of dentistry.

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

The Pride Institute Best of Class Technology awards were launched in 2009 as a new concept to provide an unbiased, non-profit assessment of available technologies in the dental space. Winners of the award are invited to participate in a technology fair showcased at the American Dental Association’s annual meeting. “The technology space has exploded in terms of quantity and quality of available products,” said Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, President of Pride Institute. “With the potential for a considerable investment amount, it was important that someone step up and provide the corporate and dental communities with an unbiased selection process, led by technology key opinion leadership, with the sole focus of providing true guidance. That was the vision and it has come to fruition thanks to the support of the panel, ADA, Dental Products Report, and Dental Economics.” 

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

For more information on The Pride Institute's Best of Class Technology Award please click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm Baaaack and Ready to Roll!!!

OK everyone, after a crazy week of some serious energy draining activities, I'm back and focused like a laser… sorry, couldn't resist the technology reference.


I've got some great stories cued up and ready to  get out on a variety of subjects.  Lately I've been able to tinker with a few things that I've had hands-on experience with as well as some really interesting announcements from leading edge companies.


Thanks to all of you for putting up with my time off.  I'm truly grateful for all of you who take the time to read the blog and the few days I've had to devote to other things has made a tremendous difference for me.


See you on Wednesday!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

LIfe Just Gets Too Crazy Sometimes...

You know, sometimes it is just absolutely crazy to be me.


I'm not whining, mind you, but sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day.


So… for the next week or so I'm suspending my work here on the blog.  Don't worry (in case you are), this is just a temporary situation while I devote some time to a couple of other much needed projects.  I shall return.


I'll miss posting, but I'll be back and rolling the week of June 18th.  Stay tuned!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Info on LInkedIn and the Password Theft

Recently LinkedIn was the victim of a password hack.  If you use the service/site and haven't received this info, here is what LinkedIn has to say to its users:


Dear John Flucke,
We recently became aware that some LinkedIn passwords were compromised and posted on a hacker website. We immediately launched an investigation and we have reason to believe that your password was included in the post.
To the best of our knowledge, no email logins associated with the passwords have been published, nor have we received any verified reports of unauthorized access to any member’s account as a result of this event. While a small subset of the passwords was decoded and published, we do not believe yours was among them.
The security of your account is very important to us at LinkedIn. As a precaution, we disabled your password, and advise you to take the following steps to reset it. If you reset your password in the last two days, there is no need for further action.
1. Type directly into your browser
2. Type in your email address and press Sign In, no password necessary
3. Follow the on-screen directions to reset your password
Note: Do not reuse your old password when creating your new password.
If you have been using your old LinkedIn password on other sites, we recommend that you change those passwords too. We appreciate your immediate attention to resetting your password and apologize for the inconvenience.
Thank you,
The LinkedIn Team

Friday, June 8, 2012

Want to Do Street View Like Google Maps? Here's How!

Street View Camera.jpg
We've all seen the street view that you can get from Google Maps.  It's cool and it really offers a good view for you if you haven't ever been somewhere before and you are concerned about getting a good "lay of the land" before you get there.
Now a company called StreetView Technology is offering a camera that will allow you to do your own images just like Google.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hard Disk Drive Prices Not Expected to Return to Pre-Flood Levels Until 2014

Last October in Thailand, there was a terrible amount of rain that resulted in some catastrophic flooding.  Now, you may not feel that anything like that should affect you, but in the global economy, everyone seems to affect everyone else.


Thailand is home to over 1000 factories that are in some way either directly or indirectly create the hard drives that we all use.  This weather greatly affected these companies and because of that, hard drive shipments fell.  The result has been a decreased supply while demand has remained high.  Of course even someone who doesn't grasp economics can understand the old law of "supply and demand".  Because of those problems, hard drive prices rose 28 percent.


If you are looking for a new computer or a new hard drive, you will notice the difference in cost.  Here is a press release from iSuppli discussing the prices and when we can expect them to return to pre-flood levels.


Hard Disk Drive Prices Not Expected to Return to Pre-Flood Levels Until 2014 
June 6, 2012 

Although production of hard disk drives (HDDs) is rapidly recovering from the catastrophic Thailand floods that occurred in October, HDD average selling prices (ASPs) are not expected to decline to pre-disaster levels until 2014, according to an IHS iSuppli Memory & Storage  Market Brief report at information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).

In the wake of the floods, the ASP for the entire HDD market soared to $66 in the fourth quarter of 2011, up 28 percent from $51 in the third quarter. The ASP held steady at $66 in the first quarter, and is expected to decline marginally to $65 in the second quarter, as presented in the figure below.


Meanwhile, after flooding caused a 29 percent plunge in shipments in the fourth quarter, HDD production is rising and will recover completely by the third quarter.

Shipments rose by 18 percent to 145 million in the first quarter and by 10 percent to 159 million in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, shipments are expected to rise by another 10 percent to 176 million. This will mark the first time in 2012 that shipments will exceed their 2011 quarterly levels, up from 173 million in the third quarter of 2011.

Despite exceeding pre-flood shipment levels in the third quarter, pricing is expected to remain inflated.

“HDD manufacturers now have greater pricing power than they did in 2011, allowing them to keep ASPs steady,” said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. “With the two mega-mergers between Seagate/Samsung and Western Digital/Hitachi GST, the two top suppliers held 85 percent of HDD market share in the first quarter 2012. This was up from 62 percent in the third quarter of 2011, before the mergers. The concentration of market share has resulted in an oligarchy where the top players can control pricing and are able to keep ASPs at a relatively high level.”


Potentates of Pricing 
Owing to concerns over HDD availability, an increasing number of PC original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the second quarter have signed long-term agreements (LTAs) with HDD makers. These LTAs provide shipment guarantees, but lock in pricing that is approximately 20 percent higher than pre-flood levels.

Even if all the OEMs stop entering into LTAs by the end of 2012, it would take about four quarters with a 6 percent sequential decline in the HDD ASP to reach the pre-flood pricing level. However, given that there have been no consecutive 6 percent sequential quarterly declines during the past three years, the likelihood is remote that this would happen now and that HDD pricing will decline accordingly. 

Pricing Particulars
Beyond the supply-side factors, demand-related issues also will contribute to inflated HDD pricing throughout 2012 and 2013.

From local drives for media content, to cloud storage of social media and corporate data, the requirement for large quantities of HDD capacity continues to increase.

Meanwhile, PC sales are also projected to climb in 2012. Growth will be driven by the rising adoption of Intel Corp.’s Ivy Bridge microprocessor, the surging sales of ultrabooks in the second half of the year and the proliferation of Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows 8 operating system.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sirona Introduces inLab® Software 4.0

Software 4.0 Screenshot.jpg

New inLab® Software 4.0 Delivers Improved Power and Performance

 to the Entire Restorative Process


Charlotte, NC (May 23, 2012)Sirona Dental Systems, the company that pioneered digital dentistry more than 27 years ago and the world’s leading producer of dental CAD/CAM systems, has launched a major software upgrade that effortlessly handles everything from single-unit crowns to complete smile makeovers with the touch of a button. 


According to Norbert Ulmer, Director of Laboratory CAD/CAM for Sirona, “The new inLab® Software 4.0 is the most significant and sophisticated inLab software release.  It propels the inLab system to new heights with outstanding new features designed for faster and easier navigation through design steps and work direct-on-tooth tools.  This is a major redesign of the inLab software platform.”


Matt Roberts, CDT with CMR Dental Lab, states, “inLab Software 4.0 is a game-changer for digital dentistry.  It’s now even easier to artistically modify the design to fit the specific aesthetic and functional needs associated with each case!”


Among the many enhancements made possible with inLab Software 4.0 are the following:


  • Intuitive Graphical Interface – The inLab software guides you confidently through the design process.  See exactly what step you’re working on, what’s next and what you’ve already accomplished.  Readily “jump” from one design step to the next – or even go back a step or two – without having to “undo” the work you’ve already done.


  • Multiple Restoration Design Work on as many different restorations and indications as you want and at the same time – including in multiple quadrants and opposing arches, from single units to full-mouth cases.


  • Design Tools for Total Control – Design tools can now be executed directly on the tooth when performing functions such as adding or removing material, rotating or positioning the restoration, or expanding or reducing tooth size.  Grab and move the tooth, and use your digital porcelain brush to design your crown.  This provides greater control and a more natural, hands-on feel to the computer design process.


  • Widest Range of Indications Your software capabilities are as endless as this list, such as anatomically shaped copings and bridges, to full-contour crowns, inlays, onlays, veneers, digital temporaries, multilayer/split-file designs, Maryland bridges, customized abutments, model-building software, bars, attachments, stressbreakers, stack milling, digital cutbacks, diagnostic wax-ups, and wax patterns, and there is always another software update just around the corner.  


The increased productivity and efficiency delivered by inLab Software 4.0 is a bottom-line booster, as well.  Chad Rogers has been an inLab user for nearly a decade, and was also among the first to use inLab Software 4.0.  “For me, Sirona has made dental CAD/CAM more predictable and profitable than ever,” he said.  “With the introduction of the new inLab Software 4.0 coupled with the inEos® Blue and the inLab MC XL, my laboratory is quickly changing and becoming a profitable machine.”


Moreover, Sirona Connect takes the digital process even further by providing a reliable conduit between the dental office and laboratory.  Dental professionals utilizing Sirona Digital Impressions acquire an image intraorally and then send the digital impression to the Sirona inLab laboratory in real time.  The time needed for pouring impressions is gone and the lab can design and mill the restoration before the patient has even left the dentist’s office.  The dentist and lab can then discuss the case while the patient is still in the chair, creating better communication and superior results.  


For more information about inLab Software 4.0, contact your Sirona representative, call (855) INLAB4U or visit    


About Sirona Dental Systems 


Sirona, the dental technology leader, has served dealers and dentists worldwide for more than 130 years. Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a complete line of dental products, including CAD/CAM restoration systems (CEREC), digital intra-oral, panoramic and 3D imaging systems, dental treatment centers and handpieces. Visit for more information about Sirona and its products.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S3 Coming in June

Galaxy S3.jpg
For those of you who are Android users (and I know there are tons of you reading this that are) here's the latest drool inducing announcement.  The Samsung Galaxy S3 is coming… and should be available this month.  The date that is being bounced around is June 21 for Sprint and T-Mobile.
It looks like the price will be $199 for the 16GB model and $249 for the 32 GB model.
Also, here's some really great news, they have deals in place with all 5 major wireless carriers, so no matter whose name is on your statement, you should have access to getting one of these babies.
It should have a Qualcomm dual-core S4 chip that has LTE and 42MB HSPA+ speeds.  The other exciting stats are 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display, 2GB of RAM (in a phone!), and it will be running Adroid 4.0 also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.
Get those credit cards ready...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Google to Hold an Invitation Only Event on Google Maps this Friday

I read this information on Wired's Gadget Lab and thought I'd share it with my readers.


It seems that there are rumors that Apple will announce a new type of mapping app at its World Wide Developers Conference on June 11.  The buzz around that announcement is because it is rumored that Apple will be leaving Google Maps and using its own map database.  With the huge number of iPhones out there, this could potentially be a problem for Google if suddenly all of those "map hits" are going somewhere else.


So… the thinking goes, that even though Google has a developers conference of its own coming up (called Google I/O), this announcement is more of a pre-emptive move to show & detail why Google feels it still has the best mapping available.  By showing improvements and perhaps something new, radical, and different, Google may be hoping to get the word out on changes and improvements before the public starts discussing Apple's new mapping capabilities.


Of course, all of this is purely speculation.  However, the timing of the event is definitely, if nothing else, interesting.


For the full read, click here to visit Wired.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

President Obama Ordered Stuxnet Virus

Bond Goldfinger Laser.jpg
I love James Bond.  I mean, I'm into gadgets (I'll admit that) and he IS the ultimate gadget guy.  In the photo above, is a classic moment from Goldfinger in 1964.
As the laser cuts through the table and toward Bond he asks, "Do you expect me to talk?"  Goldfinger laughs and replies, "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."
Bond still rules supreme as the ultimate secret agent.  00 status means "license to kill".
It's strange that now a lot of the work that might, in the past, have been done by real world James Bond types, may now be being done by James Bond type hackers.
If you follow whenever a big computer virus hits the world, you will probably remember the Stuxnet virus that was found a while back on a lot of computers in Iran that were involved with their nuclear program.
Now comes word from the New York Times that this nasty little bug was put on those computers by US hackers.  Interesting...
Head on over the for all the details.  I personally found it a fascinating read.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Econo-Keys - Keyboards & Mice Made to Take the Abuse of the Health Care Environment

Whenever I'm out speaking on technology, I get questions about how to prevent cross contamination in a treatment setting.  Two of the courses that I give on a regular basis are "The Complete Recipe for the Paperless Office" and "Day to Day Technology to Improve Your Practice".  Both of these lectures have segments that deal with how to setup a treatment area that allows for digital input.
There are lots of ways to deal with the issue, but one of the best ways… and judging from audience response, one of the ways offices are most interested in, is keyboards & mice that can be directly disinfected.
That's right!  Imagine using a keyboard and/or a mouse that can be directly disinfected by the use of some type of a surface cleanser.  That is where products from Econo-Keys come in.  These devcies can be sprayed & wiped with 10% bleach solutions, 70% ethanol solutions, or even placed under ultraviolet radiation.  That means that your electronic input devices can be put through the same rigorous disinfection procedures that you use on your countertops. Imagine, no more clear plastic wrap barriers that interfere with key action and make using a trackpad next to impossible.
The ability to surface disinfectant your electronic input devices decreases clutter, simplifies your disinfection procedures, and streamlines the workflow of getting ready for the next patient. Add to this, the fact that these devices can be purchased for under $200 in these products truly are game changers.
The devices are even wireless operating on a 2.4 GHz signal that has an effective operating range of 10 m. This means that in a dental environment you can sit side-by-side with the patient and educate via a monitor while having full control of the computer by simply holding a keyboard with a trackpad in your lap.