Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Drobo 5N is Online

I've been a Drobo user for several years now.  In fact, I was lucky enough to be an original beta tester in something like 2007 or so.

The device was the first multiple hard drive external solution I had ever run across.  As someone that created lots of images both personally as well as professionally, I was excited to see what the Drobo could do.  Needless to say, I was impressed and have been a Drobo user ever since.

Recently I've begun working with their Network Attached Storage (NAS) device called the Drobo 5N.  Rather than attaching directly to your computer, the Drobo 5N attaches to your network and appears as a network drive.

I've had it installed now for a day and it is performing well.

More updates as the trial progresses...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How Wearable Technology is Changing

The photo above (in case you are a non-techie type) is Google Glass.  It's Google's prototype wearable that projects an image into your eye from the small projector located over the right temple.  The development of the product has been pulled back some.  While it is still undergoing research and development, the process is now being done away from the public eye and all the fanfare & pressure that entails.

Part of the reason for this is because this technology, while cool, is not yet ready for prime time.  Hard core gear heads like me find this fascinating but the average person on the street (part of "the masses" if you will) would either not wear/use it or would only be willing to if it was a full fledged portable computer type device that functioned more like another device we all are hooked on... the mobile phone.

Early product takes on Google Glass were that it was a bit too nerdy and there were major concerns about privacy because the device could easily take photos and video.

Yet, despite the looks and concerns we are still seeing the expansion of tech tools into our lives and this is only going to expand... and it will expand rapidly.

"Wait," you say.  "You just told me these types of devices were nerdy and not good looking enough for major sales."

I did say that.   However, I'll go out on a limb and say there is a good chance you are wearing a Fitbit, an Apple Watch, or if you are a runner you may be wearing a Garmin watch/device that monitors all of your run info and puts it neatly on a map to show your route.

The point I'm trying to make is that the barriers to "fashionable technology" are starting to come down.  Good designers are having companies ask them to make incredibly stylish items that also house massive amounts of computing power.

The device above is the Tag Heuer Connected.  This incredible device (I have to admit I personally *love* Tag Heuer watches) is equipped with directional wind and weather monitoring.  RaceChrono Pro capability, and Google Fit, each designed at the synthesis and precision thanks to its innovative interactive counters.  Bold, custom themes allow numerous display options and Android Wear connects you with thousands of apps that you can tailor to your taste.

You have to admit its a good looking watch, right?  Then think about all the hardware it has built-in and all the things it can do.  After that consider it is the first generation.  Is smoke rolling out of your collar?  I know it is rolling out of mine.

I also read recently that Intel has developed a couple of tiny chips that can be placed invisibly inside the seams of your clothing.  That means soon clothing will be created that connects to your watch, phone, or anything else your heart desires.

Is that cool or what?

So to conclude this post, I just want you to think about what the future could hold for us.  I for one am really excited about what all of this means.  I can't wait to see what the FitBit evovles into and I cannot wait for the changes that lie ahead.  In my career as Technology Evangelist I've seen some incredibly cool things develop.  This one could well be a serious game changer and I cannot wait to see what it brings!!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Vincent The Cat and his Custom Implant Legs...

This is a great story.

As you can see from the picture above, Vincent the cat was severely injured as a kitten.  Normally an animal this damaged might be euthanized or given a cart with wheels to support his back end and make him slightly mobile.  While the "cart solution" might help a little bit, the animal is still dependent on human beings to attach the cart, etc.

However, the smart people at Iowa State University had a better idea.

In a procedure similar to dental implants.  The vets surgically placed Titanium rods into both his femurs (thigh bones) which protruded outside the skin.  the end outside the body was threaded and allowed for the "legs" you see in the video to be placed.  As Vincent grows these "legs" can be unscrewed and replaced by longer ones.

Of course it isn't like the vets at Iowa State had a selection of "kitty femur implants" to choose from.  So how did they do it?  This is where it gets really cool.  The implants were custom designed just for Vincent and then 3D printed by BioMedtrix.

I understand that orthopedic surgeons in Europe are now working with printed titanium for custom fitted hip replacements, so it seems like it is only a matter of time before things like this are commonplace.

At some point in the not too distant future, the idea of custom printed joints & prosthetics may be the standard of care.

For a detailed account of this story, check out TechCrunch.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Worst Passwords of 2015

Every year, the good people at Splashdata publish the worst passwords of the year.  Take a look & make sure you are using an appropriately difficult password.

If you are using any of these listed, prepare for a security breach.  If I can find these, the hackers already have...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Kerr Restoratives Launches Maxcem Elite Chroma

The first Self-Etch/Self-Adhesive resin cement
 to offer a Color Cleanup Indicator.
December 14, 2015.  Kerr Restoratives is proud to announce the launch of Maxcem Elite Chroma, the first Self-Etch/ Self-Adhesive resin cement offering a Color Cleanup Indicator, making it the smartest cement available on the market today. 
The Smart Cement begins with a pink color that fades at the gel state, telling the clinician the optimal time to cleanup excess cement. The pink color will disappear after both self-cure and tack cure, allowing for maximum flexibility in its use. In addition to the color cleanup indicator, Maxcem Elite Chroma also offers One-Peel™ cleanup, automix delivery system, easy no-refrigeration storage, and compatibility with all indirect restorations.
Featuring best-in-class adhesion when compared to other leading self-adhesive cements, Maxcem Elite Chroma forms a strong and durable bond with a wide variety of dental substrates and is compatible with all indirect restorations - anterior or posterior ceramics, PFMs, metal restorations, and CAD/CAM materials.
Maxcem Elite Chroma is a prime example of how we continually provide innovative products to address the evolving needs of the dentist,” said Phil Prentice, Vice President, North American Marketing, Kerr. “As a company, our new addition to our cements portfolio and how we provide a total solution to the dentist as Kerr Restoratives is how we strive to do more everyday.”
Radiopaque for easy identification on x-rays, the cement is available in a .dual barrel, automix syringe system ,supplied with single-use automix tips and optional curved dispensing tips to allow the user to deliver desired volume of cement directly into restoration and/or tooth preparations.
For more information, visit

About Kerr Corporation
For nearly 125 years, Kerr has been serving the comprehensive needs of the entire dental care community in pursuit of enhancing oral health.  Individual Kerr brands are encompassed within the Kerr Restoratives, Kerr Endodontics, Kerr Rotary, and Kerr TotalCare platforms. By providing best-in-class, patient-based solutions, we believe that in partnership with those we serve - “Together we’re more.”
Visit us at or call 800-KERR123.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

American Dental Association and Sikka Software Introduce the ADA Benefit Plan Analyzer

New Tool Helps Dentists Compare Insurance Plan Costs and Benefits;
FREE Six-Month Trial Now Available to all ADA Members 

San Jose, CA (January 8, 2016) – Sikka Software, the leading innovator in Business Intelligence Software for healthcare and small business communities, and the American Dental Association (ADA) announced today that all ADA members are eligible to receive a free, six-month trial of the new ADA Benefit Plan Analyzer (ADA BPA). 

The ADA Benefit Plan Analyzer is designed to help dentists evaluate potential revenue and costs of becoming a provider for dental benefit plans and compare the outcomes via the Sikka Software Platform Cloud.  

Dental professionals who utilize the ADA Benefit Plan Analyzer are able to:

Score the Benefit Plan: This particular ADA BPA tool connects with the dentist’s practice management system, automatically pulling out key data points integral to evaluating insurance plans. Dentists can choose from a list of PPO and DHMO plans across the nation to evaluate. Based on practice-specific inputs, the ADA BPA scores the plan on a 100-point scale, providing a visualization of potential value that can be added to the practice. Each score is unique to a practice and accounts for differences in operational management. 

Know the Numbers: With the ADA BPA, dentists receive an estimate of not only gross revenue and overhead costs, but also the chair time and practitioner hours associated with serving the patients in the network. Estimates are based on practice inputs, allowing practices to better manage their capacities and administrative hours and ensuring all patients receive the time they need to achieve optimum oral health.   

Compare Multiple Plans: Each dental benefit plan is different and by using the unique inputs from a practice alongside the proposed fee plan, dentists can compare plans side-by-side for quick and accurate evaluations. Side-by-side comparisons remove the guesswork from choosing insurance plans by providing standardized data that dentists need for objective evaluation. 

“Previously, dentists have needed to guess which insurance plans will be profitable for their practice while also best serving the dental needs of their community,” remarked Vijay Sikka, CEO of Sikka Software. “With the ADA Benefit Plan Analyzer, dental professionals can make informed decisions about which insurances to accept, and feel confident they have made the best choice for their practice and their patients.” 

The ADA offers easy enrollment for the free six-month trial by visiting: members may also purchase the tool through the ADA catalog

More than 16,000 providers use Sikka Software apps worldwide. The apps are compatible with 96% of practice management systems and help dentists manage their practices by providing the critical information they need to make management decisions anytime, anywhere. 

For more information about the ADA Benefit Plan Analyzer as well as all Sikka Software practice management solutions, please visit

About Sikka Software 

Sikka Software Corporation is revolutionizing the retail healthcare industry via its platform cloud, analytical tools, apps, and big data leadership. The retail industry includes over 2.1 million providers worldwide and over 600,000 in the United States. The Sikka Platform Cloud allows seamless compatibility with over 96% of the dental, veterinary, vision care, and hearing care markets in the United States. Sikka Software Corporation has over 16,000 installations and is experiencing strong growth and market presence in the retail healthcare big data space. For more information, please visit