Showing posts with label Digital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Digital. Show all posts

July 18, 2019

Retro Cool Digital Watch

Wow, I love this retro digital Computron watch from Bulova. 

I remember when the first digital LED watches with the red numbers like this first came out in the 1970s. 

They were quite expensive then!

Part of the computer revolution. LOL

I remember my uncle had something like this and I thought how cool it was--no moving hands to read.

Also, has a little of that sci-fi Battlestar Galactica red (moving) light effect from the cybernetic enemy, Cylon visors. 

What's old is what's new.  ;-)
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May 3, 2014

Oh To Be Young Again

Me as a young adult. 

My kids came across this photo in some of the old albums. 

Yeah, we still have the paper kind with real pictures behind the clear plastic.  

Anyway, I think they couldn't believe firstly that pictures don't (or didn't) all get stored on the hard drive or in the cloud, and second that this was their dad many moons ago. ;-)

(Source Photo: Who the hell remembers!)
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January 11, 2014

Touch Free, Just Use Your Head


Israel Innovation News is reporting a very simple but cool new technology for the disabled.

It enables them to "read, play games, search the web, and make calls without the need for touch."

Sesame Reader, from the Google App Store, "tracks your face and allows you to turn [eReader] pages with the movement of your head."

You can also dial a number or type of a keyboard by using movement of the head to control the cursor movement and by hovering over a button to "click it."

This helps people to function in a digital world, when otherwise they couldn't.

Hence, the name Sesame from Ali Baba's magic phrase "Open Sesame."

Now people can read, write, and interact with others online--even when they don't have use of their limbs because of neurological, muscular, and other structural defect, or if they simply want hands-free use.

Touchscreens, keyboards, and keypads are now accessible to anyone with the simple turn of the head--up, down, left, and right is all all it takes to navigate, touchless. ;-)
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August 21, 2013

Post Office And Ice Cream

I took this photo this week in downtown Washington, D.C.

A U.S. Postal Service priority mail sticker stuck onto a pole with a picture of ice cream--2 scoops--with dollar signs on them. And an eye in a pyramid on the lower left. 

I am not sure whether the mail sticker was just a part of the grafitti here or whether someone was trying to make a statement about the financial state-of-affairs of the Postal Service--losing money--and the loses stacking up over time, as the watchful eye of Government looks on. 

I love getting mail like everyone else--except bills and junk mail.

But with a multitude of technology (email, texts, and so on) replacing traditional paper mail--the Post Office needs a new business model.  

How about a serious focus on package delivery (for all the e-Commerce ordering we are doing)? 

Or then again, would anyone mind an ice cream counter in every post office to make some happy faces and real money? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 14, 2012

See Yourself In The Future

Now seeing how you will look in the future is not just theoretical anymore. 

Merrill Edge (Merrill Lynch investing + Bank of America banking) has an online digital program that shows how you will look aged over time. 

They developed this as tool to encourage people to save more money for retirement by bringing home the message that you will not be young (and beautiful) forever. 

The Face Retirement tool asks for your age and gender, takes your picture, and then displays snapshots of how you will look over the course of your lifespan. 

I tried it and my smiling face was quickly tranformed into an old man with sagging skin, wrinkles, and more. 

My wife seeing those pictures says to me (even though we already save for retirement), "We better really start investing seriously for retirement!" -- gee, thanks! ;-)

And thanks Merrill Edge, you scared us straight(er) by looking at our own mortality, face-to-face. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Judy Baxter)

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July 4, 2012

Electronic Health Records, Slow But Steady

The best article I have seen on the subject of Electronic Health Records (EHR) was in Bloomberg BusinessWeek (21 June 2012) called "This machine saves lives so why don't more hospitals use it."

What I liked about this article was how straightforward it explained the marketplace, the benefits, the resistance, and the trends.  

Some basic statistics on the subject of EHR:

The healthcare industry is $2.7 trillion annually or ~18% of GDP.

Yet we continue to be quite inefficient with only about half of hospitals and doctors projected to be using EHR by end of 2012.

Annual spending on EHR is expected to reach $3.8 billion by 2015.

Basically, EHR is the digitization of our medical records and automation of medical services so that we can:
 
- Schedule medical appointments online

- Check medical records including lab and test results
- Communicate with our doctors by secure messaging/email
- Send prescriptions into the pharmacy electronically
- Automatically keep track of dosage and refills
- Get alerts as to side effects or interactions of medication
- Analyze symptoms and suggest diagnosis
- Receive prompts as to the latest medical treatments
- Recognize trends like flu outbreaks or epidemics
- File and speed claim processing

So why do many doctor's seem to resist moving to EHR?
 
- Cost of conversion in terms of both money and time

- Concern that it can be used against them in medical malpractice suits
- Potential lose of patient privacy
- Lack of interoperability between existing systems (currently, "there are 551 certified medical information software companies in the U.S. selling 1,137 software programs"--the largest of which are from GE and Epic.)

The government is incentivizing the health care industry to make the conversion:

- Hitech Act (2009) "provides $27 billion in financial incentives" including $44K from Medicare and $63K from Medicaid over 5 years for outpatient physicians that can demonstrate "that they are using the technology to improve care."
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010)--a.k.a. Obamacare--calls for "accountable care organizations" to receive extra money from Medicare and Medicaid for keeping patients healthy, rather than by procedure--"they are expected to do so using computers."

The big loophole in EHR right now seems to be:

- The lack of standards for EHR systems from different vendors to be compatible, so they can "talk" to each other.
- Without interoperability, we risk having silos of physicians, hospitals, labs, and so on that cannot share patient and disease information.

So, we need to get standards or regulations in place in order to ensure that EHR is effective on a national, and then even a global level. 

A number of months ago, I went to a specialist for something and saw him a few times; what he didn't tell me when I started seeing him what that he was retiring within only a few months.
Aside from being annoyed at having to find another doctor and change over, I felt that the doctor was not too ethical in not disclosing his near-term intentions to close up shop and giving me the choice of whether I wanted to still see him. 


But what made matters worse is that I got a letter in mail with the notification--not even in person--along with a form to fill out to request a copy of my medical records at a cost per page, so that I could transfer them--hardcopy--elsewhere. 

Of course, this was also the doctor who hand wrote prescriptions still and wasn't able to get test results online. 

To me, seeing someone with a great amount of experience was really important, but the flip side was that in terms of organization, he was still in the "dark ages" when it came to technology. 

I look forward to the day when we can have both--senior medical professionals who also have the latest technology tools at their disposal for serving the patients. 

In the meantime, the medical profession still seems to have some serious catching up to do with the times technologically. 

Let's hope we get there soon so that we not only have the conveniences of modern technology, but also the diagnostic benefits and safeguards. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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April 1, 2012

A Word Indeed


The information in your smartphone and managed by your telecommunications carrier is available and accessible to others with today's tools and following the right processes. 

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (29 March 2012) reports on a new tool for law enforcement that captures your data from smartphones. 

It is called the Cellebrite or Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED).

As the video describes it works with almost every mobile device out there--over 1,800 of them. 

And when attached to a smartphone, it can extract everything from your call log, emails, texts, contact list, web history, as well as photos and videos. 

The forensic tool can even retrieve deleted files from your phone. 

Your smartphone is a digital treasure trove of personal information and the privacy protection afforded to it is still under debate. 

The article cites varying court opinions on "whether it's fair game to examine the contents of a mobile phone without a warrant," since it is in the suspect's immediate possession. 

According to law enforcement sources quoted in the article, "we use it now on a daily basis."

Aside from the contents on the phone itself, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (29 September 2012) earlier reported that telecommunications companies are also storing your personal data for various lengths of time.

For example, detail call records and text contacts are retained for up to 7 years and phone location information indefinitely, depending on the carrier.

This data is available too under the processes specified in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. 

While the technology is constantly getting better for us to electronically manage our information and communicate with each other, the reach and life cycle of digital information can certainly be far and long.

As we should all by now know, working remotely, digitally, in cyberspace, and encrypting, deleting, or even attempting to destroy data files does not ensure their ultimate privacy. 

In that respect, both digital and non-digital information are the same in one very important facet and that is as we all learned early in life that "a word once said cannot be taken back."

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