Thursday, June 9, 2011

Microsoft Amalga

Advancing understanding of your organization’s performance drivers.

Microsoft Amalga brings historically disparate data together and makes it easy to identify and act on insights into clinical, financial, or operational performance.


Microsoft Amalga centralizes digital information of all types into a single, continually updated repository that is available for analysis and data sharing.

Microsoft Amalga helps answer questions like these:

How can we use one centralized system to improve operational performance across our enterprise?

How can we get usable reports faster?

How can we create a simpler process for managing CMS quality measures that helps minimize abstraction time and redundant reviews?

How can we help ensure our organization is properly reimbursed for patients admitted from the Emergency Department?

With extensive data readily available, you are empowered to:

Drive information exchange. Amalga, an enterprise health intelligence platform, enables information sharing and adoption across the organization supporting meaningful use and promoting better outcomes. Amalga provides the strategic foundation that not only supports today’s requirements but also provides you the flexibility and confidence for meeting tomorrow’s demands.

Proactively manage care. With the ability to analyze across patient populations in context, you can gain a better understanding of cause and effect, dependencies, and ramifications across a system. This triggers more actionable intelligence and helps more effectively identify the linkages between care, costs, and outcomes so you can more proactively manage chronic disease and other "at risk" patients.

Get a more complete view of every patient. By aggregating ambulatory and inpatient medical records in a common data store, Amalga delivers a single view of a patient’s medical history across the care continuum. The data can then be viewed from different perspectives—from an individual to a cohort, from the micro level to the macro level—in a single view.

Empower your people. Amalga empowers your staff to test new concepts and unlock potentially new approaches for delivering better care. No matter where the source of data is located—whether it’s encapsulated in existing systems or newly generated via the tools in Amalga—users can find, combine, and analyze data on demand. And the customizable interface enables your staff to view information in new ways now and in the future.

Ice Tube Clock kit
This is our first clock kit design, made with a retro Russian display tube!
  • Cool glowing blue tube with 8 digits, PM dot and alarm on/off indicator
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Alarm with volume adjust
  • Precision watch crystal keeps time with under 20ppm (0.0002%) error (< 2 seconds a day)
  • Clear acrylic enclosure protects clock from you and you from clock
  • Battery backup will let the clock keep the time for up to 2 weeks without power
  • Selectable 12h or 24h display
  • Displays day and date on button press
  • 10 minute snooze
  • Integrated boost converter so it can run off of standard DC wall adapters, works in any country regardless of mains power
  • Great for desk or night table use, the clock measures 4.9" x 2.9" x 1.3" (12.5cm x 7.4cm x 3.3cm)
  • Completely open source hardware and software, ready to be hacked and modded!
Complete kit comes with a 110/220V 9VDC power supply (a $1 plug adapter from your local hardware store will allow it to be used worldwide), all components including PCB, vacuum fluorescent tube, backup battery and a clear acrylic enclosure. Assembly is required! This kit is made of through-hole components but is best built by someone with previous soldering experience as there are many parts and steps.
For assembly

Spy Shots: Dell’s 7-Inch Tablet Has a Slide-Out Split Keyboard

What the tablet world needs is innovation, and from these newly uncovered spy pics, it looks like Dell is the one stepping up with a design that’s unlike any other.
Rather than copying the look and feel of the iPad as so many other tablet manufacturers have done, Dell has apparently pinpointed one of the iPad’s weakest characteristics and improved upon it: its keyboard.
In these pictures (somehow obtained by Engadget), notice the split keyboard that’s not on this little 7-inch tablet’s touchscreen, but it’s part of a slide-out keypad that gives each of its users’ thumbs an easy shot at quick typing.

We’re getting a feeling of déjà vu here. Isn’t this design getting precariously close to those failed tablets of five years ago that Microsoft and Intel codenamed “Project Origami?” Some of those Ultra-Mobile PCs’ split keyboards were arranged on either side of the screen, and some even had slide-out keyboards.
Maybe Dell figures the reason those Origami PCs didn’t succeed was because they were underpowered, their touchscreens didn’t work well, they were too big, heavy and overpriced — not because their keyboards weren’t good.
Back to the present, Dell presented this prototype in both black and white finishes, and each had a rear camera which we hope has better quality than the iPad’s. Beyond those specs, there’s precious little info about when we might see this tablet design hit the marketplace, if ever.
Still, perhaps copycat manufacturers might want to take a look at this design rather than creating yet another Apple-esque slab. What do you think, commenters? Is this throwback to the past an improvement on the iPad and all the other tablets that look just like it?

Google Maps Tells You Just How Late Your Bus Is

Waiting for your bus can sometimes seem like slowly dying in a desert as you watch vehicle-shaped mirages glimmer on the horizon. As a remedy for that transit-parched feel, Google is integrating live transit updates into Maps for mobile and desktop.
Before you get all excited, the update is only available in four U.S. cities (Boston, Portland, San Diego and San Francisco) and two European cities (Madrid and Turin), and for Google Maps for mobile on Android devices (although it will work on mobile browsers, and it doesn’t require any downloads to access).
Residents of those cities will be able to see delays and alerts when clicking on transit stations or planning routes, as well as “live departure times.”

DSPL: Dataset Publishing Language

DSPL stands for Dataset Publishing Language. Datasets described in DSPL can be imported into the Google Public Data Explorer, a tool that allows for rich, visual exploration of the data.

This tutorial provides a step-by-step example of how to prepare a basic DSPL dataset.

A DSPL dataset is a bundle that contains an XML file and a set of CSV files. The CSV files are simple tables containing the data of the dataset. The XML file describes the metadata of the dataset, including informational metadata like descriptions of measures, as well as structural metadata like references between tables. The metadata lets non-expert users explore and visualize your data.

The only prerequisite for understanding this tutorial is a good level of understanding of XML. Some understanding of simple database concepts (e.g., tables, primary keys) may help, but it's not required. For reference, the completed XML file and complete dataset bundle associated with this tutorial are also available for review.

Before starting to create our dataset, here is a high-level overview of what a DSPL dataset contains:
General information: About the dataset
Concepts: Definitions of "things" that appear in the dataset (e.g., countries, unemployment rate, gender, etc.)
Slices: Combinations of concepts for which there are data
Tables: Data for concepts and slices. Concept tables hold enumerations and slice tables hold statistical data
Topics: Used to organize the concepts of the dataset in a meaningful hierarchy through labeling

To illustrate these rather abstract notions, consider the dataset (with dummy data) used throughout this tutorial: statistical time series for unemployment and population by country, and population by gender for US states.

This example dataset defines the following concepts:
unemployment rate

Concepts that are categorical, such as state, are associated with concept tables, which enumerate all their possible values (California, Arizona, etc.). Concepts may have additional columns for properties such as the name or the country of a state.

Slices define each combination of concepts for which there is statistical data in the dataset. A slice contains dimensions and metrics. In the above picture, the dimensions are blue and the metrics are orange. In this example, the slice gender_country_slice has data for the metric population and the dimensionscountry, year and gender. Another slice, called country_slice, gives total yearly population numbers (metric) for countries.

In addition to dimensions and metrics, slices also reference tables, which contain the actual data.

Let's now walk step-by-step through the creation of such a dataset in DSPL.
To get started, we need to create an XML file for our dataset. Here is the beginning of a DSPL description for our example dataset:The dataset description starts with a top-level element. The targetNamespace attribute contains a URI that uniquely identifies this dataset. The dataset's namespace is especially important when publishing the dataset, as it will be the global identifier of your dataset, and the means for others to refer to it.

Note that the targetNamespace attribute may be omitted. In this case a unique namespace is automatically generated when the dataset is imported. read more...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Offline Google Maps

Google Maps
Dutch tech site All About Phones claims that Google Maps Navigation will get a true offline mode later this summer. In December the Android app received an update that cached routesand the surrounding areas, but without a data connection you still couldn't enter a new destination. A source inside the Dutch telco industry said that Goog would removing the requirement for coverage -- an obvious next step for the nav tool, especially with Ovi Maps bringing its turn-by-turn prowess to WP7. The move is also bound to be another thorn in the side of standalone GPS makers like Garmin and TomTom. After all, it's tough to compete with free

Apple's New Spaceship Campus

Shortly after taking the stage at WWDC, Steve Jobs made an appearance before the Cupertino City Council to pitch the local governing body on Apple's ambition to build a new campus. The site for the curvaceous, four-story, "human-scale" building to house 13,000 employees is the original home of HP's computer systems division, land that was recently sold to Apple. The property is currently covered by a series of big asphalt parking lots. Apple's plan would increase the landscape coverage from 20 to 80 percent with the help of a senior arborist from Stanford who will help restore some of the indigenous plant life to the property, including the apricot orchards. Apple plans to make the campus' energy center the facility's primary power generator using natural gas and other "clean energy" sources -- the city would simply provide backup power when needed. Of course, what would a Jobs presentation be without a few choice superlatives? In this case, Jobs claims that the new curved-glass facility will be the "best office building in the world," luring in students of architecture anxious for a peek. Apple plans to break ground in 2012 with a 2015 move-in date.

As an aside, it's fascinating (and yes, troubling) to observe Gilbert Wong, Mayor of Cupertino, guffaw at Steve's "jokes" like a smitten schoolgirl, going so far as to fawn over his own iPad 2 in front of the assembly. For his part, Jobs seems to bite his tongue during several exchanges particularly when one city council member tries to extort free WiFi from Apple in an apparent quid pro quo. Click through to see what we mean. read more...

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Windows 8 demo

The video below was released on Wednesday evening to coincide with Windows President Steven Sinofsky offering the first public demo of Windows 8 at the All Things Digital conference (a.k.a. D9). In this video, Jensen Harris, director of program management for the Windows User Experience, provides a quick walk-through and promises that more video demos will be coming soon.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Google Wallet Product Launch

Payments, offers, loyalty, and so much more

Google Wallet has been designed for an open commerce ecosystem. It will eventually hold many if not all of the cards you keep in your leather wallet today. And because Google Wallet is a mobile app, it will be able to do more than a regular wallet ever could, like storing thousands of payment cards and Google Offers but without the bulk. Eventually your loyalty cards, gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets, even your keys will be seamlessly synced to your Google Wallet. And every offer and loyalty point will be redeemed automatically with a single tap via NFC.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sony Flexible Color e-Paper 3D LCD

We saw some fancy panels and flashy lights on the show floor at SID this week, but Sony decided to keep its latest display offerings tucked away in an academic meeting. We're getting word today from Tech-On! that the outfit unveiled a 13.3-inch sheet of flexible color e-paper as well as two new glasses-free 3D panels in a separate session at the conference. New e-paper solutions loomed large at SID, but we were surprised by the lack of flexible screens. Sony's managed to deliver both on a display that weighs only 20 grams and measures a mere 150-microns thick, a feat made possible by the use of a plastic substrate. The sheet boasts a 13-percent color gamut, 10:1 contrast ratio, and 150dpi resolution.

As for the 3D LCD displays, Sony joined a slew of other manufacturers in showing off its special brand of the panels. These new displays, ranging from 10-inches to 23-inches, apparently employ a new method for delivering 3D to the naked eye. This particular method uses a backlight positioned between an LCD panel and another backlight for 2D images, and can be easily be switched off for 2D viewing. Of course we would have liked to see these screens in the flesh, but alas, Sony decided to play coy. Hop on past the break for a shot of the new 3D panel.