Saturday morning coffee [March 16 2013]

MUG_ASHPSM2011So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

The coffee mug to the right was presented to me as a gift from ASHP for winning the 2011 ASHP Summer Meeting Twitter Contest. Not to be confused with the one I put up last August for the 2010 ASHP Midyear Twitter contest. The mug was accompanied by a $50 Best Buy gift card; very nice. The meeting was held in Denver, CO and was the first ASHP Summer Meeting I ever attended. The Summer Meeting is quite a bit different from the Midyear Meeting held in December each year. Midyear is much larger and has a much wider variety of educational sessions. Midyear also has a bigger exhibitor area. With all that said I found the Summer Meeting quite enjoyable as it had several informatics related sessions that I was able to attend. It was the last pharmacy conference that I was able to enjoy as an attendee.

Oz The Great and Powerful was #1 at the box office last weekend. That’s not a big surprise as I believe people were expecting big things from the prequel to The Wizard of Oz. My family and I saw it late last weekend while we were in Las Vegas for a volleyball tournament. I didn’t think it was all that great. I’d expect to see a big drop in box office take this weekend as word of mouth will have killed off interest. Jack the Giant Slayer rolled in at #2. Based on what I see at the box office at the moment it’s obvious that we’re in a bit of a movie lull. Nothing looks all that good and I haven’t seen anything great in a while. Here’s hoping that will change as we move into Spring and toward Summer.

Why pharmacy continues to fail remains the most visited post at over the last 7 days.

– Caffeine is everywhere. Medscape: “Caffeine holds the unusual distinction of being regulated as a food additive, drug, and dietary supplement. Caffeine use in cola-type beverages is allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration as a flavoring agent in a 0.02% concentration, which is equivalent to 20 mg per 100-mL beverage, or 71 mg per 355-mL (12-oz) beverage.[1] Colas are labeled with caffeine content. Caffeine is also an ingredient in both prescription (eg, Fioricet®, Cafergot®) and nonprescription (eg, NoDoz®, Excedrin® Extra Strength) medicines. Energy drinks (eg, Red Bull® Energy Drink, Monster Energy Drink®) are regulated as dietary supplements, which exempts manufacturers from mandatory disclosure of the caffeine content on the product label. Unlike soft drinks, the caffeine content of dietary supplements and energy drinks marketed as dietary supplements is not subject to a maximum dose limit. Additionally, energy drinks as well as dietary supplements for weight loss or body building often contain herbs with substantial caffeine content, a fact that may not be readily apparent to the consumer.”

– Battery life is a spec that I’m paying close attention to these days. The more work I do on my phone the more I look at battery life, and whether or not I can remove the battery. Removable batteries are a beautiful thing. As I’ve mentioned already I was at a volleyball tournament last weekend. Volleyball days are long, 10-12 hours on site. People everywhere were hunting for outlets. I can’t tell you how many people I saw tethered to wall plugs. That’s why I love the removable battery in my Nexus. I don’t compromise anything. I leave everything on: Bluetooth, GPS, screen brightness up, Wi-Fi, 4G, etc. I check my Twitter feed, post to G+ and Facebook, take some photos and an occasional video, check and compose emails, make calls, and so on. I don’t worry about what I do on my phone or how much I use it because it doesn’t matter. I carry three batteries, one in the phone and two in my pocket. I can go nearly a full 24 hours of use without having to hunt for a plug.

– Samsung announced their new flagship phone this week, the Samsung GALAXY S4. They’ve dubbed it the “Life Companion”; whatever. The hardware is nice – next-gen, 1.9 GHz quad-core processor with integrated LTE modem , a 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display with 441 ppi density and Gorilla Glass 3, 2600 mAh battery, 2 GB of memory, 13 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front facing camera, Wi-Fi — including the new 802.11 a/c standard — plus Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS/GLONASS, HSPA+42 and LTE – but the software enhancements are nicer. Some of the stuff they’re doing with the camera, like eraser and drama shot are cool. Smart pause is a neat feature, and their home sync feature is pretty slick. I want to hold one in my hand to be sure, but all in all I’m considering this my next phone. Assuming Verizon gets it before the end of 2013 that is.

– This week a couple of people took swipes at Samsung prior to the S4 launch. Senior Apple exec Phil Schiller is quoted as saying “Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn’t as good as an iPhone….”When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with“. I used to get upset at this type of thing. Now I just laugh. The guy is either an idiot (doubtful) or a complete douchebag. By the way, neither of those statements is true, or even remotely accurate. You have to remember, Phil’s a marketing guy, which by default means he’s full of crap. Then there’s Ben Rudolph (@BenThePCGuy), the Microsoft Evangelist that shot out several Tweets bagging on Samsung during the launch. I like Ben, and I like the new Windows Phone 8, but dude, seriously. If I were Microsoft I’d push feature-by-feature comparisons out on Twitter, not lame commentary. He looked like a complete dumbass. His useless Tweets irritated me enough that I unfollowed him. That’s the beauty of Twitter, I can turn you off if you become nothing more than irritating background noise.

– This is cool. Check out the video below: “NASA Mars Science Laboratory team geologist Dawn Sumner gives us a tour of the Curiosity rover and the instruments the probe carried to the red planet. An array of cameras, lasers and drills will conduct experiments to determine the composition of the planet’s rocks.”

– I find myself going to GigaOM and Engadget for technology information these days. My preferred sources change from time to time, but I keep returning to these two sites quite a bit in 2013. I kicked Engadget to the curb a couple of years ago because they became extremely biased toward Crapple. Recently they’ve come back to the middle with more unbiased news.

– Just in case you live under a rock and didn’t know, Google is killing off Google Reader. I am beside myself with grief over this decision. My daily routine for gathering information is deeply integrated with Google Reader. I was so distraught that my brother (@Fahrni) felt compelled to call me and talk me off the ledge. Even though Reader will be around until July 1 I’ve been looking for a replacement. Nothing I’ve tried even comes close. People keep recommending things, but they’re all garbage and fall short of Google Reader’s flexibility, integration and functionality  I’ll be writing more about how I’ve been using Google Reader in the near future. I don’t think most people understand that Google Reader goes way beyond a simple RSS aggregator.


– Hitler found out about Google Reader getting axed and he’s pissed.

Fast Company: “Bloomberg has put a figure on Microsoft’s Surface sales: The tally has reached 1.5 million, now, with 400,000 of the total being the newer more expensive Pro edition–launched three months after the simpler RT version.” That would be great for many companies, but I fear that it’s bad news for Microsoft and Surface.

– Here’s a CE activity for pharmacists that might be worth their time. The 2012 Landscape of I.V. Medication Safety: Processes, Tools, and Training. I watched the presentation and felt that it was pretty good. It brings up some good points.

– This is what the Surface Touch Cover looks like when it runs through the TSA X-Ray screener at the airport. Image found here, on Google+.


BBC Technology: “We are showing that you can take chemical constituents, pass them through a printer and create what is effectively a chemical synthesiser in which the reaction occurs allowing you to get out something different at the end…. We’re extrapolating from that to say that in the future you could buy common chemicals, slot them into something that 3D prints, just press a button to mix the ingredients and filter them through the architecture and at the bottom you would get out your prescription drug.” – Yeah, that’s pretty cool.

– Physics can be cool, too. Not as cool as chemistry, but still pretty cool. You know, I took a fair amount in physics throughout high school and college and never had any cool demonstrations like this. You want kids to be interested in science? Show them stuff like this first, then explain it.

– Got myself quoted in another article in Pharmacy Practice News: Why Pharmacists Blog. It’s kind of cool. The article contains a decent list of pharmacist bloggers. There was at least one that I was unaware of.

– March 14 was Pi day, i.e. 3/14. Soooo….. 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286 208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481 117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233 786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006 606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146 951941511609433057…and so on ad infinitum.

– Yeah, all this…(from a TV show)

– JAMIA: Web-scale pharmacovigilance: listening to signals from the crowd: “We hypothesized that Internet users may provide early clues about adverse drug events via their online information-seeking. We conducted a large-scale study of Web search log data gathered during 2010. We also examine sets of drug pairs known to be associated with hyperglycemia and those not associated with hyperglycemia. We find that anonymized signals on drug interactions can be mined from search logs. Compared to analyses of other sources such as electronic health records (EHR), logs are inexpensive to collect and mine. The results demonstrate that logs of the search activities of populations of computer users can contribute to drug safety surveillance.” [J Am Med Inform Assoc doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001482] …and I thought Google was only good for searching for pictures of kittens. Go figure.

– Anyone starting to wonder where the smartphone line ends and tablet line begins? The Samsung Note II is 5.5-inches of pure HD Super AMOLED awesomeness, and it’s a phone. The smaller tablets are approximately 7-inches. I feel like we’re headed for a collision course where we’ll no longer have a tablet or a smartphone, it’ll simple be a “device”. Given that people can use a Bluetooth headset, is there any need to have a 5-inch or smaller “phone”? Maybe. I don’t particularly care for Bluetooth headsets and avoid them like the plague. That’s one reason.

EMR Daily News: “Decision Resources finds that, on average, surveyed U.S. endocrinologists and primary care physicians (PCPs) use e-prescribing for 76 percent of their Medicare patients and 79 percent of their non-Medicare patients, figures that they expect to grow in the next year. The rates are higher for their use of electronic medical records.” – That number seems awfully high to me. I need to touch bases with some of my retail friends and find out if endocrinologists in their area are really that on top of e-prescribing. Who am I kidding, I don’t have any friends.

– From the this-was-dumb study file, there’s this: CPOE and Opportunities for Medication Errors Comparison to Tradition Paper-Based Order Entry. “This study was performed in a neonatal intensive care unit at a 535-bed tertiary care center. Pre- and post-CPOE implementation incidence of error opportunity was compared by evaluating 500 orders before and after implementation using 18 predefined criteria…The implementation of CPOE was associated with a reduction in OEs in the prescribing phase or order entry phase of the medication-use process.” – Of course there will be fewer “opportunities” for error with CPOE! The system is designed to prompt usher the user in the right direction based on CDS. Don’t look at the “opportunities” for errors, look for actual errors. You know, a prospective, randomized trial. Sheez!

– This may seem like a little thing to many, but it is very exciting to me. “Mobeam offers an alternative[to traditional barcode scanning]: Its technology can transmit 1D barcodes (like the kind on coupons and UPC labels) via patented light pulse technology. That means you can use it to redeem coupons, loyalty cards, or even prepaid payment cards at retailers who haven’t upgraded their scanners in the past decade. The company announced last night that its technology is built into Samsung’s new Galaxy S IV smartphone.”

– No surprise here, Kevin Kolb was cut by the Cardinals this week. It was a mistake to sign him in the first place.

That’s it folks. I’m on my way to a track meet. Have a great weekend everyone.

1 thought on “Saturday morning coffee [March 16 2013]”

  1. “Caffeine” – I read something recently (don’t remember where) that caffeine is going to be added to chewing gum too.

    “Yeah, all this…(from a TV show)”

    Great video.. truth!

    Congrats on being quoted again.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.