Saturday morning coffee [June 1 2013]

So 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….

Is it really June 1st already? Wow, time is flying by this year.

The coffee cup below is a simple, cheesy mug used by some place here in the Denver airport to serve coffee. I’m passing through on my way to the ASHP Summer Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. I get in later this afternoon. The festivities will start for me tonight and go through Tuesday. I plan on spending some time attending sessions as a real pharmacist. I have to admit, I’m a little excited by the idea. I’ve been unable to attend an educational session at a conference in approximately two years. I’m looking forward to having my brain cleansed by some good old fashioned pharmacy information.


Fast & Furious 6 was #1 at the box office last weekend. I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to. My wife has a think for Dwayne Johnson (cough…steroids). Yesterday evening, however, my family and I decided to catch Now You See Me. I didn’t know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. It was a very entertaining and engaging film. I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation. One movie that I will not be seeing is After Earth. My favorite review of After Earth has to be from Peter Travers of Rolling Stone: “After Earth merits comparison with 2000’s Battlefield Earth….Yes, it’s that bad”. Classic.

I love these guys. How Iron Man 3 Should Have Ended

Have you seen the Aspire R7? It’s an interesting laptop design that uses a hinge system to allow the user to make adjustments to the screen position. It’s an interesting concept. Not saying that I want one, but at least Acer is trying something new. I’m not the only one that feels this way. David Pierce at the Verge reviewed the unit and had some good things to say about it, but in the end he wasn’t impressed enough to want one as a daily-driver. “The Ezel hinge is cool, there’s no question, and I could see myself using a laptop in some of the ways it allows. I’d also love an all-in-one that was this flexible. But I’m not ready to give up the trackpad, and neither is Windows. Until Acer figures out how to make a crazy laptop that’s also a normal laptop, I’m not interested.”

I’ve been using the new Google Music All Access service all week. It’s pretty amazing stuff. The service recommends music channels based on the music in my library, and those channels become customized to my taste as I listen and provide feedback; similar to all the other big music services I’m sure. The ability for Google to introduce me to new music that suits my taste is remarkable. The service runs $7.99 per month if you get on board before June 30. I’m in week two of my 30 trial period. Not sure if it’s worth keeping or not. I’ll keep you posted.

I continue to use feedly as my RSS reader of choice on my computers. I’m getting better with the navigation and the feedly group continues to add and refine features. It’s a far cry better than when I first started using it. “All fashion issues aside–and there are many, of course, because the device looks kind of ridiculous to the uninitiated–it is extremely unnerving to be conversing with someone who has a camera and microphone on their face, pointed directly at you, with the ability to record. In the presence of someone wearing Glass, you can never have privacy. I had anticipated a feeling of uneasiness, but after experiencing it, I was surprised by how much it bothered me on a visceral level.” – Glass isn’t for everyone. The article at is a rather good opinion piece on Google Glass. If you have a few minutes I recommend you read it.

mobihealthnews: “…No other device, with the exception of the smartphone, will do more for the evolution of health technology than the Kinect 2.0 on the new Xbox One… the new Kinect comes packed with lots of high-end gear like a high-resolution digital camera, an infrared camera and several high-fidelity microphones. But those are just sensors, the magic happens on the software. Microsoft released the first Kinect just three years ago, but they’ve been working on the software for more than a decade, and they’ve built a platform, which means new apps (not only games) will be able to tap into an amazing source of information on our body.” – The potential for Xbox One as an out-of-the-box “healthcare appliance” is staggering.

Anyone ever heard of I’m intrigued by the platform and what they’re trying to accomplish. Seems like a good place to start if someone wanted to build, oh, I don’t know, say some applications for outpatient pharmacy use; think medication therapy management.

PBA Health – Why Your Pharmacy Needs an Adherence Program: “The United States loses $290 billion every year because patients don’t take their prescribed medications or they take them incorreclty, according to a 2009 study by The New England Health Institute. The same study found that mortality rates among patients who did not adhere to their medications were nearly double the rates of those who took their medications as prescribed. A 2012 report from the World Health Organization (WHO) found that “increasing the effectiveness of adherence interventions may have a far greater impact on the health of a population than any improvement in specific medical treatments….Adherence programs and the current healthcare environment are the opportunities pharmacists have been waiting for..” – That about sums it up. “Vaica’s SimpleMed is a cloud-communicating device that can be programmed for seven days a week, at four intervals throughout the day. It sends flashing light and sound reminders when a pill needs to be taken, and if desired can alert primary caregivers or the Vaica call center when a pill is skipped. After a slot has been opened and the contents removed, the pill is registered as taken.” – It is amazing how many medication adherence devices I’m starting to see in the wild. Take your pick. Need a smart pill box? Boom! How about a bottle that can measure the contents of the liquid inside? Why not. Need an app? Ok. Little gamification? Sure. Sorry, but I’m low-tech and only have a flip phone. No problem, we’ll just use simple SMS text messages. Pick your poison, people. You can find more information on Vaica’s SimpleMed device here.

I’ve been enjoying my Samsung ATIV tablet more and more. Lately I’ve been playing Guns 4 Hire quite a bit. Fun stuff. Highly recommended for its entertainment value, not to mention that you get to blow stuff up.

Windows 8.1 is looming on the horizon. TechRadar has a nice summary of what everyone expects to see. I have to hand it to Microsoft, they’re trying really hard to make Windows 8 a winner. I’ve found a few things that I’d change, but overall I’ve enjoyed the experience. With that said, I’ve come to the conclusion that Windows 8 makes a much better tablet OS than a desktop OS. A lot of people feel that way, which is why it appears that Microsoft will allow users to launch into standard desktop mode as a configurable option with Windows 8.1.

Only 96 days until the NFL season kicks off.

That’s it folks, my abbreviated Saturday morning coffee. I gotta’ hit the bricks and catch my flight to Minneapolis for the ASHP Summer Meeting. If you find yourself at the meeting with nothing better to do, give me a buzz and we’ll grab a cup o’ joe. If you’re interested in following the Twitter stream for the Summer Meeting I believe they’re using #ashpsm.

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