Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


WellDoc Medical Coaching Software For Better Patient Outcomes

Posted by tomwiles at 8:28 AM on January 24, 2011

Anand Iyer and Chris Bergstrom of Welldoc, Inc. (www.welldocinc.com) present Welldoc Coaching Software for phones that helps patients with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes report their ongoing self-monitoring statistics and other relevant data to their physicians, thus helping the patient remain in compliance to their medical treatment program with an eye towards better patient outcomes.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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Dell Has Great Deals On Mobile Phones

Posted by Alan at 6:46 PM on November 24, 2010

Until I received an ad in my email today it escaped me that Dell sold mobile phones.  Sure I knew they made a couple of them and logically they would sell those, but not a whole line of phones from other manufacturers.  And they have good prices too…really good prices.

The revelation came in the form of an email ad for the HTC Droid Incredible, which they are offering right now for free.  My contract was up a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been searching around for deals.  Mostly I am looking at the Motorola Droid X and the Samsung Fascinate.  I can get the Fascinate from Amazon for $99.  It would only be $29 if I had an individual plan as opposed to our family plan.  Dell offers if for free for new accounts and is also $99 for existing accounts (individual or family).  That’s comparable to the Amazon pricing.

What blew me away, though, was their pricing on the Motorola Droid X.  The Droid X is $49.99 for me and a stunning $9.99 for new accounts!

They carry phones from all manufacturers and for all carriers.  In addition to Dell’s own phones, there are phones from Blackberry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Samsung, Sanyo, and Sony Ericsson.  And, they are working with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Nextel.

You will have to search around a little and make sure you are looking at the price for your situation – New Account, Renew/Upgrade, or Add a Line.  But you can find some REALLY good deals on just about any phone you could want.  Except, of course, the iPhone.

Smartphones As The New Facebook

Posted by tomwiles at 2:40 PM on November 19, 2010

Facebook hit critical mass and managed to move into the mainstream and is now sucking in mass numbers of new users. Much of the value of a many goods and services revolves around mass adoption – it becomes beneificial for people to use Facebook simply because so many friends and family are already on it.

We keep hearing statistics about smartphone adoption rates. No doubt about it, smartphones are increasingly popular devices and are quickly moving into the mainstream.

How does this translate into the real world?

I came across a guy a few days ago that had recently gotten an iPhone 4.0 specifically so he could do Facetime chats with his brother. This guy was in his 50’s and had never owned a computer or dealt with the Internet in any way. I was surprised at how well he had learned to run his phone. He was clearly thrilled with the smartphone and what it was capable of. Even though this fellow had somehow managed to resist getting a computer and the Internet, the smartphone managed to pull him in. Furthermore, this guy was using a lot of data above and beyond WiFi and Facetime. Even as a novice user, he had already purchased a few iphone apps. Additionally he expressed a lot of interest when I was describing Audible.Com audio books.

There’s a segment of the population I run into personally that doesn’t like the idea of or see the need for or perceive any benefit from paying for mobile data connections. These are the people that are hanging onto more basic phone models. I suspect that these same people likely resisted the idea of getting a cell phone in the first place – in other words, they are late adopters when it comes to cell phone technologies and services.

We are now entering the phase of smartphone adoption of where mass numbers of people will get smartphones simply because everyone else has them. I believe smartphones are poised to outstrip even a service like Facebook with the total number of smartphone users.

These new smartphone users are likely to use mass amounts of data. Cell phone companies wanted people to have data plans because of the extra revenue from larger data-enabled bills – now they’d better be prepared to deliver on the promise.

A Free And Powerful Phone System With OpenVBX

Posted by Alan at 5:24 PM on October 7, 2010

I know a lot of telecommunications traffic is moving to the internet, but in some situations a real phone system is still necessary.  And sometimes, I stumble across a technology that is just so geeky-cool that I can’t resist it.  That’s why I am dying to build an OpenVBX system.  It’s like a home server for your telephones.  If you like playing with things such as FreeNAS and WebDAV and understand them, then this shouldn’t be a stretch for you.  And did I mention that it’s just really cool technology?  And it’s free and open-source!

Rather than me trying to explain it, here’s the description given by their web site:

Get virtual phone numbers, and build business apps with the easy drag ‘n drop editor. OpenVBX comes with applets for auto-attendants, call forwarding, voicemails (with transcription), receiving text messages and more.

Integrate OpenVBX with your existing systems. Build your own custom phone applets with just a little bit of PHP. Rebrand and resell OpenVBX to your customers.

Give every user their own phone number and personal conference line. Dial whole departments, share voicemail messages with the team. OpenVBX is for companies and collaboration.

It comes from Twilio, which is a cloud-based communications service.  OpenVBX is an open-source project which was started by Twilio.  You host it on your own server – Twilio has not announced any plan to host a version.  If you don’t want to host it in your home/business then you can easily find a paid host that offers one-click installation of OpenVBX (just like installing WordPress on your blog).

There are a few apps available on their website and you can write any that you want and easily add it to your installation.  You’ll need to know some PHP, but that’s a pretty common language in today’s world, so if you don’t know it then it’s easy to find a programmer who does.

I found a great tutorial for a basic installation over on MakeUseOf which will get you started.  I’ve bookmarked it and put this project on my to-do list.  It sounds like a great weekend project, especially with the cold, snowy weather on the horizon.