Anti-Buzz: Moore’s Law

by Andrew Emmott on August 30, 2014

in Anti-Buzz,Future Tech,General,Hardware

Andrew has been writing Anti Buzz for 4 years resulting in almost 200 articles. For the next several weeks we will revisit some of these just in case you missed it.

 

newface-620x461The Buzz Word: Moore’s Law Sometimes I feel the anti-buzz tag line invites a rude attitude and I want to skip it. This is one of those times. Moore’s Law is a very popularly understood concept, and there is nothing wrong with this popularity. Discussing Moore’s Law in the context of buzzwords is merely meant to be fun and informative, not a lesson in how “wrong” the average person is. That said, Moore’s Law is a buzzword; remember that the defining characteristic of buzzword isn’t strictly about accuracy, but about application that is broader than originally intended. The law takes many forms, but a minimalist, popular definition could be “Every 18 months, computing power doubles.” Moore himself was, strictly speaking, talking about the number of transistors that could be fit into the same amount of space. Despite a strong connection between the number of transistors and the performance of digital electronics, Moore was not directly addressing the falling price of hard drives or memory, or the mega-pixels in your camera, or the number of users on Facebook; yet every time something doubles, somebody wants to cite Moore’s Law.

Moore himself has joked that by the sound of it, you’d think he invented the exponential. This is an understandable reaction by the public. Transistors-per-square-inch is an obtuse thing to appreciate, and even when you draw the connection between that and processing power, people want to generalize this to a discussion about every statistic that could ever be used to describe their computer: RAM, screen resolution, storage space, battery life, you name it. Moore’s Law also puts a name to the problem the public has had with computing for the past two decades: it changes too fast. Moore’s Law gives you someone to blame. These popular generalizations are fine and not even that inaccurate, but what’s the real story behind Moore’s Law?

The True Moore’s Law: Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, was one of several who, in 1965, observed a trend in new integrated circuit technology. He stuck his neck out, and famously predicted that the number of transistors on one microchip would continue to double every year for at least the next ten years. In 1975, he reviewed the situation and revised his statement, claiming that they would continue to double every two years for the foreseeable future. Speaking strictly from the transistors-per-chip point of view, Moore’s two-year
Law still holds today. Interestingly, Moore never once claimed a turnover of 18 months, and never argued for anything other than the prowess of manufacturing technologies and how many transistors they could cram into one place. One notable thing to point out: Moore’s Law hasn’t held true for all these decades just because of some crazy computer magic, but because the integrated circuit industry, especially Intel, has used to law to guide their
long-term strategies and have seen it as something of a mandate for how fast and hard they need to improve their technology.

Power Doubling Every 18 Months: So where does the turnover of 18 months come from? This is the popularly understood time. An Intel colleague of Moore, David House, sought to give a more applied definition of Moore’s Law. He stated that the practical implications of Moore’s Law were that CPUs would double in speed every 18 months. This claim is much easier to digest if you are an outsider, but it is also more narrow; quite a bit more than processor speed matters to your machine’s performance. I think we all bandy about with “Moore’s Law” and not “House’s Law” because Moore’s Law impacts all facets of computing technology, which is what we need if we’re bringing mega-pixels and video RAM into the conversation. House was strictly speaking about processor speed and his law has become increasingly hard to judge in the past decade, with multi-core CPUs really muddying our ability to account for processing speed.

Beyond the CPU: So, Moore’s Law does impact the number of mega-pixels in your camera and the cost of your hard drive, but it is not a directrelationship. Not everything benefits from more transistors the same way a processor does. We vaguely wrap “number of transistors” up in the term “computing power”, use House’s number because it’s a bit sexier and, honestly, it’s close enough to correct that pedants like me shouldn’t really care. The important thing to understand is that most aspects of computing technology improve exponentially fast, which I suppose is yet another obtuse formulation. The other key concept is that processing power isn’t the only thing that matters, (The marketing campaigns of processor manufacturers have spent the last two decades convincing you otherwise), and “computing power” is a little more amorphous than just how many hertz your computer can flop over.

How much longer will Moore’s Law hold out? Nobody quite agrees, but there is good reason to suspect that it won’t last that much longer. Even with that knowledge, don’t get sucked into popular doomsday notions of what that means. When Moore’s Law finally fails it doesn’t mean that computers will stop getting better. In fact, it doesn’t even mean they will stop getting exponentially better – a common estimation is that improvements will only slow such that the number of transistors will double only every three years. That’s still pretty fast, and who know how many decades that will last.

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Profitability Coaching

by Larry Emmott on August 29, 2014

in e-Services,Management,Software

 

On of the best sessions at the recent Henry Schein Technology summit in Utah was on the Dentrix coaching program presented by Tammy McHood. Coaching is a remarkable program that virtually every Dentrix office needs to consider.

In case you missed it, here is what I wrote about coaching earlier this year.

man-thinkingFrom Dentrix:

Expert advice. Higher profits. Superior results.

Profitability Coaching can turn your Dentrix practice management solution into an even bigger and more effective profitability engine—by helping you strengthen the connections between your Dentrix system and your bottom line.

via Dental Software – Dentrix Profitability Coaching.

One of the best features of electronic records is that you gather data on your practice and your patients as a byproduct of doing business. If you know how to access the data and what it means you can use it to manage your dental practices in a more effective manner.

For example what percentage of hygiene patients schedule for a re-care appointment? What is your ratio of prophy to perio? What percentage of the work you recommend is accepted?  Your computer has all that information even if you don’t.

If  you could access this data do you know what it means? Do you know how you compare with your peers? Do you know what to do to improve your efficiency?

Dentrix “Profitability Coaching” is an Internet based service that will gather the critical data from your practice analyze it, compare it to ideal norms learned in consult with leading practice management firms and give you advice on how to improve your practice.

It is in essence an online practice management consultant. It is a good way to get more from your investment in technology.

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CDA San Francisco September 4-6

by Larry Emmott on August 28, 2014

in Dental Speaker

I am very excited to be presenting two hands on Internet programs next week for the CDA San Francisco Meeting.

CDA141

 

Lawrence Emmott

Lawrence Emmott, DDS

Dr. Emmott is one of the most entertaining speakers in dentistry. He is a leading dental high-tech authority with more than 30 years of experience as a practicing general dentist.

Classes:

  • Just Do It: Hands-on Social Media, Thursday, September 4, 2014, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Social Media)
  • Just Do It: Hands-on Social Media, Thursday, September 4, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Social Media)

Speaker List.

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In Case you missed it: Dentalcompare from summer of 2013.

FormsDespite advances in digital records and communication, the majority of specialist referrals still follow this old paper-based system. However, paperless digital referrals are possible, have already progressed through two generations and promise to be even better in the near future.

First generation attempts to create digital referral slips simply recreate the paper form in a digital format, usually pdf. The referring dentist needs to download and print the form from the specialist’s website then fill in the information (patient name, practice information, tooth number, diagnosis, etc.) by hand…

Second generation online referrals can be created online, no paper. However, the referring dentist still needs to fill in the information by hand using a keyboard and mouse…

A third generation system will upload all the appropriate patient data from the paperless record to the online referral forms automatically with no additional typing. In other words, the patient name, the tooth and the treatment would not need to be re-typed but would be extracted from the exiting digital record.

But that’s not all. With a digital referral you are not limited to the minimum information we used to scribble on the paper form. You can automatically upload all the patient information the specialist’s office will need such as address, employment, contact numbers and the other things needed to create a patient record. The system will upload the patient’s insurance information with plan, group numbers and benefits. The system will upload the patient’s health history with areas of concern noted.

All the information a patient usually needs to spend time writing onto a paper form on an old brown clipboard is sent automatically before the patient even arrives for the first appointment.

via Emmott On Technology: Looking Ahead to 3rd Generation Dental Specialist Referrals | Dentalcompare.com.

Caught up in HIPAA Hysteria some doctors are afraid to put any patient information online or share anything with another dentist without a release.

HIPAA rules specifically allow professionals to share relevant patient information regarding treatment with no specific patient release. It is assumed to be legitimate and in the patient’s best interest.

On the other hand sending patient information via basic e-mail is not secure. You can get an e-mail encryption program or better yet do not use e-mail but transfer patient information using a secure web site. Several of these have been developed but none have yet reached the critical mass needed for widespread acceptance.

Third generation referrals are still in the vapor ware stage but they make so much sense I believe they will be here shortly.

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Expert Business Strategies

by Larry Emmott on August 27, 2014

in Dental Speaker,Paperless

From the ADA “Expert Business Strategies”

8299_EPS_Button_300x250

I contributed a chapter on Paperless Records. I am honored to be included along with Charles Blair, Sally McKenzie, Cathy Jameson, Roger Levin and others.

 

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Dental Art

by Larry Emmott on August 27, 2014

in Dental Art

Brusher

“Brusher”  ?? I do not have an artist or a title for this one. I like the realism even if it is a bit gross. I believe this is colored pencil but am not sure.

Dental art is anything that depicts teeth or dentistry in an interesting or artistic way. If you have any suggestions for future Dental Art pieces please send them to me or give me a link. Thanks.

All the Dental Art images can be found here on Pinterest.

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Henry Schein Tech Summit

August 26, 2014

I was invited by Henry Schein  / Dentrix to participate in a technology summit with many of their top executives and a who’s who of dental consultants and technology leaders. I have tremendous respect for the people they invited and was honored to be included. The meeting was both fun and very informative. As a dentist […]

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Sensors for Dummies

August 26, 2014

A corded sensor has three basic elements. First is a scintillator. When x-rays impact the scintillator it fluoresces, creating a very precise pattern of light. Many, but not all, sensors have an optical fibre. It transmits the light from the scintillator screen to the chip and protects the chip from x-rays. A solid state computer […]

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Go with a Pro

August 26, 2014

Who does your IT? Don’t go “Cheapo” this is an essential part of your office hire a pro.

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Dentrix Ascend Cloud Based Management Software

August 25, 2014
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Docking Station Makes Surface Pro 3 Indistinguishable From a Desktop

August 25, 2014

Tablet, Laptop and now fully functional desktop…all in one. …it hadn’t supplanted my go-to Lenovo laptop — until now. And that’s all thanks to its new $199.99 docking station… If you own a Surface Pro 3, I consider this dock a must-have device. It simply completes the picture of a no-compromises tablet and ultraportable hybrid. […]

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Best Way to Brush Your Teeth? Experts Disagree

August 24, 2014

When it comes to the best way to brush your teeth, experts do not agree. via Best Way to Brush Your Teeth? Experts Disagree – NYTimes.com. So much for the science is settled.

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Anti-Buzz: The End of Large Software

August 23, 2014

Andrew has been writing Anti Buzz for 4 years resulting in almost 200 articles. For the next several weeks we will revisit some of these just in case you missed it.   I have spent many of my recent articles trying to make some sense of the smartphone/tablet boom, but what I haven’t done is really dig […]

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Schein Opens New Utah Headquarters Featuring “Center Of Excellence”

August 22, 2014

From WSJ: Henry Schein, Inc. announced today the grand opening of a new headquarters building for its Practice Solutions business in American Fork, Utah, that will offer practitioners a state-of-the-art training facility on digital dentistry. The 100,000-square-foot, environmentally friendly facility features a “Center of Excellence” equipped with high-quality digital dental equipment and technology from Henry […]

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PPO Analyzer for Dentrix

August 22, 2014

From DPR: There are four main components to The PPO Analyzer. PPO Production Summary – This will give you production by fee schedule and compare it to your UCR fee schedule and give you a net difference. This is your bottom line PPO write-off. PPO Patient Demographics – This will give you total number of patients […]

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Taking X-rays Off the Wall

August 21, 2014

In case you missed it. Here is a Dentalcompare article from March2013 about one of my favorite products - Nomad. The NOMAD, a hand held x-ray unit from Aribex, looks like a big ray gun from an old sci-fi film. There is a body, a pistol grip and a cone or barrel that emits the x-rays. […]

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5 Tips on Choosing the Right Desk Grommet

August 20, 2014

From Cabelorganizer: While they may seem like mere pieces of plastic or rubber at first glance, you’ll find that they actually come in a world of different sizes, shapes and materials, and can carry out a few functions that you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to. via 5 Tips on Choosing the Right Desk Grommet.

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Dental Art

August 20, 2014

“Watermelon Mouth” A nice summer time option. Dental art is anything that depicts teeth or dentistry in an interesting or artistic way. If you have any suggestions for future Dental Art pieces please send them to me or give me a link. Thanks. All the Dental Art images can be found here on Pinterest.

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Dental Integrators Association

August 19, 2014

Need an experienced dental IT company to set up and maintain your computers? Here is a nice resource. Dental Integrators Association | Dental Integrators Association.

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Reminder: Academy of General Dentistry Webinar Tomorrow Aug 20

August 19, 2014

Technology from front to back: Integrating your business and clinical team members to boost efficiency and productivity Wednesday, Aug. 20, 7 to 8:30 p.m. CDT Creating a great high tech, paperless, digital dental office will never happen by accident. Digital technology is not just a part of practice management but a critical element in every […]

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