Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Medical Tricorder anyone?

Dude... this is essentially the first step towards a medical tricorder. How cool is that!?
Another way Star Trek technology promoted the advancement of REAL LIFE TECH!

TELUS launches all-in-one wireless medical database for healthcare professionals across Canada

TELUS Wireless Physician to save time and reduce medical errors

VANCOUVER, Oct. 31 /CNW/ - TELUS today announced the launch of TELUS
Wireless Physician, a program that places powerful and up-to-date medical drug
and diagnostic tools into the hands of health professionals on a wireless
handheld device, enabling them to make informed medical decisions and to
reduce the chance of errors.
TELUS Wireless Physician improves access to critical clinical information
for Canadian physicians by bringing together key elements of diagnosis and
prescription information in a convenient mobile medical technology package.
Using powerful mobile devices such as the Palm Treo 650 or 700wx and the
Motorola Q, all available from TELUS, doctors can access concise clinical
information during patient encounters wherever they are. The all-in-one
devices also provide phone, e-mail and Internet access capabilities.
"For doctors who are constantly on the move, the convenience of being
able to instantly access information on more than 3,300 drugs and 1,200
medical conditions allows professionals to make clinical decisions quickly and
confidently," said Barry Rivelis, vice-president, TELUS Business Solutions.
"TELUS is focused on helping healthcare providers gain quick, reliable and
secure access to health information across the continuum of care - anytime,
TELUS Wireless Physician leverages Epocrates Inc.'s premium application,
the Epocrates(R) Essentials guide to drugs, diseases and diagnostics.
Currently, more than 500,000 healthcare professionals worldwide, including
more than 20,000 in Canada actively use Epocrates' products. Clinicians can
use the application to answer many medical questions, providing direction on
the best drug to prescribe and offering diagnostic advice specific to the
symptoms a patient is presenting.
"Technological advances can improve patient care by helping healthcare
professionals make more accurate diagnoses more efficiently," said Dr. Alan
Brookstone, a practicing physician in Richmond, B.C. and a frequent speaker on
the use of clinical information systems in healthcare. "Not only does TELUS
Wireless Physician provide rapid access to concise reference and clinical
decision support information at the point of care, the most recent version of
Epocrates Essentials also includes Canadian-specific drug information. One of
the greatest benefits of TELUS Wireless Physician is its ability to wirelessly
synchronize and update Epocrates Essentials without having to connect to a
TELUS is responding to the needs of doctors for a solution that
consolidates their information and communications requirements into a single
device. With Wireless Physician residing on a single handheld device, doctors
can always have access to the most up-to-date medical information. Health
professionals can also use TELUS' national wireless network to schedule
automatic updates to their databases daily, weekly, or monthly.


I totally sent Star Trek.com an email about it!

Ecological Footprint

My ecological footprint...

FOOD 2.4





Find (and post!) your ecological footprint at http://myfootprint.org/
You can also find out more about ecological footprints on that website, or on Wikipedia!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Breast Cancer Photoessay

Here's another post about someone else's work, while I wait for work I'm actually proud of!

This photoessay on breast cancer was created by my photojournalism teacher, Phil Carpenter. Phil is a photographer for the Montreal Gazette. He is incredibly talented, and definitely knows his stuff. Not just the theory either. He know what works. And he knows how to make it work.

The photoessay was published in the montreal Gazette today, on the front page. Here's a link to the online, video version.

I hope you all enjoy it. If you want, I can pass your comments over to Phil.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Minigear Labs

Last night, when I was falling asleep, I thought out my whole blog entry. Seems like that always happens. Unfortunately, I can't remember it when I wake up, and I usually script these at around 3 AM (Can't sleep! Clowns will eat me!), so there's no way I'm getting out of bed!!
Plus, Ryan would kick me.

I think the beginning of this entry was something related to school having started, yet me not having posted yet. Skip the bla bla bla... Basically, lots of work, not a lot of desire to post. Or maybe just laziness. So far, I've written a few stories (including a boring stock market story - I'll spare you the details!), and produced a mini doc for Radio and a TV interview sequence for, you guessed it, TV.

Wow. My sentences are long. I need to practice writing for radio again.

*** Interruption!***
Watching RDS's pre-game show. Chantal Machabee (plus accent) does her whole lil intro bit, and Pierre and Yvon, Philadelphia played last night so maybe they're a little bit tired tonight. Something to take advantage of. And she stays fixed. Staring at the screen. The producer forgot to cue the other camera. Not so bad though, that's just a few extra seconds. You can see a strand of (flat) hair flying around. Keep in mind, they're in studio. Anyway, FINALLY, the Philly camera is cued. Pierre and Yvon stand there, staring at the camera, waiting for their cue (audio probably), and... waiting... waiting... lower the mics a bit, but not completely, AAAAAANNNDDDD Cue back to Chantal saying to excuse them, they're having *loose translation* a teeny little audio problem. And they'll go back to Pierre and Yvon in a few seconds. Cue fake smile. Audio cue: so, Pierre and Yvon in Philly. And then, something I'd only recently picked up (thanks school!), Pierre and Yvon are like, we probably lost the feed in all the bad weather, but I think you were talking about Philadelphia. AND start bla bla bla.


Anyway, speaking of long sentences...

Rogers Sportsnet Conference on November 4th. I'm helping organize it this year, and I'm really excited! :) Pat Hickey is going to be there, and Bob Babinski!!! I miss Bob. Speaking of Bob, he recommended me for a post at CBC... and I GOT THE JOB!

Starting Saturday (Habs home opener), when CBC broadcasts a hockey game from Montreal, if all goes well, I shall be "running" from the studio to the truck, in effect, I shall be a gopher!! The cool thing is, it pays really well (not sure if I can broadcast it to the world), I get a day press pass (OMG OMG OMG - Mark that off the checklist!), and I GET TO BE INSIDE A MICROWAVE TRUCK! Sooooooooooooo cool!! :)
I'm really excited. Wil Wheaton would be too. Odd segue, to you maybe, but Wil likes hockey. And my mind is like one of those tiny green frogs I saw at the Biodome this weekend.

I believe my post was supposed to end with a comment about Wil. Ah yes! I miss Wil. Sounds weird, and stalkerish, but I swear, I'm not!!!! - a stalker that is. Weird, I am. I was going to randomly comment on one of his Page Two posts that I missed him, but I thought it might be a little too creepy. Wil makes me feel... good. Just so good about myself, and about him (no, not in that way, you dirty mind you!). When I'm feeling a little bit down, all I have to do is read a passage from Just a Geek or Dancing Barefoot, and I instantly feel better. Maybe it's because it makes me feel like I'm not the only one who's had some "I'm really okay, but inside I'm not" troubles. Even if I've had that - kinda not really - before. Maybe it's just because he is just so relateable, and real. He's just so real. Like that friend you always got along with well (once you were both adults), but you both got busy, and even though you live in the same neighborhood and stuff, you just never have the time to get together. Sometimes you IM. Mostly you just read each others' blogs.

Okay. Enough of the imagination there.

I think the whole point of the Wil Wheaton comment can be summarized in 2 points:

1) I miss you (and random imaginary potential friend)
2) Thanks (for being approachable, and real, and sharing your expriences)


On that topic, that is.

Next topic, because I know you really want to read some of my stuff...
I abused James (for information that is!), not once but twice in recent weeks. The first time was for the following piece, on his small business called "Minigear Labs". The website is currently down, but should be back up soon. Next, I abused James for my photoessay, for my photojournalism course. I shall be examining the life of "underground/underdog" bands, and how they struggle. As opposed to famous bands who just hang around in the tour bus all day, of course. Pictures are to come. I've got 1.5G so far, from 1 show! To be fair, they played for 5 hours. Straight (nearly).

Looks Good, Sounds Good

Minigear Labs' basement business has promising future

By Naila Jinnah

Ever wish you were a fly on the wall? If you can’t get your hands on the latest government technology, Minigear Labs might have just what you need.

With microphones in pens, pen caps, and in alligator clips that can be attached to just about anything, Minigear Labs creates, manufactures and sells Minidisk and DAT mics that are cool and high quality, even when they are covert. They also offer sound transfer services to and from different media and live audio recording services.

Like with most small businesses, the idea for Minigear Labs came from a combination of the owners’ needs and abilities. William Paul, now 22 years old, wanted to record lectures, while James Clemens-Seely, 21, was more interested in recording music. However, the prices of items available on the market seemed excessive to the then Marianopolis College students, who were used to doing their own technical work at home.

“Will had looked into getting himself one of the (mics) that Sony sells, and they were 50 bucks or 80 bucks,” Clemens-Seely said. “We looked some up on eBay and saw some homemade ones and it was like, ‘hey, we can do better than that!’”

Some cable from the dollar store and $50 worth of Panasonic microphone capsules – the “brain” of the mics – was all it took for Paul and Clemens-Seely to pick up their soldering irons and start experimenting.

“We would go over and hang out in Will’s basement and mess around with what we could put a mic inside of that would be cool,” Clemens-Seely recalls. “We figured if we sell a couple at $25 a piece, we’ll make (our money) back, and then we’ll see!”

And that’s exactly what happened. Through the power of eBay, Paul and Clemens-Seely had effectively started a company without a business plan or even any hopes for the future.

Since it was founded in the summer of 2003, Minigear Labs has sold over 350 microphones on eBay, and many more through friends and local contacts. Buyer comments left on the website rave about Minigear Labs’ great communication with clients, their willingness to share their knowledge, and most importantly, the amazing quality of the products. Buyer dmtwill3 left one of the 364 positive feedbacks, commenting that the mics were “clearly more defined than the sony (sic) ECM-DS70P!”

A quick eBay search for “minidisk mics” turns up products that cost more than twice as much as Minigear Labs products, and don’t look nearly as cool. Minigear Labs’ competitive edge also lies in their products’ flexibility for positioning, their top of the line parts, and a custom modification that allows them to handle louder noises.

In a given month, Minigear Labs will sell about 15 to 20 mics, for an average revenue of $2000 a year. But while it only costs $10 to make one microphone, Paul and Clemens-Seely are not exactly raking in a fortune.

“As a general rule, we siphon the money back into the company to buy really classy recording gear for the live concerts we record,” explained Clemens-Seely. “So now, we have really nice recording equipment, really nice professional level microphones and computer interfaces.”

This new equipment is not only fuelling opportunities for Minigear Labs, it has also jump-started the owners’ creativity. They have plans for new products, like the ultimate bootlegger’s microphone T-shirt Paul wore during the 2006 International Jazz Festival in Montreal, and plans to develop a proper business plan.

“We have this one mic that sells fairly consistently, but we’re also looking to develop little headphone amplifiers and mic pre-amplifiers,” explained Clemens-Seely.

“That’s the sort of thing we’re thinking about now, minimizing expenses and maximizing profit.”

They’re also thinking about their futures. Paul is in his second year of a Physics Bachelor degree and Music Technology minor at McGill University, while Clemens-Seely has two years left before completing McGill’s Honours Music Technology Bachelor program.

While Minigear Labs’ profits have tripled since its launch, William Paul and James Clemens-Seely do have career goals other than running the company.

“I can see us moving on and it not happening anymore, but I can also see us turning it into the next Sony, or Shure or Sennheiser, where we make real mics,” said Clemens-Seely, explaining how they like to tweak the high end gizmos they’ve bought for the company in order to improve them.

“Having the technical knowledge to build mics or circuits does come in handy when you’re dealing with mics and circuits,” said Clemens-Seely.

“The sky is the limit!”

Minigear Labs can be found online at http://www.minigearlabs.com.