Monday, April 30, 2012

My New Smartphone

Jessie's cellphone was beginning to conk out and when she went to the local AT&T store, they said we were beyond our contract period, so we could get new phones. (I understand there's a context here of two completely different perceptions, sales talk and what the average person understands.) Independent of what was going on with her phone, I had been thinking that as a person with "technology" in his job title, it was probably time to jump into the realm of smartphones and acquire some experience. So the timing seemed serendipitous.

Twenty-odd years ago, I was outspoken in my distaste for Microsoft Corporation (MS). I recall writing in ST Informer something about the sheep-like behavior of the crowd adapting Windows. (I would still argue that Atari had a superior computer at that time.) So what in the world am I doing with a Windows phone? Um ...

I have always followed a different drummer in regard to computing ... Atari ST computer, GEM, WordPerfect, Corel Draw, HotDog HTML Editor. I actually did an afternoon's worth of research on the pros and cons of iPhone, Android, and WinPhone. What I found is that MS revamped their phone OS and was getting very good reviews. I was most concerned about that than the accolades the other two phones get for the ginormous collections of apps, which I assume aren't so big when you count the redundancy of apps doing mainly the same thing, and their superior marketshare. Those attributes have never really moved me.

So I went with the underdog! And in this case, Microsoft is the underdog. I also liked the idea that whether I will actually use them, my phone came with Office apps. I would not have to learn new word processing routines even though I really dislike Word. I am good with holding conflicting beliefs simultaneously.

We both bought Samsung phones because a few months ago we bought new chargers. We both liked our Flights and she didn't want to relearn how to use her phone, so she got a Flight  2. I got a Focus Flash and have to relearn using it but at least I don't have to buy another charger. Go figure that my phone cost $0.99 and hers cost $50 (but $0.00 after rebate card is received). Of course, I got a charger with the phone but that's okay ... I need one at work since it really does go through its battery quickly and the charger is also one of those that uncouples from the plug part and can be used as a data cable with my laptop at home or computer at work.

Needless to say, I am having a great time with my new toy and will have more to report as I gain mastery over it's many features.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Innovation at Mayo Clinic

I've been seeing a lot of notices from the Mayo Clinic in Second Life:
Group Notice From: Mayo Clinic Staff, Svea Morane
TBI: The Signature Injury of Modern Warfare and its Impact on Veterans' Lives

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
Presentation Co-Sponsored by Etopia and Virtual Ability

Presented simultaneously in voice and text.

PRESENTER:  Cindy Tandy (RL)/Eve Maven (SL)
FRIDAY March 30, 4pm SLT
The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island

Group Notice From: Mayo Clinic Staff, Svea Morane
As part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, Etopia and Virtual Ability are co-sponsoring "Neurobiology of PTSD".
FRI, March 30, 1pm SLT
Bayview Ampitheater- Ecotopia EcoCommunity

Presentation in voice, with text transcription.
Attached notecard has more information and landmark

Group Notice From: Mayo Clinic Staff, Svea Morane
Traumatic Brain Injury: New understanding - public presentation and Q/A session led by Dr. Allen Brown, physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic.

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Noon  PDT
Mayo Clinic conference center, Mayo Clinic island

Presented simultaneously in Voice and text.

Group Notice From: Mayo Clinic Staff, Svea Morane
Research on Traumatic Brain Injury is changing the way this condition is understood and manged, resulting in better care and improved lives.
Mayo Clinic is offering a 4 day, 16.75 credit hour Continuing Medical Education program March 1-4, 2011. Gastroenterology and Hepatology Update 2012. Registration is required. Details, with course agenda and registration Web site, are in the attached notecard. Course wil be presented at the Mayo Clinic Conference Center in Second Life.
Group Notice From: Mayo Clinic Staff, Svea Morane
Mayo Clinic is offering a 2.5 day, 17 credit Continuing Medical Education program February 16-18, 2012. Mayo Clinic 23rd Symposium on Minimally Invasive Pelvic Surgery: The Leading Edge. Registration is US$275. Details, with course agenda and registration Web site, are in the attached notecard. Course will be presented at the Mayo Clinic Conference Center in Second Life.
There's not alot of whining about the lack of a discount for nonprofit educational status or of negligible customer service from Linden Lab. One of the world's leading medical institutions just goes about its business using a virtual world to reach out to professionals to deliver education and networking. It's not the only way to do it but it has a legitimate functionality that goes beyond the presentational aspects of other forms of so-called virtual interactions. I've written this before:

What happens in Second Life is immersive. You are not an observer, you are a participant. You may be chatting via text or speaking via voice, but more than that, you are doing something together with the other avatars.

When you understand how significant this experience is, and it's obvious that the people at Mayo Clinic and their growing number of medical school partners understand this, then you can realize that virtual conferences in Second Life provide a compelling alternative to the face-to-face experience when someone cannot afford or is otherwise unable to attend the face-to-face version. 

As the use of of SL becomes more sophisticated, the virtual experience may very well become something that cannot be duplicated in actual life. Intersections exist between the actual and virtual where innovations can be discovered. The Medici Effect  (see also The Medici Group) asserts that real innovation occurs at such intersections.
"Through immersive learning experiences designed around the core innovation principles of The Medici Effect, we guide clients to this Intersection. We introduce randomness to inspire new ideas. We encourage the combination of unlikely concepts and help refine them into executable steps. We work with clients to rebalance risk so they can maximize opportunities and execute past failure."