Category Archives: Tech News

Dr. Alan Mendelsohn: Pioneer of Cataract Surgery in South Florida

Cross-sectional view in grayscale of right human eye.

In 1987 Dr. Alan Mendelsohn was a newly minted graduate of the fellowship training program at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami. That year he opened his ophthalmology practice in Hollywood and was excited to be a part of what was then a new breed of ophthalmologists who pioneered the practice of out-patient cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is an out-patient procedure today, but until this moment in history eye doctors admitted their patients into the hospital for three days: the night before the surgery, the day of the surgery, and then one extra night after the surgery. There are several advantages to reducing the length of hospital stays, including: reducing the extra bother and expense; and more importantly, lowering the risk of contracting hospital induced infections. Out of hospital cataract surgery was an attractive alternative right from the beginning.

Dr. Alan Mendelsohn was at the cusp of this new model for cataract surgery. For the next ten years this was standard practice. Then, in the mid to late 1990s another revolution transformed the field of ophthalmology: “No Stitch” cataract surgery. Phaco surgery, short for Phacoemulcification, allowed eye doctors like Alan Mendelsohn to remove cataracts in a far quicker and safer way, resulting in better eyesight overall. In addition, the risks of edema, infections and inflammations were drastically reduced.

Today Dr. Mendelsohn’s practice is experiencing a third revolution: Laser-assisted cataract surgery. This type of surgery not only eliminates the cataract, but also can correct for low or moderate levels of astigmatism. This problem can be either improved or completely eliminated in many cases, resulting in a visual acuity improvement unprecedented from this type of surgery in the past.

Bitcoin’s Value Doubled in August

Bitcoin reached its highest price in its short history when it doubled in value in just one month.

During the month of August Bitcoin went from a price of $2788 on August 1st, 2017 to $4564 on August 31st, and it wasn’t finished heading for the stars quite yet. On September 2 bitcoin reached a high of $4780, before it started to crash, losing about 15% in just a bit over a week. As of September 11th, one bitcoin costs $4106.

Overall this year bitcoin has grown by 358%, starting slowly in January, but then really taking off in March this year, when it began climbing from just under $1000 on March 24th, and just kept going.

Listen to one commentator’s analysis of this investing phenomenon. Is it a bubble, or isn’t it?

 

Employees of Wisconsin Company Volunteer to Get “Chipped”

Three Square Market, often called 32M, held a party last week to celebrate the inauguration of something completely new: workers who voluntarily agreed to have microchips inserted into their hands for the convenience of buying snacks in the cafeteria, opening doors with a mere hand-wave, and easy login to their computer.

The Wisconsin-based company somehow convinced 41 of its 85 employees to introduce the chip into their flesh, saying that although it is a new and unusual phenomenon in the US, in Europe the practice is much more prevalent.

The company also asserts that the chips are encrypted, and do not have a GPS function as other types of microchips have, so that no one will be able to track the movements of the employee-cyborgs. On the other hand, for some talented hackers encryption is not a serious obstacle to access to computer systems if there is enough of a desire.

One observer, sociology professor at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Noelle Chesley says that she foresees the implantation of chips into employees will go from nuts to normal over the next few years.

Seven Billion Dollar Deal Could Bring 50,000 Jobs to US

The top and side of an iPhone 5S, externally identical to the iPhone 5. Photo courtesy of Calerusnak

Two high tech giants, Foxconn and Apple, are considering a deal to build a panel factory in the United States at a cost of about $7 billion and could create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs. Chairman Terry Gou of Foxconn said that an investment by Foxconn’s Sharp division will depend on the terms negotiated for the deal at the state and federal levels.

The announcement of the deal comes close on the heels of President Donald Trump’s inaugural address in which the new president promised to make “America First” as the backbone of his policies leading the nation. Trump stated in his speech: “We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.”

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to try and persuade Apple to bring the manufacture of iPhones to US shores. Trump said that he was optimistic that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, had his “eyes open” to the possibility. Foxconn is the biggest producer of iPhones.

Gou said that Trump-style protectionism was inevitable, but he is unsure how Americans will feel about spending hundreds of dollars more for a phone that does not work any better than a less expensive model that was made overseas.

Gou vowed to increase his investments in China. Apple is also dependent on China, not just for production, but also for sales. Last year China made up 22 percent of Apple’s total revenue, some $46.4 billion.

Uber Growing as Cab and Rental Business Transactions Shrink

Uber won the majority of total ground transportation transactions last quarter for the first time since the ride-hailing startup started up. According to Certify, the second-biggest travel and expense management software provider in North America, Uber Technologies Inc. had 52 percent of the total ground transportation transactions during the last quarter of 2016.

Last year Uber has already become more popular for business travelers than rental cars as measured by transactions, though rental car bookings still accounted for a bigger share of revenue.

As Uber continues to grow, taxis and rentals continue their decline. During 2016’s Q4 rentals had 33 percent of the market while cabs had only 11 percent. For taxis 2016 was a pretty tough year, down over 37 percent since Q1 of 2014, according to Certify.

Uber’s other competitor in the ride-hailing, high-tech niche, Lyft Inc., also grew, doubling its share from 2 percent to 4 percent in Q4 2016. The apartment rental website Airbnb Inc. also doubled their transactions every year since 2014, according to Certify.

Part of what is driving Uber’s fast growth is its low cost. On average, a ride with Uber, as reported on Certify expense reports, was $24.75 last quarter. For Lyft it was $24.99, and for a taxi, $34.62.