Liquid Metal Changes Shape to Tune Antenna

Antennas can range from a few squiggles on a PCB to a gigantic Yagi on a tower. The basic laws of physics must be obeyed, though, and whatever form the antenna takes it all boils down to a conductor whose length resonates at a specific frequency. What works at one frequency is suboptimal at another, so an adjustable antenna would be a key component of a multi-band device. And a shape-shifting liquid metal antenna is just plain cool.

The first thing that pops into our head when we think of liquid metal is a silvery blob of mercury skittering inside the glass vial salvaged out of an old thermostat. The second image is a stern talking-to by the local HazMat team, so it’s probably best that North Carolina State University researchers [Michael Dickey] and [Jacob Adams] opted for gallium alloys for their experiments. Liquid at room temperature, these alloys have the useful property of oxidizing on contact with air and forming a skin. This allows the researchers to essentially extrude a conductor of any shape. What’s more, they can electrically manipulate the oxidative state of the metal and thereby the surface tension, allowing the conductor to change length on command. Bingo – an adjustable length antenna.

Radio frequency circuits aren’t the only application for gallium alloys. We’ve already seen liquid metal 3D printing with them. But we need to be careful, since controlling the surface tension of liquid metals might also bring us one step closer to this.

Filed under: chemistry hacks, radio hacks

Want to Create a FabLab in your Garage? Start by Joining your Hackerspace

For many hardware enthusiasts, it’s hard to stop imagining the possibilities of an almighty fablab in our garage — a glorious suite of machines that can make the widgets of our dreams. Over the years, many of us start to build just that, assembling marvelous workbenches for the rest of us to drool over. The question is: “how do we get there?”

Ok, let’s say we’ve got a blank garage. We might be able to pick up a couple of tools and just “roll with it,” teaching ourselves the basics as we go and learning from our mistakes. With enough endurance, we’ll wake up ten years later and realize that, among the CNC mill, lathe, o-scope, logic analyzer, and the graveyard of projects on the shelves–we’ve made it!

Image Credit: [Rupunzell] on EEVBlog
Image Credit: [Rupunzell] on EEVBlog

“Just rolling with it,” though, can squeeze the last bits of change out of our wallets–not to mention ten years being a long journey while flying solo the whole time.  Hardware costs money. Aimless experimentation, without understanding the space of “what expectations are realistic,” can cost lots of money when things break.

These days, the internet might do a great job of bringing people together with the same interest. But how does it fare in exchanging the technical know-how that’s tied directly to tools of the trade? Can we get the same experience from a chatroom as we might from a few minutes with the local ‘CNC Whisperer’ who can tell us the ins-and-outs about tuning the machine’s PID controllers?

I’d say that we just can’t. “Getting started” in any subject often seems daunting, but we’re at a compounded disadvantage in that the gurus on the forum have some shared implicit knowledge and jargon on the subject that we wont have if we truly are taking our first steps. (Not to fear, though; none of us were born with this stuff!)

Ruling out forums for taking our first baby steps, where can we find the “seasoned gurus” to give us that founding knowledge? It’s unlikely that any coffee shop would house the local hardware guru sippin’ a joe and taking questions. Fear not, though; there are places for hackers to get their sustenance.

Enter the Hackerspace

Enter the hackerspace. With coffee mugs and doilies replaced with soldering irons and 3D printers, these places are scattered worldwide and filled with tinkerers and DIY-enthusiasts drawn to the same machines. Hackerspaces put a roof over the heads of local hackers, bring in a few tools, and roll out projects. Some, like the Bay Area’s HackerDojo, have a general set of tools. Others, like BioCurious, cater to a more niche interest. With a membership fee and possibly some light equipment training, you’re in!

The Hidden User Manual

Tinkerers at BioCurious. Image credit: BioCurious
Tinkerers at BioCurious. Image credit: BioCurious

Hackerspaces give us something that the internet and our empty garages just can’t: a foreground of tools and a background of “after-hours” engineers who can show us how to use them. If you’ve never taken a chunk out of aluminium with a spinning endmill, the Hackerspace might be the right place to do it. First, we don’t have the up-front cost of paying for the machine ourselves. Second, given some machine time, we now have the opportunity to learn how to use it properly. I’m not suggesting that aforementioned “blind experimentation” with “someone else’s equipment.” Rather, I’m suggesting that here, in front of that CNC desktop mill, is a great time to ask “how to I cut this aluminum stock down to shape I want?”

The Workflow

Hackerspaces also demonstrate a workflow. For any tool we’d someday want in our garage, setting up a “toolchain” to make that tool useful is a non-trivial process, and we’re bound to have a series of questions. Take that CNC mill for example. To go from initial idea to final design takes several steps along the way. First, there’s the computer modeling software for designing the parts. “What did the hackerspace use? Blender? AutoCAD?” Next, there’s the CAM software that translates our 3D model into a list of instructions, a.k.a GCode, for cutting our part. “Did the hackerspace use Mach3 or CamBAM?” Finally, a CNC mill (or another machine) cuts out our part based on the tool paths defined in the GCode. “How did the hackerspace convert their manual tools to CNC? Did they use GRBL, LinuxCNC, or something else?” A hackerspace is a great place to see a successful workflow in action. It’s a place where we
can ask questions about the process so that we can someday define our own.

The Culture

CollaborationThumbWhile we’re here, it’s worth taking a step back and glancing around the space. On one end, we might see a bloke putting two stranded wires into a hand drill to quickly spin them into a twisted pair. On the other, we might see a couple of students poised over their Segway-bot, cheering as it balances for the first time! This is our culture, from which we too can learn the tricks of the trade, sometimes by asking questions, sometimes just by looking around. If we’re buried in the garage lair, we might not pick up some of the well-established tricks of our time–or worse–we’ll reinvent yet another wheel and think ourselves clever having done so! Alas,
it’s tempting to feel brilliant the day we find ourselves sticking a pair of wires into a hand drill to coil them up, but it’s been done before. Instead, we can visit the hackerspace and discover the edge of the bag of tricks that the rest of our culture has developed. Once we’ve met this edge, we can start pushing it a little further.

A True Story

About a year ago, I made a visit to the Bay Area’s HackerDojo to borrow some time on a bandsaw. For the trip, I packed both the boxed shambles of my latest project and my camera to document the progress. As I unpacked, I realized that, from the corner, an elderly gentleman with a bushy snow-white beard had been focusing intently on my camera. He approached me and said,

“That’s a nice 60D you’ve got there.”

He leaned in and whispered,

“I’ve got the 40D.”

Giving me a good long look over the tops of his bifocals, he told me,

“If you’d like, I can show you how to use it properly. Come back next week.”

I returned the next week, and in the course of about two hours, we went through the basics of f-stop, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings on my camera. I could’ve taken a week to learn these topics on my own, hunting through the internet trying to answer the question “What should I know about taking pictures with my camera?” Instead, in two hours, I had the basics down, and not just the basics, but the vocabulary and the mental model for going forward in my picture-taking escapades. Here lies the true treasure at the hackerspace. Gathered around the band saws, the resistor boxes, and the soldering irons is a collection of everyday tinkerers not entirely unlike you and me.

So go forth; visit these places! Yes, you’ll find the tools you were looking for. But you’ll also find something else: a culture of expertise and the eagerness to share it, and that’s a find much harder to come by.

Filed under: Featured, slider

Core Memory for the Hard Core

[Brek] needed to store 64 bits of data from his GPS to serve as a last-known-position function. This memory must be non-volatile, sticking around when the GPS and power are off. Solutions like using a backup battery or employing a $0.25 EEPROM chip were obviously too pedestrian. [Brek] wanted to store his 64 bits in style and that means hand-wired core memory.

OK, we’re pretty sure that the solution came first, and then [Brek] found a fitting problem that could be solved, but you gotta give him props for a project well executed and well documented.

Core memory is basically just a bunch of magnetizable rings on wires. When you pass enough current through a ring it becomes magnetically charged (North or South) depending on the direction of the current. Once magnetized, if you try to re-magnetize the core in the same direction, nothing changes. But if you flip the polarity of the ring, it emits a short electric pulse in the process. Sensing this pulse (and re-writing the bit back to its original state if necessary) buys you one-bit-per-ring of memory that remembers even when the power goes off.

2818981437205560722You could string the cores up independently, but that’s a lot of wiring. The trick to making core memory (halfway) reasonable is the fact that a current that’s not quite strong enough to flip the polarity of a ring doesn’t do anything.

Look at the way the cores are wired up in a matrix. If you want to select a single core, you can apply half the current to one of the y-axis wires, for instance, and then another half current to a single x-axis wire. Now the one ring to get enough current to flip state is the core in the cross-hairs; all the other rings in the x or y direction only get half.

What’s amazing to us young(er) whipper-snappers is that this was the dominant form of computer memory from the 1950s to the beginning of the transistor age in the mid-1970s. (Come to think of it, my father’s PDP-8 had core memory cards that I vaguely remember seeing as a kid. The sheer wiring required for 4KB was ridiculous.)

7564961439448793132Now back to [Brek]’s project. He’s added some shift registers and H-bridge drivers to handle the logic and current requirements respectively. The sense amplifier lives in a tidy copper cage. The whole build is a sweet testament to over-the-top, bespoke retro engineering. And he gets extra points for the hysteresis logo on the top cover. Go check out his project.

Thanks, [Brek] for all the work and documentation!

Filed under: classic hacks, hardware

Samsung officially announces the Gear S2 smartwatch

galaxy s2 watch

Samsung has now officially announced its round Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch.

The watch, which until now had been known as the Samsung Gear A, runs on Samsung’s own Tizen operating system. The Gear S2 uses a unique rotating bezel, which can be used for some of the same functions managed by the digital crown on the Apple Watch, i.e. zooming in and out of content and controlling specific movements in apps and games. The S2 design also features Home and Back buttons.

The watch comes in two options — the
Gear S2 and the Gear S2 classic. The Gear S2 classic is made for users who prefer a more traditional watch design — it has a black finish and a leather band. The Gear S2 has a more minimal and modern design.

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Samsung wisely made a version of the watch with a 3G radio inside so that users can stay connected even when Wi-Fi isn’t available. Gear S2 with 3G uses an e-SIM with voice capability.

Samsung has yet to release pricing and availability
information, but T-Mobile for one has said that it will sell the watch — and the 3G service to go with it — this fall.

(See the full specs of both watches below)

The watch is 11.4-millimeter thick, with a 1.2-inch circular screen with 360 x 360 resolution (302 ppi). The applications on the Gear S2 can be viewed with amazing clarity so that users don’t miss notification pop-ups.

Samsung says users can glance at notifications, and check calendars, emails, and news on the watch. Text messaging from the device is possible, too.


Above: The Gear S2 classic.

The Gear S2 comes with NFC technology for mobile payments.

Samsung says the watch’s battery
can go 2 -3 days on one charge. A wireless charging dock ships with the S2.

A variety of apps optimized for the Gear S2’s circular user interface will be available at launch, Samsung says. “Through open collaboration with developers and partners, Samsung is continuing to enrich its wearable ecosystem and provide users with a more optimized and unique smart wearable experience,” the company said in a statement.

The Samsung Gear S2 will be available in a dark gray case with a dark gray band, and silver case with a white band. The Samsung Gear S2 classic will be available in a black case with a leather band.

Samsung and other smartwatch makers have been under pressure to come up with some kind of answer to the Apple Watch.


Display: 1.2”, Circular Super AMOLED, 360×360, 302ppi

Processor: Dual core 1.0 GHz

OS: Tizen

Audio: Codec:
MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+; Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG

Memory: 4GB Internal Memory / RAM: 512MB

Communications: Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Email, – Preset Text, Voice Input, Emoticons, Keypads

Health/Fitness: S Health, Nike+ Running

Information: Schedule, News, Maps & Navigation, Weather

Other features: Music Player, Gallery, Voice, Voice Memo, Find My Device, Power Saving Mode, Safety assistance, Privacy lock

More information:

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Will the new Apple TV lure gamers away from consoles?

Apple TV Siri

Apple will likely be talking about a new Apple TV box at an event on September 9, and trade publication 9to5 Mac says that the fourth-generation box will be the first Apple living room device that actively competes with video game consoles thanks to new hardware, software, and peripherals all targeted at gamers.

In an article published today, 9to5 Mac writer MarK Gurman cited sources with knowledge of the product saying that the new Apple TV will actively compete with Microsoft’s Xbox One, Nintendo’s Wii U, and Sony’s PlayStation 4 game consoles. Some of this may be wishful thinking on Apple’s part, but you can’t deny that
Apple has disrupted the handheld console market (think Nintendo’s line of DS and 3DS systems) with its App Store, iPhone, and iPad products. I’ve thought about some of the consequences if Apple really does plan on this new marketing approach.

Previous reports have suggested the new Apple TV will cost $149 or $199 and ship with a built-in App Store and Siri voice command support. If Apple targets its marketing at gamers thanks to features such as Bluetooth controller support (which may not be that appealing), that would be a first. Apple typically throws its marketing dollars at broader audiences, but there’s some serious competition from the game consoles in the living room.

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The game machines are entrenched, selling from $200 to $500, with the games selling for $60 each. Apple TV products enable you to play apps via your iPhone on your TV set using AirPlay, which can wirelessly send the image on the screen to your TV. So while you play on the iPad or iPhone, you can see what happens on your TV. This solution targets nongamers or casual gamers, but it hasn’t proven to be a threat to the consoles so far.

At the upcoming event, Apple is rumored to be announcing a near-universal Siri remote control with voice commands. By itself, this doesn’t sound like it would be really
useful for gamers. But the remote also has motion controls, so 9to5 Mac writes that could lead to some interesting applications such as using the remote as a steering wheel for a racing game.

Apple will also reportedly offer more support for game controllers with pressure-sensitive buttons and joysticks. These devices connect to iPhones and iPads already via Bluetooth connections. 9to5 Mac is optimistic that these controllers will be more appealing for gamers.

But it’s also worth noting that these Bluetooth controllers are already on the market, and they haven’t done well. One reason is that Bluetooth connectivity isn’t always reliable, and the controllers have been criticized — particularly by Nvidia — as being too slow. Nvidia’s own Shield set-top box uses a Wi-Fi-based game controller instead for speedy
interaction that can keep up with super-fast fighting games. If Apple doesn’t support Wi-Fi-based game controllers, gamers might perceive it as a weakness and another reason to avoid the Apple TV box.

But in its favor, Apple has made it possible to create some cool games with high-end 3D graphics via its Metal applications programming interface, which enables games to take advantage of iOS hardware to the fullest. Games such as Super Evil Megacorp’s Vainglory and other iOS games in the works look really good. These games are likely to be much more interesting to gamers and, given the rapid forward progress, could represent the biggest threat Apple poses to the game consoles. After all, the way to beat somebody else’s games is to come up with better games.

And game makers may be more interested in making their games work with game controllers if they know that downloading games to the Apple TV box is going to be a real option. So if Apple makes a good
enough case to developers, the games will follow, and then the gamers will show up too.

It may be a stretch for the whole family to join in on Apple TV gaming, as the family room TV is often reserved for watching TV in households. But the Shield set-top box has been quite popular among my family members for playing — Pac-Man. It’s not clear just how many families are going to go crazy over the idea of playing games on a TV via an Apple TV. But it’s one more entry in the battle for the living room.

Apple is reportedly working on deals with content providers so that users will be able to give up cable TV subscriptions, but that isn’t expected to arrive until later, due to difficult negotiations. Apple’s new set-top box is also expected to debut alongside an iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

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Google+ brings Collections to its iOS app in latest update

Google+ Collections

Social network Google+ is bringing its recently launched feature called Collections to iOS starting today.

Launched in May, Collections functions similarly to Pinterest pin boards. Google+ users can create “a collection” around a certain topic and then use it to post relevant content like pictures, videos, photos, events, and polls. For example, you could create a Collection around rock climbing where you post videos of mountains you’ve climbed or pictures of pitches you’re scoping out. Collections are searchable, and Google also
provides a feed of featured Collections to help users discover new content.

The iOS version of Collections will also be searchable, though users will have control over who can and cannot view their Collections.

Google+ has had trouble gaining substantial footing as a social network. Though it boasts 2.2 billion users, independent data analysis indicates that only a small percentage of those accounts is active. While Facebook’s iOS app ranks number two among all iPhone apps in the U.S., Google+ doesn’t make the top 200, according to App Annie. Perhaps in acknowledgement that its social network isn’t working,
in July the company said Google+ will no longer act as a user’s identity across all Google products.

Despite low traction, Google continues to build its social network in the hopes that one of its features will meaningfully stoke engagement. You can check out the latest version of Google+ on iOS here.

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Everything announced at VMworld 2015 so far

VMware prepares for the first keynote at the 2015 VMworld conference in San Francisco on Aug. 31.

Enterprise software vendor VMware kicked off its big annual VMworld conference in San Francisco today with several news announcements, from new open-source tools to a new “intelligent automation engine” for making the best use of companies’ data center equipment. Other companies interested in riding the wave of attention this week have made announcements, too.

A lot of people are paying attention. More than 23,000 people are here at the Moscone Center for the event, and more than 50,000 people were live streaming today’s keynote. This is, after all, one of the biggest events all year in the world of enterprise technology.

For your convenience, here’s a roundup of all the
news coming out of the conference. We’ll be updating this post throughout the course of the conference, so be sure to check back here later.

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VMware public cloud gets vCloud Air SQL, Site Recovery Manager Air, object storage

On the exhibition floor at VMware's VMworld conference in San Francisco on Aug. 25, 2014.

Above: On the exhibition floor at VMware’s VMworld conference in San Francisco on Aug. 25, 2014.

Image Credit: Jordan Novet/VentureBeat

VMware today announced several enhancements to its vCloud Air public cloud at the company’s annual VMworld conference in San Francisco.

Companies can test and run plans for disaster recovery in vCloud Air’s new cloud-based Site Recovery Manager Air. And VMware is starting to offer disaster recovery on vCloud Air based on usage, instead of just as part of a monthly or yearly subscription. VMware is also introducing vCloud Air Object Storage powered by Google Cloud Platform, the first new product to come out of
VMware’s reseller relationship with Google, announced earlier this year.

Read more

Nvidia launches Grid 2.0 virtual desktop technology with support for 128 users per server

Nvidia headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.

Above: Nvidia headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.

Image Credit: Nvidia

Chipmaker Nvidia today announced the launch of Grid 2.0, the latest version of its desktop virtualization technology that companies can use to deploy graphics-heavy applications remotely to employees who are offsite.

Companies can buy servers packing Nvidia Grid boards and then use virtualization software — such as VMware vSphere 6 and Horizon 6 and Citrix’s XenApp, XenDesktop, and XenServer — to share the power of GPUs (graphic processing units) with Grid 2.0.

The new release can handle as many as 128 users per server, twice as many as before, according to a statement. And Grid now supports the Linux operating system, not just Windows. Plus the technology can now run on blade servers, not just rack servers.

Read more

VMware unveils Integrated OpenStack 2.0 based on Kilo

OpenStack's fifth birthday party at OSCON in Portland.

Above: OpenStack’s fifth birthday party at OSCON in Portland.

Image Credit: Shari Mahrdt/Flickr

VMware today announced the launch of VMware Integrated OpenStack 2.0, the company’s second release of its distribution of the OpenStack open-source cloud software. The new release, based on OpenStack Kilo, which became available in April, will
become generally available to customers by Sept. 30.

VMware first announced that it would assemble an OpenStack distribution at the company’s VMworld conference in San Francisco last year. It came out in February, based on the open-source OpenStack Icehouse software. “Customers will now be able to upgrade from V1.0 (Icehouse) to V2.0 (Kilo), and even roll back if anything goes wrong, in a more operationally efficient manner,” VMware product line manager Arvind Soni wrote in a blog post on the news.

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VMware launches vSphere
Integrated Containers and the Photon Platform

At VMware's 2015 VMworld conference in San Francisco.

Above: At VMware’s 2015 VMworld conference in San Francisco.

Image Credit: Jordan Novet/VentureBeat

VMware today announced technology previews for vSphere Integrated Containers and Photon Platform — two new products that companies can use to build and run applications inside of containers.

Containers are an increasingly popular technology that represent an alternative to the more widely used virtual machines, which VMware has turned into a standard in the world of enterprise software.

The fascinating thing here is how VMware sees this new
technology as underlying a whole bunch of existing technologies from other companies that have been gaining popularity in the past several months. That includes Docker’s Swarm, Google-led Kubernetes, Mesosphere-led Apache Mesos, CoreOS’ Rocket, Cloud Foundry — “all on Photon,” said Kit Colbert, VMware’s vice president and chief technology officer for cloud native applications, in a press conference before today’s general session. All those can integrate with vSphere Integrated Containers.

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ClusterHQ partners with VMware to build a vSphere storage driver for Flocker

ClusterHQ T-shirts.

Above: ClusterHQ T-shirts.

Image Credit: ClusterHQ

Startup ClusterHQ today announced that it has teamed up with VMware to develop a storage driver that allows ClusterHQ’s Flocker open-source software to integrate with VMware’s vSphere server virtualization software.

The result is that companies can now provision storage for specific containers, not just virtual machines, with VMware storage software like Virtual SAN and vSphere Virtual Volumes.

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VMware announces EVO SDDC software suite with SDDC Manager, Hardware Management Services

At VMware's 2015 VMworld conference in San Francisco on Aug. 31.

Above: At VMware’s 2015 VMworld conference in San Francisco on Aug. 31.

Image Credit: Jordan Novet/VentureBeat

VMware today debuted EVO SDDC, a new suite of software that includes several of the company’s existing tools for managing companies’ data center resources as well as a new “automation engine” and new open-source hardware management software.

The existing tools can handle server, storage, and networking virtualization. They include vSphere, Virtual SAN, NSX, and vRealize Operations, according to a statement VMware issued today at its big VMworld conference in San Francisco.

The big picture here is that VMware is finally going to provide a ready-to-go piece of software to let companies live the vision VMware has been talking about for a year or more: the grand “software-defined data center” that SDDC stands for.

Server virtualization is what VMware is built on. Now VMware is essentially making the other pieces a standard, even if they’re still not very widely adopted compared to server virtualization.

Read more

Note: This article will be updated with more VMworld news as it comes in.

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Institutions don’t have needs — people do

Hospital emergency entrance

BetterCareEastBay LogoThis sponsored post is produced by Better Health
East Bay

When it comes to serious health needs in our community, we don’t have to look too far. Here in Alameda County, one in three residents are vulnerable to serious health problems. We are a highly diverse community of 2.5 million people: almost a third are born outside the U.S. and 43 percent do not speak English at home. But we share a common issue: many of us have complex medical needs.

And we’ve determined that our health care delivery crisis centers on one very important point. It’s what we call “fragmentation vs. coordination.”

Think about how hard it is for an isolated senior struggling to manage their diabetes when they are not able to shop at a grocery store. Or for a working parent to monitor his child’s chronic asthma if the child is playing after-school sports.

While they are striving to manage their health or the health of a loved one, they are justifiably frustrated when one hospital tells them to do A, B,
and C and another hospital three days later tells them to do X, Y, and Z. This type of episodic care for our most vulnerable neighbors is an example of where good intentions meet costly healthcare silos  — and how a patient can experience a merrygoround of ER visits and discharges.

In business and in philanthropy, we talk a lot about “making an impact” — how to define it and how to measure it. We balance the tension of having to focus on return-on-investment against the need to be open to new ideas that solve problems in creative ways. As a health care network on the front lines of managing the health of our community, we have to be good at both.

Today, Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, with campuses in Oakland and Berkeley, is one of only six hospitals in the country working with Jeffrey Brenner,
M.D., and the Camden Coalition’s Hotspotting Advisory Group. Learning from Dr. Brenner’s groundbreaking work, we are implementing a geographic information system (GIS) to identify “hot spots” where large concentrations of people are using the emergency room (ER) for non-urgent care. This mapping technology will help identify extreme patterns of how patients access and use health care resources in our community. This includes a shocking view into the escalating use — and cost — of the ER for primary care needs.

The patient stories and GIS data we have gathered so far have yielded much more than maps, however. With some of the hottest hot spots in the Bay Area and the biggest pockets of urban poverty in Northern California, it is not surprising that we also have some of the highest “superutilizers” of hospital ERs right here in the Bay Area.

This includes at least one patient who has visited East Bay
emergency rooms nearly 900 times in three years.

So, what do we do?

Sutter Health’s partnership with the Camden Coalition brought Dr. Brenner and his team to Oakland to engage East Bay care givers in a discussion about how to deliver better care at a lower cost, especially for those dependent upon a fragile and fragmented safety net. Together, we’ve taken a collective approach to the problem by gathering data, engaging stakeholders, enticing innovators, and collaborating with funders.

Using common sense digital tools and technology combined with data-driven insights, our vision is to make the patient’s individualized care plan visible to medical and social service providers, and to help community clinics more efficiently and effectively track their progress and follow-up care, regardless of where the patient enters the system.

We know the right technology exists when innovative companies like Lyft can give customers simple, practical tools to track
a driver, or FedEx customers can see where their package is along the route. It is up to us to apply the same smart approach to how our most complex patients navigate the health system and how we care for them along the way.

Collaborating with organizations from around Alameda County, we are already hard at work, designing and building the technology infrastructure that will become a virtual safety net for the East Bay. With exceptional partners like the California HealthCare Foundation providing investment and support, we are making progress in our plans to make this well-connected patient-centric system a reality for our community.

And, while we are focused on creating a smarter, more efficient infrastructure, at the heart of it all is healthier people and a healthier community. Now that is a future worth investing in.

Jim Hickman is CEO of Better Health East Bay.

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is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. The content of news stories produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact

Google’s OnHub Router Gets Rough Treatment in Early Rev

Several news outlets received review units of Google’s new Wi-Fi router, the OnHub. On the whole, they say that it has inconsistent signal coverage issues, a touted interference-avoidance feature isn’t reliable, and some hardware elements aren’t yet activated.


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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 31 August 2015

Notable software releases this week include VMware Fusion 8.0 and Fusion 8.0 Pro and PopChar X 7.2.


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