Dentists and students to learn together at UBC clinic made possible by $1.8M donation

Dental clinic

Dental study clubs will be primary users of the new facility in the J.B. Macdonald Building.

A $1.8-million donation to the University of British Columbia’s faculty of dentistry has created a state-of-the-art clinic on the Vancouver campus that will allow dentists and students to study and practice advanced techniques together.

The Patterson Dental Learning Centre takes its name from donor Patterson Dental, one of Canada’s leading distributors of professional dental equipment and supplies.

“The vision to create a modern, dynamic and interactive learning centre for the dental community and students at UBC was a natural fit,” said Joe Ludwig, general manager of Patterson Dental. “We are very proud to partner with UBC Dentistry in the opening of the Patterson Dental Learning Centre.”

Mary MacDougall

Mary MacDougall

B.C.’s dental study clubs will be primary users of the new 203 sq. m facility in the J.B. Macdonald Building. These clubs facilitate continuing education and professional development for licensed dentists by bringing them together to study new techniques, as required by their profession. This spring, clubs will also begin to welcome UBC dentistry students so they can learn alongside master clinicians.

“Through this generous donation, Patterson Dental has provided our students with a platform that hasn’t been available to students in any other dental school,” said Mary MacDougall, dean of the faculty of dentistry. “As our students become embedded in the study clubs, the clubs will infuse in them a commitment to lifelong learning through active mentorship. The quality of education that our students receive through this exposure will help them become more confident, capable entry-level clinicians as they graduate from the UBC faculty of dentistry.”

The clinic offers additional community benefits that go beyond high-quality graduates. Patients who have limited access to dental care can visit the clinic for treatment through the study clubs.

Lecture room pavilion

Lecture room pavilion.

The clinic’s infrastructure includes 11 newly obtained dental chairs and a lecture room pavilion that sits adjacent to the open clinic area. One chair is equipped with a webcam and microphone for transmitting live video of procedures to the lecture room pavilion.

The facility was completed earlier this month and study clubs have already begun to use it. An average of three clubs per week are expected during the academic year.

The UBC faculty of dentistry’s commitment to dental education and service to the community have helped make it the top-ranked dental school in Canada and 20th in the world in the 2018 QS World University Rankings. It is the only dental school in B.C. and one of only 10 across Canada.

Patterson Dental partners with oral health professionals and dental practices of all sizes across Canada.

Limited use of smartphones helps to increase children’s brainpower: Study

The Province reported on a study into smartphone use and its effect on children.

The study, which was led by Jeremy Walsh, a postdoctoral fellow at UBC, found that children who use devices for less than two hours a day performed better on cognitive tests assessing their thinking, language, and memory.

“These findings highlight the importance of limiting recreational screen time and encouraging healthy sleep to improve cognition in children,” the study’s authors said.

The article also appeared in the Ottawa Citizen and the Star Tribune.

A nonprofit aims to close tech’s gender gap by teaching girls to code ‘as young as we possibly can’

  • Whether you’re looking for a job, or looking to hire – computer expertise is the most in-demand skill in the American job market.
  • Only one in five professional computing occupations are held by women. However, women made up 57 percent of bachelor degree recipients.
  • Organizations like Girls Who Code start teaching girls as young as third grade about coding.

looking for a job, or looking to hire – computer expertise is the most in-demand skill in the American job market.

The computing industry’s rate of job growth is three times the U.S. national average, according to statistics, and yet women are being left behind.

Only one in five professional computing occupations are held by women. In 2016, just 19 percent of women graduated with a Computer and Information Science degree. However, women made up 57 percent of bachelor degree recipients.

So why are women falling behind in the tech sector?

“We need to create new pathways for women into technology. That first opening computer science class at college is too late,” Melinda Gates, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation told CNBC in an interview.

That’s why organizations like Girls Who Code start teaching girls as young as third grade about coding.

“We have to start as young as we possibly can because we know that essentially it’s in middle school where all of a sudden these subjects aren’t cool,” Reshma Saujani, Girls Who Code Founder & CEO, told CNBC’s “On the Money.”

The non-profit launched in 2012, and offers programs that are free for girls. Funding comes from a mix of individual and corporate contributions. 

“We run free summer programs for rising juniors and seniors in high school, and we run them at about 80 different technology companies from Facebookto Twitter to Adobe to Prudential to Microsoft to Sephora. And then we run free after school clubs. ” Saujani told CNBC.

The founder said there are about 4,000 Girls Who Code clubs in all 50 states. According to the organization, the program has 90,000 alumni, and 5,000 of the young women are college-aged. The alumni who have declared majors are choosing computer science, or a related field, at rates 15 times the national average.

Saujani, who is not a coder herself, started this organization after a career in corporate law and failed bids for public office.

“I’m a weird person to have started this organization. I was terrified of math and science growing up. I wasn’t a coder,” she told CNBC. “I was running for office and I would go into schools and see dozens of boys clamoring to be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, and I thought ‘where are the girls?’”

She added: “My parents came here as refugees, I’ve had a job since I was 12, and I knew having a great education, having the opportunity to march up into the middle class had changed my life and my family’s life. And I knew that technology jobs were our future of work. I wanted to make sure that every girl in America had that opportunity.”

Over the past six years, Saujani explained that she’s gained insight into why more girls and young women don’t pursue computer science, and it’s because they don’t see it around them.

“You’re listening to culture, you’re wearing the t-shirt that says ‘I’m allergic to algebra,’ you’re watching “Mean Girls” on repeat, and you’re getting all these messages that math and science are not for you, and you start listening and that’s where we need to intervene,” Saujani added.

“I always say that I stalk Shonda Rhimes like it’s my job,” she joked, referring to the creator of hit television series like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.” Saujani said that the idea was to ” create the next television show about the next girl coder, because culture is everything.”

The founder says she’s also learned that girls should be brave, but not perfect.

“From the time girls are young, we are teaching them to smile and be pretty, to play it safe and get all A’s,” she said. “And we’re not teaching them to take risk, we’re not teaching them to fail. And so much about coding is about failing.”

Lenovo releases video showing off bendable smartphone

LenovoThe Lenovo CPlus is a bendable smartphone prototype that can wrap itself around your wrist. (Lenovo)

Published Sunday, September 30, 2018 11:08AM EDT 

Why fold a phone when you could just wear one like a watch? In the midst of the folding smartphone race, Lenovo takes the cake with a video showing a bendable CPlus model that you can roll around your wrist and suggests that we should soon know more about the phone.

Lenovo’s bending smartphone, which first made its appearance in concept form at the Lenovo Tech World Conference in 2016, is making its way back — this time without cracking. The company shared a 10-second video captioned, “We are just so terribly good. It’s time to show off. We’ll see you in October,” on their Weibo account, one of the most popular microblogging platforms in China.

You can see the new and improved phone’s ability to bend with the widgets adjusting in real-time to more appropriately display the content based on its new shape.

We’ve been waiting for more news about this innovative phone for two years and, according to the video caption, the phone is right around the corner — maybe not yet for purchase, though. But will it be worth the hype? The company itself posted a video with unexplained dark spots along the right edge that appear to be due to wear and tear…but, then again, maybe they’re intentional.

But is it practical? Samsung seems to think that folding with a kind of hinge mechanism is the way to go instead when they told CNBC earlier in September that they will be releasing the Galaxy X, a flip-phone style smartphone, by the end of this year.

And Samsung is not alone in the folding screen world. Over this year and the next, you can expect to see variants of the foldable screen from Motorola (the Razr may be on its way back!), LG, and Huawei, some folding like a book and others like the classic flip-phone we all know and (maybe) love.

Apple Watch Series 4 review: Two weeks later

After wearing Apple Watch Series 4 for 2 weeks, it’s time for a quick re-review.



I’ve now been wearing and using Apple Watch Series 4 for about 2 weeks, since just after the September 12 event at the Steve Jobs theater. I did my initial, deep dive review after a week of fairly frenzied testing. I’m revisiting it now after a second week of somewhat more typical usage — travel, transactions, tracking workouts and tasks, keeping up to speed with my life and staying connected.

So, let’s take a second look.

1. Gold is the new ceramic

I spent most of the last two weeks on a 44mm space gray Apple Watch Series 4. I’ve used the Sport, as they were previously known, and the Nike+, off an on since Series 0 and I’ve always liked them. They’ve always had the best price and the best taptic performance.

But I also love watches and that means loving materials so I’ve spent as much time, if not more, on the stainless steels and, more recently, the ceramic editions. But this year, absent editions, it’s all about the new gold.

Now, this gold isn’t the same as the aJust from everything I need to clean it now so maybe I’ll do that after

Overall, I both love and hate that my watch is now smarter than me.

3. It’s complicated

When I first saw the new Infograph watch face I wasn’t sure if it would be super-complicated in the best way or just over complicated in the worst. Turns out, I really like it. It’s become a digital dash board for my day. I prefer the amount of complications on the analog Infograph but the glanceablity of the modular infograph, so I bounce between them a lot.

I really wish there was an option for seconds on the modular like there is on the Activity Face. Sometimes I just really need precise time. I also wish Apple hadn’t eradicated Time Travel from every face that isn’t Solar. It renders the digital crown kind of useless on the default screen when, in a perfect world, spinning it would march the Calendar complication, if present, backwards or forwards through your day, so you could access your digitally assisted memory without having to tap through. I know it’s tricky to figure out what should time travel and confusing for people who hit it by accident, but the off-by-default-there-if-you-want-it settings in watchOS 4 really felt like the best of all worlds.

I also miss not having the Messages or Mail complications available on Infograph. I get that they’re still the old, simple versions and not the fancy new informationally dense hotness, but seeing if you had messages without having to pull down Notification Center, and being able to go to them in a tap, was super convenient.

I’m currently using a work-around in the form of a frequent contact Infograph face, which solves the easy access part if not the glanceable new messages part. So, here’s hoping Apple has some hot, informationally dense, new versions of Messages and Mail coming to Infograph in the near future.

4. Connections are hard

You know the old joke about a couple or family sitting in the same room but, instead of talking to each other, they’re using the World of Warcraft or whatever in-game chat to communicate? Well, the new walkie-talkie feature in watchOS 5 is the opposite of that.

First, because you’ll get wicked feedback if you try to use it while lounging on the same sofa, but more importantly, because it brings voice back to IM and in a way that’s much more immediate than volleying pre-recordings back and forth.

Yeah, it’s push to talk like your grandparents NexTel, but it’s also a great way to send a quick but important message to a friend or family member without having to shout across rooms, up or down flights of stairs, or, impossibly, out windows, down streets, and across towns.

That’s the only thing restraining my use right now. It can take some time to connect if you haven’t used it very recently, and if it doesn’t connect, it’s impossible to tell why. Network error? Do not disturb or not online on the other end? Being able to yell out someone’s watch is a lot of power to have as well, so I’m also kinda cautious about using and potentially abusing it.

When Walkie Talkie works, though, it’s magic. And I kinda want to try it out at the Magic Kingdom…

Same with raise-to-siri. It ignores me just often enough that I’ve gone back to saying Heeeeeeey, which feels so watchOS 4.

To be continued…

While it still can’t replace my iPhone, increasingly Apple Watch is replacing more and more of the brief, repetitive, but important tasks that were previously the exclusive domain of my iPhone. Checking the time, glancing at my next appointment or reminder, bossing around HomeKit or tapping to pay pretty much everywhere.

iPhone is still the most critical device in my life but Apple Watch is the one I now feel the deepest personal connection to. It’s the one I feel naked when I’m not wearing, and the one I hesitate the most to trusting with the new betas every summer.

Apple Watch Series 4 has been likened to iPhone 4 in terms of the revelation of its redesign. Interestingly, that was also the last tethered version of the iPhone before iOS 5 took it to the iCloud. watchOS 5 is still further away, but looking at everything it can do, I can start to see that future.

It’s already the closest thing we have to external cybernetics. A connected little artificially intelligent module on our wrist that securely, privately, learns all it can about us so it can help us be and become the best us.

I’ll update again after a month or so. Meanwhile, let me know — how’s Apple Watch Series 4 working for you?

original gold. That was 18K yellow or rose. I never got into those. I get why Apple made them — it got them into fashion and watch-world conversations, and gained the mind-share no aluminum or steel casing ever would have. But they were ultimately so expensive and so niche that I also get why they almost immediately stopped. Impact, achieved.

When I first saw the new gold, I wasn’t sure it’d be for me. I liked it but I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. Now, after wearing it for a few days, I love it, and I think almost anyone could pull it off.

It’s not yellow, it’s not rose. It’s deeper, with a finish that varies between blush and bronze depending on the light. The gold Milanese band is absolutely terrific, just as you’d expect. But it also looks great with various white, off-white, black, and off-black bands as well.

I also agree with John Gruber: The taptics on the steel this year feel better than ever, maybe even on par with the previously best-in-class aluminum.

If you really want to push steel into the more traditional edition price range, you can pair it with some of the Hermes bands. Yeah, the lugs are going the clash, just as they have since launch, but if that doesn’t make your eyes bleed, a lot of the combos look terrific, especially the deep blues and blacks. Though, yeah, I’m waiting to try it with the new Indigo and Orange.

But here’s the thing: You don’t have to spend anywhere nearly that much. The gold steel looks phenomenal all on its own. And, yeah, if you don’t care about sapphire screens and PVD protection, you can get the gold aluminum and it looks every bit as terrific this year.

2. When you move it moves

It took me a little while to figure this out but Apple has been tweaking the algorithm it uses to detect and credit you for the Move Ring.

See, here’s the thing: I’m a fidgeter. I’m a fidget her. Whether I’m standing or sitting, I’m never static. At my standing desk, or just standing around, I’m constantly shifting weight and position, and even when I’m sitting it’s the opposite of still. It got me in a lot of trouble in school but now it’s getting me credit where credit’s due for Activity.

You can’t fidget your way into filling the Move Ring, of course, but it does help round out your results. So, if you, like me, have been noticing a little more red a lit more quickly, that’s the reason why.

Also terrific is the auto-start and stop workouts. Previously, I’d forget to start or stop them all the damn time, and that meant I missed out on credit or got credit for such minimal amounts of activity my friends would see the sharing alert, shake their heads, and immediately send me back trash talk, sleepy head emoji, a pizza slice… you know, punishment for my lack of attention.

But now, when I head out without starting a workout, I get a tap and a gentle reminder to start the clock. confirm it, and it back-fills the credit to pretty much when I started. Same when I get back and head for water before I close out the workout. Gentle reminder to stop the clock.

I’ve needed to use it more than I’m comfortable to admit — luckily no brain gym tracking yet or I’d be nowhere near getting that award! — and it’s made a huge difference.

Speaking of awards, there’s a bug in the current version of watchOS that’s causing a few of the special occasion awards not to show up. Apple’s aware of it and working on a fix. So don’t worry, they’re not gone for good.

China will accelerate robotics, AI and ecommerce to match US


China will make more investments and accelerate reforms of agencies and systems to boost its $3.8 trillion digital economy. The digital economy included the internet of things, big data, clouding computing and AI.

The National Development and Reform Commission has a new agreement with the China Development Bank to offer 100 billion yuan ($14.55 billion) in financial support for the digital push.

China’s digital economy rose 18 percent to 26 trillion yuan ($3.8 trillion) last year, equal to a third of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

Traditional sectors will be digitalized. This will include high tech precision agriculture, supply chain improvements, healthcare efficiency, electric cars.

A presentation from early in 2018 gave a sense of the digital push.

Nissan’s Long Strange Trip With LEAF Batteries

September 29th, 2018 by 

The Nissan LEAF is infamous for its battery problems. It started with the fast degrading 24kWh battery in the original 2010 Nissan LEAF. That battery was not up to the hot conditions of US Southwest states. It was replaced by a battery with a different chemistry, the 24kWh “lizard battery” in 2014. In 2015, the model year 2016 (MY2016) LEAF got a slightly larger 30kWh battery option. In the MY2018 Nissan LEAF, an even bigger 40kWh battery was offered.

2018 Nissan LEAF 40kWh

When Nissan decided to build the Leaf, it discovered a little problem. The battery production capacity it needed did not exist, and the battery makers were not willing to invest the billions of dollars needed to expand production. Nissan intended to start production with 50,000 cars per year, growing to 300,000–500,000 in about 5 years. Batteries were crazy expensive in those days. From $400kWh for the cheapest laptop batteries to over $1,000kWh for high-quality batteries good enough for use in EVs.

The only option for Nissan was to start producing its own batteries. Up until now, all Nissan batteries have been made by AESC, the joint venture Nissan and NEC started in 2010 to make electric vehicle batteries.

To reduce costs, Nissan originally opted for a small (24kWh) battery without a thermal management system (TMS). When the heat in some places caused rapid degradation because it was too much for this battery, Nissan chose a better chemistry instead of adding a TMS, expecting that it would be good enough and a lot cheaper. A TMS would require an extensive redesign of the battery pack and the surrounding area in the car.

While this new lizard battery was still having faster degradation than other car batteries in the semi-deserts of Texas and Arizona, in most of the rest of the world, the problem was gone. This did not stop purists from demanding the only real solution, a great TMS, but the number of warranty claims told Nissan that the problems were over.

That is, until the new 30kWh battery in the MY2016 LEAF started to show the same problems as the original LEAF battery, but only worse this time. The rapid degradation of the battery is shown in an extensive statistical analysis by New Zealand EV user collective “Flip the Fleet” from March 2018. These findings confirmed the experience of many LEAF drivers, who had seen the maximum range of their cars rapidly decline and were met with disbelief by Nissan.


To say that the Nissan response has been lackluster is way too friendly. It has taken three years for Nissan to acknowledge that the problem existed and come with an explanation and solution. The explanation is that the software computing the charge of the battery contained a bug, reporting less capacity than there really was (resulting in less range) and reporting a depleted battery before it was empty.

Nissan does not have over-the-air updates like Tesla. That means you have to visit a Nissan dealer to get the patch applied. After the software upgrade, the 30kWh battery is as good as its 24kWh sister, as good as you can expect of a battery without a TMS.


The battery capacity is automagically restored to the level it really has and the range calculation is better than it was.

These LEAF batteries are adequate for temperate zones like Western Europe, Japan, and some parts of the USA, like New England, but they are not fit for regions with extreme heat or cold and the lack of a TMS makes road trips with repeated fast charging hard to do in any climate. The only way is leisurely wandering from charger to charger. Perfect for some types of holidays, but when you want to reach a destination, let alone a cannonball run from coast to coast, this is not the battery you want.

The long overdue new battery from LG Chem is supposed to have a TMS. But the waiting time for that larger battery keeps increasing. Now that the sale of AESC to a Chinese investor has been canceled and NEC is replaced by Envision as a partner in AESC, with Nissan keeping a 25% stake, we can expect AESC to stay on as the battery supplier for the Nissan LEAF and future Nissan electric vehicles. Knowing what we know now about batteries, it is time for AESC to develop a battery with a good thermal management system.

My advice would be to buy that technology (and equipment) from Tesla. They make the best and lowest cost batteries in the world.

Fascinating Gmail, YouTube, and Maps tips from top Google employees

Like it or not, Google has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our daily lives, whether we’re updating calendars, booking flights, navigating to a destination, or just trying to figure out who that one actor in that one movie was. And yet, for as often as many of us use Google’s services, from Google Drive to Google Maps to Gmail, there are countless hidden features and tricks that many of us never even knew existed. As such, in celebration of Google’s 20th birthday last week, some of Google’s top brass put together a collection of tips users might find handy.

Be sure to check out the full blog post for the complete collection of tips from Google directors, managers, and vice presidents, but here are some of the most fascinating tips for each of Google’s biggest services:


  • If you want to watch a show, but don’t know where to find it, you can just search the word “watch” followed by the name of the show and Google will show you all the sites and service from which it is available.


  • You can search for the terminal of the airport at which you are landing (or departing from) in order to get “the lay of the land, including nearby gates, lounges, restaurants and stores.”


  • Sick of manually copying and pasting information from an email in order to create a reminder or a calendar event? Just open the tasks on the side panel of Gmail instead and drag and drop your emails there.

Google Drive

  • Google Drive is capable of making any text that appears in images or PDFs you upload searchable.

Google Play

  • When you’re watching a movie in Google Play and can’t remember where you’ve seen that actor before, you can pause at any time and tap on the circle around their face to get more information.

Again these are just a few of the tips that were especially compelling to me, but there are plenty more on the Google blog. If you’re looking to take full advantage of Google’s services, be sure to check it out.

Tesla’s new mobile app update lets you get more control over your car from your phone

Along with its version 9 vehicle firmware update this week, Tesla is also releasing a significant mobile app update, which lets owners get more control over their car from their phone.


There are three main changes in this new update:

  • Third-party map apps navigation sharing
  • Remotely initiating vehicle firmware updates
  • Media control for passengers

It requires Tesla 3.6.0 on iOS or Android and the vehicle firmware 18.39 (version 9).

Third-party map apps navigation sharing

The first new feature enables Tesla owners to find a route on a third-party map app, like Google Map, and share the route from the app to your Tesla vehicle.

You simply have to click “share” after finding a location in the app and share with the Tesla mobile app:

Owners have been asking for the ability to plot routes and send them to the car remotely. It looks like a first step in that direction.

Remotely initiating vehicle firmware updates

Before version 9, Tesla would push update notification to the vehicle’s center screen where owners would have to choose a time to perform the update.

You would also get a notification through the app, but you’d still need to get to the car to initiate it.

Now with the new update, Tesla enables owners to start the update from the mobile app:

Media control for passengers

Finally, the Tesla mobile app update also enables passengers to control media inside the vehicle from their phone.

They need to have access to your Tesla account, but if they do, they simply click on “media” under the vehicle and they get access to a remote control:

Here’s a video demonstration of these new features of the Tesla mobile app by The Urban Tinkerer on Youtube:


One of the biggest mobile app updates in a while from Tesla and a good one in my opinion.

The ability to remotely initiate a software update is really convenient since you often have to delay the update when initiating it in your vehicle considering that if you are in your car, you probably need to use it.

The two other new features are cool, but I hope they are both only the first step for Tesla in the mobile integration of the navigation system and remote media control.

I feel like Tesla could do more with both.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.,review-5782.html

The One Alexa Feature You Need to Turn Off

I’ve always been a bit suspect of friends who covered up their webcams with tape. It seemed like a lot of effort to avert a relatively small chance of danger. But there’s a very specific reason you should be afraid of leaving your Echo device’s camera on in a private space.

Say hello to Alexa’s most creative — but also creepiest — communication feature: Drop In.Here’s how it works. You can use an Alexa device — be it the Echo DotEchoEcho ShowEcho Spot or Echo Plus — to call another user with an Alexa device. Or you can use the Alexa app on your phone. If you’re using the Echo Show or Echo Spot, which have cameras and screens, you can also make video calls, putting your friend on your Echo’s screen and you on theirs.

Drop In allows users to make these calls unsolicited. In other words, if you have this feature enabled, someone in your contacts could “drop in” and see you while you’re changing, yelling at your kids, playing with your cat or doing anything else you’d rather prying friends not see.

MORE: The Best Products That Work with Amazon Alexa

If Drop In is on, then any contact who wants to see what you’re up to will send you a notification the first time they try calling you. Once you’ve accepted this request, this person becomes a Permitted Contact, meaning they can pop in on your device at any time in the future (unless you manually switch their status in the app). Any of their friends or family who have (or gain) access to their Echo device can do the same.

This feature certainly has its uses. You could use it to check that your kids are doing their homework while you cook dinner, for example, or check that your dog hasn’t destroyed the house while you’re at work. But the prospect of opening your device to anyone on your contacts list is certainly terrifying to me.MORE: How to Use Amazon Alexa’s Drop-In Feature

Drop In is turned off by default on new Alexa devices, but I’ve found that many users have turned it on by accident, or have enabled it without knowing exactly what it is.

To turn off Drop In, open your Alexa app and go to Settings. Select your Alexa device and go to Communications.

You can then toggle Drop In to My Household if you still want to be able to check in on your kids. But people with roommates, and anyone else who wants to be safe from their family’s or guests’ prying eyes, should choose Off.MORE: How To Disable Alexa’s Drop-In

If you do want to allow some intra-household contacts to use Drop In, but are still worried about your family’s privacy, your best option is to revoke your friend’s Drop-In permission in between scheduled calls. To do this, press the speech bubble on the bottom of the Alexa app, select the Contacts icon in the top right corner, scroll to find the contact you’re looking for and toggle Drop In to Off.

Credit: Amazon