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Doctor Slams Hospital's "Please" Policy 572

Posted by samzenpus
from the paging-doctor-manners dept.
Administrators at England's Worthing Hospital are insisting that doctors say the magic word when writing orders for blood tests on weekends. If a doctor refuses to write "please" on the order, the test will be refused. From the article: "However, a doctor at the hospital said on condition of anonymity that he sees the policy as a money-saving measure that could prove dangerous for patients. 'I was shocked to come in on Sunday and find none of my bloods had been done from the night before because I'd not written "please,"' the doctor said. 'I had no results to guide treatment of patients. Myself and a senior nurse had to take the bloods ourselves, which added hours to our 12-hour shifts. This system puts patients' lives at risk. Doctors are wasting time doing the job of the technicians.'"
Robotics

The Best Robots of 2009 51

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-of-show dept.
kkleiner writes "Singularity Hub has just unveiled its second annual roundup of the best robots of the year. In 2009 robots continued their advance towards world domination with several impressive breakouts in areas such as walking, automation, and agility, while still lacking in adaptability and reasoning ability. It will be several years until robots can gain the artificial intelligence that will truly make them remarkable, but in the meantime they are still pretty awesome."
Media

3D Blu-ray Spec Finalized, PS3 Supported 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-at-least-one-dimension-will-have-drm dept.
Lucas123 writes "The Blu-ray Disc Association announced today that it has finalized the specification for Blu-ray 3-D discs. The market for 3-D, which includes 3-D enabled televisions, is expected to be $15.8 billion by 2015. Blu-ray 3-D will create a full 1080p resolution image for both eyes using MPEG4-MVC format. Even though two hi-def images are produced, the overhead is typically only 50% compared to equivalent 2D content. The spec also allows PS3 game consoles to play Blu-ray 3-D content. 'The specification also incorporates enhanced graphic features for 3D. These features provide a new experience for users, enabling navigation using 3D graphic menus and displaying 3D subtitles positioned in 3D video.'"
Games

Heavy Rain Previews Show Promise 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the blue-skies dept.
As the February release date for Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain nears, several publications have gotten a chance for some hands-on time with the game and seem to be intrigued by what they saw. Quoting the Opposable Thumbs blog: "The game grabs you during the quiet moments where nothing 'happens.' When you look at a picture your child drew. When you're questioning someone about a crime. When you're trying to figure out how to react to a violent situation. The preview we were sent put me in different situations as I played a small handful of characters, and each one provided a few tiny moments that were surprising in terms of storytelling or subtlety." Eurogamer's previewer had a similar reaction: "To my great delight as well — Heavy Rain isn't a mature game because it has unhappy families and moody lighting, it's a mature game because it anticipates an adult response from the player and is prepared to receive it."
Censorship

Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them 233

Posted by timothy
from the your-ethics-may-vary dept.
bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.
Games

AbleGamers Reviews Games From a Disability Standpoint 125

Posted by Soulskill
from the gaming-for-all dept.
eldavojohn writes "Early last month a visually impaired gamer sued Sony under the Americans with Disabilities Act (and if you think that people with disabilities don't play games, think again). The AbleGamers Foundation has decided to step forward and provide a rating system for games that blends together a number of factors to determine a score with regard to accessibility. Visual, hearing, motion, closed captioning, speed settings, difficulty settings and even colorblindness options are all taken into account when compiling these scores and reviewing these games."
Idle

Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the type-A-negative-personality dept.
trianglecat writes "The not-for-profit agency Canadian Blood Services has a section of their website based on the Japanese cultural belief of ketsueki-gata, which claims that a person's blood group determines or predicts their personality type. Disappointing for a self-proclaimed 'science-based' organization. The Ottawa Skeptics, based in the nation's capital, appear to be taking some action."

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