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Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 2) 233

by CastrTroy (#49629639) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

That's not true at all, at least in my experience living in Canada. You can go to the doctor whenever you please. There are certain procedures they aren't supposed to do because they aren't necessary.

They got rid of yearly medicals where they would run a bunch of blood tests even if you lacked symptoms or reason to be testing it. If they think there's something actually wrong with you, a blood test is no problem, and is done. But there's very little reason to send people for blood tests when from all other accounts they are perfectly healthy.

But if you actually have something wrong with you, or even a medical concern you want to ask about, you can just book and appointment, or walk-in to a local clinic or the emergency room, depending on the severity. There's also other options like a nurse hotline to answer your medical questions. Call up a 1-800 number and you get a registered nurse to talk to about your concerns. They can tell you if it's worth going to see a doctor, or if you should just take an over the counter remedy so we don't waste the doctor's time.

Also, it's worth pointing out that with a system like they have in the US, some people with lots of money have lots of choice and can see a doctor whenever they want. However, the vast majority of people are not that well off, and actually can't possibly afford the care they need. Their waiting time is forever, because they will never be able to afford the care they need. They can either choose to get care and go bankrupt in the process, or fore go care and hope it clears up on it's own.

Comment: Re:the rigamarole is political, not diplomatic (Score 1) 101

The elaborate charade is all about convincing Congress that the negotiation is so complex that the president NEEDS fast-track authority to get this whole deal done.

Well, Bush asked for this kind of authority too, so do note that this not particular to Obama. The real reason the president wants this is to prevent individuals from tagging on bill busting riders where the president would have to veto his the agreement to stop some unacceptable after the negotiation condition from taking place which is exactly what the person wants who tagged the rider onto the bill. I never hear about other countries having this kind of problem. Can you imagine if you agreed to buy a house at a certain price and then you show up for closing and the owner says "Surprise! I never told you this before, but you have to buy me a new BMW to get the house." Nobody would go for that. But doing similar things in legislation is completely OK apparently. If you don't understand why all presidents regardless of party affiliation can't trust Congress to just leave the agreements alone before voting on them, then you don't understand why this is necessary.

Comment: HIPPA is healthcare's "classified" (Score 1) 233

by sirwired (#49629311) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

While HIPPA has good parts and bad parts, one of the things it is routinely used for is to provide "privacy" as an excuse for anything a healthcare organization doesn't feel like talking about, in the same way that "privileged" or "classified" is used by governments.

But this article could have done a LITTLE research. ICD codes are for diagnoses, CPT are codes for treatment. CPT is a subset of the HPCPS codes; colloquially, "CPT" is used to refer to all HPCPS codes, even if technically Level II and III HPCPS codes are not CPT codes.

So, a lab would bill for CPT codes, and a physician will record an ICD code in the patient's chart.

I don't necessarily think it's unreasonable that it's going to be hard to find plain-english explanations of the codes... there is inevitably going to be a lot of specialized jargon for such a complex field. But certainly the error rate is shameful. And all patients should receive an itemized bill, or have it easily available (like on the hospital's billing website.)

Comment: Re:But... (Score 1) 140

by CastrTroy (#49628441) Attached to: The World's Most Wasteful Megacity

I checked the price and it seemed reasonable, and then I checked the map and found out why it was so cheap. It's closer to JFK airport than the length of the main runway at JFK. It's also pretty much right along the flight path. Only 14 miles to Times Square, which sounds close, but Google Maps says the trip takes about an hour. So I guess we should expect lots of traffic.

My aunt lives about 10 km from Pearson International in Toronto. There's so many planes, it's almost unbearable. Mind you, she lives in a really nice neighbourhood, and she says you get used to it, but I'm not sure if it's really worth the trade off. She obviously thought it was.

New York and Toronto are kind of the same in a lot of respects. There aren't really many houses to speak of it you want to live downtown and aren't a millionaire. Getting a house means that you pretty much have an hour+ commute each way if you have to get anywhere near downtown. The commutes that people put up with amaze me. People commute 2+ hours each way just so they can afford a house. So many people basically have 12 hour work days.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? Yes. (Score 2) 340

by swillden (#49628363) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

They can prioritize all they want, but no one wants to pay for the carrier certification of thee modified SDRs, particularly when using a T-Zone on a Snapdragon chip in order to run the baseband, and the FCC demands that the SDR be certified as a unit (software + hardware). That's a carrier certifiiation per carrier, per country, per device, per version update.

Heh. That isn't the problem. Unfortunately, I can't explain in more detail, because my conversations with carriers are confidential.

Also no carrier using a contract lock-in revenue model is going to provide an update that doesn't lock you into a new contract

Also not the problem, and I also can't explain. I'll just point out that the carriers have so successfully branded Android as their own that many consumers see the failure to upgrade as the carriers' fault. The carriers aren't blind to this, or what it costs them.

You should also be aware that the image that's shipped by the OEM is often not even buildable by Google engineers

Why yes, Terry, as a Google Android engineer I'm quite aware of this :-)

Except you should replace "often" with "never". Or at least "almost never". There may be some exceptions, though I've never heard of one.

apart from the fact that the devices used during development are generally signature neutered

A bigger issue is that the devices used during development are Nexus devices, not OEM devices. We never see those, either the hardware details, or the code that OEMs build after all of their customization.

Seriously, one of the smartest things that Apple did was keep the baseband processor separate from the application processor so that there was no telecom recertification required, unless they were explicitly hacking the baseband for some reason

That does make a lot of sense, but I don't think it's actually relevant to the problem. The carriers validate a lot more than just telecom functionality on devices that carry their brand.

Comment: Re:Screw 'em (Score 1) 69

Perhaps, but realistically we now know two things:

Thing the first: there is a vulnerability to these locks, and we should be using something else. This goes double since the company has demonstrated that they are more interested in hushing it up than fixing it.

Thing the second: there is a vulnerability to these locks, and it would be interesting to try to find it. In essence, this event has enabled those amongst us who like to tinker with such things to narrow the search.

Comment: Re:Problem, Reaction, Solution... (Score 1) 155

by circletimessquare (#49628245) Attached to: French Version of 'Patriot Act' Becomes Law

look, i think this law sucks, but you are paranoid schizophrenic if you think the authorities generated the attack, and generated the outrage

1.violent religious wackjobs are real

2. panicky hysterical mob fear is real

3. overreaching overcontrolling bureaucrats are real

no one designed all those steps, they all actually happened organically, 1, 2, 3

this is all a tragedy of human nature, not some plot by a cabal

and thus we have organic natural step 4: "HERP DERP it's all a secret plot!" says the paranoid nutcases

and someone modded you up to 3?

fucking mentally unhinged losers

it must be a plot behind closed doors! /s

Comment: Re:Oh give it a rest (Score 1) 155

by TheGratefulNet (#49628229) Attached to: French Version of 'Patriot Act' Becomes Law

in the WW2 days, the US rounded up japanese americans and put them in 'camps' for 'safe keeping'. quite a shameful thing to do and a black mark on US history ;(

how did they find the japanese americans?


a lot of us have refused to feed the census since we consider it immoral (given how it was abused in the past). there are good things that come from it, but I'd still rather not take part in it.

many of us are at the point of being so suspicious of any 'info request' that comes across our desk, my new reaction is 'no, I won't answer or supply you your requested info.'

I guess its the new-normal, now. but I question every single request for 'more info' and challenge them all. rolling over and supplying info for the surveillance state will only work against you.

Comment: Re:My experience (Score 1) 340

by swillden (#49628225) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

So, is mute still under power button? Cause it does not make sense to move airplane mode from there and leave mute, data network mode and the rest there. Airplane mode is a mute for the radio.

No, mute was moved to the volume button, and enhanced to allow silencing of all but alarms (which is what mute always did) or complete silencing. I think it makes sense to put muting of audio on the audio volume control.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? (Score 1) 340

by swillden (#49628209) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

Didn't older Nexus devices get releases at the same time we heard about them? My Nexus 6 and 7 did not. That took months. Hell, I bought these two Nexus devices (in part) because I thought it'd mean I'd get stuff promptly. Though, for perspective, AT&T and Samsung took well OVER A YEAR to release Android updates... which compelled me to switch.

You apparently completely missed my point. No, Google doesn't arrange to upgrade the Nexus devices as soon as the new release is announced, for the reasons I explained.

The state of it all is really quite absurd, either way.

Actually, with all respect, it's your expectations that are absurd. I understand why you have them, because you see other single-player device lines (notably iOS devices) which can delay announcement until the release is ready for devices. But there's really no way that could work in the Android ecosystem. Engineering takes time, and there's quite a lot of work to be done after the core OS version is fully baked. Google can't use its position as the source of the core OS to give the Nexus line too much of a leg up because the Nexus devices compete with the partners' devices.

Money is the root of all wealth.