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Comment: Re:this is a sign that the overall school / testin (Score 1) 238

by RedSteve (#38936831) Attached to: Doctors 'Cheating' On Board Certifications

If only it were as simple and predictable as that. In fact, most residencies will include one on-call shift every four days. This isn't IT call; you are actually residing at the hospital and entails getting to the hospital at your normal start time around 6 am to pre-round on your patients, then working straight through until around 12 or 1 pm the following day. You may catch an hour or two of uninterrupted napping around 3am on the second day of that shift, but only if your load is light and the nurses don't run into problems. So that's a 30-hour shift in between 10- to 12-hour shifts.

(And if you're a surgical resident, that schedule is the one you use to lie on your time tracking reports, because you've likely worked 40 hours more than that in a given week.)

As for 'it's a pretty interesting job that pays well', it may be interesting, but per hour it pays slightly better than shift manager at a fast food restaurant.

Comment: Re:MS is hurting (Score 1) 356

by RedSteve (#33724172) Attached to: Media Loves Apple and Its Army of Fans

"Experience" == being the current fashion, making products with a brand that makes you feel better about yourself. If you can't describe what distinguishes it, the distinction just isn't there. You're like a Pepsi loyalist who can't pick it out from the other brand in a blind test.

Except "Experience" != "Trendy". Experience is something everyone encounters every time they use a device or software. As such, an experience is something that can be designed so that the end user has a positive, useful interaction. Now, the number of attributes that come together to form an experience - visual, spatial, technical, terminology, etc. - can be so numerous that it is hard to put your finger on why an experience is positive or negative, but just because a user can't describe the distinguishing characteristics doesn't mean the experience isn't there.

If your products are known for their good user experience, then by default, that becomes part of your brand. Whether or not the marketing folks explicitly tout that as part of the brand is actually optional. But if a company just says 'we've got a great user experience!' over and over again to try and make it part of their brand, it will almost inevitably fail. Instead, that company will either come off as tone-deaf to the needs of its users or just clueless as to what makes a good experience.

Comment: Re:Zapp Brannigan's Reporting Strategy (Score 2, Funny) 588

by RedSteve (#32889622) Attached to: Apple Censors Consumer Report iPhone4 Discussions

If Apple really can't stand people poking fun at them when they screw up, perhaps they should stop being so fucking secretive and start doing some proper testing in the real world.

They were gonna do that, but unfortunately the guy who was supposed to carry out those tests lost his iPhone in a bar...

Comment: Re:Do not want (Score 1) 579

by RedSteve (#29818131) Attached to: Nationwide Shortage In Supply of Swine Flu Vaccine

I'm sorry, I missed the part where the government is depriving a citizen of any liberty.

Where hospitals or other medical facilities have instituted public health policies aimed at reducing infection risks for both their patients and staff, they have acted as private employers.

If you feel that your personal safety or liberty is somehow compromised by required vaccinations, and you can't stomach such draconian policies, no one - not the state, not the hospital - is requiring you to stay at that job. Walk away with your personal liberty intact.

Comment: Re:What you don't know (Score 2, Informative) 541

by RedSteve (#29713181) Attached to: For Some Medical Workers, a Flu Shot Or Possible Job Loss

Nice try, but squalene and other adjuvants are forbidden in U.S. vaccines by the FDA.

Yes, but they are not in Europe. It is still a concern.

Given that the article was about a U.S. hospital, and the bulk of the concerns in the comments were about U.S. vaccination policy, the fact that adjuvants are allowed in Europe really didn't warrant comment. Those vaccines aren't coming here unless the pandemic worsens significantly and there is no way to manufacture additional adjuvant-free vaccine.

With regards to the mercury, if it's that big of a concern to you, I hope you are on a tuna-free diet because there is more mercury in a tuna sandwich than in the thiomersal of any vaccine available in the U.S..

Sure about that? First of it's a ridiculous argument, indeed the level of mercury in tuna are alarmingly high, it doesn't make it right. And regardless, you would have to eat a heck of a lot of tuna to equal even one flu shot.

The FDA lists the mean methylmercury content of canned albacore tuna to be .353ppm. That means 6 ounces (170g) of tuna contains approximately 59.5mcg of methylmercury, or slightly more than a 1mg dose of flu vaccine.

The point IS salient becuase despite that level, the FDA has indicated that tuna is safe for children to eat up to 6 ounces per week.

Let me demonstrate and I will give references. The Flu vaccine contains 25mcg of mercury ( this is the seasonal flu link, the h1n1 contains the same amount. Oh sure , you can request the single dose without the mercury, but unless you do, your probably getting the multi-dose. The safe level of mercury is 0.1 mcg per kg body weight, ( So a 68kg (~150lb) person safe limit is 6.8mcg per day.

Kind of. What you're quoting is a reference dose, and it's a rate with a time component, not just a simple level. The RfD that you're quoting is the EPA's reference dose, and yes, it's .01mcg/kg body weight per day. So on one day, your 68kg person would ingest a higher than recommended amount, but if the person avoid tuna melts for the next week, his reference dose is back within the EPA's recommendation.

It's also worth noting that there are several reference doses issued by different agencies; the EPA's is the most conservative. The World Health Organization has the highest reference dose of 1.6mcg/kg/week of body weight.

So you just shot almost 4 times the safe limit for an average adult directly into your blood stream.

As a point of clarification, vaccines are injected into the muscle, not directly into the blood stream.

Worse the age group for fluzone is 6months or older... a large 6-7m infant might be 10kg as a high avg, that 1mcg safe limit... great you just shot up your infant with 25 times the safe levels.

Of course, that concern is why they also make the vaccine available in preservative-free doses. It's also why pediatricians will discuss the risks and benefits with parents.

This is on top most people already being near or above the safe daily limits taken in from water and foods. Looking at ( , eating a can of tuna for the same 150lb person a week is just slightly higher than what is considered safe levels. Don't forget children are to get 3 shots, 1 seasonal and 2 h1n1...

With the exception of broken lightbulbs, thermometers, and dental fillings, you've just outlined the major vectors for ingesting mercury. And again, the rates you keep referring to are rates over time, not absolute numbers, so as long as those vectors and seafood are avoided, it's simple to get children's levels back down.

I'm not even going to get into what effects that kind of dosage could have on a fetus, and pregnant women are first in line for the h1n1 vac. But it's perfectly safe they say...

According to the FDA, pregnant women can have 12oz of tuna per week. Since we've already seen that those 12 ounces have more mercury than two doses of vaccine, it's probably just as well that you don't go into how the h1n1 vaccine is any more harmful to pregnant women. But just in case, the H1N1 vaccine is also available in single-dose, preservative-free vials.

Finally, it should be noted that all guidelines relating to thimerosal are based on guidelines developed for methyl mercury. Thimerosal is actually a derivative of ethyl mercury, and since there have been fewer comprehensive studies done on ethyl mercury, the FDA has taken the caution to treat them as equivalent. However, initial studies have indicated that ethylmercury is less toxic than methylmercury and that it has a significantly shorter half-life. In addition, a recent study in Pediatrics indicated that "Because of the differing pharmacokinetics of ethyl and methyl mercury, exposure guidelines based on oral methyl mercury in adults may not be accurate for risk assessments in children who receive thimerosal-containing vaccines."

Comment: Re:Captain TwatObvious (Score 1, Informative) 541

by RedSteve (#29708375) Attached to: For Some Medical Workers, a Flu Shot Or Possible Job Loss

Well, I know that they don't prescribe medicine.

I have no beef with nurses; in fact, i respect and appreciate their role in the medical profession. But seeing as how they don't prescribe medicine and don't undergo the same training as physicians, the fact that one RN notes that pharmaceutical companies contribute to textbook production is an interesting anecdote and nothing more. It is just as meaningful as my observation that I know a lot of doctors who refuse any sort of drug rep gifts on the grounds that it might influence their decision to prescribe.

What neither anecdote indicates is that there is just as much skepticism within medical colleges to the relationship between funding sources and conclusions as there are outside of the walls; that there are ethics courses focused on the critical analysis of pharmaceutical claims; that, in general, no serious text can get around scientific fact just to present and position their own product. (The faculty, after all, have to approve the referenced texts, and precious few of them desire to be perceived as corporate shills.)

Comment: Re:What you don't know (Score 4, Insightful) 541

by RedSteve (#29707875) Attached to: For Some Medical Workers, a Flu Shot Or Possible Job Loss

Nice try, but squalene and other adjuvants are forbidden in U.S. vaccines by the FDA. With regards to the mercury, if it's that big of a concern to you, I hope you are on a tuna-free diet because there is more mercury in a tuna sandwich than in the thiomersal of any vaccine available in the U.S..

As for your scary-sounding list, yes, it's a list of possible adverse effects that a person may experience - but it is not an indication of likelihood. No medication is without risk, but in general, people take the medication because the benefits outweigh the risks by a significant margin.

To put it in a grossly exaggerated, probably flawed slashdot-style analogy, the documented possible side effects of flying in a plane are motion sickness, legionnaire's disease, food poisoning, lice infestation, mental anguish, deep vein thrombosis, alcohol abuse, insomnia, halitosis, delayed departure, poverty, or becoming part of a suicide mission that turns your plane into a bomb. But more likely than any of those you'll get to your destination with very little lasting impact on your personal health or safety - as long as you remember that stupid 4-1-1 rule.

Comment: Re:Then, why FluMist? (Score 1) 541

by RedSteve (#29707397) Attached to: For Some Medical Workers, a Flu Shot Or Possible Job Loss

It is true that the flu mist is an attenuated vaccine. But it is also NOT given to all healthcare workers.

The major medical center with which I am most familiar is giving flu vaccine injections (NOT flu mist) to caregivers who work in the clinics with severely immuno-compromised patients - hematology/oncology, bone marrow transplant, critical care, etc. Flu mist is given to those who either have little patient contact (IT employees, maintenance, lab researchers, etc.) or who work with otherwise healthy patients (psychiatry, community clinics, etc.)

I also understand that this is the standard procedure for most medical facilities, from small private practices to major medical centers.

Comment: Re:Securing energy independece...until it's gone (Score 1) 869

by RedSteve (#23011878) Attached to: Oil Deposit Could Increase US Reserves 10x

The automatic shade of "It's not really as good as it seems" is interesting. Anyway, of course it's not an absolute solution, but is there any reason not to use it?

Of course not. By all means, we should use what we need to get us through to the move away from a finite fuel source.

We still use paper, even though we have digital stuff, too. I don't see why we should make paper insanely expensive simply to push towards going entirely digital (or something like that).

Bad analogy. Paper is essentially renewable, and producing it is, all things considered, probably as energy intensive as producing the electricity that keeps that digital "stuff" flipping its ones and zeros.

Producing fuel from burning dead dino juice is less expensive than, say, farming algae to burn it, but only for the short term. In the long term, dino juice goes away and we get the gnashing of teeth that comes with $23 gallons of gas, the realization that our entire economy is based on cheap dino juice, and utter amazement that we don't have an alternative energy source in place.

If there's a huge deposit of oil in US... well, hopefully there is no endangered snail that has to live on that huge plot of land. :)

Agreed :)

Also, regarding your subject line, I am not sure anyone is quite as stupid as you would make them out to be, that we have found an infinite supply of oil that will make us independence forever.

You haven't met my father-in-law.

Is your point that since it's not a renewable resource, we shouldn't pursue it at all, or use it to get partially energy independent while working on securing energy independence in other ways?

The latter. Remember, in the 80s we had fairly fuel-efficient cars as a direct result of the oil crises in the 70s, in sharp contrast to the gas guzzlers from the 60s and 70s. But once fuel went back to being cheap, in the popular view there was no reason NOT to build big cars on truck frames that got gas mileage in the mid- and low-teens. There was no regard for change in demand that might come from other corners of the world, and certainly very little thought put towards what would happen if/when oil started to get too expensive.

It's that mistake I don't care to repeat.

Operating Systems

+ - Linux vs. Mac: Should I Get a Mac?-> 4

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes " ponders on whether or not it's better to get a Mac over Linux. The author writes, "Then again, I have to come back full circle and ask myself — do I really 'need,' or even want, OS X over a pure Linux box? Under the hood, it's basically the same thing, which is a hat tip to Apple. Incredibly secure and simple to use. Personally, the most compelling reason to use this OS would not be for iTunes. It would also be for the fantastic applications designed to make video editing a breeze. Is this something I really want to do on a notebook? If I went MacBook Pro perhaps, but it's really more of a desktop sort of a task for an iMac, I think. I don't know yet, it does seem like OS X is looking better all the time. I can hammer out scripts like I do in Linux fairly easily, and now, thanks to VMWare Fusion, I can even use my beloved Evolution PIM where Entourage is not a great replacement for me. Maybe it's time to upgrade my notebook after all?"
Link to Original Source
The Courts

+ - RIAA Wants Agreements to Stay Secret

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA is opposing Ms. Lindor's request for discovery into the agreements among the record company competitors by which they have agreed to settle and prosecute their cases together, by which she seeks to support her Fourth Affirmative Defense (pdf) alleging that "The plaintiffs, who are competitors, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have. ...As such, they are guilty of misuse of their copyrights.""

Overdrawn? But I still have checks left!