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Comment: Re:It's obvious (Score 3, Interesting) 108

Cables companies will primarily become internet providers and satellite companies will provide programming to the peeps in the boonies. Personally, I say "freaking awesome". Both industries treated their customers like crap for decades. Reap what you've sown you jackasses.

If you hated the old regime what till you see the new one. The new battle ground will be usage caps. Cable companies will start offering tiers of data. Want to stream video 24x7. No problem, just buy our gazzilion GB package at $200 per month. Oh, you want fast speeds? Upgrade to Speed plus for a $20 more. They will simply change the pricing to make money off of the pipe, not the content.

Content companies need to buy into the new model as well. The really small channels very few people watch such as SciFi or F/X will see their revenue drop significantly and some will simply go under. The big guys, such as ESPN that gets something like $6 per subscriber will not want to have to try to get their current revenue from the people who actually watch the channel(s). More than likely, when all is said in done you'll see a variety of companies that bundle packages of channels and sell them as a bundle, such as SlingTV. Apple seems to be getting into the business as well and for premium content sellers such as HBO selling al la carte may be more viable because that is what they already do so it's more of a way to get more revenue by tapping into cord cutter stain changing a business model. As for the bundlers, that sound a a lot like, wait., a Cable Company. Except now they will compete with companies like SlingTV while still controlling the pipe and its pricing.

Until Google or someone else offers an alternative pipe they have you where they want you and the hearts, minds, wallets will soon follow.

Comment: Re:Truck Drivers, Obviously... (Score 1) 355

You spend too much time around Doctors. They're very smart, and very good at figuring out how the human body works as a system; but their cluelessness as to how the health system pays them is frankly astonishing to anyone who has to deal with them for more then 10 minutes. These are people who will, with a straight face, tell that one reason they deserve more respect then other PhDs (average salary: not $55k) is that they spent four years in pecuniary earning only $55k for their residencies

True, you are worth what people are willing to pay not what it cost to get the education to do the job. Quite frankly, the pay for activity model is broken.

In this case, no GPs are never going to be fired en masse. Arguments saying Nurse Practitioners are better, or a computer would be better are simply irrelevant in light of the fact that consumers want to go to see a Doctor.

Also true, which is why educating the consumer will be part of the shift to lower cost treatment venues. This is not something that happens overnight; but the growth of the minute clinics staffed by NP's is a step in that direction. Consumers may want to see an MD but will trade that off for seeing an NP today vs an MD next week.

Since the co-pay is the same either way NPs can only gain market-share in places where there are not enough GPs. Which means that no, no hospital is going to actually fire a GP and replace him. It would be stupid business, so an MD-run hospital might try it, and if you tried you'd lose market-share to the newly opened GP partnership of three guys you fired.

Moreover, Specialists willing to work in places far from the costs make princely salaries. $500k is not unrealistic. $200k is not unusual for people whose entire job is to read test results and not talk to patients.

Here's the problem. As insurers switch to pay for results and MDs can no longer make more money by running a test the ability to generate enough revenue to make a desired income will decrease. GP's will be competing with NPs and salaries will reflect that. This isn't about firing GPs but the impact computers and a changing way of reimbursing will impact the practice of medicine. A specialty will be even attractive because that is where the money will be.

Let me put it to you this way, which Hospital do you think is will do better: A) Hospital A's business model is to fire three guys making $150k, replacing them with 3 NPs making $40k. This gives them $330k to buy a computer system that has to understand the entire human body.

B) Hospital B reduces is Surgical staff by two because it can out-source all data analysis in their specialties to a computer it will buy. It has saved $1 million. It can hire all 3 GPs A) just fired and it's computer budget is $550k. Which means not only does it have a better computer, that does less (remember: instead of understanding everything as a GP does it only has to understand a couple of specialties well enough that their specialists can cut analysis a few hours a week), it also poaches most of the patients those 3 GPs saw, and it's got a great marketing angle ("see a real Doctor").

First of all, the computer doesn't have to understand the whole body; rathe it needs to be able to treat symptoms not determine the underlying cause. When the symptom goes away you are cured, and the MD or NP's job is to determine what is the most likely course of treatment based on the symptoms, using the horses not zebras analogy. yes, they determine what you are most likely to have and act base don that, but it is very much a symptom -> action treatment based on pattern recognition; something computer can help with while relying on the MD or NP to recognize anomalies as well as validate the results.

The problem with your poaching model is your assuming insurers will continue to pay enough to cover a GP salary and make money. A more likely model is a number of NPs in practice with a GP so when they exceed their license they can turn to an MD or refer to a specialist. Small offices are already doing that because one MD often can't generate enough money to cover costs and make a living.

Look at it this way. An insurer is going to pay you X for a visit no matter who sees them or what tests they run. Unless the MD can see 2 or 3 times the patients that an NP sees they MD is a money losing proposition. The solution is either to replace them with an NP or cut their salary.

We can disagree but I think the independent practice NP will replace the GP as the entry point into the health care system so people will not first see an MD but an NP. This will reduce the costs while still providing the same quality of care. In addition, in hospitals specialist NPs, working with MDs, will provide more care thus freeing up the MD to work on the toughest cases and a wider variety of cases. Some of the MDs I've worked with have said their NPs are better at what they dothan they are, because the NP focuses on a specific area and does that a lot an thus has more experience than the MD who may only see a fraction of the cases the NP sees; so in the end the quality of care goes up and as the pay for performance model takes hold the hospital will make more money with that model than by sticking with the old one.

Comment: Re:Exactly. (Score 2) 292

by Registered Coward v2 (#49818701) Attached to: Netflix Is Experimenting With Advertising

I cannot comprehend this entitled attitude. on cable tv you see ads. in a magazine or newspaper you see ads. before movies you see ads. during movies you see ad placements. so it's not like Netflix is proposing a crazy new concept, to show you an ad even though you pay a subscription. why so angry bro?

Perhaps, but I subscribe because I get ad free programing. if they want to show ads thats fine, I'll just move on to something else. I'm not angry, just voting with the wallet.

Comment: Re:Pay them market value (Score 1) 225

Most CS professors are paid market value. You can look up salaries at public schools. You'll find that at the ones that compete with CMU, the salaries are all in the range of what the researchers would make at a company ($100-250k). Bonuses are a little harder to compete with. But, in CS at least, grants cover a ton of travel. To publish in CS, you have to go to the conferences you're publishing in, unlike the rest of science which just has journals. That more than makes up for the lack of bonuses as far as fringe benefits go.

Quite true. There is a big difference in the market value of a researcher who is doing cutting edge research in a field that is relatively new vs the value of a research in a field that is mature enough for companies to see practical applications for the research. The former attracts researchers because they can explore new ideas and develop thing that don't exist, but they will be paid by academia standards since that is where much of that research is done. Once they can apply their research then they become much more attractive to private companies who are willing to pay much more for their expertise because they plan to develop commercial applications to make money. Universities can't afford, nor do they need, to pay equivalent salaries.

Now, the one benefit you get from industry is that you don't have to write grants. But, you also have more job security in academia. What worries me most about this is that when this bubble bursts, Uber will be one of the first companies to go (at least, research at Uber will go quickly). These researchers will now be stuck without jobs in a market that will be very hostile towards PhDs. For their sake, I hope they all vest quickly enough to get a nest egg before things go south. (it's going to happen, it always does)


While I agree they need to get while the getting is good, if they were good enough for C-M they can probably return or find a similar gig if they want to if Uber crashes and burns, although Uber says they have a million dollar liability policy so even if that happens they met be OK for a while.

Comment: Re:Time for the BIOS to be EEPROM again? (Score 2) 81

by Registered Coward v2 (#49813429) Attached to: Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits

That way it can't be overwritten by software. Or at least require an internal jumper to be set before any writes can happen. Any user updating their BIOS would be fairly experienced so taking the lid off an setting a jumper wouldn't be a problem for them and people who arn't technical could just take it to a store.

Or, ship each Mac with an encrypted dongle that must be unlocked to do a firmware upgrade. You could even print the key on the dongle so you wouldn't worry about losing the key; if yo lose the dongle then still allow an authorized service center to do firmware upgrades. Of course, this my be a solution in search of a problem.

Comment: Re:Truck Drivers, Obviously... (Score 1) 355

GPs will be fine. People really like having a human Doctor. Particularly an American-accented human Doctor. Unless the Hospital can bill the insurance company extra for using the human GP they will continue to use the human GP. And the insurers aren't likely to pay extra so the hospital can replace a GP earning low six figures with a computer. Moreover computers would make really shitty GPs, as they are unable to figure out whether you have high blood pressure because you're about to die, or because you're nervous that a robot has just grabbed your fucking arm.

While I agree with much of what you said, I don't think it will be a robot grabbing your arms much as a PA or NP who sees you and the computer does more of the analysis and the PA or NP does the final analysis and diagnosis; and the NP licenses will allow independent practice in all states and not just some as it is in the US today. It's not so much that the computer replaces the human as changes the role and training of the human, and thus the costs. In addition, a broader move to NP's and connected, computer assisted practice, could make primary care more available as well.

OTOH, many specialists entire job is reading a chart. The chart's format does not change much. Interpreting data is something computers are great at. Watson was already measurably better at reading certain specialized charts then actual Doctors back in '13. Those guys are gone. They make more then a GP does, while frequently bringing in less revenue, and the patient's aren't going to ding your Medicare quality ratings because a behind-the-scenes Doctor they'd never met got replaced by a computer.

This is just like any other skilled work that can be automated. The textile machines of the early 19th century were demonstrably worse then many weavers, but they were a) cheaper, and b) better then the average. So as of 1840 or so weaver was no longer a career option. Computers are already better then the average specialist in some fields, and they will be cheaper soon enough thanks to Moore's Law.

I'm not so sure here. I've worked with specialists and while they do a lot of chartology the decision making process is more than just what the chart says; especially when it comes to final treatment and decisions on a person's health. I agree a computer can take a lot of the analysis work off of the specialist but for the real skill the have is knowing what questions to a ask and how to followup to solve a problem, not a rote review of a defined operation procedure that can be codified. As one put it, it's as important to know when not to operate as when to operate. Will how they interact with computers change? Certainly, but I think the GP is more likely to see a greater impact than the specialist; at least in the short term.

Comment: Re:Truck Drivers, Obviously... (Score 1) 355

I suspect quite a few other jobs behind the scenes will be automated. For example, why have a human X-Ray Tech analyze your pictures when computer image analysis is getting so much better? Heck, why have a team of Medical Specialists who make ($500k a year each) when a computer program can read the data and do the work?

Read the data and interpret it are two very different tasks. Sure, a computer can make an very good guess based on the rules it has to but to infer what something means based on patterns and something unusual will take a while longer for machine to do as well as a human. I'd say a machine is more likely to replace a GP first since they are treating symptoms rater than cases and most symptoms will respond to standard, well defined treatments. the machine can run the tests and check the symptoms and provide a diagnosis for review by a clinician. The problem, even with that, is the machine won't notice other thing start a person doesn't mention, that could be symptomatic of a different problem.

Truck drivers, OTOH, are already set for replacement, at least for long haul tucks where a truck with a robot driver can drive, at least in proximity to one real driver; so several tucks may only need 1 driver in the future.

Comment: Re:The key assumption are (Score 1) 166

1. They can accurately identify students and staff. Since no one has ever created a fake social media account that shouldn't be hard. Just require everyone to provide a list of all their accounts. No one would object to that, correct?

If you even just read the summary you would see that the school board is buying software which is capable of location based identification, so simple fake accounts should be easy to see through. I suppose a brother or sister in the same household might be able to pretend to be you, but beyond that, I doubt this software is that easy to fool.

I guess the question is how do they determine location? If it simply by where you say you are then the software would depend on people accurately entering their location? Geo staged photos? Not hard to fake. I do not know how you extract location data from Facebook. Maybe Facebook sells the data to the software provider so they get accurate data based on FB ability to ID locations? I know sone services use IP addresses which my VPN easily confuses.

Comment: The key assumption are (Score 4, Insightful) 166

1. They can accurately identify students and staff. Since no one has ever created a fake social media account that shouldn't be hard. Just require everyone to provide a list of all their accounts. No one would object to that, correct?

2. Software can accurately parse potential threat from random uses of keywords and not require excessive reviews of material that is innocuous.

3. No one would create fake accounts to cause #2 to occur.

4. No one will object nor have the cash to hire a lawyer if the school demands account information under threat of punishment.

Comment: Re:useful (Score 2) 173

Our government is out of control anyway, anything that allows blackmail, removal from office, misery in their lives. etc is a good thing

While we're at it let's extend it to programmers, DBAs, sys admins an designers who cause us so much misery because they are too stupid or lazy to build secure systems.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 496

by Registered Coward v2 (#49742917) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers

I came up with the answer by reading books and online content about common questions asked at interviews.

Wrong answer. You see, when I ask that question I am wondering how well you think on your feet, not that you actually have an answer; since I really don't care about the answer you give. I need to know how you might handle an off the wall question from a client in a meeting and if I can trust you not to say something stupid. I really just want to see how you react; because you never know what a client might ask, or say.

Do you want to know my Strengths and Weaknesses next, or just how many basketballs fit in this room?

Nah, I'm more of a "How many golf balls were sold in NYC last year" kinda person.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 496

by Registered Coward v2 (#49742335) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers

On a related note, there is also an infinite number of shapes a manhole cover can have so that it cannot fall into the hole. But don't tell that to the interviewers.

Having asked that question in interviews, I didn't care what you answer d but was interested in how you came up with answers. Answering "so they don't fall in the hole right away is the least best answer.

Comment: Re:Registered to vote != Voted (Score 1) 609

by Registered Coward v2 (#49734591) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

There are always rare cases where someone is declared legally dead before word reaches their body, sometimes by many years. There will also always be people who voted by mail then die before the election. It's possible the law they were debating was for these sorts of things.

I doubt it. Carter's first election included ballot boxes with votes bundled together by rubber bands. If the county boss wanted you elected you got elected. Voters got their government check abd a filled out ballot at the same time. He went to court to secure his victory. He said it best when asked why he was qualified to oversee elections to identify fraud: 'I ran for election in Georgia.' His book on growing up in rural Georgia is a great read.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."