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Comment: researcher vs surgeon (Score 4, Interesting) 51

by TheMeuge (#46799137) Attached to: Closing Surgical Incisions With a Paintbrush and Nanoparticles

I AM a physician, and yes, whoever does the demonstration takes quite a bit away from the demonstration by being pretty horrific at suturing... like 2nd year medical student who hasn't practiced bad. If they are going to compare quality of tissue approximation between sutures and their glue, they should probably use proper technique. A plastic surgeon would have laid out 10 sutures or more into the same space, probably in half the time. I am sure there's a senior surgery resident out there who wouldn't mind getting a few hundred bucks to tie a few sutures on camera.

That being said, there are some structures in the body that are very fragile, and difficult to sew. Also, the elderly and the chronically ill have tissues that just fall apart, limiting the usefulness of many surgeries in managing their illness. If we could create seams that don't rely as much on tissue strength, we could probably operate on quite a few more people.

Comment: Re:I've heard that government moves slowly... (Score 4, Interesting) 299

I once attended a seminar by one of the heads of emergency response from the city that's often portrayed as the world's biggest terrorism target. He was going on about communications equipment that is stored away for use after a low-yield nuke detonation. I asked the speaker whether the equipment and storage facilities are shielded against EMP. He asked me what "EMP" is.

I walked out.

Comment: first they came for our cell phones... (Score 2) 197

by TheMeuge (#46328195) Attached to: US Carriers Said To Have Rejected Kill Switch Technology Last Year

You don't live in that kind of a society right up until the moment when you do live in that kind of a society, at which point it is rather too late to do anything to prevent it. Trust someone who lived behind the iron curtain - you don't WANT to know what society will be like if we keep heading in that direction. However small those steps are, they are not reversible.


NYPD Is Beta-Testing Google Glass 158

Posted by samzenpus
from the watching-you-better dept.
Presto Vivace writes "The New York City Police Department is trying to determine how useful Google Glass would be for law enforcement. From the article: 'The New York City Police Department's massive and controversial intelligence and analytics unit is evaluating whether Google Glass is a decent fit for investigating terrorists and helping cops lock up bad guys, VentureBeat has learned. The department recently received several pairs of the modernist-looking specs to test out. "We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we're trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes," a ranking New York City law enforcement official told VentureBeat.'"

Comment: Re:Privacy != Paranoia (Score 5, Insightful) 78

by TheMeuge (#45583975) Attached to: Australian Spy Agency Offered To Share Data About Ordinary Citizens

Actually, it's worse than that. What will undoubtedly affect most people is not the power imbalance between the individual and the government as a whole, but the tremendous power imbalance between an individual and the lowest tier public worker that has access to that information. When your local policeman will be browsing your daughter's naked photos (that she took in the shower with her cell phone) while contemplating which would be better to coerce her into sex, her confession about cheating in French class, smoking a joint once a year ago, or going on a date with two different people without them knowing it; and when you find out, and the same person will threaten you with being arrested for anything he could make up he saw in the surveillance, put you on a watch list, destroy your life.... that's when you will realize how far the power separation has gone.

Take it from someone who was brought up in the Soviet Union - even the lowliest civil servant had power, and exercised it. There was no action without bribery, and there was not even a concept of freedom... not because of power coming from the top down, but because the system was so skewed at a traffic cop could pull you over, rob you, rape your wife, then kill you both, and if anyone witnessed it, they'd keep their mouth shut.

Power corrupts.

If you give someone absolute access to your information (even forgetting the concept that the latter will likely mean absolute access to making stuff up), you given them absolute power over you.

Comment: Re:More dehumanization in medicine (Score 1) 120

by TheMeuge (#45576123) Attached to: Google Glass Making Its Way Into Operating Rooms

Well, if we didn't have to document several fold more, and got paid less for interacting with patients, we may do it. As it stands, unless a doctor is doing something to you, he/she is unlikely to get paid much. Obviously there are upsides and downsides to a system that rewards cutting but not measuring.

Comment: spirals (Score 5, Insightful) 415

by TheMeuge (#45540549) Attached to: NSA Planned To Discredit Radicals Based On Web-Browsing Habits

Information imbalance creates a vast power imbalance. And we'd be fools to think that this power imbalance would not be exploited. Generally, in military terms you talk about capabilities, rather than intentions when making assessments. So when universal surveillance becomes a capability, we have to assume it's not just used, but used universally. And one doesn't have to go far in history to search for consequences of having such a system. While not nearly as sophisticated, East Germany during the Soviet era provides plenty of evidence for what WILL be done with the information obtained as a result of a vast surveillance network. In a few words, mainly ammunition for the government to persecute and discredit critics (which isn't new), but also alarmingly but unsurprisingly, a way for those with access to this information (specific individuals within law enforcement and government) to exert this power over other private individuals for spite, profit, blackmail, coverup, etc. It's happened before. We have to be fools to think it won't happen again.

Comment: Re:We have a reform process in the US? (Score 2) 75

by TheMeuge (#45539795) Attached to: European Commission Outlines Steps To Restore Trust In EU-US Data Flows

Yes, the reform is in the direction of no-privacy for everyone.

I have to say it, but we should mod up the AC.

The active privacy reform across the industrial world (yes, EU, UK, AU I'm talking to you as well, not just US) is the assertions that:
1. there no right to privacy for the citizens
2. there IS a right to privacy for n, where n=power or money (read: police, government, corporate interests)
3. noting a vast power unbalance as a result of 1 and 2 makes one a terrorist

Comment: Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (Score 1) 961

by TheMeuge (#45531069) Attached to: Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

Intent is the key. If your goal is to control pain at any cost in a terminal patient, and the next dose of opiate happens to stop them from breathing, that's fine. But I am not going to give them a dose of opiates that's INTENDED to stop them from breathing. It's a fine line, but an important one.

Comment: Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (Score 1) 961

by TheMeuge (#45527563) Attached to: Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

Step 1.
Most importantly, TALK TO YOUR LOVED ONES. If they don't know your wishes, they will be unable to interpret them if that time comes.
Step 2.
Fill out a healthcare proxy form, available from any primary care MD or even the state itself, with preferably a hierarchy of surrogate decisionmakers (in case of an accident involving more than one person).
Step 3.
Discuss your wishes with your doctor and lawyer, who can help you iron out the language for a living will.

Consider though that 1 and 2 are much more important, because unless you specifically prohibit something in your living will, your proxy or surrogate may overrule it on your behalf. However, I would discourage you from writing any absolutes in your living will. It's not instructions, it a reminder and guidance for your healthcare proxy. Otherwise, you may miss a potential live-saving treatment that was unknown to you or unavailable when you filled out the form.

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis