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Comment: My 4.5 year loves the iPad (Score 2) 165

by Thorrablot (#42078301) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Math and Science iOS Apps For Young Kids?
In fact, she's not a fan of computers that have those old clunky "mice" anymore... Here's the best of the apps we've found:

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/monkey-preschool-lunchbox/id328205875?mt=8

Of course, the "Cut the Rope" and "Fruit Ninja" games are good in there "can't lose" modes.

Starfall app (same as the website)

PBS.org (warning - essentially streaming video - you need to moderate use of this one!)

Comment: Re:Transparency=good, "dumbing down"=bad (Score 1) 211

by Thorrablot (#38716576) Attached to: Putting Medical Records Into Patients' Hands
Possibly, although I'm less pessimistic about their potential. I could see sites like WebMD and others revived a bit with this kind of "premier" EMR-interpretation service, although it would be entirely optional. As with other subscription services, customers will only pay if they feel the content is worthwhile, and a brand gets damaged if this is abused. For instance, use of TurboTax doesn't result in an influx of spam for dubious financial investments.

Comment: Transparency=good, "dumbing down"=bad (Score 1) 211

by Thorrablot (#38715724) Attached to: Putting Medical Records Into Patients' Hands
There are some obvious benefits, and a number of potential drawbacks to this trend. I personally would like to have electronic access to my medical records, however I'm concerned about what the implications would be for health care quality and costs. I work in a sector that is involved in standardization of medical records, so take this with 2 grains of semi-informed salt, and call me in the morning:

Benefits

  • Some patients may have the interest, background, and temperament to actually improve their health by exploring their records and trends
  • Physicians will be held to a high level of scrutiny (by the patients) on the quality of their EMR entries

Drawbacks

  • Some patients may be confused or upset by what is in their records, costing more either in clarification or (in extreme cases) legal challenges
  • Physicians may feel compelled to either "dumb down" or "soften" established clinical terminology (e.g. obese), making it less efficient (and more error-prone) for medical professionals to interchange information about the patient through the EMR
  • In the longer run, assuming that patient portals to EMR data allow users access to the standardized EMR formats (a myriad of standards, really), I expect to see some new companies developing software to help patients interpret and track their healthcare (beyond what the portal provides). These sites would require patient approval, but would be free to analyze and recommend the EMR outside of the constraints of the "healthcare entity" policies. That is, the EMR is the raw "spreadsheet" of health statistics, and I would expect to see Intuit (Quicken) or Mint-like companies and services come along to make more sense of it.

Comment: Re:Good luck keeping it on (Score 1) 92

by Thorrablot (#36531484) Attached to: Tracking Bracelets for Autistic Kids and Senior Citizens
I suspect my 8 year old, low-functioning ASD son would also not keep on a wrist bracelet, but I'm intrigued enough in this article that I'm going to buy him a cheap watch and see what he does. The form-factor may be an issue. Given my son's level of functioning (barely verbal), if there was a safe implant tech available (and affordable) that would let me track him within ~1/2 mile, and had a failsafe to start transmitting a locator signal to authorities once he exceeded the range of one of the families smartphones (or some device), I'd buy it, and I suspect many other parents of low-functioning ASD kids would as well.
Earth

New Batfish Species Found Under Gulf Oil Spill 226

Posted by timothy
from the had-to-flush-'em-out-somehow dept.
eDarwin writes "Researchers have discovered two previously unknown species of bottom-dwelling fish in the Gulf of Mexico, living right in the area affected by the BP oil spill. Researchers identified new species of pancake batfishes, a flat fish rarely seen because of the dark depths they favor. They are named for the clumsy way they 'walk' along the sea bottom, like a bat crawling."

Comment: Some != Most (except for large values of some) (Score 4, Interesting) 416

by Thorrablot (#31459716) Attached to: Court Rules Against Vaccine-Autism Claims Again

The problem is that, for most people, they grasp at straws and try to find some observable "cause" they can link with autism. It's quite possible that it has more to do with environmental and/or emotional stresses on the mother but people try to put the cart before the horse and "prove" that a vaccine - which may have been due to travel (hint - enviro/emo stress) or bad health conditions (same) - was the cause.

OK - as a parent of a six-year old with "primary" autism (e.g. low-functioning), I'd like to clear the air on a few points:

  • "Most" of the parents of autistic kids don't buy into the vaccine-causes-autism bunk - only a very vocal minority, which unfortunately our media amplifies
  • The mechanism behind autism is, as you undoubtedly know, not well-understood. In the absence of a good understanding, this kind of uninformed speculation thrives.
  • Lives have been lost as a result due to botched "Chelation" therapies, and money is being made by the self-styled DAN doctors who tell desperate parents what they want to hear

Please, move on, you're just embarrassing yourselves.

I have met a number of other parents of autistic kids. Those that are desperate enough to by into these theories are (often) otherwise rational, intelligent people. They are desperate for hope, and feel they owe it to their child to attempt some kind of cure. Whether this is due to denial (of the permanent disability) or unrelenting hope and a moral code that says "anything is better than nothing", I don't know. I do know I can relate to this, to a point, and was frustrated at the limited medical treatments available for my own son. Please have some sympathy for these misguided parents, as the real culprits are the alt-medicine charlatans who claimed to have found the cure, and the DAN doctors who really ought to know better.

Intel

+ - Newegg Customers Receiving Fake Intel Core 17 920 -> 4

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This first surfaced on TribalWar around seven o'clock last evening and on Overclock.net around midnight last night. Newegg still hasn't commented on this. It's not known whether this happened as fraud by another Newegg customer or it happened in shipping. The "processors" are made of Aluminum, and the "fans" look to be made of some kind of synthetic molded material. The "factory seal" was printed onto the box. The holographic stickers on the boxes were also faked.

More links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDU7Xoju4LM

http://www.tribalwar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=606966"

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Firefox

+ - Web Browser Grand Prix->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Tom's Hardware has put Apple Safari 4.04, Google Chrome 4.0, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla FireFox 3.6, and Opera 10.50 through a gauntlet of speed tests and time trials to find out which Web browser is truly the fastest. How does your favorite land in the rankings?"
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Engadget: iPad launches on April 3rd, pre-orders begin March 12th->

From feed by feedfeeder
Word from Apple is out -- so get your credit cards ready. The iPad will be launching on Saturday April 3rd, but you'll be able to plunk down cold, hard cash for it in just a week. Pre-orders will begin on March 12th for the US version (non-3G) for that April street date, with the 3G version coming in late April along with iPads for eager buyers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. US pricing will be as follows (just in case you need to figure out how many piggy banks to smash):
  • 16GB WiFi only -- $499
  • 32GB WiFi only -- $599
  • 64GB WiFi only -- $699
  • 16GB WiFi + 3G -- $629
  • 32GB WiFi + 3G -- $729
  • 64GB WiFi + 3G -- $829

iPad launches on April 3rd, pre-orders begin March 12th originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 05 Mar 2010 09:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Science

+ - New lithography tech promises 10nm circuits->

Submitted by arcticstoat
arcticstoat (993717) writes "Scientists at the University of Wisconsin have developed a new lithography technique that could result in silicon chips with 10nm circuits. Called molecular transfer printing (MTP), the technique uses a combination of block copolymers, which form crystal patterns that accurately reproduce etched silicon circuits. As well as reducing the cost of producing multiple silicon master chips, the technique can also reproduce circuit patterns where the gaps between the circuits are half the size of the original etching. The team, headed by scientist Paul Nealey, have already produced patterns on a sillicon wafer, in which the gaps between the features were only 15nm. Nealey is also confident that the team could produce features that measure just 10nm. As a point of comparison, most of today's CPUs and GPUs use 45nm, 40nm or 32nm circuits."
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