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Comment Re:The Flip Side (Score 1) 99

I work in healthcare and my opinion here doesn't necessarily reflect my employer's. That disclaimer aside, I feel for you. I sincerely hope your situation has improved. I will offer one counterpoint, though. If your friend's practice couldn't get it together well enough to store prescriptions in Word, Excel, Access, or even Notepad, should we have any hope that they will be able to participate meaningfully in a fully transactionalized data transfer system without error or confusion?

I don't advocate doing nothing, mind you. I'm very much behind the idea of seeing physicians moving into the 21st century. I just worry that our current method for doing that may be flawed and create more problems than it solved. I could be wrong, though. It's been known to happen. :)

In any case, sorry to hear you had a bad time of things and I hope we all see general improvements soon.

Comment Re:Let's remember a few things for this discussion (Score 1) 586

A 30-40 mile commute isn't unheard of (in fact its very typical) where I live, and it tends to be very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, so that is 60-80 miles both ways, every day.

Then I'd say this car isn't really for your locale. The vast majority of people don't share the dilemma you describe.

Comment You guys are being unfair (Score 1) 305

I mean, think about it. If she weren't letting those horses listen for free, they might have had to go out and purchase the CDs themselves, which is the very core of her sins against the music artists! I mean, if we allowed this, what next? Would she try to hang a painting up in there for just anybody to enjoy who could see it?!? I think you see the sort of anarchy, mayhem, and potty-mouthed language that would ensue in a world where music was just allowed to carry out over free and unencrypted manure-laden air.

Tom Caudron


ISS's Node 3 Might Be Named "Colbert" 276

Panzor writes "NASA is running a contest to name the new addition to the space station, Node 3. The polls are open until March 20. The selection that is getting the most votes is 'Suggest your own,' and the leading name besides the official four (Earthrise, Legacy, Serenity, and Venture) is 'Colbert.' Comedian Stephen Colbert suggested on the air that fans write in his name. On March 5th, his vote count passed that of Xenu and Colbert pronounced himself Scientology's 'Galactic Overlord.'"

Comment Re:No, because Americans want cars, not mass trans (Score 1) 897

Customers define the market, not the business.

I have one word for you: DeBeers.

But I do agree with your conclusion. A bailout is not the answer. The market (producers and consumers alike) should decide what will work. These grandiose plans always smack of a planned economy (read: thinly veiled socialism) to me. Honda and Toyota have proved that greater profitability is achievable without the need for a government bailout.

Tom Caudron

Comment Why not? (Score 1) 1270

I mean, why shouldn't the government take over basic healthcare---look at the spectacular job they did with military healthcare! The quality of medical oversight and access to the proper treatment and care as discovered by the average enlisted man is just amazing without par.

Who among us hasn't heard about the world class great treatment of our soldiers returning from Iraq with injuries? Who here hasn't seen first hand the all-hands-on-deck attitude of the military health care system when a seaman's wife is diagnosed with cancer? Or the legendary medical expertise brought to the table for the many ailments of our slowly dying "Greatest Generation"?

I, for one, welcome our new misdiagnosing, apathetic overlords.

The Internet

Walmart Rejects Firefox and Safari 555

babooo404 writes "Last week, Walmart launched their online video download service. Immediately there were posts that the service did not work with the Firefox or Safari browsers. There was a collective, "WTF" when this happened as this is 2007, not 1997. Now it appears that reports are out that Walmart has completely turned off the ability to get into the application at all by Firefox, Safari or any other browser it does not like."

China Creates Massive Online ID Database 142

schwaang writes that while the US continues to hash out concerns over the Real ID Act, which aims to create a national ID by standardizing state driver's licenses, China has already implemented a massive online ID database, which they say will help prevent fraud. From the Xinhua English-language site: "Anyone can now send a text message or visit the country's population information center's website, to check if the name and the ID number of a person's identity card match. If they do match the ID card-holder's picture also appears, said the Ministry, adding that no other information is available to ensure a citizen's privacy is protected. Completed at the end of 2006, China's population information database, the world's largest, contains personal information on 1.3 billion citizens. Giving public accessing to the database is also designed to correct mistakes if an individual discovers that their name, number and picture don't match."

Storing Wind Power In Cold Stores 242

Roland Piquepaille writes "According to Nature, a European-funded project has been launched to store electricity created from wind in refrigerated warehouses used to store food. As the production of wind energy is variable every day, it cannot easily be accommodated on the electrical grid. So the 'Night Wind' project wants to store wind energy produced at night in refrigerated warehouses and to release this energy during daytime peak hours. The first tests will be done in the Netherlands this year. And as the cold stores exist already, practically no extra cost should be incurred to store as much as 50,000 megawatt-hours of energy. Here are additional details and a picture illustrating this brilliant idea."

Salt Lake City Plan May Turn Sewer Waste To Energy 90

tuxd00d writes "The question goes something like this: How many toilet flushes does it take to power a light bulb? There's really no answer, but Salt Lake City is exploring a pilot project that would convert sewer waste into energy to run a heating and cooling system in a downtown building, city water department official Jeff Niermeyer said."

New Patent Reform Proposal Focuses on Education 66

CNet is reporting that a new proposal before Congress is attempting to increase the number of federal judges who specialize in patent litigation. From the article: "The proposal prescribes $5 million each year in federal funding over the next decade for "educational and professional development" programs for designated judges and to pay the salaries of new, specially appointed clerks with patent expertise. Under the bill, patent cases would continue to be randomly assigned to judges, but with a notable exception. Any judge who practices within a court district offering the pilot program but who chooses not to sign up for the extra training would have the option of transferring patent cases to a program participant." Techdirt also has a short writeup on why this specialization might not necessarily be a good thing.

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky