Here's what I want a high quality, fast and truly usable tablet for: medical care. It should be possible to walk into a patient's room carrying a clipboard sized device that resembled a giant iphone.
As a psychologist working in medical settings I want a similar thing. I want an integrated system with a touchscreen that allows me to take notes while talking to my patients and generate a readable, final report from that information. I'd probably have to get the devkit and write the app myself. Using a laptop creates too much separation from the patient- they feel you're paying more attention to the computer than to them. As a jazz guitarist, I want an 8.5 x 11" or A4 form factor that will allow me to use digitized lead sheets instead of having to lug 500 pages of sheet music with me.
The biggest technical problems I foresee are back end problems, problems with the EMR software, and battery life.(hospital IT departments tend to fuck things up. If they bought a bunch of apple tablets, they probably wouldn't build and maintain the back end servers and wireless AP correctly)
Hospital IT departments and EMR programmers can't even manage sane password and username requirements ("passwords must have twelve characters with at least one and no more than two capitals and three digits, and must not match any of your ten previous passwords." Meaning everyone has to write down their username and passwords to keep track of them, creating a security risk. Duh.). They are a particular subtype of paranoid electron jockey who fail to understand that their job is to make information *available* to providers, not hide it from them.
Remember, YOU (the typical slashdotter running Linux with a windows box for games on desktop machines) are not the intended users for this tablet. YOU probably sit at a desk all day. You have enough technical expertise that tinkering is fun for you, and you don't mind the idea of a tablet on kludgey, cheap hardware that is running open source software.
There's always an inherent culture clash between computer enthusiasts and information appliance users. The majority of users fall into the latter category while the majority of Slashdotters are in the former group. If you understand regexps, you're probably out of touch with most users.
As long as the P2P apps and file transfers can run at full speed when nothing time sensitive is using the network, this is the RIGHT way to do things.
But it won't. Look at what's being throttled: decentralized services that are not controlled by a content provider. The point is not Web congestion, data flow, etc. The point is to centralize access to data by disadvantaging decentralized services, so that it's easier to wring more profit from the Internet. This is about nothing more than separating users from their money.
Explain to me why my gaming or surfing should suffer because you want to download/upload XXX_Donkey_Love.WMV from thepiratebay, again?
Explain to me why my downloads should suffer because of your gaming? Are you more important than me?
I'm a psychologist and work for a large clinic (93 clinicians, 25 support staff, five clinic locations and a lot of "out in the field" services). My specialty is nursing home services; there are about 15 of us in the nursing home division and we work in about 150 nursing homes. Often a client is referred to me and it turns out they were seen by a colleague in another nursing home. If we had an EMR that I could query remotely, I could find that out and streamline the delivery of services and provide better care. This would be the "added power" part of the discussion and the rosy picture that EMRs present
The flip side is that computer security is not reliable. Any system connected to the outside world can be hacked remotely one way or another. We have thousands of clients with a lot of sensitive data sitting in our files, currently in locked cabinets behind two locked doors with limited access to maximize security as much as we can. The risk of data exposure is minimal and happens as a result of sloppiness by practitioners (e.g. leaving a file sitting on a desk unwatched). With an EMR, however, the risk of exposure is potentially much higher (e.g., downloading *all* the files instead of swiping or reading just one).
We have made no provisions for using an EMR in our clinic. We have a computerized billing system which contains insurance information and diagnostic codes- only the information required to send out a bill- but none of our clinical records are in an EMR. AFAIK we are not required to do so.