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Comment: Re: News for nerds (Score 5, Interesting) 854

by number6x (#49681985) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

This agrees with military research that shows religious believers tend to make better officers. Atheists and humanists have a more difficult time ordering others to their deaths, or directing the killing of other humans. Religious believers handle these tasks better because they have coping mechanisms they can use to justify these actions in the name of a higher power. 'Communist' societies (they were all usually dictatorships and not communist) substituted a belief in the party or the state instead of appealing to 'olde tyme' religion, but the result was the same: You are carrying out [God|The State|The Party]'s will, and so your actions are morally justified.

When this life is all you have and all you believe in, it becomes very precious and harder to justify destroying life. If, on the other hand, you are convinced that there is paradise waiting for you beyond this life there are all sorts of nasty actions you can justify.

I really suggest reading Victor Frankl's 'Man's Search for Meaning'. I don't agree with Frankl's later philosophies, but this is a meaningful look into the depths of atrocities that humans can inflict on other humans. Frankl's work helped explain how attitude and belief helped him and others survive Auschwitz. It doesn't directly deal in this subject, but is an amazing account that highlights both the good and the bad outcome of strong beliefs.

Comment: Re:Not that hard to deal with (Score 1) 532

by number6x (#49629711) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

... 7. The debt collector... are not suppose to see your PHI ( Personal Health information) as this is a HIPAA violation. If they were stupid enough to do this they may owe you even more money. ...

HIPAA covered entities can share your PHI and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) with third parties if they have a legal agreement with those entities to do so, and those third parties agree to follow HIPAA rules. The third party cannot continue the chain to a fourth party, they would have to go back to the 2nd party (the health care provider) to get another agreement for any further dissemination of information.

These are called Business Associates under HIPAA rules. The third parties do not become covered entities.

Comment: Re:Billing Is For The Test Codes (Score 1) 532

by number6x (#49629549) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery


ICD9 codes are diagnosis codes.

There are ICD9 diagnosis codes, there are also ICD9 Procedure codes. The procedure codes mentioned in the story are ICD9 procedure codes. You can download all of them from the Centers for Medicaid/Medicare services here.

There are also CPT, HCPCS BETOS codes that could describe procedures. Procedures are a little harder because there are multiple classification standards. In the medical system data warehouse I work on we check procedure codes in claims against the multiple reference lists and reject the claims if the codes are not found in any of the lists. The tools health care providers use to create claims should only allow the entry of a standard set of choices. I don't usually see much rejection, unless something has gone terribly wrong with the data, for example character set encoding problems. However, when something that bad happens, all of the fields get messed up.

It was very different back in the day, when claims were actual paper forms!

Comment: Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 1) 341

by number6x (#49334543) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb
Dr. Ford is a former President of New Mexico Tech, where the mythbusters go when they want to create a really big explosion.

Maybe they can bust the myth that there is enough information in the book to build a real H-bomb!

Dr. Ford is quite a character, and brilliant. He wasn't as colorful as the president of New Mexico Tech he repleced, Dr. Stirling Colgate, but Dr. Ford was pretty impressive.

Comment: Re:Throwback? (Score 4, Insightful) 170

by number6x (#49283709) Attached to: Not Quite Dead: SCO Linux Suit Against IBM Stirs In Utah

Why does the summary fail to mention the many outstanding charges that IBM has against SCO, some already decided against SCO, with hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties on hold while SCO works through its bankruptcy?

As soon as SCO pokes its head out of bankruptcy court the Nazgul will be there, waiting for the payment owed. Do those silly bumpkins in Utah think IBM is going to not notice? Darl and his telemarketing scheme buddies are scam artists with a long history of swindling people (check out IKON Office Supplies). SCO is a bunch of petty criminals with no moral integrity, very small pea brains and only the ability to annoy people until paid to go away. If Martha Stewart was sent to a tennis-club prison for her 'crimes', these people should be doing hard time. They should certainly be shunned by the people of Utah, for their long history of immoral criminal activity.

Comment: Re:hmmm (Score 5, Informative) 139

by number6x (#49138309) Attached to: 12-Billion-Solar-Mass Black Hole Discovered

A cosmologist's 'dark matter' (non-baryonic) is different than an astrophysicist's 'dark matter' (baryonic). To an astrophysicist, the term 'dark matter' has historically meant matter that is not lit up. It is not reflecting ar emitting light. Also it is not blocking light from some other source. There is nothing exotic or strange about it. It is just in the dark and so it cannot be seen.

There were many observations of matter within the milky way, and within other large spiral galaxies that showed the velocity and orbits of matter were not explained by the mass that could be seen. We only saw mass in the visible light for a long time. The matter had to be emitting light, reflecting light, or blocking another source of light for us to see it in telescopes.

It was simply assumed that Einstein's theories of gravity were still correct and there just had to be more matter than we were seeing. It wasn't seen becuase it was dark, hence the name 'dark matter'. Nothing wierd or strange, just stuff we didn't see.

As time went on our observations expanded into more regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. We saw that there, indeed, was a great deal more matter emitting in the infra-red, radio, x-ray, and gamma ray spectrums. This has added greatly to the amount of matter that is known. There is much less missing mass on the intragalactic scale than there once was because we see more of it.

However, it is not enough. Here is a really good explanation.

And there is a new problem. We are now mapping the interaction of galaxies, and of huge groups of galaxies. And there does not seem to be enough matter in sight to fully account for there movements. Enter the cosmologists.

The first 'exotic' form of 'dark matter' was probably the neutrino. While once considered a very exotic beast, it is now considered rather mundane (at least the three known flavors are considered mundane). The neutrino is an almost massless particle that is electrically neutral and has such a small cross section that it hardly ever interacts with other matter. Neutrinos have mass, so they do feel the effects of gravity and due the the equal and opposite reaction thing, they contribute to the gravity that we, our sun, and all the starts in the galaxy feel. While a single neutrino is almost non-existent, the huge numbers of neutrinos within the boundaries of the galaxy actually do add up to an appreciable mass.

Now cosmologists are suggesting even more exoctic unknown particles, like WIMPS, to explain the missing mass. Some people feel that we should be examining new theories of gravity. Maybe on a very large scale gravity behaves differently. We do know that our theories of gravity are not complete. We do not have a good field theory of gravity that works with quantum mechanics. Continued experimentation involving things like the Higg's Boson will help to confirm some of these leading edge theories, and get rid of others. By determining the mass and energy of the particles that communicate the 'mass' field we will be putting constraints from the real physical universe around these theories.

The cosmology stuff is the wierd exotic 'dark matter' that inspires wierd science fiction ideas, but it will probably be needed to explain all of the missing mass. When some of these, currently, exotic particles are observed measured and fit in an overarching theory, they will seem much more ordinary, as the three known neutrinos are today.

Comment: Re:All the more reason... (Score 1) 248

by number6x (#49087043) Attached to: Lenovo Allegedly Installing "Superfish" Proxy Adware On New Computers

I second the recommendation for Linux Mint on the Yoga 2. I never booted the copy of Windows that came with it. Set the bios and used a flash drive to install Linux Mint 17 to the SSD and had a great laptop with no malware, shareware or crapware.

And best of all, no Windows 8!

Comment: Re:On loan??? (Score 5, Informative) 118

by number6x (#49022173) Attached to: Neil Armstrong's Widow Discovers Moon Camera In Bag

The astronauts were paid their regular military salaries, plus hazardous duty pay. It was a pittance. In order to compensate these men more fully The United States Congress authorized, through legislation, that astronauts could keep spent NASA equipment as mementos. It was always one of the 'unwritten rules' at NASA during that era. It wasn't until years later that it was questioned by some bureaucrat and the legislation was needed to end and questions

So no theft or questionable loans were involved.

Comment: Re:Nice in principle but fails at higher temperatu (Score 2) 183

by number6x (#48957231) Attached to: The "Cool Brick" Can Cool Off an Entire Room Using Nothing But Water
No, they are describing a good old-fashioned evaporative cooler. We used to call then swamp coolers. They are effective in arrid climates. They can cool the air a few degrees. They also add a little humidity to the air, which is nice in the desert. It would not work in a humid climate.

Comment: Re: Umm, no. (Score 1) 187

Panama, Puerto Rico followed pretty much the same path as the Phillipines. It was a post Spanish-American war thing.

Every June my neighborhood is host to a huge Puerto Rican Independence festival, where all the descendants of Puerto Ricans come back to the old neighborhood and celebrate the end of their dependence from Spain.

I can't wait to see the party they'll throw when they are finally truly independent.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.