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The Almighty Buck

Harvard Says Computers Don't Save Hospitals Money 398

Posted by kdawson
from the always-jam-tomorrow dept.
Lucas123 writes "Researchers at Harvard Medical School pored over survey data from more than 4,000 'wired' hospitals and determined that computerization of those facilities not only didn't save them a dime, but the technology didn't improve administrative efficiency either. The study also showed most of the IT systems were aimed at improving efficiency for hospital management — not doctors, nurses, and medical technicians. 'For 45 years or so, people have been claiming computers are going to save vast amounts of money and that the payoff was just around the corner. So the first thing we need to do is stop claiming things there's no evidence for. It's based on vaporware and [hasn't been] shown to exist or shown to be true,' said Dr. David Himmelstein, the study's lead author."

Comment: Re:Shell apps? (Score 1) 621

by shank001 (#29149877) Attached to: Nokia Leaks Phone With Full GNU/Linux Distribution

I've been thinking about one of these new Linux phones for my next upgrade. What kind of access does one have to the shell? Can one using an ssh client? How does one transfer data to a Linux workstation? Can one install more shell apps (e.g. ipcalc, tdl and remind)?

Just buy yourself the Openmoko (http://www.openmoko.com). Install debian on it; and you can do whatever-the-hell-you-want-to!

Comment: Re:Interesting idea.... (Score 1) 101

by shank001 (#27527583) Attached to: Openmoko Phone Not Dead After All

I like the idea but everything I have read about the product says it is a lousy phone. And if it can't do that basic function well it doesn't matter what other neat things it can do, whether it is open software, open hardware, whatever. A phone that sucks is no sale.

Well the point is that this phone is a developer version. It was never meant to be used by your six-pack-joe. The phone does have great hardware (GSM (2G only), GPS, Bluetooth, Wifi, et al). The problem is the software stack. And this is where free software developers kick-in. The OM2008.12 distribution is good enough that makes the FreeRunner a basic phone. SHR is another distribution that's looking good. Andriod port for FR looks more and more promising by each passing week. Then there is the paroli begin developed by OM, that's written in python and I hear it's looking good too. Just give it some more time, and the software stack will start looking kick-ass!

Comment: Re:Scrolling patent... (Score 1) 449

by shank001 (#26618527) Attached to: Apple Awarded Patent For iPhone Interface

'A computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device, and processing the command.

So in plain english he is saying is:

I've developed a program which will know where you touch on a touch-screen(which is basically a touch-screen-driver). Didn't we have this in the linux before? This can be considered Prior Art right?

Let me elaborate:

a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command,

Implies that you can have vertical scroll. (Openmoko has this. You can do a vertical scroll on the home page)

a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command

Which is basically like the HTC Diamond Touch doing effects like compiz.

a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items.

Which says that you have a gesture to go to the next item. (again Openmoko already has this. The illume keyboard changes the keyboard format on slide)

When most of the code is out there, how can this patent be granted!

Education

+ - Linux Terminals for school kids in hilly villages->

Submitted by
Bibek Paudel
Bibek Paudel writes "The BBC carries a story on the success of the E-Library project based on the Linux Terminal Server Project in the schools of remote hilly villages of Nepal. Started by Help Nepal Network (HeNN) and supported by Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP, the organization behind NepaLinux) and the Free/Open Source Software Community of Nepal (FOSS Nepal), students from Nepal's top engineering schools volunteer for the project.

"Much of the country is remote and accessible only on foot, and many of its people have never glimpsed a computer, let alone touched one. Working with other organisations, including Save the Children-Norway, HeNN is setting up the libraries with the use of what is called the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP). This is a free and open-source (accessible to everyone) package which connects one powerful central server in the school, using the Linux operating system, to a number of diskless low-end computers. When linked to the server, each computer receives a full Linux desktop.

LTSP is seen as a cost-effective, power-saving and durable technology, not only in schools but also in other sectors. What's more, it is also virtually free of tampering and computer viruses — and the Linux software developed by Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, a charitable educational library based in Kathmandu, is being provided free of cost.

And its appeal is growing. In front of the little shops on the rough village streets, men gather to play cards and drink tea. But even they have developed a fascination for the computer. So the school has arranged some computer classes for them, too."

The BBC further writes, "Before this, anyone wanting access to computers or sizeable shops would have to walk two hours and drive two more, so the system has proved highly significant for local pupils. Most of the places where E-libraries have been set up so far are in the hills."

"Kamal Prasad Sharma, aged 12, a student at Saraswati Secondary School in a small village not far from Kathmandu, was afraid when he saw a computer for the first time.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Compiz Fusion?? (Score 1) 1

by shank001 (#26289851) Attached to: Future of Compiz Uncertain
Comment from a Compiz user from http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/compiz/2008-December/003238.html

"Dramatically ugly, unusable, slow, badly animated and unconsistent. Open source development without a serious, expert mantainers can result in chaotic grouth of the project and waste of human resources into pointless code. The Compiz-Fusion project is certainly the most representative example of all this"

This, I think, really sums up the state that this project is in.

Programming

+ - Future of Compiz Uncertain 1

Submitted by
dov_0
dov_0 writes "Kristian Lyngstol from the Compiz project has shared some pretty big worries about the health of the Compiz/compiz-fusion project. He cites a lack of direction, organisation and a dropping number of programmers as major areas of concern. Responses from the compiz community to his mailing list post have not been overwhelming, with only one person posting in his support so far.

If Compiz was gone, surely someone else would pick up the pieces? Distros like Ubuntu have made it a notable feature of their desktop setup. Haven't we all enjoyed the glazed over eyes and admiring stares of onlookers as we spin our desktop cubes and pull out bling that makes Vista desktop effects fade by comparison?

Is the compiz project already dead without knowing it and who will pick up pieces and keep our desktop cubes spinning?"
Government

+ - 1,000 Russian schools using Linux->

Submitted by
christian.einfeldt
christian.einfeldt writes "Linux has been installed in over one thousand schools in Russia, and is part of a much larger over-all deployment of Linux in the Russian military and other government institutions, according to one IBM official speaking at the Latvian Open Technology Conference in Riga on 12 November:

'The Russian military has been working on its own version of GNU/Linux, parts of which have recently been declassified by the All-Russian Scientific and Research Institute of Control Automation in the Non-Industrial Sphere (Vniins). According to Guriev, many specialised version of GNU/Linux distributions are produced, often in response to requests by local governments. In three Russian regions, most of the PCs in use in about a thousand schools have been switched over to GNU/Linux.'

"

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Ballmer Admits Google Apps Are Biting Into MS Office 293

Posted by Soulskill
from the legacy-of-clippy dept.
twitter points out coverage of a discussion between Steve Ballmer and two Gartner analysts in which the Microsoft CEO admits that Google Apps is enjoying an advantage over Office by users who want to share their documents. He points to Office Live as their response to Google, and adds, "Google has the lead, but, if we're good at advertising, we'll compete with them in the consumer business." Whether or not they're good at advertising is still in question, if their recent attempts are any indication. Ballmer also made statements indicating some sort of arrangement with Yahoo! could still be in the works, but Microsoft was quick to step on that idea. Regarding Windows Vista, he said Microsoft was prepared for people to skip it altogether, and that Microsoft would be "ready" when it was time to deploy Windows 7.
Government

Quebec Govt Sued For Ignoring Free Software 388

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-about-the-cheap-stuff dept.
Mathieu Lutfy writes "The CBC is reporting that 'Quebec's open-source software association is suing the provincial government, saying it is giving preferential treatment to Microsoft Corp. by buying the company's products rather than using free alternatives. ... Government buyers are using an exception in provincial law that allows them to buy directly from a proprietary vendor when there are no options available, but Facil said that loophole is being abused and goes against other legal requirements to buy locally.' The group also has a press release in English."
Operating Systems

How To Speed Up Linux Booting 301

Posted by kdawson
from the up-and-running dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A common complaint about Linux is the amount of time the operating system takes to start. Like Linux itself, there are plenty of options and lots of flexibility for boot-time optimization. From dependency-based solutions like initng to event-based solutions like upstart, there's an optimization solution that should fit your needs. Using the bootchart package, you can dig in further to understand where your system is spending its boot time to optimize even more."

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!

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