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Medicine

Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard 375

Posted by Soulskill
from the only-thing-we-have-to-fear-is-fear-itself-and-liquefied-organs dept.
Lasrick writes: David Ropeik explores risk-perception psychology and Ebola in the U.S. "[O]fficials are up against the inherently emotional and instinctive nature of risk-perception psychology. Pioneering research on this subject by Paul Slovic, Baruch Fischhoff, and others, vast research on human cognition by Daniel Kahneman and colleagues, and research on the brain's fear response by neuroscientists Joseph LeDoux, Elizabeth Phelps, and others, all make abundantly clear that the perception of risk is not simply a matter of the facts, but more a matter of how those facts feel. ... People worry more about risks that are new and unfamiliar. People worry more about risks that cause greater pain and suffering. People worry more about threats against which we feel powerless, like a disease for which there is no vaccine and which has a high fatality rate if you get it. And people worry more about threats the more available they are to their consciousness—that is, the more aware people are of them."

Comment: Re:Read below to see what Bennett has to say. (Score 1) 622

by tverbeek (#48132559) Attached to: The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

"Most of the other rebuttals being offered, are logically incoherent, and, as such, are not likely to change the minds of the victim-blamers," is perhaps the funniest bit of empathy-challenged nonsense I've read in a while. Because the people who are irrationally blaming the victims are clearly going to be persuaded only by the most mathematically sound argument?

Software

Brown Dog: a Search Engine For the Other 99 Percent (of Data) 23

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-it-fetches-data dept.
aarondubrow writes: We've all experienced the frustration of trying to access information on websites, only to find that the data is trapped in outdated, difficult-to-read file formats and that metadata — the critical data about the data, such as when and how and by whom it was produced — is nonexistent. Led by Kenton McHenry, a team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications is working to change that. Recipients in 2013 of a $10 million, five-year award from the National Science Foundation, the team is developing software that allows researchers to manage and make sense of vast amounts of digital scientific data that is currently trapped in outdated file formats. The NCSA team recently demonstrated two publicly-available services to make the contents of uncurated data collections accessible.
Science

First Teleportation of Multiple Quantum Properties of a Single Photon 107

Posted by timothy
from the you-stay-here-I'll-pass-the-message dept.
KentuckyFC writes Photons have many properties, such as their frequency, momentum, spin and orbital angular momentum. But when it comes to quantum teleportation, physicists have only ever been able to to transmit one of these properties at a time. So the possibility of teleporting a complete quantum object has always seemed a distant dream. Now a team of Chinese physicists has worked out how to teleport more than one quantum property. The team has demonstrated it by teleporting both the spin and orbital angular momentum of single photons simultaneously. They point out that there is no reason in principle why the technique cannot be generalized to include other properties as well, such as a photon's frequency, momentum and so on. That's an important step towards teleporting complex quantum objects in their entirety, such as atoms, molecules and perhaps even small viruses.

Comment: Facebook empowers bullies (Score 5, Insightful) 305

by tverbeek (#48065985) Attached to: The Single Vigilante Behind Facebook's 'Real Name' Crackdown

What's troubling is the fact that no one at Facebook contemplated the possibility that this policy would be used as a form of bullying. Their aribtrarily-enforced rules about nudity are routinely used the same way by homophobes, who go around reporting innocuous photos (and even illustrations) of partial male nudity or even just gay couples kissing or showing affection, causing headaches, suspensions, and even bans of gay people from the site. And they do so with complete impunity because they can do so anonymously, and there is no penalty for false reports. The users who are reported are given no right to challenge their accusers (or even know who they are), and effectively no right to appeal. Facebook's own policies and procedures facilitate and empower this kind of harassment and abuse. And they're just now noticing?

Communications

Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records 240

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-you-tried-paper-airplanes dept.
nbauman writes: Doctors with one medical records system can't exchange information with systems made by other vendors, including those at their own hospitals, according to the New York Times. One ophthalmologist spent half a million dollars on a system, but still needs to send faxes to get the information where it needs to go. The largest vendor is Epic Systems, Madison, WI, which holds almost half the medical records in the U.S. A report from RAND described Epic as a "closed" platform that made it "challenging and costly" for hospitals to interconnect.

The situation is bad for patients and costly for medical works: if doctors can't exchange records, they'll face a 1% Medicare penalty, and UC Davis alone has a staff of 22 dedicated to communication. On top of that, Epic charges a fee to send data to some non-Epic systems. Congress has held hearings on the matter, and Epic has hired a lobbyist. Epic's founder, billionaire computer science major Judith Faulkner, said that Epic was one of the first to establish code and standards for secure interchange, which included user authentication provisions and a legally binding contract. She said the federal government, which gave $24 billion in incentive payments to doctors for computerization, should have done that. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said that it was a "top priority" and just recently wrote a 10-year vision statement and agenda for it.
Space

Mysterious Feature Appears and Disappears In a Sea On Titan 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the interplanetary-game-of-battleship dept.
schwit1 writes: Cassini images taken in 2007, 2013, and 2014 of one of Titan's largest hydrocarbon seas find that a mysterious feature there keeps appearing and disappearing. Quoting: "The mysterious feature, which appears bright in radar images against the dark background of the liquid sea, was first spotted during Cassini's July 2013 Titan flyby. Previous observations showed no sign of bright features in that part of Ligeia Mare. Scientists were perplexed to find the feature had vanished when they looked again, over several months, with low-resolution radar and Cassini's infrared imager. This led some team members to suggest it might have been a transient feature. But during Cassini's flyby on August 21, 2014, the feature was again visible, and its appearance had changed during the 11 months since it was last seen.

Scientists on the radar team are confident that the feature is not an artifact, or flaw, in their data, which would have been one of the simplest explanations. They also do not see evidence that its appearance results from evaporation in the sea, as the overall shoreline of Ligeia Mare has not changed noticeably. The team has suggested the feature could be surface waves, rising bubbles, floating solids, solids suspended just below the surface, or perhaps something more exotic." That the seasons are slowly changing on Titan is probably contributing to the transient nature of this feature.

Comment: Re:There is no more Photoshop. (Score 2) 197

by tverbeek (#48027829) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

Half correct. Adobe's Creative Cloud software is subscription software, but it is not web-based. The "cloud" bit in the name is just buzzword bingo; the apps are installed and run locally as Windows/OS X executable binaries, just as they always have, with check-ins to confirm that you've paid your protection money this month.

Of course the subscription aspect is reason enough for many people to walk way from Adobe (as I have). I know many illustrators have turned to the Manga Studio for comics production, or the GIMP if they can accept its limitations (e.g. lacking CMYK support). Some people can likewise get by with Free software such as Inkscape or Scribus to replace Illustrator and InDesign, respectively. Serif (which currently has graphics apps for Windows) is undertaking development of a full-featured commercial Creative Suite replacement for OS X, and their Illustrator-substitute Affinity Designer (first piece of the puzzle) is nearly ready for release.

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