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Comment Re:Copyright on his name? (Score 5, Informative) 205

The twitter account in question is @blaneysblarney, which is the name of Mr Blaney's blog. The account photo is copied from Mr Blaney's blog. The first post of @blaneysblarney says "Comrades, I thought I would set up a more political twitter and keep my other twitter account for more personal stuff."

So it seems he's trying to prevent someone using his photo and the name of his blog to pass off their words as his. I'm guessing he's asserting copyright on his photo and the name of his blog, which seems reasonable.

Medicine

Submission + - Genetic Mutation Enables Less Sleep (nytimes.com) 1

reporter writes: "According to an article by the "New York Times", "Researchers have found a genetic mutation in two people who need far less sleep than average, a discovery that might open the door to understanding human sleep patterns and lead to treatments for insomnia and other sleep disorders.

The finding, published in the Friday issue of the journal Science, marks the first time scientists have identified a genetic mutation that relates to sleep duration in any animal or human.

... [People possessing the mutated gene] routinely function on about 6 hours of sleep a night; the average person needs 8 to 8.5 hours of sleep.
"

Does 2 less hours of sleep mean 2 more hours in writing comments on SlashDot?"

Comment Re:People definitely neglect science... (Score 1) 656

I think you need both to be well equipped to be a scientist, or be able to have a meaningful debate on a scientific topic.

Or indeed any topic. I guess I'd assumed that "critical thinking" would, of itself, *require* the facts & figures: argument without supporting evidence may be fun, but it isn't science.

obligatory xkcd: http://xkcd.com/263/

Comment Re:People definitely neglect science... (Score 4, Interesting) 656

In "The Demon Haunted World", Carl Sagan recalls a taxi driver who professed to be very interested in science ... then asked Sagan about flying saucers, Atlantis, etc.

Sagan describes his sadness at having to tell the guy that so many of his interests are "baloney" ... and his anger at an educational system that didn't equip the guy with the knowledge to distinguish science from pseudo-science.

A couple of decades later, school science teaching still seems to be less about critical thinking and more about absorbing facts handed down from on high. I imagine that most science *teachers* wish it were otherwise, but are bound by the curriculum.

Comment Re:Too few computers, too little bandwidth (Score 1) 294

I've no idea about the real costs of servers and their maintenance, but as for re-purposing old computers: last time I saw someone (our department secretary) have their computer replaced before it died - or was stolen - was 2001!

As you say, all that's really required is a dumb terminal that can run XP with IE6 (or even IE5!) ... but that just reduces the cost of replacements for dead machines. There's no incentive to upgrade from existing machines, so few older models to repurpose.

Comment Too few computers, too little bandwidth (Score 5, Insightful) 294

I can't speak for the US or private medicine but I've seen numerous electronic record systems piloted in the NHS.

My colleagues would love to have fast access to up-to-date clinical notes rather than play pass-the-parcel (or more often, hide & seek) with a patient's paper case-file(s), but wards tend to have one or two computers per ward and community services may have one computer between three to five staff. So at the end of a shift, when ward staff would be writing their notes, there'd be a queue for the computer. Similarly, before setting out on their visits at the start of the day and after returning from their visits at the end of the day, all community staff want access to the computer at the same time. Also, security dictates that as little information as possible is stored on the user's machine, so the intranet is swamped at these times and users face frustrating lags (I've been unable to access records in time for an appointment as the system was "oversubscribed").

To increase computer access to usable levels in my former service would have required a 3-400% increase in the number of computers provided to healthcare staff. I have no idea what the resource implications would have been for the service's intranet, but I imagine that a commensurate increase in server capacity (and in the IT department staffing, to take care of all of this) wouldn't be cheap. As a health service manager, having to decide between enough hospital beds or enough computers, which do you suppose is more likely to keep you in your job?

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