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The Almighty Buck

Harvard Says Computers Don't Save Hospitals Money 398

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."

Submission + - Harvard: Computers Don't Save Hospitals Money (computerworld.com)

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. The study also showed most of the IT systems were aimed 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.

Submission + - Google Patent Reveals New Data Center Innovations (datacenterknowledge.com)

miller60 writes: Google is seeking to patent a system that provides precision cooling inside racks of servers, automatically adjusting to temperature changes while reducing the energy required to run chillers. The cooling design uses an adjustable piping system featuring "air wands" that provide small amounts of cold air to components within a server tray. The cooling design, which could help Google reduce the power bill for its servers, reinforces Google’s focus on data center innovation as a competitive advantage. Check out the patent application and a diagram of the system.
Education

Submission + - Teaching Girls to Tinker (edweek.org)

azadrozny writes: Recently girls have been gaining ground and are now surpassing boys in almost all areas of academic achievement. Given this, why are girls still not choosing to pursue degrees in engineering and computer science? One possible explanation is that girls are not being taught to tinker. The author writes, "Boys see computers as toys interesting in their own right, while girls see them as tools for accomplishing tasks. By approaching computers and other mechanical devices as toys, boys are able to learn how they function from the inside out. ... When tinkering with machines, they develop their mechanical reasoning, an arena of cognitive skill that boasts one of the largest of all gender gaps." Teaching girls to how tinker at a young age will provide them the critical skills necessary to enter these fields.

Comment Weird Setup (Score 1) 628

I have two computers that sort of share the same two monitors:

Main computer has a dual monitor setup, and when I need to use the other computer, I use VNC viewer to view its desktop on one of the main computer's monitors.

I guess it's like a really poor man's KVM switch...

Comment Re:just install linux the next time you reformat (Score 1) 932

I've come to the point where I simply recommend to family that they buy an Apple, on the security grounds alone. I've pointed a couple of family members to Macbooks, and I get zero calls for help from them after a breaking in period.

Same here. My now 83 year-old father got his first Mac back in the Nineties. I'd get a phone call maybe once a month at first, then e-mails (after he became comfortable with that) every few months. Now that he's had his Mac for a few years, he's started e-mailing me with tips he's discovered on his own. And this is a guy who'd never used anything more complicated than a calculator before buying a Mac.

Comment Re:Yeah! (Score 2, Insightful) 383

No it doesn't. It encourages the public opinion.

It shapes the public opinion. "I don't know what I'm talking about, so I'm going to go with whatever public opinion says and get that word 'Informative' next to my name!" "Oh, look, BSOD jokes get modded up!" "Chair throwing!" "I've never used an iPhone but it sucks!" "I'm glad I don't own a TV anymore!" "Save Farscape!"

No, I like slashdot because the modders here generally see through the bullshit people think they are passing as genuine opinion.

Oh, please. The modders are people who have had good karma for a while. They're not trained staff. They mod up or down based on their opinion. It's like being back in grade school at recess.

Comment Re:MS SteadyState (Score 1) 932

Not really.

SteadyState is a cage, designed to prevent the users from doing anything. It's like a finer-grained Faronics DeepFreeze, to protect users from themselves. It's a cage.

Unless your definition of "security and stability" is "prevent users from doing actions on a continuum from anything<-->everything". In which case, that's called "Group Policy." This is a simpler, free tool designed for home users and small computing environments.

Comment Re:Simple economics: (Score 2, Interesting) 932

Well I wouldn't want to charge my parents anything, even if I do get calls once a month about computer problems and have to walk them through every single step. Main reason being, what if my parents decided to send a bill my way for room and board and financial help they've given me, it could take me years to pay that off! It's a pretty sweet deal in my opinion.

What you can do is to write a bill, charging a reasonable rate like $60 per started hour including your journey time (if it is not at your home), and at the end give them a 100% rebate. Make sure that they see the real cost. Then take them to the nearest Apple Store. Show the bill to the salesperson and ask "what can we get for three times this amount". Obviously make sure that your bill is high enough to get them a nice suitable Mac.

Comment Re:Funny First Hand Account (Score 1) 738

I spend £25/month on subscriptions to online games every month.
I buy games on top of that 8-9 times a year too.
In the last month I've bought 4 games.

So clearly I can afford it.

However I still have the desire to download games. This is despite lacking the time to play them.

The game companies get a significant proportion of my income. The ones that get it are the ones that produce games I'm willing to pay for. If I play a game I don't own and really like it and want to play it some more, I'll buy it. I'll buy its sequel. I'll tell my friends to buy it. Hell, I'll buy it for my friends at times. I've lost count of the number of games I wouldn't have bought had I not had the chance to play them first.

If a company produces a game that I'm not willing to pay for then they don't get my money. Whether I download the game or not, they wont get my money.

Except that these days I'm downloading games from Metaboli, so sadly companies do get paid for their shite. I'm basically hoping Metaboli pays them only in proportion to how much people actually play the games..

Information wants to be free, and so do computer games. Computer game companies want to be paid. It's an uneasy balance but the answer is not to act like game piracy is inherently a bad thing.

Comment GNU Screen beats all (Score 1) 628

I don't like multiple monitors. I can concentrate on only one at a time anyway. (I heard there's a species called 'females' that can do several things at one time, though. Perhaps they can use multiple monitors.)

I do use this screen a lot, however.

Not to mention <C-x> <C-3> mode on Emacs.

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