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Comment With Win10, can't turn off the microphone.... (Score 3, Insightful) 528

I have a couple of ThinkPads that I use, one of which (T510) I upgraded to Windows 10 as my less-used guinea pig system. Very obvious post-install: the hardware Mute button (with its LED indicator) no longer worked under Windows 10.

That's not creepy at all, now is it? At least I can sticker over the cameras except if I'm doing a videoconference.

Comment Worth doing a "reservation" install/activation (Score 1) 373

I'm still using Windows 7 on my daily driver, but when I had a handy spare SSD to install in another system, I first yanked my current drive, installed Windows 10 on that SSD, activated it, then put my original drive back. That should "reserve" my activation for a future upgrade if I so desire, while leaving my current setup completely untouched.

This is also something you can do if you haven't upgraded to an SSD yet - get one ASAP, pull your drive out, install Windows 10 using a USB flash drive created with the Media Creation Tool, activate it with your current product key. THEN you image your current hard drive across to the new SSD, stomping the Windows 10 install.

Comment "Your Honor, would you accept...." (Score 2) 85

It's a nice simple argument to make to a judge as well:

"Your Honor, if you approved a subpoena for records and the response was 'We searched and found nothing responsive,' would you accept that response if you knew that the search consisted of nothing but looking at a list of filenames? After all, that's a search - a very poor one, but a search nonetheless."

Comment Fine, but don't blame test hardware availability (Score 1) 378

I'm not heartbroken by the end of 32-bit distros in a year or two, though I do still run a few 32-bit bootable Linux images on old systems being used as remote desktop terminals.

That said, at least in the Intel-compatible world just about any x64 hardware out there will also run i386 32-bit just fine. You probably don't even have to take out the extra non-usable RAM though I confess I've never tried. Hardware to test a 32-bit build should be no harder to come by than hardware to test an x64 build.

Comment Re:They aren't already? (Score 3, Interesting) 73

Another scenario which is probably much more likely is PHI is kept on a secured server. Client computer becomes infected. PHI was never compromised. Does that still trigger a notification?

Precisely this. I'll use 3 examples from current clients.

  • First client uses a vendor-hosted EMR system that they access via RDP connection to the vendor servers. There's literally almost nothing on their local network anymore except their timeclock software and web browsers. Even document scans go directly from the scanner to the remote using TSScan or the like. If someone infects a machine on their local network, does it trigger a breach notification?
  • Second client (actually several) uses a mixture of local desktops and terminal services, but everything patient-related is done within the EMR client software, which cleans up after itself when closed. The only patient data that might be on desktops is anything cached locally by the EMR package during that session. The items most likely to be troublesome would be EOB PDFs received from insurance companies, which are accessible from billing user logins. Does a desktop ransomware infection trigger a breach notification?
  • Third client migrated to a fully-hosted browser-based EMR package and again saves very little locally - everything's "in the cloud" for them except incidental office documents. Does a local PC infection trigger a breach?

We've been fairly fortunate in what customers ended up infected with and have actually arranged things so there's very little impact if customer end-users end up infecting a local desktop via streaming a radio station or the like, but if customers have to report breaches for infections even on systems that don't have patient data stored or accessible that's going to turn into a real headache.

Comment Re:Where do I sign up? (Score 1) 88

The cost for this is basically an administrative time charge, and is regulated by the states with a base cost, a cost per page, and I believe generally a maximum charge. You can find more information on the per-state charges here:

This is an area that's kind of in flux - as practices have moved to EMRs, many of them have only scanned in key items from records - the rest is still in a manila folder either on a shelf in the office or if you haven't been seen in a while in a box at an offsite storage facility. What they're charging for when you request a full copy is to retrieve those records (whereever they may be), copy or scan them, and send that copy along to you. Depending on the chart, etc. that might well be an hour or two of staff time (occasionally more) so offices are allowed to charge but are regulated by state laws/regulations as to how much they charge.

For practices that are fully electronic it may be simpler, but even then some EMRs don't provide a good way to dump the entire chart - you have to print/PDF all of the notes/records, then separately go in and print any attached or scanned documents one at a time.

Finally, if you're moving to a new practice ask the staff at the new practice to request your chart from the old one - I could be wrong, but I don't practices charge each other the same way they charge patients both as a reciprocal thing and because frankly they're not set up for charging other practices.

Comment Time2+Core = mobile Internet with no phone (Score 1) 77

This is the interesting thing that kind of jumped out at me, perhaps because I've been known to tether a tablet to a phone via Bluetooth for lower power consumption.

This is starting to move towards the Personal Area Network, where you have one device with Internet access (phone or Core) sharing it via Bluetooth with other devices you're wearing (watch, Google Glass, etc.).

Comment Datto is a reputable online backup vendor for biz (Score 2) 51

Datto's been around for a while and has some very nice products for onsite and online backup for businesses. They're not inexpensive, but one of the big things they offer is continuity - if you're using one of their appliances for online backup and a server goes down, you can spin up the most recent backup of that server as a VM on their hardware, with all connections tunneled back through the backup device on your network.

Basically, ServerA has a hardware failure. Whoever's handling backups fires up the online backup image (or in-office depending on the size of appliance), the local backup appliance grabs the IP of the down server and tunnels all traffic to/from that local IP out to the remote VM. Not an ideal way to run, but functional for keeping at least core things going.

Comment Windows Phone functionality (Score 1) 250

I have one and use it on a daily basis, but primarily as a SIMless podcast player using PocketCasts (which I still hope to see one last update for....).

The lack of apps is the big thing, and a couple of the ones you mention may become more problematic in the near future

  • the HERE products are going away (see: Here Maps drops support for Windows Phone and Windows 10 and the in-app message that pops up when you start the app)
  • possibly the Waze app (I haven't heard anything, but it's owned by Google and they're unlikely to be spending any developer time on it)
  • Is there such a thing as a good text or code editor on WP? I haven't found one.
  • Edge edges on being usable, and UC Browser and Surfy make attempts, but overall the browser situation on WP is pathetic. Before MS killed Project Astoria I had hopes that at least Dolphin would consider porting to Windows, but now why bother? And with that, on the Windows Phone side I resign myself to options that feel comparable to the built-in browser back in the Froyo days or even earlier.

There are other more niche apps I'd like to have which either aren't available or can't be available due to the security model - things like SMS, call log and decent location tracking.

As for other aspects, for a Microsoft phone running Outlook it has a terrible time with calendar sync - I'll add a calendar entry on an Android tablet, it'll sync to my company Exchange server, show up on my Android phone, then show up on the Windows phone hours later after the event and only when I actually open the calendar app to see why I didn't have a notification on there. While the keyboard is better than it appears at first, it still has some gaping holes (such as not showing the "secondary" characters available by swiping on the keys).

I don't feel bad about having purchased the phone and might do it again under the same circumstances - it was $80 and I got a free 1-year subscription to Office365 with it, and my previous phone was showing signs of dying - but with the current status of Windows Phone and the application environment I can't imagine the scenario in which I'd actually buy one to use as a daily driver.

Comment Skyscraper vertical farms in the future? (Score 2) 95

I wouldn't be surprised to see many variations of vertical hydroponic farms on south-facing windows of buildings in the future, whether on a per-unit basis or in some cases in a vertical atrium-style space. On a small scale leafy greens, carrots and related crops would be the only ones that make sense due to pollination concerns, but I could also see larger setups being feasible with south-facing atriums full of hydroponic crops with some level of access for bees.

In some ways this complements the trend of rooftop gardens/lawns in urban areas.

Comment What are/were the Chumby and Dash? (Score 1) 39

Regarding the Dash, they are/were devices from Sony running a licensed and tweaked version of the Chumby software, but communicating only with Sony servers.

Regarding the current status of Chumby, the company folded several years ago, though the servers were kept up for somewhat longer by investors in hopes of finding a market. Once that fell through, one of the Chumby employees purchased the bulk of what was left for what I suspect was a nominal amount, put up a server to provide basic clock capabilities while he got things straightened out, then left that basic service up and running and now has subscriptions available for people who want (many of) the previous capabilities of the devices. If you have an old Chumby you should be able to use it as a clock.

Regarding the Chumby itself, it was an Internet-connected tiny-board computer running something Linux based with a touchscreen running applets built in a stripped-down version of Flash. Without an Internet connection, they're not quite bricks but close (there is an offline/serverless setup you can do to run them from a USB stick). The appealing thing about them isn't and wasn't the hardware (basic ARM stuff from before the iPhone existed). The appeal of the Chumby even now is that (as others have noted) it's a clock with some computer features. The Chumby has streaming audio from multiple sources (predefined or manually-entered URLs), an FM tuner, hardware volume knob, snooze button, USB port for a stick with MP3s, etc. along with WiFi and the ability to connect to it via SSH.

These days you can get better software capabilities with a stand and an old Android phone plus a few apps, but even then you're probably going to spend quite a bit more time fiddling with that setup than you will by just plugging in a Chumby, entering a WiFi key, and maybe setting a schedule for switching to/from night mode. And you still won't have a snooze button.

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