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Comment HITECH act NOT Affordable Care. (Score 4, Insightful) 497

The solicitation number linked to actually refers to the HITECH act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to quote health it.gov:

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act seeks to improve American health care delivery and patient care through an unprecedented investment in Health IT (HIT).

And it certainly sound like they've achieved an unprecedented investment at least.

Comment Whiteboards are critical, you see the mistakes. (Score 3, Insightful) 372

I have to say, I agree with them that the best way to teach is often writing everything by hand on a whiteboard. Why? It's the best way to create interaction. Talking over a PowerPoint presentation is only slightly better than just giving people a book to read. Working out everything out by hand in the lecture lets the students see how you work through the problem, and, critically, they see you make mistakes. Spotting these mistakes and either correcting them for you, or seeing how you approach going back and correcting them, is one of the most important things for the students to learn. In their later careers its often more important than the actual content of the lecture itself.

So, yes, it's helpful if a course has a good website, and some simple CMS may be useful too, but it is absolutely critical that many of the lectures are still done by hand.

Comment Can't compare the costs, different roles. (Score 1) 403

Comparing the cost of B-52's and B-2's isn't really fair, they were built with very different political requirements.

The B-52's were made with WW3 in mind, and the basic MAD mission would have been to send hundreds of bombers across the USSR in the hope that most of them would reach their target. During all-out nuclear war it wouldn't matter too much politically if 20-30% of the bombers didn't make it back home, as long as the others scored a hit.

The B-2, however, is designed with the assumption of a much higher survival rate, and no politically embarrassing lost/captured crews. This basically requires that you have a few very expensive aircraft, as opposed to lots of cheap ones.

In other words, the B-2 is much more expensive because it puts a much higher value on the lives of the crews.

Comment Punishing the wrong government. (Score 4, Insightful) 140

This does seem like a bizarre reaction from the hacktivists. The Polish government is in the news because they're one the longest holdouts in signing up to ACTA. Surely one of the governments that signed up quickly and quietly, with the minimum of public discussion, is more worthy of our scorn.


Bethesda Criticized Over Buggy Releases 397

SSDNINJA writes "This editorial discusses the habit of Bethesda Softworks to release broken and buggy games with plans to just fix the problems later. Following a trend of similar issues coming up in their games, the author begs gamers to stop supporting buggy games and to spread the idea that games should be finished and quality controlled before release – not weeks after."

Comment Re:How Do Europeans Do It? (Score 1) 450

Well, in the case of Germany, first you allow a fascist party to rule for a few years, and then allow a communist puppet state to rule part of the country for 40 odd years after that. With that experience its very easy to convince people that personal privacy is an important issue.

If anything, these new laws are aimed directly at the later group. Just having been a member of the Stasi (east German secret police) was not a crime after reunification, and many of them later became private "security consultants". There's been a few high profile cases of them using their old techniques to help companies track employees.


Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar 635

js_sebastian writes "According to an article on the New York Times, a historical cross-over has occurred because of the declining costs of solar vs. the increasing costs of nuclear energy: solar, hardly the cheapest of renewable technologies, is now cheaper than nuclear, at around 16 cents per kilowatt hour. Furthermore, the NY Times reports that financial markets will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants unless the risk of default (which is historically as high as 50 percent for the nuclear industry) is externalized to someone else through federal loan guarantees or ratepayer funding. The bottom line seems to be that nuclear is simply not competitive, and the push from the US government to subsidize it seems to be forcing the wrong choice on the market."

Comment Cool, but still some artifacts. (Score 1) 205

Well, the image is really cool, I'll give it that.

The "Quotes" from TFS are all from the author of TFA. If you want to see what the real description of the work, best look here http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/terapixel/default.aspx

There's still some artifacts left though, have a look near (seriously overexposed) Sirius for a ghost of the telescope pupil (the thing that looks like an alien solar sail) (Constellations -> Canis Major)


What US Health Care Needs 584

Medical doctor and writer Atul Gawande gave the commencement address recently at Stanford's School of Medicine. In it he lays out very precisely and in a nonpartisan way what is wrong with the institution of medical care in the US — why it is both so expensive and so ineffective at delivering quality care uniformly across the board. "Half a century ago, medicine was neither costly nor effective. Since then, however, science has... enumerated and identified... more than 13,600 diagnoses — 13,600 different ways our bodies can fail. And for each one we've discovered beneficial remedies... But those remedies now include more than six thousand drugs and four thousand medical and surgical procedures. Our job in medicine is to make sure that all of this capability is deployed, town by town, in the right way at the right time, without harm or waste of resources, for every person alive. And we're struggling. There is no industry in the world with 13,600 different service lines to deliver. ... And then there is the frightening federal debt we will face. By 2025, we will owe more money than our economy produces. One side says war spending is the problem, the other says it's the economic bailout plan. But take both away and you've made almost no difference. Our deficit problem — far and away — is the soaring and seemingly unstoppable cost of health care. ... Like politics, all medicine is local. Medicine requires the successful function of systems — of people and of technologies. Among our most profound difficulties is making them work together. If I want to give my patients the best care possible, not only must I do a good job, but a whole collection of diverse components must somehow mesh effectively. ... This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition. And it will take humility. But the fantastic thing is: This is what you get to do."

Comment Re:It's like dejavu all over again! (Score 1) 114

Congratulations, you've missed the point entirely. This letter was (in part) in response to Google's botched launch of Buzz which is exactly "some unknown social network". The privacy commissioners wanted to know exactly how a company with as much talent as Google could launch a product with such glaring privacy concerns and wait for public outcry before fixing them. It would appear that Google have completely failed to answer that question.

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