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Comment Re:Sue for what exactly? (Score 1) 253

Without looking at all the details, it could actually be the insurance company suing on their behalf (subrogation). When you file a property insurance claim where a third party may be liable - the most common case is a car accident where you file a collision claim under your own insurance instead of a liability claim under the other guy's - the insurance company acquires your underlying right to seek reparations, either through an insurance claim or a lawsuit. If this is successful, you often get your deductible back. (There is no subrogation for life insurance, in case you were wondering - presumably because the insurance companies would tie up the courts with wrongful death suits that nobody would want to settle)

Comment Coal can be replaced easier than gas engines (Score 4, Insightful) 150

Coal power might not be much cleaner than internal combustion engines in the long run (though possibly more efficient due to economies of scale), but it's easier N faster to replace a power plant as better generation technologies become available or economically feasible than to replace everyone's car. Once the cars are electric, they automatically benefit from any changes in how the electricity is made without any action or investment by the end user.

Comment Not so - plus a suggestion (Score 2) 188

You're making several inaccurate presumptions. First, non-academic library users do come from all generations. Second, electronic systems are not more complicated than card catalogs from the user perspective -- most libraries find that general use of the library goes up when an electronic catalog is established, due to their making it easier to find materials. As for the topic at hand, if the group is familiar with library automation, I presume that some of them may also be familiar with cataloging enough to be able to make good use of something like Evergreen -- it scales down to small libraries quite well. Delicious Library sounds like a good idea but it can't handle MARC records like you can download from the Library of Congress for many books (or using the Z39.50 protocol, from many other institutions including research libraries), and I've found it to be rather weak on authority control. Evergreen and similar will allow for proper copy cataloguing from LC or other major libraries instead of just Amazon, which Delicious seems to use.

Comment One more reason to ride public transportation (Score 1) 317

On the bus, train, or streetcar, or an airplane if you're going between cities, you can use any device you want except a music player without headphones (which is against the rules on probably most systems). I take the Chicago Transit Authority's buses and trains all the time, plus Metra trains on occasion, and loads of people are always using newspapers, books, Kindles, smartphones, iPods, iPads, you name it. They had to crack down on the drivers using phones a while back, but for everyone else it's not a problem.

Comment Let's see... (Score 1) 480

::scurries across the apartment to take a look::

One on my wife's hearing aid dryer, one LCD clock (and another with what I believe to be an incandescent bulb backlighting the dial), one to help me find my flashlight in the dark, and whatever shines through our windows overlooking the Chicago Loop.


Game CEO Sees "Gamification" of Work and Military 115

An anonymous reader writes "The CEO of Unity discusses 'gamification' — applying game design and technology to real-world applications beyond 'gamespace.' The military is using game design theory for some training programs — not just 'the 3-D, realistic, virtual world experiences, but also the built-in use of frustration and reward.' (And similar training packages were adopted by Unilever, the giant corporation which owns Ben & Jerry's ice cream.) Medical professionals have licensed a 'Google Earth for the human body,' and game design is also being used to build tax software. ('It has to be the most boring field, but I mean that's the point. You can make it slightly challenging and give people little reasons to play these tax tools — beyond, you know, not going to prison!') While some companies conduct team-building exercises using Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, others use game technology to standardize their in-house employee training programs. The interviewer adds, 'I know I'd feel better about job training if it felt more like killing zombies.'"

Comment Folks, what they're describing... (Score 2, Interesting) 826 a Passport Card -- basically a secure national ID issued by the Department of State ($45 new, $35 renew for non-passport holders, $20 for passport holders, lasts 10 years). Over a million Americans, including myself, carry one -- that's more than the population of the Omaha metro area. It's for car, train, bus, and boat travel within North America, but can also be used as a single identification for getting a job (along with, if I recall, the standard ICAO-compliant passport and the green card), and is recognized by the TSA (for domestic air travel), liquor store, and just about anyone else who needs ID. The RFID chip just has a database pointer, which differs from the card number if memory serves, but it comes with a tin foil hat just in case.

What this idea amounts to is transferring or cloning the passport card program into Social Security or Homeland Security.

Comment Re:Voc Rehab (Score 1) 727

She has great luck with it ... especially since her ear with the hearing aid often isn't as good with high frequencies as the implant is. She had it done at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha. Effectively recovers that ear, after adapting to it, from profound to moderate hearing loss, and she can hear a lot better with it. No ill effects from the unilateral CI that I can tell...since the other ear is stronger, and can get by alright with the hearing aid, no sense implanting it.

Comment Re:Voc Rehab (Score 1) 727

My fiancée got hers when she was 17 or so, in the worse of her two ears (profound in that ear, severe in the other, if memory serves). Gave her a marked improvement in both hearing and speaking. As with any surgery it carries some risks, but these are generally held to be remote by the most recent studies. For most people, the fact that getting to and from the clinic usually involves riding in a car is probably the biggest associated risk.

Comment Voc Rehab (Score 5, Informative) 727

I'd suggest that you contact your state's vocational rehabilitation office, which specializes in equipping people with assistive technology so they can be productive members of society (i.e., get and keep a decent job). My fiancée is deaf, and she got a nice Phonak digital aid, a Naida V if memory serves, from the State of Nebraska last year (she uses a cochlear implant in the other ear and only needed one, but two can be arranged as well).

Comment At that price, why not a plane? (Score 1) 303

About $80K? Give me a break. I don't know how the learning curve differs, but you can get a small airplane for quite a bit less than that...plenty of general aviation airports out there, I know that much. It's an interesting idea and something might yet come of it, but when you can buy a used plane for so much less, I don't think it's anywhere near commercially viable yet.

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