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Comment Re:This is where western medicine has failed... (Score 1) 646

In an ideal world, I agree with you. But if a family of a terminal patient tells me to do anything I can to "save him" and I refuse, after he dies, you can bet on them suing my ass off. Until this issue gets settled, I will have to do my best to convince the patient's family about him having no chance, but in the end, do as they wish... sometimes to the patients detriment. Sad, but true.


Submission + - Copyright Claim Setbacks Cognitive Impairment Dete (

Kilrah_il writes: A recent New England Journal of Medicine editorial talks about the mini-mental state examination — a standardized screening test for cognitive impairment. After years of being widely used, the original authors claim to own copyright on the test and "a licensed version of the MMSE can now be purchased [...] for $1.23 per test. The MMSE form is gradually disappearing from textbooks, Web sites, and clinical tool kits." The article goes on to describe the working of copyright law and various alternative licenses, including GNU Free Documentation License and ends with the following suggestion: "We suggest that authors of widely used clinical tools provide explicit permissive licensing, ideally with a form of copyleft. Any new tool developed with public funds should be required to use a copyleft or similar license to guarantee the freedom to distribute and improve it, similar to the requirement for open-access publication of research funded by the National Institutes of Health."

Comment Re:This is where western medicine has failed... (Score 5, Insightful) 646

As a physician, I can tell you that many times I have faced patients that should have been given the chance to die peacefully, but the family have kept pressing me to "do something". Usually, I try to make them understand that at times like this it is best to just let Grandma die in peace and not prolong her suffering. Mostly I fail. And when after all the explaining the family keeps telling me to do something, I cannot disregard them (I do plan on keeping my license, you know?).
I don't think it's so much that western medicine failed, as it is that layman's expectations of medicine are unrealistic.

Comment Re:If you have nothing to hide (Score 2) 222

Actually, I partially agree with your sentiment. I worry more about privacy on the personal level and not on the corporate, world-spanning level. To clarify:
I don't give a rat's ass what Visa knows about me, and what Google collects about my searches and what info they get from it. Corporations want to spend millions of $$$ to harvest all my online activities and send me ads in my mail or on a site I visit? Let them have their fun. I don't give a damn. May they grow old and die chocking on their money, for all I care.
For me privacy is that only people I know can link my name to what I do (job, hobbies, friends, purchases, etc.). On this site, if you go through all my posts you can only find out which country I live in, my job and 1-2 of my hobbies, that's all. That's privacy. If some company aggregates all my actions on-line (or credit card purchases) in one big file, I don't mind; it's not like it's on some big bulletin board for my grandma to find.

Oh, and BTW, for years now I get ads and coupons in my monthly CC statement, usually targeted to stuff I buy, how is it different from what the summary mentions?

Comment Re:Motivation for change (Score 1) 13

When I was a teenager I had about 5-6 OSs installed on my computer simultaneously (Windows, Linux, OS/2, etc.). Call it a hobby. Do I get geek creds for that? Unfortunately, those days are over. Nowadays I'm too busy to fool around too much with the computer. I prefer to have it as a tool, not a hobby (mostly a tool, you can't take the fun out of it completely).
So, yes, I am into mostly practical reasons, but I am not afraid to get my hands a bit dirty. As mcgrew said above, Linux machines are more secure. If on top of that, they don't slow down over time, like Windows machines do, it just might be worth my effort to try Linux.

Comment Re:Depends (Score 1) 13

One last question: One of the things that annoy me in Windows is that over time the OS gets progressively slower. Usually every year I do a complete clean install of the OS. Does Linux have the same problem or does it still run the same after a year compared to day 1? If this is a non-issue in Linux, it will really win me over.

Comment Re:Depends (Score 1) 13

Thanks for the thorough reply.
I just want to mention that I know a bit Linux, since in my teens (mid-90's) I experimented in installing different OSs on my computer, including Linux. But now, I guess my experimenting days are over and I want to see if I have any good reason to work at learning a new system (even though today it takes less to learn how to work with Linux). I think that for me the strongest point is the security one. It sure as hell will make my life easier, not having to worry (much) about trojans, virus and stuff.

The reason I am against dual-boot is because I just want my computer to have what I need. Since all my apps (pretty standard, nothing exclusive) can run on either OS, I don't see a reason to start each day with "what OS shall I work with today?".


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Linux or Windows for a new computer 13

Kilrah_il writes: I just bought a new computer and I have a small dilemma: Do I install Windows or Linux? On the one hand, I have all my programs for Winows so I already know them and can set up my computer just the way I like it pretty quickly. On the other hand, Linux, and especially Ubuntu, are getting better in terms of usability and it could be nice to check it out. I don't want to dual boot since I want in the end to have a computer that has all I need on 1 OS. Are there any strong arguments in favor of one OS over the other?
Keep in mind that a) I have licenses for all my applications so the cost is not an issue (for now), and b) I prefer practical reasons. "OSS is good and MS is bad" is not a factor for me. Thanks!

Comment Re:That's too bad... (Score 1) 258

"Abuse copyright" - You mean, tried to protect their original software? It's not like the RIAA trying to milk what they can from artists' work. It's a company making money off its own product. Doesn't sound like abuse; more like the original purpose of copyright (you know, promoting innovation and stuff?)
"Monopoly" - With less than 10% of OS market-share, it's hard to call it a monopoly. Maybe monopoly in Mac OS worlds, but it's their own development, and they can choose not to give other companies licenses to sell it. It's a perfectly reasonable business decision.
"DRM" - That is correct, they used DRM, but at least in order to protect their proprietary software, so it's not that evil, IMHO.
"Abused DMCA" - Actually, they used the DMCA exactly as it is written. You may not agree with this law (I don't), but the blame is not on Apple, but on the lawmakers. Talk to them.

So we are left with (maybe) 1 evil, more like 1/2. Better luck next time.

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