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Comment Re:IT and Medicine are a Bad Fit (Score 1) 294


This is at the heart of the whole issue. Medical Data is hard and that leads to crappy implementations, unintuitive UI, less desire for docs to use it yada yada...

Although I disagree that one needs to represent everything "symbolically" there are several EMRs with free-text note fields and post-process the notes with NLP for meaningful secondary uses. Yes NLP is not perfect but things are getting much smarter and better.

PS: Those purist self-righteous PhD Description Logicians. Leave us Alone!!! :)

Comment Re:They built a tuple store. (Score 1) 178

Yes you are right but Google/Amazon are read-heavy so a big hash table works perfect since there is less disk access - however FaceBook is both READ and WRITE heavy so its more challenging. From their last SIGMOD Cassandra paper, I gather they use some sort of in-memory write which is then synced with their bigtable. Very cool stuff!

Comment Healthcare Life sciences? (Score 3, Interesting) 76

I worked at a big tech company doing SemWeb, where my experience was exactly the same. Everyone was scratching their head.

Now I've moved into Healthcare IT environment, where SemWeb makes perfect sense. Its like the best tool for the job.

The essential difference is what end of the stick you are picking up. The tech folks who are trying to shoe-horn RDF/OWL onto anything n everything (e.g. search) are failing. On the other hand, Healthcare/Life science folks who have to work with heavy knowledge intensive stuff, its working like a charm.

The SemWeb story is quite similar to Amazon Kindle.. wherein the tech folks are hating it whereas real users are all over it.. So it might seem like a failure to all you tech bozos.. but the domain experts are lovin' it.

The Almighty Buck

Report Indicates Widespread H-1B Visa Fraud 397

Vrst1013 notes a Business Week account of a government report examining fraud in the H-1B program. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services just released a report to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee examining issues with fraud and technical violations within this program. Based on a sample size of 246 H-1B petitions, 13.4 percent showed fraud and 7.3 percent showed technical violations, for an overall violation rate of 20.7 percent. There was slso evidence of payment below the prevailing wage, offers of non-existent jobs, and fraudulent documentation. "'The report makes it clear that the H-1B program is rife with abuse and misuse,' says Ron Hira, [a professor] at the Rochester Institute of Technology ... However, both Presidential candidates, Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, have said they support expanding the program."

Submission + - Google is Kidsourcing Logo Development (

copdk4 writes: "
Welcome to Doodle 4 Google, a competition where we invite K-12 students to play around with our homepage logo and see what they come up with.
Is Google trying to kidsource their logo development? Evil corporate overlords now tapping into your kids creativity. thinkofthechildren?"


What If Yoda Ran IBM? 205

Esther Schindler writes to mention that one IT leader who came from big business found himself in quite another world when he transitioned into a smaller business, specifically with respect to the amount of attention from their vendors. He presents an amusing approach with a familiar twist. "Not only are the IBMs of the world leaving money on the table, they're also risking future sales. The IT leaders at small organizations will in many cases be employed by larger organizations someday. Why alienate them? Vendors could engage IT leaders in small organizations now and build brand loyalty. How could they make such a business model work? Let's imagine (with apologies to George Lucas) what Yoda might do if he were running a large consultancy."
The Media

Submission + - Increasing Truthiness of the US Govt. ( 1

a-highly-skilled-legal-immigrant writes: Truthiness, the act of making decisions "from the gut" without regard to logic, evidence or fact, has been one of the hallmark of current Bush administration.

A recent example of how screwed up the US government machinery is, can be gauged by the fact that just 13 days after they announced the current status of processing I-485, they come out with a bulletin that says that all applications are stopped and none will be accepted.
Further, ImmigrationVoice reports

One estimate puts the expenses by applicants over the last two weeks at over $6,000 million in filing fees, medical examination expenses, incidental expenses such as travel, photocopying, phone calls, courier, etc., not including the 2-3 days of preparation time expended by each family as well as lost productivity experienced by applicants' businesses due to absence from work.


A Foolproof Way To End Bank Account Phishing? 436

tcd004 writes "F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen proposes an elegant solution to the problem of bank account phishing in the latest Foreign Policy magazine. Hypponen thinks banks should have exclusive use of a new top-level domain: .bank. 'Registering new domains under such a top-level domain could then be restricted to bona fide financial organizations. And the price for the domain wouldn't be just a few dollars: it could be something like $50,000 — making it prohibitively expensive to most copycats. Banks would love this. They would move their existing online banks under a more secure domain in no time."

Submission + - English Premier League sues YouTube

copdk4 writes: "
England's top soccer league and an indie music publisher sued YouTube on Friday, saying the online video pioneer was engaging in widespread copyright infringement to bring traffic to the site.
The Premier League, generally considered the world's best soccer league, claims an estimated 2.59 billion viewers in 204 countries. Bourne calls itself one of the leading independent publishers of music in the United States.
An interesting comment made by Google spokesman,

"These suits simply misunderstand the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which balances the rights of copyright holders against the need to protect Internet communications and content,"
Has Youtube become a goldmine for lawyers?"

Tim Bray Says RELAX 180

twofish writes to tell us that Sun's Tim Bray (co-editor of XML and the XML namespace specifications) has posted a blog entry suggesting RELAX NG be used instead of the W3C XML Schema. From the blog: "W3C XML Schemas (XSD) suck. They are hard to read, hard to write, hard to understand, have interoperability problems, and are unable to describe lots of things you want to do all the time in XML. Schemas based on Relax NG, also known as ISO Standard 19757, are easy to write, easy to read, are backed by a rigorous formalism for interoperability, and can describe immensely more different XML constructs."

Has Verizon Forfeited Common Carrier Status? 721

An anonymous reader writes, "Freedom of speech, the future of the Net, you name it. In October, a U.S. vigilante group asked Verizon to cut off Net access to Epifora, a Canadian ISP that hosts a number of (entirely legal) web sites offering support to minor-attracted adults. Shortly thereafter, Verizon gave 30 days notice to Epifora, ending a 5 year relationship. Telecos have traditionally refrained from censoring legal content, arguing that as 'common carriers' it is outside of their scope to make such decisions. Furthermore, they have refrained because if they did so in some cases, they might be legally liable for other cases where they did not exercise censorship. The questions are: has Verizon forfeited their claim to common-carrier status by selectively censoring legal speech that they do not like? And can the net effectively route around censorship if the trunk carriers are allowed to pick and choose whom they allow to connect?"

Google Denies Data In Brazil Orkut Case 183

mikesd81 writes, "The AP reports that Google filed a motion in response to a Brazilian judge's deadline to turn over information on users of the company's social networking service Orkut. An earlier AP story gives the background: 'On Aug. 22, Federal Judge Jose Marcos Lunardelli gave Google's Brazilian affiliate until Sept. 28 to release information needed to identify individuals accused of using Orkut to spread child pornography and engage in hate speech against blacks, Jews and homosexuals. Google claims that its Brazilian affiliate cannot provide the information because all the data about Orkut users is stored outside Brazil at the company's U.S.-based headquarters. Google maintains that it is open to requests for information from foreign governments as long as the requests comply with U.S. laws and that they are issued within the country where the information is stored.'" Eight million Brazilians, about a quarter of the country's Internet-using population, are members of Orkut.

Professor Sells Lectures Online 457

KnightMB writes "Students at NCSU have the option of purchasing the lectures of a professor online. The Professor did this as a way to help those that missed class, didn't take good notes, or from another country and have trouble understanding an English speaking Professor. The reactions on campus were mixed among the students as some saw it as a great way to keep up with things should real life interfere and others see it as something to pay for on top of the tuition cost at the university. Each one cost $2.50 for the entire lecture. Some students feel it should be free or cost less. The professor brings up a point that doing this takes extra effort and it's only fair that they should have to pay for that extra time and effort needed to put the lectures online for sale such as editing, recording equipment, etc. No one is forced to purchase the lectures, they are only an additional option that students will have. Quote Dr. Schrag "Your tuition buys you access to the lectures in the classroom. If you want to hear one again, you can buy it. I guess you could see the service as a safety net designed to help the students get the content when life gets in the way of their getting to class."

Bearshare Shut Down by RIAA 269

Pichu0102 writes "According to WebProNews, Bearshare has been shut down by the RIAA." From the article: " Online file-sharing service BearShare, along with operators Free Peers Inc., is packing it up due to a $30 million settlement with the recording industry. The conditions of the settlement were agreed to by the P2P company to avoid further copyright infringement litigation."

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My idea of roughing it turning the air conditioner too low.