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Comment Re:HOW many countries? (Score 1) 477

The summary is a *lie*.

MPEG-LA's patent list at shows patents in the US, Canada, Germany, Russia, South Korea, France, United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, China, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Turkey and Lichtenstein - and that's in the first 4 pages of a 56-page document, with most of the patents quite live.

Sure, patent law isn't enforced as vigorously in some of those countries as it is in the US, but to say that just South Korea and the USA are problem states is misleading and dangerous, particularly with ACTA coming down the pipeline.

Comment Re:30 IT people in a 500 employee company?! (Score 3, Insightful) 837

Re-image a dev box in use and you're toast. Programmers' machines get messy and they get messy fast when their job is to test and integrate new technologies and not just act as title inflated code monkeys. And to a certain extent, that mess has to stay there, though it also creates myriad fun problems. Throw in multiple platforms to the mix and food/beverage hardware failures and your dream of remote management is shot to hell.

If they're all office workers with remote storage, nuke the machines away, by all means. But a programmer's dev box is un-nukeable, except in the case of serious damage, as such action represents significant loss of knowledge, time and infrastructure development.

Comment Re:No, no. (Score 1) 799

Precisely my thoughts. Data structures and pointer management are important concepts to understand, but they should not be "end goals" so much as means to an end - a career in electrical engineering or programming - which is something the kid is not ready to decide upon.

Comment Re:doesnt matter to me (Score 1) 857

I HAVE done a humanities exam recently. And I printed in those lovely blue books so as to ensure that every word was completely legible to the grader. Cursive is not inherently easier to read - the least bit of sloppiness can render it illegible, in fact - and printing for two straight hours three times every two months is not so tiring as to cause massive physical trauma.

You absolutely need to learn how to print neatly and how to type, but these two skills are quite sufficient for every act of communication in an era where email is ubiquitous and IS the semi-formal communication medium. Further, printing is backwards compatible, so there is no risk of loss of communication with those whose skills include printing and cursive, but not typing.

Comment Re:Holy shit? (Score 1) 950

That's just a waste of money. The doctor isn't going to be able to get the kids to exercise. You think a 15-year-old is going to be worried about long-term cardiovascular risk factors? For the teacher, this is an objective measure of physical activity, perfect in an era of helicopter parenting.

To the original question, heart rate information is NOT medical information unless it done under very strict conditions. A relatively low heart rate could be indicative of a very fit person OR a person who isn't exercising intensely. It thus has no value to anyone who can't access the curriculum.

Comment Re:Electronic Health Records is very hard (Score 1) 294

Whoa - I wasn't talking about the physicians, who barely record notes into the paper records anyway.

I'm referring to the secretaries who do the dictation (where the actual medical records are kept until they are recorded) and the Patient Records departments. These are secretaries, and the vast majority of them have no more interest in technology than the average physician has in say astrophysics.

On the topic of workflow in the clinical setting, physicians don't carry the charts with them from room to room. Nurses generally keep them updated, either in the patient room, or on the threshold of the patient's bay. Creating an iPod like docking station and something akin to a netbook or Kindle should provide ready synchronization and charging in one convenient package.

Note that the technology is here, but it hasn't been packaged properly for these environments.

Comment Re:Electronic Health Records is very hard (Score 1) 294

Scary neutrinos don't scare physicians and secretaries away. Computers themselves do.

Excel, Word and Internet Explorer are the only programs a lot of people in the health care industry are actually comfortable using (sorry, the mainframe apps hospitals still rely on are scary!), but they still tend to use them poorly.

There's frequently zero budget for IT training for non-IT staff. Many people still do things manually, even while using computers to do them. I can't tell you how many times I've seen hospital staff sort spreadsheets by hand in Excel using Copy and Paste - and from the menus no less.

There's a huge education curve and the egos of physicians add another serious impediment. And at medical schools that do research, PhD's have entirely too much say in the design of the tools they will use - and inevitably create a product that they themselves will not use.

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