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Comment Re:Not even intra-hospital standardization (Score 1) 228

At the hospital I use (fairly large regional hospital), they don't even have electronic standardization between different departments. They keep asking the same questions over, and over, and over... and often I'm not in the system when they send me to another department so I have to fill out another personal health history. I don't believe there is ANY incentive to get this properly implemented between practices (General Practitioner -> Specialist, etc.) because there are too many proprietary systems out there that don't share data.

Comment Neat idea (Score 1) 174

This is a neat idea but maybe overkill. It amazes me how much easier it is to drive when the painted lines and reflectors are maintained on a road (especially on a dark night when it is raining). I would be willing to bet that allowing the painted lines to wear away and not replacing the reflectors causes a LOT of traffic accidents (and fatalities). I don't think we have to go crazy with the markings, just install them and maintain them properly. I now travel roads that lack reflectors (they have broken off and haven't been replaced) and lack proper painted lines (worn off) that I now consider dangerous.

Comment Re:Technolopgy (sic) is not the problem. (Score 2) 258

There's also "no technological fix" that will make driving an automobile safe, but we do it every day and have learned to live with the risk. I guess we could make everyone drive 10mph, but choose not to. According to wikipedia ( there were 32,367 automobile deaths in 2011. There have NEVER been anything like that number of deaths in a year from a nuclear reactor. Chernobyl had approximately 4000 deaths and the entire list on wikipedia for deaths due to nuclear and radiation accidents doesn't adds up to around 4,066 ( These numbers might not be entirely accurate, but I'm guessing that all the deaths due to nuclear accidents amount to less than 2 months deaths due to automobile accidents in the US alone.

We have got to start thinking about this like we think about automobile accidents. Tragic, but unless are willing to make a drastic lifestyle change, they are necessary and we just live with them. We don't agonize over getting in our car and driving even though it is statistically WAY more dangerous than any nuclear plant.

Comment Psychopaths or Sociopaths? (Score 1) 422

I think people are confusing psychopaths with sociopaths. While the share some of the same traits (, I have found more sociopaths in upper management than psychopaths. Unfortunately sociopaths are EXACTLY what upper management is looking for and often rise to positions of authority in organizations. Their ability to manipulate people and to lay blame for every problem at other's feet is rewarded. They are actually often VERY good at getting people to do what they want.

Submission + - Current state of Windows driver distribution

lbates_35476 writes: Does anyone else struggle with the fact that so many hardware manufacturers are insisting on distributing drivers only in self-extracting/installing .EXE files? This means you can't install the driver using the proper method built into windows and moving to different hardware now takes much longer than is necessary (i.e. you can't update the drivers during migration). Add to this the fact that some manufacturers are no longer shipping driver CD-ROMs and the problem is only compounded. Example: Dell's website shows no less than 14 choices for Broadcom Ethernet drivers for their T310 server even after putting in the exact asset tag for the server. We should be WAY beyond trial-and-error when it comes to drivers by now.

Comment Re:Anti-NAS (no longer) (Score 1) 251

You owe it to yourself to look at Synology's NAS servers. Like you, I almost gave looking until I found these. As with most, you get what you pay for. Their DS710+ can accept data across Gigabit LAN at nearly 100MB/sec (yes that's bytes), mirrored drives, in-place hard drive upgrades, and a while host of other features that is too long to list here. Basically I think it is the perfect SOHO NAS. Note: They have other lower/higher powered models, but most users will find 3TB x 2 (mirrored) to be adequate.

Comment Re:*shrug* (Score 1) 188

Bi-direction sync is hard because of the conflicts that can occur (i.e. file changes on more than one system) and limited upload bandwidth. I know of no solution to conflicts other than manual intervention and end-users that I've worked with don't want to "think" about the consequences and make this decision. Even if you could get them to "think" about it, presenting the conflict to them and asking them to decide what to do isn't easy.

You are correct that a versioning file system would help (it cold be used as a work-around to conflicts by saving all versions in chronological order), but then none of the production off-the-shelf file systems (NTFS, EXT3/4, XFS) do that today.

IMHO to the vast majority this seems like a simple problem, but it implementing it isn't nearly as easy as it seems at first blush.

Comment Re:*shrug* (Score 1) 188

As a provider of secure cloud storage (, I can tell you that this is anything but easy. It appears easy on the surface, but collisions (files changing on multiple clients simultaneously and files changing while they are being uploaded), locking, versioning, etc. make this much more difficult than it first appears. Add in the cross-platform (Mac, Windows, Android, Symbian, iPhone/iPad) requirements as well as multi-lingual character sets and differing rules about folder/file name rules and this gets to be quite complex. I've had more than one user (and even IT professionals) say all they want is a "simple online storage solution" but don't understand the ramifications of limited Internet upload bandwidth. If you add a secure requirement, which introduces complexity that end-users HATE, and this is no small task. What users seem to want it 100% security, 100% bi-directional synchronization without any user intervention, and 0% additional complexity.

Submission + - Microsoft changes Automatic Updates setting (again 2

lbates_35476 writes: Tuesday night Microsoft changed the 'Automatic Updates' setting on several of my (and my client's machines) without permission. I ALWAYS set it to 'Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them'. That way my machine won't be rebooted and several of tasks I keep running killed off.

Tuesday night Automatic Updates were downloaded, applied to my machine, and it was rebooted, and this setting was changed back the 'Automatic (recommended)'. Am I the only one that thinks this just WRONG. This is not the first time this has happened, but this time it REALLY bothered me.

Comment Re:Several Inconvenient Truths About The Debt Ceil (Score 1) 932

Actually you are quite wrong. You can carry forward losses and that has been a part of tax law for a LONG time. The problem with individuals is that many of them can't really have losses because they don't have the ability to go below zero unless they have other than normal W2 income. You can't really get a negative W2. Now if you invest $50,000 in a company and it goes bankrupt, you can apply that $50,000 loss against future income until the loss is all gone (even into future years). I know this is true because I has a lady embezzle a rather tidy sum from my company and the carry-forward loss took several years to use up on my personal return. That is what the companies are doing. Take this very important tenant of tax law away and corporations would not invest in many ventures that might not pay off the first year. They aren't cheating, they really lost the money. They are just recognizing that fact when they finally do make money. This doesn't make them money in any way and they eventually have to pay taxes on all of it. They aren't getting any "free lunch", it is just fair and I doubt hardly anyone with any experience in business would refer to this as a loophole.

As to reducing the deficit: the US government now pays around $400B per year about 1/6 the total budget yearly in interest. If we keep borrowing $1.5trillion per year (what will be borrowed in 2010) soon that number will so large that it is unserviceable debt. That is why we MUST fix the deficit. We can chip away at the debt over time (just like you would do as an individual if you found yourself in this situation), but we must not continue to spend more than we make first. Then let's see if there are ways that make sense to everyone involved to increase revenues. The old saying goes "When you find yourself in a hole, STOP DIGGING"

As to your second point. The government doesn't have the responsibility to give anyone (except for the mentally/physically disabled) anything. That is the job of the individual, their churches, and their families. This is a fundamental difference in belief between liberals and conservatives. We can't pay people not to work, supply them with unlimited medical care with prescription coverage, pay them to have children out of wedlock, and expect it all to work out. They are provided a free education and if they are truly poor, financial aid and pell grants are available for post-secondary education. Having worked my way through school and then paying off my student loans after, I know it can be done.

Comment Re:Several Inconvenient Truths About The Debt Ceil (Score 1) 932

Sort of "newspaper semantics". They made a paper profit in a year, but they had carry forward losses that offset the profit and reduced their taxable income to zero. If I have a company that loses money for several years and then I have a breakout year and make $20 million dollars. The newspaper reports that I made $20 million dollars but paid no taxes. Sounds like "the man" is sticking it to us again. I paid no taxes because I had losses that were greater than the $20 million in profits. The newspaper is looking for a headline and got one (same with GE/Exxon). But they weren't completely honest with you. The profit was a "paper" profit not a real one.

Comment Re:Several Inconvenient Truths About The Debt Ceil (Score 1) 932

I think you picked up an an article that was subsequently corrected:

Oh and by the way, they employed over 100,000 people that paid taxes as well.

You might also want to look at this about GE:

They had huge losses in the GE Capitol division and the losses washed out their profits of the other divisions. What is so hard to understand about this?

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