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Open Source Study Included In US Stimulus Package

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the i'm-sure-that-makes-us-socialists-somehow dept.

Government 187

gclef writes "Buried deep in the details of the US stimulus package is an interesting provision that might go a long way toward helping Open Source software break into the medical area. It says that the Secretary of Health and Human Services should study the availability of open source health technology systems (PDF, page 488), compare their TCO against proprietary systems and report on what they find no later than Oct 1, 2010. Slashdotters may also be interested in the language that starts on page 553 of that PDF to see just what the final package says about broadband." The stimulus plan was approved by the Senate on Friday and is expected to be signed by President Obama by Monday.

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187 comments

What open source health technology systems? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857113)

Seriously.

Re:What open source health technology systems? (1)

what about (730877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857509)

I did use this to manage image storage http://www.pixelmed.com/ [pixelmed.com] Of course I had to change the actual undelying storage mechanism to implement zipping an entire study othervise the CT scan images would have chewed the filesystem inodes in a second. (The customer knows that it is OpenSource, he is and end customer) There is plenty of work that can be done using OpenSource and there is plenty of work generally. What I see in the closed source badwagon is the idea that you "do something" and then you "milk the customer". I find it far more ethical to be paid for the work I actually do.

Re:What open source health technology systems? (1)

gravos (912628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858253)

The good: they're only studying health services, they've set a reasonable deadline, and all health technology systems should be open source anyway to make auditing simpler. The bad: This is debt-financed spending.

Not sure this is a troll : FDA == $$ (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857829)

I'm not sure this is really a troll post. IMO it costs $$ to get certification from the FDA so that your software can be used for medical purposes. At least, for medical equipment and for diagnosis. And I don't think a lot of open-source projects shell out for this certification, especially since (it seems to me) they'd have to pay for every version they want certified.

i'm-sure-that-makes-us-socialists-somehow dept. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857121)

The fact that the story has red graphics was the first clue for me personally

Re:i'm-sure-that-makes-us-socialists-somehow dept. (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857167)

Yeah, but no matter what it makes us, the US population in general will not know about it till well past 2010. It will take that long for our legislators to actually read the damn thing. Sure there will be watchdog groups who have read it before then, but like those that nay-sayed on the DMCA and US PATRIOT Act, they will be ignored until we are suffering the bad and unintended consequences of caveats in this bill.

Re:i'm-sure-that-makes-us-socialists-somehow dept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857481)

They're never going to read it. Why read it after you already voted on it? It'd be like a student faking a paper based on cliff notes and wikipedia then going back and reading the book after he turned it in.

Re:i'm-sure-that-makes-us-socialists-somehow dept. (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857589)

It will take that long for our legislators to actually read the damn thing.

Read? They don't need to read... They didn't read this bill before passing it.

Re:i'm-sure-that-makes-us-socialists-somehow dept. (3, Insightful)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857833)

Yeah, but no matter what it makes us, the US population in general will not know about it till well past 2010. It will take that long for our legislators to actually read the damn thing. Sure there will be watchdog groups who have read it before then, but like those that nay-sayed on the DMCA and US PATRIOT Act, they will be ignored until we are suffering the bad and unintended consequences of caveats in this bill.

You know, this bill is a perfect example of why we need DownsizeDC's Read the Bills Act [downsizedc.org]. It is unacceptable that Congress votes for legislation they haven't fscking read. Please contact your Representative and Senators about that act.

Three other DownsizeDC campaigns that this bill perfectly shows the need for are:

Enumerated Powers Act [downsizedc.org] - "It's time for Congress to, "Cite it, chapter and verse." Where do they derive their authority? When they pass new laws or spend taxpayer money, they should be required to point to specific language in the Constitution. The Enumerated Powers Act would require them to do precisely that."

One Subject at a Time Act [downsizedc.org] - "Congress routinely passes unpopular laws by combining them with completely unrelated bills that have majority support".

Federal deficit causes Congressional pay cut [downsizedc.org]
Federal deficit causes Congressional pay cut - "Congress needs incentives to Downsize DC. H.R. 500 would provide such an incentive. If the federal government runs a deficit, then Congress will suffer a cut in pay. Tell your elected representatives to sponsor H.R. 500."

Obama email (1)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857803)

A friend of mine knows a guy who hacked Obama's blackberry.
It seems he just sent an email to Linus and rms. It was a short message:

all your source are belong to U.S.

Slashdotters? (0, Offtopic)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857163)

Oh please. It's the same as Diggers and Redditors. Nerds. Internet nerds. We're all atheist. We're all mostly libertarian. On and on.

what stimulus package? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857165)

you mean the 800 billion (larger than any US budget prior to 1983) in miscellaneous pork? They're already planning on a second stimulus since this one is expected to be a total failure.

Re:what stimulus package? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857349)

you mean the 800 billion (larger than any US budget prior to 1983) in miscellaneous pork?

One definition of pork is spending designed to stimulate the economy in a particular congress person's district. In that sense, as long the pork is evenly distributed throughout all the congressional districts then that's exactly what the US economy needs.

Another definition of pork is spending that doesn't have long term economic benefits. For example, if you spend money on a road, at the end of the day you have a road to use whereas, if you spend money on exotic dancers, at the end of the day you don't have anything other than pleasant memories - and the theory goes that roads make the economy more efficient while pleasant memories don't.

The original stimulus bill tried hard to spend on projects that were likely to lead to long term economic efficiency (infrastructure and education). Some Republican pork (e.g. tax cuts to spend on exotic dancers) may have been included in order to get the necessary Republican votes but the original stimulus tried hard to avoid being pork.

Re:what stimulus package? (1, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857759)

Some Republican pork (e.g. tax cuts to spend on exotic dancers) may have been included in order to get the necessary Republican votes but the original stimulus tried hard to avoid being pork.

Umm, no. None of the Republicans voted for the stimulus bill. All the pork in it was Democratic pork.

Re:what stimulus package? (5, Insightful)

MacEnvy (549188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857823)

You conclusion does not follow. Just because Republicans didn't vote for it (in the House, not in the Senate) doesn't mean that no Republican pork was added. They knew it would pass and in committee they DEFINITELY added their own pet projects to the bill under the guise of "improving it so that they could possibly support it". However, when it came down to the *political* aspect of actually voting for the bill, they chose to make a partisan statement rather than follow up on their previous talk of "possibly supporting it with these changes" (i.e., their pork that was added). Whatever, it's just politics, and almost none of what the Republicans have said publicly about both the bill itself and their own intentions has ended up being true. For the record, considering the size of the bill, there is an incredibly small amount of actual pork in it. But you'd have to actually look at some of the provisions to understand, rather than parroting big-mouthed right-wing pundits.

Re:what stimulus package? (2, Informative)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857981)

Not a single Republican in the House voted for this. Only the 3 RINOs in the Senate voted for this. The House Minority Leader threw the bill on the floor of the House [youtube.com] after calling the Democrats out for breaking their promise to provide 48 hours to review the bill. Just out of curiosity, how many of the 1,073 pages have you read in the ~36 hours the bill has been available? Did you notice all the handwritten changes [youtube.com].

Re:what stimulus package? (1, Troll)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858425)

Arlen Specter said as much to the press, you can hear the audio here [huffingtonpost.com]. A lot of Republicans wanted the stimulus to pass, but were afraid to have their "fingerprints" on the legislation. The Republicans are simply to cowardly to face down the Club for Growth and Dear Leader Comrade Rush.

The bill is the biggest single tax cut in history and the Republicans still wouldn't vote for it. This is a party run by people who mail tire gauges [time.com] and silly putty [blogspot.com] and bricks [alipac.us] to their enemies and getting good soundbites on the news when they should be writing good laws. A party completely obsessed with appearances and run by media celebrities.

Re:what stimulus package? (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857947)

I'm a bit taken aback that tax cuts are considered "Republican pork." I always sorta thought that tax cuts let me decide what to spend my money on instead of being forced to spend it how the government would like me to. Sure, I could blow it on exotic dancers, and then I'd have nothing to show for it, but isn't that my call? Personally, I'd use it to pay for a new furnace, because the one in my house is gonna blow within a year or two, but I guess the roads in Arkansas or this bullshit open source study are more important things that I have to pay for because somehow, someday they might affect me, assuming I survive when my furnace starts blowing carbon monoxide.

(I would have said "the roads in PA," as that's where I'm from, but I'd be kidding myself if I thought PennDOT was anything more than a black hole for money.)

Re:what stimulus package? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858421)

I always sorta thought that tax cuts let me decide what to spend my money on instead of being forced to spend it how the government would like me to.

The general model for government spending is that there are certain things that are more efficiently provided to the general population as a whole rather than purchased individually (e.g. roads, national defense, etc.). In that sense, taxes are payments for services provided to the general population by the government: taxes are no more your money than the money you pay for groceries. The suggestion that the money you owe for groceries should somehow be given back to you to spend on yourself is failing to understand the nature of that transaction at a fairly fundamental level.

At the moment, the government is borrowing to provide the stimulus but eventually the stimulus is going to have to be paid back as either tax dollars or devaluation of the US dollar. Does the general population of the USA want to buy you a new furnace or is a new furnace something that is best purchased by each person individually? To the extent that the primary benefit accrues to you personally rather than to the general population, using tax dollars to buy you a new furnace would be pork.

Back to the original point, though, for short term stimulus, it doesn't matter that it's pork. What matters is that people are spending the money rather than stuffing it into their mattresses (saving it). The problem with tax cuts is that much of the money will be going to rich people who don't need the money now but who will indeed save it to provide more of a cushion for later. The stimulus will be much more effective if it can be injected into poor communities where it continues to circulate because the poor people are, by necessity, continuing to spend it.

Re:what stimulus package? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858363)

Are those American exotic dancers ? In that case, it helps the economy just the same, the girl will spend the money eventually on things like food, gas, education, skimpy clothes etc.
So do YOUR part in helping the economy !

Re:what stimulus package? (1)

Abjifyicious (696433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858419)

Very well put. The Republicans have been saying things like "the stimulus bill has too much spending in it." What do they think stimulus is?!

This is basic economics, and it's not hard to understand. If the government gives someone a tax cut, they might spend the money and stimulate the economy, or they might just put it into savings. If, on the other hand, the government spends that money directly, they are guaranteed to stimulate the economy.

The best way for the government to stimulate the economy during a recession is government spending. Period. The Republicans aren't opposed to it because they think it won't work, they're opposed to it because they're afraid it will, and they'll do anything to try and bring down their opposition.

Re:what stimulus package? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857411)

$800 billion is ~$420 billion in 1982 dollars (using the GDP deflator; the other metrics give much smaller numbers). You have to account for inflation whenever you're talking about very large amounts of money since even a few years can make a 5-10% difference. Measuring Worth [measuringworth.com] has a good calculator.

Re:what stimulus package? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857543)

Why only for very large amounts of money? Wouldn't $800 be ~$420 in 1982 dollars, or does it stay $800?

What's your definition of failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857597)

you mean the 800 billion (larger than any US budget prior to 1983) in miscellaneous pork? They're already planning on a second stimulus since this one is expected to be a total failure.

Ah, the fact that they can't seem to recall where they "misplaced" the first $300 billion that went out the door already, I'm curious how you define "failure"...Seems to me it's gone well beyond failure to total and utter fuck-up.

Re:what stimulus package? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857771)

hey if we get all those unemployed construction workers who are supposed to be building houses working on roads and stuff. we might be able to fix this. since the housing construction industry has slowed to almost nothing then we have the job side of the housing slump fixed.

Feature Not Bug (2, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858287)

The concept of the thing was to get as many paychecks printed as physically possible in the next 18 months. I guess you could call that "pork," but I think your problem is with Keynesian theory and not waste-fraud-abuse.

Here's the current job losses, in absolute numbers and percentages [calculatedriskblog.com]. These people can work, but aren't being asked to essentially because banks aren't lending. Banks aren't lending because they're D-Bags who spent the last 5 years defrauding each other and calling shitpiles gold. Even if the gov nationalized the banks tomorrow, most of them are still insolvent and the shock of that fact would probably cause a run on the dollar. The bad paper has to be gotten rid of, and it's better people be paid doing something instead of getting welfare or starving to death while the banks straighten out the incompetent. fucking. house.

If it means breaking every window in the country, the gov is going to do it to keep people working, because intact windows are less important than starving kids.

Now what's also in the budget? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858315)

A $1000 tax "credit" for families with children who are too poor to even pay taxes. In other words, a bribe to continue breeding a new army of Democrat voters complete with kung-fu handout-receiving action.

Kinda depressing, actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857199)

The cited language constitutes the entire two instances of the word "open" in the entire 575-page document.

Maybe we would be better off open sourcing the entire government. [metagovernment.org]

TCO and open vs closed source (5, Insightful)

Calindae (1256922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857235)

The only down side is medical professionals are going to have a difficult time implementing either closed or open source technology by 2010, let alone doing *both* and comparing. Don't get me wrong, I love the use of technology in the medical field and I fully support our new overlord (much better than old Bushy), but that seems a but rushed, IMHO.

Re:TCO and open vs closed source (2, Interesting)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857307)

I have the link somewhere but it appears the issue with medical systems isn't so much lack of technology, but uniform standards. Also the only open source health technology system that comes to mind is the one the VA is using.

Re:TCO and open vs closed source (5, Interesting)

Calindae (1256922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857353)

Yes, uniform standards would go a long way in helping streamline and cut costs. I'm pharmacy technician and if every doctor used the same tech to submit scripts to us we could probably increas our workload by at least %10. Include insurance companies in standardization of their information and we could up our output by another %10. But insurance companies aren't in the business of paying for things, so they like it when you can't submit claims...

Re:TCO and open vs closed source (2, Interesting)

ForrestFire439 (1458475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858263)

At face value it doesn't seem like such a bad idea. But if you think about the long-term costs of running the system (administrators, maintenance, hardware upgrades, software upgrades) it's not a job that the government is going to be able to perform efficiently.

Then you have the privacy concern. As it stands, if somebody wants access to my medical records then I need to explicitly authorize their release. In my opinion, this is the way it should be. I'm against anything that makes it easier for a third party to get my records without consent. There needs to be very strict language protecting the consumer's privacy.

Then you have provisions that have NOTHING to do with streamlining medical record transfer. Quoteth wikipedia:

"The National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure the doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective so as to reduce costs and âoeguideâ the doctorâ(TM)s decisions (p.442, 446). Hospitals and doctors that are not âoemeaningful usersâ of the new system will face penalties by the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose âoemore stringent measures of meaningful use over timeâ (p.511, 518, 540-541). The Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research ($1.1 billion)[26] (p.190-192) will slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are expensive. Medicare would apply a cost-effective standard set by the Federal Council for the elderly (p.464).[27] Drugs "that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed." It approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.[28]"

That's right folks! They're using this bill as a means to regulate the treatment your doctor provides. They, in their infinite wisdom, will decided whether the treatment your doctor is giving you is worth it. Got cancer? Oh, but you're 80 years old. Sorry. We've got more important people to take care of.

This is what you should expect because whenever the government gives you something they expect you to bow to their demands to make sure the money isn't "wasted." It's just like how people who have been convicted of drug-related offenses have trouble getting college grants. It's historic really, going back to the big city democrats in the early 1900's. They give you your meal ticket, you give them their power.

Re:TCO and open vs closed source (2, Insightful)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858377)

"That's right folks! They're using this bill as a means to regulate the treatment your doctor provides. "

Three words. Medicare, Medicaid, HMO. As long as someone else is footing the majority of the bill (employer, government) then you'll have someone else calling the shots. The only system where you're calling the shots (within reason and legality) is all the money comes from your pocket.

Re:TCO and open vs closed source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858275)

The % sign is supposed to come after the number, not before.

What and how (3, Interesting)

binkless (131541) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857243)

Just what is this supposed to stimulate and how?

Just thought I'd ask

Re:What and how (2, Informative)

Calindae (1256922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857369)

Most likely it is used to stimulate the decreasing of costs in regards to the health care. Lowering costs=increase profits=strong economy=you, happy.

Re:What and how (1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857391)

Most likely it is used to stimulate the decreasing of costs in regards to the health care.

No its not. It's just a big political grab bag for constituencies of the Democratic Party. They've been waiting for 30 years for their big federal lootfest, and now they are going to get it.

Re:What and how (2, Insightful)

Calindae (1256922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857741)

Yeah, it's just very well disguised as helping the country (which it will do, oddly enough..) Those dirty rascals!

Re:What and how (2, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858015)

why cant they just use the old techniques, like going to war while your family own shares in the biggest item on the military budget?

Re:What and how (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857995)

It's just a big political grab bag for constituencies of the Democratic Party.

Do you have any idea what a stimulus is?

Clearly you do not. So shut your pie hole and do some book-learnin' [wikipedia.org].

The Republicans of course did absolutely zero "lootfesting". Just ask Blackwater.

Re:What and how (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858025)

"They've been waiting for 30 years for their big federal lootfest, and now they are going to get it."

Not much of that left after the big corporate/republican federal lootfest, which was shortly after the even bigger American public lootfest, that got this country into this mess in the first place.

I see a lot more work in investing inside the US in the cities and people then I do with the previous admin. All it seems that was invested in in the last few years are secure bank accounts for the wealthy few.

Re:What and how (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858447)

All it seems that was invested in in the last few years are secure bank accounts for the wealthy few.

Hey, be fair. We bought at least a trillion dollars worth of craters and tortured people in Iraq, too.

Re:What and how (1, Insightful)

jamie (78724) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857395)

If you make health care more affordable by increasing its efficiency, fewer Americans will be spending money on health-care overhead and bureaucracy, which means they'll have more money to spend on other things.

Re:What and how (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857865)

But then the people who work in the health care system will have less money to spend....

The only way to get more (real) money into the economy now is to borrow it from the future.

Don't be obtuse (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857425)

That's kind of a dumb question. (I might be excused from inferring your agenda from your question, but I'll refrain — we already have too much of that.) Anything that causes money to be spent stimulates the economy. The issue with the stimulus bill (including this part) is not whether it will stimulate the economy, but whether it will stimulate it enough to justify adding most of a terabuck to the national debt.

As for this particular question, have you been following the news at all? Part of the stimulus is building up our technical infrastructure. Do I have to explain how software fits into that? You may not agree that this will work, but how it's supposed to work should be obvious.

Re:Don't be obtuse (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857553)

"That's kind of a dumb question. (I might be excused from inferring your agenda from your question, but I'll refrain -- we already have too much of that.) Anything that causes money to be spent stimulates the economy. The issue with the stimulus bill (including this part) is not whether it will stimulate the economy, but whether it will stimulate it enough to justify adding most of a terabuck to the national debt."

Here's a question: If you take money from person A and give it to person B, have you stimulated anything ? Person B will have more to spend, admittedly, but person A will have less. The net effect on the economy is null. Unless you buy into the theory of competition which states that government will never be as efficient as private industry. If you agree with that principle then you can see that not only has the government not stimulated anything, the odds are more likely that they've generated a net loss.

Re:Don't be obtuse (1, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857677)

Person B will have more to spend, admittedly, but person A will have less. The net effect on the economy is null.

I guess economy isn't your strongest subject?

If you e.g. take money from the poor and give it to the rich, you will be slowing the economy down. The poor person would have spent that money almost immediately on essential things like food, whereas the rich person would have put a substantial amount into savings. (This kind of reverse Robin-Hood is often good for the economy overall). The same thing works in reverse, and therefore when unemployment is high or the industry has unused capacity, it is often a good idea to move money from the rich to the poor.

Another alternative is public spending, which is guaranteed to create activity instantly.

Re:Don't be obtuse (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857817)

"I guess economy isn't your strongest subject?"

Funny. After reading your post I could ask you the same thing.

When a wealthy individual puts his/her money into savings they either put it into a savings account in a bank or they invest it. The 3rd option is that they could literally hoard it in a mattress or a safe in their home, which is the only scenario that gives your argument a leg to stand on. But only an extremely small fraction of misers do that.

The money goes into a savings account and the banks keep a small percentage for reserves and lend out the rest. So while a small fraction of the savings does get held by the banks, the majority goes back into the economy. If you consider that in a healthy economy banks will be making wise investments then the reserve is rendered moot because the banks capital grows through good loans which employs more bankers.

Every penny that the rich have goes to creating employment, either directly or indirectly. When Paris Hilton buys a Gucci bag she's indirectly employing the shop keeper who then spends that money to indirectly employ her grocer who then spends it at the gas station and indirectly employs the attendant etc. When the rich put the money into savings they're still indirectly contributing towards employment. And when all is said and done, when the rich decide to withdraw their savings down the road, they will have that much more capital to spend on creating new business ventures or on personal consumption (which, as I illustrated, is still a form of employing). Which is why, traditionally, capital is created by savings, not borrowing! It's this debt lifestyle that not only the public but the government has gotten itself into that has enormously contributed to the current contraction (which is always just a massive and sudden change of behaviour in the way that people handle their savings, and that naturally sorts itself out over time unless it is made worse by encouraging people to put themselves into further debt instead of liquidating their debt and saving).

Government taking from the rich may not necessarily do immediate harm, depending on how they spend it. However, it will never create a net surplus of employment and history has clearly shown us that government is extremely inefficient with money on the whole.

Re:Don't be obtuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858261)

Are you sure "fractional reserve" always works that way?

From Wikipedia entry "Fractional-reserve banking"

When a depositor deposits $100 into the bank under contract that the money can be withdrawn at any time, the bank could implement fractional reserve banking by either 1) loaning $80 of the original $100 without creating any more money, or 2) creating an additional $400 out of thin air and loaning out that newly created $400. In the first case there would be a total of $100 (the original deposit), whereas in the second case the money supply would be inflated to a total of $500.

It's the #2 that worries me.

Re:Don't be obtuse (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858353)

Yes, fractional reserve directly contributes to inflation. Because when a bank lends out money the person who gets the loan has money to spend but that money also, technically, belongs to the person who put it in his/her savings account. However, when loans get paid back that new money that was created is destroyed and deflation takes effect and prices go down and you have an overall correction.

The important part here is that the banks need to make wise loans. If the banks get themselves into trouble then they risk a bank run and are forced to borrow from another bank to meet it's obligations. The Federal Reserve was supposed to solve this problem by being a lender of last resort. However, during the great depression they failed massively in their task (Milton Friedman accused the Fed of causing the depression) and since we saw banks collapse in 2008 as well it would appear that the Fed is not living up to one of their intended purposes.

I was opposed to the fractional reserve system for a long time for the inflation reason. However, inflation is not inherently a "bad thing" as long as deflation is allowed to occur. The problem is when you give a central authority the power over the creation of money, and over monetary policy. It becomes too tempting to keep printing more and more. The public doesn't like deflation because they see the short-sighted impact of their wages getting cut (cost of living goes down accordingly as well, which is little comfort psychologically). The last time we saw a government-supported program of deflation was in the 70's. It's largely believed to be the only reason that all confidence has not been lost in the dollar yet.

Re:Don't be obtuse (1)

koutbo6 (1134545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857785)

for an economic model with two people I agree. But what happens if you add a person C as a bank, who's lent both A,B, to buy houses from builder D. Having made a quick buck, D borrows more to build homes that he expects E,F,G ...etc to purchase ... but hey.. these guys never showed up.
A & B house value declines because of all these houses in the market which D can't sell. Since the houses were collateral for everyone's loans, they figure its better to walk away and let C reposes them since its more cost effective for them to take the hit. Now everyone is bankrupt, and C is sitting on a lot of homes with no cash.
There, fixed that for you.
The model is now a closer representation of reality.
Now what were u saying about government stimulus?

Re:Don't be obtuse (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857917)

The solution in that case would be for all parties to liquidate their debt and have C learn from the lesson of making bad loans. Rather than redistributing wealth in inefficient ways and encouraging people to borrow more.

When did we start to look at capital as debt rather than savings ? The problem isn't that we need people to borrow more. We need to change our attitudes, liquidate our debt and starting saving again! Banks made these bad loans because the government (Fannie Mae) was securing the mortgages. That was part of FDR's New Deal. He wanted to encourage people to buy homes so he chartered Fannie Mae as this new thing called a government-sponsored enterprise in order to purchase mortgages from banks in exchange for securities.

That created the scenario that you just described.

Lending and borrowing is fine when the risks are properly calculated. The problem is when the government, in an attempt to think of those who the private sector will not lend to because they're considered bad investments!, secures loans which encourages banks to take risks that they otherwise would not have done. The result was a housing bubble and now there is a correction. However, instead of changing our habits and getting out of this debt mentality we're just getting more of the same. Redistribute capital, print more money and lend more to banks so that they make more bad loans. In computer science we would refer to all of this market manipulation as "a series hacks upon hacks upon hacks".

Re:Don't be obtuse (1)

koutbo6 (1134545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857987)

well .. in computerized systems, we usually make the hacks because its easier than rewriting the whole system from scratch, and in certain situations it is impossible to stop the system so u have to work with what you've got.
I am not with or against government stimulus, but I wonder if the solution u suggested is possible. I mean, how would you liquidate the debt and be fair to the majority of people who continued to make their payment on time? and if you let the situation take it's course without intervening, I think being fair would be the least of our concerns.
Maybe the solution is an intervention from the government, and a change in attitude about savings so things could stabilize over the long run?

Re:Don't be obtuse (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858165)

I'm not saying that it's fair to the people who will loose. I'm not saying that it's entirely their fault and I'm not even saying that we (the public, not government specifically), should stand back and do nothing.

There is so much blame to go around. It's not fair to blame just the banks or Wall-Street, it's not fair to blame just the Republicans or the Democrats. This is a problem of gradual, systemic tampering with the way in which people trade and do business with one another. Consider that every thing the government does to assist one group must automatically be at the expense of another. In our mixed system of capitalism, welfare, corporatism and general interventionism we see government supported monopolies (via tariffs, licensure and regulations that make entry into industries very difficult), artificially reduced interest rates (through debt financing by the Fed), a deficit that's in the trillions (according to Ron Paul's book "The Revolution: A Manifesto" the US national debt is accruing 1.4 billion dollars per DAY in interest!) and a general tax on the entire public via the government's program of inflation.

So I'm not saying that we should do nothing to help the individuals who are on the loosing end. I'm just saying that governmental assistance is something to be extremely weary of. Because everything that I just listed is a result of "good intentions" on the part of government. Here's a radical theory: maybe if we cut the income tax and cut government spending to accommodate, and the government was honest with the public that the majority of their economic problems are a result of artificial market manipulation, the result of people being able to keep 100% of what they earn will stimulate them to being more charitable.

I encourage everyone to speak with their elders about what times were like when they were younger. The US has only had a fiat currency since 1913. It's only started to expand a world-wide military empire (that costs an estimated 1 trillion dollars per year that comes straight out of the productive areas of the economy) since the 1950's. HMO's and medicaire etc. are also relatively new and today we see virtually no pro-bono doctors or charity-run hospitals anymore. There used to be an abundance of them and no one was turned away because they couldn't afford treatment. Don't take my words for it, read some of Dr. Ron Paul's writing where he talks about what the health care system was like when he was a young practicing obstetrician.

So all I'm asking is for people to really examine ALL of the effects that government spending, in general, has on the entire economy as a whole instead of just looking at the short term effects. Nothing short of revolutionary reform would cut all governmental intervention but people, at the very least, need to be asking these questions and having these debates. Every time the economy goes sour, or there's some other catastrophic event (9/11, hurricanes Katrina and Gustov) people get a revived sense of dependence on government. It's a belief structure that's based around the idea that government, through means of forceful coercion, can take from the most productive areas of society and use those takings to somehow save the unproductive areas (sometimes their goals are successful but we never ask at what cost ? What new industry was indirectly destroyed because a dying industry was saved through governmental assistance and was the result for the better or for the worse ? And how would we know ?).

We should all feel compassionate and do what we can to help those who have found themselves on the loosing end. All I'm saying is that forceful coercion and governmental assistance never accomplishes the goal of economic prosperity. If we've seen prosperity in the past it's been in spite of intervention, not because of it.

On a lighter note, but one that helps illustrate the unintended side-effects of government hand-outs, the Ludwig Von Mises Institute web-site published an article recently titled Bailing Out the Red Light District [mises.org] that is worth a read. If for no other reason than to give you a good laugh.

VistA on GT.M - Check it out... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857287)

The open source health management stack that runs on the open source GT.M, it is called VistA. It is used by many healthcare providers here in the US and Mexico.

Re:VistA on GT.M - Check it out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857515)

There is also a GUI front-end called OpenVista CIS that's developed by Medsphere (it's basically a re-implementation of CPRS, except it's portable to Linux and Mac). They're an open source development company, and they contribute a lot of code to upstream open source projects like GTK+ and Mono.

CPRS is what a lot of hospitals currently use, but it kind of sucks and it of course limits you to Windows. CIS presents the opportunity to shift the terminals in the hospitals to Linux as well as the servers that run GT.M.

Re:VistA on GT.M - Check it out... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857635)

The open source health management stack that runs on the open source GT.M, it is called VistA. It is used by many healthcare providers here in the US and Mexico.

Would adding a link have killed ya? http://worldvista.org/ [worldvista.org] I mean you don't want readers to have to google it for themselves, do you?

Props to Osirix... (4, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857341)

An excellent PACS viewer solution; unfortunately runs only on Macs; but is amazing. Developed by a set of dcotors who got fed up with Direct X and the quicksand that is WDDM and DRM nonsense.

Fully Open Source.

http://www.osirix-viewer.com/ [osirix-viewer.com]

Seg3D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858153)

Seg3D has similar viewing capabilities and is cross platform and open source. However it's focus is more on segmenting the datasets rather than just viewing them. (For example classifying out heart tissue or tumors).

Seg3D website [seg3d.org]

Re:Props to Osirix... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858323)

Developed by a set of dcotors who got fed up with Direct X and the quicksand that is WDDM and DRM nonsense

Maybe they were fed up with Direct X, but all things considered, the rest of that sentence is nonsense. WDDM really? Are they bundling a display driver with that program too? Don't get me started with the DRM crap that you don't have to use...

Re:Props to Osirix... (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858395)

Developed by a set of dcotors who got fed up with Direct X and the quicksand that is WDDM and DRM nonsense.

These had nothing to do with the creation of Osirix.

Waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857357)

Wonderful...that will help the economy.

Here are the results of the study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857407)

* Open source is worse than proprietary systems
* We shall continue to use proprietary systems

I wish this didn't pass (5, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857431)

I'm all for the Open Source stuff and all, but every economist that I've read says that ironically, that massive layoffs are the beginning of the end of an economic downturn, and that it appears as though things will be back into shape around the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010, and none of their arguments are contingent upon a stimulus package. In fact, none mention it.

I think that the spending on the infrastructure and unemployment benefits and the like are sufficient. Both will help in the short term and long term, but tax cuts are BS. Ever since I've been alive every politician has cut taxes, yet they always seem to go up. I'm not complaining. Our taxes are low in the US. I'm stating the facts. The only people that seem to benefit from tax breaks are those that are unaffected by their tax burden or any financial burden whatsoever.

Yes, I voted for Obama, and I don't regret it, but I think the effectiveness of this bill does not warrant the cost.

Re:I wish this didn't pass (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857473)

The key words in your post: "that I've read". The stimulus is classic Keynesian economics. Not all economists buy into this model, but many do.

Re:I wish this didn't pass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857639)

Ever read Keynes? How about Krugman? Robert Reich? I am not saying these economists are right or wrong. Keynes would be a good read though because he seemed to have the most complete understanding of recessions and how to avoid or recover from them.

Fun fact to confuse supply-siders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857933)

Arthur Laffer credits Keynes (and Ibn Khaldun, a 14th century Muslim polymath) for what came to be known as the "Laffer Curve".

For even more head-exploding fun, he describes this in an essay archived on heritage.org [heritage.org].

But seriously, afaict, the consensus is that the basic notion of a curve is correct, but that we are far on the "left" side of the curve (less than optimum tax rates for maximum revenue); and furthermore, it seems that revenues don't go to zero at effective 100% taxation (Soviet Russia for example).

Re:I wish this didn't pass (0)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857687)

I'm going to run through some very elementary principles of economics. For more information I suggest you read "Economics In One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt.

Cutting taxes only works if government also cuts spending. However, since 1913 (when the Federal Reserve Act was established) the government (or more precisely the Federal Reserve, which is actually an independent corporation which was chartered by the government and not part of the government at all) has been in charge of the creation of money.

Why cut taxes, which will anger the public, when you can spend by just printing more money ?

However, most people realize that while the government can print money there is a catch. The catch is that prices go up. What happens when the Fed says that it's going to "slash interest rates" is that it manipulates the rate at which banks borrow from each other by purchasing bonds from the banks. This gives the banks more money to lend out, and naturally banks encourage borrowing by cutting their interest rates. However, the most important part of the equation is that the Fed creates the money to purchase those bonds out of thin air.

So now there's more money in circulation. The people who do the most borrowing get the money first and get the benefits. Since they have all of this extra money they can bid more for what they need. So the businesses that they contract to raise their prices. Now those businesses have more money and they in turn bid higher and so on until the new money has spread through the economy.

The act of adding to the pool of money is inflation. Rising prices is the symptom.

The effect that this has on the population as a whole, and hardest on the poorest who do the least amount of borrowing and purchasing, is literally the same as raising taxes. More specifically it's literally the same as if the government went into your bank account and took out money. Because it devalues the currency. This is a clear case of big business getting benefits at the expense of everyone else. It's not a case against laissez-faire capitalism, because government-controlled fiat currency is anything but laissez-faire. It's interventionist to the extreme.

These stimulus packages are almost always financed through inflation. There's 3 ways that the government can finance anything: 1) they spend tax dollars 2) they borrow the money from another nation and 3) they print more money (pretty much the same as raising taxes for the reasons I just explained).

Now, since you mentioned that you believe that the stimulus is going to be sufficient (I guess you haven't bothered to ask yourself why the last bailout bills haven't been), consider what I just said about the way that government finances spending. In order to spend anything the government has to take first. Government does not generate wealth. They merely redistribute.

Most people who support the bailouts / stimulus packages feel that it's going to work because it's going to take from the rich who can easily afford to pay more taxes and give to the poor. However, that's a very short-sighted view. Because while class-envy is natural and understandable, every penny that the rich spend on personal consumption is indirectly contributing to employment. When Paris Hilton buys a new Gucci bag she's indirectly employing the shop keeper who sold her the bag. The shop keeper is then indirectly employing the grocer who sells her her groceries and so on. So all of this talk about stimulus is rather absurd. Government can not create jobs. Every government dollar spent is a dollar taken from a productive area of society. In other words: an area that is currently employing people.

I hear some people raising their hands and saying "but people aren't spending right now! The rich are hoarding their money and not employing!". However, unless they're hoarding their money literally in a mattress or safe in their home they're still employing. They keep their money in savings accounts or they invest it. Which both contribute to production (the banks use the money to further lend).

When contractions in the market occur it's because there's a loss of confidence in the economy and a very sudden and massive change in the way people, banks in particular, spend their money. Banking institutions fear bank runs and start keeping larger reserves. New entrepreneurs hold on to their savings and take fewer risks etc.

So anyway, making the hospitals open source, or paying someone to nail up siding to a school does not fix this behaviour. Confidence is something that restores itself over time. Government can help speed up that process by taxing less and cutting it's spending to accommodate. Then people will have more money to spend and will be more likely to spend on risky endeavors such as starting or expanding a business.

Re:I wish this didn't pass (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858125)

An interesting post except for the problem that economic systems are global and linked. Remember not all countries we do business with subscribe to Keynesian economics. I think CSmonitor did a story pointing out that the solution needs to be global. Not just a US effort.

Re:I wish this didn't pass (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858243)

I'm not really sure what your point is. Each sovereign nation needs to adopt it's own policies, and I agree that economics is a global issue and other nation's policies will have an effect. That effect mostly comes in the form of trade. If your domestic production is flourishing but (somehow) you're the only nation and the rest of the world can't afford your exports then you'll simply have to do without importing anything (since exports pay for imports). Or you'll have to lower your prices. Either way this will have the effect of causing your domestic production to shrink, since you'll have less, overall, capital. But is that relevant ? All this does is to point out the truth that when there is overall greater prosperity everyone benefits. And when there is overall contraction everyone contracts. That doesn't say anything about what kind of policies the US should implement domestically.

Re:I wish this didn't pass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857711)

I'm not complaining. Our taxes are low in the US. I'm stating the facts. The only people that seem to benefit from tax breaks are those that are unaffected by their tax burden or any financial burden whatsoever.

No. Our personal income tax is low. Our corporate tax rate is really high. This allows politicians control over companies by giving them loopholes and tax breaks. It also makes it much more difficult for small businesses and generally more difficult for large businesses to compete internationally.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Income_Taxes_By_Country.svg [wikipedia.org]

just out of curiosity (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857755)

every economist that I've read says that ironically, that massive layoffs are the beginning of the end of an economic downturn, and that it appears as though things will be back into shape around the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010

What were those same economists saying this time last year about the economy at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009?

We need (MUCH) more gov't spending, not less. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857951)

...every economist that I've read says that ironically, that massive layoffs are the beginning of the end of an economic downturn, and that it appears as though things will be back into shape around the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010, and none of their arguments are contingent upon a stimulus package. In fact, none mention it.

I don't know where you're getting your news, but most economists I've been reading (Krugman [nytimes.com], Reich [blogspot.com], Roubini [rgemonitor.com], Galbraith [utexas.edu], Taleb [fooledbyrandomness.com], etc.) say we're at the beginning, not the end, of a massive downturn. That the stimulus is not only necessary but nowhere near big enough to fill the demand gap created by this crisis. We need about 2 trillion in direct, massive government spending. We're getting only 800 billion (so far), of which a huge proportion is political garbage like tax cuts which are not very effective, AMT stuff which will not create jobs, etc.

Note that these are the same economists who long warned this crisis was coming. We ignore them at our peril.

Re:I wish this didn't pass (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857967)

Our taxes are low in the US.

Check your facts [wikipedia.org]. US corporate taxes are the second-highest in the world behind Japan. Personal income tax is in the upper part of the bottom third right now compared to all other countries but that will be changing as the Dems do away with the Bush tax cuts and mess with payroll and capital gains tax in order to "spread the wealth around." Most state taxes are on the rise too in a desparate attempt to allow them to keep spending money (we have both a state and county income tax here in MD, and together they're an extra 6-11% depending on your income). You can call US taxes a lot of things, but "low" is not one of them, especially considering the services what we get from the government in exchange for the taxes we pay. And if you're fortunate enough to be self-employed and have to pay both halves of social security (an extra 7.65%), you really get fucked.

So no, I reject your statement that in the US, our taxes are low.

Re:I wish this didn't pass (1)

KenSeymour (81018) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858193)

Before I recently looked it up, I remember there being a 90% tax bracket in the US. But that was a long time ago.

Then I looked it up. In the early 1960's, that was when the top tax bracket was slightly more than 90%. Now, the top tax bracket is 35%. So if you are on the top end of the US
income distribution, your taxes have been going down for the last 50 years [taxpolicycenter.org].

So if you are quite wealthy, your taxes have been going down down down for 50 years. When
politicians say "were going to have tax cuts," guess who gets the biggest share?
God forbid a politician say he is only going to raise taxes on people who make more than $200,000!

Somehow, the right has gotten most of us to identify with the wealthy and act as if their taxes are our taxes. Maybe its because as Americans we can all imagine starting a business and
becoming a millionaire. But most people don't. Even most business owners don't make a million.

It seems to me that cutting taxes for the wealthy to create jobs for the rest of us has been
tried over and over again and where are we now?

Many economists think that creating jobs though public sector jobs is less efficient than through the private sector. But this approach has been tried over and over since the 1980 Reagan revolution and where are we now? I say lets give public sector job creation a chance.

The private company I work for gets nearly all its money from the public sector.

Direct link to paragraph in bill text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857461)

Here's the paragraph:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-1&version=eas&nid=t0%3Aeas%3A4129

The Slashdot circle jerk (3, Interesting)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857577)

I'm all for open source software, but it seems like Slashdot is the great open source circle jerk. We spend all of our time going omg open source software might appear in Project XYZ. In the end it never does, but even that glimmer of hope is enough for us to reach climax. If the average slashdotter's spent half the time working to promote open source to the average consumer, instead of jacking off, propriety software might be in trouble. Instead we stay in this relatively obscure internet community patting one another on the back when in the real world open source is getting it's ass kicked. Not a comment on the article I guess, but just something that I had to say.

Re:The Slashdot circle jerk (1)

ritcereal (1399801) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857641)

Yea, but most of us make our livelihoods by using closed source proprietary code at our places of business. Realistically, open source creates fewer jobs than a closed source solution. Not that I'm complaining, I am all for open source, but for that just doesn't seem to fit in my book for maximizing job creation...

Re:The Slashdot circle jerk (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857855)

Yea, but most of us make our livelihoods by using closed source proprietary code at our places of business. Realistically, open source creates fewer jobs than a closed source solution. Not that I'm complaining, I am all for open source, but for that just doesn't seem to fit in my book for maximizing job creation...

This is true. However, as it stands, the healthcare industry in the US is massively bloated and inefficient. Increasing the efficiency of the system should reduce costs, prevent mistakes, and allow doctors to spend more time with patients.

Healthy people are good for the economy.

Of course, this all lines up nicely with the Dem's vision for universal healthcare. If the government's going to be paying for it, they're going to want things to be as streamlined and inexpensive as possible.

Re:The Slashdot circle jerk (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857783)

"If the average slashdotter's spent half the time working to promote open source to the average consumer,"

The average consumer can afford Windows, learned on Windows, and does not need to invest the considerable time to learn anything different.

When there are replacements for everything they use on Windows that run on both Windows and Linux Joe Sixpack _might_ give a shit.

Re:The Slashdot circle jerk (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857857)

When there are replacements for everything they use on Windows that run on both Windows and Linux Joe Sixpack _might_ give a shit.

There pretty much is an equivalent to most things, excepting games and very specialized software. Joe Sixpack doesn't know about any of them (well, maybe a couple). But good office apps? Yes. Good browsers with plugins? Yes. Good email? Yes. Good multimedia? Yes. And they run on both platforms without any problem.

Re:The Slashdot circle jerk (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858075)

"We spend all of our time going omg open source software might appear in Project XYZ. In the end it never does"

You mean like the industry wag about optical processors, holographic storage, cell phone competition, lowered broadband prices, higher connectivity, modular windows OS, fair competition, etc, etc. There is a lot of hot air on the commercial side that promises a lot of solutions but the problems just seem to remain.

Thanks to BushCo, Cuba is ahead of US (0)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857603)

Not to troll anything, but under the Bush Adminstration (BushCo), much of the government's computers were running an outdated version of Microsoft Windows. (Like Windows ME.) Computers crashed, things didn't work. Thus when the Obama Adminstration showed up, they were floored that the country that is suppost to be this technologically advanced nation was still using CRT monitors, hadn't updated any of its software, and many computers weren't being used.

Now comes word that Cuba is working on its own Linux distro [cnet.com]. Cuba, whose nationalized education system seems to have florished unless you do a search for "dissent", is gaining up on us since Mexico, Canada, and just about every other Latin American country does not have the trade restrictions that we still have here in America. What the hell were we doing protesting about US-Columbian Free-Trade Restrictions the same way the Cubans have critized the U.S. on many of their websites over five prisioners we are holding? It says to me, Bush was still feeding his crack habit.

The use of the word Free Trade is definitely not the same as Free Software.

America has been resistant technologically for over a decade. Still messing with Coal, Nuclear, Oil, Television, and Microsoft. Entities that have fought to keep the world in the 1980s where greed and drugs florished. We are now closing the first decade of the third millenium, where Wind, Solar, Hybrid, The Internet, Google, and Linux MUST REPLACE the archaic and destructive entinties that are now obsolete and are devistating our livelyhood.

The naysayers will have their marketing misinformation and obsolete disinformation, telling us that the new technology "is not as profitable" as the old technology or "is not selling so it is not popular". You can't sell hybrids if they are twice as expensive as the gas guzzler. You can't sell us alternative energy when it is used in an area where there is overconsuption of energy rather than neighborhoods or schools.

We can not afford to be lied to by the naysayers. Let's get this done!

Re:Thanks to BushCo, Cuba is ahead of US (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857685)

So flat panel monitors are a sign of how advanced someone is? And can you quote me a source that shows that the Bush administration was using Windows ME?

I'd also like to question your lumping Google in with companies we should just go to. Google has a pretty shaky record at this point and most of it's cool factor is still mostly untested by government standards.

I think you need to work on your theory here before making sweeping statements than "The naysayers will have their marketing misinformation and obsolete disinformation." If anything you've completely failed to provide any real information.

Along with redundacy (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857643)

What about the government forcing companies who make their employees redundant to open source any software that they have.

Yeah.. uhm... sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26857647)

Yeah, like the first that comes to mind when I think about our government is "cost effectiveness"...

I'm sure they're really going to study those TCO figures... lol

Wake me up when it's over, would ya? ......

Broadband (p553...) (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857779)

I, like the citizens of Precipice, am willing to forego videophone service, so long as the bandwidth is there.

999-999-9999....

Broadband Census? (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26857927)

Could be. Check out page page 563:

"The Assistant Secretary shall develop and maintain a comprehensive nationwide inventory map of existing broadband service capability and availability in the United States that depicts the geographic extent to which broadband service capability is deployed and available from a commercial provider or public provider throughout each State."

Re:Broadband Census? (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26858187)

Depends on where the data is obtained. If obtained from monopoly telcos, the data will show the monopoly telcos need more government funding to "build out their networks". If the data is obtained from local county and city halls (who we hope will obtain the data direct from the citizens), we could get a more accurate picture.

you FAil It. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26858451)

anybody'S guess
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