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Daylight Saving Time ...

BlackHawk Re:Are we not advanced enough to use UTC Time? (310 comments)

Besides, switching to a singe timezone doesn't solve any significant problem.

You have clearly not tried to coordinate multiple interconnecting activities across those timezones.

about a year ago

Spiderman's Politically Correct Replacement

BlackHawk Re:How is that "politically correct"? (608 comments)

Oh, great! Now you've just set off a panic as people start looking for radioactive spiders that are out to get them! I know I'm safe, the tin foil chestguard repels them.

more than 3 years ago

Stanford Students Build "JediBot"

BlackHawk Re:This is only a toy (157 comments)

"Wake me when it can detect an opening in the opponent's defense and strike at it." Do you say this to your beginning students? The fact that this robot has the ability to track its opponent's sword, and using its programming, place its own sword in the "best" (in the minds of the programmers, who are clearly not swordsmen, as you and I are) position for anticipatory defense is a milestone. Give it time; it will be a relatively short step to add heuristic algorithms to this, and then the machine will simply learn what works and what doesn't. After, of course, a decent programmer works with a decent swordsman to give the robot access to the techniques of I.33, Talhoffer, Durer, Agrippa, and personally, I'd hope Donald McBane.

more than 3 years ago

Federally-Mandated Medical Coding Gums Up IT Ops

BlackHawk Re:Nearly Impossible? (254 comments)

Amen to this. I got hired on by a company on Madison, WI in January of 1999 and was told on my first day that "this Y2K thing" was my first priority, since my predecessor had put in maybe 3 hours of work on the project. Oh, and I had to do it while getting our network up to date. Frankly, it was a cinch, once they'd approved the budget. *That* took until June, too, so I really did the entire project in 6 months.

more than 3 years ago

Federally-Mandated Medical Coding Gums Up IT Ops

BlackHawk Re:And it slows things down (254 comments)

As someone who's working with this stuff right now, I can say if it's slowing you down, you're not taking advantage of the available tools. They're out there. Keep looking. Moreover, "data entry" is one way of looking at it. A different way to call it is "documenting what they're doing with sufficient detail". That was the entire point of these kinds of standardized coding systems: to (as best as we can) remove the fuzzy documentation in the systems before, and to remove the idiosyncrasies from medical records. With the proper coding systems in place, a patient in Allentown who moves to Duluth can have his PHI moved to the new caregiver and be (for the most part) confident that the Iowans will be able to understand what the Pennsylvanians did for him before. Yeah, there's going to be transitional pain. There always is. But as has been pointed out in other posts, it's not like ICD-10 ambushed anybody. Frankly, if you haven't been moving toward ICD-10-capable systems for at least 2 years, you've been slacking. There's a penalty for that at crunch time.

more than 3 years ago

Big Delays, Small Laptops: OLPC XO Recipients Mad

BlackHawk It *is* simpler (165 comments)

He is absolutely correct; a half-million units shipped to just 12 to 15 destinations *IS* simple by comparison. Just look at the complexities of UPS' operations in moving 80000 packages within the boundaries of the US, and that becomes apparent.

about 7 years ago


BlackHawk hasn't submitted any stories.



Is it time?

BlackHawk BlackHawk writes  |  more than 11 years ago Thomas Jefferson, a genius if there ever was one, has been quoted many times, by many folks, most of whom would call themselves "patriots". He has been quoted by authors, presidents, and terrorists, the most visible of whom would have been Timothy McVeigh. Of his many quotes, there are a few in particular that stand out.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." He wrote this in a letter to William Smith, dated 13 November 1787. I am mindful of this today, nearly two and a quarter centuries later, on a day when it has been revealed that forces within our government are moving even now to extinguish whatever public liberty we have remaining, using the color of law to do so: What is coming to be known as the PATRIOT II Act, constructed by the staff under Attorney General John Ashcroft, will be the most sweeping destruction of personal liberties, privacy, and the "right to know" that citizens of our country have ever faced. In the wildest fantasies of the Red-Scared 50's, Americans never imagined that our own government would seek to enact legislation that would make of us a police state that rivals anything seen in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia under Stalin. But here we are, staring such legislation in the face. I direct you to the Center for Public Integrity, which is where the story broke: here.

I fear for our country, but it is not at the hands of foreign terrorists that I feel our destruction is threatened. The terrorists are the ones who sow terror in our hearts every day, rattling the sabers, and releasing "orange alerts", all designed to keep us off balance and afraid. For fearful people will do whatever is commanded of them.

I will leave you with these words, also from the Jefferson letter I mentioned above. They bear repeating, as it is clear that this Founding Father knew much about the nature of men and of the governments that they create:

  • "God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion [as the one in Massachusets]. The people cannot be all, & always well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty."


  • "What country before ever existed a century & a half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them."

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