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New Drugs Trail Many Old Ones In Effectiveness Against Disease

adoarns More than just effectiveness (230 comments)

I am an epileptologist, and I would certainly love to see more effective anti-seizure drugs on the market. But although the newer anticonvulsants aren't necessarily better at stopping seizures than older ones (like the classic four: phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and valproic acid), they are better tolerated, have fewer severe adverse effects, have much more predictable serum concentrations, fewer drug-drug interactions, and require little to no routine bloodwork monitoring. For the 1% of the population suffering from epilepsy who have to take these drugs on a regular basis, this has been a significant change.

about a year ago

Former TSA Administrator Speaks

adoarns Re:maybe used trenchant insights a wee bit earlier (196 comments)

Yeah, sure, okay.

It was brave. It took guts. I wish he had just a little more bravery and a little more guts and as much oomph as it took when he held his only-a-little-powerful position. Because now he holds a no-powerful position, vis-a-vis the question at hand. People seeing the light only after they've led horrible organizations do not interest me all that much. Unless it's a prelude to leading a bigger, badder organization to undo the damage.

more than 2 years ago

Former TSA Administrator Speaks

adoarns maybe used trenchant insights a wee bit earlier (196 comments)

Add Hawley to the list of people for whom wisdom (or the audacity to voice it) came too late in their careers to make any difference.

more than 2 years ago

Copyright Claim Sets Back Cognitive Impairment Testing

adoarns Changing clinical practice for copyright? (116 comments)

I am a neurologist. During training, an MMSE was basically a required component of a history and physical exam of any patient with cognitive complaints. It has its limits, but within them it is very useful.

It's pretty hard to believe that a collection of cognitive tests, almost all of which can be and are used separately in a more customized examination of the patient's sensorium, can be so creative as to be copyrighted.

The idea that the Sweet 16 could infringe because it contains "orienation" and "memory recall" items similar to the MMSE is absurd; questions about orientation and immediate/delayed recall are standard with or without the MMSE.

This is absolutely infuriating from a clinical perspective.

more than 2 years ago

Google To Seek Dismissal of Suit Against Google Books

adoarns Re:authors just want to be payed. its a labor issu (240 comments)

*Nods*. Right. My comment ought not to be construed as a statement along the lines of, "Screw the authors! Gimme!" It's just a goddamn shame that this hasn't been pulled off.

more than 2 years ago

Google To Seek Dismissal of Suit Against Google Books

adoarns Shut up and take my money (240 comments)

All I want--far, far more than Netflix or Rhapsody--is to be able to give somebody money on a monthly basis to have access to nearly every book in every library in the world. Just somebody make this easy. I don't want to have to think, "Is reading a chapter of this obscure work on Russian formalism worth $0.50?" I just want to fucking click on a link, and read it.

more than 2 years ago

Ubuntu Unity: The Great Divider

adoarns Thank God for variety (729 comments)

Been an Ubuntu fan for an awfully long time, and evangelized it onto the hard drive of several relatives and work colleagues. I fucking hate Unity. I'm running Natty right now on "Ubuntu Classic" mode to avoid it; and despite all the wonderful things Canonical has brought to desktop Linux, the silliness of this decision has me thinking of moving my main PC to another distro; I've got Fedora 15, Arch, Gentoo, and a few others waiting in the pipeline.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon To Allow Book Lending On the Kindle

adoarns Taking part in setting the terms... (280 comments)

So really they're going to allow the possibility of publishers to allow lending.

Because *I* want to have a say in how the next technological regime for literature will be structured, I download and copy books.

more than 3 years ago

Look-Alike Tubes Lead To Hospital Deaths

adoarns Already incompatible (520 comments)

Reading about this, it occurred to me that there could be more safety in this area. I have worked in ICUs where the patient had two IVs, a central line, an arterial line, a lumbar drain, and an endotracheal tube: around the patient were crowded a mechanical ventilator, three IV poles equpped with IV pumps, a monitor, and a crash cart. The nurses were helped in this by, for instance, labeling each line with a small tag. Also, generally in ICUs nurses take care of two or three patients max for twelve hours at a time, meaning they can attain familiarity.

At the same time, it would take an awfully ingenious method to get most automated sphygmomanometer air lines hooked into an IV line. That's just completely stupid.

more than 3 years ago

Preserving Memories of a Loved One?

adoarns Do something fun (527 comments)

The most fun, absolutely wonderful things. You, the girls, and your wife. While her health will allow it. Take a trip, for instance. And don't make it all stressfull, and don't invest it with too much meaning. It's a fun jaunt, the whole family

Those memories will last.

more than 3 years ago

H.264 and VP8 Compared

adoarns Re:Bunk test (337 comments)

Wasn't there an article here sometime lately about Android phones overtaking iPhones? Can't Google flip a switch and give millions and millions of smartphones WebM like that? (Imagine snapping sound.)

more than 4 years ago

Bruce Schneier On Airport Security

adoarns Really truly extremely verily secure (582 comments)

So what does "really secure" mean? What's acceptable--or more to it, what is an acceptable expenditure of capital, both in cash and in irritation?

What are the paragons of the "really secure"? People always reference Fort Knox. Is Fort Knox really secure? The gold depository indeed is very difficult to infiltrate, very difficult to steal from. But is it impossible? Or for that matter, would it be impossible to destroy or scatter? A small-scale nuclear weapon could sublimate the entire deposit. The security of Fort Knox makes it very unlikely it will be compromised, that's all. Just as a jail makes escape very improbable, the population squatting around it very unlikely to be accosted by inmates. But not impossible. There's no impossible except in mathematics and physics.

So how rare can we make attempts on air transport? Well, since 2001 there has not been a civilian death due to terrorism on commercial aircraft. There have been two noteworthy attempts, both foiled by a mixture of equipment malfunction, bomber incompetence, and fellow passenger vigilance. Most flight-safety wallahs will tell you disasters happen not because of a simple malfunction but because three, four, or five different systems all failed. The fail-safe, the redundant fail-safe, the alternate computer were all rendered useless. Terrorist attacks can happen when similar strings of failure happen in the security apparatus. You can make them rarer but at cost.

Already commercial flights are unflyable. The airlines' penny-pinching clamps down on checked baggage, so everyone tries to drag through as much carryon as they can, which is exactly what the TSA discourages. To get from one city to another by plane, I have to show ID, I have to forego anything as basic as a regular bottle of shampoo, toothpaste, or mouthwash. Forget razors. They've already figured out what infinitesimal space can accommodate 99% of passengers with less than 1% risk of DVT and press us in to fit. My wife can't even come through security to see me off.

What else can I give up? Perhaps I don't need luggage. Everyone can simply buy new clothes at the destination. Hotels will stock up on toiletries and surcharges. Everyone will doff their shoes in the terminal; airports will be like Japanese houses. Slippers on the plane and whatever you can scavenge at your destination. Go through metal detectors naked. Well, they've got machines that do that essentially anyway and they want to roll them out. Each person spends five minutes with a Bruce Willis look-alike who asks for aspirins and grills you about your destination. "Our records show you visited Aunt Millie just five months ago--what is your real agenda here!?" Special papers for transport. Each seat with seatbelts only releaseable by the captain or designated air marshal. Nothing bad could come of that. No more paper--paper cuts, you see. Tickets carried on USB drives with a USB fee added.

Just what would make you feel safer? "Really secure" can't happen with commercial air transport because there are too many people. Millions of people, every day, getting on and off planes. If you've got a couple billion dollars in gold locked up in one place, you can make it real secure. Esp. if you have a tank division nearby. If you're talking tens of thousands of flights and millions of people, day-in-day-out, it can't happen. Not without denying every single one of them basic human decency. A few attempts will get through, and will hopefully get foiled. The terrorist masterminds, who are always working on something to hit us where we least expect it, aren't likely to be targeting planes anyway. Their plans already worked, people are already terrified and cowed.

The worst thing is that horrible processes and institutions outlast their exigencies. TSA will be around doing the same or worse crap fifteen years after there are any credible threats to commercial air. A whole generation is ruined on air travel, and we're still not building anything else to compete. Trains, anyone? Fuck it, I'll just drive to Cali next time I'm bound there.

more than 4 years ago

Verizon Removes Search Choices For BlackBerrys

adoarns Innovation (510 comments)

This is the genus of consumer-friendly innovation net neutrality would kill. Do we really want that?

more than 4 years ago

Typewriters, Computers, and Creating?

adoarns Physicality (227 comments)

The Olivetti has worth because of its link to a physical product. I wouldn't value the PC or Mac of an author as much because it was only a general-purpose machine that happened to be used as a literary tool by virtue of the software on it. And I wouldn't pay anything for a decades-old binary image of Emacs. When writing on computer, the text becomes its own thing, it transcends the physical. In some ways, I dislike it because of that. I really enjoy the physical link with the text I get when writing with pen, when clacking on a manual typewriter, or otherwise. The advantages of text sublimated from the physical are great--better storage and search, versioning, editing, independent control of presentation, logical layout, etc. But it makes the tool used to make it less interesting, more mundane, more merely processing. The Olivetti, like my Pelikan, are precision tools purposely made for writing. In this way they become the paraphernalia of the writer, the adjutants of his talent. You pay for that connection. With stuff like this it's always the connection that's important. Beige boxes--even flashy Macs--don't have it.

more than 4 years ago

My longest stretch without sleep (catnaps count) ...

adoarns Re:Postgraduate medical education. (605 comments)

Especially, I can't help but point out, in our respective fields, which more than any other subspecialties ought to know better.

more than 5 years ago

My longest stretch without sleep (catnaps count) ...

adoarns Re:Postgraduate medical education. (605 comments)

Yes! I was hoping someone else knew about Halstead.

There are rumors afoot of further ACGME restrictions--I'll not hold my breath. Had to sit through a lugubrious luncheon with the department Chair who bloviated for a half hour on how dangerous and misguided reducing resident work commitments is; although his unkempt moustache merely twitched with annoyance when I pointed out the Annals of Internal Medicine study published in 2008 showing reduced morbidity and mortality among medical admissions since the first round of ACGME restrictions went into place.

Where are you in your medical education?

more than 5 years ago

Collaborative Academic Writing Software?

adoarns Gobby (328 comments)

Use LaTeX and Gobby.

more than 5 years ago

My longest stretch without sleep (catnaps count) ...

adoarns Postgraduate medical education. (605 comments)

Neurology residency. Not as bad as surgery, or for that matter neurology just ten years ago, but I'm regularly awake for 36-38 hours six times per month.

I have to take care of patients in that time. Think of the neurosurgeons, who are doing *brain surgery* in that time, often every third night.

American medical education is fucked up.

more than 5 years ago

Every Email In UK To Be Monitored

adoarns Forcible decryption (785 comments)

Made worse by UK statute giving the police the authority to order the disclosure of encryption keys or the decryption of encrypted data.

Yay fifth amendment and subsequent interpretations equating disclosing cipher keys with self-incrimination!

more than 5 years ago


adoarns hasn't submitted any stories.



Haven't had any decent mods lately

adoarns adoarns writes  |  more than 8 years ago

and A) it's probably because I've stuck to making pseudo-lame one-liner sarcastic comments instead of long, meandering, intelligent ones; and B) I don't really care.



adoarns adoarns writes  |  about 9 years ago

MED3 starts Tuesday. I hope I've got all my freedom in.

Taken by what seems like the irrelevancy of places like Slashdot and Plastic lately. Not that their stories have changed—I have simply checked out of their respective hotels. Unable to post long-winded, mouth-shooting replies, I've taken to simply making simple, two-word responses to hastily block-quoted material. Is it po-mo? Is it zen? Chic? What the fuck ever.

Plus, Gentoo's pissing me off. I wish I could just change my whole cluster to Plan9, but the hardware support sucks. And I'm the lazy bastard who won't do anything about it, even though I have *BSD, Linux, and Plan9 source. What can I say? Apparently nothing.



adoarns adoarns writes  |  more than 9 years ago

MED2 is over; only the boards loom ahead before the clinical years like 72 virgins embrace me. I'm feeling melodramatic because I have frightfully little motivation to review for the boards. Negative doesn't convey--I have imaginary amounts of motivation, which unfortunately no matter what magnitude is at right angles to the amount of motivation that counts. So I waste time on Slashdot instead. Que lastimoso soy.

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