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Treasure Map: NSA, GCHQ Work On Real-Time "Google Earth" Internet Observation

chooks Re:So they'll suffer from TMI (267 comments)

Except printers put in identifying information into their printed pages.

Although AFAIK crayons and/or markers are not identifiable...

about two weeks ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

chooks Re:Voltaire (441 comments)

It was panglossian for him to think this would all turn out for the best.

about a month ago
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13-Year-Old Finds Fungus Deadly To AIDS Patients Growing On Trees

chooks Re:the cure for AIDS (134 comments)

You could be a carrier for months to years and be a vector without showing up positive in a test.

Just for the record, this is not correct. While it is true that there is an eclipse period during which testing is not useful (as indeed, there is an eclipse period for any viral infection), for HIV that window is currently very small.

See:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance dataâ"United States and 6 dependent areasâ"2011. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2013;18(No. 5). http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/reports/ surveillance/. Published October 2013.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Association of Public Health Laboratories. Laboratory Testing for the Diagnosis of HIV Infection: Updated Recommendations. Available at http://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/23447. Published June 27, 2014..

about a month ago
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Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

chooks Re:why internet connected? (111 comments)

In fact, too much data has been shown to lead to more misdiagnoses in ER's.

Citation needed

What type of data are you talking about? Lots of largely irrelevant lab data? (oh look...an elevated ESR!) Or is it historical data (Why yes Doctor, I do have a metal plate in my head. Is that bad for an MRI?)

The clinical history is one of the most powerful diagnostic tools available. Even in the ED.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

chooks Re:Linux Mint 17 (322 comments)

I finally decided to give linux (Ubuntu 14.04) a go as a primary OS on my new laptop with a win 7 vbox guest os. The install process is still a little rough around the edges (it took me a day to figure out that linux STILL doesn't support the raid chipset (intel) on my MB. Grrrr...).

But other than that, it is nice to have a real development environment and I was pleasantly suprised with how smoothly things integrate. VirtualBox is easy to work with and I had a guest OS installed with little hassle for my windows-specific software that I require. It's not a bad way to go.

about 2 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

chooks Re:Distinct DNA (1330 comments)

There are strict criteria for brain death that do exactly that.

about 3 months ago
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Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

chooks Re:JWs' view and my view (172 comments)

Plasma is primarily water with a collection of proteins (performing a variety of opposing functions) and should contain no viable cells. There is probably a chance of contamination with viable cells (probably more common in plasma derived from whole blood, but I have no data/sources to back this up) but this may also depend on the type of plasma (e.g. frozen vs liquid -- but again I have no data at the moment to indicate risks on one versus the other).

about 4 months ago
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Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

chooks Re:JWs' view and my view (172 comments)

I hate to break it to you, but platelets have mitochondria, consume energy, have cellular processes, activation/deactivation signals, etc..., so not quite sure that classifying them as "not living cells" is accurate.

On another note, you found contradictions in a Christian religion's doctrines? Shocking! Excuse me while I head to my fainting couch...

about 4 months ago
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Physician Operates On Server, Costs His Hospital $4.8 Million

chooks Re:Most physicians have personally owned systems (143 comments)

Irrelevant. I.T failed in preventing him from doing it,

Agreed. I have never worked in a place (hospital or otherwise) where an end user could expose an internal service to the public.

HR failed

That pretty much sums up HR in general.

Drs. can afford their own private internet connection,

out of curiosity, how do you think this would work? A doctor is at the hospital, needs network access and.....has the phone company install a phone line in each of the wards she is rounding in? The "learning shit" is kinda important...like looking up the proper drug dose for a particular patient population, new diagnostic criteria, etc...

many docs think they are experts at computers. A minority actually are. Thus looks like a guy playing sysadmin who get left holding the dookie from incompetent net admins

about 5 months ago
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London Black Cabs Threaten Chaos To Stop Uber

chooks Re:It's about power, not being a customer (417 comments)

But look at the morning after pill. There was a monied interest behind that abortion related aspect so whoosh it was approved in 2 seconds.

notsureiftrolling.jpg but the morning after pill (e.g. Plan B) is a contraceptive, not an abortificant. Contrast with RU-486 (a genuine abortificant), which did get hung up quite a bit with approval, despite Big Pharma behind it.

about 5 months ago
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Elderly Mice Perk Up With Transfused Blood

chooks Re:Scientific Vamperisim! (178 comments)

You can store blood, properly prepared for up to 10 years at -65C. You have to use glycerol as a storage medium. People with rare phenotypes can freeze their own blood for use later when they need it. Athletes can freeze their blood to use it for doping at the appropriate time (see Tyler Hamilton's book The Secret Race for more of this type of usage).

Fresh blood can be stored from anywhere 35-42 days, depending on the storage solution used (e.g. CPDA-1 or CPD + additives).

...the more you know

about 5 months ago
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Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

chooks Re:Todd the Teacher.. (333 comments)

You missed the big one. Todd the Teacher.

I'll one-up you: Dave the Daycare Provider.

Oscar the Ob-Gyn?

about 7 months ago
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New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

chooks Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1010 comments)

I'm with the sib post here. I really enjoyed o-chem. It actually made me sad that I didn't take P-chem when I had the chance.

One thing that made the difference was that I prepared before the class even started -- I looked at the list of suggested readings in the course syllabus and went through one of the suggested resources ("Pushing Electrons"). An awesome little work book that made everything I learned in class very understandable.

And yeah - I took Ochem as a pre-req for med school and guess what? I still use information I learned in that pre-req as an MD. So much for the "you'll never use it!" argument!

about 9 months ago
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Tech Titans Oracle, Red Hat and Google To Help Fix Healthcare.gov

chooks Re:Will they teach Economics? (404 comments)

Why would top developers work for government pay?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best SOHO Printer Choices?

chooks Re:My best advice: ***AVOID INKJETS*** !!! (381 comments)

I have the same printer - CLP550N, that I bought in 2005. Still on the original color cartridges (which are starting to go, but I put my defaults settings to print B&W). I love the duplex printing and it has been a solid printer for 7 years with some years of heavy printing. I need a new black toner cartridge every couple of years or so (I am on my 4th) but it is not horribly expensive (less than $100 from 3rd parties).

The biggest design problem with the printer is with the waste toner cartridge, which didn't make a good seal and so used toner would muck up the optical sensor that triggers a "waste toner full" error. I easily fixed this though by taking the LED and taping it to the sensor. Problem solved.

about a year ago
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DoD Declassifies Flu Pandemic Plan Containing Sobering Assumptions

chooks Re:Think again. . . ."zombies" aren't what you thi (337 comments)

with a very short incubation period.

You actually want a long incubation period so that the infected stay symptomless (but infective) for as long as possible. If the symptoms are severe and the incubation time short (e.g. flaviviridae like marburg or ebola) they kill the host before they have time to infect enough people. In essence, the virus is *too* virulent that it goes through the available susceptible people too quickly.

More deadly would be a virus that has is lethal but does not show symptoms for a period that exceeds its infective period. A good example is the early years of the HIV era -- lethal virus, long time before symptoms start, and infectious much earlier than any symptoms start to show up.

1 year,15 days
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How Outdated Data Distorts Doctors' Pay

chooks Re:15 minutes triggers the BS detector (336 comments)

My point is that putting in that number needlessly detracts from what they are trying to say. You could easily counter their example with the fact that some colonscopies can take hours (e.g. complications occur, perforations, etc...) and thus doctors are getting UNDERPAID. Without any context, it comes across as sensationalist. The point they are making (medical reimbursement is non-transparent and is not aligned with primary care of populations) but this is not helped by their hook.

about a year ago
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How Outdated Data Distorts Doctors' Pay

chooks 15 minutes triggers the BS detector (336 comments)

15 minutes for a colonscopy? Where do they get this number? Getting informed consent can take 15 minutes just by itself (and is something the doc has to do). 15 minutes sounds like the best-case scenario (e.g. a screening colonscopy on a healthy 50 year old with no findings) and a number to sensationalize the article. What is the distribution of times that the procedure takes? Maybe 75 minutes is actually a reasonable time to expect the procedure to take on average?

That the health care system in this country is screwed up is not at issue. The article wants to point out the ludicrousness of the reimbursement mechanisms in place. Putting in a context-free and unexplained statistic only weakens its argument.

about a year ago
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Bill Gates: iPad Users Are Frustrated They Can't Type Or Create Documents

chooks Re:We Already Tried This. (618 comments)

MS made it a requirement that netbooks had to have weak CPU's and RAM limited as not to eat the notebook market share

I thought the CPU choice was more of a battery life thing -- the Atom processors (N500/N550) had much better power consumption profile (at the expense of processing) than a normal x86/AMD processor. The battery life on my ASUS netbook was around 8 to 10 hours, which was great. Having used a netbook for a couple of years it seems like the real hardware compromise was the video, which really slowed things down.

Still, the portability of the netbook was great and worked well for lightweight development (e.g. VIM as opposed to eclipse/VS) at a price a student could afford.

about a year ago
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LinkedIn Invites Gone Wild: How To Keep Close With Exes and Strangers

chooks Re:How it works (164 comments)

That happened to me with my ex-girlfriend. All of a sudden she popped up on my "You may know..." list. Needless to say, it was duly ignored. Her step-dad also showed up one day as well...Not sure if he looked me up or if she used his computer.

Either way, my wife and I had a good laugh about it. My main point to her was that it was kind of cool knowing how these things work (an underlying machine learning algorithm to group things, I would guess). She is glad she married a nerd.

about a year and a half ago

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